MSHS celebrates seniors committed to collegiate athletics and performing arts at the third annual signing ceremony

Morgan Flannery, Senior Reporter

Manitou Springs High School held the third annual signing ceremony on May 10 for all seniors who have committed to participate in collegiate athletics and performing arts. The event celebrated 11 seniors stepping into the next chapter of their careers.

This was the first year that MSHS recognized students committing to college on a band scholarship, celebrating both Sadie House (12) and Rebecca Davis (12), two Manitou seniors who will play instruments at the next level. “I think it’s awesome that they’re recognizing the performing arts just because we’re kind of cast to the side sometimes,” House said. House will be minoring in music and majoring in English, with the long term goal of becoming a screenwriter. “I think that Manitou’s whole music program has a lot of passion. It’s always had a really nice sense of community,” House said.

Signing day allows seniors the chance to share the excitement of committing to collegiate sports and music with their coaches, family and friends, celebrating them as they prepare to leave Manitou. Madrid Mack (12) will play soccer as an outside middle/forward for Metropolitan State in downtown Denver this fall. “I really like how it’s just like very in the middle of the city. Like you can kind of walk anywhere you want, which is really nice,” Mack said. 

Payten Smith will also be playing soccer in college as an outside back at Nebraska Wesleyan University. “I love Lincoln, which is where NWU is, and the small school environment is perfect for me,” Smith said. Smith, Mack and the third athlete signing for soccer, Sami Benge-Kulzer,  have played together all four years of high school. Smith said, “I’m going to miss the girls who I have been playing with my entire life.”

Mack has been playing soccer for about 15 years, introduced to the sport by her dad and coach, Ben Mack. Mack said, “I’ll miss our culture. Something’s very different about our soccer team, we care, we’re like a family.”

The other athletes honored at this event were Theron Heim for swimming at St. Olaf College, Bailey LeGere for softball at Western Nebraska Community College, Grace McCumber for cheer at William Penn University, Andrew Rhodes for baseball at Blue Mountain Community College, Lairden Rogge For Track and Field at Butler University and Teryn Thime for volleyball at Kansas Wesleyan University.  

Manitou started this event to formally honor all the accomplishments of these students. “We used to just be super casual where the kid and the parents would maybe just go to the Media Center during lunch and have a cake; it was very informal,” the Athletics and Activities Administrative Assistant, Angie Glass said. “It was something that I just wanted to be more kind of public and be recognized in front of a larger group of people.”

Glass has wanted to honor the performing arts at this event since it began, and this year finally made it happen. “I just feel like it’s really important to recognize those students, as well as the athletes because most of them, probably all of them, have worked just as hard for just as long, sometimes earning even more money in scholarships than some of our athletes do,” Glass said.