Five More Laramie Students Sign For College Sports
Five Laramie high school senior student athletes were part of a signing ceremony at LHS Wednesday, as they take their talents to the collegiate level.
Two seniors are headed to the University of Wyoming to run track and cross country in the brown and gold.
State cross country champion in 2016 Philip Henry has decided to join his older brothers, Jonah and Chris, at UW. Philip has been a five-time all-state honoree in his running career at Laramie.
Henry admitted it wasn’t an easy choice.
“It was pretty hard. I had offers other places, but in the end, I really liked the coach. I love my brothers, and I just really wanted to go run for UW.”
Henry added that getting a chance to run at the next level means a lot.
“It means that I’m pretty top level, which I don’t think about that often. I just go out there and race with my teammates. Now I’m going to have faster teammates pushing me even harder, gonna have to try a lot harder.”
Joining Henry at Wyoming is senior mid-sprinter Tyler Dahl. The four-time all-state performer says it’s a great opportunity for him.
“I got the Trustees Scholarship, so that pretty much pays for college. It made the decision a little easier, and then takes a little pressure off the coach, but it’s just a great opportunity I get to stay in my home state and compete at a higher level, get to push myself a little harder past high school.”
Dahl also mentioned it’s been his goal to run in college and of his three choices for school, he made sure to chat with each coach so he could accomplish his goal.
Laramie track coach Gil Bradfield said this is a great opportunity for both Philip and Tyler, and both made an impact on the LHS track program.
“Tyler has been there every year and has done well, and will do well at the end of this year (with outdoor track still going). Philip comes from a long line of Henry brothers, has contributed, and I’m glad he’s stayed with track.”
Staying in-state, but leaving town is senior Tanner Riedel, the all-state goalkeeper for the Laramie Plainsmen soccer team. He’s headed to Gillette College to play for coach Saber Garcia and the Pronghorns.
“It’s really exciting for me. It’s my dream to go off and play soccer somewhere in college, so this is a dream come true for me.”
What appealed to him about Gillette? Riedel said a lot of things.
“The coach in particular. My coach (Dan Benford) knows him (Saber Garcia) very well and says that he’s a good guy, and that he’ll do well for me. I think that’s one of the big things that has gotten me to go there. Also, it’s close to home, so get to see the family still.”
Headed out of state are a swimmer and volleyball player from Laramie High School.
Senior Caely Pickerd has chosen to attend Presentation College in Aberdeen, SD and continue her volleyball career. She said it’s really exciting.
“Once I showed up to campus, I fell in love with it automatically. It’s a great campus. It’s a small one, but it’s amazing. It’s 1-to-10 students (faculty-to-student ratio) and that’s perfect for me. The volleyball program is going great, and I’ll probably be very successful there.”
The Saints compete at the NAIA level.
Pickerd stated that she was inspired by former Lady Plainsmen standout Kyleigh Hiser, who played basketball at Northern Colorado, to pursue her dream of playing at the collegiate level.
Her head coach with the Lady Plainsmen, Becky Baker, said I always love to see kids get a shot to move on.
“Caely’s a kid who’s worked so hard. I never had to question that she wanted to get better; gave me 100 percent, and that’s the kind of player you look for. It just always makes me, as a coach, so proud to see players move on. It’s such a cool feeling to watch them do that.”
The final senior signee is swimmer McKay Lake. He is head to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI to compete for the Knights. The school is at the Division III level.
Lake competed just one year at Laramie High School after his family moved here from Nebraska. McKay was a state champion in the 50 freestyle and runner-up in the 100 free. He also swam a leg on the state champion 200 and 400 free relays for the Plainsmen. Lake helped LHS to a team state title in February.
He said the journey is interesting, from Nebraska to Laramie to Michigan.
“The coach actually reached out to me and thought I’d be a good addition to his team. I visited there. It just seemed like a really good fit.”
Lake admitted he wasn’t thinking about this at first, but circumstances changed.
“I was kind of being doubtful, before I came Laramie, about swimming in college, but after a successful season with amazing swim coaches, with Tom (Hudson) and Scott (Cronk), I don’t know, I just love swimming now, and I can’t wait to do it in college.”
Laramie head coach Tom Hudson said it was a pleasure to have McKay for the year.
“What a tremendous talent he is… He’s gonna be a great college swimmer. He’s a pure sprinter. Really can turn on speed when he wants to. I think he’s gonna be very successful as a college swimmer.”
These five join classmates that signed in November, December and February.