Student Athletes to continue at next level


Senior Robert Figley sprints downfield while playing defense in a game for the Fort Hunt Warriors.

Jude Nanaw, Sports X-tra Editor

With graduation day nearing and the departure of the senior class of 2017 comes the signing of AHS student athletes to commit to continue playing their respective sport at the collegiate level.

On May 30, several students signed their National Letters of Intent indicating their commitment to participating NCAA colleges and universities.

This school years student athlete commits came from a wide range of different sorts offered at AHS.

Senior Luis Aguirre signed to commit to the University of the District of Columbia to continue his soccer career.

Aguirre has been largely successful in his run as the Atoms boys varsity soccer goalkeeper for a number of years. His biggest accomplishments throughout his time have been being awarded first team all conference for two consecutive seasons.

“I feel blessed and honored to be playing soccer at the collegiate level,” Aguirre said. “I feel that my hard work has paid off and I will continue to work to accomplish more.”

Another soccer commit was senior varsity goalkeeper Kasey Richitt for the girls team.

Richitt who was improved greatly and developed into her role on the team will continue competing at Shenandoah University.

“Everything I worked hard for came out to be the best outcome for me,” Richitt said. “This will be an amazing opportunity.”

Also from the girl’s soccer team is senior Gabriela Jordan who will go on to compete at Shippensburg University.

Jordan has been playing soccer for the past 10 years and has been an extremely vital piece for the girl’s soccer team throughout her tenure.

“My goals are to compete and excel in soccer in college and then pursue a career in physical therapy,” Jordan said.

From the football team, senior tailback Jalen Jackson signed on to play at Alderson Broaddus.

Jackson who started as a sophomore in the secondary went on to become the team’s main running back for the past two seasons.

“It’s great to see him [Jackson] get an opportunity to play college football,” Head football coach Mike Scott said. “This is very much a reflection of his work ethic as well since he was never missed a practice or a game throughout all of his time on the team.”

Senior pole vaulter Jeremiah Bethea, one of the most decorated pole vaulters in school history will continue in track and field and Christopher Newport University.

During the indoor track season this school year, Bethea set a new school record in the pole vault at the state meet coming in at 14 feet, breaking the previous record of 13.6 feet.

“I’m really excited and grateful to start competing at college because the opportunity solidifies all of my hard work over the past four years,” Bethea said. “One goal of mine even though it may be a little early, is to break the school record at Christopher Newport.”

Atoms starting varsity quarterback from this past season and baseball player Liam Conroy decided to go the route to continue his baseball career at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island.

Conroy took on a big leadership role in both sports this school year being one of few seniors on the baseball team and quarterback of the football team.

“I’m so proud of him [Conroy] for earning an opportunity to play in college,” Head baseball coach Christopher Bagot said. “He worked harder than anyone in the off-season to try and reach his goal of being a college athlete.”

From the tennis team, senior Vincent Oliver was the only commit to continue to play tennis at the collegiate level at Lynchburg University.

Oliver has consistently ranked within the top three players on the team in nearly all of the seasons in which he has competed on the team.

“He is an outstanding player and both practices and plays hard,” Head tennis coach Steven Zaret said. “He is definitely deserving of an opportunity to play at college.”

The one college commit from the lacrosse team was senior Neftali Reyes.

Reyes has achieved many of his personal goals at the varsity level in both football and lacrosse. Reyes played a significant role in both sports this year being a key leader and will have the opportunity to compete in lacrosse at Valley Forge Military Academy.

“It’s a great opportunity to really further my skills as a player as well as a person,” Reyes said. “I’m going to put a lot of time and effort into this opportunity and will be very dedicated.”

Senior Dontae Johnson earned a spot to continue his basketball career at York College.

Johnson has become one of the most accomplished basketball players in AHS history. Johnson was the first all-state basketball player from the school in the last 30 years and is the All-Time leading scorer in school history as well .

“Dontae was the York College’s number one choice from the beginning of the year and they wanted him over anyone else,” former Head basketball coach Matthew Behne said.

The only athlete to earn an opportunity to compete in college in a sport not provided in school was senior Robert Figley.

Figley has improved greatly in his years playing rugby for the Fort Hunt Warriors and will go on to play at Arizona.

“I’m really excited for the next four years,” Figley said. “I have put a lot of work into the sport and I’m glad to see it pay off.”

AHS is proud to see a number of student-athletes earn college opportunities to compete in the sports they play. All commits look to make the most of their given opportunities.