Senior Signing: Athletes Commit


Air Academy's 19 senior athletes committing signing party.

As the 2018 – 2019 school year is coming to an end, bittersweet goodbyes accompany nostalgic moments, but sadness isn’t the only thing in the air. Air Academy has the privilege of sending 19 graduating athletes to continue their athletic careers in college.

On Wednesday the 24th, the Kadets, with their family and friends watching, officially committed to colleges. From swimming, football, basketball, soccer, track, hockey, baseball, tennis and softball, Air Academy has presented an incredible group of talented and dedicated seniors.

Athlete Griffin Ayotte, attending Queens University of Charlotte for swimming, plans to major in sociology with a minor in psychology. Ayotte described some of the deciding factors in choosing the right school.

“I chose Queens because of their sociology program and the opportunities they have to guide me towards my future job, along with their five-time consecutive national championship swim team of course,” he said.

Ayotte is the perfect example of a student athlete and how the commitment of the sport engulfs their academic future as well. In fact, senior Cori Campbell explained, “I actually wasn’t planning on playing in college, but it just happened that the school had a team that wanted me and I love tennis so I was like why not play my sport and get an education!”

Campbell plans to attend Oklahoma Wesleyan University and study Business Media Design and Strategy.

Senior Cori Campbell posing with her parents after committing to Wesleyan University.

Pure academics aren’t the only appeal when committing to college as an athlete, however. Liza Louthan, committing to theUniversity of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) for girls soccer stated, “I chose this school because I love Colorado and the mountains and it is important to me to stay close to my family.”

Playing competitive sports at the collegiate level takes talent, dedication and most importantly, passion. As these seniors take the next big steps into their future, the most important aspect of commitment was the love and passion they share for their sport.

Senior Kyle Pope, committing to CSU Pueblo for football, said, “Football means everything to me. The coaching that I’ve gotten and all the brotherhood that you get in football has really made me the person I am today.”

For many, the continuation of their sport at the college level is more than an athletic achievement, but a personal addition to their identity. Ayotte went on to say, “Swimming has guided me through so many difficulties in life. It helped me when one of my closest friends passed away and gives me something to do when I am angry or upset at something. It means everything to me.”

So, as we say farewell to these senior athletes, we also recognize the immense strength and character it takes for them to maintain these sports at a more serious level. AAHS congratulates these athletes that are taking their first steps into a new environment of education and competition to follow their passions.

A big congratulations to all of our senior commits:

  • Griffin Ayotte – Queens University of Charlotte – Men’s Swimming/Diving
  • Brady Badwound – Black Hills State – Football
  • Cal Banta – CSU – Men’s Track
  • Baylee Barnes – Fort Haynes University – Women’s Soccer
  • Cori Campbell – Oklahoma Wesleyan University – Women’s Tennis
  • Katy Cooley – University of Wisconsin-River Falls – Ice Hockey
  • Grant Dudden – Northeastern College – Baseball
  • Paige Embaugh – University of Toledo – Women’s Cross Country
  • Liza Louthan – UCCS – Women’s Soccer
  • Jessica Luedtke – University of Nebraska – Omaha – Women’s Track and Field
  • Mike Midkiff – Syracuse – Football
  • Mackenzie Moss – UNLV – Women’s Cross Country
  • Aleksandria Olesiak – University of  Iowa – Women’s Swimming and Dive
  • Kyle Pope – CSU – Pueblo – Football
  • Dillon Powell – Colorado School of Mines – Men’s Cross Country
  • Grant Shandy – Augustana College – Baseball
  • Zoe Sims – UCCS – Women’s Soccer
  • Hayden Smith – Colorado Christian – Women’s Soccer
  • Sheridan Wayne – Lamar Community College – Softball