Photo by Mr. Jake Kelly ’09 | The committed athletes gather in the Great Hall to sign their National Letters of Intent.
By Luke Odden ’21
On February 6, 2019, Brophy student-athletes signed their long-awaited commitment letters to colleges spanning the country to continue pursuing their ambitions as student-athletes at the collegiate level.
13 Brophy student-athletes, including Marques White ’19, Deric Hall ’19 and Elisha Brooks ’19, committed to their prestigious colleges to play. The 13 students committed to colleges all around the country.
Students, faculty, family, and friends gathered to watch these young men commit to their colleges. Mr. Bill Woods acted as master of the ceremonies and read a speech for each of the students that were written by their coaches.
One of the athletes committing during that celebration was Parker Hughes ’19. Hughes will be pursuing his swimming career at the University of Michigan.
“What I enjoyed most about the signing day was just seeing how many athletes we have competed in college next year. I am pretty proud of all the guys that will be pursuing their sports next year,” said Parker.
Another athlete that was a part of the signing day is Sullivan Shannon ’19. Shannon will be playing football at the University of Iowa next year.
“I am really looking forward to learning a new defensive playbook, playing linebacker in college, just a whole different set up for me and it is going to be interesting,” said Shannon.
Along with Hughes and Shannon, eleven other student-athletes participated in signing day. Those students were Aidan Rowland ’19, Anekin Hetman ’19, Marques White ’19, EJ Hamilton ’19, Joey Kelly ’19, Nate Anderson ’19, Deric Hall ’19, Jair Garcia ’19, Elisha Brooks ’19, Zander Wondrash ’19 and Jackson Garcia ’19.
The other colleges that the students have committed to include George Washington University, New Mexico State University, Dartmouth College, Blackhill state University, Syracuse University, The University of Washington, Air Force Academy, Phoenix College, University of South Carolina, Simpson College and The University of San Diego.
Kelly, who will be playing at Syracuse University, also had some words to describe what his favorite moment of signing day was. “It was really cool to see how much support I got from the entire community and Brophy. It made me ecstatic to see the support that was behind me on my college journey,” said Kelly.
The students that signed on February 6 will be pursuing football, golf, soccer, swim, track, cross country and crew.
Anekin Hetman, a distinguished runner on the Brophy Cross Country and Track and Field team who has won multiple 1600 and 3200-meter races these past seasons, will be taking his running prowess to New Mexico State University.
“I want to thank Coach Borboa specifically, but also all my teammates that I’ve had throughout my four years,” Hetman said.
Hetman attributed the advice to always do one more repetition during workouts as a reason for his successful running career at Brophy.
“A quote that I really like is ‘you don’t have to do another one, you get to do another one,’ Coach Day,” said Hetman
“We are fortunate enough to have that opportunity to do one more and that will make a difference whether we win or lose,” Hetman said.
Marques White was a safety and running back on Coach Kitna’s varsity football team. He played a myriad of positions because of his talent, as well as playing a dominant role for the basketball team.
Offering his reflection on his athletic endeavors at Brophy, White said, “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and has helped me get to where I am at.”
“It’s hard to think that 4 years ago I didn’t know where my life was going to take me, but with the opportunities that Brophy has offered me, I’ve been able to find what I love and be successful at it,” said White. “I’m grateful for everything Brophy has done for me and I can’t wait to show Dartmouth what Brophy is about!”
In his written statement, White included the hashtag #WOODSNA19N and an emoji of a football as well as a green pine tree, symbolizing Dartmouth’s unofficial “big green” mascot.
On the other hand, Aidan Rowland, a varsity member of the Brophy club crew team, made his commitment to George Washington University’s Men’s Rowing Team.
After thanking his teammates, parents, and coaching staff, Rowland said, “I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to row for the George Washington Men’s Rowing team.”
“It wasn’t easy, but between 2k tests and playing the music maybe a bit too loud, I’ve had just the best time,” said Rowland.
“I am excited for all of the great experiences yet to come and living in a new city will be an adventure on its own. I want to just thank everyone again who helped me get to where I am at today,” Rowland said, concluding his statement with the hashtag “raisehigh.”
Finally, Joey Kelly ’19, the long snapper on Coach Kitna’s varsity team, committed to football powerhouse Syracuse University.
“I would first like to thank God for blessing me with my ability and talents so that I may glorify him,” Kelly said.
“Special thank you to Adam Tanalski of Hammer Kicking Academy for taking a chance on me and doing everything in his power to get me a chance to play college football, said Kelly. “And also Coach Kitna, Coach Zauner, and Coach Zendejas for making me a better player and encouraging me to believe in myself.”
“I’m blessed for the opportunity to showcase my skills and make my community proud,” Kelly said. “Stay Underrated.”