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Examiner
  • Blue Springs has 14 sign to extend athletic careers into college

  • Holly Tarvin, The Examiner’s 2012 Volleyball Player of the Year, seven members of coach Kelly Donohoe’s 2012 Class 6 state championship football team and six other Blue Springs High School student-athletes signed their national letters of intent Wednesday morning in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

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  • Holly Tarvin, The Examiner’s 2012 Volleyball Player of the Year, seven members of coach Kelly Donohoe’s 2012 Class 6 state championship football team and six other Blue Springs High School student-athletes signed their national letters of intent Wednesday morning in the school’s Performing Arts Center.
    Tarvin will play volleyball and study pre-med at Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla.
    “We talked with some bigger schools,” said Tarvin, who was as much of a threat from the back row as she was from her familiar spot on the front, “but I felt more comfortable at a school like S&T because I’m going there as a student-athlete and I want to emphasize my studies in college.”
    Blue Springs volleyball coach Katie Grusing admitted that she could have spent the entire morning talking about her standout player, who sports a 4.0-plus grade-point average, but kept her comments to a minimum.
    “She does everything well – on the court and in the classroom,” Grusing said. “She was that little freshman on the team that went to state and now, she’s going to go to S&T and be the big girl on campus. I’m so proud of her.”
    Football players who signed letters were linebacker Rasheed Hobbs, Fort Hays State; offensive lineman John Keltner, Lindenwood; tight end Carson Letchworth, who will join his brother at Pittsburg State; offensive lineman Bryce Thomsen, Lincoln University; offensive lineman Tyler “Tank” Thompson, Washburn; defensive back Donte Watkins, Missouri Western; and defensive lineman Jason Young, Washburn.
    Wildcats coach and assistant activities director Kelly Donohoe, who hosted the signing ceremony, had plenty to say about his seven signees.
    “Rasheed was a great leader, a heart and soul type player,” Donohoe said. “I’m so proud of all seven guys. John Keltner was one of the toughest kids I ever coached. Opposing coaches would always come up after games as ask about that No. 71. We loved his tenacity and his ferocity.
    “Carson was a real leader on this team, in fact, we called him Coach Letchworth. He was one of those guys you knew you could always depend on – they all were those type of guys.
    “Tank lived up to his nickname. He was just one of those dominating players. Tyler didn’t start, but he knew his role and he was ready every time we needed him. He could rotate into the offensive line and we didn’t miss anything. Donte was just a great athlete and a great player for this team and Jason was a guy who could play linebacker or defensive end – and when we put him at defensive end he just dominated because he was too quick, too fast, too strong for anyone guarding him.
    “You know,” Donohoe added, with a grin, “Jason and Tank are both going to Washburn. I hope they don’t room together because Tank will eat all the food in the dorm room – gotcha Tank!”
    Page 2 of 2 - Coach Mike Palermo had three soccer players sign letters – Kyle Brown, Graceland; and Clay Cook and Julian Ramirez, MCC-Blue River.
    “Kyle was a player who made everyone else around him a better player,” Palermo said. “He was a great leader on and off the field. Clay was one of the most consistent players I ever coached – and by that, I mean he was a consistent player at a high level. Julian was one of those players who left it all on the field every time he played.”
    Assistant golf coach Eric Neff talked about Taylor Schick, who will play golf at Missouri Valley.
    “Taylor worked hard to become our No. 1 golfer,” Neff said, “and made himself a very good golfer.”
    Girls golf coach Jill Courter then introduced Kristin Shaw, who will golf at Graceland.
    “Kristin was a four-year golfer, which is rare at a school our size,” Courter said. “She was an important part of our fourth-place state golf team and was all-district, (Examiner) All-Area and has a 4.3 GPA.
    Girls basketball coach Mark Spigarelli, whose Wildcats have reached the final four the past four years in a row, praised guard Tara Sheehy, who will attend Graceland.
    “You could never find a better teammate than Tara,” Spigarelli said. “It’s been special coaching her and she has been a big part of our team. Graceland is getting a player who will have an impact on their team and their school.”"
    FORMER WILDCATS TRANSFER: Another former Wildcat made the news as Monet Jackson, the 2011 state shot put champion and 2012 NJCAA All-American hammer thrower, signed with Colorado State University out of Johnson County (Kan.) Community College.
    Another Wildcat who signed with a new college team is former Blue Springs quarterback Jared Lanpher, who signed with the University of Central Missouri.
    Lanpher appeared in three games completing 6 of 15 pass attempts for 98 yards for Northern Iowa in 2012. In 2011, he completed 27 of 47 passes for 365 yards with four touchdowns in five games for UNI.
    He was a three-year starter at Blue Springs High School, where he passed for 5,025 yards and 52 touchdowns with a 60.2 completion percentage and earned an all-conference and all-state honors. He had a 29-6 record as a starter and led his team to three straight playoff berths and an appearance in the 2009 Class 6 state championship game.
     
     
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