It might not have been the biggest spring signing class in Blue Springs history, but it was among head football coach and assistant activities director Kelly Donohoe’s favorites as he introduced six student-athletes Wednesday morning in the high school gym who combined for six all-state honors and an Examiner Golfer of the Year award.
“This is such a special day,” Donohoe said, “because you know that these six young people are going to go on and do great things at the next level and be wonderful representatives of Blue Springs High School.”
Mady Acers, the Examiner’s Golfer of the Year last fall, earned all-state honors twice and was all-conference, all-area, all-sectional and all-district the past four years. She helped the Wildcats win state as a sophomore and will continue her golfing career at Northwest Missouri State University.
“When she arrived in the program as a freshman she was a very talented, but very raw talent who went on to achieve great success and help our program enjoy a great deal of success,” golf coach Jill Courter said. “And I believe the best is yet to come for Mady.”
The low-key Acers simply said, “This is a big day.”
Two-time all-state linebacker Casey Still, The Examiner’s Defensive Player of the Year last fall, will continue his career at NCAA Division II power Pittsburg State.
“When we’d exchange film with other schools, their coaches would always ask, ‘Who’s No. 47?’ That’s Casey,” Donohoe said. “He is the nicest kid you could ever meet, until he steps on the football field, and then he becomes someone you don’t want to mess with – a great player! We’re really proud of him. Pitt State is getting a great player and great young man.”
Mason Dunn, a three-year starter at cornerback, signed with Southwest Baptist University.
“We’re so proud of Mason,” Donohoe said. “He’s an undersized cornerback who teams might have gone after early in the game, but once they saw how hard it was to pass against him, they backed off.”
Donohoe then joked with Dunn, who he calls “Mr. Swag” for his flamboyant hair styles.
“We’re going to miss Mr. Swag,” quipped Donohoe. “He liked his swag, but once he stepped on the field he provided great effort, leadership and was a great captain.”
Taylor Kreissler, who transferred to Blue Springs from Blue Springs South as an underclassmen, signed with Mid-America Nazarene University.
“We’re so happy Taylor is getting the chance to play at Mid-America,” Donohoe said. “He came over here from South and was a great representative of Blue Springs football.”
Elyse Valdivia, a two-time member of the Wildcats’ all-state 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams, signed to run track at Northwest Missouri State University.
“You see little, petite Elyse before she runs,” girls track and field coach Jennifer Reeder said, “and you think, ‘Oh, she’s so cute. Then, you see her run and she becomes a monster on the track. I’m so excited to see what she does this season and then at Northwest Missouri State.”
Katie Grusing called Wildcats utility volleyball player Jacqueline Perry “the team mom.”
Perry signed with Park University in Parkville.
“We asked her to do so many things for this team, and she did them all well,” Grusing said. “She is very adaptable and will have a great career at Park.”
BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH: Blue Springs South had seven student-athletes sign letters – including two each in baseball, basketball and cross country – Wednesday in a ceremony at the school.
Mason Smith signed to run cross country and track at NCAA Division I Arkansas State University, while Cassandra Brown signed to run cross country at Drury University in Springfield.
Caden Mauck signed to play basketball at Central College in Pella, Iowa, while Jaren Zimmerman signed with Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa.
Jackson Rehkow signed to play baseball with Highland (Kan.) Community College, while baseball teammate signed with Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College.
Sydney Sinclair also signed to play volleyball at Fort Hays (Kan.) State University.