MPHS to hold signing ceremony for student athletes |

MPHS to hold signing ceremony for student athletes

The last school year featured its fair share of ups and downs for the student athletes of Middle Park High School.

Success and failure are part of the territory when it comes to high school sports but sometimes a few students, with talents and tenacity beyond the average player, rise above and distinguish themselves as exceptional. The East Grand School District will recognize five such seniors this afternoon, who through years of dedication to competitive sports have secured spots on collegiate level teams.

Beginning at 12:15 p.m., Middle Park High will hold a signing ceremony in the high school auditorium. Unlike previous years, when signing ceremonies were held for individual students throughout the year, this year the five seniors who will be competing in college sports next year will all be recognized on the same day during a single ceremonial event.

Moving on to compete at the college level next year will be Jordan Ehlert, Mitch Gardner, Hayley Weimer, Annalys Hanna and Blake Straub. Jordan Ehlert will be heading north next fall to Bozeman, Mont., attend Montana State University. Ehlert will be hitting the hardwood and will become a member of the Bobcats basketball team, a NCAA Division I team in the Big Sky Conference.

Mitch Gardner will be headed east to Missouri to Central Methodist University, located in the town of Fayette near St. Louis. Gardner will be spending his time on the gridiron with the Eagles football team and will be competing in the NAIA Division I Heart of American Conference.

Lady Panthers basketball powerhouse Hayley Weimer will be staying in Colorado next year while she attends Northeastern Junior College in Sterling. Weimer will compete with the lady Plainsmen basketball squad.

The Lady Larks of Hesston College, in Hesston, Kan., will welcome Annalys Hanna next fall. Hanna will be competing in volleyball for the Mennonite affiliated private college located a short distance north of Wichita. Hanna and the other Larks compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.

Also staying in Colorado next year will be Blake Straub who will spend his colligate athletic career on the mat as a ThunderWolf with Colorado State University in Pueblo. Straub will be competing with the CSU-Pueblo wrestling team in the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

East Grand Athletic Director, and head football coach for the Panthers, Brandon Wilkes was thrilled with the success of the student athletes at Middle Park.

“We are very proud of our athletes that are going on to play college athletics,” said Wilkes. “Each one of them worked very hard to get to this point. We believe that the underclassmen, middle schoolers, and young athletes in the community look up to them and will work hard to follow in their footsteps.”

Wilkes called the five students signing to compete at the collegiate level next year very talented and said, “it’s special to see them reach their potential.”

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