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15 Athletes ‘Sign On’ to Continuing Their Athletic Careers in College

Maeson Tunley flanked by his parents during the National Signing Day ceremony on Feb. 7, 2024. Tunley signed to play for Southwest Baptist University. He will join teammate Myles Carson in Bolivar, Mo.

Fifteen senior Hawklets signed their letters of intent to take their athletic careers to the next level the afternoon of Feb. 7, 2024. Rockhurst held a signing ceremony in the performance gym to celebrate the achievements of these student-athletes. Hawklet students were dismissed 30 minutes early to give them a chance to support their classmates. Friends and family of the signees also attended.

Seven football Hawklets put pen to paper during the ceremony. Wide receivers Maeson Tunley and Myles Carson will continue to be teammates as they navigate their football journeys at Southwest Baptist University. The same is true with running back Aidan Ryan and defensive back Micah Oder, as they both committed to the University of Central Missouri.

The Hawklets starting quarterback for the past three years, and the school’s all-time leading passer, Ethan Hansen, will continue to sling it at Pittsburg State University. Andrew Sprague, the Hawklets’ All-American offensive tackle, will spend his college years playing at the Big House while attending the University of Michigan. Middle linebacker and Bukaty Award winner, (given to the best all-around football player and leader at Rockhurst) Thomas Coppinger, signed to Texas Christian University after officially committing to the school just hours before the ceremony. Coppinger was excited to finally make his decision.

“It was a relief to get the whole process over with,” Coppinger said. “I knew I wanted to get it over with before signing day so I could have that moment with my teammates and my family.”

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The national champion soccer Hawklets had four players sign their letters of intent. Two-time All-American and back-to-back Missouri Class 4 Player of the Year, forward Baka Kante, will take his talents to Charlottesville, Virginia to become a Cavalier. Kante, who led the Hawklets to three-straight state titles, was credited as “one of the most decorated players in the history of our school” by athletic director Tom Kruse. Kante is grateful for his Rockhurst experience.

“It’s been a great four years,” he said. “I know I’m moving on to the next step in my life, but I’ll never forget all of my teammates and coaches who helped me along the way…We did this together.”

Forward Liam Ver Meer, goalkeeper Rocco Steffens and midfielder Frank Robinson will join forces across the Atlantic Ocean as they attend Rome City Institute in Rome, Italy. In remarks at the ceremony, head soccer coach Matt Darby said playing in Rome “is going to be one of the coolest experiences that they are going to be able to have.” Robinson agrees.

“It was just an opportunity that came up that the three of us wanted to capitalize on,” he said. “Hopefully we can work hard, get better, and make a lot of memories.”

There were also two Hawklet students who, although not members of the school’s soccer team, are still furthering their athletic careers in the sport. Ryan Reid and Macielo Tschantret have played for Sporting Kansas City’s club teams during their time at Rockhurst. Reid committed to play at Furman University while Tschantret will attend the University of Pennsylvania.

Two golfers will continue to hit fairways at the next level. William Fitzgerald, who won last year’s Truman Invitational, will move on to MidAmerica Nazarene University. Alex Hogan, a member of the 2022 state championship team, will be a sinking putts for the Jayhawks at the University of Kansas. Hogan looks forward to getting on campus in Lawrence.

“Being a college athlete is a goal I’ve always had,” he said. “I’m excited to get out there next year, but my focus is on my last season at Rockhurst.”

Although many athletes signed on Feb. 7, there are still others who are choosing to make their official decision at a later date. For most sports, athletes have until Aug. 1 to do so.


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About the Contributor
Mitch Forbes
Mitch Forbes, Staff Reporter
What’s up? I’m Mitch Forbes. I am a senior and this is my second year writing on the Prep News staff. I joined the staff last year to help improve my essays in my English classes. However, I learned that the whole process of writing a story was actually pretty fun. I enjoyed it so much last year that I chose to do it over again. Student journalism also looks good on college applications, which doesn’t hurt. I am also a part of the football and basketball teams here at Rockhurst. I am undecided on where I want to attend college, but I plan on studying either journalism or business wherever I go.
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