Nine GCHS gridders sign with Busters; Bowler, soccer standouts also sign
By BRETT MARSHALL
It was a banner day Wednesday for Garden City High School senior student-athletes.
National signing day of letters-of-intent was the occasion, with nine Buffaloes football players putting their signatures on letters to attend Garden City Community.
The signing to stay home and play for the Broncbusters and new coach Matt Miller was a recruiting coup for the hometown college.
Included in the group were Telegram All-Area first team selections Brady Bean (5-11, 205, LB) and tight end/defensive end Taylor Foley (6-2, 220). Others include Ben Blood (6-5, 275, OL), Mitch Moore (6-1, 245, C), Andres Rivas (6-3, 205, DL), Logan Dechant (5-9, 170, DB), Desmond Smith (6-4, 170, WR), Kieran Henderson (5-9, 205, L) and Dylan Nevola (6-0, 170, WR).
Moore, Blood, Bean, Foley and Rivas all were chosen to the first team all-Western Athletic Conference team in 2012.
Several were three-year starters and helped the Buffs and coach Brian Hill compile a 17-12 overall record from 2010 to 2012, earning two Class 6A state playoff appearances, one district championship and one co-championship of the WAC.
"These are kids who put a lot of time and effort into committing to helping build the Garden City High School football program," Hill said of the group. "They're committed to one another, and I'm very excited to have them playing at the next level, and the fact I won't have to travel far to watch them play. It's a great day for the program."
Hill cited both on and off-field leadership skills as characteristics of the group of future Broncbusters.
The group said that all had been recruited individually, but had talked amongst themselves about making final decisions to attend GCCC.
Two other GCHS athletes also signed letters on Wednesday.
Juan Ramirez, a bowler for the Buffs, and Haley Brennaman, a forward for the Lady Buffs soccer team, inked letters on Wednesday morning in separate ceremonies.
Ramirez will be headed to Newman University in Wichita to bowl for the NCAA Division II Jets while Brennaman is headed to Friends University, also in Wichita, an NAIA school that competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Ramirez has been the top bowler for much of his senior season and now will join former GCHS girls bowler Rikkie Hemmert, who is a freshman at Newman bowling for the LadyJets.
"I just looked at both the academics, the bowling and the fact it is a Catholic school," Ramirez said when explaining his decision.
For Brennaman, an all-Western Athletic Conference performer and a Telegram All-Area spring sports selection, the choice for Friends was about opportunity.
The Lady Falcons have a new coach, and she felt comfortable in her visit to the school.
"When you go to a college and visit, you really know where you're supposed to go," Brennaman said.
"I practiced with the team and just felt comfortable with everything there."
A forward for the Lady Buffs, Brennaman said she hoped to have the same opportunity at the college level.
"I've played a lot of different positions, so I'll do what's best for the team," she said. "I've been working on my speed and technique."
Brennaman and her Lady Buffs teammates will begin preparation on Feb. 25 for the 2013 season that will begin in late March.
"I'm excited and sad for it being my last year," Brennaman said. "I think we've improved a lot over the summer and we'll see what it brings for us this season."