Onto the big leagues: senior Spartan athletes commit to college competition


Maya Johnson

All 14 future collegiate athletes sign their letters of intent on November 26, 2019.

Maya Johnson, Feature Editor

A rite of passage for many future collegiate athletes, regardless of competition level or sport, is the day they sign their letter of intent. A symbol for the cumulation of one’s hard work, determination, and tenacity, students can testify that the ceremony holds much more meaning than a signature. 

With 14 athletes in total across all sports, all collegiate levels were represented and each treated just as important at the ceremony. 

This day is a common practice in school districts across the country, but the one here at home has some aspects of its own. For example, all athletes at PV sign together on the same day rather than students signing on the ‘National Signing Day’ for their specific sport. This creates a  feeling of unity and more support between the athletes and makes the experience all the more special.

A few notable seniors include cross country and track star Max Murphy, softball player Bell Luebken, and rower Brenna Morley. Morley plans to continue her rowing career at Duke University, Luebken will attend Black Hills University in South Dakota to play softball, and Murphy will run at the University of Iowa in the upcoming year. 

The welcoming, supportive atmosphere of the PV community is what has inspired many of these athletes to continue their careers. 

“A huge factor in my decision process was the support from my coaches,” said Luebken. “Being in such a successful program now inspires me to be a part of another one in the future.” By fostering a strong work ethic and desire for success, coaches are teaching their athletes much more than just sports plays. 

With this mindset, students are able to look past the intense recruitment process and prioritize what truly is most important to them. Going through the stress of finding the perfect college fit, appealing to prospects, and working to make a name for themselves is worth the potential glamour of college athletics. 

“It was difficult to find a college that fits me academically and athletically because it is such a big decision, but I really liked the campus and team at the University of Iowa,” said Murphy. “It was stressful, but I’m excited for this next year.”

The pressure to find the perfect school can be a lot for teens, especially combined with academic, social, and current athletic pressures in their lives. Deciding where one will live for the next four years is no easy decision, in itself, and can become even more difficult when you have to find a team to spend it with as well.

“I always knew that I wanted to row in college, but I never knew how stressful it would be to get there,” explained Morley. “When I visited Duke, I knew I found the perfect fit for me and I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity and the ones to come.”

Many more Spartan athletes plan to attend universities around the country, which only broaden the board of the PV community. All have similar mindsets of gratitude for the experiences at PV and eager anticipation to be able to follow through with their passions. 

Letters signed and commitments made, senior Spartan athletes are eager and ready to begin their collegiate athletic careers. No matter the location or sport, the PV community is prepared to cheer their Spartans on for the rest of their careers.