Eight student athletes sign letters of intent


Johnny Meehan

Seniors (top row) Jarod Blazo, Sydney Jones, Aly Hargrove, Chance Montgomery (bottom row) Carmen Rush, Mackenzie Green, Tarah Phongsavath and Madison Plake sign letters of intent to play their respective sports in college on Feb. 3.

Emma Bascom, Editor in Chief

Eight De Soto High School senior student-athletes signed letters of intent to play their respective sports in college on Feb. 3. Jarod Blazo signed to swim at Milligan College in Tennessee, Mackenzie Green signed to play volleyball at Cottey College in Missouri, Aly Hargrove signed to play soccer at Western State Colorado University, Sydney Jones signed to play basketball at Johnson County Community College, Chance Montgomery signed to play football at Fort Hays State University, Tarah Phongsavath signed to play soccer at Missouri State University, and Madison Plake and Carmen Rush both signed to play soccer at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

After the signing, Blazo said that finally committing was a “big relief” for him.

“It felt great to know the process was finally over and done for. I am super excited to swim in college, but as a whole, the recruitment process can be pretty stressful,” Blazo said. “College is always something I put out of my mind, trying not to think about it as the time crept closer and closer. It stressed me out a lot to have to pick a college or even narrow it down. To have finally made that decision has brought a lot of relief.”

For Plake, the signing brought the situation to reality.

“It made it feel more real and made me realize that high school is almost over and that I am about to start a whole new chapter in my life,” Plake said. “It has actually been really easy. It’s nice that I found a school early so I don’t have to stress about where I will be playing and attending school next year.”

For Plake, playing at KCKCC was a good choice, not only because she liked the college, but also because a life-long teammate signed to play with her, and her father played there.

“My parents helped me a lot, but my dad especially. He played one year of soccer at KCKCC also and said he wished he would have played longer than just one year, so I knew that I wanted to play somewhere because I didn’t want to regret anything in the future,” Plake said. “They were just really supportive of me and wanted me to do what I wanted.”

For Plake and Blazo, the recruitment process was very different. While Blazo took charge of the process and signed up for a recruitment service himself, Plake had the coach contact her first.

“The [KCKCC] coach emailed my club coach and was looking for players. So, he came to some practices and games, but talked to me at a practice first,” Plake said.

Blazo had a very different experiences when first choosing colleges.

“I was actually very skeptical about going to Milligan, especially as it was a much smaller school than I intended to attend. They made a great offer, however, and my parents made me go for a visit just to entertain the idea. I’m glad I did, as I fell in love with the school and the people in it. By the time my recruiting trip was over, I knew it was where I wanted to go,” Blazo said.