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Rebels’ lacrosse talent jumping to next level

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8 Columbine athletes sign letters-of-intent

By Michael Hicks

    He couldn’t find the answer and nobody Columbine athletic director Scott Christy asked knew for certain whether the Rebels’ boys lacrosse program had sent any players to college on a scholarship. But as Christy looked down the row of student-athletes signing letters-of-intent Nov. 14 in the school auditorium that was a question that would never have to be answered again.

The proof was obvious.
Four of the eight signees during the early signing period were boys lacrosse players — Jack Stebbins, Evan Hartman, Jake Gonzales and Ryan Kelly. It just shows how far the perennial playoff team has come since starting its postseason run in 2005.
“The four of us signing today just shows where Columbine lacrosse has gone to,” said Stebbins, who signed his letter-of-intent to play for Division I Colgate University. “Getting this out of the way today it lets us look forward to the run we’d like to have during the season, puts all of our focus on the season.”
Columbine was 15-4 in 2012, which included a run to the state semifinals.
“It’s pretty exciting to see us four — the first ones — sign for lacrosse and how much we have accomplished in our four years,” Hartman said. He, along with Kelly, are set to attend Colorado Mesa. “I’m excited to go to school with Ryan. He’s been one of my friends all the way through high school and middle school.”
Kelly couldn’t agree more.
“I’m excited about that. Evan has been my friend forever. Moving on with him I’m really excited. I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Kelly said.
Gonzales called the opportunity to sign with a D-I school an “honor.”
“I appreciate it and am so blessed just to be able to be up here. I’m so excited for the other kids,” said Gonzales, who will be attending Drexel University. “I’ve known them my whole life and been playing with them. This is a great opportunity that we’ve all been thinking about for such a long time. I’m so happy that it’s here.”
The foursome won’t be the only Columbine student-athletes playing lacrosse in college. Female player Becca Miller is headed to Division II Fort Lewis next fall. She chose the Durango-based school over Adams State among others. Others signing during the ceremony were baseball players Michael Burns (Wichita State) and Logan Smith (Colorado School of Mines), and Caitlyn Chamness (volleyball, Kansas Wesleyan).