Pirates signing class features D-I swimmer

Seven more Pirates athletes joined the ranks of those who will extend their athletic careers in college earlier this month. 

A signing ceremony on Thursday, April 12 saw four soccer players ink their commitments to college, one wrestler, one track and field athlete and the programs first NCAA Division I boys swimmer.

Caden DeLay signed with South Dakota to swim in college after becoming the first boys swimmer in Pirates’ program history to finish all-state, finishing fifth in the 50 yard freestyle and sixth in the 100 breaststroke.

“I think I had the best season of my life this year,” DeLay said. “I bonded with the guys and swam  my heart out. I’m beyond happy to say I can do that another four years. I love the school (South Dakota), the coaches are excited and I’m super excited to support my high school another four years.”

DeLay said the campus in Vermillion, S.D., was a love at first sight and after meeting the team he made his mind up. 

“I went and visited a few schools and they were all awesome,” DeLay said. “But south Dakota was kind of love at first sight. I went and bonded with the team and the coaches were really nice too. I always had it lingering in my heart. I gave the other schools a shot and liked them too, but once I got the call asking me if I wanted to be on the team it was an immediate yes. I had never lost that love with that school and team.”w

The Pirates soccer team was well represented at the event with four players three girls and record-setting striker Chandler Peterson all signing to further their respective careers. 
Peterson signed to play at Rockhurst after compiling a Missouri State record 76 goals in his senior season. He finished with 177 career goals, second-all time in the state record books. 

However his fondest memories come from playing the final two seasons in which he set the school record for goals in a season and then resetting the record and eventually the state mark with his brother Chase, a sophomore, by his side. 

“He knows me the best,” Chandler said. “He plays the best with me. No one else compares.
Hopefully he comes to Rockhurst in a couple of years.”

Brittany Alvarado (Blue River CC), Hanna Hall (Rockhurst) and Destinee Smith (Allen CC) signed on the girls side, meaning all four Pirates senior girls on the roster will play collegiate soccer with Bailey Bologna singing at Lindenwood earlier this year. 

“They will all be missed,” Pirates coach Ashlyn Brantley said. “Destinee in the middle, Brittany in the back and her dominance back there. Chandler up top scoring all of the goals. Hanna Hall and her speed and will alone to get to the goal.”

Smith and Hall each finished as all-Suburban Conference Blue Division a year ago. Smith tallied 27 goals and has more than 50 in her Pirates career. Hall added 12 goals and 15 assists last year from her midfield spot. 

The Pirates are off to an 12-3-1 start and have posted 12 clean sheets on the year. 
Sage Smart will wrestle at Missouri Valley, making three Pirates seniors to go to the Marshall, Mo. school along with Blake Bills and Austin Kincaid. Smart won the Class 3 220-pound state championship this year and finished as a runner up as a junior. Smart went 50-5 this year, tying Cody Phippen for the team lead. Phippen will wrestle for Air force next year.  
Erin Straubel signed to run track and cross country at Colorado Christian University. The Division II school in Lakeland, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, competes in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.