Platte County’s Amanda Sullivan enters her senior season with a unique scenario.
On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Sullivan made her signing with Division I Missouri State official during a ceremony inside the Wilson Center for Performing Arts. The Bears’ coaching staff stuck with her even after she missed all of last season while recovering from a torn ACL.
Sullivan rejoins the defensive line for Platte County knowing her spot at the next level is secure.
“I was really nervous that they were going to take away the scholarship or during my junior year they were going to find someone who was better,” said Sullivan, who joins 2016 graduate Brooke Zenner as signees with Missouri State’s soccer program. “Going into senior year, I feel I have to prove myself even more since I didn’t get that chance before I signed.”
In addition to large signing classes for football and baseball, Platte County also honored Sullivan, fellow soccer player Zach Rolofson and basketball player Tanner Newberry. Rolofson signed with the University of Findlay — a Division II school in Findlay, Ohio — while Newberry will continue on at Graceland University, an NAIA program in Lamoni, Iowa.
As a sophomore, Sullivan earned Suburban Conference Blue Division defender of the year honors while making the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association All-Class 3 Region 4 team. She recorded three goals and six assists in her first two seasons, but the knee injury suffered in the 2016 preseason forced her into a lengthy rehabilitation process.
After receiving a commitment from Sullivan early, Missouri State kept the offer despite the injury, and now Sullivan hopes to end her high school career with a bounceback season. Platte County went 15-7 last season with a makeshift defensive line and returned to the Class 3 playoffs for the first time since 2010.
“Last year, I got to watch all my teammates do what I love, so signing is giving me extra motivation to go out and perform to my ability,” Sullivan said.
Rolofson helped Platte County to a second playoff appearance in three years this past fall. A mainstay in the center of defense, he earned first team All-Blue Division and All-Class 3 District 16 honors while helping the Pirates record nine clean sheets in 24 games.
In his career, Rolofson scored one goal, which came this season, to go with five assists in limited offensive opportunities.
Platte County went 15-9 in 2016, beating Kearney 3-1 in the district title game before losing 3-2 to Kansas City East in a Class 3 sectional. The season also included a 6-1 loss to eventual Class 3 state champion Rockwood Summit, which beat Carthage 6-0 in the state title game.
A two-year contributor for coach Rick Hodge, Newberry has missed part of this season due to illness but recently turned in two of the best performances of his career. The 6-foot-1 guard has averaged 10.0 points per game in his senior season, going for 18 points in back-to-back games in the Sonic Showdown (loss to Staley and win vs. Grain Valley).
Newberry has hit 19 3-pointers in 12 games while shooting 80 percent on free throws.