Not every high school football player can have the sort of year Kirkwood High School Pioneers had this year.
Eight members of Kirkwood's state championship football team signed on to play collegiate sports at schools throughout the country. Kirkwood High held a National Signing Day ceremony Wednesday to highlight a total of 11 students who will play higher level athletics.
Andre Harris, a senior wide receiver for the Pioneers this season, said he committed to University of Iowa in June. With a championship season -- Harris emphasizing it was the first time Kirkwood has taken the crown in 114 years -- signing for Iowa was just another highlight in a fantasy season.
Harris pinpointed winning the state championship as one of the biggest moments of his high school career. But he also said he thinks Iowa could definitely be a new home.
"When I visited there, it felt like home," Harris said. "I liked all the coaches and the school and it felt right."
As a high school senior getting ready to graduate and head off to college, Harris offered some advice to his fellow teammates and underclassmen.
"Always keep working. Don't give up on your dream," Harris said. "I've been playing football since I was seven and it takes a lot of hard work to get here."
Along with Harris, seven of his champion teammates signed letters of intent Wednesday, including:
- Jarrod Bishop, Northwest Missouri State football
- Jordan Bishop, Northwest Missouri State football
- Tony Leachman, University of Central Missouri football
- Andrew Phillips, Benedictine College football and soccer
- Eddie Richey, Northwest Missouri State football
- Josh Spiller, Northwest Missouri State football
- Triphinne Taylor, University of Central Missouri football
Also recognized at Kirkwood's ceremony Wednesday:
- Hanna Branch, McKendree University softball
- Jake Lowry, Southwest Tennessee Community College baseball
- Elisa Steele, Princeton University track and field
Patch wishes these athletes best of luck and a hefty congratulations!
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