Committing to the future

Family, coaches, students gather to watch four seniors commit to college sports

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Committing to the future

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Senior Reese Willis signed to Missouri Southern State University’s (MSSU) track program to throw discus and shotput.

“I liked the campus, and I really liked the coach and the team,” Willis said. “As soon as I got [done with a visit] I realized that I wanted to go there.”

Willis started his track career his freshman year and has enjoyed it ever since.

“It’s an individual sport within a team sport,” Willis said. “You can contribute to the team while improving yourself.”

He has multiple goals for his career at MSSU.

“I hope to impact the team in a good way,”  Willis said. “I hope to be a leader and influence a lot of people.”

Due to an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury, Willis is unable begin preparing for his track career until Jan. or Feb, he says.

“I lift five days a week and I throw four days a week and during the season I lift and throw five days a week.” Willis said.    


Senior McKenzie Wilks signed to The University of Kansas’s (KU) track and cross country program.

“I really fell in love with the team and the coaching staff, and being up in Lawrence,” Wilks said. “I really felt like it was going to be a good fit for me.”

Wilks said track has always been a big part of her family.

“I started track in 7th grade. [and the reason] I am so passionate about it because my dad and I have it in common,” Wilks said. “He was a three time All-American in college.”

Wilks said she is eager to get her track career started at KU.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of a team and being in a program where I always have people constantly pushing me in improving and being the best that I can be,” Wilks said.


Senior Madison Vogel signed to Pittsburg State University (PSU) to continue her softball career.

“I chose [PSU] because they have a really good nursing nursing program and that’s what I’m wanting to pursue,” Vogel said.

Vogel is also looking forward to having the support of her family along the way.

“It’s going to be really awesome to be playing in my own backyard and have people I know watching me,” Vogel said. “My family will be able to make all of my games.”

Vogel has been working hard to get in shape for her upcoming softball season.

“I’ve been working out a lot with my sister to get stronger and I have been running,” Vogel said. “I also have softball tournaments that get me in shape and in the mentality of what I need to practice on.”


Senior Myla Turner signed to continue her volleyball career and education at Highland Community College (HCC) in Highland, Kansas.

“I chose Highland because it’s far away,” Turner said. “It will give me the opportunity to go to a different college. Highland is only a juco so my goal is to go higher to a Division I or Division II.”

Turner said she loves the sport and the opportunities it has provided her.

“The fact that I have had so much success through the sport makes me appreciate it even more,” Turner said.

Turner is ready to begin her volleyball career at HCC.

“I am looking forward to meeting people and being with a new team.”

Turner thinks of her new team like an extension of her Star Aquila team — a travelling volleyball team that she has been a part of for three years. .

“Star Aquila has people from all over the Southeast Kansas and so I think of Highland that way. I am going to be going to college with people all across the country and playing volleyball with them.”


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