Signing Day notes

By: The Gazette
February 5, 2014 Updated: February 5, 2014 at 10:53 pm
photo - Darius Graves of Harrison High School is The Gazette's 3A football player of the year. Photo taken Dec. 27, 2013. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Darius Graves of Harrison High School is The Gazette's 3A football player of the year. Photo taken Dec. 27, 2013. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

Graves brothers heading to coach's alma mater

Twin brothers Demetrius and Darius Graves are officially heading to Valley City State, a place their football coach at Harrison, Al Melo, knows quite well.

Melo earned his degree from VCSU in 1996.

"I played there and coached there, and my wife is from Valley City, too," Melo said. "It's a great choice for them, and it's an outstanding catch for Valley City State. They'll be in good hands."

The brothers, who signed their letters of intent Wednesday, have big plans outside of the football field. According to a press release sent by the VCSU athletic department, Demetrius plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering, while Darius, The Gazette's 3A & Below football Player of the Year, is seeking a career in investment banking and personal truing.

"Football is great, but at some point, we all stop playing," Melo said. "Valley City State will prepare them for the real world. Their degrees will be the biggest thing in the grand scheme of things."

It's 'All in the Family' for Sand Creek soccer players

Girls' soccer players Mazzy Decker and Lauren Vyvlecka, as well as boys' soccer player Justin Glivar, each have their fair share of family ties to the game of soccer.

At Wednesday's signing day, each Sand Creek senior made it clear they would continue their family's favorite pastime at the next level.

Decker, the daughter of Scorpions girls' soccer coach Craig Decker, signed to play at Johnson & Wales (Division-III), Vyvlecka, the stepdaughter of Scorpions boys' coach Jeremy Tafoya, agreed to play at Colorado-Colorado Springs (D-II) and Glivar decided to follow his brother Nolan's footsteps and play at Metro State (D-II).

"Soccer has been a very big part of my life ever since I was young," Vyvlecka said, with a wide grin. "It's always been my dream to start for a college soccer team."

"It's just something you grow up in and work hard in," added Glivar, who set the school record of 49 goals over a career, breaking the record of 36 set by Nolan. "I love it."

Each student-athlete did, however, say academics were the primary choice for choosing their respective college.

Football, girls' soccer top popularity charts

Football and girls' soccer proved to be the big winners on Wednesday, as 22 players from each sport signed or planned to sign college letters of intent to take their athletic talents to the college level.

The two sports greatly exceeded the other sports, with baseball signees coming in third with nine student-athletes committing.

Of the 21 girls' soccer players signed, eight will be playing at the Division I level in the fall.

For football, 13 players signed with D-II programs, the most of any division of football.

Schultz will kick off football

program at Missouri Baptist

Pine Creek's Austin Schultz signed to play football with Missouri Baptist.

The cool thing about that: MBU has never had a football team before.

Schultz, who was a part of Pine Creek's first football state championship team in the fall, will be part of the NAIA team's inaugural season.

Schultz knows the team will face growing pains, but he likes what he's learned about his future teammates.

"I think we're bringing in guys that are very seasoned ballplayers," Schultz said. "They have great resumes coming out of high school. I've seen a lot of highlight tapes, talked to them on Twitter. I really like the talent we're bringing in."

Former Colorado wide receiver Jason Burianek is MBU's first head coach.

To read more about Schultz's decision, go to

Kevin Carmody, Brent W. New, Scott Kaniewski, The Gazette

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