ENGLEWOOD • Air Academy’s Thad Dewing skipped a step the summer before his senior year.

After leading the Kadets to a second consecutive Class 4A state championship last fall, the state’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year got a taste of the professional game.

One of his Pride Soccer Club coaches called on Dewing when United Soccer League Championship club Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC needed a couple of extra bodies for training. Dewing was happy to help and share the field with his brother Austin, who’s in his first professional season.

“I got the opportunity for about a week to go out there and train,” Dewing said. “It was really an awesome experience.”

He also solidified his plans for the next step of his soccer career this offseason, committing to play soccer at the Air Force Academy, where he’ll continue the legacy started by his grandfather, father, brother and cousins.

“Most of all, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my family,” Dewing said. “It was my decision. They didn’t force it on me. I felt like it was a great school; they have really good soccer.”

Friday, at the second annual Colorado High School Activities Association Media Day hosted by the Denver Broncos at Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse, it was back to the prep game. Dewing, part of a smaller group of non-football athletes invited to the event, will get plenty of attention from opponents in his final prep season after he scored 43 goals with 12 assists over the last two championship campaigns. Behind Dewing, Air Academy returns two others who finished in the top five in points for the team: junior Adin Schwenke and Kelton Hooker.

“I’m very excited,” Dewing said. “Last year was awesome, but about a week after winning that title I was already thinking about this year. There’s a lot of anticipation coming into this season, but I’m really excited for it.”

After focusing exclusively on soccer as a junior, Dewing has hopes of returning to the basketball hardwood as a senior after securing his college plans.

Soccer remains the focus, however, as evidenced by his brief jump to the pros.