As far as anyone knows, Gloria Ro will be the first female graduate of Cherry Creek High School to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she will also play tennis. She was one of 11 CCHS student athletes who signed letters of intent to play a collegiate sport during the school's spring signing ceremony held April 15. Congratulations to these college-bound student athletes:
- Spencer Buted, Men's Volleyball, University of California, San Diego
- Austin Cooper, Football, University of Pennsylvania
- Alexa Grosser, Women's Soccer, University of Redlands (California)
- Will Hafton, Men's Basketball, Drake University (Iowa)
- Larson Hanlin, Men's Soccer, Colorado Christian University
- James Herold, Football, University of Redlands (California)
- Toni McDougald, Women's Volleyball, Texas Tech University
- Kajsa Meyer, Women's Volleyball, North Park University (Illinois)
- Patrick O'Neil, Men's Lacrosse, Illinois Wesleyan University
- Gloria Ro, Women's Tennis, U.S. Military Academy at West Point (New York)
- Mason Smith, Football, Washburn University (Kansas)
- Hannah Szymanski, Women's Volleyball, Keene State College (New Hampshire)
In addition to playing tennis for Army, Ro will study mechanical engineering at West Point, a school she selected after attending a summer leadership academy there.
"Seeing the commitment and the camaraderie…that's the atmosphere I want to be part of," said Ro, who will be the first person in her family to go into the military. At the Creek signing ceremony, she posed for pictures with friend Spencer Buted, who will play Men's Volleyball and study pre-med at the University of California, San Diego.
"It's pretty exciting," said Buted, who used to live in California and still has family and friends there. He expects the step from high school to collegiate student athlete will be challenging.
"I think it's going to require more time management," Buted said. "But I think it's going to be a good experience. I'm really excited for it."
As the student athletes signed their paperwork, friends cheered and proud parents took pictures. CCHS Athletic Director Jason Wilkins congratulated the students and told them they are part of an elite group.
"At Cherry Creek High School, about 1,900 students a year participate in one or more sports," Wilkins said. "Only a few of them go on to play college sports. Nationally, only two percent of high school athletes go on to the next level."
"It's an amazing thing," Ro said. "We are moving on from one milestone to the next. Good luck to everyone."