It was all smiles in the SM North auxiliary gym on Tuesday as the school celebrated 17 seniors’ commitments to compete in college level athletics.
Below are photos of each of the signees at Tuesday’s ceremony along with the recognition Athletic Director David Ewers read before the crowd noting their accomplishments.
Logan Byrd is a three year letter winner for the Shawnee Mission North football program. He was a two year starter at Linebacker for the Indians. Logan also participated in NJROTC for one year, and was an inspirational leader for the Indian defense. Logan will take his talents to Ft. Scott Community College next year to compete for the Greyhounds.
Tyler is a 3 time varsity football letter winner for the Indians, and has been an all-league honorable mention WR for two seasons. Tyler has also been a 3 time Varsity Baseball letter winner, and is currently a member of the SMN Track team. Tyler has been a member of the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) and intends to major in Athletic Training @ Central College. Tyler would like to thank all the coaches, supporters, and family that have helped further my athletic career. He would also like to thank the Shawnee Mission North family for the incredible experiences these past four years.
Andrew Gonzales is a 3-year letter winner for the Shawnee Mission North football program. He also has lettered 2 years in basketball and track. During his career at North, Andrew has started defense for 3 years and offense for 1 year. He was Varsity captain his senior year. Andrew also excels off the field in the classroom, maintaining a 3.5 cumulative GPA. In the Fall, Andrew will take his talents to Ottawa, Kan., to be a member of the Ottawa University football team.
Taylor Knowles was an Honorable Mention All-SFL WR for the Shawnee Mission North football program. During his senior year he was noticed as 6th receiver in the state of Kansas for 6A by Maxpreps. In the fall, Taylor will take his talents to Ottawa, Kan., to be a member of the Ottawa Braves football team.
Katlyn Hughes is a three-year letter winner for The Lady Indians Basketball program. Her accomplishments include making the all-star team for a Topeka tournament, being voted by her teammates for offensive player of the year for three years and picked by all the coaches for sunflower league third-team. In August she will continue her basketball career as a Lady Brave at Ottawa University.
2016 Gatorade All Kansas Player of the Year Award Candidate, 1st Team All State, Sunflower League Player of the Year, 1st Team All Sunflower League, All Tournament Team Public vs Private, All Tournament Team Nixa Tournament, 2016 KBCA All Star Team Selection, 2016 GKCBCA All Star Selection, Direnna Award Finalist 2016, Sunflower League Champions 2016, Sub State Champions 2015, 2016, All Time Leading Scorer in School History, 2013-16 17.5 PPG – 1626 Total Points.
All Tournament Team Public vs Private, All Tournament Team Nixa Tournament, 2nd Team All State, 1st Team All Sunflower League, 2016 KBCA All Star Team Selection, 2016 GKCBCA All Star Selection, Sunflower League Champions 2016, Sub State Champions 2015, 2016, 2nd Leading Scorer in School History, 2nd Leading Rebounder in School History 425 Rebounds, 2014-16 15.3 PPG – 1150 Total Points
Cross Country and Track: Iowa Central Community College. (Fort Dodge, IA) Belesti Akalu is a letter winner in both cross country and track. This season he rewrote the SM North cross country record books on his way to the individual league, regionals and state cross county titles. Belesti broke the school record in the 5k, and was undefeated this cross country season in the state of Kansas. He helped lead the boys cross country team to league and regional titles and a 5th place finish at the state meet. His accolades this past season earned him the honor of Kansas Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Through his hard work in the classroom Belesti carries a 3.2 GPA. He will be running next year for Iowa Central Community College. Belesti wants to thank his teachers, coaches and North administration for all their support these past few years!
Cross Country and Track (Southern Utah University): After switching over from soccer to running her sophomore year, Samantha Taylor has lettered three years in cross-country and track at Shawnee Mission North. She is a three time state qualifier in cross-country and two time state qualifier, so far, in track, receiving All State honors at each state competition. Along with being named to First Team All Sunflower League in both cross-country and track, she has set the school records in the 1600 meter and the 3200 meter, and was on the relay team that set the school 4×800 record. She continues to strive for excellence outside of athletics as well, maintaining a 4.2 GPA and serving as Student Body Secretary and Treasurer the past two years. Samantha is committing to run cross country and track at Southern Utah University, where she will be attending this fall.
Jazmin Williams is a 4-year letter winner for Shawnee Mission North Track and Field program, she has also lettered in Cross Country 4 years and Basketball for 3 years. During her career at North she is a 3 time state qualifier and hoping to go back this year. Since she was a freshman she has competed in four events every meet finishing in the top 3 in all events. Her sophomore year was her first time medaling at the State meet in Long Jump finishing 8th. Last year she medaled top 4 in all 4 of her events; 1st in Intermediate Hurdles, 2nd 4×8 Relay, 4th Long Jump and 4th in the 4bx4 Relay. She is a member of the 4×8 that has the school record and is in the top 10 school records in all her events. Jazmin is also a great student in the class, maintaining a 3.42 cumulative GPA. In the fall, Jazmin will be continuing her education and Track career at Emporia State University.
Kyler Zielsdorf is a four year member and three year letter winner for the SMN boys soccer team. He was a consistent starter at defense for the program. Kyler also was a three year Varsity Manager for the girls soccer team, a one year member of the track team and a two year member of the wrestling team. Kyler is a two year member of The National Honor Society and has excelled in the classroom, maintaining a 3.99 GPA while taking a challenging course load of honors and AP courses. Kyler will take his skill on the field and in the classroom to Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, in August as a member of the Men’s Soccer Team and as a Culver Fellow, a prestigious fellowship in public service and politics.
Marianna has been a part of the soccer team since freshman year. Her accomplishment of being team captain shows her leadership and dedication to the team. She has worked hard to prove herself to be at the varsity level and has worked to overcome an injury her from her junior year, coming back to play senior year. She has excelled in her soccer career earning a scholarship to play at Neosho. Marianna has earned an Academic Letter while attending school in recognition for her hard work. She has had a cumulative 3.75 GPA for the past 2 years.
In her time at Shawnee Mission North, Amy Epp has participated in National Honors Society, Girls Soccer, and has excelled in academics. She also has a 4.1 GPA and has received awards like the Principal’s Honor Roll, Scholar Athlete, and the Presidential Bronze Volunteer Service Award. Amy is currently the varsity soccer team’s captain and is excited to pursue soccer in college at Coffeyville.
Annalisa Hansen has been a cheerleader for 4 years at North and a 3-year letter winner for the SMN cheer squad, she is also a part of the gymnastics team for 3 years, the track and field for three years, the Biomedical, and IB programs at North. Her other achievements are volunteering over 1,500 hours throughout her high school career and has won the Gold Presidential volunteer award for 4 years, volunteering at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, El Centro Academy For Children, and as a Cheerleading squad assistant. In the fall, she plans to continue her education in Nursing and cheerleading career at Avila University.
Kayla is a four year letter recipient for volleyball. She has participated in track for two years as well as been a two-year letter winner for managing the Varsity boys basketball team. Kayla has maintained a 3.8 cumulative GPA and has been a scholar athlete throughout her 4 years. She has also been on the Principal’s Honor Roll for two years. In the fall, she will be attending Johnson County Community College to compete for the women’s volleyball team.
Corrie will be rowing at Kansas State University.
Joseph “Joe” Steve is a four-year letter winner for the Shawnee Mission North Indian Wrestling team. He is also a two time state tournament qualifier, and one time state tournament placer when he placed 6th in the 195 pound weight class, 2015-2016. He was named First Team Academic All State because of his accomplishment on the mat and in academics. Joe is a two-year letter winner for the Shawnee Mission North Men’s soccer. He earned a grand award for his wood shop project in the 2014-2015 school year. Joe also excels off the mat and field in the classroom, maintaining a 4.2 cumulative weighted GPA. He has earned several scholar athlete and principal’s honor roll letters during his high school career. In the fall, Joe will take his talents to Lindsborg, KS to be a member of the Bethany College Swede men’s wrestling team.
Nick Carson has wrestled a total of 5 years, 4 of them wrestling Varsity for Shawnee Mission North. He is a 4 year letter winner. As a junior, he placed 2nd at the Plattsburg invitational, and 4th at the Johnson County classic. As a Senior year he placed 1st at the Leavenworth challenger, 3rd at the Cougar Invitational, 4th at the Johnson County classic, 1st at the Sam Martin Invitational, 1st at the Tyler Jobe Memorial Tournament, 3rd at the Shawnee Mission North Invitational, 2nd at the Sunflower League tournament, 1st at Lawrence Regionals, and 4th at State. Nick finished his senior year with a record of 37-8 and lead the team with wins by pin, with a total of 23 pins. Nick will continue wrestling at Neosho Community College.