Eight student athletes from Shawnee Mission East sign to play at the next level

Shawnee Mission East honored eight seniors who signed to play collegiate athletics on Wednesday.
Shawnee Mission East honored eight seniors who signed to play collegiate athletics on Wednesday.

Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri were a few of the universities to receive National Letters of Intent from Shawnee Mission East student athletes on Wednesday.

The Lancers have a pair of baseball players heading to SEC schools as Luke Anderson is heading to Mizzou while Zebulon Vermillion is going to Arkansas.

The pitching duo helped SM East win a state title in the spring.

Anderson liked the idea of playing on a big stage close to home that allows his family, including his brother who is at St. Louis University, a chance to see him play.

“Playing at the higher level was a big benchmark for me,” Anderson said. “I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”

He’ll also get a chance to play against Vermillion, who said there will be bragging rights for years to come if they ever start against each other.

Vermillion knew he didn’t want to be right next door “with his mom bugging” him all the time, but also wanted somewhere close so the family could come and watch.

“I think three and a half hours is a great distance where I can feel like I’m far away from home, but still go back when I have the chance,” Vermillion said.

Volleyball player Sara Maddox was set to join Vermillion at Arkansas until the head coach was let go. As she opened up her recruitment, Mississippi State, who had recruited her before, reached out.

The let Maddox know how much they could use her talent in Starksville, Miss.

Maddox is graduating in December and will be on campus starting in January in hopes to earn a spot in the rotation come next season.

“I wanted to go somewhere where I was wanted and they made me feel wanted and apart of the team, not just another player,” Maddox said.

Luke Anderson has committed to play baseball at Missouri.
Luke Anderson has committed to play baseball at Missouri.

Luke Anderson — Missouri, Baseball
Parents: Amy & Tom Anderson
Siblings: Lee and Lane
High School Athletic Accomplishments: First team all-State, 2nd team all-sunflower league. Honorable Mention. 2015 STATE Champions
High School Activities/Academic Accomplishments: National Honor Society Member, Member of the Student Activities Advisory Council
People to Thank: My Parents, coaches, grandparents and my 2 older brothers
Favorite SME Memory: Winning STATE last year

Christine Blomquist will swim at the University of Kansas.
Christine Blomquist will swim at the University of Kansas.

Christine Blomquist — Kansas, Swimming

Parents: Becky & Rick Blomquist
Siblings: Katie – senior at University of Arizona, and Eric – sophomore at SME
High School Athletic Accomplishments: Member of the 2016 STATE Championship team. Gold in the 200 & 500 Freestyle. Member of the winning 200 & 400 Freestyle Relay team and swimmer of the Meet. She holds the school recorded in 100, 200 & 500 freestyles and is on both record holding freestyle relays. She is a 2 time USA swimming scholastic all American.
People to Thank: Her family, her current and past coaches and all of her teammates. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
Favorite SME Memory: Winning the STATE Championship last year.

Elizabeth Braly is heading to Manhattan to row for the Wildcats.
Elizabeth Braly is heading to Manhattan to row for the Wildcats.

Elizabeth Braly — Kansas State, Rowing
Parents: Linda & Damon Braly
Siblings: Twin sister, Stella
High School Athletic Accomplishments: Rowed with KC Rowing Club for 5 years, won 31 medals, Named team captain for the last 2 years, played basketball for SME for 3 years
High School Activities/Academic Accomplishments: Member of National Honor Society, Co-President of the Ceramics Club
People to Thank: My Parents and my rowing coach, Jay Coffman
Favorite SME Memory: Rowing in Oklahoma at the Olympic training center.

Emma Henderson was one of three Lancer volleyball players to sign on Wednesday. She'll attend Central Connecticut State.
Emma Henderson was one of three Lancer volleyball players to sign on Wednesday. She’ll attend Central Connecticut State.

Emma Henderson — Central Connecticut State, Volleyball
Parents: Kerry Helmuth & Jeff Henderson
Siblings: Gus & Hank Henderson, Peter & Alex Helmuth
High School Athletic Accomplishments: 1st team Sunflower League, 2015- & 2016. All State Tournament team 2016
High School Activities/Academic Accomplishments: Kansas State DECA participant, SHARE Chair
People to Thank: Parents, Grandparents, Friends and Coaches
Favorite SME Memory: Singing the school song with our student section after we won the 3rd place game at STATE.

Sara Maddox committed to play volleyball at Mississippi State after decommitting from Arkansas.
Sara Maddox committed to play volleyball at Mississippi State after decommitting from Arkansas.

Sara Maddox — Mississippi State, Volleyball
Parents: Bonnie & Mike Maddox
Siblings: Anderson & Jamie
High School Athletic Accomplishments: Sunflower League honorable mention – soph year, Sunflower League 1st team all-state honorable mention – junior year, Sunflower League 2nd team, senior year and selected for the MO-KAN All Star game – senior year.
People to Thank: Her parents, siblings and coaches
Favorite SME Memory: Going to the STATE tournament this year.

Ally Offerdahl will continue her volleyball career as a Jenny at Central Missouri.
Ally Offerdahl will continue her volleyball career as a Jenny at Central Missouri.

Ally Offerdahl — Central Missouri, Volleyball
Parents: David & Susan Offerdahl
Siblings: Chad, Jay and Carly
High School Athletic Accomplishments: 201 – 1st team all-district and 1st team all-region, 2015-1st team sunflower league, 2016 – 1st team sunflower league, MOKAN All-star and STATE all-tournament team.
High School Activities/Academic Accomplishments: 2014 All-State Academic, Honor Roll, National Honor Society Member
People to Thank: Her family, her coaches and her teammates
Favorite SME Memory: Winning Sub-State and taking 3rd in the STATE tournament

Zebulon Vermillion thinks Fayetteville, Ark., is a perfect distance away from home. He'll play baseball at Arkansas.
Zebulon Vermillion thinks Fayetteville, Ark., is a perfect distance away from home. He’ll play baseball at Arkansas.

Zebulon Vermillion — Arkansas, Baseball
Parents: Jay & Jennifer Vermillion
Siblings: Kayenne
High School Athletic Accomplishments: 1st team all-Sunflower League, Member of the SME 2016 STATE Championship team, All-Class and All-State
High School Activities/Academic Accomplishments: Community Service for the Salvation Army
People to Thank: Family, coaches, Staff at Premier Baseball, my teachers and Joe Randa
Favorite SME Memory: Being part of the 2016 STATE Championship Team

Brooklyn Walters signed to play softball at Fort Scott Community College.
Brooklyn Walters signed to play softball at Fort Scott Community College.

Brooklyn Walters — Fort Scott Community College, Softball
Parents: Anthony & Teresa Walters
Siblings: Mia and Brittni
High School Athletic Accomplishments: 2 Leadership Awards and Defense Award
People to Thank: Her Dad for coaching and training her all of these years
Favorite SME Memory: Team Dinners

With their parents looking over their shoulder, eight Shawnee Mission East seniors sign their ceremonial National Letter of Intent. The real NLIs were faxed into the schools on Wednesday morning.
With their parents looking over their shoulder, eight Shawnee Mission East seniors sign their ceremonial National Letter of Intent. The real NLIs were faxed into the schools on Wednesday morning.