Steamboat Springs High School athletes celebrate Signing Day |

Steamboat Springs High School athletes celebrate Signing Day

Luke Graham

Eight Steamboat Springs High School seniors — from left, Emily Coope, Nikki Fry, Rachel Grubbs, Skyler Kauf, Madison Keeffe, Lucy Newman, Monica Patten and Megan Stabile — signed letters of intent Wednesday at Steamboat Springs High School to play at colleges across the country.
John F. Russell

— National Signing Day means hope, and for eight Steamboat Springs High School athletes, it also meant new beginnings.

Eight student athletes signed letters of intent to play college sports Wednesday at the high school. In a nod to Steamboat's diverse sports landscape, the athletes will compete in tennis, hockey, football, soccer, lacrosse and, of course, skiing.

Rachel Grubbs

Tennis at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction

Grubbs currently plays No. 1 singles for Steamboat Springs. A trip to a tryout in Grand Junction and familiarizing herself with the team made the decision easy. She's not sure where she will slot in at but assumes she will play singles and doubles. A recent arm injury has her regional tournament in doubt, but luckily it won't be her last tournament.

Quotable: "I'm a very competitive person when it comes to sports. I always wanted to play a sport in college, I just wasn't sure which one." — Grubbs

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Monica Patten

Ice hockey at Oswego State University of New York in Oswego, N.Y.

Patten played for the elite Colorado Tigers U19 women's team out of Colorado Springs. Patten was a key for the Tigers playing forward. The Steamboat Springs resident spent a lot of time on the road traveling to tournaments and to practices in Colorado Springs. She said it was worth it because she always has wanted to play college hockey.

Quotable: "I'm fast. They told me they wanted me because I'm fast, and I'm really good on the penalty kill." — Patten

Emily Coope

Ice hockey at Utica College in Utica, N.Y.

Coope played with Patten on the Colorado Tigers U19 women's team. She moved to Steamboat from Arizona this year and lived with the Patten family. A natural goal scorer, Coope likely will play on the wing at the next level.

Quotable: "I love putting the puck in the net. I just love the feeling of it." — Coope

Skyler Kauf

Football at University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio

Kauf was the Sailors' top receiving threat this season and one of the top wide receivers in the Western Slope League. Kauf, an accomplished moguls skier, decided early in the process that he wanted to play football. And what a program he is joining: Mount Union has won a record 11 Division III National Championships, including one last season.

Quotable: "The No. 1 thing is every guy that goes there wants to win. My experience in Steamboat was great, and I loved it. I have that desire to win and not take winning for granted. I won't get complacent." — Kauf

Megan Stabile

Soccer at Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, N.C.

Stabile has been a driving force for the Steamboat Springs High School girls soccer team. She's played midfield and up top as a striker. The main thing is she has played a lot. Stabile rarely comes off the field for Steamboat and has become a go-to scorer, leading the team with seven goals.

Quotable: "It's my ability to read the field. Yeah, I get tired, but my dad always taught me not to show it. I can push myself through most things." — Stabile

Nikki Fry

Lacrosse at Fort Lewis College in Durango

Fry, a three-sport star, proved this spring why lacrosse is her future. In addition to leading the team in ground balls and goals, Fry has shown that her athletic ability will play at the next level. She's still learning the game after moving from defense last year to center this season. Fry only is going to get better. A knee injury cost her the volleyball season, but she has shown she is fully healthy this spring.

Quotable: "She understands concepts and where to be. She isn't anywhere near her potential in lacrosse yet. She'll get a lot better in college. I know she'll improve a lot more in the future." — Coach Betsy Frick

Madison Keeffe

Nordic skiing at University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt.

Keeffe has been a regular at the top of finishes throughout her time in Steamboat. She's heading back east to where she has family and the opportunity to ski for one of the top Division I programs. Keeffe's strong point is her skate skiing, and the goal is qualifying for some of the races next year.

Quotable: "I think I'll be able to make the transition from skiing in high school to college. I'm really hoping to get to ski in some carnivals next season." — Keeffe

Lucy Newman

Nordic skiing at University of Colorado Boulder

Newman, like Keeffe, was a constant top finisher for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She'll be joining the 2012-13 national champions as well as former teammates Charlie Von Thaden and Max Scrimgeour on the Buffs Nordic team. She said her comfort level with Colorado and its proximity to home made it an easy choice.

Quotable: "There is going to be a lot of freshmen on this team. I really, really want to qualify for the NCAA Championships next season." — Newman

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email