With national signing day typically comes celebrations among family and friends, as well as visits from coaches old and new as each student signs their name on the dotted line and solidifies their future plans.
While the eight students scheduled to sign letters of intent at Manhattan High today will still likely sign their letters and fax them to their respective schools, Tuesday’s snowstorm and eventual closing of USD 383 forced the party to wait.
Athletic director Mike Marsh said the student signings, which were broken up into an 8:30 a.m. session and an 11:30 a.m. session, both in Rezac Auditorium on the MHS West campus, will take place at the same time on Monday, Feb. 10.
Among the signees, there are two football players, four girls’ soccer players and a pair of cross country athletes.
Scheduled to sign in the early session on Monday are Alaina Schroeder and Chris Melgares, both mainstays on the Indians’ cross country teams and top-three placers at the Class 6A state meet this fall. Both are signing with the Kansas Jayhawks.
Schroeder finished second in the state race as a sophomore before finishing third in back-to-back years as a junior and senior.
Melgares finished second in the 6A race as a senior, while leading the Indians to a Class 6A title with the second-lowest team score in the race’s history.
In the afternoon session, Winston Dimel and Darian Taylor will sign to play football at Kansas State and Pittsburg State, respectively.
Dimel is a three-year starter for the Indians at tight end, serving as one of the top blockers and top targets for Manhattan quarterbacks over the years in the passing game. As a senior, Dimel also started on the defensive line, proving to be a formidable force at end. He is the lone senior at Manhattan High currently slated to sign with the hometown Kansas State Wildcats.
Dimel, who had shoulder surgery as a sophomore, had his senior basketball season cut short when he went under the knife again, this time for the other shoulder.
Taylor is a two-year starter at safety for the Indians, while also seeing extensive time on offense as both a quarterback and a running back. His senior campaign was cut short when he injured his foot and had to have surgery in the sixth week of the season.
Taylor made his biggest contributions on defense, capitalizing on his ability to read defenses and come up with momentum-shifting interceptions.
Also signing in the afternoon session are Manhattan’s four girls’ soccer signees, including Ally Taylor (Emporia State), Emma Samenus (Butler County CC), Lani Fischer (Hastings (Neb.) College) and Aleise Williams (Hutchinson CC).
Each of the four girls were solid contributors to last year’s Indians’ team that made it to the Class 6A state tournament last spring, where Manhattan took fourth.