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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Warrior Athletes Commit to Collegiate Sports on Signing Day

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  • Posing for a picture, the national signing day signees smile with joy following the ceremony. Each athlete gave a short speech, and celebrated themselves, and the people around them.

  • Smiling, Paula Marza ’24, and Kate Wyrick ’25, pose for a picture to celebrate Kate Cooper ’24. Cooper signed to Hardin-Simmons University, where she will continue her soccer career following the conclusion of the 2024 girls Soccer season.

  • Leon Chen ’24 waits patiently for signing day festivities to start. Chen won two state titles with Warrior Tennis, and started on varsity in his first year on the team in Freshman year.

  • Looking on to the speaker, Head Football Coach Anthony Wood, Owen Norrell ’24 quietly takes in his words. Norrell was a multi-sport athlete for Westwood who played, and started, in both baseball and football.

  • Patiently focused, Adelyn Sanderville ’24 reads over her letter of intent. Sanderville signed to Wingate university to continue running track, she along with Kenzie McElroy ’24 broke numerous Westwood track records in their four years running for the Warriors.

  • Addressing the crowd, Kenzie McElroy ’24 gives a speech on national signing day. McElroy was introduced by her track coach Mrs. Coy, and reflected on her five years with the program.

  • Water Polo captain, and Penn State signee Freddy Browarski ’24 addresses the audience. Browarski captained the Water Polo team since its UIL founding two seasons ago, and built the program up their district-title winning season this year.

  • Head Water Polo Coach Matthew McBrearty introduces water polo captain Freddy Browarski ’24. Coach McBrearty spoke on Browarski’s leadership, and told stories of his fiery spirit in the pool.

  • Head Tennis Coach Travis Dalrymple attests to the success that varsity tennis player, and Case Western commit Leon Chen ’24 had. Chen won two state titles with the Warriors, helping build the program to it’s dominating form.

  • Demani Stewart ’24 reflects on his time at Westwood, thanking his friends and family. Stewart only played football for two seasons, running track, and playing soccer in years prior.

  • Reading over his papers, Freddy Browarski ’24 sits in pride. Browarski signed to play for Penn State Behrend, the first athlete in his family to compete at the college level.

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Nearing the end of the college recruiting season, Warrior senior athletes gathered with their families in front of a crowd of supporters to sign their college letters of intent, on Wednesday, Feb. 7, officializing their commitment to keep playing their respective sports at the next level. Athletes who signed included Julia Hopkins ‘24, Freddy Browarski ‘24, Leon Chen ‘24, Kate Cooper ‘24, Demani Stewart ‘24, Owen Norrell ‘24, Kenzie McElroy ‘24, and Adelyn Sanderville ‘24.

“First of all, just to be a high school athlete takes a lot of hard work, dedication and discipline,” Head Football Coach Anthony Wood said. “To see these kids moving on to play at the collegiate level, it just shows you their athleticism.”

Coach Wood kicked off the ceremony with a speech, transitioning straight into giving praise for Stewart, an Army-West Point commit, who then gave a few words of his own. One by one coaches took to the podium to pay homage to their athletes’ accomplishments, then welcomed the athletes up to address their families, coaches, and teammates.

“It’s just a big milestone in my life,” Stewart said. “I truly never expected to continue my future in football. I’m just proud to be where I am today.”

Each athlete gave heartfelt speeches, summarizing what it took to get to the point where they are now, and thanking the people that aided them in getting to that point. Browarski, who has been with Westwood water polo since it became a UIL sport two seasons ago, is the first water polo athlete to commit to the college level in school history, signing to Penn State Behrend.

“[Building the program has] meant the world,” Browarski said. “It’s just been such a big part of my career, getting able to work with all these amazing people and our amazing coach to build this thing from the ground up, get so many members and have a successful team in both seasons.”

Norrell, who was both a starting pitcher for the Warrior baseball team and the starting quarterback for Varsity football, committed to play baseball for the University of Connecticut, a program that has found success in recent years.

“They’re known for their basketball, but they have a really good baseball program,” Norrell said. “They’ve gone to the Super Regionals a couple times the last few years, which is pretty close to the College World Series.”

Track saw two athletes sign their letters of intent with McElroy and Sanderville committing to Yale and Wingate University respectively. Chen, a varsity tennis player, is heading to Case Western Reserve University after his two successful state-title winning seasons for the Warriors. Hopkins will be attending Angelo State University for volleyball, and Cooper, a varsity soccer player, will be attending Hardin Simmons University.

“Moving on, being recognized for everything, and being able to continue to keep playing and to continue my career [means a lot for me],” Hopkins said.

Following the ceremony, the athletes were greeted by a parade of people in support of their success.

“In high school you’ve got to be dedicated, you’ve got to be disciplined, and you have to be talented,” Coach Wood said. “In order to take it to the collegiate level, these kids have to be truly athletic in their sport. That’s what this shows. These kids are very talented, yet dedicated and disciplined.”

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About the Contributor
Sawyer Grimaldi
Sawyer Grimaldi, Sports Editor
Class of 2025 Hi everyone! Coming from a family of writers and English majors I have always been keen on writing and reporting! I started in middle school and haven’t looked back since. Other things I enjoy are playing sports of all kinds, playing video games with my friends, traveling around the world, and playing with my dog. Something interesting about me is that I like to collect shoes and sports jerseys.

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