The next step has officially been taken by four Perry High School athletes by signing official college letters of intent Friday, March 30th.
Sydney Guerra, Aaron Lockwood, Gaby Chavez, and Rashon Ivory all officially set their collegiate path and did so in front of fellow high school students, friends, and family.
Sydney Guerra is entering her senior season with the Perry Jayette soccer team. Guerra has been a solid contributor to the Perry girls soccer team over the years with 28 goals, seven assists, and 63 points entering her senior season. Guerra will be playing her collegiate soccer at Kansas City Kansas Community College next spring and spoke about her decision to head down south.
“When I went over there I liked the environment that they had and also it’s in a bigger city and I wanted to see about playing in a bigger city environment,” said Guerra.
Soccer has always been very special to Guerra who spoke on the origins of her love for the sport.
“I’ve grown up with soccer my whole life,” began Guerra. “It started when I was like three and a half years old and with growing up in a city like Perry where many people like soccer I’ve always known how to play soccer.”
Guerra also spoke about what she finds as the best thing about the sport.
“It’s the teammates that you have and the memories you make throughout the season,” said Guerra. “If it wasn’t for them there would be no team.”
On the baseball diamond, Aaron Lockwood will also be transcending the high school level and will also be entering his senior season for the Perry Blue Jay baseball team. Lockwood has amassed an average of .227 with eight RBI’s through two years of varsity playing time. Next summer Lockwood will be taking his talents onto the baseball diamond of Loras College which he described as being very nice.
“When I got there on campus it was a really nice field,” said Lockwood. “The coaches are really nice and are willing to work with me.”
The skilled multi-sport star has been solid at numerous positions on the diamond but has limited the search down to two positions while in college.
“I’m going to try and play third base but Loras will be loosing quite a bit of senior pitchers this year so I’d like to go and pitch there as well,” said Lockwood.
Of course no player gets to the collegiate level on their own and for Lockwood he credits a large portion of his success to Perry baseball coach Mike Long. Aaron described the biggest thing he’ll take away from the legendary coach.
“I’d say discipline,” began Lockwood. “You’ve got to be disciplined and it’s all about repetition with that.”
Before the Blue Jays officially hit the competitive diamond this year, Lockwood talked about what he views as a strong component for the 2018 season.
“I’d probably say pitching wise, I know everyone thinks out pitching is going to take a hit because we did loose Janier Puente and Kyle Nevitt but I think we can still have a strong pitching season this year,” stated Lockwood.
In the world of dance, Gaby Sanchez will be doing just that at the collegiate level. The Perry senior will enter her third year of dance but despite the talent she displayed and will continue to display, she didn’t start out her high school career in the dancing world. Sanchez spoke about her beginnings into dance.
“Honestly I can thank Saddie and Skyler, freshmen year they did dance and I didn’t and we didn’t spend much time together,” said Sanchez. “They said hey you should try this out and I did. The first season was pretty rough, we lost a lot of teammates, and I almost did not go out but then I realized I really enjoyed this, dance is something I haven’t done before and just fell in love with it.”
Of the many aspects that helped Sanchez choose dance over other sports, Gaby described how dance tipped the scale.
“With dance I can kind of let myself go,” said Sanchez.
With college looming ahead, there will be a lot of dancing in Sanchez’s future.
“During the football season I’ll alternate between cheer and dance,” mentioned Sanchez. “We do go to a few competitions throughout the year like Florida for Nationals this year.”
Sanchez will be taking her talents to Sioux City Iowa where she will be dancing for Briar Cliff University.
Last but most certainly not least, basketball phenom Rashon Ivory will hit the collegiate hardwood but before he does so, he leaves behind quite the legacy at Perry High School. Ivory capped off a stellar senior season by touching up 44 points in a single game against Greene County which just so happened to break the school record for most points scored in a game. Ivory ends his high school basketball career with a 45 percent mark from field goal range to go along with 32 percent from beyond the arc. Ivory has racked up a total of 782 points throughout his career with a final average of 12.4 points per game.
After a solid junior campaign there was a lot Ivory needed to accomplish to top that but in his senior campaign he did just that and he explained one of his biggest reasons.
“I knew that after my junior year, loosing Janier was going to be a big loss but in the off-season I had to grind a lot and step up,” stated Ivory. “I had to improve upon my pull up jump shot and my on ball defense without fouling.”
For Rashon, a big family person, he had the opportunity to play three years of high school ball with his older brother Shammond Ivory who currently resides among the collegiate basketball ranks at DMACC. While it’s been a great run, Rashon mentioned how he did not envision himself once again playing alongside his brother on the court.
“I didn’t but playing college basketball has always been a goal for us and to be playing with my older brother, it’s going to be special,” stated Rashon.
So while these four and others like powerhouse wrestling star Zach Thompson, will no longer be wearing the Blue Jay colors, they will still be representing Blue Jay pride at Kansas City Kansas Community College (Sydney), Loras College (Lockwood, Thompson), Briar Cliff (Gaby), and DMACC (Rashon).