Four Saints to continue athletic careers at next level
Adelman, Allen, Downey and Mills sign with college programs
On May 17, four of the 35 graduating seniors at Vail Christian committed to playing college sports at a signing ceremony recognizing their athletic scholarships.
Orion Adelman (sailing, College of Charleston), Gracie Allen (volleyball, Hope College), Connor Downey (golf, Colorado School of Mines) and Peter Mills (football, Concordia College) will all continue their athletic journey next fall.
“For a school our size, I’m proud that we have four student-athletes who have made the commitment to compete at the collegiate level,“ stated Steve O’Neil, head of school.
“I think it’s really cool how these student-athletes represent four different sports showing the competitive balance in sports offerings our school offers.”
“Each of these students have a unique story, and they are all multi-sport athletes,“ athletic director Tim Pierson said in a written statement.
Adelman’s journey is particularly wide-ranging. The land-locked football and lacrosse player will head to South Carolina to sail. The College of Charleston offers a 42-member dinghy team that competes in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA), boasting 24 national champions and 198 All-Americans. There is also a 20-member offshore team.
Downey was another multi-sport athlete, winning the 3A state champion in golf this fall and starting for the basketball team in the winter. At Colorado School of Mines, he joins a men’s program that won three-straight Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles (2017-2019) and made an NCAA national team appearance in 2012. In the last four years, Mines has produced four NCAA All-Americans.
According to Pierson, Mills, who also played basketball for the Saints, sat out for three years of football with a misdiagnosed medical condition. He’ll head to one of the most competitive DIII conferences in the country in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) to play under long-time coach Terry Horan at Concordia.
Though she’ll focus on volleyball next fall at Hope College, Allen also placed at the state tennis tournament this spring alongside her doubles partner, little sister Jesse.
Head volleyball coach Adina Petersmeyer described Allen as “a world-class student-athlete that leads with respect and hard work,” and “one of the best setters that I have worked with over my 26-year coaching career.”
Allen, who knows she will study in the art department, said she “instantly clicked” with Petersmeyer after she took over for former Saints coach, Lauren Mutter, “whom I loved and missed greatly,” after her freshman season. As the college counselor, Petersmeyer helped steer Allen in the right direction when it came to her choice.
“I loved the campus and the art program when I toured the campus, and I feel like it will be a great fit for me,” she stated.
“I’m excited to be part of a team, to improve my skills as a player, and to contribute in any way I can so that we can be as successful as possible.”
Petersmeyer expressed that Allen will be missed next year, but has established the bar for future players.
“Gracie has paved the way for future Lady Saints setting the bar with her talent and her heart,” she complimented.
“What’s impressive about these four student-athletes is that they each excelled academically preparing for college and also put in the time and effort to stand out in their respective sports,“ summarized O’Neil.
“I’m thankful that the school has been so supportive and helpful,” added Allen. “Whenever I’ve been gone because of athletics, the teachers have always been willing to work with me so that I’ve been able to keep my grades up.”