Service student athletes make it official, sign to the next level

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 7:14 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Six different Service High School student athletes put pen to paper and announced where they would be attending college to play their sport at the next level.

Three football players signed, as well as two soccer players and, for the first time in Service history, a student is moving on in riflery.

Gabriela Zych is headed to the University of Memphis, a Division I university. She said when she first started in the sport, she had no idea that this would ever happen. However, Zych put in the work, joining a club and practicing four or five times a week. Now, she gets to say that she is a D1 athlete.

“It feels great. This has been something that I’ve been really looking forward to and I’m so excited for next semester were I get to attend the university and compete” Zych said.

The two soccer players are Aaron Baffour and Everett Manning. Baffour will attend D’Youville University in New York and Manning is headed to Rocky Mountain College in Montana. Manning and Baffour are both excited to play the sport they love on the next level, though making it official was also a little bittersweet.

“I feel like part of my life is about to end. I’m leaving a lot of memories behind, just kind of up and going, but I feel like it’s going to be a good change,” Manning said.

“The transition to actually living the college life, being on your own, and I am going pretty far ... I’m going to New York, so you know that’s a pretty big jump for a kid like me,” Baffour said.

The three football players are Sebastian O’Farrell, Justin Cooper, and Kaiman Cutway. O’Farrell will be going to Black Hills State University in South Dakota, Cooper is going to Arizona Christian University in Arizona, and Cutway will attend Dickinson State University in North Dakota.

“It’s awesome. I wish there were more Alaskan athletes out there but it’s cool to be one of the ambassadors and representatives for our state,” Cutway said.

Sebastian O’Farrell said that even though pen has been put to paper and the commitment has been made, his work is far from done.

“The weight’s not off my shoulders yet, I still got a lot to do,” O’Farrell said. “There’s a lot of things I gotta to do in college, I need to go to play, go whoop peoples butts you know what I’m saying? Just, I’m ready to go get on to the next challenge.”

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