Signing Day notes from around Pikes Peak region

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Photo - <p>The 12 athletes at Cheyene Mountain High School sign their letters of intent Wednesday, April 12, 2017 during National Letters of Intent Day at the Colorado Springs high school. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)</p>
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The 12 athletes at Cheyene Mountain High School sign their letters of intent Wednesday, April 12, 2017 during National Letters of Intent Day at the Colorado Springs high school. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

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Pine Creek's Willis to walk on at Troy

Collin Willis isn't getting a scholarship at Division 1 FBS football program Troy University.

He doesn't need one.

His father's GI Bill allows for Willis to attend college for free in Alabama.

Willis was close to signing with a junior college in the winter until Troy got hold of his recruiting film.

"They called me up and said they liked my film and they were very interested," Willis said Wednesday from Troy, Ala. "They have no recruits coming out of Colorado. This gives me a special chance to put not only my city on the map, but prove myself at a D1 level."

The Trojans liked what they saw from Willis. They told him he could come in as a preferred walk on.

"They said we're not going to give you a scholarship because you can go to school for free," laughed Willis, who will officially sign his National Letter of Intent on Saturday at the team's spring game. "But they definitely do want me on the team."

Willis started at corner back for Pine Creek before moving to safety because of team needs. At 6-foot, 185 pounds, he's expecting to move back to corner for the Trojans.

Troy opens against Boise State, and its fifth game is against Louisiana State University - yes, LSU.

Willis' father is a Troy alumnus.

"I'm really trying to earn my spot here," Willis said. "Just being a preferred walk-on, they're not expecting too much of me. But at the very least, I'm going to show them a very hard worker and hopefully that pans out with me playing some special teams, traveling with the team."

Last-second push gets Chappee in ceremony

The first 17 Air Academy student-athletes sat in alphabetical order Wednesday in the school's auditorium, ready to commence with signing ceremonies.

So then why was Nik Chappee seated all the way to the right at the end of the alphabet?

"Nik was a last-second add," Kadets athletic director Blue Anderson said. "He came in this morning and said he had his NLI from Idaho, so we scrambled to get him in."

Chappee, fresh off his school-record time of 47.67 seconds in the 400 meters April 8 at the Mullen Invitational, kicked it into high gear with time running out for the school's annual signing event.

"I probably would have done it sooner had I been more on top of my game," said Chappee, who's in his second year at Air Academy following a family move from Minnesota. "It was kind of last minute, so it's sort of the way it worked out. In the end, I was looking for something with a small-town feel but still was Division 1, and Idaho gave that to me."

More than academics weighs in college decisions

Cheyenne Mountain senior Christian Buckler knew Point Loma Nazarene University's student body was predominantly female.

But even he didn't know it was 72 percent until coach Mark Swope announced the stat to the 200 on hand for the CMHS signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon.

It drew plenty of laughter, a few claps and a bemused grin from Buckler.

That fact and a well-regarded NCAA Division 2 baseball program that plays on a field that faces out onto the Pacific Ocean made the decision to play college in San Diego an easy choice.

"I knew there were more girls there but I didn't know it was that extreme," Buckler said. "It played a little bit of a factor. It's a beautiful place and I am excited about going there. There have been a lot of people who have helped me along the way."

L-P's Goodale off to play college lacrosse

Hunter Goodale is an offensive middie. That's what Division 3 Greensboro College recruited him for.

But you won't find him on the attacking side for Lewis-Palmer's boys' lacrosse team just now.

Injuries and necessity have Goodale playing close defense for the 6-1 Rangers, No. 1 in this week's Pikes Peak rankings. And that's perfectly fine with Goodale, who signed his NLI with the Pride at L-P's gym.

"It's been a good change, it'll help me in college," he said. "Now being able to see the defensive side of it, being able to have more lacrosse IQ to know what's going to happen next or what the team needs to do in college or high school, just knowing all parts of the field is going to help me in my future."

Coronado golfer headed to Concordia University

Luke Travins doesn't complicate things on the golf course and didn't break character when he chose to play his college golf at Concordia (Ore.) University.

"Well, I was kind of looking at some of the D-II schools for golf," he said, "and Concordia is a Lutheran University and I'm a Lutheran. So it's kind of a good fit."

He added: "I went out there and I really liked the coach and I really liked the city."

Travins went to the 5A state tournament twice during his career, tying for 29th as a senior and 37th as a sophomore, when the Cougars claimed the 4A team title. He showcased more talent in summer tournaments.

Travins said he also was in talks to play golf at Colorado and the Dominican University of California. But he reaffirmed that Concordia "was just a really good fit."