Rugby All-American Bargell, soccer step-sisters, Summit High athletes officially announce college choices
Student-athlete College sport
Cassidy Bargell Harvard Rugby
Sean Gurlea Lindenwood Hockey
Shannon Hogeman Illinois Wesleyan Soccer
Haleigh Lecklitner Knox College Soccer
Tanner McCann Limestone College Soccer
This was the moment for Cassidy Bargell, the one when the rugby All-American would announce her commitment to play for a little school named Harvard University.
But after the ceremonial pomp and circumstance of National Signing Day — a day when Bargell and four of her fellow Summit High student-athletes beamed with smiles while wearing their future college gear — it was the sport of basketball that Bargell mentioned as a tying bind. A memorable connection, though not one of the athletes up on the stage was signing to play the sport in college.
“Shannon (Hogeman), Haleigh (Lecklitner) and I have all played basketball together since the third grade,” Bargell said. “You know, that was our first sport, pretty much, right through senior year. It’s been really fun.”
Sure, Wednesday’s ceremony celebrated Summit High seniors Bargell, Hogeman, Lecklitner, Tanner McCann and Sean Gurlea’s individual accomplishments. But the energy of the afternoon was one of recognizing each other’s accomplishments and teamwork, even if those great memories came in a different sport. Seated side-by-side atop the Summit High auditorium stage Wednesday, the group of five laughed and smiled like the long-time friends they are.
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So, yes, it’s on the basketball court and not the rugby or soccer pitch where the rugby All-American Bargell — a tenacious on-ball defender and offensive distributor on the basketball court — will have some of her best recollections of the shooter Hogeman and the defensive stopper Lecklitner were. On top of that, Hogeman and Lecklitner are stepsisters that have played sports with each other — and Bargell — for as long as they can remember.
“Our connection on the basketball court has always been fun even though we are all signing for other sports,” Bargell said.
Stepsisters Hogeman — who will attend Illinois Wesleyan — and Lecklitner — who will attend Knox College — were two of just three four-year soccer stars on the stage signing Wednesday afternoon.
“And now we can both play at the next level together,” Hogeman said with a smile after signing.
The sisters were joined by McCann, the third Summit High soccer star who will continue with the sport at the next level, at Limestone College in North Carolina.
Seated next to Bargell onstage was a four-year hockey star Summit High athletic director Matthew Erholtz credited as a huge reason why the program has rebuilt: Gurlea. The forward — who also plays for the Breckenridge Bolts junior hockey team — will attend Lindenwood University, a school he decided on over Division-I hockey powers Denver University and St. Cloud State.
Gurlea and Bargell’s decisions were made in the last month. Bargell quietly committed to Harvard on New Year’s Day before more publicly announcing on Wednesday. Bargell’s other top choices were schools that historically have received rugby players from Summit High: Lindenwood and Dartmouth College.
But having fallen in love with Harvard’s new coach Mel Denham late last year, the Colorado rugby player of the year Bargell wanted to buck the trend a bit.
“It will be fun to go in and challenge (Dartmouth) and help develop Harvard as it becomes a better, emerging varsity team,” Bargell said.
As for an unsung hero, once each individual was finished thanking their parents, the group all pointed to the school’s athletic trainer Steve Sedlak as an important figure in all of their athletic journeys.
The group highlighted Sedlak not only for his work and knowledge with injuries, such as concussions, but they also mentioned his importance of helping them understand the mental side of sport.
That, and his training room was always a fun place to go.
“He’s a real sports MVP,” Bargell said.
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