Lakota West Firebirds

    Lakota West Football: Ten Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

    Photo by Jenny Walters Photography

    West Chester, OH (February 3, 2021)

    Lakota West Athletic Department hosted an athletic signing event on Wednesday afternoon in the Lakota West theater on the first day of the NCAA Football Regular Signing Period. Eight Senior Football players signed their commitment letters to continue their academic and athletic careers at their respective schools.  Seniors Andre Proffitt and Aneesh Vyas signed their commitments during the “early” signing period on December 16th (Link to Story).  The Firebirds now boast 175 football players in Lakota West history to make the college football commitment since the school opened in 1997.

    The Firebirds saw 12 athletes sign in the fall signing ceremony bringing the total number of signed athletes to 22 for the Class of 2021 (Link to fall story).  The next Lakota West signing event will occur on Wednesday, April 14th for all remaining athletes regardless of sport.

    Special thanks to Jenny Walters Photography for the photos of the event. Link to Photo Album is found at https://jennywaltersphotography.smugmug.com

    Links to media coverage:

    Cincinnati Enquirer (photos): https://www.cincinnati.com/picture-gallery/sports/high-school/high-school-sports/2021/02/03/photos-greater-cincinnatis-february-2021-national-signing-day/4367439001/

    Cincinnati Enquirer (signings list): https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/high-school/high-school-sports/2021/02/01/february-2021-signing-day-where-these-cincinnati-athletes-play/4239308001/

    Journal-News (signings list): https://www.journal-news.com/sports/high-school-football-confirmed-college-signings-planned-for-this-week/4ZELQW2XF5HAVC36MSJD7WSLJ4/

     

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    William Barber-Football– Robert Morris

    The 5’11”, 180 pound defensive back is a two year varsity starter for the Lakota West defense. Barber has recorded 56 tackles, one interception and one sack in his career at Lakota West. As a senior, William was named a senior captain of the team and second team All-GMC. “He has a great combination of speed and smarts which makes him a great catch for Robert Morris,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

     

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    Ed Bolden-Football-Wittenberg University

     

    The 6’2” 270 lb offensive lineman is a two year varsity starter for the Firebirds. The senior team captain was named 1st team All-GMC in his senior season and 2nd team All-GMC of his junior season. “He was our most versatile lineman, prepared to play anywhere up front if needed. Playing guard and displaying the versatility required of the position by pulling, pass blocking, and veering to a linebacker he was the leader up front. Ed plays with a quiet anger, most of the time. Displaying a grinding toughness, he accomplished what usually never happens on the offensive line…he never missed a game in his four years of high school. Wittenberg’s offensive line just got a lot better,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Champ Gillespie-Football– University of Charleston

     

    The 6’4” 200lb two-way player is a two year varsity starter who was utilized as a blocking tight end on offense and a linebacker/defensive end on defense his junior season. On defense, Gillespie recorded 12 total tackles and one fumble recovery in his career. “Champ quickly became “Mr. Flexible” for our offense. While he learned two different positions to play, both tight end and H back; even on occasion spreading out at the wide receiver position. One play blocking down on a 280 pound defensive tackle and the next running a post pattern past the two dropped defensive safeties. His length and soft hands will be a nice asset to his offensive coordinator in Charleston,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Kweisi Jones-Football– Tiffin University

     

    The 6’2” 235 lb linebacker recorded 22 tackles his senior season including two interceptions and one return for a TD. Jones was named 2nd team All-GMC his senior season. “He is a multi-dimensional player who can easily play inside or outside linebacker or even put his hand in the dirt and play on the line of scrimmage. Kweisi is not short on words and Tiffin will soon find out he loves to “bring the juice,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Max Owsley-Football– Ashland University

     

    The 6’2” 285 lb is a senior offensive line specialist.  “Max is another player who can play anywhere on the line of scrimmage. Coming over from playing defensive tackle he quickly became “the man of many faces”. He could easily play guard then quickly move over to play center and calmly snap without missing a beat. Ashland has secured their “Swiss Army Knife” on the line of scrimmage,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Andre Proffitt–Football–University of Akron

    The 6’3” 290 lb defensive lineman is a three year varsity letter winner. He’s recorded 63 tackles, two sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his career at Lakota West. Proffitt was first team All-GMC his senior season. “A three year letter winner displays great agility and quick feet with a high motor. He could  be“Akron’s anchor” up front. ” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Caleb Rao-Football-Valparaiso University

     

    The 5’11” 175 senior athlete has worn many hats for the Lakota West varsity team over the last three seasons including quarterback, receiver, running back, punter, place kick holder and kick returner. In his career at West, he’s thrown for one TD, rushed for 3 TD’s and received 5 TD’s. Rao has thrown for 120 yards, rushed for 232 and received 378 yards over the course of three seasons. He was named 2nd team All-GMC his senior season. “A pure athlete. Caleb can play anywhere on the field. In this wacky Covid season he recorded 19 catches for 330 yards. That’s an outstanding 17.4 yds per catch. He is a speedy and elusive player with solid instincts. Valpo won’t have trouble playing him anywhere,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Kameron Vargas –Football– West Virginia State

    The 6’1” 215lb linebacker was a welcome addition to the Firebird squad for his senior season. Vargas was a first team all-state selection as a junior at Toledo Whitmer HS. In his senior season at Lakota West, Kam was named 1st team All-GMC while recording 57 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble. “Kameron, who transferred in from up north, became the last piece of the puzzle to make our defense the outstanding unit that it was. He quickly fit in at inside linebacker creating havoc from tackle to tackle for our opponents and his own teammates on offense. He should make a quick impact at WVSU with his high motor and fast off the snap athleticism,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Annesh Vyas-Football– Bucknell University

     

    The 6’2” 260 lb defensive lineman is a three year varsity starter and senior captain. He’s recorded 78 tackles, 8 sacks, two forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in his career. He is a two-time First Team All-GMC selection. Vyas was also selected 2nd-team All-State his senior season. In addition to football, Vyas wrestles on the varsity wrestling team in the winter. “Aneesh plays with a dangerous combination of intelligence, strength and speed. Chosen as a team captain by his peers he demonstrates all the qualities of an outstanding student-athlete,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

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    Si Walters-Football-Miami University

     

    The 6’0” 190 lb utility athlete and senior captain has seen action on both sides of the ball. Over the course of three seasons, Walters has collected 124 tackles, 3 INT, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries (one for a returned TD). In his senior season, he was named 2nd team All-GMC. In addition to football, Walters was a starting guard his sophomore season on the varsity basketball team and a member of the District champion/regional qualifying 1600 track relay team. “He displayed both a tenacity to hit and a quickness to cover. Si is football savy and helped to make our defensive backfield calls and adjustments. Si was the defensive philosopher and spent time weekly “discussing defensive strategy” with Coach Gray. A great student gets a chance to play and study at his dream school,” said Lakota West Head Coach Tom Bolden.

     

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