Six Generals Commit To Play At The Next Level

Signing letters of commitment on February 7 were Anthony Wayne seniors (from left) Kendall Puls and Ava Pieron (Siena Heights); Connor Long (Ohio State); Gillian Yoder (Ohio Northern); Abby Reed (Capital University); and Brooke Miller (Davenport University). MIRROR PHOTO BY KAREN GERHARDINGER

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Six Anthony Wayne High School seniors committed to play at the next level during a February 7 signing event.

Connor Long, Brooke Miller, Ava Pieron, Kendall Puls, Abby Reed and Gillian Yoder signed letters of commitment in front of family and friends gathered in the gymnasium.

Connor Long has committed to The Ohio State University, where he will be a member of the cross country and track and field teams.

“I am striving to become the best athlete I possibly can be in college,” Long said. “As much as I would love to be an All-American, the most important aspect that I want to see is consistent improvement throughout my running career.”

Long began running track in seventh grade and joined the cross country team in eighth grade, but it wasn’t until his sophomore year that he became completely focused on running.

“I am a very driven person. I love the aspect of running to which every hour I put into it, I will get a return of fitness,” he explained. “I love seeing improvements in myself, and whenever I see new milestones, I will try with everything I have to achieve them.”

While Long received many awards during his high school career, he said his biggest achievement is not a record or trophy, but the improvement he’s made over the last four years.

“My growth has shown significant improvements in my performances in both cross country and track,” he said.

In addition to focusing on running, Long has been involved in Link Crew, Spanish Club and National Honor Society.

At Ohio State, Long plans to major in kinesiology/exercise science in preparation to work toward a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) and become a physical therapist.

“As a physical therapist, I aim to help as many people as I can rehabilitate in any way – from coming back from an injury to helping someone learn to walk again,” he said.

Long was joined at the signing by his mom, Kelly Long, and brother, Brendan Long.

Brooke Miller has signed to be a part of Davenport University’s cheer and stunt team.

“I love it!” she said of the AW cheerleading team, which won the state competition in 2023.

Since she was in preschool, Miller has also been involved in gymnastics and was part of the winning national teams in 2019 and 2022. In addition to cheer and gymnastics, she is the president of Interact, a member of the National Honor Society and was a member of Link Crew her junior year.

At Davenport University – a private, Michigan-based college – she plans to major in biological laboratory science, with a goal of becoming an orthopedic surgery physician assistant.

In addition to her parents Lynnette and Chris, sister Mackenzie and brother Chase, Miller was joined at the signing by team members and coaches.

“My amazing club gymnastics coaches helped me achieve all of my goals and supported me unconditionally along the way,” she said.

Ava Pieron has committed to play lacrosse for Siena Heights University.

Just before her freshman year, Pieron decided to join the lacrosse team because she liked it more than track and softball, she said.

In addition to lacrosse, Pieron has been a member of the Anthony Wayne equestrian team for the past four years.

At Siena Heights, Pieron plans to major in cybersecurity, with a goal of working for the FBI or a company that pays well.

Kendall Puls has committed to play lacrosse for Siena Heights University. As a sixth-grader, she choose lacrosse over softball.

“I felt the passion towards lacrosse since it was a faster-paced sport and something pretty new to the area when I started playing,” Puls said. “I was motivated by my teammates and the opportunities it brings – such as reffing youth games and helping coach.”

Puls made third-team Northern Lakes League as a midfielder her freshman year and later was named MVP for defense during her club season.

In addition to playing lacrosse, Puls has been involved in cross country for all four years, which has helped her endurance on the field. During her freshman year, she played basketball, and she sees how it helped her develop defensive play during lacrosse.

At Sienna Heights, Puls plans to major in business or data analytics. 

She was joined by her parents, Jennifer and Mark Puls, for the signing.

Abby Reed has committed to Capital University to play volleyball – a sport she’s played since seventh grade.

“My motivation to stick with volleyball is the community it creates. The girls I’ve met, both in school season and in travel, have become some of my closest friends,” she said.

Reed said she’s been happy to make an impact on the younger girls during her senior year.

“I’ve heard from their families and my coaches that the other seniors and I helped the younger girls feel welcome in the program, and I think that’s the best achievement for me,” she said.

At Anthony Wayne, Abby is a member of French club and tutors Spanish students while working part time. At Capital, she plans to major in criminal justice pre-law with a minor in Spanish. As far as a career, she will look into ideas such as becoming a prosecutor or immigration lawyer.

She was joined at the signing by her mom, Heidi.

Gillian Yoder has committed to Ohio Northern University, where she will be a member of the swimming and diving team. 

A five-year diver on the Generals team, Yoder was coached by Phil Koester. 

“The younger me never would have believed that I was doing a sport in college,” she said, noting that getting the opportunity to dive for ONU is her biggest achievement so far.

Over the years, Yoder said she has been fueled by all the people she’s met in the sport.

“All of the divers that I practice with are just amazing and I couldn’t imagine being without other divers,” she said.

At AW, Yoder has also been involved with the National Honor Society. At ONU, she plans to major in environmental and field biology, with a goal of making a difference in nature.

She was joined at the signing by her parents, Lisa and Scott, and grandmother, Marilyn Hammon.

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