Making it official: Five LHS seniors sign letters of intent for football, volleyball and more

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Zander Thomas (left) and LHS head football coach Clint Bowen stop for a photo during the National Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

Five Lawrence High seniors signed letters of intent Wednesday during a National Signing Day ceremony at LHS. Tony Jacobsen, Will Hendricks, Colin Sandefur, Seenane Brewer and Zander Thomas all cemented their plans for next fall.

The Journal-World visited with each of the featured athletes to grab some perspective on their next steps:

Zander Thomas, Wheeling lacrosse

Thomas signed to play lacrosse at Wheeling University in Wheeling, West Virginia, on Wednesday – a far cry from what some scouts might’ve predicted for the LHS safety that racked up 121 team-high tackles and three interceptions during his senior season.

Even as an All-Area safety at LHS, Thomas found it difficult to stir up the interest he desired when putting together his college plans for next fall. The senior, who played the middle and attack positions on the lacrosse team at Shawnee-Mill Valley, then found a contact at Wheeling.

“I definitely had more fun with lacrosse than I have with football,” Thomas said. “I would say it translates pretty well. The skills correlate pretty easily and I’ve always had good hand-eye coordination from playing video games my whole life, but I’ve never really had to chose one or the other.”

Thomas was a two-year varsity safety at LHS.

Seenane Brewer, New Mexico volleyball

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Brewer verbally committed to playing volleyball at New Mexico during her junior year and made that decision official on Wednesday by inking with the Lobos.

Even a year later, Brewer still feels the buzz from that initial decision.

“I’m still shocked from my commitment and right now it feels real,” Brewer said. “I’m signing and it feels so fast.”

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Seenane Brewer (left) stops for a picture during the National Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

Brewer, a two-time All-Area and All-Sunflower League First Team selection, capped her LHS career with 273 total kills, 153 digs and a .300 hitting percentage during her senior season. The Lions finished the season 15-17 with a loss to Topeka-Seaman at substate.

“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t make it to state, but I honestly thought it was one of our most successful seasons chemistry-wise and playing-wise,” Brewer said. “That allowed us to work well together and I’m really proud of everyone.”

Brewer’s mother, Nana Allison-Brewer, is a longtime volleyball coach with stops at Dartmouth, South Dakota State and Haskell Indian Nations University.

Tony Jacobsen, Baker football

LHS head football coach Clint Bowen will surely miss Jacobsen in the backfield next fall, as the four-year tailback and cornerback heads to neighboring Baldwin City to continue his career.

Jacobsen was the Lions’ second-leading rusher with 427 total yards, averaging 7.2 yards per carry during his senior season. Injuries saw Jacobsen tabbed for more touches toward the end of the season, and he posted a 101-yard performance in a 31-24 overtime win over Free State.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Tony Jacobsen (center) smiles when recognized during the National Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

The combination of his senior season and Baker’s recruitment made the prospect of playing college football a reality, Jacobsen said.

“Coach Bowen gave me every opportunity and I had to do as much as could with what I had,” Jacobsen said. “It’s a great feeling. I was kinda iffy on playing college ball but I think Baker is the right place to go.”

Lawrence natives currently on Baker’s roster include Truman Juelsgaard (LHS), Deshon Lewis II (LHS), Austin Hollins (LHS), Dylan Gillespie (LHS), Quez Lee (FSHS), Brian Lane (FSHS), Gavin Blanchard (FSHS), Brayden Heck (LHS), Kivryen Heck (LHS), Josiah Nash (FSHS) and Sam Sedo (LHS).

Will Hendricks, Drake football

Hendricks played a key role in the trenches for LHS the past two seasons, returning for one last ride before a foot injury sustained in early October muddied up his plans. The senior captain announced his commitment to Drake on Nov. 17.

“You don’t get high school football again,” Hendricks said. “That was a huge deal, the injury or whatever, but staying out there helped me realize how much I appreciated those guys and how I got to where I am now.”

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Will Hendricks joins his family in applause after being recognized during the National Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

Discussing his recruitment, Hendricks said he was impressed by offensive line coach Nate Thompson during his initial visit to Drake.

“I started looking at (Drake) educationally at first and then I started to think about whether I could play football,” Hendricks said. “Coach Thompson has been the best and I think that’s a huge reason why I chose Drake – the relationship I have with him and the relationship he had with the coaches.”

Now headed to Des Moines, Iowa, next fall, Hendricks passed up competing offers from Missouri Western, Central Missouri, Fort Hays State and Benedictine.

Colin Sandefur, Drake soccer

Sandefur, who officially signed with Drake on Jan. 17, formally joined his teammates and LHS head boys and girls soccer coach Joe Comparato on Wednesday to celebrate his recent decision.

A four-year letterman, Sandefur put together a 13-goal senior campaign and was chasing the school and league scoring records before a hamstring injury upended his season. The senior finished his Chesty Lion career as an All-Sunflower League forward and LHS Golden Boot recipient.

photo by: Conner Becker/Journal-World

Lawrence High senior Colin Sandefur smiles when recognized during the National Signing Day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at Lawrence High School.

Reflecting on his midseason injury, Sandefur still feels strongly about how things wrapped up.

“I think my senior season ended on a high note,” Sandefur said. “I think we did a great job just building as a team and forming relationships and stuff like that. I think we have a great freshman class that came in this past season and I can’t wait to see them do great things.”

Sandefur finished his senior season with the best record (8-8) of his LHS career.


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