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Journeys for a trio of unheralded Anchorage prep athletes came full circle the week before graduation

May 17—There were several more high school athletes that signed their letters of intent last week to continue their playing careers at the next level.

Among them was a multi-sport standout from South Anchorage and a pair of West Anchorage High Eagles.

After splitting time in a two-man rotation as a junior, Harrison Steeves-Little was set to be the main man under center for the West Anchorage varsity football team this past fall.

[Fueled by a passion to help others, West High quarterback Harrison Steeves-Little has a unique outlook]

Unfortunately, he essentially missed his entire senior season after going down on the first offensive drive in the Eagles' season opener against eventual Division II state champion Lathrop.

Leading up to his final season, he was garnering interest from several colleges that even included some Division I programs.

However, after he informed all the schools he was talking to about his injury, the only one that stayed in contact and kept its offer on the table was Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Steeves-Little signed to play football at the school last week.

"When it really came to it, there really was no other choice for me," Steeves-Little said. "It was clear-cut No. 1. When I contacted them about my injury, they were completely onboard."

Even though he was entertaining the possibility of potentially signing elsewhere prior to his injury, he was always leaning toward becoming a Spartan because it aligned with his career goals.

"It kind of just worked out that way after I got hurt," Steeves-Little said. "It turned into what is the best place to set me up for success in a career and that is where it was at."

Case Western Reserve has one of the best nursing programs in the country, which fits the exact career path he wants to follow.

"That's what I want to do and what I want to be," Steeves-Little said. "That's how it turned out for me and I'm super happy about it."

That humbling time period made him fall even deeper in love with the game as well as "understand that college is another opportunity to start over with the game and be even better."

A standout on the field as well as the classroom, Steeves-Little will be attending the school on a full scholarship that is half athletic and half academic.

A participant in multiple sports picks her favorite

Olivia Heartwell has starred on the gridiron in flag football and on the diamond in softball for South the past four years. However, her first love is basketball and she will continue playing it at the next level after committing to Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington.

"It was basketball all the way," Heartwell said. "I just really love the game and I just really want to play basketball."

She started talking to Shoreline about a month before signing and while she was also in contact with coaching staffs at different programs, she says something about the Dolphins' staff really spoke to her.

"The coaches and how they initiated FaceTiming and talking about what plays they can go over in their offense and everything about it," Heartwell said.

Heartwell has family in Washington, and her immediate family in Alaska is considering moving there.

"I'm excited and nervous and all the emotions are going on," Heartwell said. "I'm just very overwhelmed but I'm excited."

She had a softball game to play against South's hillside rival Service an hour after signing her commitment papers. Not only did she make the game but the Wolverines prevailed 4-0.

Hard work 'finally paid off' for West hoopster

Julius Adlawan has been a key member of the Eagles boys varsity basketball team the past few years and will continue playing the sport he loves at the next level after committing to play at Southwest Oregon Community College.

"It feels great," Adlawan said. "All my hard work finally paid off."

He was one of only a handful of graduating players that chose to attend a junior college showcase earlier on the same day as the AABC Senior All-Star Game.

While some of his more high-profile contemporaries opted to not participate in both events, Adlawan wanted to give the coaches that made the trip to the Last Frontier an extended opportunity to observe his skills.

"For them to see me play against some of the best competition in the state really helped me out," he said. "It just gave them more of a chance to see me play, and they really liked that."

[Current and former Alaska basketball coaches collaborate to build a collegiate pipeline]

The SWOCC coaching staff told him they really value his work ethic and passion for the game as was evident by his willingness to participate in both events.

"They also liked my size and being able to handle the rock at my size and be able to do the stuff that is needed to win," Adlawan said.

He is undecided on what he will major in but is excited to embark on this next chapter of his life nonetheless.

Here is the compilation of all of the Anchorage Daily News' reported signings that were provided by coaches, administrators, parents, and athletes themselves.

Dimond

Tatum Porter will play soccer at the University of Hawaii Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she will reunite with one of her former club coaches, Kaula Rowe, who is an assistant coach for the Rainbow Warriors women's team.

Isabelle Borke will compete in swimming at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

Hannah Boyce will compete in swimming at Minnesota State University Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota.

Maia Struble will compete in bowling at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Makenna Maldonado will play volleyball at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Jolee Kelzenberg will play volleyball at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona.

Marielle Corotan will play soccer at University of Wisconsin-Superior in Superior, Wisconsin.

Marley Hamlett will play soccer at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington.

Alexis Kindred will play women's hockey at Nazareth College in Pittsford, New York.

Riley Hill and Khenzie Connick will play women's hockey at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Lathrop

Earl Parker will play football at Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Ryan Thomas will play football at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. He was the Malemutes' very own Mr. Automatic as a senior, converting a state record 63-of-63 point after attempts, was perfect on field goals and blasted more than 20 touchbacks into the end zone.

Charlie Rogers will play football at Santa Rosa Community College in Santa Rosa, California.

Bartlett

Niko Alailefaleula will play football at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah.

Marty Burton will play soccer at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Carl Colavecchio will play baseball at Feather River College in Quincy, California.

Tristan Savelio will play football at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.

Service

Jordan Alarcon will play soccer at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington.

Nour Amer will play football at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, Montana.

James Carpenter will play football at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona.

Emily Duvall will compete in cross country and track and field at Indiana Tech University in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Breckin Fett will play soccer at the University at Albany in Albany County, New York.

Matt Gordon will play soccer at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington.

Scott Griffith will play football at the College of Redwoods Eureka, California.

Alexa Hehl will play soccer at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Florida.

Gavin Kitchen will compete in swimming at Shasta College in Redding, California.

Alana Lim will compete in cross country and track and field at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Jevin Lim will compete in wrestling at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Christian Pont will play football at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska.

Aaron Power will compete in nordic skiing at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Brady Rufner will play soccer at Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Washington.

Ellie Schuld will play soccer at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Meredith Schwartz will compete in nordic skiing at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Camryn Stevens will play volleyball at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Nick Tremarco will play soccer at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

Zoe Witter will play soccer at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Lumen Christi

Emily Ross will play basketball at the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Soldotna

Brayden Taylor will play football at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.

Grace Christian

Luke Lentfer will play rugby at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Sloan Lentfer will play basketball at the University of Alaska Anchorage in Anchorage.

Buster Stubbs will play football and join his brother Bladen at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona.

David Sliwinski will compete in cross country and track and field at the Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado.

[Grace Christian stars among Alaska high school athletes committed to compete at collegiate level]

Anchorage Christian

Sayvia Sellers will play basketball at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

West Valley

Stewart Erhart will play basketball at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

Chugiak

Twin sisters Teal and Karlee Transburg will play softball at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa.

Andrew Nielsen and Rotuma Tonu will play football at Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota.

Brodyn Mariscal will play football at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California.

Eagle River

Charlotte Kotlarchuk will play women's hockey at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

Daphne Gray will play women's hockey at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.

Bettye Davis East

Olyvia Mamae will compete in cross country and track and field at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.

Brian Morris will compete in cross country and track and field at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota.

Deshawn Rushmeyer will compete in cross country and track and field at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

Eric Bushnell will compete in cross country and track and field at the University of Alaska Anchorage in Anchorage, Alaska.

Anna Ellingboe will play volleyball at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Leland Papali'i will play football at Sierra College in Rocklin, California.

Marley Ireland will compete in nordic skiing at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.

[Anchorage track standouts among latest Alaska high school athletes committed to competing in college]

West

Ethan Eski will compete in nordic skiing at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Harrison Steeves-Little will play football at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lauren Dorris will play soccer at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

Sammy Legate will compete in nordic skiing at St. Lawrence University in St. Lawrence County, New York.

Rowan Brune will play soccer at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

Murphy Dykstra will compete in track and field at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Jack Carr will compete in golf at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.

Willie Zamora will compete in track and field at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington.

Ari Kaufman will compete in swimming at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Robert Misa Jr. will play football at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California.

Julius Adlawan will play basketball at Southwest Oregon Community College in Coos Bay, Oregon.

South

Isabel Goolie will play hockey at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont.

Abigail Ante will compete in golf at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri.

Allison Beloy will play hockey at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.

Olivia Heartwell will play basketball at Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Washington.

Colony

Liyah Pilgrim will play volleyball at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona.

Calista Ousley will play volleyball at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.

Bright Brubaker will play volleyball at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Taylee Weiss will play volleyball at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Micah Bushey will play football at Fontbonne University in Clayton, Missouri.

Ketchikan

Reilly McCue will play volleyball at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Palmer

Naomi Popescu will play volleyball at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Washington.

Wasilla

Alina Buts will play volleyball at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon.

Deshawn Campbell will compete in diving at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming.

Audrey Dietz will compete in diving at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Timothy Grisso will play football at the University of Mary in Burleigh County, North Dakota.

Molly Matson will play hockey at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.