Aztec sends two athletes to Kansas colleges

Karl Schneider

AZTEC — The basketball program at Aztec High isn't known for churning out college players, but Charlie Morrison is trying to change that after the recent graduate signed a letter of intent to play for Bethany College.

Aztec's Charlie Morrison, center, signs a letter of intent to play basketball from Bethany College on Tuesday at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Along with Bethany, which is located in Lindsborg, Kan., and competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Morrison garnered interest from Arizona Christian University before picking the Swedes.

"Most importantly, I wanted to make sure they had the right field of study for me. Most other colleges, either it wasn't that strong or the right fit, but (Bethany) felt like the right fit," Morrison said.

The boys basketball program at Aztec has gone through more lows than highs in recent years, missing the state tournament the last six seasons, but Morrison said the experience of playing through struggles helped him mature as a player.

"It helped me to keep fighting," Morrison said. "That scoreboard definitely wasn't on our side most of the time. I think it helped me understand not to look at the scoreboard and just go out and play as hard as I can."

Morrison plans to major in film and aspires to be an actor.

Riddick headed to Bethel College

Aztec's Tori Riddick wasn't quite ready to give up her cheerleading career and accepted a full scholarship to cheer for Bethel College, which competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in North Newton, Kan.

Aztec's Tori Riddick, center, signed a letter of intent to cheer for Bethel College on May 9 at Lillywhite Gym in Aztec.

Riddick, who signed a letter of intent on May 9, said she looked at attending other schools for cheerleading but picked Bethel because of the program's tradition of being one of the best in the nation.

"I wasn't ready to give up cheering and their cheer program is really strong — they compete for national championships," Riddick said. "I looked at cheering at other schools. I looked at UNM and NMSU, but the success Bethel has had, I think it will push me more and make me better."

Riddick cheered for four years at Aztec and earned All-America honors each year.

Riddick plans to major in nursing at Bethel.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.