EL CENTRO — A signing ceremony was held at the Central High School gymnasium for Spartan Wide Receiver Michael Sullivan who committed to Western Colorado University Thursday, February 6.
Central Principal Craig Lyon addressed the student athlete spectators at the beginning of the ceremony.
“This doesn’t just start with the football aspect of things; all this starts off in the classroom,” said Lyon. “Michael put himself in a position to have this opportunity for doing outstanding on the field and also in the classroom.”
Lyon stressed the importance of understanding that it's about being a student athlete — the student part comes first and makes a big difference.
“If you all want an opportunity to play at the next level, if you don't have the academics you can't do that,” said Lyon. “So, this is a credit to Michael and everything he's done to put himself in this position and now move on to the next level and play. We want to just congratulate him again for not just being a great athlete but a great student athlete here at Central.”
Before signing his letter of commitment, Sullivan addressed his classmates.
“It means a lot to me for all of you to come out here to watch me sign — I love all of you, I love this school, and I ‘d like to thank the coaches for giving me an opportunity to get better. I’d like to thank the teachers, and everyone who was involved in this process,” said Sullivan.
After signing, Sullivan took pictures with his family, teammates, and classmates.
“Feels like a big step forward in my life and I’m not done yet,” said Sullivan. “I just feel on top of the world right now and I’m ready for whatever’s next in Colorado. I’m ready to get it done and become better than I am right now.”
According to Sullivan, his most memorable game was when he scored three touchdowns in Central’s 34-21 win over Del Valle in El Paso, Texas.
“I will carry on the grit and determination that I learned here at Central in my three years on varsity and to play for something bigger than myself,” said Sullivan.
In academics, Sullivan will follow Austin Eckler (San Diego Charger) and pursue petroleum geology.
“This is an experience, for me as a father, like no other,” said Michael Sullivan Sr. "There are two things that we required in our house and those were academics and sports and to never let off the gas and he’s lived up to that standard 100 percent. I couldn’t be prouder of him. This ceremony was proof to us that his race is not done yet. The gun just went off when he signed that paper.”
The competitive bug bit Sullivan at 11 years old, according to his father.
“We did everything we could as parents to make sure he was prepared for wherever that (his competitive nature) would take him, whether it be high school or college,” said Michael Sr. “Without expectations, we let him dictate that path and he did it. Just a moment in time that I will never forget.”
Michael Sr.’s favorite varsity moment of his son was after a 67-yard catch.
“On his walk back, he took his helmet off, turned around, looked at me, and gave me a thumbs up,” said Michael Sr. “At that point, it was like the pinnacle of everything we had done and everything he had been through to this point — it was his recognition of success.”
When asked about how the Sullivan family will celebrate, Michael Sr said, “Right now, everything we do is like a mini celebration — every time I look at him and hug him it’s a celebration. When you’re a parent, every day is a celebration.”