Oliver signs with Washburn football

Lauren Schutter | sports editor

Cade Oliver, a multi-sport standout, officially signed to play football at Washburn University in a ceremony Monday.

Surrounded by family, fellow students, and several of his coaches, he signed his National Letter of Intent to officially declare his decision.

“Washburn just had that family feel when I got there,” Oliver said, “it’s close to home and it felt like the right decision.”

Head football coach Jess Rutledge spoke first at the signing, emphasizing Cade’s ability to step up from a young age.

“As a freshman, Cade had a huge task at his feet. He put in those long hours and worked because he and his teammates wanted to be winners. In a team of winners, you have to have leaders… like the one sitting up here today,” Rutledge said, gesturing at Cade. 

Cade’s mother, Kelly Oliver, spoke next. She described Cade’s childhood by saying, “I always knew he would want to play a sport after high school. The only question was: which one?” 

Parents Jason Oliver and Kelly Oliver, Cade Oliver and brother Eli Oliver, and football coach Jess Rutledge pose during Cade’s signing ceremony Monday afternoon. Oliver signed to play football at Washburn. 

She said at different points in his life she would have expected Cade to choose either basketball or baseball as his future. As a Charger, he led the basketball team to a runner-up finish at state last year, and he was a strong contributor on the baseball field as a freshmen. 

Along with the program making him feel at home, his older sister Abby Oliver plays basketball at the university.

Principal Jan Hutley spoke at the end of the ceremony, praising Cade’s leadership and maturity. “I think he’s always known who he is, but I see someone who has matured into that and grown into that very well over the last three years,” Hutley said. 

“To be a leader, you have to be heard and you have to lead, and I feel like your growth as a person has really allowed you the opportunity to be that kind of leader.”

Oliver lines up at quarterback against Jackson Heights. Oliver started at quarterback all four seasons as a Charger, throwing for 5,424 yards and 62 touchdowns.

Oliver’s Career Statistics

• Passing Yards: 5,424

• Passing Touchdowns: 62

• Total Yards: 5,888

• Total Touchdowns: 79

• Games Started at QB: 37

18 School Records, including passing yards in a game (349), season (2,083) and career (5, 424). Passing touchdowns in a game (6), season (26) and career (62).

Postseason accolades: 1A Offensive Player of the Year finalist, Top 100 seniors, All-State and All-Area honors, Team MVP.

Oliver poses with Charger coaches Jess Rutledge, Trevor Keller and Garrett Eck.

Other 2022 college-bound student athletes

• Kaelyn Conrad – Johnson County softball

• Kara Hafenstine – Ottawa softball

• Lauren Schutter – Illinois St. volleyball

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