In the history books: Four-sport athlete looks to improve in record-breaking season

Aidan Collins, left, works with Summit’s head football coach James Wagner at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge. Collins has cited Wagner as one of his biggest inspirations over the past four years.
Aidan Collins/Courtesy Photo

In a small mountain community with a public high school, it’s not uncommon for Summit High School athletes to play multiple sports. Most will choose one per season, but some – like senior Aidan Collins – juggle four.

While being a four-sport athlete isn’t groundbreaking, Collins has found a way to engrave his name in the school’s history books. He helped the 4×100 meters relay team break the 31-year-old school record last week, and his lacrosse performance this week helped snap a 21-game losing streak.

Like many other successful athletes, Collins’ pursuit of success in sports began in kindergarten when he started playing football. In sophomore year, Collins switched to football and basketball, and by the time Collins reached college, he was highly skilled in a variety of sports.

During his senior campaign at Summit High School, Collins was on the varsity football, wrestling, track and field, and lacrosse team.

Collins is most comfortable on the gridiron, where he’s a double threat. He plays both fullback and wide receiver for Summit’s football team.

During the fall 2021 season, Collins has been nothing but explosive. He led the Tigers just short of a playoff berth and combined for 579 rushing yards as well as 924 receiving yards.

Following the end of the football season, Collins showed why he is known for his work ethic as he immediately transitioned into wrestling. Collins has placed high in every wrestling competition he has been entered into. At the 3A Region 1 wrestling competition, he placed second in the 138-pound weight class, which qualified him for the state wrestling competition at Ball Arena in Denver.

In state, Collins had a less than ideal performance when he entered the tournament in bad weather, which caused him to underperform. Collins struggled in two state games but lost both. Despite the result, Collins walked away from the experience happy that he even had the chance to compete against Colorado’s top wrestlers.

Collins once again had a short shift into the spring season. A few weeks after the state, he began training for both track and field and lacrosse.

Aidan Collins, far right, runs the ball down the pitch in one of his first tackle football games of his career. Collins has been playing football since second grade.
Aidan Collins/Courtesy Photo

It was the first year that Collins decided to double down on spring sports, making him a four-sport athlete for the first time.

“Obviously school comes first, but for me personally, just being busy helps me get my job done,” Collins said. “Having work going on and always doing something and having less time honestly means I always have to focus. I can’t relax. “

Collins says his senior year is close to perfect as he has seen so many seniors over the past two years not receive the mailings they deserve due to pandemic restrictions.

“This year has been so awesome,” Collins said. “To have 10 full games of football and be back to show all our skills was so awesome. It was really nice to have a sense of normalcy for my senior year. “

Looking back on his four years in high school, Collins said his favorite memory was catching his first college touchdown as a rookie after his brother, Brendan, threw the ball to him.

“It’s a memory I will always remember,” Collins said. “It was so cool to be on the pitch with him.”

Aidan Collins, right, and his brother, Brendan Collins, left, stand together after Aidan, a freshman at the time, caught his first college touchdown pass, which was thrown by Brendan.
Aidan Collins/Courtesy Photo

Collins plans to soak up the final weeks of his senior year, but he also has his sights set on the future as he hopes to play college football at the University of San Diego. He and his mentor, Summit head football coach James Wagner, nurture that idea. But he said if the University of San Diego doesn’t work out, he plans to attend California Polytechnic State University or the University of Colorado in the fall to study business.


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