It was a big day Wednesday, Feb. 6, for football and girls soccer. Proud parents with camera, teammates and coaches watched as five Mount Si athletes signed their official letters of intent to play their sports at the higher level.
To hit the gridiron, Trent Riley had made his decision hours earlier to go to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he will join soccer player Miranda Rawlings.
"I went back and forth all night," Riley said of his big decision.
Riley, who was a KingCo offensive player of the year, top punt returner and first team member, had considered two other schools. But UNLV's facility, high-level Division 1 status and coaching staff made the difference for this fierce competitor.
"It feels like the place for me," Riley said, and his parents Shari and Eric, a Mount Si assistant coach—KingCo's football assistant of the year—are happy and proud.
"It's cool to know someone," Rawlings said of her and Trent's school choice coinciding.
"I'll still be able to watch soccer games, and I'll know someone," added Riley.
Rawlings expects she'll vary between forward and midfielder for the Rebels.
"UNLV's going to be happy about this," said Mount Si head soccer coach Darren Brown. Rawlings is the best girl to come through his program in the past four years, the leading scorer in the league, small-statured but physical and stoic on the pitch.
Las Vegas was high on her college shopping list, and is a great school for her, Brown added.
"They're getting a great athlete," he added. "She's a threat, small but strong. She should be able to be an impact right away."
Cameron Van Winkle, Mount Si football's powerhouse kicker, is leaving high school early to begin his studies, starting with online classes this spring, at the University of Washington. His goal is to get his golden feet into the Husky football program as early as possible.
Last fall, Van Winkle was named the KingCo Special Teams Player of the Year and put on the first team. He set a number of kicking records at Mount Si in his junior and senior years.
Hunter Malberg, KingCo first-team Mount Si wide receiver and defensive back, will play for the Bulldogs at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. He's glad to put the stress of a college search behind.
"I made a good choice," Malberg said. "I've got a lot of family there," and his mother is from Minnesota.
Rutherford, a Mount Si lineman and KingCo honorable mention, received a scholarship offer to Central Washington University, at Ellensburg just over the Cascades.
He'll be on the line for a new crop of Wildcats.
"I wanted to stay close to home, and felt Central was the best choice."
Rutherford enjoyed hanging out with the coaching staff during a visit to Central.
"It was a really good time," he said.
Mount Si football alums Rutherford, Malberg, Van Winkle and Riley with coaches Charlie Kinnune and Wayne Lewis.
Signing their letters, college bound athletes at Mount Si make it official early Wednesday.
Miranda Rawlings with Mount Si soccer coach Darren Brown