More Mount Si Class of 2010 athletes sign with colleges

Three more Mount Si senior athletes have made decisions about where they will play college sports this fall.

Girls’ cross country runner Alex Rudd and boys’ soccer player Sam Evans and basketball player Justin Downer recently joined the list of Wildcats who have signed letters of intent to compete for college teams in the 2010-11 school year. Rudd signed with Southern Oregon University, an NCAA Division II school in Ashland, Oregon, while Evans turned down an offer from Spokane’s Division I Gonzaga University to sign with D-II Chico State, in Chico, California. Downer signed with Skagit Valley Community College in Mount Vernon.

Rudd, who has been the top competitor for the Wildcat cross country program the last four years, chose SOU over other Oregon schools, such as the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College. She didn’t expect to pick this school. "I went down and visited a whole bunch of schools in the fall and it wasn’t really on the top of my list when I went there,” Rudd said. But, she added, “once I got there, I just really enjoyed myself." She also likes the program. "What really made the deal was the running team. I got along well with the coach there and I really agree with his coaching philosophy,” Rudd said.

Rudd plans on majoring in journalism, and the college’s journalism program was also a factor in her decision. "Well, I know I want to look into communications and another plus of Southern Oregon was they had a journalism specific major,” she said.

As for Evans, the Wildcat defender, who normally plays goalkeeper, signed with Chico to be a goalie. He is looking forward to the opportunity. "I went there and I loved the school, and the coaches are really nice and the guys on the team are all great guys and the team's pretty good, so it seemed like a good choice,” Evans said.

Evans also turned down offers from a pair of small Colorado schools in order to sign with Chico. He has been working for a long time to get to this point. "I was working with a college advisor in Bellevue and then I've been looking at colleges for about a year now so it was about time I finally picked one,” Evans said. He plans on majoring in construction management at Chico.

Evans becomes just the latest player from the Wildcat soccer program to find a college opportunity; he joins boys Gibson Bardsley, Cody Tipton, Jace Derwin, and girls Jordan Tipton, Nikki Stanton, Kirsten Mills, Stephanie Burk and Jessica Blessard among others as former Mount Si players under Brown to play in college. Evans thinks it speaks to a lot of things. "Well, I think it speaks a lot to the club teams around here that go down to tournaments, but high school's definitely been helpful,” Evans said. His coach, Wildcat soccer coach Darren Brown, agrees. "They know that they have to play year round. They have to strength train, they have to get stronger in order to compete in high school. It’s physical, so they’re more committed,” he said.

Rudd, Evans and Downer join Tanner Riley (men’s basketball, U of Portland), Allysa McLauchlin (rowing, SDSU) and Shelby Sellers (rowing, U of San Diego) as Mount Si seniors who will be competing in college this fall.

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