Seven student athletes made major commitments to their futures very early Wednesday morning at Mount Si High School. It was a light-hearted moment, but a huge step for each of them, as they signed their letters of intent to play college sports.
“It feels amazing,” said Michael Collins, after committing to play football at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif. “I’m really excited.”
Collins was joined in his celebration by fellow seniors and athletes David Sotelo, Jesiah Irish and Tank Brewster, who will all play football in college, plus Will Scott and Clayton Waltz who will be playing baseball next year, and Calie Rose, who will take the soccer field for Pacific Lutheran University.
“I was kind of late getting into this,” Rose explained, and “I was looking at NAIA teams,” when the PLU coaching staff invited her to come to a camp event. “A week later, the coach offered me the only spot on the team, the only spot in goal.”
Finding the right fit with the coaching staff was the key to many of the athlete’s choice of schools.
“I felt like I found a coaching staff that really cared about me, and will give me a chance to compete as a freshman” at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., Brewster said.
When Irish chose to go to Oregon State University in Corvallis, it was because of the coaching staff and a December visit to the school. “I kind of liked the college-town feel,” he said.
Sotelo said he chose Western Oregon University in Monmouth from the four schools recruiting him, because “I really like the coaching staff, and playing in the GNAC (Great Northwest Athletic Conference) is something I really wanted to do… I’ll like playing Central two times a year, too.”
Waltz also chose the University of Puget Sound in part because of the coaching, saying he liked the smaller school environment. “I also liked having a past Mount Si graduate on the team,” he added. Jake Brady had been a teammate for two years at Mount Si, Waltz said, and “he was a big influence on me…. and it’s nice to have academics backed up with athletics.”
Academics was the first thing Scott considered in making his choice, the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
“It’s a really good school for engineering,” he said, “and it’s ranked 17th in the nation in baseball.”
The engineering element was most important to Scott, though, who plans to pursue a degree in mechanical or petroleum engineering.
“They have oil rigs you can work on before you graduate,” he said, giving students an excellent start. “I talked to the coach and he said 100 percent of the kids on the baseball team had already gotten a job, some of them before they graduated.”
Collins chose his school for a combination of things. “The coaching staff was great,” he said, “and the academics at the school are top-notch.”
He is planning to study politics, philosophy and economics at Pomona. Brewster, Irish, Sotelo and Waltz are each considering business majors.