The cream of the high school athletic crop is annually invited to test their talents at the next level. Select athletes get to enjoy signing a National Letter of Intent and join collegiate programs.
The last signing period took place earlier this month and saw both male and female athletes from area schools cementing their athletic futures.
Six Enumclaw High School football players signed a National Letter of Intent, committing to five programs.
Both Anthony Russell and Nick Harberts have accepted scholarship offers to Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota.
During his senior season, Harberts was a first team, all-league running back and second team linebacker. Russell was named to the all-league first team as a defensive back.
At VCSU, Russell and Harberts will join a squad that competes in the North Star Athletic Association. The league has three member schools in North Dakota, two in South Dakota and single members in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa. North Star members compete at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level.
Darrion Smith received a scholarship to play at Simon Fraser University. The university is in Vancouver, British Columbia, but has played football in the “American format” since joining the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2010.
Smith, during his senior season at EHS, was a first team, all-league defensive lineman.
Three others signed with “recruited walk-on” status.
Mathew Utu will head to Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. The Wolves compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division II level.
Kellen Kranc will be joining the hugely successful program at Eastern Washington University that played for the FCS national championship during the past season. The Eagles are members of the Big Sky Conference and compete at the NCAA Division I level. The university is in Cheney, Washington.
Ethan Eilertson will become a Central Washington University Wildcat. The program is coming off a successful 8-3 season that included a 7-1 record in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
The GNAC’s 11 member schools are scattered across five U.S. states and British Columbia.
During their final seasons at Enumclaw High, Utu was a second team, all-league pick on the defensive line; Kranc was a second team quarterback; and Eilertson was a second team selection as both a receiver and defensive back.
Four Panthers signed their National Letter of Intent the afternoon of Feb. 7 on the Bonney Lake High School campus.
Locking in their future athletic endeavors were Eliza Christensen, Roman Casey, Cody Coffey and Brissa Black.
Christensen will be heading to Yakima Valley College where she will play soccer.
The goalkeeper will be joining a successful program that concluded the regular season with an overall record of 11-5-2; that included an 8-4-2 mark in Northwest Athletic Conference play.
The NWAC is huge, with 29 teams in four divisions, mostly in Washington and Oregon but with member schools in Idaho and Alaska.
Casey will pack his bags and head north across the border where he will attend Simon Fraser University and join the Clan football program. The university is in Vancouver, British Columbia, but has played football in the “American format” since joining the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2010.
During his senior season as a Panther, Casey received honorable mention as both a quarterback and defensive back when coaches voted for their all-league teams.
Coffey, a wrestler, will compete at Minot State University.
Coffey just completed another strong season for the Panthers. He placed second during the Feb. 15-16 Class 3A state championships, having finished third at state during his junior year.
Minot State is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and competes at the NCAA Division II level. The university is in Minot, North Dakota.
Black will be joining the volleyball team at Dickinson College, a liberal arts institution in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Dickinson competes in the Centennial Conference, made up of 11 private universities.
A quartet of Sumner High athletes – CJ Richmond, Riley Clark, Drew Senatore and Jared Fournier – have formalized their collegiate plans.
Richmond will be taking his wrestling talents to Corban College. He polished off his senior season by placing fourth at the Class 4A state championships.
It was announced last fall that Corban would add men’s wrestling to its athletic department and Richmond will be a part of the program making its competitive debut during the 2019-20 season.
Corban College is a private, Christian institution in Salem, Oregon. Its athletic programs compete in the Cascade Collegiate Conference as part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The conference consists of seven member schools from Oregon, three from Washington and one from Idaho.
Clark will be joining the football program at Valley City State University. He is coming off a senior season at SHS that saw him named a second team, all-league selection on the offensive line.
VCSU is located in Valley City, North Dakota, and plays in the North Star Athletic Association. The league has three member schools in North Dakota, two in South Dakota and single members in Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa. North Star members compete at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level.
Senatore will stick closer to home, joining the football program at Pacific Lutheran University. The Lutes are members of the Northwest Conference and compete at the NCAA Division III level.
During his senior year, the Spartan was a first team, defensive line selection when South Puget Sound League 4A coaches handed out all-league honors.
Fournier will be an addition to the lacrosse program at Wheeling Jesuit University.
Wheeling Jesuit University is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university in Wheeling, West Virginia. The Cardinals’ lacrosse team competes in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference at the NCAA Division-11 level. The GMAC has three member schools in West Virginia and two each in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Standout wrestler Jack Ervien will travel across the country to grapple with the Fighting Camels of Campbell University. Campbell is private, Christian institution located in the small community of Buies Creek, in the middle of North Carolina.
Despite its small size, Campbell University stands tall in the wrestling world. The Camels compete at the NCAA Division I level and, earlier this season, cracked the Top 25 in the national rankings and was ranked No. 10 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Mid-Major Top-20 poll. Campbell wrestlers compete in the Southern Conference; the university’s other athletic programs are part of the Big South Conference.
Ervien just completed his senior season at White River, battling to the championship round and placing second during the Feb. 15-16 Mat Classic.
A year ago, as a junior, Ervien took third-place honors in the Class 2A state tourney and shared South Puget Sound League 2A Athlete of the Year wrestling honors.