Mid-Columbia athletes made plans for the future Wednesday, signing letters of intent to play sports at a variety of colleges.
Eastern Washington was a big winner, landing Kamiakin football players Darreon Moore and Wyatt Musser, and a handful of soccer players, including McKaley Goffard and Emma Schutt of Southridge, and Taylor Matheny and Kelsee Winston of Hanford.
The Kamiakin football team, which won the Class 3A state title in December, also saw quarterback Zach Borisch sign with the University of Idaho, and wide receiver Isaiah Brimmer go to Idaho State.
“You don’t win state championships without high caliber guys,” Borisch said of all four Braves signing full-ride Division I offers. “Can’t get there without the talent to win it.”
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Adding to the the Division I football roster is Hanford offensive lineman Brock Wellsfry, who signed with Oregon State.
“I had other offers, but I committed to them (in June) and I didn’t change my mind,” the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Wellsfry said. “I took visits to every school that offered one. I like the (Oregon State) coaches and the way they are taking their program. They are going the right way, and I am excited to get there.”
With Corvallis being a 4-5 hour drive from the Tri-Cities, Wellsfry said it is the right distance as he goes out on his own.
“It makes it so the family can come and visit easily, but it gives me enough room so I can grow up,” Wellsfry said.
Musser, a 6-6, 285-pound offensive lineman, who spent the past 10 years protecting Borisch’s blind side, said Eastern was the perfect fit for him.
“Honestly, it is a great school, a great football program and a small town,” Musser said. “I hate big cities. I am going to play with one of my brothers from high school (Moore, who plays corner back). It will be nice having a teammate up there. I will have his back, and he’ll have mine.”
Musser said he and Moore already had made up their minds to attend Eastern when coach Beau Baldwin left two weeks ago to become the offensive coordinator at California. He was replaced by Aaron Best.
“Best was going to be my O-line coach. I will be perfectly fine under him,” Musser said. “You have to look at it — they are winning program, they lost their coach, not their players. I will be a great fit there. I will redshirt this year, put on some weight and be 325, then go out the next year and dominate.”
Borisch, the 3A state Player of the Year, finished his senior season with 2,848 yards passing and more than 600 rushing. Though the Vandals like him at quarterback, they also want to see him on defense.
“What they want to do is have me learning quarterback and outside linebacker,” Borisch said. “They don’t know where I will work the best. They are going to give me a shot at quarterback, but they also like me on the defensive side of the ball. I am excited to be there. I think the big thing is competitiveness and wanting to win everything. (Coach Paul Petrino) wants winners in his program.”
Winston, the Mid-Columbia Conference Player of the Year, will receive a half scholarship from Eastern, which was her first pick of schools.
“I know the coaches really well, I like the campus and the atmosphere the soccer program is building,” said Winston, who plans to major in criminal justice. “I’m not sure how I will fit in. They have three other goalies right now, but one is graduating and one is a freshman.”
Southridge had eight soccer players sign letters of intent. Joining Goffard and Schutt are Emily Russell (Central Washington), Haley Thomas (Weber State), Kendall Pope (Eastern Oregon), Miranda Nelson (Columbia Basin College), and Kelly Brown and Savannah Brown who are headed to Pacific Lutheran.
Southridge also had Brycen Kelly sign to play football at Eastern Oregon. Chiawana’s Trent Simpkins is headed to Montana Tech for football, Anthony Reisch signed with Carroll College, and Hayden Carrasco is going to College of Idaho.
Royal quarterback Kaden Jenks, who led the Knights to the Class 1A state title, signed with Weber State.