High-school athletes across the country have been looking forward to Wednesday as the day they could officially commit to scholarship offers from NCAA programs.
National signing day had its place in Gig Harbor, too, where four athletes from Gig Harbor High and two from Peninsula High inked their offers to play sports at the next level.
Here's a quick rundown of the local athletes who signed Wednesday:
— Allie Bohnett, Gig Harbor, women's soccer, Central Washington University
— Mackenzie Dowd, Gig Harbor, women's soccer, Northeastern University
— Aspen Ison, Peninsula, fastpitch, Western Washington University
— Courtney Jost, Gig Harbor, women's track and field, University of Utah
— Sara Massee, Gig Harbor, women's soccer, Saint Martin's University
— Kyle Self, Peninsula, football, Central Washington University
Also, The News Tribune has a complete list of South Sound athletes who signed Wednesday. That list will be updated over the next few days.
I'll have a comprehensive look at signing day in the Gateway's Feb. 13 print issue, but for today, here are some quotes and thoughts. Both Gig Harbor and Peninsula held ceremonies for their athletes, but since they were happening simultaneously, I could only attend one.
I chose Gig Harbor, and, obviously, it's a big day for the school's girls' soccer program, as three of coach Dani States' former players have earned scholarship offers.
Here's some of what States had to say about the three players. Dowd only played for the Tides as a freshman, choosing to play exclusively for Washington Premier FC after that.
On Massee's abilities as a defender: “She was the one I was most confident in for being able to shut another player down. If there was something you asked of her, she could usually do it.”
On Bohnett, a midfielder, sharing the 2012 Narrows League MVP award: "When you can get recognized even though you’re not a leading goal-scorer ... that’s a big thing to be recognized for.”
On Dowd, a defender, and her choice to forgo high-school soccer: "When they’re committed to clubs and ODP (Olympic Development) programs, it takes a lot of time. When it comes to getting recognized for colleges, we all know high school isn’t where it’s at.”
Here are some quotes from each of the soccer players on their accomplishments:
Massee, on her choice of schools: “I’ve always liked Saint Martin’s because my sister (Hanna) goes there, and she plays there, and so I was looking into it way before. So I kind of have myself set there."
Dowd, on playing for Northeastern in Boston: “I hadn’t even heard of it, actually, and then their coach emailed me. And I kind of ignored the email because I was like, ‘Northeastern? What is that?’ And she kept persistently emailing me, so I looked into the school, and it turns out that they have a really good criminology and law program, which is what I’m interested in doing."
Bohnett, on playing Division II soccer at Central Washington: "I just want to get there and start playing. I didn’t want to go to a big school and not get playing time. I wanted to go and play the sport I love, plus get my education paid for. So I have the best of both worlds.”
There was a fourth Gig Harbor High athlete signing, of course, and Courtney Jost is certainly choosing the most high-profile school of the bunch. She's following in the footsteps of 2008 Gig Harbor gradute Bree LeRoy, a fellow jumper who had a pretty distinguished career at Utah and hosted Jost on her official visit.
Here are some quotes from Jost and Tides track coach Kevin Eager:
Eager, on Jost being the latest Division I recruit from his program: “We’ve had quite a few, but there aren’t that many, and she’s definitely one of the best. There aren’t that many that get that level of scholarship support at the Pac-12 level, so that’s kind of an indication of what other people think of her. I always thought she was pretty good, but she got a lot of interest from a lot of places."
Jost, on the recruiting process: “It was pretty much Utah from the start. I had other phone calls from a couple other colleges, but when I visited Utah, I really liked the campus and the team, and they really had everything I needed school-wise. It just seemed like the right choice, so from the start, that’s pretty much where I wanted to go.”