SSHS seniors Jordan Gilmore, Brandon Delong, Bella Rovens and Gianna Schauer all signed national letters of intent during a mid-day signing ceremony in the school’s athletic foyer.
Gilmore is the two-time Northern 4A Player of the Year in boys golf. He just returned home late Tuesday night from the 4A State Championships in Las Vegas, where he was the lowest scoring player from Northern Nevada. Gilmore will stay close to home and play his college golf for Nevada.
“At first I kind of wanted to go away and explore my options, but Nevada was my best choice,” Gilmore said. “They gave me the best deal, a full scholarship and the chance to play next year.
“I’m excited. I’ll be able to play some super cool courses and against way better competition than in high school golf.”
Gilmore is a four-year letter-winner for Spanish Springs. He helped the Cougars to a team state golf championship as a freshman in 2009 and was the individual state runner up that same spring after falling in a playoff on his home course of RedHawk Golf Club.
“I’ve only coached him for the last two years,” Spanish Springs boys golf coach Nick Wirshing said. “But this year, and specifically the last half of this year, he’s really matured as a person, leader and athlete. I’m really confident he’ll put it together at the next level.”
Gilmore, 18, is undecided on what major he will pursue.
DeLong has been a three-year varsity basketball player for Spanish Springs and is the school’s all-time leading scorer. He signed his letter of intent to play at Division II national powerhouse Humboldt State in Arcata, Calif.
“It is one of the best Division II schools in the nation,” Delong said. “The guys up there made me feel welcome. As soon as I was there, I knew it was the right fit.”
Delong, a 6-foot 4-inch guard-forward, is a two-time High Desert League first-team all-league selection. He averaged 20.3 and 16.1 points per game the past two seasons. The 18-year-old stressed that he liked the region where Humboldt State calls home on California’s North Coast.
“It’s beautiful around there. I want to major in Wildlife Preservation,” Delong said. “It’s on the coast, in the middle of the Redwoods. I’m really excited.”
SSHS boys hoop coach Kyle Penney praised his standout senior. The fifth-year Cougars coach thinks Delong has a bright future ahead of him at HSU.
“When he was an eighth grader, we knew he’d be a special player for us,” Penney said. “He came to all of our offseason stuff and never missed anything. That resolve made him the best player we’ve had here.
“I think Humboldt State is a great place for Brandon. It’s been the top D-II in the country. They get D-I players and play D-I schools. It will be a great place for Brandon for four years for basketball and an education.”
Rovens and Schauer are softball players for Spanish Springs. The duo helped the Cougars program to its eighth-straight regional playoff appearance in 2012. Rovens, 17, signed Wednesday to play her college softball at Montana State-Billings.
“I wanted to get away and I wanted to go somewhere where the class sizes are small,” Rovens said. “I need that. The program is also really competitive and I will get a chance to start. I’m excited to go, but I will miss my family. I’m looking forward to the summer, but when it’s time to go I’ll be ready.”
Rovens, who manned the Spanish Springs leadoff slot and played center field, is a four-year letter winner. She said she is undecided on her major but is leaning toward Criminal Justice.
Schauer will head cross country for her college softball, having signed to play at Union College in Barbourville, KY. Schauer, 18, is looking forward to living in a vastly different part of the country than her native northern Nevada.
“I visited a few schools and liked that part of the country. I liked their program,” Schauer said. “It will be good to go away but I’m nervous too. I wanted to go away but I also wanted to go to a small school.”
Schauer said she plans to major in Business.