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Reed trio makes college intentions official
by Dan Eckles
May 16, 2012 | 1553 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - RHS seniors Andi Lee and Ryan Butler share a laugh while cutting some cake at their signing ceremony in the RHS gym.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - RHS seniors Andi Lee and Ryan Butler share a laugh while cutting some cake at their signing ceremony in the RHS gym.
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A trio of Reed High students made their school proud Wednesday afternoon, putting pen to paper and making their college athletic plans official. Reed seniors Andi Lee, Ryan Butler and Dustin Grant all signed national letters of intent during a signing ceremony in the east Sparks school’s large gym.

“This is the best part of the job,” Reed athletic director Ron Coombs said while watching the Raiders standouts sign their letters. “Most schools are recognized for their athletic programs. People identify with high school athletic programs and their success. This is the nice part of the kids signing and moving on to the next level. They’re all going to first-class athletic and academic settings. Athletics help promote life-long learning.”

Lee is now set to play her college softball for Western Nevada College in Carson City. The 18-year-old is a two-year letter winner at Reed and has helped the Raiders to the 4A state tournament, which begins today.

“I had just planned on going to Nevada and not playing softball in college when Western Nevada came around,” Lee said. “Now I’m really excited that I get to keep doing what I love to do.

“I really liked the campus and enjoyed everyone. The coaches are great. I love it.”

Lee, who starts at third base for Reed, was quick to point out that second-year Raiders coach Jon Wunder helped her build a relationship with the Western Nevada coaching staff.

“It was not so long ago that Andi didn’t think about playing softball,” Wunder said. “I tried to encourage her. I’m glad she reconsidered. Some kids lack confidence because they didn’t get on the right club team at the right age and think they missed out on an opportunity. But I’ve learned there’s always an opportunity if you’re willing to look for it and work hard.”

Lee plans to study to become an X-ray technician. She is the daughter of Denise Lee.

Butler has played varsity baseball at Reed since his freshman season. He was an honorable mention pick as a freshman, a second-team pick as a sophomore and a first-team selection as a junior. This year’s all-league awards won’t be released until next week.

On Wednesday, he signed his letter of intent to play baseball for Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. The RHS athlete said he also considered Bates College in Maine but admitted that Pacific won out being closer to home.

“The campus there is beautiful and it’s a great chance to keep playing baseball,” Butler said. “Plus the education up there is one of the best on the West Coast.

“I get to follow my dream. Every little kid’s dream is to play baseball. That’s always been mine since I was little.”

Butler said he plans to study Political Science or Business. The 17-year-old is the son of Brian and Jean Butler.

Grant is the rare student athlete that will use bowling as his tool to compete in college and get an education beyond high school. He announced his intentions Wednesday to attend Robert Morris University in Chicago.

“I saw Robert Morris coaches do a clinic when I was younger and wanted to go there ever since,” Grant said. “I’m really excited. They’ve got some guys on the team that are on the Junior USA Team so I can learn from them and I can learn about myself as I get out of Nevada.

Grant said his decision to go to the midwest was not by accident.

“I will get out of my comfort zone and face some adversity,” he said.

Grant plans on studying Business. He is the son of Melody and Ed Grant.
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