Forced out as the head football coach at Eagle Point High in January, Jacob Schauffler wasn't sure what direction he would go in the early aftermath...
For McKensey Peters, all signs pointed to Oregon Tech.
The 5-foot-11 North Medford senior post signed with the NAIA Owls on Wednesday, committing to a school that appealed to her on several levels.
Peters, 17, was familiar with OIT head coach Scott Meredith after playing for him in past Mail Tribune All-Star Classic contests. She is a former teammate of one member of the current roster — former Black Tornado standout Karissa Dixon, who is now a junior — and said she has enjoyed getting to know the rest of the squad. And with a hope to study radiology at a university specializing in the technical and health-related fields, Peters said Oregon Tech was a perfect match for her.
"I feel like everything fell into place," Peters said.
Peters averaged 12 points, 8.8 rebounds, two assists and two steals as a junior en route to first-team Southern Oregon Hybrid honors for North, which went 11-14 overall last winter. This year for the undefeated Black Tornado (5-0), she has already turned in performances of 22 points and 11 rebounds, 21 points and 13 rebounds and 17 points and seven rebounds. On Wednesday, Peters scored 15 points to go with 13 rebounds and four steals in a Black Tornado victory.
"She has a lot of skill but also has a lot of toughness," North head coach Tim Karrick said. "What I like about her is she has been a great leader, and when your best player steps up every day in practice and helps everyone get better it makes a coach's job easier."
The Owls, led by Meredith, are 10-4 this season and went 21-10 last year. OIT, located in Klamath Falls, competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.
"I feel like (Meredith) has a very strong team," Peters said.
Oregon Tech's tallest players are junior Kassi Conditt (6-2), freshman Michelle Cottier (6-2), junior Heidi Halemeier (6-1) and freshman Tess Armstrong (5-11).
Peters said she will play as a freshman.
"I thought I might have to move out to a wing, but (Meredith) plans on playing me at the four or five," Peters said.
Now that her decision has been made, Peters said she is relieved but still eager to prove herself.
"I am not just going to OIT just because," Peters said. "I want to prove I can play there."
Reach Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email email@example.com