Typically out chasing birdies on the golf course, South Medford senior Reese Fisher pursued an even bigger prize this past December and wound up making the most of his experience at the AJGA Senior Showcase in Las Vegas.
Fisher, the reigning Class 6A boys state champion, caught the eye of the Weber State University golf coaches and parlayed a fifth-place tie into an NCAA Division I FCS scholarship opportunity with the Wildcats. He is set to make it official Thursday during a 9 a.m. signing ceremony at South Medford High.
“After talking with them, I feel like they really want me and they know that I can help out the team, so I’m really excited,” said Fisher.
Fisher’s signing is one of a handful from the area after the spring letter of intent signing period opened Wednesday.
At Ashland High, Myla Norvell will be signing to play volleyball at Western Oregon during a 3:30 p.m. ceremony Thursday. Norvell has shown her versatility as libero and outside hitter in recent years for the Grizzlies.
St. Mary’s High continued its recent tradition of recognizing all its signings in the spring, with Bryce Bramscher (football) committing as a preferred walk-on at Oregon State University, Ellie Pitcher (rowing) signing with Loyola Marymount University, Staesha Flock (women’s golf) committing to Concordia University and baseball players Travis Danielson (Davis and Elkins College), Joe Johnson (Vanguard University) and Ben Robinson (Lewis and Clark College) all committing to play at the next level.
Last spring, Fisher secured the first state title by a South Medford boys golfer and first large-school title out of Medford since Mike Barry won the 4A crown in 2005 at North Medford High. Fisher won by one stroke with a two-day total of 142 (69-73), rolling in a 5-foot putt to seal the deal in the 6A state tournament.
When it came time to look at college options, Fisher said Weber State was on his short list of destinations. After he contacted the school, men’s golf head coach Scott Erling agreed to come watch him in Las Vegas.
“They weren’t really looking for anybody but they were willing to come watch me, and I guess they liked me and we followed up from there,” said Fisher, who shot consecutive rounds of 72 in the 77-player event to tie for fifth at 144.
One month later, Fisher visited the Ogden, Utah, campus and immediately felt at home.
“They have a great facility and I just loved the place,” said Fisher. “It seemed like a great place to be. Everything I felt I wanted in a college was there.”
“They haven’t had the greatest last few years,” he added, “but the coach says they’re getting better and hopefully I can make them that much better to maybe win a conference championship.”
Weber State competes in the Big Sky Conference. In November, the Wildcats also signed a pair of international players for the 2017-18 season, Oliver Drew from England and Raphael Even-Hen of Canada.
Bramscher, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver and safety, hauled in 50 receptions for 1,281 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Crusaders, who finished 6-4 at the Class 3A level and advanced to the state playoffs for the first time in 22 years.
Bramscher, who expects to play tight end at OSU, was a second-team all-state selection at receiver this past season. He is also a standout contributor in basketball and baseball for the Crusaders.
Flock finished second to teammate Kamryn Ford in last year’s Class 4A/3A/2A/1A girls golf state championships as they helped the Crusaders to their first girls golf team title since 2009.
Danielson is a 6-3, 190-pound right-handed pitcher and Class 3A second-team all-state third baseman who helped St. Mary’s to a 27-2 record and a state semifinal berth. Danielson batted .489 with 42 runs and 36 RBIs and went 5-0 with a 0.66 ERA.
The Davis & Elkins Senators compete in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference and are coached by Mason Heyne, who worked in Ashland before being hired to take over the Senators’ program last January.
Danielson will be joined by Ashland senior standout Nick Sanderson as part of the Senators’ recruiting class.
Johnson was a first-team all-state first baseman last year for St. Mary’s while Robinson was a second-team all-state utility player.
Johnson batted .460 with 46 runs, 25 RBIs and six home runs to go with a 7-0 pitching record and 0.98 ERA, while Robinson hit .354 with 19 runs and 29 RBIs last spring.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry