Several local athletes commit to next level
Several local standouts secured their future plans Wednesday on national signing day, with players from Class 6A South Medford and North Medford to 3A St. Mary’s and Cascade Christian and all in between making their plans known among friends and family.
Western Oregon University picked up a pair of local commitments in South Medford linebacker James Duane and St. Mary’s receiver/defensive end Tre Foster.
The 6-foot-5 Foster was an all-state pick at the 3A level and is also a standout forward on the boys basketball team, while the 6-2, 195-pound Duane was a leading tackler for the Panthers and, among others, joins fellow former South Medford standout Jaylin Parnell at Western Oregon.
The Wolves earned their first share of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference crown in school history this past season at the Division II level, finishing 7-4 overall.
Cascade Christian senior Kiegan Schaan, an all-state selection at defensive back and quarterback, committed to George Fox University in Newberg, reuniting him with older brother Haiden, who is currently a sophomore quarterback for the Bruins.
Cobey Aldrich, an all-state linebacker and tight end at St. Mary’s, also committed to George Fox, while North Medford quarterback Brennan Stults will have a commitment ceremony Thursday to sign with the Bruins.
George Fox, in its sixth season back since returning from a program hiatus, went 5-5 this past season in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference.
Nolan Rinefort, a 5A all-state defensive back and receiver, and receiver Gabe Ekwall of Ashland High joined North Medford receiver Devyn Grafton in committing to Southern Oregon University on Wednesday.
The Raiders finished last season 4-7 overall and 4-6 in Frontier Conference play at the NAIA level.
Ashland’s all-state quarterback, Rieger Sayre, did not have an official signing Wednesday but said that he has committed to Butte Community College in Oroville, California. The Roadrunners went 8-3 this past season.