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LOCAL REPORT: Four area athletes sign with colleges

Several local high school athletes signed letters of intent this week to compete in college, including a South Medford football player who will join his brother in the Pac-12 Conference.

South Medford tight end Carson Cota signed with Arizona during a ceremony Friday that included two other signings, for football player Jalen Steadmon and wrestler Lucas Rivera.

At North Medford, football player Danny Cossette inked with Western Oregon University during a ceremony at the school Wednesday.

Cota, the brother of UCLA wide receiver Chase Cota and the son of former Oregon and NFL safety Chad Cota, is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds. He was chosen first-team all-Southern Oregon Conference after helping the Panthers to a 4-1 record this spring.

Carson Cota led South Medford with 12 catches for 226 yards, an 18.8 average, and three touchdowns.

Steadmon, who is headed to Southern Oregon University, was a major contributor to the Panthers’ success as well. The 6-5, 310-pound offensive and defensive lineman was first-team all-SOC on offense.

Rivera, who competed at the Class 6A state championships as a 152-pound junior in 2020, will wrestle for Corban University in Salem. He placed third last year in the Southwest Conference championships, winning his final match by fall.

Cossette will also head north to play for WOU in Monmouth. He’ll be a place-kicker for the Wolves after a versatile career with the Black Tornado, for which he was a first-team all-SOC defensive back and played wide receiver.

Cossette made 10 field goals and 84 point-after kicks the past two years. He received honorable mention for kicking in all-SOC voting as a senior.

American Legion Baseball

The Medford Mustangs American Legion AAA team begins its season tonight during a four-game, three-day tournament in Fairfield, California.

The schedule features more than 30 games, including the home opener against the Grants Pass Nuggets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Community Park.

The Mustangs are managed by Nate Mayben and the 18-man roster features players from North Medford, South Medford, Ashland, Eagle Point and Phoenix high schools.

Last season, COVID-19 forced Medford to play an independent schedule and prevented an opportunity to chase its seventh straight Oregon championship.

The Mustangs went 33-17 and finished off the summer with a 5-1 win over the Humboldt Eagles in the final of the West Coast Invitational Baseball Classic.

South Medford's Carson Cota, seen here celebrating a touchdown against North Medford, signed a letter of intent to play at Arizona in the fall. (Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune)