The Garden City was well represented on Wednesday’s National Signing Day, with area preps penning their commitments to compete at the collegiate level.
Missoula Sentinel leads the way with 12 students signing to play a sport in the college ranks and each of the five high schools in town have confirmed commits.
For the Spartans, Mitch Roberts will get to play the role of hometown hero when he suits up for the University of Montana football team next fall. Roberts -- whose brother, Ben, was a Griz wideout for one year after four years playing baseball at Washington State -- was Sentinel's quarterback. Mitch might make the field at Washington-Grizzly Stadium the same way as his brother.
“I went to (the Grizzlies)’ summer camp and I played some receiver there and I did alright at it I guess, so they thought they’d recruit me as a wide receiver,” Roberts said during the high school football season.
Sentinel’s Madeline Hamilton is also staying close to home, opting to run cross country and track for her hometown university. Hamilton finished 10th at the state cross country meet last year, adding to her all-state accolades in both the 800 and 1600 meter races in track.
Hamilton’s high school teammate, Molly MacDonald, will become her rival next fall. MacDonald committed to MSU. The newly signed Bobcat was an all-state runner in cross country and track, too, and she finished fifth at the state cross country meet.
Montana Tech nabbed three Sentinel football players and a golfer. Spencer Schock, Ethan Jones and Ryan Findley will all head to Butte in the fall to take the gridiron. Sean Ramsbacher, last year’s runner up at the Class AA state golf tournament, will also become an Oredigger.
Conner Crawford and Emily Earl round out Sentinel grads who will stay in state next fall. Crawford committed to play football at MSU Northern. Earl will cheer at UM Western, Montana’s only university that offers cheer leading as a varsity sport.
Chelsea Bone, the setter for the undefeated state champion Sentinel volleyball team, is heading out of state. She committed to play at Dominican University in San Rafael, California.
Sentinel soccer stars, Syd Steele and Brittany Delridge each committed to play college out of state, too. Steele will attend the University of North Florida. Delridge – recovering from an ACL tear she sustained early in her varsity season last fall – will head west where she’ll join Eastern Washington’s soccer program.
Delridge was Montana's Gatorade Player of the Year in girls' soccer her junior season.
Missoula Big Sky was next in total number of recruits. The Eagles had three recruits, although more were in talks with colleges as of Wednesday, according to Big Sky athletic director Jennifer Courtney.
Adam Zimmer headlines the class for the Eagles. The All-American swimmer in the breast stroke will become a Duke Blue Devil in the fall.
“There’s definitely a lot of fast swimmers at that level, and it’s awesome to see him break into that level and get ready to go,” Missoula Aquatic Club coach Jay Friend said.
Big Sky’s KJ Swanson will wrestle at Eastern Oregon and David Hann will become teammates with some Spartans on the Montana Tech football team.
Missoula Hellgate had several student athletes still in talks with colleges, but Cale Berkoff knows where he'll be in the fall. The all-state swimmer and one of the top back stroke swimmers in Montana history will be at the University of Minnesota for schooling and swimming.
Loyola Sacred Heart’s Ken Roth signed to play football at Carroll College. The 5-foot-11, 195 pound defensive end was all-state for the Class B runners up.
Valley Christian’s Cheyenne Jones rounds out Missoula’s commits. Jones holds the state's single-match record for kills with 51. She committed to the University of Texas El Paso after the high school season.
As more local student athletes commit through the spring season, stay up to date at missoulian.com