Area’s best football, soccer players sign letters of intent

Three Clark County football players going Division-I; soccer standouts head to Pac-12

Three high school football players from Clark County signed with Division I football programs Wednesday and some soccer players made it official with Pac-12 programs.

Those were the top highlights of the traditional Signing Day, the first Wednesday of February when football and soccer players can sign their letters of intent.

Several high schools throughout Clark County celebrated with ceremonies Wednesday. Many of the schools also highlighted athletes in other sports. However, in many cases, athletes in other sports could have signed as early as last November. Today’s story will focus on football and soccer.

Division I football

Skyview’s Cole Grossman said he loves the outdoors, was impressed with the facilities, and he got a warm welcome from the coaches, making Montana the “perfect” fit.

“Everything felt right, I would say,” said Grossman, who expects to play tight end for the Grizzlies. “The coaches made it feel like they really wanted me. They were committed to putting me in a spot where I’ll succeed.”

college. He signed with Montana. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin
college. He signed with Montana. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin

Grossman was one of the most sought-after athletes from the region heading into the football season. That can be both good and bad. Grossman acknowledged the recruiting process was “very stressful.”

The stress is gone now, adding that he hopes to play right away at Montana rather than using a redshirt season.

There also was some talk early in the recruiting process that he could have played defense. Nope. Not now, anyway.

“I want to have fun scoring touchdowns,” Grossman said.

At Union High School, two Titans signed to become Eagles. Zion Fa’aopega and Aiden Nellor are part of Eastern Washington’s signing class.

“From the beginning, they have always been there,” said Fa’aopega, a defensive end. “The love they have shown me is appreciated. The feeling is mutual.

Aiden Nellor (87) and Zion Fa’aopega, teammates from Union, will continue to be teammates in college. Both signed with Eastern Washington University. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin
Aiden Nellor (87) and Zion Fa’aopega, teammates from Union, will continue to be teammates in college. Both signed with Eastern Washington University. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin

“This is such a big deal for me and my family.”

Nellor, a tight end, said he was about 85 to 90 percent certain he would go to EWU. It became a sure thing once he visited the campus.

“The coaches were awesome. The teammates were awesome. The facilities amazing. It’s a family environment,” Nellor said.

“The fact that I get to continue my career … it’s an unbelievable thing to say. I’m just very blessed.”

Oh, Nellor also said he and Fa’aopega intend to be roommates, to bring a little bit of the Titan unity to Cheney.

Pac-12 soccer

Among the top soccer athletes in the region are MaKayla Woods of Union, Trinity Paulsen of Hockinson, and Dominic Fewel of Camas.

Camas soccer standout Dominic Fewel is going to the Pac-12. He signed with Oregon State. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin
Camas soccer standout Dominic Fewel is going to the Pac-12. He signed with Oregon State. Photo courtesy of Kris Cavin

Woods and Paulsen will be teammates at the University of Washington.

“I wanted somewhere that not only felt like home but the soccer program was really, really good and they cared about soccer,” Woods said.

“This means so much. This is my long-term goal,” she added. “The Pac-12 is one of the best leagues in the entire nation.”

 

Union soccer standout MaKayla Woods gives the W sign after she signed with the University of Washington. Photo by Paul Valencia
Union soccer standout MaKayla Woods gives the W sign after she signed with the University of Washington. Photo by Paul Valencia

 

Paulsen told ClarkCountyToday.com last fall that she always believed she could make it to the Pac-12.

“I always thought I could do this,” she said. “I never thought otherwise.”

Fewel was one of several athletes who was recognized at Camas on Wednesday. He signed with Oregon State.

More athletes select their school

Among the other highlights of Signing Day, former Camas quarterback Jack Colletto, who graduated in 2017 then spent last fall at Arizona Western Junior College, signed with Oregon State to play Pac-12 football. 

At Hockinson, state champion quarterback Canon Racanelli made it official, signing with Central Washington. 

At Columbia River, Beau Braden was expected to sign at Washington State as a preferred walk-on to the Pac-12 program. Koben Jamison, meanwhile, was expected to go to Western Oregon, and Nathan Kunz was expected to pick Montana Tech.

At Hudson’s Bay, lineman Angel Terry was expected to head to Central Washington. 

La Center’s Jack Hiller had already made it known his intention to play football for Montana Tech. 

Back at Union, Kiani Pandoliano will play women’s soccer at Southern Oregon. Isabelle Morales will play women’s soccer at Concordia University. In football, Riley Miller will be headed to Pacific University, David MacDonald is going to Southern Oregon, and Tyrek McCullum is going to Western Oregon. 

Back at Skyview, Tavis Pinkney will play football at Western Oregon University. Julianne Hutley will play soccer at George Fox.

From Battle Ground, Aksel Fridriksson will be headed to Western Oregon for football. He was featured in August:

At Heritage, Robert Meadors will go north of the border to play football for Simon Fraser University.

At Mountain View, Jessie Selby will play women’s soccer at Southern Oregon. In football, Zeek Fromel will play at Montana Tech and Joey Roberts will play Rocky Mountain College. 

At Woodland, four-year starting quarterback Wyatt Harsh signed with Western Oregon.

Back at Camas, Perrin Belzer will play women’s soccer at Grand Canyon University. Joshua Schneider will play men’s soccer at Willamette University.

Back at Hockinson, Jennifer Baertlein will play women’s soccer at Central Washington. Alivia Quitugua will play women’s soccer at Southern Oregon. Matt Henry is expected to play football and baseball at George Fox University.

Note

Today’s story focuses on football and soccer players going to four-year programs. By the end of the school year, ClarkCountyToday.com hopes to have a list of all athletes from all schools who will continue on at 4- or 2-year programs. Coaches, athletic directors, and parents can send info to Paul Valencia at paul.v@clarkcountytoday.com

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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