The good news for Whatcom Rangers coach Travis Connell is another of his pupils has earned a college scholarship.
The bad news is that with Ferndale senior forward Kelli Bannerman committing to play soccer for Saint Martin's, Connell will now have to try to find a way to stop her twice a year in his other job coaching the Western Washington University women's soccer program.
Bannerman said she committed in August and plans to sign a National Letter of Intent with the Saints when the signing period opens in February.
"It's pretty exciting," Bannerman said in a phone interview. "It took a lot of years to work for it, and it finally paid off."
Bannerman will receive basically a full-ride scholarship to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference school, where she plans to major in Criminal Justice and minor in Psychology.
Bannerman, who led the Golden Eagles with 10 goals and four assists and was selected first-team All-Northwest Conference, said she expects to play an attacking forward for the Saints, who finished 7-9-2 overall last fall and fifth in the GNAC standings.
She said she originally was thinking about attending the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, but decided to stay closer to home.
"I like that Saint Martin's is small," Bannerman said. "I went to Assumption for grade school, so I liked that it was Catholic. I liked that campus, and I love the coach, and it just felt like the right fit."
She said that included the opportunity to return to Whatcom County at least once a year to face Western and her old coach.
"It's going to be real neat coming back to do that," Bannerman said. "Jessica Bertucci (who is a freshman at Western) and I are so excited. We've been friends for a long time. It will be fun. I know so many of the girls at Western from Rangers and things. I can't wait."
SHORT-MILLER CHOOSES HESSTON COLLEGE
Bellingham senior defender Rachel Short-Miller has decided to follow a family tradition and at Hesston (Kan.) College, electing to extend her soccer career there.
"Hesston is kind of a family school," Short-Miller said in a phone interview. "I have a lot of history there. My parents and my sister went there. Their soccer program started about five or six years ago, and it was perfect. I wanted to play soccer and go to college, and it just worked out really well."
Short-Miller signed her National Letter of Intent in early December.
Hesston, which is located about 30 miles north of Wichita, competes in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association, though Short-Miller said it often competes against schools with much bigger enrollment sizes.
She said she visited the campus and met with coach Bryan Kehr last year. She said she will likely play a midfielder/defender role with the Larks and plans to major in Health Sciences.
"This is something I've been waiting to do for a number of years, and I'm really excited," Short-Miller said.
WINTER POSTSEASON ALLOCATIONS
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Board reviewed and passed the proposed winter sports state playoff allocations for the 2012-14 classification cycle at its December meeting.
Under the new allocations, the Northwest District and two Class 2A schools from the Sea-King District will receive three berths to the boys' and girls' basketball regional rounds this season and four berths in 2012-13. The District 1/2 Tournaments will begin Feb. 8, with the boys' championship and third-place games scheduled for Feb. 16 at Mount Vernon and the girls' on Feb. 17.
As usual, the Northwest District will team together with the Sea-King and West Central districts to form a Class 1A tri-district, which will receive five boys' and girls' berths this season and six next year. The 1A Northwest District Tournaments will run from Feb. 4-9, while the tri-district tournaments will go from Feb. 12-16.
Ferndale will be competing for one of three Class 3A Northwest District berths to the regional round each year. District play in 3A opens on Feb. 5, with the girls' championship and third place game on Feb. 15 at Jackson High School and the boys' on Feb. 16.
Area 2A swimmers who do not post a state-qualifying mark will be aiming to finish among the top four in each event at the District 1/2 meet Feb. 9 at Anacortes to lock up a trip to the state meet.
As usual, wrestlers will earn their trips to state through regional qualifying tournaments on Feb. 9.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.