LYNDEN - The Lynden School District meeting room at the high school was nearly bursting at the seams.
That's what happens when you try to cram all the seniors at Lynden planning to move on to play college athletics, their families, friends and coaches in an average-sized board room - even a gymnasium would have been a little cramped.
While four football players signing NCAA Division I National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, Feb. 6, caught the headlines, it is only part of the story. No fewer than 11 current Lions have already signed to continue their athletic careers at college, and chances are a few more will join them before graduation this spring.
And on Wednesday, Lynden honored all 11 - most of whom proudly displayed their new college colors - for their achievements with a short ceremony and picture-taking session.
"Obviously, this is very special for us," Lynden Mike McKee said at the start of the ceremony. "To have 11 student athletes move on is pretty amazing alone, but to be a Class 2A school of about 800 students, it makes it extraordinary. We feel very blessed to have so many college-level athletes who are also great students. I think this is a credit to the kids and all the hard work they have put in, but also to the parents who have worked so hard to support them."
The list of Lynden college athletes included Maddi Hommes, who made her decision to play volleyball at Bellevue College only hours earlier.
"I'm just glad I came to a decision that I feel very comfortable with," Hommes said.
Hommes is not the only Lion moving on to Bellevue, though, as Brooke Bonsen had already signed to pitch for the softball team a few weeks earlier.
"It's really amazing we have so many seniors moving on athletically," Bonsen said. "We've all worked really hard, and I think so many of us deserved it. It's good to see it coming true."
Also honored on Wednesday were Luke Christianson (Lower Columbia College baseball), Marcus Fakkema (University of Great Falls lacrosse), Devon Kollmyer (Simon Fraser soccer), Tanner Olson (Lower Columbia College baseball) and Dak Shagren (Northwest University basketball).
And that's not counting football players Josh Kraght (Portland State), Matt Meyer (Washington State), Caleb Newman (Army) and Zach Vis (Montana).
"I'm really proud of the seniors in this class," Kollmyer said. "We had a lot of really good coaches and really good athletes here in Lynden. A lot of us have been playing together since we were young, and it's neat to see everybody moving on."
Of course, the bad thing about seeing them move on is that they soon will no longer be wearing Lynden green and yellow.
"They're not even gone, and I already miss them," McKee said.
But the mark this year's senior class has left on the Lynden athletic record books won't soon be forgotten.
"The neat thing, I think, is that we have so many people moving on in so many different sports," Fakkema said. "It just shows how good this senior class was at so many different things."
Reach DAVID RASBACH at email@example.com or call 715-2271.