Stephanie Somers' basketball coach during the summer told her that when the day came for her to choose a college, it would be like "Christmas morning."
That day came Wednesday, Nov. 13, when the Lynden senior guard signed her letter of intent to Division-I Idaho State University to play basketball for the Bengals.
The moment when her pen hit the paper was a validating one for the guard, who led Lynden to a 13-10 record in 2012.
"It was a lot of feelings of accomplishment," said Somers, who is also an outside hitter for the state-bound Lynden volleyball team. "I basically worked my whole life in basketball to get to this point, and just knowing that I accomplished my dreams. ... I was just really happy."
Somers ranked eighth in the Northwest Conference in scoring, averaging 11.8 points per game as a junior en route to a first-team All-NWC selection.
The decision was difficult, Somers said, with her final visit to Idaho State swaying her away from Seattle Pacific, her other top choice. It helped, too, that the Bengals' coach, Seton Sobolewski, told Somers he had plans for her to play immediately upon joining the program.
"Going into it, they are in need of a shooter right now because they have been lacking those the past couple years, so they said going in to it that's what they need, and that's what I want to help them out with," Somers said. "They told from the beginning that I have a chance to play if I work hard."
Idaho State finished 18-13 overall last year, with a 13-7 record in the Big Sky Conference. Its season came to an end in the first round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament 69-54 to Brigham Young University.
The decision to move on from Lynden, and the state of Washington, was one that weighed heavily on Somers, although some family encouragement helped ease her trepidation about leaving.
"My family has always pushed me to go out and experience the world outside of Washington and Lynden and what I know," Somers said. "I'm kind of nervous and scared, but excited, (too)."
Reach Alex Bigelow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2271. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports news