The more colleges Sehome soccer star Emily Webster visited during the past year, the more she knew home was where her heart was.
Webster verbally committed to Western Washington University seven months ago and Wednesday morning, Feb. 5, she made her decision to become a Viking official.
"I visited seven or eight California schools and some other schools around the state and talked to a lot of coaches over the years, but nothing really excited me as much as Western," Webster said in a phone interview. "I wanted to go to Western since I was 15, and I guess the exposure to other schools kept proving Western was the school I wanted to go to."
Webster missed much of last season nursing a plantar fasciitis injury, but she still scored six goals with four assists. The goal-compiling midfielder recorded a combined 42 goals and 21 assists during her first three years and helped the Mariners win a state title as a freshman.
Webster will reunite with former Sehome standout Jessica Bertucci, who played a major role during WWU's national run last year. She also has great familiarity with coach Travis Connell.
"It's very exciting," Webster said. "I've played with Jessica a lot and we played in middle school, too. I've also played with Catherine Miles in club soccer and to reconnect with those girls will be exciting."
Webster said she believes Connell will play her either on defense or in the midfield.
She was one of several Whatcom County athletes to make their collegiate destinations official Wednesday.
Standout Sehome track athlete Sarah Dolese signed her letter of intent to compete at Division I Montana State University. Dolese won a state title as a member of the Mariners 4x200 relay team last spring, placed second in the 200 meters and took fourth in the 100.
Also in track, Bellingham's Alyssa Porter committed to Division I University of Nevada, Reno. Porter won a state title last year in the 100 meters in a time of 12.42 seconds. She also ran a leg in Bellingham's winning 4x100 relay team and placed eighth in the 200 meters.
Other Whatcom County commits were Meridian's Taylor Lunde (Pacific Lutheran) and Blaine's Olivia Olason (Edmonds Community College) in soccer, Lynden's Stephanie Somers (Idaho State) in women's basketball, Sehome's Drew Lomsdalen (Bellevue College) and Bellingham's Oscar White (Bellevue College) in baseball, Bellingham's Jenn Paul (WWU) in women's golf and Avery West (Utah State) in men's tennis.
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
A look at the Whatcom County student athletes who either have signed National Letters of Intent or are planning to be student athletes in college:
Student athlete High school Sport College
Spencer Blackburn Meridian Football Eastern Washington
Sarah Dolese Sehome Track Montana State
Drew Lomsdalen Sehome Baseball Bellevue Community College
Taylor Lunde Meridian Soccer Pacific Lutheran
Olivia Olason Blaine Soccer Edmonds Community College
Jenn Paul Bellingham Golf Western Washington
Jalani Phelps Lynden Football Eastern Washington
Alyssa Porter Bellingham Track Nevada-Reno
Stephanie Somers Lynden Basketball Idaho State
Emily Webster Sehome Soccer Western Washington
Avery West Sehome Tennis Utah State
Oscar White Bellingham Baseball Bellevue Community College
Daniel Ziegler Sehome Football South Dakota School of Mines
NOTE: To report a Whatcom County student athlete that is planning to continue their playing career in college, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2286.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.