Bellingham High School senior Alice Hiebert says she’s dreamed of playing soccer for Western Washington since watching former Red Raider Claire Morgan stay close to home to play for the Vikings.
“It’s part of me – I wanted to go to that school, and I wanted to be a Viking,” Hiebert said.
On Friday, Hiebert made that dream a reality, signing her national letter of intent with Western Washington.
“I’m happy to play close to home,” said Hiebert, who chose her hometown school over Humboldt State in Arcata, Calif. “The transition into college is going to be a lot easier for me than it will be for some people, knowing that my parents are close.”
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Hiebert did everything possible to make sure her on-field transition was equally easy. She bypassed her senior season playing for Bellingham so she could focus on improving her strength and fitness. At a summer camp at Western Washington, she realized the importance of those factors at the collegiate level.
“It was eye-opening,” said Hiebert, who said she plans to major in nutrition. “It’s something I had never done before, but I’m already seeing the benefits during the spring season for my club team. I feel like I’m stronger on the ball.”
Hiebert, who will play midfielder and maybe a little on defense, will reunite with coaches she’s worked with in the Whatcom Rangers program. Vikings coach Travis Connell coached her for three years, and she’s worked with Vikings assistant Jamie Arthurs for five years.
Red Raiders’ Johnson heading to Colorado
Bellingham senior middle blocker Jocelyn Johnson signed her letter of intent to play volleyball at Colorado School of Mines on Friday.
The Orediggers are an NCAA Division II program that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The school is located in Golden.
Last season, Johnson was a second-team All-Northwest Conference selection and helped the Red Raiders reach the Class 2A State Tournament for the first time since 1991.
Ferndale baseball quartet signs letters
They’ve been playing baseball together since they were 9 or 10, so it only made sense they would celebrate moving on to the next stage of their playing careers together.
Four Ferndale senior players have signed their letters of intent over the past few months, and on Feb. 1, they celebrated their accomplishments together.
Maxwell Jeffrey’s signing with Corban, an NAIA West school in Salem, Ore., highlighted the group.
“I signed there because I love the program, love the coaches and I know I’m going to be able to grow academically, spiritually and athletically there,” Jeffrey said in a video produced by Ferndale following the celebration.
Jeffrey was a second-team All-Northwest Conference selection at shortstop as a junior.
The three other Ferndale signees will take the community college route. Matt James and Mason Shaw will head to Yakima Community College, and Buddy Juneau will play at Everett Community College.
James was a first-team All-NWC selection at catcher last year. Shaw expects to pitch at Everett, and Juneau was listed as an outfielder and pitcher as a Golden Eagles junior.
Blaine’s Kortlever lands at Kansas school
Blaine senior Jalen Kortlever signed to play football for Benedictine College, a member of the NAIA’s Heart of America Conference in Atchison, Kan.
Kortlever, who will play quarterback, said he chose Benedictine over Arizona Christian, Dakota State and Puget Sound.
“I visited a number of schools, and when it came down to it, they just didn’t feel like home as much as Benedictine did,” Korlever said.
Korlever said the Ravens utilize multiple styles to fit their personnel and their opposition.
“They do whatever it takes to win,” said Kortlever, who plans to major in business.
Kortlever, who played quarterback and defensive back for the Borderites, passed for 1,638 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and helped Blaine reach the Class 2A bi-district playoffs. He earned a second-team All-2A Northwest Conference honor.
Bellingham’s Lawrence signs with George Fox
Bellingham senior libero Sophia Lawrence signed a letter of intent to play volleyball and tennis at George Fox, an NCAA Division III school in Newberg, Ore., that plays in the Northwest Conference.
Lawrence was a first-team All-Northwest Conference selection after helping the Red Raiders reach the Class 2A State Tournament for the first time since 1991.
Bellingham’s Jones to play soccer in Olympia
Bellingham senior midfielder Morgan Jones signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Evergreen State on Friday.
Jones helped the Red Raiders advance to the Class 2A bi-district playoffs and get within one win of qualifying for state.
Blaine’s Kelstrup to play JC football in California
Blaine senior Austin Kelstrup signed his letter of intent to play football for College of the Canyons, a community college in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Kelstrup, a 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman, helped the Borderites rush for 1,559 yards and 22 touchdowns and reach the Class 2A bi-district playoffs last season. He earned a second-team All-2A Northwest Conference honor.
Bellingham’s Worley heads to Skagit
Bellingham senior goalkeeper Joe Worley signed his letter of intent to play soccer at Skagit Valley College on Friday.
Worley helped the Red Raiders post four shutouts and limit opponents to 0.94 goals per game in 2016. He was selected first-team All-Northwest Conference and helped Bellingham advance to the 2A bi-district playoffs.
Bellingham’s Pearson to swim in Oregon
Bellingham senior Brisen Pearson has signed to swim for Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay.
The Lakers competed against four-year colleges during the regular season before and will head to the National Junior College Athletic Association championships in March.
Whatcom County Class of 2017 signings
Skagit Valley College
Colorado School of Mines
College of the Canyons
Southwest Oregon CC
Skagit Valley College
NOTE: To report a Whatcom County student athlete who has or will sign national letter or intent to continue their athletic careers, call 360-715-2286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.