10 local softball players commited to College of the Redwoods during a press conference at the school on Monday. (Jose Quezada — For the Times-Standard).
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

The College of the Redwoods softball team held its largest single-day signing event in program history as 10 local players, all currently seniors in high school, committed to play softball at the college.

Fortuna High’s Paige Johnson; Eureka’s Briana Graham, Raime Young, Karyn Jensen, and Sadie Wilkinson; McKinleyville’s Jaycee Morais, Grace Rosebrook, McKenna Turner and McKenzie Gonsalves; and Del Norte’s Laycee Coopman all signed letters of commitment at the college Monday afternoon.

“I’ve been actively recruiting these players for a while now,” Redwoods head coach Maggie White said. “Some of them were a ‘yes,’ others a ‘no.’ But they all know each other so it was like when one said they wanted to come here, they all just started talking — most of them have known each other for years — and all of the sudden we had 10 girls wanted to sign together.”

Among the signees are multiple players likely to receive all-league recognition following the end of the season. Gonsalves, a pitcher, has started in and lead McKinleyville to the majority of its 18 wins so far in 2019. Wilkinson, a catcher for Eureka and the school’s Associated Student Body President, has a .333 batting average and two home runs to date this season and was the driving force behind Monday’s signing according to White and her soon-to-be teammates — leadership qualities which no doubt will transfer to her collegiate career. Her teammate, Jensen, has 35 hits, a .507 batting average and five home runs this season.

Just about all of Monday’s signees are top players on their individual teams — if not the entirety of the Humboldt-Del Norte League — and will join nine soon-to-be sophomores returning to Redwoods from last season.

White, now with 23 years at the helm for Redwoods, said Monday’s signing reminded her of how she felt during her first season with the team in 1997 — a year in which Redwoods won a conference championship.

“It feels like when I first started, I’m just very excited about this group. I have have been watching a lot of these girls play since they were eight or nine so I’m just really happy to have them.” White said. “I think the biggest difference in having a team as large as it will be this year is the competition we’ll be able to have within the team. I think that’s what has been missing with our small number over the past few years.”

Redwoods posted a 13-21 overall record in 2019, including a 9-11 mark in Golden Valley Conference play — good enough for a third-place finish in the six-team league.

White had led Redwoods to four GVC titles, the most recent of which came in 2006.

blog comments powered by Disqus