Local athletes to sign with major programs

At least three Carson Country athletes will sign with major college programs today. But they certainly won't be the last of the athletes to sign with major college programs before the end of this school year.

Today is the first day of the fall signing period and among those who said they would be signing is Douglas High's Austin Graham, who will sign to play baseball with the University of Nevada.

Carson High catcher Owen Brolsma has also verbally committed to Nevada. Brolsma said he expects to sign with the Wolf Pack within the next week.

Two Galena athletes will sign with Division I programs today. Galena catcher Steve LeRud will sign with Santa Clara while Joanna Hixon will sign to play basketball at Montana State.

Several other Carson Country athletes should sign with major programs during the course of this school year, whether it be this fall, during the winter signing period that begins in February or the spring signing period that begins in April.

One athlete who will sign later this year is Emily Haas, who has verbally committed to the University of San Diego. Haas will sign with that school when the volleyball signing period begins in February.

Graham, a left-handed pitcher and right-handed hitter, said he also wanted the chance to play as a fielder in college. Graham said Nevada will give him the chance to be a "two-way" player as a fielder and a pitcher.

The most logical situation would be for Graham to be used as an outfielder and a relief pitcher. With Brolsma also attending Nevada, it's possible that the Wolf Pack could have an all-Carson Country battery in the near future.

"They wanted to me to go both ways," said Graham, who was also recruited by San Francisco, Long Beach State and UNLV. "That's what I really wanted."

Another reason why he chose Nevada is Brolsma is also going there, Graham said. Graham said his goal is to start as a freshman.

But Graham he knows it's a big jump from high school to college and said he will need to become faster and stronger.

"And mainly to get mentally prepared to play," said Graham about entering college. "It's a big step from high school to college baseball. You've got to be mentally prepared or you want make it."

Graham said he's glad to be signing early. "I'm glad it's over," he said. "It's a big load off of my shoulders."


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