Locals set to sign with major programs

The University of Nevada has taken some criticism for not recruiting enough local athletes.

But with the first day of the fall signing period upon us today, the Wolf Pack have reached out to two local athletes who have decided to attend the school. Douglas High softball player Brittany Puzey and Galena High golfer Lux Gill are among the local senior athletes who are scheduled to sign today with Nevada.

Among other athletes who are scheduled to sign today is Galena High senior volleyball player Jenny Burrows, who will sign with Division II Seattle University.

Puzey is the second standout softball player for Douglas to commit to a major program. Earlier this fall, Kayla Dunn committed to top 25 power Georgia Tech.

Pac 10 power Stanford was among the schools that lost out to Nevada when Puzey made her choice.

"They were offering a pretty nice package," said Puzey about Stanford. "They were willing to pay for a pretty big chunk of school."

A large number of schools recruited Puzey, who narrowed her list down to Penn State, Wisconsin, Stanford, Pacific and Nevada. But in the end, Nevada coach Michelle Gardner won over Puzey. "I love coach Gardner," Puzey said. "That was a big difference."

Jim Puzey, Brittany's father who has served as a coach at Douglas said he was "one very surprised father to be honest with you" when his daughter chose Nevada.

But he also said the choice "made dad happy" that she's "staying close to home. I left it up to her.

"I certainly think it worked out well. She thoroughly enjoyed her visit there. I'm certainly glad it worked out the way it did. It's good to finally have some resolution. I know that she's glad it's over with and that she's very comfortable where she's at."

"It was tiring and it was kind of stressful," said Brittany about the recruiting process. "I'm just glad I figured out everything."

All five of the schools that Puzey considered recruited her as an outfielder. But Nevada hasn't ruled out using Puzey as a pitcher as well. "I should be able to come in and do some good things."

Gill was the NIAA 4A state champion as a junior and took second in the state this fall. "She's a phenomenol golfer," Galena athletic director Teresa Burrows said.

"She's just going to get better and better. She hits the long ball extremely well. She's a real consistent player."

Burrows, a 6-0 middle blocker, should continue to play in that position at Seattle. Among other schools who looked at Burrows were Nevada and Division II Regis in Denver.

"I think it fits her personally well," said Teresa Burrows, who is also Galena's volleyball coach, about Jenny's decision. "She loves the team, the coaches. They really wanted her. She felt that would be a great place to continue her career.

Even though Seattle is limited in the financial aid it can offer, coach Burrows said the school offered Jenny an attractive package.

In 14 league matches this season, Burrows had 110 kills and a .323 hitting percentage, 17 aces, 112 digs and 58 blocks.

Two other local athletes who will likely be making decisions in the spring will be Carson High graduates Tony Teixeira and Rodney Black, who are both sophomores with the Cerro Coso Community College in Ridgecrest, Calif.

Cerro Coso coach Dick Adams, who served as an assistant coach for Ron McNutt for seven years, said he expects Teixeira and Black to both sign with Division II schools in the spring.

Teixeira, a 2003 Carson graduate, is a versatile performer, who can catch and play first base. As a freshman last year, Teixeira hit near the .400 mark for most of the year, and earned all-conference second team honors as a utility player.

Black, a 2002 Carson graduate, is also a versatile utility player, an outstanding defensive infielder with speed.

Among other local athletes scheduled to sign today is Wooster High pitcher Jake Rasner, who transferred to Wooster from Carson after his sophomore year. Rasner is scheduled to sign with Nevada.


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