While today is the first day of the winter signing period in which many elite high school football players from across the country make it official by inking a letter-of-intent with the top college programs, the recruiting process with numerous local athletes remains ongoing.
Many of the local athletes who are being recruited should be making decisions on their future in the spring.
Several Carson High baseball seniors should be making a decision about their future this spring. Among them is Tony Fagan, one of Northern Nevada's top players, who could be a two-way player at the next level as a pitcher and outfielder. Among the schools that are showing interest in Fagan is the University of Arizona from the Pac-10.
Pitchers Kyle Mandoki and Nick Smallman could also move on to the next level. Western Nevada Community College is showing interest in Mandoki while several Division II schools are showing interest in Smallman. Brooks Greenlee has already signed with WNCC, who recruited him as a catcher.
WNCC has only eight returning players for 2008 and Wildcat coach D.J. Whittemore said he wants to carry a roster of 34 players. With 17 players committed for next season, that leaves room for about nine more players to be recruited.
The Wildcats still have a heavy need for pitching. Whittemore said of the nine spots remaining, one could be filled by a position player and one could be filled by another catcher, with the rest filled by pitchers.
Whittemore said he's recruiting players from Arizona, Idaho, Utah and Canada. WNCC is also recruiting a number of Northern Nevada players.
They include McQueen shortstop/third baseman Brian Barnett, who hit 17 home runs last year in helping to lead the Lancers to the NIAA 4A State Tournament. There's also pitchers Donald Broderick from Damonte Ranch and Wooster's Scott Green. WNCC is also showing interest in catchers Basim Azzam from Galena and North Valley's Van Love.
One player who WNCC has a high interest in is Galena's Eric Maupin, a pitcher who's considered to be a prospect to develop a fastball in the 90-miler per hour range. "We're definitely going to recruit him," Whittemore said.
"We'll go out and do the bulk of the recruiting in late May and early June," Whittemore also said.
But other schools are also showing interest in Maupin for baseball, including Gonzaga and Pepperdine. Originally, Pepperdine showed interest in Maupin in basketball as well and Galena coach Tom Mauer said Maupin could be a Division I prospect in that sport.
"Maupin's got quickness," Mauer said. "He can get to the rim quicker than anyone else."
Another school who's showing interest in Maupin in basketball is Division II Sonoma State. But Mauer said it now looks like Maupin is going to pursue baseball.
As far as Galena's other basketball players, Mauer said Tristan Hill is receiving interest from Division I schools The Citadel in South Carolina and High Point in North Carolina. Numerous Division II and NAIA schools are showing considerable interest in Hill as well.
Mauer said Lassen Community College is showing considerable interest in Brice Crook. Point guard J.D. Peters, who has a 4.0 grade point average and will likely be Galena's valedictorian, won't continue his playing career, but will continue his academic career at one of the nation's most prestigious universities, Vanderbilt in Nashville.
Mauer said Peters hasn't receive enough credit for his play. "He's my most valuable player," Mauer said. "I would send him anywhere. He's keeping the pieces together."
Then there's Luke Babbitt, who Mauer said will make a non-binding verbal commitment some time after the season is over and before this summer. Babbitt has narrowed his choices down to Ohio State, Gonzaga, Arizona, UCLA and Nevada.
Another local athlete who should continue his career in soccer is Carson's Zach Weismann. He's attended camps in Washington, UNLV and will attend a camp at Sacramento State.
Among the schools that showed interest in Weismann in Washington was Northwest University, an NAIA school in Kirkland, Wash. Weismann said Northwest has offered him a partial scholarship.
He said he's undecided if he'll attend a school such as Northwest or try to play at a Division I program such as UNLV or Sacramento State.