Fernley four sign LOIs | NevadaAppeal.com

Fernley four sign LOIs

Steve Puterski
From left are Fernley's Justice Ackerson, Kevin Montgomery, Gavin Henderson and Shane Kelso. Each signed their National Letter of Intent on Tuesday at Fernley High School.
Special to the LVN | LVN

A quartet of Fernley standouts are taking the next step.

Shane Kelso, Gavin Henderson, Kevin Montgomery and Justice Ackerson all signed their National Letters of Intent on Tuesday during a ceremony at Fernley High School.

Kelso and Henderson signed for baseball, Montgomery in football and Ackerson will compete in golf.

Kelso, though, will make a short trip to his new home on the diamond of Western Nevada College in Carson City.

Henderson signed with Arizona Western College in Yuma, Montgomery inked with Eastern Oregon University and Ackerson will swing the sticks for Southwestern Community College.

Henderson is having a standout season as the senior is hitting .426 with five doubles, five RBIs and six stolen bases in 16 games.

Henderson’s soon-to-be new club, AWC, competes in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference and boasts a 28-19 record this season.

Upon his visit to the campus, Henderson said he felt at home. Despite receiving interest from Youngstown State (Ohio), Butte College (Calif.), Colorado Mesa and several others, the Fernley shortstop opted for Arizona Western and a 50 percent scholarship.

“The scenery is just amazing and the field is even better,” Henderson said. “It’s one of the best fields I’ve ever seen, and that right there, I wanted to play on that field. We met the coach … and he really sold the college to me and my family.”

Montgomery has been a three-year varsity player for Chris Ward’s football team and was the starting quarterback last season. Montgomery led the Vaqueros to a 7-2 league mark, 7-4 overall, and a third-place finish in the Northern Division I-A.

He completed 52 of 98 passes for 1,113 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran for 394 yards and four TDs.

Montgomery, who will play quarterback at EOU, developed a relationship with the coaching staff over the years as EOU held several camps in Northern Nevada. He visited the school in La Grande and the small class size appealed to Montgomery.

“We went up there in late October and checked out a game … and I liked it up there,” Montgomery said. “They didn’t give me much time to say yes or no. What they wanted is me to know by the end of December because they didn’t want to go out and find another quarterback.”

Kelso is in the midst of a solid season for the Vaqueros baseball with a .395 average. He has tallied 15 RBIs, five doubles, two triples and one home run.

On the mound, Kelso is 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 16 walks in three appearances.

For Henderson, Montgomery and Kelso, Tuesday’s signings mark the end of their boyhood journey and now begins their paths in college.

“Since we were little we played football and little league,” Henderson said. “It’s a dream come true for all of us.”

Ackerson, meanwhile, has been Fernley’s top golf the past two years. This season his scoring average is an 83.3 and is again in contention to qualify for the DI-A state tournament.

In three tournaments this season — results for Wednesday and Thursday’s events in Elko and Spring Creek, respectively, were not available — Ackerson has carded rounds of 82, 84 and 84.

Last year, Ackerson finished tied for 12th at state with a two-day total of 161 and was the top Northern individual from a non-qualifying team.