Sunday was a special morning for 13 future Western Nebraska Community College softball players. Eleven of the players, who were on campus over the weekend, signed letter-of-intents to continue their playing days with the Cougar softball program in 2018 in a special recruiting signing ceremony in the morning.
WNCC head coach Katelyn Groves said it was a special day, not only for the players, but for herself.
“Watching 11 of the 13 young ladies sign on campus was extremely special,” Groves said. “This is my first recruiting class at WNCC since I took over as the head coach. These young ladies have such passion and buy in for Cougar Softball already and it’s so exciting as a coach. Very thankful that they took the time to travel to Scottsbluff and spend this special day with us.”
Groves said all 13 future Cougars will bring a lot to the table next year.
“These young ladies have a high level of talent. They will bring a lot of passion, character, hustle and heart to the team next year,” Groves said. “Each of them has different strengths but the one thing they all have in common is their goals – they all want to be pushed and want to become the best student, softball player and person that they can become. They will be a fun group to watch, along with those returning to next year’s squad.”
The 11 players that made the trip to the Panhandle include three from Canada in Devon Rees, Royal Bay Secondary in British Columbia; Emma Glawson of Lambrick Park Secondary in British Columbia; and Hayley Gordon of Lambrick Park Secondary in British Columbia.
The Utah signees include Mickie Mills of Maple Mountain High in Spanish Fork, Utah; Madi Simons of Salem Hills High in Salem, Utah; Sidnee Hogan of Bingham High in South Jordan, Utah; and Bri George of Fremont High in Plain City, Utah.
Four players hail from Colorado. They include Jaila Johnson from Niwot High School in Niwot; Emma Flynn of Silver Creek High in Longmont; Kendall Glasgow of Rocky Mountain High in Ft. Collins; and Peyton Propp of Bear Creek High in Lakewood.
Two players couldn’t make the trip to Scottsbluff and signed at home. They include Lindsey Allie, a middle infielder from Tooele, Utah, and Hannah Baesler, a middle infielder from Northglenn, Colorado.
Here is a glimpse of what each 13 of the signees had to say about signing with WNCC and playing softball.
Bri George, who plays catcher and the corner infield comes from Plain City, Utah. George said she is glad to get the recruiting process out of the way. “It is crazy to know that it is over because the recruiting process is long and tedious and it is exciting to know that you have a place to go and you are welcome. It is pretty cool to finally have it done,” George said. “There were a lot of different factors that went in it. What came down to it was my biggest goals in life is I want to be the best person I can be and the best athlete I can be. I think I can do that here. I think I have the tools that I can use. Obviously, coach is amazing and I think this is the best place for me.”
Peyton Propp, who is a pitcher and outfielder, hails from Lakewood, Colorado, where she was a 5A Colorado All-state honorable mention selection. Propp went 9-9 this past fall with 130 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.96. Propp picked WNCC because of the welcoming feel she received. “On my visit, Coach Katie and Jolene [Martin, WNCC Admissions Recruiter] really welcomed me and my biggest thing when choosing a college is I wanted someplace that felt like home. As soon as I came to Scottsbluff, it really felt like home to me. Propp is extremely excited she gets to continue her softball playing days. “It is really exciting because I have been playing softball since I was really little and I just love this sport and now I get to go to college and continue to play with girls that I get to live with now. It will be exciting.”
Sidnee Hogan, who is a first-baseman and utility player from South Jordan, Utah, comes to WNCC having known Coach Groves for a while. Groves was her youth coach when she was on a 12-under team in Utah. Hogan is excited to be playing at WNCC. “When I was little, about 12 years old, Coach Groves introduced me to this program,” Hogan said. “And she told me what a perfect athlete was so I based coming here off that. When she gave me an opportunity to play for her, I couldn’t resist it.” Hogan said she couldn’t wait until she got here to sign to play for the Cougars. “I was counting the days of coming out here to sign,” she said. “I am really excited.”
Madison Simons, who plays third base, comes to WNCC from Salem, Utah. Simons said she is excited to continue her playing career at the next level. “It is way exciting. It is like a huge dream come true. It has always been a dream to go out of state and play softball,” she said. “When I get here, I will give all 110 percent of what I have and hopefully I will succeed of what Coach Groves wants me to do.”
Kendall Glasgow, who is a catcher and utility player from Ft. Collins, Colorado. Glasgow, who finished this fall with a .430 batting average with 20 RBIs, said playing college softball has been something she has always wanted to do. “I always knew for a long time that I wanted to go on and play college softball, so actually to be given the opportunity, I am really excited for it,” Glasgow said. “I am glad the recruiting process is over. It took a while. For me it is not that tedious; it is for me when I got to a school to visit, I automatically knew if I liked it or not. When I came here, I knew this is where I wanted to be. It wasn’t a hard choice.”
Haylee Gordon, who is a catcher from British Columbia, Canada, said she is excited to come down from Canada to play softball at WNCC. “I really like the coach, who I met in Colorado,” Gordon said. “I also like the small school because it is a lot like home. I am also coming from two other teammates from Canada so I will be more comfortable.”
Mickie Mills, who is a pitcher and also plays corner infield from Spanish Fork, Utah, came to WNCC because of the coach and the small-school feel. “When I came for my visit, I liked how the atmosphere felt. I also liked how everybody knew each other because it was a smaller campus,” Mills said. Mills comes to WNCC having batted .467 as a junior at Maple Mountain High School with 22 runs scored, 12 RBIs, nine doubles and five home runs.
Emma Flynn, who is a middle infielder from Longmont, Colorado, said she came to WNCC because of the small town feel. “When I came on my visit, I really like Coach Katie,” Flynn said. “Then it felt right and it felt like home. I also liked how coach said the community gets involved with the softball team, and I like the softball field itself.” Flynn said that she has met new friends on the recruiting trip and excited for next year. “I have met a lot of good friends and had a ton of fun on this trip. I really like all of them. I am excited to play with them,” she said. “
Emma Glawson, who is an outfielder who is not afraid to play anywhere, comes to WNCC from British Columbia, Canada. Glawson is anxious to play softball in the states. “There are many factors that led me to choose here. First of all I always wanted to play college softball in a small town area somewhere far away from home. I thought this would be a great place and mixed myself with the American culture,” Glawson said. “When I first researched Western Nebraska, the first thing that struck me was two years ago they had a 53-13 record. Right away I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of, a winning team. I am really lucky to come here with two of my best friends, teammates. That is a huge bonus for me.” Glawson said coming with her teammates, Gordon and Rees, is big. “It was a huge bonus for me coming here to come with two Canadian girls,” she said. “We will bring that Canadian spirit to America.”
Jaila Johnson, who plays outfield as well as second base from Niwot, Colorado, was an honorable mention 4A player this past season at Niwot. Johnson said she picked WNCC because of “Coach Groves made me feel like home and made me feel welcomed. I also like the small town feel because I am from a small town,” Johnson said. What Johnson is excited about is meeting different players from all over. “I think it is pretty cool to get to know girls from Canada and what they do.”
Devon Rees, who is a middle infielder from British Columbia, said what drew her to the college was because Coach Katie makes the players feel at home, especially by celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving, which is held in October. “I remember coming to visit the campus and she was telling us about Thanksgiving because we have a different Thanksgiving in Canada. She said she has a Canadian Thanksgiving here and she cooks everything you ask her. That is a huge part of it,” Rees said. “She is a like a parent-figure as a coach. That was a huge part of it for me. I also like the campus and the small town. And it snows and I am excited for snow.”
Lindsey Allie, who is middle infielder and outfielder from Tooele, Utah, choose WNCC because it is a program that will push her to be a better player. “I wanted to play for a program that makes me work hard,” she said. “I want to become a better player and get pushed hard, and eventually move on to play softball after Western. I also love the school, program and coach.” Allie batted .527 as a junior with 18 doubles, 41 runs scored and 20 RBIs for Stansbury High School.
Hannah Baesler, who is a middle infielder and outfielder from Thornton, Colorado, picked WNCC because everything about the college and community felt perfect. “I really liked how invested the coaches were in me; they watched me play in multiple locations,” she said. “The school was better than I expected. The classrooms were perfect for my learning, not too big not too small. I really liked how everything was placed, the whole campus was easy to navigate. I also enjoyed the towns around with Scottsbluff and Gering; the smaller environment really works for me while I’m first starting out. I got that feeling that I will be able to excel at WNCC.”