Clackamas High college prospects firm up plans for next school year
Of the 13 Clackamas High School student-athletes who confirmed their college commitments this week, basketball player Elly Bankofier may have landed the sweetest deal.
Bankofier, a 5-foot-9 guard, not only received an athletic scholarship to play NCAA Division II women's basketball, but she also earned acceptance into the nursing program at Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Mahalo, and go, Silverswords!
"This means everything to me," Bankofier said during the Cavaliers' National Signing Day ceremony Thursday. "It's been my dream forever since I was a kid. My whole family is a basketball family and I'm super-excited that I get this opportunity."
Bankofier initiated the contact with Chaminade in August when she sent Silverswords coach Arthur King a video with highlights from her junior year of high school ball as well of clips of her playing with her Northwest Stars Basketball club team.
Within a week of sending the video, Bankofier got a call from King.
"I went on a visit in November and I just fell in love with Hawaii, the school, the coaches and the girls," Bankofier said.
Getting King's approval was one thing. Meeting the admission standards to get into the nursing program was another, requiring not only solid grades and a passing SAT score, but also a personal essay and volunteer hours, which Bankofier has earned during morning shifts at both Providence Milwaukie Hospital and Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City.
"The basketball side was pretty much stress-free, and I felt like I knew where I wanted to go," she said. "I just had to wait and see if I could get into the school.
"It is really a relief to have it done. The process was exciting, but I was ready to be done with it and just know where I'm going to go. Now, I can focus on the rest of this high school season, because I'm hoping we're going to do big things this year."
Bankofier became the third senior on this season's Clackamas girls' basketball team land an athletic scholarship, following in the footsteps of Ciara James (Weber State) and Bri Phiakhamgnon (Central Washington), who confirmed their commitments during the early signing period in November.
Bankofier expressed her gratitude in front of the parents, family, friends, coaches, and teachers who gathered for Thursday's signing ceremony in the school library.
"I just want to start out by saying thank you to all my coaches throughout the years," she said. "Thank you, Kelli Wedin for showing me at a young age how effort will take you a long way. You are the start of the reason why I fell in love with this game.
"Thank you, Angie Sun and Mike Costello for showing me that hard work, leadership and discipline is what it takes to be different than everyone else. And, thank you, Korey Landolt, Kevin Berry and Mike Reiner for showing me how to have fun and creating a team that was like my second family."
Bankofier also thanked her parents, Peggy and Randy, and her three older brothers, Spencer, Colby and Keaton.
"I can't wait for my new journey to begin at Chaminade and dedicating my future to more than just basketball, but also to having a chance to help people," she said.
Others who confirmed their college commitments Thursday were:
-- Carlie Bateman, women's soccer, Grand Canyon University: Bateman was one of 10 players to sign this week with the NCAA Division I Antelopes of Phoenix. A forward, Bateman decided to forgo her senior season with the high school team and instead devoted her energies to the Portland Thorns FC U18/19 team, starting 10 of 11 and scoring three goals for the Thorns Academy.
-- Helena Brown, women's soccer, Oregon State University: One of eight players signed by the Beavers, Brown is another Thorns Academy prospect who would have played for the Cavaliers this fall, but sat out her senior season after sustaining a torn hip labrum. She gave OSU coach Linus Rhode a verbal commitment in June and plans to study pharmacology.
-- Perry Cosgriffe, football, Eastern Oregon University: The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Cosgriffe started at outside linebacker on Clackamas' vaunted "all-gas, no-brakes" defense that helped carry the Cavaliers to their first OSAA Class 6A state championship. He played in all 14 games as a senior and finished 39 total tackles, including 21 solo tackles, nine tackles for loss, and three sacks.
-- Tucker Grote, baseball, Mt. Hood Community College: Grote played the outfield and pitched in relief last spring when the Cavaliers won their third Class 6A state championship in 10 seasons. This summer, Grote batted .349 (14 for 45) and went 5-1 on the mound with a 1.84 ERA.
-- Jaycee Iranshad, women's soccer, Grand Canyon University: A four-year letter winner and three-year starter, Iranshad was instrumental in leading the Cavaliers to a share of the Mt. Hood Conference title this fall. She also was named to the all-league first team as a midfielder.
-- Alyssa Mehalovich, volleyball, Multnomah University: The 5-foot-5 defensive specialist earned all-league honorable mention as a junior and a senior, helping anchor the backline during one of the most successful four-year runs in school history and included an appearance in the 2016 Class 6A state final.
-- James Millspaugh, football, Eastern Oregon University: The NAIA Mountaineers of La Grande scored a package deal with the addition of Cosgriffe, the outside linebacker, and Millspaugh, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound running back. After an injury to starting tailback Nick Vaughn, Millspaugh took over as the Cavaliers featured back and led the team with 205 carries for 1,425 yards and 30 touchdowns. In the state championship final, Millspaugh had 29 carries for 160 yards and three TD s, and was recognized as one of the two Moda Health Players of the Game.
-- Trevor Putnam, men's soccer, Northwest Nazarene University: Putnam, a 6-foot, 150-pound center back, accepted an offer to play NCAA Division II soccer for the Nighthawks of Nampa, Idaho. Putnam earned all-Mt. Hood Conference honorable mention this fall after the Cavaliers went 2-8-4 overall and 2-4-2 in league.
-- Kendall Rooney, women's soccer, Humboldt State University: Rooney jumped at the opportunity to play NCAA Division II soccer with the Lumberjacks of Arcata, California. Rooney was Clackamas' starting goalkeeper as a junior, and then relinquished the position last fall when she committed to playing club soccer exclusively with Crossfire United ECNL.
-- Amiyah Shakoor, volleyball, Umpqua Community College: Shakoor, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter/middle blocker, played for the Beaverton-based T.E.A.M. Hiki No program, and parlayed her success with the club team into an opportunity to play NJCAA volleyball with the Riverhawks of Roseburg.
-- Jack Warner, men's soccer, Oregon Institute of Technology: One of five recruits to sign with the NAIA Owls of Klamath Falls this week, Warner roamed the midfield during each of his four years at Clackamas and served as the Cavaliers' captain as a junior and senior. He also was a captain with the Eastside Timbers club team each of the past three seasons.
-- Jake Zehr, baseball, Lower Columbia College: Zehr played outfield, first base and designated hitter last spring, and was one of the heroes of the Class 6A state championship game when he came off the bench and went 2-for-2 with two RBI-singles and drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning of the Cavaliers' 5-1 victory over top-ranked West Linn. He's hoping his opportunity with the NJCAA Red Devils of Longview, Washington, eventually turns into a chance to play for a four-year school down the road.