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Grace Kasberger, Mckynzie Wells, Caitlyn Elliott, Caleb Parrott, Noah Chaney and Faith Wagner sign letters of intent during school winter sports assembly

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Six Crook County High School athletes signed letters of intent during a school sports assembly Friday morning. Those athletes are (left to right) Grace Kasberger, Humboldt State for track and field, Mekynzie Wells, Mount Hood Community College for volleyball, Caitlyn Elliott, Treasure Valley Community College for softball, Caleb Parrott, Western Oregon for football, Noah Chaney, Eastern Oregon, for track and field, and Faith Wagner, Eastern Oregon for track and field.Usually when high school athletes decide where to go to college and sign a letter of intent, it is a private affair, with parents, coaches and a few friends in attendance.

Not so last Friday when six Crook County High School athletes signed letters of intent during a school sports assembly.

"That's the most people that we have ever had sign at one time," said CCHS Athletic Director Rob Bonner, following the event. "It's pretty special."

The six athletes, all seniors, signed with five different schools to play four different sports.

Grace Kasberger signed a letter of intent to compete in the heptathlon for Humboldt State University, which is located in Arcata, California.

The NCAA Division II school competes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Kasberger intends to major in biology while at the school.

"I'm very excited," she said. "It has a really good biology program, and it had a good track program also."

Kasberger, who injured her knee during soccer season, missed the entire basketball season, and is expected to miss at least most of this year's track season.

With the injury, she was afraid that schools would no longer be interested in her.

"I was really concerned that I wasn't going to be able to compete in college, but all of the coaches were nice and understanding about it," Kasberger said. "The first year I have to walk on, but I have an opportunity to get a scholarship next year."

Mckynzie Wells is also excited about the opportunity to continue her athletic career in college.

The all-league libero in volleyball will attend Mt. Hood Community College, in Gresham, where she plans on majoring in dental hygiene.

"They offered me what I want academically, and they offered me a great position on the team," Wells said. "I'm just really excited."

Wells added that the school is giving her an athletic scholarship worth a little more than half of the cost of school.

Caitlyn Elliott also will attend a community college.

The catcher signed to play softball at Treasure Valley Community College, in Ontario, where she will also major in dental hygiene.

"They offered me a great deal, and I loved the campus," Elliott said. "They offered me half of my tuition. I'm going to do all my prerequisites and then transfer to a four-year university."

Both Wells and Elliott said that they hope to continue their athletic career once they transfer to a four-year school.

Caleb Parrott has known what he wants to do for several years.

The 6-3, 285-pound, three-sport star has always wanted to play college football.

He signed his letter of intent to play football at Western Oregon University, which is located in Monmouth.

Like Humboldt State, Western Oregon competes in the NCAA II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Parrott plans on majoring in exercise science.

"I really felt comfortable there," Parrott said. "It's the same size as home, and I liked the guys and the coaches, so I decided to compete for them."

Parrott received half of his tuition in a football scholarship.

"I have an opportunity for it to go up as the years go by," he said. "I'm definitely excited."

The final two athletes to sign letters of intent both signed to compete in track and field at Eastern Oregon University.

The NAIA school, which is located in La Grande, competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

Both athletes plan on pole vaulting at Eastern Oregon.

Noah Chaney, who holds the CCHS record in the pole vault, plans on majoring in computer science and math while at the school.

"It's a pretty cool school," he said. "They have my degree that I want, and they have a great track program."

Chaney said that most of his schooling will be paid for by academic scholarships, while the track program will pick up the rest of his tuition costs.

"I feel like it's a really good opportunity," he said.

Like Chaney, Faith Wagner will also go to school on an academic scholarship.

Although she is not expected to receive any money for athletics this year, she said that the school has said that she may receive an athletic scholarship in the future.

Wagner, who is planning on studying business, is a currently a CCHS co-record holder in the pole vault.

"I really love the campus and the environment," she said. "Also, the team is amazing. I'm pumped for the opportunity."

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