The Andrew Edson recruiting watch continues, and news that will impact many Valley college athletes, all on a Tuesday……

Good Tuesday morning. Back after a couple of days off with no news to report – with actual news to report.

And it’s another installment of the Andrew Edson football recruiting watch, as the Mount Si High School junior tight end last night announced another college scholarship offer, this his 10th overall in the recruiting process. We can’t remember if anyone’s had 10 offers from Mount Si in the past, so we may be moving into some uncharted territory here for this program.

As has been the custom throughout his recruitment process, Edson made the latest announcement via his social media, and this one is, like at least one but perhaps most, as much about his academics as it is his athletics.

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, was announced by Edson as the college making this latest offer. Cornell, nicknamed the Big Red, is an Ivy League school, and they join fellow Ivy League rival Yale in making an offer to Edson. As Cornell is an Ivy League member, it would seem very much that his academic peformance is as much part of this as it is his athletic efforts, and having a look at their roster construction, it appears that, like with several of the Mountain West Conference schools making offers to the Wildcat player, there’s going to be a good chance for Edson to earn playing time perhaps out of the gate as a freshman with hard work.

In addition to Cornell and Yale, FBS Mountain West schools making offers include San Jose State, Nevada, Fresno State, Air Force and Wyoming, and the United States Military Academy and FCS Big Sky schools Eastern Washington and Montana State have also made offers.

Cornell finished 4-6 last season, and are coached by David Archer. The school has at least one past athletic association with the Valley – MSHS alum Ben Olson, from North Bend, competed for the Big Red’s men’s lightweight rowing team about 10 years ago.

NCAA provides eligibility relief for spring sports athletes, impacting many from Valley
As had been expected and hoped by many, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) late yesterday voted to grant an additional year of eligibility for spring sports athletes including in such sports as baseball, softball, golf, rowing, lacrosse and track and field at the Division I level. Spring sports as you know were wiped out as a result of the current COVID-19 outbreak which also canceled all of the NCAA’s winter sports championships. A proposal was also pushed forward to give winter athletes, primarily from basketball and gymnastics, similar eligibility relief but that was denied.

The decision will impact nearly two dozen local college athletes, some of whom are seniors and can now come back next season to compete. The list includes the following that we know of:

Cedarcrest High School grads – Aaron Davenport, baseball, University of Hawaii; Michaela Carter, softball, Fordham University (New York); Grant Van Valkenburg, track and field, U.S. Naval Academy, Mary Cate Babcock and Lauren Krause, both track and field, Gonzaga Universty, Blaine Wagner, baseball, Seattle University; Andrew Willmon, baseball, University of Northern Colorado; Maddie Nixon, softball, University of North Dakota; Kendra Mutch, rowing, Washington State University

Mount Si High School grads – Gavin Gorrell, baseball, Boise State University; Abby Gronewald, softball, Fairfield University (Connecticut); Mason Marenco, baseball, Gonzaga University; Hannah Waskom, track and field, University of Washington; Jacob Wachtendonk, track and field, University of Washington; Melissa Hruska, track and field, Washington State University; Caitlin Maralack, women’s golf, University of Hartford (Connecticut); Lauren McCallum, rowing, Gonzaga University; Hayley West, rowing, Oregon State University; Emily Sprigings, St. Mary’s-CA, rowing; Ellie Bruce, rowing, University of Washington; Tova Barden, equestrian, Southern Methodist University; Alden Huschle, baseball, Seattle University; Chloe Cosgrove, track and field, University of Montana

This list only includes athletes from Division I NCAA schools, as the rule adopted yesterday applies to just those schools. However, smaller schools, in Divisions II and III, have also been granted similar relief, impacting many more local athletes including:

Cedarcrest grads – Sophie Paradis and Ian Fay, track and field, Western Washington University (Division II), Elaine Townley, softball, Hillsdale (Michigan) (Division II), Alicia Krivanek, track and field, Pacific Lutheran University (Division III), Levi Knott, baseball, Crown College (Minnesota) (Division III), Maia Rezoski, lacrosse, Linfield (Oregon) (Division III)

Mount Si grads – Karlie Hurley, track and field, Concordia-Portland (OR) (Division II); Andrew Harris, track and field, Central Washington (Division II); Karlie Stewart and Spencer Sprague, track and field, George Fox University (Oregon) (Division III); Jessica Morris, lacrosse, Findlay University (Ohio) (Division II); Chaija Olsson, lacrosse, Mount Olive University (North Carolina) (Division II); Chris Haycock, lacrosse, Limestone College (South Carolina) (Division II); Collin Anderson, baseball, Whitman College; Mitchell Dover, Jordan Lau and Alex Nelson, golf, Pacific Lutheran (Division III); Isaac Mullins, baseball, Cal State-Dominguez Hills (Division II); Tessa Lewis, lacrosse, Southwestern University-Texas (Division III)

Others with Valley connections – Ryan Abdalla, track and field, Northwest Nazarene (Division II), from Duvall; Lauren Rich, softball, Trinity-Texas (Division III), former Cedarcrest HS player and Valley resident; Colleen Campbell, softball, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (NCAA Division III), from Snoqualmie

Financial aid for some of these athletes may be impacted by the decisions, those decisions will be made by individual schools. Additionally, Hurley, with the closure of Concordia at the end of the current spring quarter due to financial challenges not related to the COVID-19 situation, will have to compete for another university next year if she chooses to finish out her remaining track and field eligibility.

It is not known if the NAIA, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, will also grant this relief, but it is anticipated they will if they haven’t done so yet. Several additional local athletes will be impacted there as well, so these are decisions that will matter quite a bit to the futures for many of our local college athletes and as such are decisions to pay attention to.

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More gridiron news from Mount Si……

Good Saturday morning. It’s raining and we’re hopefully all staying at home and staying healthy today.

Another round of Mount Si football news this morning.

Edson receives another college football scholarship offer, his ninth
Mount Si High School football junior tight end Andrew Edson went on social media last night to announce another college had offered him a football scholarship. This time, it’s the Air Force Academy making that offer.

AFA, located in Colorado Springs, becomes the fifth Mountain West Conference (NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision) school to make Edson an offer, and this is also his ninth total offer, joining fellow MW schools Wyoming, San Jose State, Nevada and Fresno State, along with Eastern Washington, Yale, Montana State and the United States Military Academy (Army). A look at Air Force’s potential roster construction suggests the possibilities here for Edson might be along the same lines as at Fresno, Nevada and San Jose: potential playing time out of the gate as a freshman, perhaps not as a starter, but very high on the depth chart, especially at tight end.

Air Force also becomes the second service academy to make an offer, joining Army as mentioned already. The Falcons, as they are called, finished 11-2 last season and beat Washington State in the Cheez-It Bowl down in Phoenix.

Also:

Two more MSHS sophs get Montana Tech camp invites: Two more Mount Si sophomore players made Twitter announcements yesterday of invites to a camp being hosted by Montana Tech University in Butte, MT.

Cameron Set-Chan and Avery Walker made those announcements, and they will join fellow Wildcat sophs Andy Cole and Jacob Shaffer at the camp, scheduled for June 19, pending lifting of restrictions for COVID-19. Montana is also under a stay-at-home order presently. Cole and Shaffer made their announcements Thursday and we reported those here yesterday.

As we noted yesterday, Set-Chan and Walker will, along with their Wildcat mates, get high level instruction that should help them succeed with Mount Si this fall, and also be exposed to a small-college football program, of which Montana Tech’s is in the Frontier Conference of NAIA. So like with Cole and Shaffer, this is a tremendous opportunity for Walker and Set-Chan, and it is hoped they’ll be able to participate. Incidentally, just so you know, Walker is a QB, Cole and Shaffer are receivers and Set-Chan is a running-back with all also playing defensive positions for the Wildcats. So perhaps if all four go, they might be able to run a drill or two together and bring that back this fall. Good stuff for sure and we congratulate all of you.

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Friday news…..

Good Friday morning everyone. As we all get adjusted to life under the new Washington state stay-at-home order, we do have some news for you on this Friday.

It’s from football. A Mount Si High School football freshman finds himself considered one of the top players nationally this morning according to one national recruiting website.

CollegeFootballToday.com yesterday released their top class of 2023 college football recruit list, and Wildcat frosh lineman Heath Ozaeta landed on the list, ranked 76th out of 100 prospects from around the country, and second-ranked in the entire state of Washington. He also is listed as the third-ranked defensive tackle in their rankings. Ozaeta, on Twitter last night, thanked the website for naming him to the list, and had this message for them and for Mount Si fans. “I will work my way up the list!,” he wrote.

We told you last weekend Ozaeta had been invited to a prestigious lineman camp at Duke University in North Carolina in June; the new CFT.com ranking is likely to result in additional camp invitations for the Mount Si player. If we get wind of any we’ll of course advise. We offer Heath and his family congrats on this, and continued success.

Elsewhere from MSHS football:

Pair of rising sophomores get camp invites: Wildcat sophomore teammates Andy Cole and Jacob Shaffer also were on Twitter last night with equally good announcements to Ozaeta’s. Both sophomores announced they had been invited to attend together Montana Tech’s upcoming high school elite football camp. It is slated to be held June 19 pending a normal resumption of activities with respect to the current COVID-19 outbreak, and will be held at Montana Tech’s campus in Butte, MT. The camp is expected to provide both Cole and Shaffer high-level instruction that hopefully will help them succeed this fall with Mount Si, but it will also provide them exposure to a small-college football program, of which Montana Tech’s is in the NAIA’s Frontier Conference. So a good opportunity awaits these two, and it’s hoped they’ll be able to participate in that later this spring.

Other news now.

Memorial fund for Snoqualmie’s Smith family grows past original goal
We have a great update to share with you this morning concerning the GoFundMe account that has been set up to help support the family of Snoqualmie resident and well-known youth sports contributor Mike Smith, who passed away this past weekend as we have been telling you here after a long illness.

Organizers of the GoFundMe fundraiser have cleared its original $10,000 fundraising goal, doing so yesterday, and are now shooting for $15,000, all of the proceeds set to help Mike’s wife Shannon and children Lauren, Kami and Tyler handle funeral and other related expenses from Mike’s passing. The Smith family have, as we also have been telling you, been very visible figures in recent years in local youth sports, most notably with lacrosse and volleyball, and it was Mike’s hard work which helped fuel the growth of Mount Si High School’s youth and high school lacrosse program into one of the fastest-growing programs for the sport at the youth level here in the Puget Sound area.

The fundraiser is ongoing and you can still donate if you would like. Over 100 people – including your editor – have donated thus far, and we would hope you will be able to do the same despite the tough economic challenges we all face right now due to the current shutdowns of businesses and resulting job losses due to measures aimed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Funeral plans have not been announced yet, and are not expected to be announced until after the statewide stay-at-home order and subsequent ban on large gatherings, part of the host of measures addressing the virus outbreak, have been lifted.

You can donate here at the GoFundMe page.

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GoFundMe account set up to help support family after passing of local youth sports leader

We have some news just into the SVSJ newsroom. As we mentioned yesterday, the Valley youth sports community is mourning the heartbreaking loss of a visionary leader. Snoqualmie resident Mike Smith, who helped fuel the growth of Mount Si’s lacrosse program into one of the fastest-growing youth lacrosse programs in the entire region, passed away over this past weekend after a long illness. A GoFundMe page has now been set up to help the Smith family with memorial expenses.

The page is here. The fund was set up last night and organizers are hoping to raise $10,000 to help support Mike’s wife Shannon and their three children, Lauren, Kami and Tyler, all of whom are Mount Si grads and former Wildcat athletes, not to mention dear friends of this beat. The Smith’s for a number of years have been tremendous supporters of Mount Si athletics, and Shannon is a secretary at Snoqualmie Elementary School, helping each day to positively impact the lives of young people in our community.

If you can help this effort, please do so. The funds will go directly to support the memorial and other expenses related to this for the family.

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Mount Si’s Curtiss gets rewarded for hard work – his first Division I college scholarship offer…plus an update on Colby Ramsey’s college search

Mount Si High School senior boys’ basketball player Hayden Curtiss (in midair), with teammates looking on, dunks the basketball during a playoff game this season for the Wildcats. Curtiss announced last night he had been offered a college scholarship by the University of Portland, an NCAA Division I school. (Photo courtesy Calder Productions)

Good Wednesday morning.

We have more news on the college recruiting front to tell you about, and it’s tremendous news from Mount Si High School’s boys’ basketball program, as one player’s hard work appears to have paid off.

The program announced last night via their Twitter feed that senior post Hayden Curtiss had landed a college scholarship offer. This one was offered by NCAA Division I University of Portland, making this the first Division I offer Curtiss has received.

Portland, nicknamed the Pilots, should be very familiar with MSHS boys basketball fans. 2010 Wildcat alum Tanner Riley played for four years with UoP, averaging just over four points per contest in a reserve role with the Pilots under then-head coach Eric Reveno; Mount Si fans who followed Riley’s progress with Portland may remember an incident involving him during a 2013 game in which he was ejected after an on-court altercation and had a brief, but heated, exchange with Reveno on the way to the locker room, an incident that was caught on national TV.

Current head coach Terry Porter replaced Reveno after the former coach was let go in 2016 and this past season led the Pilots to a 9-23 record with only one win in the West Coast Conference. Porter is a basketball legend in Portland, though, having played for many years as one of the top players on the successful Trail Blazer teams of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and is himself a former NBA head coach with Milwaukee and Phoenix, so if Curtiss commits there, there’s a good chance that with continued hard work and a willingness to learn and adapt his game, Curtiss could find himself in a position to land a pro opportunity following college.

As we have discussed in our coverage of Mount Si football player Andrew Edson’s recruitment, colleges are able to make offers of this type right now despite restrictions on recruiting imposed by the NCAA in the wake of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation. These restrictions will prevent Curtiss and his family from making an official visit to the school for a bit yet. It is anticipated also that more schools could make offers, as some programs have basketball scholarships that have become available due to players officially declaring their intention to transfer to another college. For example, Montana State, where Curtiss’ Wildcat senior teammate Tyler Patterson has signed to play for next season, has in the past several days had three players announce their intentions to transfer, and they are a school which reportedly has had conversations with Mount Si about Curtiss.

If the Bobcats or other schools make offers to Curtiss, we’ll be sure to let you know. That said, this offer for it being the first we think has a lot of good advantages for the Wildcat player despite the win-loss record and we’ll keep you posted on what he decides to do.

Update on Colby Ramsey’s recruiting process
We mentioned yesterday the news that Mount Si football kicker Colby Ramsey had been invited to a senior high-school all-star game this coming winter called the Tiki Bowl in Hawaii and were intending to follow up with him on his college recruiting.

Ramsey got back to us last night and informed us he is being recruited for both football and soccer by colleges – he, as you know, will be the starting goalkeeper for Mount Si’s boys’ soccer team this spring if the season is allowed to resume at the end of April following the current six-week state mandated COVID-19 social distancing school closures. Soccer is where he is receiving the most interest at the moment, with a number of Division I and II schools ranging from Oregon State on down to Colorado Mines having expressed interest. Ramsey also told us he is now talking to schools for football – with Concordia of Minnesota, a program that has a strong connection as you know to Mount Si with three graduates having played for them in recent seasons, among those expressing interest there.

About the opportunity to play in the all-star game, Ramsey was non-committal. “The Hawaii Tiki Bowl sounds like a great experience. I’m not sure if I will do it, but it would be a great time,” he told us via Twitter.

As with his teammate Edson and as discussed above with Curtiss, the current NCAA recruiting restrictions will prevent Ramsey from making official in-person visits to schools for some time; the only contact he will be able to have with schools is via phone or Internet-based means.

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