FAIRBANKS, AK-Today three Malemutes have their national letter of intent signings in the Lathrop library surrounded by family, friends, teammates and coaches. Soccer players Connor Matheny and Evan Strong will play for Pacific University. A division three program in Forest Grove Oregon.
The Northwest Conference team can use these guys the Boxers finished 5-14 last season but will have good mix of experienced players coming back and promising newcomers like Matheny and Strong to help turn the program around.
These two friends and teammates will take their athletic and academic careers to the next level together.
Friendship is great but sometimes a college choice sometimes just comes down to dollars and cents.
"We knew we wanted to go to the same school and so we just picked a school that like, gave us both a lot of money and uh, that we could both play for so yeah. It was a big factor," Matheny said.
Strong added, "[we've] been best friends since like sixth grade. Played soccer together ever since then so. We've kind of always wanted to stick together."
Connor's father, Sean Matheny, is also the head coach for Lathrop's soccer squad and figured this day could be possible for his son and his best friend.
"It's been something they've discussed jokingly the last couple of years but they really got hot and heavy into it probably the last year and a half, " Sean said. "They both elevated their play really thinking they are going to college, this is what they want to do and they're using it to get a college education."
Shortly after the signing of the soccer players one of the queens of the court, senior point guard Jasmine White signed her papers as well. White will go to Glendale Community College in Arizona.
The division two junior college will need a scorer and point guard like White as the Gauchos won five games last year and lose their top two scorers to graduation. They do have a six footer but White has been playing with 6'2" Ruthie Hebard this past season so the transition on the court should be smooth.
An excited White says she wants to contribute and distribute the ball and believes this decision came about by just following her heart.
"I feel pretty good. I made the best decision that was best for me and my family. It was just how my heart felt. I followed my heart and not what other people told me to do," White said.
White has joined at the signing table by her mother Linda Roclor who let her daughter know that it will take more than just playing basketball to get to the next level and excel.
"It's a package deal. So it's the attitude, the discipline and everything about it. So I'm very proud of her," Roclor said. "She's been playing basketball ever since what six years old. So, she earned it."
Even though White was one of the stars for Malemutes who finished fifth in the state this season she realizes that it's just about being an assest and not a diva.
"I'm just coming there to play basketball you know do what I can do and build the team and myself and become a great facilitator for my coach."