FAIRBANKS, AK-College signing season continues.
Callie Franz of the West Valley Wolfpack signed with Southwestern Oregon Community College. Callie was joined by her mother Brenda and sister Maddy for the signature moment.
Franz joins the Lakers who are a part of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges which is made up of 34 teams in the Washington and Oregon. The Lakers are led by five year coach Mike Herbert who is also the athletics director at Southwestern Oregon. The Lakers had their best season last year with a 17-13 record, going fourth in the south region, and finishing eighth in the NWAAC Tournament.
West Valley's senior guard averaged a solid stat line with nine points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists per game. Franz was an all tournament selection at the Mt. McKinley Holiday Basketball Tournament and was an all Mid Alaska Conference pick. Franz was selected as a co-captain and named co-most improved for the Wolfpack.
She thanked her current coach and said how her new coach led her to sign with the Lakers.
"Throughout the four years of playing basketball with Coach Caciari, I've honestly learned more than I possibly could have from any other coach." Franz continued to talk about coach Herbert, "he is more concerned about the academics then the actual playing, so that really popped out to me."
Brenda Franz, Callie's mother feels that her daugher will be ok even though she'll be a little ways from home.
"Yeah it's gonna be a little far, but we are really excited for her new adventure. We know she's nervous but, she'll do good. She'll do well," Brenda said.
West Valley head coach Steve Caciari says Callie put in a lot of work to get to this point.
"She had the goal to going on and playing college and she worked hard towards that and I see great things for her as she will continue to work hard for it this summer because she does have a love for the game," Caciari said.
Along with the acadmeics The Lakers put as priority, Coos Bay, Ore., where the campus is located, has a level of comfortability for Franz. It's a small community and it reminded Franz of where she grew up in Kodiak, Ak.
Another key factor in the decision was Coach Herbert's familiarity with the West Valley team. Herbert recruited former Wolfpack player Rose Mattson. Rose is the older sister of Hannah Mattson, Franz's current teammate. Franz talked with Mattson about here community college experience at SWOCC and was encouraged by the positive response and advice.