Area graduates take games to next level |

Area graduates take games to next level

The end of the school year marks the final curtain call for most high school athletes.

Most, but not all.

Each year a busload of western Nevada County’s graduates take their game to the next level.

Here’s a look at who’s signed national letters of intent:


Wade Sauer (Nevada Union); California State University-Fresno – Sauer became the first Miner wrestler to win a state title when he topped Bakersfield High’s Alex Mack 12-5 in the CIF heavyweight final in Bakersfield March 7.

Sauer, a two-time Sac-Joaquin Section champion, finished up at 49-3.


Kellyn Loehr (Bear River); University of the Pacific (Stockton) – Loehr the became the first Nevada County swimmer to win anything other than a section freestyle title when she took the 100-meter breaststroke championship as a junior.

Loehr was saddled with a shoulder injury and a series of illnesses this season, but still managed a fourth-place finish at the section championships.

Track and Field

Steven Conrad (NU); University of California, Berkeley – Conrad, who holds school records in 100, 200 and long jump, became the first Miner in 18 years to qualify for four events in the CIF State Championship.

The future Bear decathlete took fifth in the long jump and sixth in the 200 at the state meet.

Girls Basketball

Chrysten Cotney (BR); Notre Dame de Namur (Belmont) – Cotney was a three-year starter at the point for Lake of the Pines neighbor Forest Lake Christian before she made the jump to the Bruins in 2003/04.

She finished the season third on the team in both made 3-pointers (21) and 3-point percentage (27.6) and was fifth in scoring (6.7 points per game).

Girls Volleyball

Elena Schmidt (NU); Fairleigh Dickenson University (Teaneck, N.J.) – The 5-foot, 10-inch middle hitter was a integral part of the Miners’ historic CIF NorCal Championship run.

Schmidt led the team in both blocks (147) and aces (93) and was second in kills (204) and digs (93).


John Savoie (BR); Southern Oregon University (Ashland) – Savoie broke his arm three games into his senior season, but beat the odds to earn a full ride.

Savoie, an All-Pioneer League defensive back and place kicker as a junior, greatly improved his chances for an athletic scholarship when he drilled a school-record 47-yard field goal in the 2003 season opener.

Stephen Nichols (NU); McKendree College (Lebanon, Ill.) – Nicholls tallied a pair of sacks in a huge preseason win over Elk Grove and was on the field as the Miners topped eventual section champ Grant (Sacramento)


Jarad Van Matre (NU); California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo) – Van Matre hit .341 and drove in 25 runs with four doubles and four home runs for the Miners in ’04. He also compiled a 2.93 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched for NU.

Walk ons & undecided

Sierra College (Rocklin) looks to be the biggest beneficiary of western Nevada County’s bumper crop of athletic talent.

On the gridiron, the two-year school will pick up a trio of Bear River all leaguers.

Quarterback Josh Rumsey, linebacker Chad Anderson and tailback Cody Yeager will vie for playing time.

NU lineman Sean Jackson will also take the trip down south according to Miner head coach Dave Humphers.

The Wolverine womens basketball team has also hit the jackpot as Bear River sharpshooter Allison Cooley and low-post threat Kayla Smith will reunite with 2003 Bruin graduate Nicole Scott.

Nevada Union’s Ali Parrot also plans to take her mix of athleticism and outside shooting skills to Rocklin.

NU’s all-league guard Zane Edwards will take also shot at a college ball.

On the baseball diamond, Bear River’s Britton Barber, whose .516 batting average was second in the area this year, is also headed down the hill.

NU’s Steve Smith expects to play baseball at Linfield College in Oregon.

The Miners’ Kayleigh Knight, a letter winner in both swimming and water polo, will take her skills in the latter to Sierra.

The University of California, Santa Barbara will have three of the area’s top prep athletes try to walk on for 2004/2005.

Nevada Union’s Mason Edwards, a section swimming finals qualifier, Sara Heidelberger, a section track and field qualifier and Bear River’s Chelsea Haverty, also a section track finals qualifier, will attempt to make their respective teams.

Sacramento City College’s baseball diamond will be the next address for Bear River’s Myles Anderson.

Nevada Union softball standout Amanda Poteet is headed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge) on an academic scholarship, but she’s determined to play on. Poteet, a first baseman on the Miners’ 2004 Metro Conference championship team, will attempt to walk on.

Forest Lake Christian will also be represented in the freshman ranks next season.

Mark Boatman, a three-sport letter winner, has his sights set on Seattle Pacific University’s basketball program.

Boatman’s classmate Jessica Hall, a four-year letter winner on the Falcons’ girls basketball team, will try her luck at Point Loma – Nazarene (San Diego) in the spring.

A trio of Nevada Union’s state-qualifying cross country team, Brian Dell, Tyler Freeman and Trevor Robertson are considering running cross country at Santa Barbara Community College, said NU coach Dan King.

The immediate future of Miner baseball players Curtis Campbell and Jason Roenicke were up in the air as of press time. NU head coach Ted White said Campbell may be headed to Cuesta Junior College, while Roenicke’s plans might include San Diego’s Mesa College.

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