Clark County soccer stars will continue rivalry in Pac-12

Skadsen signs with Arizona; Lovell with Oregon State

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Some 15 months after Skyview soccer standout standout Sheaffer Skadsen announced she was going to sign with Arizona, she did just that.

“It puts it more into reality,” Skadsen said. “I’m going to Arizona. It’s very exciting.”

The February signing period is known more for football scholarships, but Wednesday also was the first day soccer players could sign letters of intent.

For Skadsen, Arizona fit perfectly. She loved the campus, she has family in the area, and several close soccer friends of hers are either already with the program or were expected to sign.

Skadsen is not the only Pac-12 talent in the area. Olivia Lovell of Camas signed with Oregon State. They happen to be close friends who will now be conference rivals.

“I’ve always been an Oregon State fan since I was little,” Lovell said. “To play the sport that I love at the school that I love is a dream come true.”

In men’s soccer, Skyview’s Keenan Townsend inked his deal with San Diego State. He had said yes to the school back in the fall.

“I’m going to play Division I soccer,” he said. “I finally achieved it.”

Former Union soccer player Mikhail Doholis graduated early from high school. He enrolled at Oregon State last month and is expected to play for the Beavers.

Back to the women’s game, Rebecca Sikora of Skyview is sticking close to home, signing with Portland State.

“I was looking at East Coast schools, but then Portland State showed interest,” Sikora said. “I said, ‘Why not check it out?’ I just fell in love with it.”

Over at Union, Kayla Vera continued a school tradition. In each of Union’s four graduating classes, there has been at least one girls soccer player to sign with a Division I program. Vera is going to Southeastern Louisiana.

Coaches there spotted Vera in a showcase and made contact with her.

“The last thing that I thought was I’d be going there. My mom said ‘keep your mind open,’ ” Vera said.

Cassandra Ripley of Skyview picked Central Washington.

“It’s nice to finally be committed to (the school) and not have the stress anymore,” she said.

Camas’ Emily Ainsworth will join Ripley in Ellensburg.

“I love small towns, and I love the campus,” Ainsworth said. “It was just a really good experience for me.”

At La Center, Jocelyn Burgess signed with Idaho.

Amanda Bristow was not at Skyview’s signing ceremony, but it was reported that she was to sign with Southern Oregon.

Columbia River’s Brianna Brown earned an academic scholarship but will also play soccer at Whitman College, an NCAA Division III program in Walla Walla.

At Battle Ground, Kaylee Cropper is signing with Northwest Nazarene, and Lauren Uhl is signing with Sonoma State.

Also at Camas, Michael Koceja was spotlighted for his decision to play soccer at Bellevue College.

Other Sports

At Union and Camas, the schools also honored athletes from other sports who signed in November or who will sign in the spring. The spring signing period begins April 11.

Two of the top baseball recruits in the state are linked to Pac-12 programs.

Union’s Clint Coulter signed with Arizona State, and Camas’ Austin Barr signed with Stanford. Both players said Wednesday that plans could change depending on the Major League Baseball draft in June.

Mikaela Searight of Camas softball was highlighted for signing with Siena College in New York.

And Alistair Docherty of Union, a golfer, will sign with Chico State in the spring.

“You gotta go where your heart tells you to,” Docherty said. “Great golf program, and the weather there. You can’t get better than California.”

Coaches and athletic directors are asked to contact us with news of any more signings in the coming days. Send an e-mail to sports@columbian.com.