Prairie hoop stars sign with California schools

Woodward goes to San Diego, Lindsley to Master's College

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Megan Lindsley and Cori Woodward will have one more season of basketball together.

Next year, the Prairie seniors are off to different colleges.

"As long as I'm in the same state as my best friend, I'll be OK," Lindsley said.

Woodward on Wednesday signed her National Letter of Intent to attend the University of San Diego.

Lindsley had already signed The Master's College, just north of Los Angeles.

The two had a small ceremony Wednesday night at Prairie High, in front of family, friends, and teammates.

"I knew San Diego would push me just like Al always has," Woodward said, referring to former Prairie coach Al Aldridge. "I needed something like that. I felt it was the right place when I went there. I had a good gut feeling. The school is amazing and beautiful. Oh my gosh."

Woodward, a guard, said she opted to commit to San Diego in the early signing period to ensure her spot with the team. Plus, it takes the stress out of recruiting as she prepares for her final season with Prairie, and the first with the team's new coach, Mike Smith.

The Falcons are hoping to defend their Class 3A state championship.

Lindsley was told she was good enough to play at a bigger college, a higher level, but instead chose The Master's, an NAIA program.

"Master's has the Christian atmosphere that I was looking for," Lindsley said. "It wasn't a big concern for me to go Division I. I wanted to go to a place where I fit in and the morals are the same that I have.

"Continuing my basketball career and my education are important to my faith. My faith is more important to me than my basketball."

Interestingly, former Prairie standout Lindsey Levanen is a junior at The Master's this season.

Wednesday was the first day for athletes in a number of sports to sign letters to NCAA programs. Football, soccer, track and field and cross county athletes must wait until the February signing date.

Caitlyn Paul of Battle Ground is expected to sign her letter to play softball at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, N.M. She will be the third athlete from her school district to choose that university this calendar year. Basketball players Kelsey Asplund (Prairie) and Haley Grossman (Battle Ground) are there now.

In baseball, Union's Seaver Whalen is signing with Santa Clara University, a Division I program in California.

Others who were expected to sign this week:

Amee Aarhus, softball, Camas, signing with Portland State.

Chloe Bartek, golfer, Columbia River, signing Sacramento State.

Clayton Frank, lacrosse, Columbia River student who plays for King's Way lacrosse, signing with Marist College in New York.

Carly Holboke, basketball, Mountain View, signing with Dominican University of California.

Jackie Lanz, basketball, St. Mary's Academy (formerly of Prairie and still a Vancouver resident) signing with Portland State.

Michael McCann, baseball, Columbia River, signing with Seattle University.

Note: Athletic directors and coaches are asked to contact The Columbian with signing information in the coming days. The Columbian will note all Southwest Washington athletes who are continuing their playing days at four-year colleges. E-mail us at sports@columbian.com.