Four local high school graduates are among the student-athletes who plan to continue competing at the college level in their respective sports.
Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, N.M.
Lone Star Conference, NCAA Division II
Tracy High graduate Chaz Briggs has his plans set to play football in the fall at Eastern New Mexico University.
Briggs signed his letter of intent last month after the Greyhounds coaches offered him an athletic scholarship. He’s played running back and linebacker as a Bulldog and the Greyhounds recruited him for their defensive squad.
“They just won the conference championship, so it’s a promising team, and I’m looking forward to winning a conference championship next year,” said Briggs, who will also study criminal justice and sports science.
He also likes Eastern New Mexico because former Bulldog Josh Bongiovanni, Tracy High Class of 2013, is an offensive lineman for the Greyhounds.
Briggs credits Tracy High’s coaching staff with preparing him for the opportunity.
“They put me in positions to succeed and coached me to do my best,” he said. “They honored me with team captain my senior year, which I really appreciate. I worked hard for it and they helped the whole way.”
Delta Charter High
Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Mo.
Midwest Independent Conference, NCAA Division II
A lifetime of gymnastics training has prepared Shaylyn Garay to take the leap to NCAA competition.
Garay has been into gymnastics since the age of 2, and when her mother, Jenny Yannessa, opened Classic in 2005, she was ready to grow into a role as one of the gym’s leading competitors.
Garay has competed at all levels of USA Gymnastics and was the leading gymnast for Kimball High starting in her freshman year, when she won the Central Coast Section individual all-around title. She attended Kimball High for two more years before finishing high school through Delta Charter’s online program.
Lindenwood, which has a two-year-old women’s gymnastics program, offered Garay a spot as a walk-on member of the team. She will study exercise science with a goal of becoming a gymnastics coach.
“The team is inspired to build their new program every year, and I really want to be a part of that,” she said, adding that NCAA competition would emphasize each gymnast focusing on her best events to boost team scores. “I feel like being there is going to make me learn to do gymnastics with a team.”
University of Mount Union , Alliance, Ohio
Ohio Athletic Conference, NCAA Division III
Millennium High graduate D’Vontae Kelley will join the University of Mount Vernon Purple Raiders in the fall after three years with the Millennium Falcons, two of them as a starting running back.
The Purple Raiders went 9-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, 14-1 overall, including a postseason run that finished with a loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the NCAA Division III national title game. The loss broke a 30-game winning streak that included the 2012 Stagg Bowl and the Purple Raiders’ 11th national Division III title since 1993.
Kelley played in all of the Falcons’ games in 2013 and was part of a rushing attack that averaged 188.6 yards per game, including Kelley’s 23.9 yards per game. He also scored three touchdowns for the Falcons in his senior year.
Dre Shon Moore
Central Lakes College, Brainerd, Minn.
Minnesota College Athletic Conference
Dre Shon Moore searched around for four-year colleges while also advertising his basketball skills on National Collegiate Scouting Association. When the Central Lake College Raiders in Minnesota contacted him through NCSA, he was intrigued enough to accept the school’s offer to fly him out for a visit.
“I fell in love with the school,” Moore said. “The people out there, the environment, it all fit.”
Central Lakes is a community college where Moore intends to begin studying psychology with the goal of a career in criminal justice.
Moore played two years of AAU basketball with the Oakland Dominators in his freshman and sophomore years before moving to Tracy. He was on the Bulldog team for his junior year, and while he wasn’t on the team his senior year, he had become good friends with the other Bulldog players, who continued to support him and his goal of playing at the college level.
Contact Bob Brownne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4227.