Across town, high school seniors are making plans. On Monday, they became official.
At Bartlett and Dimond, student-athletes signed their letters of intent. Sixteen Golden Bears from Bartlett will play at the next level in various sports while Eric Jenkins of Dimond will be staying close home as he inked with the University of Alaska Anchorage to play basketball.
He had offers to go out town but a chance to play Division II basketball at home in front of his family was too good to pass up.
“Everyone’s big thing is ‘get out [of state] for college’ and there was part of me that wanted to do that, but the fact they’d be able to watch and my friends would be able to watch and I’d get to play in my hometown far outweighed any dreams of going outside to play,” he said.
Eric’s father Pete understands the path traveled. He played Division I football at Fresno State while Trent Dilfer was the quarterback there. He got choked up while addressing his son at the signing.
“I know what it’s taken for him to get to this point and I understand what lies ahead of him,” he said after the ceremony. “This is really a new beginning.”
It is for all of them.