Six Moffat County High School athletes sign letters of intent

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Spring means new calves for the rancher, new sprouts for the farmer and a new freshmen class for a college athletic recruiter.

Tuesday, six Moffat County High School athletes anounced that they signed letters of intent during a press conference at the high school.

A letter of intent is a contract between a college and an athlete, ensuring the athlete's financial package will not be tampered with before entering college. In return, college officals are assured that the athlete will attend their school.

This year's class of graduating seniors is the largest group of athletes to move on to participate at the college level for Moffat County in recent history.

"Last year, I know that we only had two athletes sign letters of intent, and the most I ever remember sending off to college in a year was four," said Julie Baker, Moffat County High School athletic director. "The kids we're sending off this year are top notch they're both academically and athletically sound."

The bulk of the athletes were track and cross country runners, with the only other sport represented being basketball.

Heather Urbanoski, who was on the state championship 4x200-meter relay team this year, will attend Colorado State University. She is the only Division I signee from the class.

Stephanie Hurd and Jarrod Burns will both attend Western State University in Gunnison, and both will participate in cross country and track.

Hurd was a four-year letter winner in both track and cross county, and qualified for state in both sports all four years. She was also a part of the championship 4x800 relay team that was within 8 seconds of breaking the state record this year.

Burns is only a three-year letter winner in track, and one-year letter winner in cross country he didn't participate in cross country until his senior year.

Burns was one of four boys tracksters who participated at state this year.

Western State is the class program in Division II distance running, winning the national cross country title four of the past five years.

Emily Mortensen will run track, but she will also participate in basketball at Dakota Wesleyan in Mitchell, S.D.

She will not be alone when she hits the Dakota corn-belt. Fellow hoopster Kevin Voorhees will also attend Wesleyan to play basketball.

Mortensen was the leading scorer for the Lady Bulldogs the past two years. Her senior year she was ranked in the top 20 for Class 4A scoring with 320 points. She was also part of the championship 4x800 relay team.

Voorhees was the leading scorer for the boys team this year as well, racking up 298 points and 168 rebounds.

Dakota Wesleyan is a NAIA school that plays in the highly-competitive Great Plains Conference. The conference produced the men's and women's national basketball champions this year in Northwestern Iowa College from Orange City.

The Dakota duo were recently awarded the highest athletic honor that Moffat County High School offers the Athlete of the Year.

The final athlete who signed was Krystal Voorhees, who will play basketball at Colorado Northwestern Community College-Rangley. The community college is a two-year institution, or junior college, which creates more opportunities for Voohees when she looks to move on to a four-year college.

Voorhees was one of the Lady 'Dogs low-post players this season and helped to lead the girls to the second round in the state playoffs.

"If someone asked me to pick a half-dozen kids that would succeed, these would be it," Baker said. "These kids reflect all the positives that Moffat County athletics and academics have to offer."

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