Four MCHS seniors sign letters of intent for schools from Hawaii to Texas |

Four MCHS seniors sign letters of intent for schools from Hawaii to Texas

Students to continue careers in wrestling, track, livestock judging

Eli Pace
On Tuesday at the high school, Moffat County seniors, from left, Pepper Rhyne, Halle Hamilton, Emma Jones and Reina Steele sign letters of intent to attend college on scholarships.
Eli Pace/Craig Press

Surrounded by their families, friends and teachers, four seniors at Moffat County High School put pens to paper Tuesday as they inked letters of intent.

For MCHS Athletic Director Jim Loughran, it was a special moment that highlighted a handful of students in a special class.

“The reason I think (these moments) are so special is because I watch and think of all the hard work these kids put in for four years to achieve what they’ve achieved,” Loughran said. “More than anything, I think about the parents and about what the parents had to put in to get them this far. So, we’re pretty proud.”

With her mom Sheli behind her, MCHS senior Reina Steele signs a letter of intent to attend Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, on a livestock judging scholarship.
Eli Pace/Craig Press

Reina Steele, Blinn College

First up, Reina Steele signed a letter of intent to attend Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. In addition to being awarded a prestigious Daniels Scholarship, which gives students $100,000 over four years of college, Steele also secured a scholarship for livestock judging from the school.

Steele has been judging livestock since her freshman year. She said Blinn is well known across the nation for its collegiate livestock judging program, so she reached out to the school’s livestock judging coach, applied for the scholarship and was more than happy to accept it.

MCHS senior Pepper Rhyne looks up at coach Tyler Seislove, left, as Seislove introduces the Bulldogs star wrestler Tuesday at the high school before Pepper signed a letter of intent to attend Chadron State on an athletic scholarship.
Eli Pace/Craig Press

Pepper Rhyne, Chadron State College

Next up, Pepper Rhyne has been a wrestler since he was 4 or 5 years old, and it appears all of the sweat and hard work he put in on the mats is paying off. Rhyne signed an athletic scholarship to wrestle for Chadron State College in Nebraska, where he plans to compete in the 165 or 174 pound weight class.

Rhyne said it has always been a goal of his to attend college on a wrestling scholarship, and he’s excited to finish high school and take in the experience as he’s more than ready to take the next step.

Halle Hamilton, University of Hawaii

In addition to Steele and Rhyne, two MCHS track stars will continue their speedy careers in college, too. Halle Hamilton is going to travel the farthest out of the bunch, as she heads off to the University of Hawaii on a track scholarship.

An independent young woman who’s not afraid of venturing thousands of miles away from home, Hamilton said she plans on focusing on the 400-meter run when she gets to Hawaii.

“It was super exciting,” Hamilton said of Hawaii offering her a scholarship. “I definitely had to reach out to them first because they are so far away, but when I met the team and traveled over there for the official visit, they were really welcoming and it just felt so surreal … I’m just super excited for this opportunity and I owe it all to my track coach (Todd Trapp). He’s the man.”

Emma Jones, Colorado College

Hamilton’s best friend, Emma Jones, also signed a letter of intent on Tuesday, though she will be running track for Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Jones and Hamilton’s tables were arranged side by side, and coach Trapp introduced the pair together as he spoke about their accomplishments in front of the large crowd.

Jones competes in the 200, 400 and high jump, but said she is willing to do whatever events Colorado College wants her to.

Jones has been intent on securing a track scholarship since her sophomore year, when she watched as that year’s seniors inked letters of their own.

“I started looking at colleges that were smaller and offered very good academics as well as athletics,” Jones recalled, adding that Colorado College checked all the boxes for her and her dad went there as well. “It just worked out really well. It just felt perfect for me.”

Loughran said Moffat County’s Class of 2022 is a special senior class and the four students who signed letters Tuesday are only a small representation of what the entire class has done over the last four years.

A crowd watches Tuesday as four Moffat County High School seniors sign letters of intent to attend college on scholarships.
Eli Pace/Craig Press
The students’ families and coaches applaud after four seniors at Moffat County High School signed letters of intent to attend college on scholarships.
Eli Pace/Craig Press

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