Oak Ridge athletes sign letter of intent

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Seven Oak Ridge athletes signed letters of intent today to attend colleges and participate in collegiate athletics. Football players Will Boule, Dylan Collie and J.D. Smith, soccer players Tiffani Reimers and Mandi McBroom along with Lance Berringer (baseball) and Lauren Sende (basketball) will extend their athletic careers in college. “This is a big day for these athletes and to have this many moving on speaks volumes to our program, our coaches, and of course, the athletes,” Oak Ridge Athletic Director Steve White said. “We’re proud of them.” Sende, who is the starting center on Oak Ridge’s varsity girls’ basketball team, coached by White, is headed to Westmont College in Santa Barbara. “Lauren is a leader on the team and has really been coming on the last three weeks,” White said. “I can’t say enough good things about her as a person and I thank her for the contributions she’s made to the program so far.” Berringer had 25 hits in 31 games a year ago, to go along with 25 runs batted in and 19 runs scored in helping Oak Ridge reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship series. The Trojans finished the year with a 21-11 record. Berringer is head to the University of Nevada Reno. “Lance is one of the hardest working players on the team who has shown he’s willing to put the time in to succeed,” said White, reading from a prepared statement from baseball coach Todd Melton, who was unable to attend the signing ceremony. “He’s also a top student with great character. He was a vital cog in the team that helped us make the section finals last year.” McBroom and Reimers will take their soccer talents to UC Irvine and Cal-State Fullerton, respectively. Oak Ridge soccer coach Henry Reis wrote, “Mandi is a two-year varsity player who played primarily as a defender, but could also play striker. She’s got great speed and shows her leadership. Tiffani is a three-year varsity play who played defense and outside middle. She also has great speed and timing and is a great communicator.” Boule is headed to Eastern Washington, while Collie will attend Brigham Young University and J.D. Smith will go to Southern Oregon. Boule started at offensive tackle for the Trojans this season. “Will is truly a prime example of hard work and dedication,” Oak Ridge football coach Eric Cavaliere said. “It was incredible to watch him grow from a freshman to a senior. I think it was a year and a half ago that he decided that he wanted to be a college football player and he put the time and work in to achieve that goal. With the help of a lot of people, he improved his strength and agility and got there. J.D. Smith set team records as a kicker for the Trojans with seven field goals in a season and 44 touchbacks. “J.D. did a lot of research on his own and attended camps to become the kicker that he is,” Cavaliere said. Oak Ridge coach Mike Preacher also comment on Smith. “J.D. is an unbelievable talent. I was blown away the first day I saw him. It’s not as easy as it looks to make the transition from soccer to football. When you’re a specialist, coaches only get a little bit of time to work with you so the rest is up to the athlete and J.D. got it done.” Another Oak Ridge football coach, Mark Watson spoke to Collie’s talents, who played most of the year at wide receiver, but also spent five games playing quarterback. As a receiver, which is what he will be at BYU, Collie caught 44 passes for 660 yards and scored eight touchdowns. “Dylan came in as a wide receiver, but after injury upon injury, came into play quarterback for several weeks and just attacked it,” Watson said. “His enthusiasm, his leadership and his positive attitude is what separates him from other players.”