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3 Trojans commit to college athletics on national ‘Signing Day’

Three Pahrump Valley High School senior student athletes committed to playing sports in college last week.

After the morning announcement on the intercom, they asked teachers to allow student athletes participating in the signing-day ceremony to join their family and friends in the school’s auditorium. Many schools across the nation also held ceremonies for their students in the first week of February.

But to the students, their four years in high school have flown by.

“The last I remember I was just in elementary and now I’ll be a senior graduate,” said Avery Moore, who is staying within the state, but in the northern area in Reno.

“I enjoyed my four years of high school very much and it’s kinda weird it’s coming to an end so quickly,” said Emily Lewis, who will be traveling across the nation to go to college in Ohio. “Time just flies by very quickly.”


Brennen Benedict, Lewis and Moore all took the stage individually with their parents to be acknowledged and sign their contracts for their colleges onstage in the auditorium by the basketball court.

Benedict, a senior athlete who played in football, wrestling and in track and field, was the first to take the stage with his parents. Benedict was nearly brought to tears after he was introduced by Athletic Administrator Jason Odegard.

Benedict signed his contract on stage to attend Lincoln University in Oakland, California, where he is expected to study imagery that focuses on radiology.

Athletics pushed Benedict to try in school and through any sport that he did, “Even if it was torture,” he said as the crowd laughed.

Lincoln University was the only offer he received, according to Benedict, but he “can’t wait,” to attend the small college, where he’ll be playing football.

Wearing her future college’s gear and coming up to the stage was Lewis with her family. While a Trojan, she has participated in soccer and track and field, and she’ll continue to play soccer at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio. She’ll be on track to study sports medicine.

Her mother, Jamie Lewis, believes she falls into the medical field naturally as she was a flight nurse for over 20 years and her father, Scott Lewis, is the Pahrump fire chief.

“I can’t believe it, but I’m going off to college,” Lewis said. “It’s pretty far and pretty cold, I’m very excited. I’ll definitely get a lot of jackets there.”

Last on stage was Moore, who has participated in soccer and basketball in her years at Pahrump Valley. She signed her contract on stage to attend the University of Nevada, Reno where she will also be studying in the medical field.

“I loved it up there,” Moore said. “As of right now, I’m very excited but I’m a little nervous, as I think I’ll be a little homesick.”

Less athletes signed up

Odegard was full of pride on Wednesday morning to have watched the three college-bound students work hard and he’s seen their dedication to stay academically competitive to get accepted into college.

This year was one of the smallest classes of students signing their college acceptance letters, according to Odegard. In other years, they have had roughly seven students in the signing day ceremony. On average, the school has roughly five students sign a year but some students just have not yet committed at the moment.

The low count doesn’t worry the athletic administrator, “It just varies from year to year and I think we have more athletes that could, but I think a lot of them realize that it’s such a commitment on the next level that some of them are ready to get on with the next part of their lives.”

“The coaches here have done a great job and I can’t thank them enough,” Scott Lewis said. “It’s a collective team approach on everything and this is reaping the benefits for everyone, as it’s a great representation for the school.”

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