On Wednesday afternoon at Scottsbluff High School it was a pretty local affair with three student-athletes signing to further their academics and continue their athletic careers at WNCC.
Up first it was soccer players Luis Martinez and Jerry Escamilla. You can read WNCC’s write up on that duo here.
Following the fellas from the pitch it was time to turn our attention to the hardwood as basketball player Conner McCracken inked with the hometown Cougars.
McCracken cited the ability to be able to play in front of his family and friends for a couple years as a driving force in this decision and that big picture, getting to play college basketball fulfills a lifelong dream.
WNCC has found much success with talent from one of the top high school programs in the state in recent years.
Former star Trent Harris is currently at D-1 Northern Colorado and quite possibly the greatest player in the regions history, Dru Kuxhausen, just completed his lone season at WNCC and is set to sign soon with D-1 McNeese State.
WNCC Head Coach Cory Fehringer is glad to have this mini-pipeline barely a mile from his home gym.
McCracken burst onto the scene his junior season two years ago with a 30+ point effort on the opening night of the season in a close win over Alliance and he really never stopped scoring after that.
This year he averaged 16 points and 4 rebounds per game in helping lead the Bearcats back to the state tournament after a one year absence.
A key to that late season run that ended in Lincoln was, not only the play of McCracken, but his much needed senior leadership. Some of that leadership was born out of going through ups and downs as a player.
When McCracken was a sophomore he would have been good enough to not only play on the varsity at other schools, but probably good enough to have been a starter on lots of other teams. The Cats were loaded and McCracken had to learn about waiting his turn, something that Cats head coach Scott Gullion feels will serve him well heading to the hill.
After the signing was over I was able to talk for a few more minutes with both the above head coaches. This audio starts with Coach Fehringer and then it’s on to Coach Gullion.
McCracken will study pre-physical therapy field with a vision to get a bachelors degree in sports medicine, and he says his end goal in the classroom will be a doctorate in Chiropractics.