When he started playing lacrosse, earning a college scholarship did not cross his mind.
But TJ Wright became the first player from Northern Nevada to earn a Division I college scholarship for lacrosse. The Galena senior made it official Tuesday when he signed with Denver University. There have been other lacrosse players who signed with Division II schools.
Wright was one of five Galena seniors to participate in a signing ceremony Tuesday at the school. Three of the five are continuing at Division I schools.
In addition to Wright, Savanna Force will compete in gymnastics at Oregon State; Eva Swearngin will play soccer for the United States Air Force Academy; Travis Ermann will play lacrosse for Adams State, a DII school and Rachel Henley will play soccer for Southern Oregon, an NAIA school in Ashland, Oregon.
Wright, who plans to study engineering, is joining a successful lacrosse team. Denver won the national championship in 2015. He chose Denver because it is the furthest west of the DI schools that offer lacrosse. He also considered some Ivy League schools.
Wright, who plays goalkeeper, was recognized as an All-American by U.S. Lacrosse in 2016. He also coaches youth lacrosse.
Wright said he hopes his signing will help Northern Nevada get more attention from college lacrosse coaches.
“I really hope I’ve broken through that initial wall, so maybe it’s easier for people to get committed now,” he said.
Force plans to study kinesiology at Oregon State.
Swearngin was named the 2016 4A Offensive Player of the Year in the Sierra League and was a First-Team All-State Forward. She is undecided about what she will study, but said she is looking forward to serving in the military.
Ermann will study biology at Adams State in Alamosa, Colo. Henley plans to study occupational therapy at Southern Oregon.
Together, the group of five students has an average GPA of 3.8 and a weighted GPA of 4.64.