When Baileigh McCuskey says she’s going to do something, no matter how daunting the task might seem, stand back because it’s probably going to happen.
In the eighth grade, McCuskey decided she wanted to be valedictorian in high school.
Now the North Valleys senior is just that, and is also an outstanding softball player who signed Wednesday to play for Pomona University in Southern California.
Wednesday was the first day student-athletes could sign letters of intent to attend Division I colleges. Several area high school athletes signed Wednesday, or will sign in the next week.
Bailee Glover, a pitcher for North Valleys softball, also signed Wednesday, She will play for Cal State-East Bay in the Bay Area.
McCuskey and Glover live a block away from each other and play on the same tournament team, Brianne McGowan’s Nevada Comets 18-U McGowan tournament team.
McCuskey is also one of the NIAA’s top 10 student-athletes and will be honored at a banquet on April 29 at the Peppermill Hotel-Casino. She has a 5.225 GPA.
“After eighth grade, she told her mom, “I want to be No. 1. I want to be valedictorian,'” her father Eric McCuskey said.
Both Glover and McCuskey played four seasons of varsity softball at North Valleys.
McCuskey plans a course of study called P-P-E (politics, philosophy and economics) with the goal of going to law school and eventually becoming a sport agent.
“Brianne and my softball coach Danielle Verlanic, (at North Valleys) have been an immense help in getting me to where I am now. I would not be the player I am without those two,” McCuskey said.
Glover said being close to home was a big factor in her decision, as well as studying on a beautiful campus.
She will major in education and hopes to become a teacher.
The Cougars had seven student-athletes sign Wednesday.
They are: Briana Alvarez Aguirre (soccer), Feather River College in Quincy, Calif.; Audrey Barham (soccer), Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Wash.; Callie Drescher (soccer), Lassen College in Susanville; Kyle Messer (baseball), Upper Iowa University; Breanna Prary (soccer), Mendocino College in Ukiah, Calif.; Jacob Prizina (baseball), Seattle University and Jacob White (football), Montana Tech University.
White will study engineering at the school in Butte, Mont. He expects to play slot receiver or tight end.
Prizina will focus on pitching at Seattle. He will study biology and plans to be an optometrist.
The Miners had three baseball players sign Wednesday, Alec West, College of Southern Idaho; Connor Brewster, University of San Francisco and Web Charles, Youngstown State.
West said CSI is the best school for him to continue developing as a baseball player. He will pitch and play outfield. He will study business.
Charles said the education aspect was as important as the athletics in his decision.
“I really like the baseball program, but the school itself too, is really nice, the education part is really important to me,” Charles said.
He is undecided on what he will study.
“It will a little bit of an adjustment and take a couple months to figure things out,” Charles said of going to school in Ohio. It’s a unique opportunity to see a different part of the country and go live my life a little bit.”
Manogue will have five more student-athletes sign at a ceremony Friday.
The Vaqueros had four sign this week and two more will sign next week.
They are: Gavin Henderson (baseball) Arizona Western College; Shane Kelso (Baseball), Western Nevada College; Kevin Montgomery (football), Eastern Arizona; Justice Akerson (golf), Southwestern Oregon CC. Lynsee Ferretto (basketball) Green River College and Austin Smith (football) Saint Mary’s, will sign next week.
The Raiders will have several student-athletes sign at a ceremony next week. Three football players, J’juan White, Danny McCarth, and Ty Warkentin and one for women’s basketball, Nakiyah LeSure.