Universities sign Bergman, Devore
Two area high school students took steps to further their post-prep athletic endeavors on Wednesday by signing collegiate national letters of intent.
South Tahoe High’s Jason Bergman signed to play football at Huron University, a Division II NAIA school, in Huron, S.D. South Tahoe volleyball player Kate Devore also signed, committing to play at U.C. Davis. Both will receive partial athletic scholarships.
“I’m excited. I feel like everything I’ve worked hard for is coming true,” said Bergman, who was joined by his father, George, and STHS coach Tim Jaureguito in a signing ceremony at the high school.
Bergman (5-7, 155) was an all-league and all-state defensive back for the Vikings last season. He led the team in interceptions, played on all special teams and displayed a keen ability to make things happen.
“I think they liked that I play hard on every play and can come up to the line of scrimmage to make tackles. I’m nervous because I don’t know what to expect, but I’m sure I can contribute,” said Bergman, who credited Jaureguito for his assistance throughout the recruiting process. “He deserves practically all the credit. He made suggestions where to go and what level would be best for me.”
Huron coaches were thrilled to sign Bergman and have high expectations for the incoming defender. The Tribe lost two defensive backs to graduation, a safety and corner, and plans to move their current strong safety up to weak-side linebacker.
“He’ll get an opportunity to play. There’s a lot of different roles on the team. I think he’s in a good situation and so are we,” said second-year Huron head coach Paul Troth, who guided the Tribe to a 4-6 record last season in the South Dakota/Iowa Conference. “We have a real need at defensive back. The thing that convinced us the most is that he’s a hard worker, a super kid and really competitive. He’s someone who can make an impact on this football team.”
Added Tribe defensive coordinator Mike Newman, “We’d like to get real aggressive on defense and get to where we’re four deep in every position. We think Jason can contribute to that depth. We’re thinking of him as a safety, but it’ll be up to him.”
Bergman said he hopes to break in on special teams and possibly at cornerback, with eventually designs on a free safety spot.
Meanwhile, Devore made good on a verbal commitment to U.C. Davis. The 6-2, 140-pound Devore received other offers, including a full scholarship to Belmont University in Tennessee. But after only two years of high school and club volleyball experience due to past injuries, Devore said she was excited with the athletic, as well as academic, opportunities at the NCAA Div. II school in Davis, Calif.
“It close to home enough that I can do my laundry, but not close enough that my parents can just drop in,” joked Devore, who will study pre-law. “It was definitely the best of the best offers. The full ride was flattering, but California volleyball is the best. It’s a great university and I get to do what I love – play volleyball.”
Aggies fifth-year coach Sharon King said Devore’s natural ability made the difference.
“We see potential for tons of growth and we liked her height. Once we bulk her up and get her adapted to the quickness of the college game, I think she can be a real good player,” said King, who recruited three middle players. “What’s good for Kate is that she’ll get the chance to compete right away.”
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