Sprague's Letter of Intent Signing


As Sprague High School football coach Jay Minyard stepped in front of a few hundred people gathered in the school’s library for the National Letter of Intent signing ceremony Wednesday, he mentioned one problem with introducing his three seniors Connor Astley, Devvon Gage and Austin Wilson.

“They’re all better looking than me,” said the coach to the laughter of the students, teachers and parents in attendance.


“Well, I was being just being nice to them in front of the crowd, they’re not that good looking,” Minyard said in a later interview. “I don’t want to get their egos too high.

“The thing that stands out with these three in particular is their work ethic and attitude. They’re leaders on the field, in the classroom and the type of kids that wake up at 6 a.m. for speed and quickness drills just because they’re such great competitors.”

Both Gage, a first-team all-Central Valley Conference running back, and Wilson, a first-team linebacker, signed letters of intent to play at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

The duo helped Sprague post a 10-2 overall record and reach the Class 6A state quarterfinals.

Wilson said that all three signed together made the event special.

“It felt great in that we all worked for hard for this, and now we’re getting the payoff for it,” Wilson said. “Having Devvon (Gage) also coming to Western is awesome too, and hopefully we’ll get to keep playing together.”

The third member of the group, Astley, signed with Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Astley was an honorable mention all-state offensive tackle.

“It’s gorgeous down there and there’s not a lot of rain, which is nice,” Astley said. “I fell in love with the campus as soon as I stepped on campus.”

Three other athletes also signed letters during the ceremony.

Catcher Jackson Smith hasn’t started his final baseball season with the Olympians, but signed with hometown Corban.

“I grew up at the school, both my parents worked there in the past,” Smith said. “The coaches are really pushing ‘Bible before baseball,’ really pushing players’ faith and I’m really excited about that.”

Maggie Hering is headed to the University of Montana in Missoula, Mont., where she’ll join the track and field team specializing in the heptathlon.

“It has great academic program that I’m really looking forward to joining,” she said. “And the coaches are amazing.”

Kelsey Martin signed with Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho, to play soccer. She was a four-year varsity starter for the Olympians.

“Along with playing soccer, I’m really looking forward to getting challenged academically,” Martin said. “I’m really excited.”


Originial Article, Statesman Journal


  • Created By Carter McQuigg -- 5/31/2017

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