Three Thunder Ridge High School seniors signed national letters of intent April 21 outside of the high school.
Avery Turnage signed with Montana State volleyball, Jesus ‘Jerry’ Lopez signed with Blue Mountain Community College men’s soccer and Kayden Toldson signed with Eastern Wyoming College men’s basketball.
A 2019 Post Register All-Area Volleyball first team selection, Turnage was also recruited by Weber State, Coastal Carolina University and Portland State. She played outside hitter for 2019 5A state champion Thunder Ridge, but Montana State’s coach told her she could play middle blocker or right side in college due to her hitting versatility.
She said playing varsity volleyball all four years in high school and playing in college were goals she wrote down when she was younger. She added that it was amazing to see the Titans, who were formerly Bonneville and Hillcrest athletes, bond together.
“The most important lesson I learned is be more open to relationships with people who used to be your rivals,” Turnage said.
The Post Register’s 2019 All-Area Boys Soccer Player of the Year with 19 goals and 11 assists for the repeat 5A District 5-6 champion Titans, Lopez will join 2019 Thunder Ridge graduate Fabian Sandoval on the team in Pendleton, Ore.
The midfielder said the opportunity with Blue Mountain, whose coaches saw him play at the 2019 5A state tournament, was made possible by Thunder Ridge coach Corey Toldson.
“I feel like being with (Thunder Ridge’s) program opened a door for me,” Lopez said Tuesday by phone. “I feel like our coach played a big role in getting me through this door.”
Kayden, Toldson’s son, drew college interest in both football and basketball, but said he couldn’t pass up Eastern Wyoming upon being extended a full ride scholarship. He added that being part of Thunder Ridge was a fun experience.
“I felt like it was nice improving from last year,” he said. “This year, we played a lot better. It was nice to see the whole community have our back.”