Two more Spartans sign with Northwest schools

Senior Jamie Neill (top) signed his letter of intent to attend the Unviersity of Idaho next season and play for the Vandal golf team. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Senior Jamie Neill (top) signed his letter of intent to attend the Unviersity of Idaho next season and play for the Vandal golf team.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

Jamie Neill is a Vandal, while Brittany Gray commits to Gonzaga.

Two more Bainbridge High School athletes have chosen the schools they want to continue at to keep their athletic careers going beyond high school.

Golfer Jamie Neill signed a letter of intent Thursday night to attend the University of Idaho and play for their golf team.

Neill was also looking at Gonzaga, Whitworth and Cal State Monterrey, but he felt that Idaho was the best choice for him.

“They have a Division I program and they play in a pretty good conference (the WAC),” he said. “I think they’ve got a pretty good future too and I want to be part of that.”

The two sides had been talking since last summer. In January, they made a formal offer, but Neill wanted to make his official visit to be sure the university was for him.

“I saw the campus and met the team and just liked what I saw,” he said.

Neill said he’ll also get to play as soon as he gets there.

“The coach (Brad Rickel) actually told me right off the bat that he likes to get his freshman playing right away to gain that experience. So I feel I can contribute right away.”

Neill was a three-time qualifier for State and was part of some talented teams that won the 3A title in 2005 and placed second in 2004.

He plans to major in pro golf management, a program that is offered at the university. Neill said it’s the same one that friend and former teammate Austin Hurt attended at Arizona State University before transferring to Washington State University.

“He (Hurt) said there were some great things over there (at ASU) and it’s the same program at the Univeristy of Idaho,” he said.

“It’s actually like a minor in business as well, so if it doesn’t work out in golf, there’s always the business to fall back on.”

Also following in the family business – or so it seems these days – is Brittany Gray.

The sophomore wing made a verbal commitment to Gonzaga this week, following in her big brother Steven’s footsteps much like when he committed to Gonzaga before his junior year.

Brittany said she’s been thinking about it since they offered her a scholarship when she was over with her family on Steven’s official visit back in September.

“I’ve been thinking about it since they offered,” she said. “But I wanted to take a couple of months and really think about it to make sure it was the right offer for me.”

Brittany also liked how they offered her a scholarship when she was there. She had been looking at schools in California such as USC and UCLA.

“I liked the coaches and the campus and the way they run things,” she said. “I hope I can get in there and make the program better.”

She also added that she’s happy to have someone there who she can talk to when she gets to Spokane.

“It’ll be nice to have Steven there,” she said. “Steven thinks it’ll be like high school again. He’s totally for it and really happy for me.”

Brittany is a two-time All-Kitsap News Group and All-Metro first team selection and was recently named an Associated Press all-state honorable mention.

While a verbal commitment is not binding, Brittany said she won’t change her mind for any other school.

“It’s where I want to go,” she said.

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