Spartan athletes sign to play in college

Although Spartan athletes signed college letters of intent a few weeks ago, they were honored with a signing day at Bainbridge High School May 31. Seven players were honored across six sports.

Wyatt Goade was a standout wrestler for BHS for years, but will play football for the University of Puget Sound. Goade played defensive end and qualified for state as a wrestler his senior year. “The coach said he watched some of my matches during state and was very excited to have me play defensive end,” Goade said.

Wrestling coach Dan Pippinger added, “Wyatt is going to step up, and UPS is getting a great young man. He is going to surprise some people.”

Ella Parker will also head to UPS in Tacoma to play tennis. “I’ve been playing tennis for eight years and the ability to be able to express myself through sport is the most important thing,” Parker said. “Also, being close to my family and getting the education I want is really cool.”

Coach Mary McCombs said, “Unfortunately, her freshman year was cut short because of COVID, and her senior year didn’t pan out due to an injury. She never stopped working on her tennis game, and it paid off.”

Parker was a three-time captain and competed at state in singles her junior year.

Elsa Cajune and Ghadir Ramadan will continue playing basketball with each other after signing to play at Everett Community College. “It’s super exciting,” Cajune said. “We have been waiting for this for awhile, and it’s been building during the whole season.”

Cajune was a spark on the Spartan offense in her single season after moving from Montana, while Ramadan was a force underneath the basket, breaking the record for rebounds in one game her junior year. “I am so excited to room with Elsa,” Ramadan said. “We have a huge connection. I felt like I have known her for years.”

Carlos Field-Bennett will continue to play soccer at Berea College in Kentucky. ”It’s the best feeling to be able to continue to play at the next level,” Field-Bennett said. He was a spark for the Spartans as a midfielder and won a sportsmanship award in the Olympic League.

“He was very determined and takes soccer very seriously,” coach Drew Keller said. “He can impact and change a game when he comes in.”

Cooper Benjamin will head back to his home country to play basketball. The Canadian native will hoop at Briercrest College in Saskatchewan. “It’s definitely good because I get to play in front of some family I have not seen in a long time and excited to experience Canadian living,” Benjamin said.

Coach Brad Lewis said Benjamin showed a lot of improvement. “His junior year he did not make the varsity team. He was challenged to play JV and work on his game. He thrived getting the opportunity to play and mentor the younger players.”

Even though Bainbridge’s softball team struggled, Brearley Jayne Curfman stood out and will play at St. Olaf College, a Division III school in Northfield Minn. Curfman was the lone senior and played shortstop and third base. “She started as a baseball player and didn’t play softball until her freshman year of high school,” coach Jessica Bratonia said. “It is amazing to show her true grit and keep getting better.”

Dan Pippinger says University of Puget Sound will be surprised by Wyatt Goade on the football field.

Dan Pippinger says University of Puget Sound will be surprised by Wyatt Goade on the football field.