Pitman High’s Eric Reza and Kelsee Derr signed their respective letters of intent to compete for Willamette University and Liberty University on Tuesday. Following Pride tradition, the two seniors put ink to paper in the Pitman library as a large crowd of family, friends, coaches, and school administrators watched.
Reza was recruited by the Bearcats football team to fill a vacant receiver position and is expected to contribute immediately. Despite schools like Menlo College and Greenville University showing interest in his talents, it took only one campus visit in October for Reza to make up his mind.
“I went for a visit and I loved the coaches, campus, and atmosphere,” Reza said. “That’s what stole my heart and I committed as soon as I could.”
While Reza will be out on the football field trying to make a name for himself in Oregon, Derr will be on the track in Virginia with the Flames. Derr is slated to compete in the 400m hurdles as a collegiate athlete but is also expected to pick up the 100m hurdles as well.
“I decided on Liberty pretty early. The process was extremely simple for me,” Derr said. “I instantly knew it was the college for me.”
Though its Division I status was a major reason Derr chose Liberty over schools like Chico State University, the Flames’ football and athletic training programs were the deal sealers for the aspiring athletic doctor.
“I’ve grown up my entire life in a football based family so I’ve always wanted to be involved with college football,” Derr said. “I was looking for a big Christian school with an awesome football program.”
Derr is also expected to contribute immediately as she is slated to compete this winter for the indoor track and field season.
Though they are preparing to go to opposite ends of the country and embark on different paths, both Reza and Derr share a common foundation at Pitman that they expect will carry them through to their personal goals.
“I’m looking forward to a fresh start. All those wishes I had as a freshman in high school, I can fulfill them now with my better work ethic,” Reza said. “I look forward to representing the Pride at Willamette. I’m very excited for the next four years.”
“My years at Pitman have been incredible, I can’t thank Thad Moren enough for all the time and work he’s put into helping me,” Derr said. “Going from one awesome program to another awesome program, I’m really excited about that.”