Signing day has a soccer feel for SK

South Kitsap has been called a football, basketball and baseball school, depending on the year.

But on this national letter-of-intent day, it felt more like a soccer school.

Six Wolves, all girls soccer players, gathered together in a small room in the administration office to sign with their respective colleges.

“It’s cool to see because we’ve played with each other growing up and it’s good to see we’re going to the next level,” said Katie Anderson, who will play midfielder and defender at Northern State University, a four-year school in Aberdeen, S.D.

NSU had two other players from Washington on its roster last season — goalkeeper Dee Wood (Bothell) and defender Kati Bronson (Spokane) — and Anderson said Coach Steve Kehm noticed her through a recruiting profile.

“I took a visit there and all the girls were really nice and the school was the best fit for me,” said Anderson, who’s considering a business or education major. “Soccer is my favorite thing to do, so I’m excited to keep playing.”

Kylie Balstad, who signed to play center midfield at Eastern Washington University, was the only other athlete among the half-dozen who will attend a four-year institution. Her sister, C.J. Balstad, is a freshman on Central Washington’s soccer team.

“I kind of just wanted to stay in Washington and I liked Eastern a lot when I went and visited and committed,” said Balstad, who plans to major in business or marketing.

Sarah Milne, a defender who helped limit South opponents to one goal per match as the Wolves finished a win away from the state tournament in the fall, signed with Columbia Basin College in Pasco.

“I went down there at Thanksgiving, talked with the coaches and they gave me a scholarship right there without seeing me play,” said Milne, who hopes to major in arts and humanities with an eye toward becoming a curator. “They called my coaches and liked what they heard about me.”

After she plays two years at CBC, Milne hopes to play for a four-year school; she said Eastern or Central Washington might be possibilities.

Caitlin Daniels also will take the community-college route before heading to a four-year school to pursue a nursing career. She signed with Edmonds Community College, where she plans to play both soccer and basketball. Daniels said selecting a school was easier than she imagined.

“It was nice,” she said. “I didn’t have to fill out any college paperwork, which was great.”

Maria Jose and Samantha Gallegos, who have been friends since childhood, both signed with nearby Olympic College.

“It’s kind of a stepping stone,” said Jose, who doesn’t have a major in mind. “We get to go out and do the college thing, but we’re also close to home and near friends.”

Gallegos, who likely will play center midfielder or forward, was the only member of the group who didn’t play for the Wolves last season. She and Jose were spotted by the OC coaching staff during select-ball season. Gallegos hopes to pursue a career in sports photography, while Jose sees herself as a flight attendant.

“I want to be a flight attendant because you get to go everywhere,” said Jose, noting that it was ironic she picked a college closer than her teammates. “I like to travel a lot.”

Several players thanked their families and friends for their support through the recruiting process and said they appreciate the opportunity to play collegiate sports.

“It’s nice knowing that all of us are going to college,” Balstad said. “We will play sports and have fun.”

South Kitsap signings:

• Katie Anderson (soccer, Northern State University, Aberdeen, S.D.)

• Kylie Balstad (soccer, Eastern Washington University, Cheney)

• Caitlin Daniels (basketball and soccer, Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood)

• Samantha Gallegos (soccer, Olympic College, Bremerton)

• Maria Jose (soccer, Olympic College, Bremerton)

• Sarah Milne (soccer, Columbia Basin College, Pasco)

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