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Central Kitsap senior lineman Reece Wood was looking for the next challenge and found it at the University of Puget Sound. CK midfielder Lauren Hudson picked Seattle University to have the opportunity to play Division I soccer and stay close to home. The pair signed their letters at a ceremony at the high school library Wednesday.

Central Kitsap’s Lauren Hudson and Reese Wood smile during their signing ceremony at CK High School’s library Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

There were various reasons why area high school athletes signed their letters of intent across the county, as varied as the student-athletes themselves. What they have in common is the desire to push themselves to the next level in the realm of athletics.

Wood, an all-conference center for the Cougars, will play for the Loggers in the fall while pursuing physical therapy as his field of study. It doesn’t hurt that UPS internships are with the Seattle Seahawks, he said.

Central Kitsap’s Reese Wood receives a hug after his signing ceremony at CK High School’s library. Wood will play for the University of Puget Sound’s football team next season.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

“That was an interesting little in right there,” Wood said with a smile. “It’s a good school for academics and I’m very into my academics.”

Wood, who has a 3.9 GPA, knows a strong education will set himself up for success later in life.

“I don’t want to get into a rut where I’m just doing decent,” he said. “I want to do as good as I can.”

Hudson, who happily sat her nephew Julian Thompson on her lap while taking pictures with friends and family, said at first she was willing to go where the best opportunity presented itself.

It turned out to be across the water in Seattle, playing for the Redhawks.

“I’m so close with my family and also my nephew,” she said, adding playing at Seattle was a good fit. “It just felt right.”

Lauren Hudson smiles with her nephew, Julian Thompson, during her signing ceremony. Hudson will play soccer at Seattle University.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Hudson said the coaching staff is friendly and they care about their players like a parent would.

“It’s not all about soccer,” she said. “It’s about how you’re doing in life, how you’re doing in school. The soccer program is really competitive and they do well every year in the WAC.”

Lauren Hudson smiles with friends as her mother, Julie, takes her picture at a signing ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at CK’s library.
(Annette Griffus/West Sound SportsPlus)

Wood wasn’t the only player committing to a college for Central Kitsap head coach Mark Keel. Defensive back Darickus Welborne signed his letter earlier in the day to play football at DII Central Washington University.

North Kitsap’s Ryan Brooks joined Welborne as a 2018 Central Washington commit. Brooks helped the Vikings to a 10-1 record, the state quarterfinals and an Olympic League 2A championship.

South Kitsap had a handful of signees Wednesday.

Wolves’ midfielder Savannah Foster will play soccer at the University of Idaho

Baseball standouts Drew Worden (University of Washington), Dusty Garcia (Arizona State) and Alex Garcia (Edmonds College) will see their careers continue after the upcoming spring season

Dusty Garcia (Arizona St baseball) with Savannah pic.twitter.com/oSYiUKNml0

Great Day to Be a Wolf! Congrats to @DustyMG5@ASU_Baseball , @Drew_Worden06@UW_Baseball , @GargarAlex@EDCC_Baseball . Hard work pays off. #TIB@JeffGrahamKSpic.twitter.com/Spkbvuu2eM

Mason Eaglin will head to Duke University for wrestling

Grant Larson will play soccer for Northwest Nazarene

Bainbridge catcher Maddie Loverich made it official when she signed to play softball at Linfield College in Oregon. Loverich backstopped the Spartans to the Class 3A state tournament last spring and was an all-Metro League first-team selection at the utility spot.

As a junior Loverich had a slugging percentage of .983, drove in 28 runs, batted .542 and had 13 extra-base hits.

Bainbridge catcher Maddie Loverich signed her letter of intent Wednesday with assistant coach Brittany Wisner, left, and head coach Haylee Baker, right, and former head coach Liz McCloskey on hand for her signing ceremony at Bainbridge High.
(Contributed photo)
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