By Will Petersen
For the Courier
Two seniors made their college choices official last week during signing ceremonies at Evergreen High School.
Sam Hamilton signed with the University of Denver to play soccer and Colin Elmgreen will take his talents to Nebraska Wesleyan University to play basketball.
Hamilton, who last played for Evergreen High as a junior, played for the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy program this year. The program’s season was 10 months long, and in turn, the program’s directors asked its players not to play for their respective high schools.
“High school soccer is awesome and so fun, but I felt it was the right choice to play with the Academy because more coaches come and see you and you get more exposure. I did it so I could play in college,” Hamilton said.
Georgia State, Bucknell and Davidson also offered Hamilton before he decided on DU. His former coach at Evergreen, Peter Jeans, gave him a glowing recommendation.
“He’s a great player. He’s the most fit and competitive player that I’ve ever coached. His game has improved steadily but spectacularly over the last few years,” Jeans said.
Hamilton had five goals and nine assists for Evergreen as a junior in 2011. He scored two of the team’s three goals in a 3-1 state quarterfinal win over Battle Mountain that helped propel them to an appearance in the 4A state title game.
Elmgreen dazzled on the basketball court this year stuffing the stat sheet and leading Evergreen to the Sweet 16 for a second straight year. He finished with averages of 11.2 points per game, 4.3 assists and 2.9 steals. The senior guard got official offers from Jamestown College and Nebraska Wesleyan before deciding on the latter.
“When you’re in the (recruiting) process you don’t realize how stressful it is. Once you’re done and know where you’re going it’s a big weight off your shoulders,” he said.
Elmgreen took five total visits, but he said ultimately the chance to go to a town such as Lincoln, which is also home to the University of Nebraska, was important to him.
“I liked it the best out of all of the places I visited. All my relatives have gone to big colleges and I still wanted that big feel but also to be able to play basketball,” he said.