It was a family affair at Plano West Wednesday morning in many senses of the word, as a packed house greeted 13 athletes from the school as they signed their National Letters of Intent to play at the collegiate level as part of nationwide National Signing Day festivities.
Familial connections could be found all over the West crowd, forged by both blood and friendship – twins Grant and Jill Pressly each signed to continue playing basketball and volleyball, respectively, and Caden Moortgat inked his intent to follow in his sister’s footsteps.
There was also an atmosphere among the onlookers, all part of the West family, and among the athletics department, in general, as hordes of teammates flooded the makeshift stage to take photos after each athlete was introduced by his or her head coach and signed on the dotted line.
Grant Pressly will attend the Colorado School of Mines, while his sister will take her talents to DePaul and Moortgat will suit up alongside his sister and fellow Plano West alum Camryn Moortgat at Boise State.
Elsewhere, the girls basketball team’s Brooke Johnson (Lake Forest College) and Maya Kendall (Midwestern State University), baseball’s CJ Difiglia (Howard College) and Nolan Chasak (the University of Texas at Dallas), girls golf’s Ellie Roth (the University of Kansas), girls soccer’s Ella McQuaid (Dallas Baptist University) and Lily Baylor (the University of Nebraska-Omaha), and volleyball’s Iman Ndiaye (UCLA), Sydney Yap (Duke) and Noelle Piatas (Miami) also put pen to paper to continue their athletic careers beyond the halls of Plano West.
For Grant Pressly, who said the Colorado School of Mines noticed him at a couple of summer tournaments and ramped up its efforts to recruit him from there, the opportunity to sign alongside his sister was a special one.
“It was amazing,” he said. “You really never see that, so it was just a great opportunity for me and my twin to have that and all that good stuff. I’m extremely proud. She put countless hours into the gym, and she continues to work hard each and every day. She’s only going to continue to do that at DePaul University.”
In addition to her brother, Jill Pressly signed alongside another family, this one found – the volleyball team’s four signees are all still pushing forward toward another trip to the state tournament in the quartet’s final season in blue and white.
The end of that run, Jill Pressly said, will be a bittersweet one regardless of when it comes.
“I love this team. It’s going to be really hard leaving them after the season’s over. … We’re all so close, so I think it’s going to be really hard when it comes to an end,” she said. “But I know that they’ll do great things once we’re all gone, so I think it’s really nice that we all have each other.”
For Moortgat and his family, the senior’s commitment to becoming a Bronco carries extra weight in the wake of his sibling’s decision to do the same.
With plenty of tennis left for both of them at the program, Moortgat said he couldn’t be more excited to get more time on the same squad as Camryn.
“She just finished her first year there, so we’ll be there together for a while,” he said. “I’m so excited. I love my sister to death. We’re super close, and it’s really just a blessing that we can both go to the same school. …
“It’s something I’ve worked for my whole life. This has been the goal, and I’m really excited to continue on and see how far I can take it.”
East sees Wilcox, Armijo sign
On the East side, cross country and track athlete Grant Wilcox made his commitment to running for Oklahoma State official, while softball star Carson Armijo finalized her longtime commitment to UCLA.
Wilcox recently finished 12th at the state cross country meet in Round Rock, while Armijo will look to engineer a postseason run for the Lady Panthers on the diamond this spring before heading off to join the Bruins, who earned their 11th Women’s College World Series title last season.
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