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Jenks Gazette

Jenks Athletes Celebrate Exciting Year

Sports Writer

JENKS GIRLS GOLF: The Jenks Girls Golf Team finished third in Class 6-A golf.

DEAN ATCHISON for GTR Newspapers

Several athletes at Jenks signed letters of intent to continue their respective sports in college.

Included among them were players in baseball, lacrosse, tennis, cross country/track and soccer. Two student-athletes will be traveling far away, one will be staying in town, and others will be going to neighboring states.

Sy Snedeker, a standout catcher for the Trojans on the diamond, is bound for Princeton University.

“When the Princeton coaches called me,” Snedeker says,  “I was stoked about the chance to play there.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Snedeker adds. “My whole life growing up, my parents have always been on top of me as far as grades. It’s always been my goal to play baseball at a Division-I level and play for a high academic school.”

Moving far away will be nothing new for Snedeker. His father, Sean Snedeker, is the pitching coach at Oral Roberts University and has played and coached in the Chicago White Sox organization. That has caused his family, originally from Bryan, Texas, to move around often. Snedeker came to Jenks with his family in the eighth grade.

Snedeker chose Princeton over Bradley, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Eastern Kentucky.

“It was too hard for me to pass up the education opportunity at Princeton,” he says. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.

What he will remember most about being a part of the Jenks baseball program is “How Coach (Danny) Morgan has done a great job of building our family. Every player on this team is kind of like a brother to me. We all know each other the same.”

Utah-bound for lacrosse
Josh Biggs has been involved in the growth of the lacrosse program at Jenks. He is bound for Utah after signing with the Pac-12 school. He chose the Utes over D-II and D-III schools.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started out there,” Biggs says. “Hopefully, it’ll put Oklahoma on the lacrosse map as far as college players.

“The fact that Utah will be going to Division-I within the next two years played a big factor in it and wanting to play not only in an athletic school but in a place that fills my academic needs,” says Biggs, who plays defense.

Lacrosse is a sport that has long been popular on the east coast, but recently began growing with club teams such as Jenks, Union and Bishop Kelley. It’s similar to hockey, except it’s played on grass and players are catching balls with sticks with nets on the end, rather than moving a puck with sticks on an ice skating rink.

“My favorite part about it is you get a little bit of everything from every sport,” Biggs says. “You get the physicality of football, the plays like basketball, and positioning like hockey and soccer.

“Being part of the first freshman class at Jenks, starting the program and building it from scratch, and seeing it explode in the Jenks-Tulsa area has been huge,” Biggs says. “Just to see our team really grow and come together and finishing out with a championship my senior year is incredible.”

Staying home for ORU
Scott Hjelm, a two-time state champion in tennis, will remain in the area to play for Oral Roberts University. He chose the Golden Eagles over Tulsa and Oklahoma State
“I’m super-excited to go to ORU. I didn’t have high hopes in the beginning until I toured there, and now I really have high hopes for the school. Obviously, it’s a Christian college, and I take my faith very seriously. Great tennis coach, great players. I think I can be the greatest person I can be there.

“There were other schools I wanted to go to, but God kept calling me back to that school, and I felt like it was right,” he says.

“The best is yet to come,” says Russell Warner, his personal coach.

Hjelm will enter college coming off his second state title, which he won last month in No. 2 singles.

Running to Arkansas
Matt Young, who won state in cross country last fall and the 1,600-meter run in track, will go two hours east to Fayetteville, Arkansas to run for the Razorbacks.

“This moment feels incredible,” Young says. “I’m really looking forward to Arkansas, they have one of the best track teams in the entire nation. They’re incredible teammates, the facilities are incredible, the athletes work hard. I’m looking forward to being a student-athlete and majoring in accounting at the University of Arkansas.

“I look forward to competing with many Olympian-level athletes. It will be a lot of hard work,” he says.

Young chose Arkansas over Oklahoma State, West Point (Army) and Oklahoma University.

Overcoming injury
Corbin Zaldivar had to sit out his senior year on the soccer pitch due to an ACL injury. Despite that, he’ll be playing the game at Drury.

“It’s honestly one of the most amazing feelings ever. It wasn’t looking like I was going to be able to play since I tore my ACL, but I’m going to get to play college soccer. It’s going to be amazing,” Zaldivar says.

Zaldivar says he looks forward to getting back on the field and being close to home.

Other athletes who signed to play in college are Mackenzie Beaver (lacrosse, Oklahoma Baptist), Preston Ohman (football, Kansas Wesleyan) and Sam Short (soccer, Missouri University of Science and Technology).

Updated 06-01-2017

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