Glenwood’s Peterson signs with Chadron State College
After two big seasons as the go-to post player for the Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team, senior center Tatum Peterson, who has played basketball since she was 5 years old, made her college choice official during the early signing period last week for the NCAA, signing her national letter of intent to play basketball following high school graduation for the Chadron State Eagles in Chadron, Nebraska.
Peterson officially became a member of the Eagles prior to the start of a Glenwood practice last week inside of Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, signing the paperwork in front of teammates, coaches and family.
“I was a little surprised to do it during practice because we were supposed to wait to do the signing,” Peterson said during a recent practice at Glenwood Springs High School. “But it was super exciting to share that moment with my teammates, coaches and my parents. It felt really good [to sign those papers], because I knew that I was going to play and be able to do something that I really loved. It felt great to know that all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off.”
By signing with Chadron State, Peterson becomes the first player under third-year head coach Rhonda Moser’s tenure as the head coach of Glenwood’s program to sign with a college to play basketball after graduation.
“We’re just super excited for her,” Moser said. “I hope this now allows her to just settle in, have fun and just play this season and enjoy her senior year.”
Over the last two seasons as a starter on varsity for the Demons, Peterson has been a force offensively in the paint and on the glass, including career highs of 13.9 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game in a year in which the Demons reached the 4A state playoffs for the first time under Moser.
Aside from her dominance on the varsity level, Peterson also plays travel basketball in the spring and summer, which led to Chadron State offering a spot on the team during her collegiate career at a place where she feels most comfortable.
“They [Chadron State] had seen a couple tournaments I had played in, and I talked to the coaches there quite a bit,” Peterson said during a recent practice at Glenwood Springs High School. “I had visited twice as well, so it just felt like home for me. I felt comfortable with the girls on the team and the coaches on the staff.”
Outside of her play on the court, the coaches at Chadron State want to see Peterson take more of a leadership role during her senior season. Ironically, that’s something that Moser and her staff also want to see out of the standout senior pivot. She has the experience to assume that role; now it’s all about becoming vocal enough.
“She’s obviously a great example outside of the gym as a student, but with her we want her to be a little more vocal and have more of a presence,” Moser said. “We also want her to just go out and be more aggressive and really just dominate the paint night after night. I think the biggest thing I want for her though is to just show her passion for the game. She loves basketball and has a real passion for it, but we want her to really let the crowd see that passion she has for the game.”
Away from the court at Chadron State, Peterson will pursue a degree in exercise science. Currently, Peterson is immersed in an exercise science class at GSHS under the direction of Glenwood head trainer Marni Barton. Peterson can be found by Barton’s side before and after games, soaking up a wealth of knowledge in the training field. There seems to be a real passion for exercise science with Peterson, much like there is for the game of basketball.
“I’m very interested in seeing how the body works and all the muscles in the body and how they function,” Peterson said. “It really interests me, and I have a passion for it.”
Peterson and the Demons will hit the court for her final season Nov. 30 at the Vista Peak Tournament against Cheyenne Mountain with tip-off scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Should Peterson and the Demons reach expectations for the season this winter, the Demons should be a highly-entertaining team to watch throughout the winter at Glenwood.
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.