Coal Ridge’s Morgan, Salazar sign letters of intent
Following strong senior seasons in their respective sports, Coal Ridge volleyball’s Kara Morgan and football’s Oscar Salazar signed their national letters of intent last week at Coal Ridge High School in front of family, friends, and coaches.
Morgan heads to the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota to play volleyball for the Tommies, while Salazar heads to College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California to play football for the Roadrunners.
During her senior season for the Titans on the court, Morgan had a breakout season after missing her junior year recovering from a knee injury. Morgan earned the 3A Western Slope League Player of the Year award and earned Second Team All-State honors in 3A.
Morgan was the top hitter for the Titans during the 2018 season under head coach Aimee Gerber, leading the Titans with 303 kills and 47 aces, adding a team-high 298 digs and 33 total blocks for Coal Ridge, which finished 16-9 (9-0 3A WSL), winning the league championship for the second straight year and the third time in four seasons, reaching the 3A regional playoffs where the Titans fell to Platte Valley in the championship game.
The standout senior led the league in kills by 76, had the second-highest hitting percentage behind sophomore teammate Taylor Wiescamp, and was second in the league in digs. Morgan heads to a Tommies program that went 25-9 last season under head coach Thanh Pham, reaching the NCAA Regionals. Morgan will be the lone player from the state of Colorado on the Division III roster at St. Thomas in 2019.
Salazar heads to the Roadrunners program after finishing his three-year varsity career at Coal Ridge having going 5-for-7 on field goals in 2018, finishing 10-for-14 on his career. Salazar added 52-of-55 point-after attempts in his career, including a perfect 14-for-14 in 2018.
On kickoffs in his Coal Ridge career, Salazar average nearly 49 yards per kickoff with 6 touchbacks on 27 kickoffs, in his senior season and punted the ball 41 times as a senior, averaging 33.8 yards per punt with a long of 54 yards.
Aside from his kicking role, Salazar played quarterback in a rotation in his junior and senior seasons. Under center, Salazar finished his career with 403 passing yards and 134 rushing yards, throwing for 4 touchdowns while averaging 12.2 yards per pass, completing 57 percent of his passes.
The Coal Ridge senior joins the junior college program that went 4-6 last season under head coach Jack Steptoe.
Currently, Morgan runs track for the Titans, while Salazar plays baseball.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.