Seven Coal Ridge Titans sign athletic letters of intent
In front of family, friends and school administrators Wednesday afternoon, seven Coal Ridge Titans seniors signed their athletic letters of intent, signing up for the next level of their athletic careers.
Emily Wright (volleyball, Colorado Northwestern Community College), Billet Porter (hockey, Colorado State University), Brody Morgan (rodeo, Otero Junior College), Raul Ramirez (football, Adams State University), Jacx Power (football, Adams State University), Ezequiel Vasquez (soccer, Adams State University) and Brandon Herrera (basketball, Colorado Northwestern Community College) all took part in the signing ceremony inside Coal Ridge’s gymnasium.
Wright, who played three years on varsity under head coach Aimee Gerber, becomes the third Titan volleyball player in three years to head to the collegiate ranks, joining Kaitlyn Detlefsen (Northern Colorado) and Kaitlyn Harlow (Kansas Wesleyan), continuing a pipeline of volleyball players under Gerber’s guidance to reach the collegiate level. During Wright’s senior year, the standout libero earned First Team All-Conference honors in the 3A Western Slope League for the second straight year. Wright recorded 379 digs, 24 aces and 13 kills, leading the Titans to the 3A Region 12 championship game, where they fell to Middle Park. For her volleyball career, Wright recorded 1,010 digs, 51 aces and 20 kills. She’ll head to Rangely this fall to join the Spartans’ program under head coach Chris Vergnaud.
Porter was a standout the last few years for the Glenwood Grizzlies’ youth hockey program, helping the Grizzlies win the 2015-16 state championship, and defeating the Aspen Skiers over the Christmas holiday this winter in the Roaring Fork Valley Challenge Cup championship. The senior also helped create the Grizzlies’ “Pink the Rink” event in support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, raising money for breast cancer awareness. Porter will head to Colorado State to join forces with the Rams’ club hockey team, which competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey League under head coach Jeff Degree.
Morgan, who played basketball and competed in rodeo for the Titans, will head to La Junta for two years to compete for the Rattlers under head coach Linsay Sumpter. The Titan senior competed for Coal Ridge’s rodeo club team, and traveled all over the state to compete in rodeo events.
Ramirez and Power will team up for the Grizzlies for the next four years, as two of the top Titan football players will head to Alamosa this summer.
Power and Ramirez helped the Titans go 5-3 (2-3 2A Western Slope League) during the 2017 season under head coach Bob Frederickson. Ramirez was one of the top running backs in the league, rushing for 1,601 yards and 15 touchdowns, while setting the school’s single-game rushing record with 384 yards in a 57-26 win over Olathe during the 2017 season. Power added 66 tackles, 5.0 sacks, and 15.0 tackles for loss on the year. Ramirez missed a handful of games during the 2017 season due to an injury, but returned to haul in five passes for 46 yards, while making 19 tackles and three interceptions. Both will join a Grizzlies program that went 4-7 last season under head coach Josh Blankenship.
Vasquez will join Power and Ramirez in Alamosa, but will play soccer for the Grizzlies after leading Coal Ridge to a 13-3-1 (7-1 3A Western Slope League) record on the year. Vasquez scored four goals on the year and dished out 20 assists as a strong midfield player for the Titans under head coach Michael Mikalakis. In two years on the varsity roster, Vasquez recorded 10 goals and 35 assists, scoring 55 points for the Titans. He’ll join the Grizzlies’ program under head coach Brett Bentley, which went 7-10-1 last season.
Herrera, the winningest player in Coal Ridge basketball history, will head to Rangely with Wright, joining the Spartans’ basketball program. A 1,000-point scorer for his career with the Titans, and a key starter for the three-time league champs under head coach Paul Harvey, Herrera leaves New Castle with 1,061 career points, 298 assists, 316 rebounds and 212 steals in 92 career games played. Herrera will join forces with former Grand Valley standout John Parker, who plays for the Spartans under head coach Adrian Hayes. CNCC went 9-20 last season, finishing the season on an 8-game losing streak.