Three Rams sign letters of intent
CARBONDALE – The decision process on which college to attend next fall is done for Roaring Fork High School athletes Jake Bowman, A.J. Joiner and Parker Nieslanik.The three multi-sport athletes made their final selection by signing national letters-of-intent this week.Bowman, an all-state pick in football and baseball, has opted to play football at Division II Chadron (Neb.) State College. Nieslanik has inked a pact at Hastings (Neb) College and Joiner has signed on with Southern Mountain Junior College in Phoenix, Ariz. While both Joiner and Nieslanik start on the Ram basketball team, Joiner will be playing golf and Nieslanik will be playing football in college.Bowman is one of six Colorado preps to sign letters-of-intent with Chadron State for 2006.Projected as a running back by the college’s web site, Bowman averaged more than 10 yards per carry, amassing 1,343 yards and 20 touchdowns for Roaring Fork last season.
In 2005, the Rams, with Bowman starting at running and linebacker, helped the Rams win their fourth consecutive Class 2A Western Slope League regular-season title, going 10-0 before losing to Faith Christian in the second round of the 2005, 2A state playoffs.”I’ll probably be the backup running back and I might be doing some kick returning for them too,” he said of his first year of college football.On the possibility of playing defense, Bowman has talked with the college’s defensive coordinator, but should see more playing time offensively.”(Chadron’s) kind of low in running backs, so that’s where (the coaches) have told me I’ll play,” Bowman said.Nieslanik, who earned all-state honors at wide receiver from Rocky Preps and the Denver Post, said the college’s football coaches are planning to use him at wideout as well.
“It felt right,” Nieslanik said of the decision to go with Hastings, an National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school who plays in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.”I visited Adams State, but I had a good feeling about Hastings,” Nieslanik continued. “I always wanted to play football in college and (Hastings) has a winning program.”Nieslanik should feel right at home due to Hastings having a large number of Colorado residents on the football team. According to the college’s 2005 football roster, 15 underclassmen played high school football in Colorado.Influences on Joiner’s decision to attend Southern Mountain JC were weather and the promise of an athletic scholarship from head coach Travis Brown he received after qualifying for the Class 4A state tournament last September.”That’s where I met coach Brown,” Joiner said. “I got in touch with him after state and he offered me a scholarship to South Mountain.”
Joiner added that playing golf under sunny skies all year made the decision easier to go West. “I can play golf all 12 months of the year under good weather. It sure beats staying in Colorado,” he said.Joiner, the first Roaring Fork golfer to receive a scholarship, hopes to add his talent to South Mountain’s strong program. In seven years as the college’s head coach, Brown has lead his teams to two NJCAA Region I team championships and earned the NJCAA’s Division II team title in 2004. Under his tutelage, Brown has seen 11 golfers earn National Academic All-American honors and has coached seven National JC All-Americans.
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