Bulldogs’ quartet sign football letters with Chadron State: Gering’s Clark to play soccer at Midland; Mitchell’s Peters to run track at UNK
     2014-02-13      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Kay Grote/Gering Citizen - GHS head football coach Jimmie Rhodes stands with seniors Blake Frye, Justin Brester, Elijah Timblin and Gage Smith. All four seniors have signed to play for Chadron State. 
The first days that high school seniors could sign National Letters of Intent to play collegiate athletics proved to be busy ones last week for several county student-athletes, including five from Gering High School and one from Mitchell.

Four Gering Bulldog football players – Justin Brester, Blake Frye, Gage Smith and Elijah Timblin – all signed to continue their athletic careers at Chadron State College on Feb. 5.

Another Gering senior, Alex Clark, penned his letter to play soccer at Midlands University in Fremont on Feb. 6.

And Taylor Peters, a three-sport standout at Mitchell High School, made her decision official on Monday to compete in track and field with the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Smith earned four spots on the District B-8 football team: the first team as placekicker and the second team as running back, linebacker and punter.

Smith ran for a school-record 1,264 yards on 236 carries (5.35 average) with nine touchdowns, made 7 of 14 field goals with a longest kick of 43 yards, converted 15 point-after-TD kicks and had 39 punts for a 36.7 average and 29 kickoffs with seven touchbacks.

Defensively, Smith had 43 total tackles with three for lost yardage and one interception.

Brester led the Bulldogs, who were 2-7 in 2013, in receiving with 37 catches for 448 yards and five touchdowns in earning first-team All-District offensive honors.

Timblin led Gering defensively with 106 total tackles (52 solo) with 10 for lost yardage totaling 32 yards and had one fumble recovery in earning first-team All-District defensive honors.

Frye was a second-team All-District offensive lineman selection. Frye helped block the way for 3,166 total offensive yards, an average of 351.77 per game for Gering.

Gering head football coach Jimmie Rhodes said CSC recruits only 30 freshman each year. He said he’s pleased Gering represents four of those slots.

Gering’s Clark signs to play soccer at Midland U

Gering senior Alex Clark signed a letter of intent to play soccer at Midland University at Fremont, Neb. Where he will play under third-year head coach Sean Fraser. The Warriors posted one of their most successful seasons in school history last year with an 18-2-2 record. Clark said Midland has a JV and a first team program, which he hopes to earn a position on. Clark said he liked the professionalism of the program and was looking forward to working with Fraser’s program. Clark had also been in communication with Hastings and Briarcliffe College. Clark said he hopes to develop his senior year at Gering as a stronger defender. For his final year at Gering, Clark said he wants to help his team achieve their first winning season and make it to state. He said he has appreciated the influence his father and coach, Justin Clark, has had on him, helping him to better understand the game and become a more competitive and refined player.

Peters to run at UNK

Peters has enjoyed success in every sport in which she has played throughout her career at Mitchell. She has amassed individual honors in volleyball, basketball and track.

Peters, who competes in the 1,600-meter run and 1,600 relay, is a two-time state qualifier in the 800 meters, placing sixth in 2013. In addition, she broke a 27-year old 800-meter record with a time of 2:21.95, and she has won the Western Conference championship (2013) and the Western Trails Conference championship the past three years. She holds the WTC record in the event.

In volleyball, Peters is a four-year starter and letter winner, in which she has gained all-Western Trails Conference, Western Conference, and all-region honors the past two seasons. Peters set school records in kills with 331 in 2012 and career ace serves with 215.

In basketball, Peters is a three-year letter winner, 2013 Western Conference and Western Trails Conference honorable mention and 2013 all-region honorable mention.

She is the daughter of Heath and Michelle Peters. Michelle is the head volleyball and track and field coach at Mitchell, while Heath is the principal at Mitchell High School.

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