BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
BOUNTIFUL – Three local high school athletes have made their decision to continue their playing careers past high school.
Bountiful High School’s Sam Merrill and Zach Seljaas, members of the boys’ basketball team, have chosen to continue their playing careers at Utah State and BYU, respectively.
Hunter Roybal, who finished his final season with Viewmont’s baseball team this Spring, has signed on to play for the College of Siskiyous, located in Weed, Cali.
Merrill and Seljaas, a senior and junior, respectively, helped the Braves’ basketball team reach the semi-finals of the 4A playoffs, and led the team to a 21-4 record last season.
They also helped the Braves finish 10-0 during Region 6 play, capturing the region crown in back-to-back seasons.
Coach Mike Maxwell said Merrill will be “going to a great place,” and it’s a dream come true for Merrill as he enters his last season.
“They have a family history up there,” said Maxwell. “When they offered him a scholarship, he jumped right in. That program is a positive for his talents.”
Maxwell said even though he is unsure whether Merrill has signed his letter of intent, he is fully committed to playing for the Aggies next season.
“We took a trip up there this past summer and they’ve already accepted him as part of their team,” he said. “I’m certain he won’t be changing his mind about it.”
In Seljaas’ case, the junior won’t be allowed to sign a letter of intent until after his senior season; however, the early commitment isn’t anything new to Maxwell.
“It’s kind of the trend people are seeing more and more of,” he said. “A lot of times these kids get recruited as early as eighth grade, and (BYU) already knows who he is and what he can do on the floor.”
Maxwell said Seljaas will fit well in to the Cougars system because he has great range and “likes to shoot the 3-pointer.”
Seljaas’ commitment didn’t come as much of a surprise to Maxwell either.
“He was kind of sitting back, letting the offers come to him and listening to other schools,” he said. “Right now, it’s a great time for him in his life. (BYU) will continue to get the chance to watch him grow as a player.”
When asked whether either player may choose to decommit and play elsewhere, Maxwell believed that won’t be the case.
“They’re not those kinds of kids,” he said. “They’re going to follow through on things; that’s how they’ve always been.”
Roybal’s signing with the College of Siskiyous comes after completing a playoff season with the Vikings. Roybal received second team All-Region 2 honors.
“He’s a very academic guy, and that’s an academic school, so I think it’s a good fit for him,” said Roger Farnesworth, former baseball coach for the Vikings. “He’s really adventurous and being in that Northern California area will be great for him.”
Farnesworth also said Roybal “is a natural second baseman” for the college level, although he could possibly see him playing short stop as well.
“He’s a wonderful kid and a wonderful player,” said Farnesworth. “He’s a great communicator as well. He’ll make some things happen for that club.”