Desert Oasis senior D.J. Jefferson brandished a cardinal Southern California hat embroidered with the school’s classic logo after signing his national letter of intent Wednesday to play baseball for the Trojans.
Current and future teammate Campbell Holt donned a cap with the university’s baseball logo instead.
Different hats on national signing day. Same hats next season.
Jefferson, Holt, Aaron Roberts, Parker Schmidt and Josh Sharman signed national letters of intent Wednesday during a brief ceremony inside the Diamondbacks’ cafeteria — guaranteeing their baseball careers will continue with Division I programs. Roberts is going to California, Schmidt to Oregon and Sharman to UNLV, giving Desert Oasis coach Paul Buboltz the strongest senior class in program history.
And one of the best teams in the state this spring.
“It just doesn’t happen overnight,” Buboltz said. “It’s summer. It’s fall. It’s winter. It’s overnight. It’s in the weight room. It’s the regular season. And then it’s in the classroom. It’s just a special moment for us and for these kids. Having five guys in one class is pretty amazing. I don’t know if that’ll ever happen again for us.”
Buboltz joined the players, their friends and families for a half-hour of photos, refreshments and fun after school Wednesday. The four Pac-12 signees have developed a friendly rivalry, and Roberts said they’re excited about playing against each other at the next level.
“We talk back and forth, pitching to one another,” he said. “Of course, there’s always, ‘My football team beat your football team.’ All that little stuff. It’s all friendly, and it’s all good.”
Schmidt was born in Oregon and always dreamed of playing baseball for the Ducks. Jefferson and Holt are lifelong best friends and planned to play together in college. Sharman is ecstatic to represent his hometown university.
The five indicated that the experience of signing day was a thrill and testament to the program’s strength.
“This is unbelievable. Just being able to (sign) with all my best friends,” Jefferson said. “The way Paul Buboltz has put this program together is insane. We’re going to be pretty good this spring. Hopefully we’ll win a state championship.”
Buboltz said having so many Division I players has helped foster a competitive environment in the program. He hopes that signing day serves as a reminder to his younger players of what can be accomplished with hard work.
“It just gives them something to work toward,” Buboltz said. “They see that this is a pretty special moment. They want to be up here in a couple years doing the same thing.”
Local Division I recruits
Name, high school, sport, college
Gavin Amelburu, Green Valley, Baseball, UNLV
Connor Bourne, Faith Lutheran, Wrestling, American
Marcella Brooks, Centennial, Soccer, UNLV
Alysa Caso, Coronado, Soccer, UNLV
Peyton Cole, Palo Verde, Baseball, Brigham Young
Caitlyn Covington, Shadow Ridge, Softball, Southern Utah
Jaelyn Eisenhart, Coronado, Soccer, Southern California
Victoria Estrada, Coronado, Golf, Utah Valley
Ashtyn Fink, Bishop Gorman, Soccer, Vanderbilt
Dylan Fritz, Coronado, Golf, New Mexico
PJ Fuller, Findlay Prep, Basketball, Texas Christian
McCallister Gayle, Coronado, Volleyball, North Dakota
Carlee Giammona, Palo Verde, Soccer, Alabama
Gianna Gourley, Bishop Gorman, Soccer, Iowa
Shania Harper, Sierra Vista, Basketball, New Mexico State
Quinece Hatcher, Centennial, Basketball, Youngstown State
Hannah Hickstein, Arbor View, Softball, Northern Illinois
Jalen Hill, Clark, Basketball, Oklahoma
Campbell Holt, Desert Oasis, Baseball, Southern California
Melanie Isbell, Centennial, Basketball, UNLV
Antwon Jackson, Clark, Basketball, Arkansas State
D.J. Jefferson, Desert Oasis, Baseball, Southern California
Kaitlyn Kowalchuk, Coronado, Soccer, Washington State
Austin Kryszczuk, Centennial, Baseball, UNLV
Christian Lamar, Bishop Gorman, Baseball, San Francisco
Dutch Landis, Bishop Gorman, Baseball, Arizona
Laila Loring, Durango, Soccer, Grambling State
Zia Makhathini, Coral Academy, Soccer, Yale (Committed)
Will Martin, Bishop Gorman, Baseball, Texas Christian
Dani Mason, The Meadows, Volleyball, California-San Diego
Haley Meusy, Coronado, Soccer, UNLV
Heather Mitchell, Coronado, Soccer, UNLV
Taylor O’Neill, Green Valley, Soccer, Xavier
Taryn Phillips, Palo Verde, Soccer, Campbell
Jesse Pierce, Arbor View, Baseball, Arkansas
Taylor Puckett, Sierra Vista, Soccer, Yale (Committed)
Austin Raleigh, Palo Verde, Baseball, UNLV
Elle Renner, Tech, Swimming and Diving, Tennessee
Aaron Roberts, Desert Oasis, Baseball, California
Bryce Robison, Palo Verde, Baseball, Brigham Young
Isabel Rolley, Bishop Gorman, Soccer, Southern California
Parker Schmidt, Desert Oasis, Baseball, Oregon
Josh Sharman, Desert Oasis, Baseball, UNLV
Taylore Simmons, Shadow Ridge, Soccer, North Dakota State
Scott Solan, Palo Verde, Volleyball, Pepperdine
Shane Spencer, Basic, Baseball, Long Beach State
Madison Stenslie, Faith Lutheran, Soccer, Oklahoma
Kate Swanis, Bishop Gorman, Soccer, North Dakota State
Eboni Walker, Centennial, Basketball, Arizona State
Paris Walsh, Centennial, Soccer, North Dakota State
Ashley Ward, Coronado, Softball, Montana
For more signings in other divisions, visit nevadapreps.com.