FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Brennan Whalen, Aaron Nease, Ethan Whalen and Jack McCarty (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
On Friday, May 7, four McNary athletes signed their letters of intent to compete in athletics in college.
McNary quarterback Jack McCarty signed his letter of intent to join the Lewis & Clark football team while Celtics pitcher Aaron Nease committed to play baseball at Saint Martin's University in Lacey, Wash.
Brennan Whalen signed to run track and cross country at Marion Military Institute in Marion, Ala. and his twin brother Ethan inked his letter of intent to do the same with George Fox.
“Each of them do very well in the classroom and that hard work has allowed them to play at some pretty top notch academic schools. That is what gives them the opportunity,” McNary athletic director Scott Gragg said.
In the six-game shortened season, McCarty threw for 1301 yards — which was the third highest total in the state — and 13 touchdowns.
“I can't say enough about the leadership he brought for us,” McNary football coach Jeff Auvinen said. “I love this kid. He is going to be a great college student and a great college athlete.”
McCarty also had an offer from Willamette and garnered interest from Linfield and Pacific but ultimately elected to sign with the Pioneers.
“I appreciate everyone coming out — friends, family and coaches. I wouldn't be here without you all,” McCarty said.
Nease transferred to McNary from Blanchet for his senior season. Through 12 games, Nease is batting .323 with three doubles, eight RBIs and seven runs scored. On the mound, the big right-hander has thrown 5.2 innings and has recorded a save to go along with his 4.94 ERA — despite dealing with a nagging arm injury.
“Not only is he a good baseball player — he pitches and catches for us, which are the most important positions on the field — but most importantly he is a good person. He fits right into our program because that is a high priority for us. We were really happy and fortunate to have him join our baseball program for his senior year and we are super excited for him to continue that endeavor at Saint Martin's University,” McNary head coach Larry Keeker said.
“I just want to thank my family, who have helped me throughout my whole baseball career,” Nease added.
Both Ethan and Brennan have been in the McNary varsity cross country lineup and have been pivotal members of the track & field team in all four years of their career.
“Brennan and Ethan are two young men who care deeply about running. They have done well over four years and we are proud of them and their efforts. We’re excited for them to continue running beyond high school,” McNary track and cross country coach David Holcomb said.
Matt Rawlings: [email protected]