GJ trio make college choices

Tyler Winder has always been a motivated athlete.

Thursday at Grand Junction High School, Winder signed his national letter of intent to play football at Mesa State College.

“All my life I heard I was too slow and too small,” the 5-foot-8 Winder said. “I always played with a chip on my shoulder and tried to bring it every game.”

Winder was a three-year starter for the Tigers, and was a first-team All-Southwestern League defensive back as a senior.

Winder led the Tigers with six interceptions as a senior, with 35 total tackles on a team that finished 10-2.

“I always pushed myself in all sports,” Winder said. “I played as hard as I could.”

Winder is joining his teammate, Cody Cottrell, a defensive lineman, in the Mavericks’ 2011 recruiting class.

“It’s a strong recruiting class at Mesa,” Winder said. “It’s an exciting future for the school, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Winder played on both sides of the ball for the Tigers, and said his options are open at the next level.

“Growing up here I never thought I would want to go to Mesa,” Winder said. “But why not?

“It’s a great school, the coaches want me there, and it’s a great opportunity.”

Joining Winder on Thursday were two Tigers baseball players making their college choices official.

Outfielder Cory DeRush signed with Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif., and catcher Tanner Peterson signed with Lindenwood (Ill.) University-Belleville.

DeRush leads the Tigers with four home runs and has a .456 batting average.

“I have played sports all my life,” DeRush said. “I couldn’t imagine just stopping, so it’s good to have an opportunity to play.”

Peterson is in his first year as a full-time varsity catcher, and has a .321 batting average.

Lindenwood-Belleville is just starting a baseball program, so Peterson will be part of the first team at the school next year.

“Playing in college is something I dreamed about since I started playing,” Peterson said. “Now it’s a reality.”


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