As remote and random as the link may seem, a successful junior college soccer coach's move from Lassen College to NCAA Division II power Southwest Baptist has opened the door for four Douglas High graduates to further their careers.
Amber Gwinn, Jenny Jaggard, Krysten Bartshe and Allison Chapman have all signed letters of intent to play for the Bearcats.
Coach Ben Wade started the Lassen program from scratch and compiled a 67-6-1 record over three years and recruited heavily in the area, drawing Gwinn, Jaggard, Molly Hernandez and Britney Christen to play at Lassen during his tenure.
He decided to move to Southwest Baptist in Missouri this past spring, and almost immediately received commitments from Gwinn and Chapman.
Gwinn was a regional soccer All-American at Lassen with 18 goals and 28 assists in 2003 and led Lassen to two Golden Valley Conference titles and a NorCal Regional crown.
"We are very excited that Amber will be a Lady Bearcat this fall," Wade told the Southwest Baptist Web site. "She was a captain for me and every game she gave 100 percent. She is one of the most committed players I have coached and her determination on and off the field will give us an added boost this year."
He was equally excited about Chapman, a first-team all-league performer for the Tigers last season.
"Allison is the type of player that is going to make a difference her first year at SBU," he told the Web site. "She is an explosive, powerful player who is incredibly gifted on the wing with her speed and agility."
Wade later drew Jaggard, a first-team all-conference defender as a freshman at Lassen, and Bartshe, a first-team all-league midfielder for the Tigers last season.
Jaggard started all 23 games for Lassen last year and scored three goals and had one assist even though she primarily played defense. She will most likely shift to an attacking position at Southwest.
"Jenny was perhaps the most talented all-around soccer player at Lassen College last year," Wade told the Web site. "Whether Jenny plays in front, midfield or defense, she will make an impact. She is hard-working, physical and brilliant in the air."
Bartshe was an energetic and graceful player for the Tigers with a knack for threading passes through tough defenses at Douglas.
"Krysten is a hard worker, a scrappy player and one that will bring intensity to our midfield," Wade told the Web site. "She is an incredibly dedicated young lady."
Southwest Baptist went 16-2-2 in 2004 with an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bearcats finished the year ranked 17th in the country. Their season begins on Aug. 27 with a game against Emporia State.