It was not a typical Wednesday evening at the Campbell County High School North Campus commons. There were cake and drinks, friends, coaches and parents and in the middle of it all, there were six Camel athletes celebrating what was and what is to come.
Logan Wasson, Jade Kampfe, Paden Bauder, Cole Petty, Ashlyn Pearson and Kailey Anderson gathered together Wednesday for a signing party. They were friends congratulating each other on not only successful high school careers but the hope of successful college ones as well.
All six have already signed national letters of intent with their respective schools and wanted Wednesday's signing party to just be a time of fun.
Wasson said the group thought it would be fun to do something together instead of single signing party after signing party.
There to join them were fellow students, many of whom signed their own letters at previous dates, like Dani Williams, or others who have made verbal commitments but have yet to sign, like Whitney George. Coaches like the recently retired Mike Curry stopped by, while current basketball assistants James Hinshaw and Bubba Hladky dropped in to say hi, as did Camel golf coach Rory Williams as well as many parents and fans.
Wasson, Kampfe and Bauder had signed earlier in the season with Jamestown College in Jamestown, N.D., Wasson and Kampfe for basketball, Bauder for football, the other three signed a bit later and with different schools.
S Cole Petty: The wide out/safety for the Camel football team signed with Dickinson State University, a four-year NAIA school in Dickinson, N.D., after looking into Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., Jamestown and Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont.
"I felt more welcome there," Petty said. "They just brought me in and welcomed me a lot better than the other schools."
Petty was recruited as a defensive back, which was just fine with him, he said.
"They said the competition is up to us," Petty said. "Whoever competes the hardest is going to get the position and the playing time."
Petty said he feels confident that his experience playing at Gillette will only help him when begins competing for playing time in college. During his senior season, Petty broke up four passes and had five interceptions while catching 14 balls for 249 yards and two scores.
Petty said he will major in natural sciences with an interest in petroleum.
S Ashlyn Pearson: The Camel golfer has signed with Black Hills University, a Division II school in Spearfish, S.D. There she will be part of the first women's golf team at Black Hills to compete at the DII level.
"I just love Spearfish, it's my town, kind of, because I grew up over there. We have a cabin over there," Pearson said. "When (coach Jaime Bentley) called me it was just automatic, l wanted to go there."
Peasron was talking with Montana State-Billings, where teammate Hailey Shackelford is going, but things didn't work out there.
But at Black Hills, Pearson will be one of just seven varsity golfers vying for the five open spots for each tournament, so playing time is totally up to her.
"I'm really excited," Pearson said.
Pearson will pursue a double major in art and mass communications and hopes to work in advertising.
S Kailey Anderson: The outside hitter for the Camel volleyball team, Anderson signed with the South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, S.D., a Division II program.
Anderson said she talked with most of the junior colleges in Wyoming and Montana Tech before deciding on the School of Mines.
"They have a really good reputation for education," Anderson said. "And the team just seemed great. It was the first one that really clicked for me."
Anderson said she will major in biology with an eye on the medical field.