Thanks to its mostly warm weather and mild winters, San Diego State will be getting one of the top Northern Nevada high school baseball players next year.
Damonte Ranch senior Jadon Bercovich signed with San Diego State in a ceremony at the school on Wednesday.
And the Nevada volleyball team will keep two more local players at home as Alyssa Zuro and Lexi Applebach both signed with the Wolf Pack.
Bercovich cited the weather when asked how he chose San Diego State, along with the fact that Tony Gwynn coached there.
Although Gwynn died in 2014, Bercovich said he wants to help honor Gwynn's legacy.
Bercovich, a right-handed pitcher, excelled at a baseball camp last year, hitting 92 mph on the radar gun. The 6-foot-2 Bercovich has been training with new fire since last season and has dropped 15-20 pounds, down to his current 205.
"I feel so much stronger," he said. "I've lost a lot of body fat. I haven't lost any muscle, just body fat, trimming off the bad weight and just doing what I can to up my velocity and make myself a better overall pitcher."
He hopes to get his fastball up to 93-94 mph, and said working on his breaking ball and changeup will be a goal this season.
Damonte Ranch baseball coach Jon Polson said the next step for Bercovich is to be a leader on the team in the spring.
"He's already embraced that role," Polson said. "He's really focused his year. He's going to have a big year."
Damonte volleyball coach Nate Hallett has coached previously with the Wolf Pack. He said the Pack likes Applebach's defensive prowess and Zuro's height. She is listed at 6-1.
Zuro had 218 kills and Applebach had 238 digs for the Mustangs, who went 28-5 and advanced to the Regional playoff semifinals.
"Lexi is a great defensive player, good server, good passer, good receiver," he said. "She's just a good volleyball player. Same thing goes for Alyssa. She's a big, strong kid, good blocker, good attacker."
He said recruiting local players should help the Wolf Pack.
"I think (the Wolf Pack) is trying to expand their local recruiting base, which will help them going forward," Hallett said. "They're going to help push the program forward and establish a local recruiting base, which is a really good idea."
Zuro said playing for Nevada has been her dream.
She said Wolf Pack coaches started watching her last year, then after she went to a Wolf Pack camp last summer, their interest began again in earnest.
Zuro will get a full-ride scholarship and she plans to study pre-med to become a pediatrician.