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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation June 20, 2018

6/12/2018 1:16:00 PM
Brigham to play volleyball for Boise State
photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
photo by Jerry Baldock

By Rongi Yost

Jessie Brigham, a stand-out volleyball player for the Sisters High School volleyball team the past four years - the dominant presence and anchor in the back row - has officially signed a letter of intent with Boise State. She will switch from Outlaw to Bronco this summer.

This past season, Jessie accumulated some impressive stats: 136 digs, 33 assists, nine kills, and one block, and served up 26 aces (91 percent). Over her four-year stint as an Outlaw, she's proved she's an accomplished player, and her numerous awards speak for themselves. She was selected first-team all-league all four years, and was a first-team all-state selection her sophomore, junior, and senior years. In addition, she earned first-team all-state tournament her junior year, and this past year (senior year) she earned second-team all-state tournament. The second-team all-state tournament selection was quite an accomplishment, since she'd just returned to the squad from having thumb surgery, and actually just removed the stitches the first day of the tourney. She also played the entire tournament with a sprained ankle.

Brigham has been a "gym rat" since she was a toddler. Her earliest memories of being on the volleyball court were when she was four years old. Her grandma, Rose Honl, at the time was the volleyball coach at Crook County, and Jessie was always there and learning the game early on.

Jessie said, "My grandma and my mom always told me that I was born with a volleyball in my hand."

At age eight, Brigham joined the Rimrock Volleyball Club, which at the time was coached by her mom, Tanya Johns. When she was 10, her skills were so far above other players her age that from that point on she played up in age group. At 10 years old, she played on the 12-year-old team, at 13 on the 16-year-old team, and from 14 on, she played on the Rimrock's 18-Nationals team. The Rimrock squad traveled extensively, with big tournaments in Las Vegas, Seattle, Reno, Spokane and Colorado. Last year, the team took third at the National Qualifier in Las Vegas.

Boise State has scouts at all the major tournaments, and last year, they noticed Jessie's skills and took an immediate interest. Brigham was also looking at other schools, and at the start of the 2017 volleyball season was still undecided as to where she wanted to go. Boise State approached Outlaws volleyball Coach Rory Rush, and talked with her about Brigham becoming part of the Broncos' program.

Jessie said, "After talking with my parents, and my club coach (Joel Kent), we all thought that attending Boise State would be the best decision for me, so I verbally committed."

Brigham signed an official letter of intent on Thursday, May 3, and will leave June 30 for Boise State, and immediately start summer school and training with the Lady Broncos on July 1.

Rush shared how important Brigham has been to the Sisters volleyball squad.

"Jessie has been such an integral part of Sisters volleyball for four years," said Rush. "We will miss her leadership, her quickness to run down every ball, and her knowledge of the game. We are excited to see her play at the next level for Boise State. She will do great things for them, and they are lucky to be adding her to their roster. We are excited to see what lies ahead for her as she continues her career."

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