FAIRBANKS — The women’s basketball coaches at Ottawa University really wanted Alix Parker.
The senior guard for the North Pole High School girls team decided she wanted to be a Lady Brave.
Parker signed a National Letter of Intent with Ottawa, an NAIA Division II program in Ottawa, Kanas, during a signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon in the North Pole High School library.
She was joined at the signing table by Patriots boys soccer seniors Curtis Gelineau and Raphael Martinez. Gelineau signed with with the NCAA Division III men’s program at Husson University in Bangor, Maine, and Martinez signed with George Fox College, a Division III program in Newberg, Oregon.
Parker received an email last summer from the Ottawa coaching staff after they had seen her profile on the beRecruited.com website.
The 5-foot-4 shooting guard averaged 12 assists, nine points, five rebounds and one steal per game in her only season with North Pole after transferring last summer from Payson, Arizona, near Tucson.
“They (Ottawa) wanted to see film and get to know me better,” Parker said. “They were the first school to contact me and I did their recruiting questionnaire. They just kept hounding for film, so I finally sent them some.
“They decided that they were going to give me a scholarship,’’ she added with a smile while her parents, Steve and Angela, stood behind her.
Parker, who plans to major in health science, is headed to an Ottawa program that ranked in the top 30 in NAIA Division II in 2013-14 in four defensive categories. The Lady Braves were 17th for blocks per game (4.1), 20th for total blocks (116), 24th for defense (63.7 points allowed per game), and 29th for defensive rebounds (6.1 average).
“I feel with a lot of work, I can fit with their defensive program,” Parker said. “Right now, I feel as a strong shooting guard, I’ll help them out later on because they’re a pretty guard-heavy team; but I feel like I can make it with them.”
So does Patriots head coach Mason Campbell.
“She has all the intangibles of working hard, and defensively, she won’t miss a beat,’’ Campbell said. “She’ll be right on par with all those other college athletes.”
Academics at Husson impressed Gelineau as much as its men’s soccer program did.
The 5-foot-11 center defender will enroll in Husson’s 3+3 program. During six years at the campus, he’ll work for a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and then for a doctorate in physical therapy.
“At most of the schools, it’s four years and then you have to find a separate college,” said Gelineau, who sat next to his mother, Paula, with his father, Ethan, standing behind him. “For this one, you do your three years and if you’re grade is high enough — I think a 3.5 (GPA) — you just go straight into their next program for the next three years.”
Gelineau visited the Husson campus in February, also meeting with the soccer team.
“The campus was pretty nice and the facilities were good,’’ Gelineau said. “Then we met the team and the coach (head coach Jeff Gettler) and they seemed like really nice guys.
“I think it will be fun to be there,’’ he added. “I’m going there mainly for the (3+3) program, but it’s also so I can play the sport.”
Gelineau and Martinez were part of North Pole’s 2013 Mid Alaska Conference championship team that advanced to the state tournament in Anchorage.
Gelineau participated in the Alaska Olympic Development Program in 2011, 2013 and this year, and he received the 2014 Alaska State Soccer Association Male Youth Referee of the Year honor.
In 2013, George Fox finished 1-19-0 overall, 0-14-0 in Northwest Conference play and lost its last 18 games in a row.
For Martinez, the Bruins’ dismal season was overshadowed by his campus visit two weeks ago.
“Everyone welcomed me with open arms; they knew my name, they knew who I was,’’ Martinez said while seated next to his mother, Veronica Baysinger, and in front of Patriots coaches Robert Martinez (head coach, no relation) and Damon Crutcher (assistant coach).
“They knew where I played, and they had my bio in their hands ready to go,” he added. “It gave me that family feel.”
The striker/midfielder wants to help the Bruins improve on last season’s finish.
“I feel like I can bring a strong attacking presence and feel like I control the midfield pretty well,” Martinez said. “He’s (head coach Luis Del Rio) showed interest in that’s where he wants me to play.”
Martinez plans to major in athletic training.
Contact sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586 or follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.