It was a matter mostly of dotting Is and crossing Ts, but on May 19 recent Shadow Ridge graduate Joshua Scott made it official.
He signed a letter of intent to throw for the Kent State University track and field team in Ohio.
It is an NCAA Division I school, although not a high profile one. But as Scott realized during the process, it is an individual sport and thriving in it is largely a product of his effort.
"It's not like football. I can throw far anywhere. You're not relying on 10 other guys," Scott said.
Large schools inquired, but during the recruiting process Scott realized many of the schools he would study forestry at are in the Midwest or northern U.S.
His final three schools were Kent State, LSU and NAU.
"(The throwing coach) definitely knows his stuff and has a bond with Josh,” Shadow Ridge throws coach Dave Smith said.
On March 6, Scott smashed his personal best with a discus toss of 197 feet 2 inches. In this abbreviated track season, it was the third best discus mark in the United States.
Since COVID-19 caused the closure of schools and the end of the remainder of the spring sports season on March 30, Scott resumed individual workouts with Smith.
These near-daily sessions with Smith and college-sized throwing implements.
Scott said, even more than his state title, he is grateful for the chance to learn from Smith.
“He’s the reason I’ve been able to improve this much,” Scott said. “He’s more of a mentor than a coach. I got really lucky — he did all of this for free. It's been a huge blessing for my family."
Through the process, he said he realized what he wanted from college and then decided to look for universities based on their forestry and environmental sciences programs.
“I’ve grown up hunting and fishing my whole life and I wanted to go into a field where I can help preserve that,” Scott said.