April 28, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming head women's golf coach Josey Stender announced today that Johnna Jeffries, of Grand Island, Neb., and Jonelle Martinez, of Santa Fe, N.M., have signed national letters of intent to play golf for the Cowgirls. Both student-athletes will join the squad in the fall of 2006.
"There are many similarities between Johnna and Jonelle and we are thrilled to have them both," said Stender. "They are both natural, multi-sport athletes who come from very supportive families. We are fortunate to have signed both because we came across them late in the recruiting process. I know that each has the desire to work hard and devote themselves to being a successful Cowgirl golfer.
"As a program, we are making changes in order to create more intra-team competition and raise our level of play. The addition of two high-quality recruits like Johnna and Jonelle will go a long ways towards helping the goals of this program."
Johnna Jeffries is a 5' 7" senior at Grand Island High School in Grand Island, Neb. A four-year letterwinner in golf, basketball and track, Jeffries has twice been named to the All-State team in golf, 2004 and 2005. Her high school golf team won the state title in 2004 and was runner-up in 2005. Individually, she was a state tournament qualifier and medalist in 2003, 2004 and 2005, placing as high as fourth as a junior. Johnna was selected to play in the North-South All-Star Tournament during the summer of 2004 and 2005.
"I'm excited to see how Johnna will develop when she devotes herself completely to golf," elaborated Stender. "Right now her time is split between several different sports and I think she has a lot of potential for growth as a golfer because of her athleticism. She is very well-rounded between athletics, school and extra-curricular activities, so I think she will adapt quickly to balancing college life."
An honors student, Jeffries is ranked number one in her high school class and has earned numerous academic awards. Johnna is the daughter of Jim and Kelli Jeffries and she has two younger brothers, Jack and Jay. Her high school golf coach was Kevin Bartlett. South Dakota State, Nebraska-Kearney and Nebraska-Omaha also recruited Jeffries.
"I really enjoyed my visit to Laramie and felt that UW is where I would fit in best," said Jeffries. "I was impressed with the beautiful area, nice campus, friendly atmosphere and great facilities. I know that I will need to work hard and be devoted, but I'm willing to put in the extra time and effort."
Jonelle Martinez is a 5' 10" high school senior at St. Michael's in Santa Fe, N.M. Martinez was runner-up at the state golf tournament as a junior, placed third as a sophomore and sixth as a freshman. A four-year letterwinner in golf and a three-year letterwinner in volleyball, she is currently in the midst of her final high school golf season. Her team won the state golf championship in 2004 and 2005.
Martinez is active on the Sun Country Junior Tour, the New Mexico and West Texas state golf association junior circuit, and has played various other national youth golf events. She was the Sun Country Overall Young Female Player of the Year in 2004, as well as their Junior Tour Player of the Year and Pepsi Tour Player of the Year. In 2005 she was a member of the Sun Country America's Cup Team, which competed in Mexico, and was named the Northern New Mexico Female Golfer of the Year.
"Jonelle is a talented player who has the ability to contribute to this team," added Stender. "Her athleticism is a big plus and she has some good experience playing at a national level. Jonelle is confident in herself and has a strong desire to achieve. Those are all desirable traits for our program."
Martinez has been named All-District three times in golf and twice in volleyball. Jonelle is the daughter of David and Robin Martinez and has an older brother Marcus and a younger sister Miquela. Her high school golf coach is her mother, Robin. She was also recruited by Western New Mexico.
"I first became interested in Wyoming when I saw that there was a new coach," said Martinez. "I thought that it might be easier to come into a program with that situation. Then, when I came on my visit I really enjoyed it. I liked the environment and the overall feel of the school. Laramie is pretty similar to Santa Fe, weather-wise, so that will not be a drastic change for me. My senior golf season is going well right now and I plan on playing a lot of tournaments over the summer, which should help prepare me for college golf this fall."
Stender now has a total of three new scholarship student-athletes who will join Wyoming for the 2006-07 season. Along with Jeffries and Martinez, Sarah Fogerty, San Diego, Calif., signed with the Cowgirl Golf program last fall.