The Next Level

Posted: Friday, May 27, 2005

Zobeck earns letter for Rams

Paul John Zobeck, a 2000 graduate of Soldotna High School, earned a varsity letter in baseball for the Cornell College Rams this year.

Zobeck, a senior majoring in economics and sports marketing, hit .354 for the Rams, starting 35 of 36 games. Zobeck collected 45 hits on the season, including 11 home runs and 12 doubles, leading the team in both categories. Zobeck drove in 46 runs, also a team-high.

Cornell, an NCAA Division III school located in Mount Vernon, Iowa, compiled a 16-20 overall record this season and was 6-10 in the Iowa Conference.

CIA's Beeson signs with Corban College

Brian Beeson, a senior at Cook Inlet Academy, has signed a letter of intent to run cross country and track at Corban College, formerly known as Western Baptist College, in Salem, Ore.

Corban is affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the National Christian College Association.

"I was looking for a small school that was a Christian school and could give me a running scholarship," Beeson said, adding that the school's location in Oregon reminded him a little of Alaska and that Salem is a relatively small town.

Beeson said he'll likely study business but doesn't plan to declare a major for his freshman year.

Corban is a fairly new program, and Beeson said he is looking forward to becoming one of the team's top runners.

"It'll be exciting to be a part of something new there and help grow it some," Beeson said.

Former SoHi skater signs with UAA

Billy Smith, who hails from Sterling and played hockey for Soldotna High School, has signed a letter of intent to suit up for the University of Alaska Anchorage next fall.

"Billy plays the game with a great deal of passion. Although he's just 18 years old, he possesses a huge amount of upside. He's an extremely good skater who ... should immediately step into our lineup and contribute in some facet," Seawolves head coach John Hill said in a press release.

Smith has played the past two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Junior Hockey League. Smith scored 14 goals and added 18 assists this past season for the Gamblers, and recorded 10 goals and 12 assists during the 2003-04 season.

Prior to joining the Gamblers, Smith spent a season with the U.S. National Development Team, recording four goals and five assists in 36 games with Team USA.

Smith's last game for Soldotna came in 2002 when, as a sophomore, he was a key player on a Stars team that qualified for the state tournament. Smith was a first-team all-state selection following the 2001-02 high school season.

The Next Level highlights Kenai Peninsula athletes that have gone on to compete in sports beyond high school. If you know such an athlete, contact the Clarion sports department by phone at 283-7551 or via e-mail at

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