PHILIPSBURG - When Jaden Comings leaves Granite High School Sunday afternoon, she'll do so as one of the more notable athletes the school has ever had. She was a dominant figure on the volleyball and basketball courts, and when teamed with junior Sarah Goff was one of the top doubles tennis teams in the state.
But Comings is not some one-dimensional athlete. In fact, she proved she's anything but that with a science fair presentation that wowed several entities including Montana Tech.
Comings inked an academic scholarship deal with the Orediggers earlier this year that will also allow lace up her sneakers for the Women's Basketball Program this fall. Her first year of tuition is being picked by the college after her stellar performance in the state science fair where she took home a ton of awards.
The project was based on finding a way to lower the gel-point of biodiesel, a product that her family uses to power their vehicles during the warmer months. They reclaim used oil locally and produce a useable fuel that is far cheaper than standard gas. Comings' project was so unique that judges and attendees were drawn to it and she received high praise.
"I'm super excited," said Comings of the opportunity. "I've been over there practicing with them and the competition is just amazing. ... It'll be different, definitely. I'm excited to see how this works."
Comings finished her high school basketball career this winter with 1,163 points over four years, leading the Prospectors to a third place finish at the District Tournament. She played wherever head coach Sarah Knutson needed her to - from guard to forward to post - but Comings indicated that Lady Oredigger Head Coach Carly Sanon
"Coach has explained that I won't be playing my normal guard position," explained Comings. "She sees me more as a forward because I'm strong driving in on the side. She's going to work with me on getting my shooting hammered down, but she also thinks I have a really good rebounding skill."
The Orediggers finished 15-16 last season, going 4-14 in Frontier Conference Play. Montana Tech loses only one player, guard Hannah Sparks, to graduation from its eight-player roster, with six returnees and one red-shirt freshman. Comings' raw athleticism and ability to quickly adapt and pick up new plays should compliment an experienced Lady Oredigger squad.
Comings will join Granite classmate Colton Grange at Montana Tech, who signed a football scholarship to the school this winter.
by Tim Allen, QSPNLive.com