Two Bear Creek Student-Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent

  • Athletics
Sini Fernandez, Communications Manager

On November 10, 2021, two Bear Creek seniors participated in a ceremonial signing of their National Letters of Intent, indicating their intent to play next fall for Utah State University and Central Christian College of Kansas.

Signing letters of intent

Zoe and Tess signing letters of intent

Tess Bumiller Heading to Utah State University

Tess Bumiller has attended The Bear Creek School since she was in the fifth grade. Bear Creek does not currently offer a softball team, so during the spring season, Tess has played softball for Lake Washington HS, her local school, as a Kang. She started her softball career at age five on a mixed-gender T-ball team in the Redmond West Little League system. It was at that early age, with a pink bat, pink glove, and pink helmet, that Tess announced her entry to the softball stage. First and third base are where Tess began her career, but it wasn’t long before she found her true passion. Pitching.

In her final two Little League seasons, Tess’s team won the district 9 championship. While at Lake Washington, Tess had an immediate impact including a District Championship in her freshman year. In 2020, Tess earned a spot with ai Bandits Fastpitch, a new, elite fastpitch softball organization led by Coach Joe Breer. Just this past summer, after less than a year together, the Bandits U16 team took second place in the PGF Nationals Platinum Championship. The past 12 years have culminated with Tess signing her National Letter of Intent to play softball next fall at Utah State University where she is thrilled to become an Aggie.

Tess and softball coaches

Tess and Lake Washington softball coaches

Zoe Smith Heading to Central Christian College of Kansas

Zoe Smith has attended Bear Creek since she was in grade 8, but her love for volleyball started at a younger age. She was only nine years old when she showed up at the Boys & Girls Club to give the sport a shot. A year later, Zoe began playing for Northwest Juniors Elite Volleyball Club. She competed on club volleyball teams for the past seven seasons, helping her teams advance to Nationals twice. She started setting for her U14 team and has been a setter ever since. During her first year at Bear Creek, Zoe joined the Middle School volleyball program and found instant success. Zoe made the varsity team as a freshman, and if one thing was clear, it was that in addition to being a terrific volleyball player, Zoe is a great teammate and leader. In fact, she was named captain her sophomore year.

This past season, Zoe set and hit right side, racking up a season total of 364 assists and 89 kills. During her high school career, Zoe achieved 114 kills, 180 aces, 440 digs, and exceeded her personal goal with 1152 career assists. Zoe is one of the very few Grizzlies to ever achieve these prestigious career marks. Next up Zoe will bring her setting talents to Central Christian College of Kansas where we know she will make an immediate impact for the Tigers.

Zoe and Coach Tag

Zoe and Bear Creek volleyball coach Josh Tag

Chad Pohlman, Bear Creek Athletics Director, says, “It is not every day that athletes the caliber of Tess Bumiller or Zoe Smith don the green and white at Bear Creek, and we are extremely proud of both these ladies for what they have done and who they have become.”

About The Bear Creek School

Founded in 1988, in Redmond, Washington, The Bear Creek School provides a challenging academic curriculum taught from a Christian worldview. Our graduates qualify for acceptance into the finest colleges and universities and are prepared to engage the world with wisdom, compassion, and courage.

Celebrating over 30 years and recognized as a 2014 National Blue Ribbon School, Bear Creek serves students from the greater Eastside and is housed on two campuses. Redmond Campus on Union Hill serves kindergarten to grade 12 students. Valley Campus, also in Redmond, serves preschool students. The Bear Creek School is accredited by the Northwest Association of Independent Schools and Cognia (formerly AdvancED).