CEDAR CITY, Utah, Nov. 16 - Two area golfers have signed national letters of intent to compete for Southern Utah University, SUU head golf coach Richard Church announced today. Connor Van Gilder, a 2010 graduate of Dixie High School, and Nicole Thomas, a senior at Dixie High this year, have both committed to play for the Thunderbirds.

Van Gilder, who is currently serving an LDS church mission, helped lead DHS to four consecutive Region  9 and Utah state 4A championships. While playing for the Flyers he was a two-time all-region and all-state selection. He has also excelled in Junior Golf, wining two JAG match play championships, three stroke-play tournaments and posting numerous top-five finishes in a variety of amateur tournaments. Plans are for Van Gilder to join the Thunderbirds in the fall of 2012 after his return from his mission.

"We're very excited to sign Connor," Church said. "He's an excellent player and a good student, and in additon to his golf skills he brings a high level of integrity to our program."

Thomas is another player with a long list of accomplishments. As a sophomore she was the Utah 4A individual champion and last year she finished as the runner-up as she helped the Flyers to a runner-up team finish. She has also claimed the last two Region 9 individual championships, helping the team to titles as well. A six-time St. George Association of Junior Golfers Player of the Year, Thomas has also excelled outside of high school competition, earning a spot on the Utah Junior America's Cup team and qualifying for the Optimist International Junior Championships. 

"Nicole has had a great deal of success at both the junior and high school levels," Church said. "We feel fortunate to have her sign to play for the Thunderbirds.

"One of our goals is to get the best players in the area to play at Southern Utah University," Church pointed out. "We're excited to have both these players committed to SUU."

-- SUU --