Desert Oasis baseball quintet signs with Division I schools

Desert Oasis senior D.J. Jefferson brandished a cardinal Southern California hat embroidered with the school’s classic logo after signing his national letter of intent Wednesday to play baseball for the Trojans.

Current and future teammate Campbell Holt donned a cap with the university’s baseball logo instead.

Different hats on national signing day. Same hats next season.

Jefferson, Holt, Aaron Roberts, Parker Schmidt and Josh Sharman signed national letters of intent Wednesday during a brief ceremony inside the Diamondbacks’ cafeteria — guaranteeing their baseball careers will continue with Division I programs. Roberts is going to California, Schmidt to Oregon and Sharman to UNLV, giving Desert Oasis coach Paul Buboltz the strongest senior class in program history.

And one of the best teams in the state this spring.

“It just doesn’t happen overnight,” Buboltz said. “It’s summer. It’s fall. It’s winter. It’s overnight. It’s in the weight room. It’s the regular season. And then it’s in the classroom. It’s just a special moment for us and for these kids. Having five guys in one class is pretty amazing. I don’t know if that’ll ever happen again for us.”

Buboltz joined the players, their friends and families for a half-hour of photos, refreshments and fun after school Wednesday. The four Pac-12 signees have developed a friendly rivalry, and Roberts said they’re excited about playing against each other at the next level.

“We talk back and forth, pitching to one another,” he said. “Of course, there’s always, ‘My football team beat your football team.’ All that little stuff. It’s all friendly, and it’s all good.”

Schmidt was born in Oregon and always dreamed of playing baseball for the Ducks. Jefferson and Holt are lifelong best friends and planned to play together in college. Sharman is ecstatic to represent his hometown university.

The five indicated that the experience of signing day was a thrill and testament to the program’s strength.

“This is unbelievable. Just being able to (sign) with all my best friends,” Jefferson said. “The way Paul Buboltz has put this program together is insane. We’re going to be pretty good this spring. Hopefully we’ll win a state championship.”

Buboltz said having so many Division I players has helped foster a competitive environment in the program. He hopes that signing day serves as a reminder to his younger players of what can be accomplished with hard work.

“It just gives them something to work toward,” Buboltz said. “They see that this is a pretty special moment. They want to be up here in a couple years doing the same thing.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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