HELENA — Though it may have been glum outside in Helena, inside the Carroll PE Center it was all smiles for Kalispell Flathead's Clare Converse as she signed her letter of intent to join the Fighting Saints women's basketball team in 2022 on Wednesday.
Converse, who's headed into her senior year at Flathead, said one of the things she thought about when she was being recruited by various schools was the first trip she took in her journey to Carroll.
"When I came and visited, it was my first visit, and being my first visit, you don't really know yet. And then I went on some other visits. And I was like, it just doesn't feel like Carroll," said Converse. "When I came here, I just, I just felt like I was at home."
And in a way, Carroll is home, as Converse's mother Catherine scored nearly 1,500 points as a member of the Fighting Saints from 1992 to 1996. Though her mother obviously was rooting for Clare to sign with her alma mater, Catherine was clear that the choice was Clare's to make.
"We didn't pressure her or anything," said Catherine Converse (formerly Mason). "I mean deep down, but I was keeping my mouth shut."
Converse is another early signee for Carroll women's basketball class of 2022, which was done by design said head coach Rachelle Sayers. Sayers said when she wants a player, she goes after them quickly.
"Not every kid is for Carroll and Carroll is not for every kid. But when we find those players that are that perfect fit, like Clare is, like Sadie Filius is, we want to get it done early. We want to make sure we have those holes filled for the following year," said Sayers.
Though Converse has a bit of time before she'll suit up in the purple and gold, her goals for the next 16 months are relatively simple.
"I just want to keep up my grades and just have a really successful basketball season. I think it'd be really cool if my high school team got to go to state because I haven't been to state all three years I've been there," said Converse. "For college, I'm just looking forward to coming here and meeting new friends and just winning some games."