Pahranagat Valley senior Culen Highbe is changing animal skins when he goes off to college. He’ll be going from a Panther to a Badger. After graduation in May, he is headed to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah to play for coach Robert Nielson, who has guided the team since 2012.
The Badgers were 26-6 in 2016-17 and last March they just missed winning their first Scenic West Athletic Conference championship since 1954, losing to Southern Idaho University 92-82.
The 6-foot-9 Highbe signed his official letter of intent Nov. 4 in a special ceremony at the Pahranagat Valley gymnasium.
He said about 50 people attended. Both PVHS principal coach Mike Strong and new head Michael Strong Jr., made a few comments stating that they think that Snow College is “getting a really good player and that he has big things ahead of him.” Refreshments were served afterward. Highbe then faxed the letter to the college.
Culen is very likely one of the tallest players to have come through Pahranagat Valley High.
PVHS alumnus Sarah Higbee Tripp played women’s basketball at Snow College in 1999-2000.
Snow College, a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association, has an enrollment of about 4,100, is about 80 miles south, southeast of Provo, Utah. It is one of the oldest junior colleges west of the Mississippi, founded in 1888 and named for early LDS leaders Lorenzo Snow and Erastus Snow.
It offers certificates and associate degrees in a number of areas, along with bachelor degrees in music and software engineering and a four-year nursing program. Snow College is operated as part of the Utah System of Higher Education.
Famous alumni of Snow College include Bronco Mendenhall, former football coach at BYU and current coach at the University of Virginia. Another alumnus is Josh Heupel, Heisman Trophy runner-up in 2000 as the quarterback, currently offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Missouri.