By Aishlyn Bruce
On February 6, National Signing Day, a nationwide event that all of the student athletes who are committed to a college participate in, took place. National Signing Day was traditionally the first day that a senior in high school can sign a binding National Letter of Intent (NLI) for a collegiate sport with a school. The five athletes that signed were Seniors Cynthia Martin to California Baptist University for Track and Cross Country, Johanna Hunck to California State University San Marcos for Cross Country and Track, Alicia Hernandez to Concordia University for Track and Cross Country, Payton Siurek to Vanguard University for Soccer, and Joey Kerestes to University of Texas, San Antonio for Soccer.
University of California (UC) Santa Cruz had an interest in Hernandez for Cross Country and Track, but she was not offered anything, until her offer from Concordia came along. “I love the coaches and the team, it reminds me of my own team here at Chaparral High School, we are like a little family and they have the same vibe that I like,” stated Hernandez. Transitioning from a high school team to a college team can be a big leap, and feeling at home with the new team is comforting while growing up. Hernandez is majoring in Biology to receive her bachelor's degree, then eventually planning to attend graduate school to get her master’s degree and doctorate in Marine Biology. For the period of time that Hernandez has been running, with a team or just for fun, she has always felt a passion for it. Hernandez will strive for her future at her new home, Concordia University.
Doing a sport for so long can teach one valuable morals in life. Siurek said, “It has not been easy, but it has taught me the importance of teamwork, my teammates became my best friends.” The importance of teamwork is a valuable lesson to learn in every sport. To make the team productive and get to the goal one wants, teamwork must be a key factor. Siurek had three previous offers to Clarke University, Johnson and Wales University, and Eastern Oregon prior to Vanguard University and she chose this school because it is close to not only the beach, but her family as well. Along with the location, “I also get a strong Christian education as well to further my education in nursing,” she stated. Her plans after high school are to major in Nursing and start a non-profit organization for vaccines for those less fortunate. She is one of many dedicated athletes who want to do great things that not all people in the world can afford.
As all of these athletes sign their way towards their future, they plan to do great things in their near future, as they move on past high school and into the real world. Each and every one of them is dedicated and strives to be the best student athlete they can be now and for the next four years of their life