Home High Schools Signing Day: Journey to commitment takes several paths

Signing Day: Journey to commitment takes several paths

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The Mesa boys soccer team has four players moving on to the junior college level. (Mesa athletics twitter)

The first Wednesday in February has been on athletes’ calendars for years.

The act of picking up a pen and signing a scholarship offer signifies something different to everyone sitting at a table at their school’s auditorium because everyone’s path to becoming a collegiate athlete varies.

For some the recruiting process was infuriating while waiting for the right fit, or frustrating while waiting for that first offer while others around you are tweeting daily about their new offer.

It can get humbling and even dark when waiting on something that has been the goal for so very long. The athlete is dominating on the field, doing everything right off it and yet no offers entering the final stages of the season.

“The process has been very, very long,” said Mesa running back Kris Jackson, who is headed to Weber State. “There’s been many nights I’d sit and cry thinking I wouldn’t get the opportunity to play at the next level. All the hard work that I put in and what I did on the field finally payed off and now I’m super excited.”

Mesa’s Kris Jackson runs through Westwood’s defense. (Darryl Webb/MyNewsMesa.com)

Others embrace it and enjoy every moment of it with it culminating with their parent(s) taking pictures of them with the name of the school they chose to continue their academic and athletics at for the next two or four years emblazoned across their chest.

No matter how the process went for the athletes at Mesa schools that prideful day finally came on Wednesday.

“This day is like a dream come true,” said Red Mountain football player Lance Lawson, who is headed to Southern Utah University after a record-breaking career. “The process has been kind of a rollercoaster, but once I sat down and met with the SUU coaches it’s been really good.”

Area athletes signed national letters of intent to play baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball, swim and dive and volleyball to schools near and far.

Red Mountain has a stellar senior class, which has led to several region titles and what must be close to a million dollars in scholarship money, with 30 or so athletes signing to play at the next level during the two different signing periods.

“The Class of 2018 has truly been a special group of student-athletes,” Red Mountain athletic director Jim Gowdy said. “Many of these seniors, in a variety of sports, have made solid contributions at the varsity level since their freshman year.”

The key now that it is official is being ready to take that next step, along with thanking those who helped along the way.

Desert Ridge earned the second seed in the 6A playoffs behind a talented senior class. (Jeremy Hathcock/Special to MyNewsMesa.com)

“The most important excitement for me is to be part of the family they have built in the program, and to start back at phase one for a new chapter in my life,” said Desert Ridge defensive lineman Christian Medeiros, who is headed to the University of Sioux Falls. “From here on out it’s long hours of preparation and grind time to play for my first college game.”

Red Mountain safety Justin Coleman is an emotional player and even more thankful, going all the way back to his eighth-grade coach, his defensive back Kyle Enders being a father figure, head coach Mike Peterson making him a man and strength and conditioning coach Ben Brandau teaching him how to be a leader.

Skyline defensive lineman Aaron Romero signed with Southern Utah. (Skyline athletics twitter).

And, of course, his parents.

“I have always been the kid that was too small or not fast enough but with my football IQ and work ethic it has gotten me to this position today,” said Coleman, who is headed to Minot State University. “My parents helped me through my journey the most.”

Jackson leaned on his parents more times than not.

“They’re the ones who’d kept me going when times got rough,” he said. “They’ve always believed in me and had my back through thick and thin and I can count on them and the rest of my family to continue to do so.”

— Jason P. Skoda is a senior writer for MyNewsMesa.com. Send human interest story ideas to jskoda@mynewsmesa.com.

Here is the list college signings for the seven Mesa schools:

Desert Ridge

Football

Caden Bethel – Rocky Mountain College

Donjae Logan – Stanford University

Christian Medeiros – University of Sioux Falls

Ty Miller – Arizona Christian University

Cooper Stauss – Rocky Mountain College

Bobby Tomerlin – Ottawa University

Mesa

Football

Kris Jackson – Weber State

Moises Guevara –  Ottawa University (AZ)

Adrian Rivera – Ottawa University (AZ)

Soccer

Girls

Sara Vendrick – Mesa Community College

C.J. Keeton – Mesa Community College

Boys

Moises Durazo-Porchas –  Mesa Community College

Ivan Chaparro – Mesa Community College

Jesus Valenzuela – South Mountain Community College

Danny Guerrero Lopez – South Mountain Community College

Red Mountain

Baseball

Sam Clow – Dixie State University

Austin Duffy – New Mexico State University

Randy Hutson – Gateway CC

Bobby Meza – Yavapai College

Tyler Rice – University of Texas – Arlington

Conner Thurman – University of Arizona

Basketball

Timmy Allen – University of Utah

Amaya West – University of Nevada

Football

Justin Coleman – Minot State University

Delton Jackson – Southern Virginia University

Mack Klafter – Scottsdale CC

Lance Lawson – Southern Utah University

Riley Pagel – Northern Arizona University

Joseph Sanchez – University of Minnesota – Crookston

Nick Scow – Southern Virginia University

Gerald Wilbson – Southern Utah University

Gabe Williams – Ottawa University

Golf

Cameron Barzekoff – Boise State

Abraham Elmore – Winona State University

Britton Liming – Mesa CC

Kendall McBean – Embry-Riddle University

Soccer

Julianne Dominguez – University of Arizona

Ryan Metera – Embry-Riddle University

Sara Svoboda – Chandler-Gilbert CC

Softball

Matisen Onofrei – Texas A&M – Kingsville

Swim & Dive

Emily Brooks – Grand Canyon University

Olivia Grossklaus – Southern Methodist University

Alexis Letts – San Diego State University

Rachel Ray – California Lutheran University

Volleyball

Kayla Subbert – Sacramento State University

Skyline

Football

Aaron Romero – Southern Utah

Sam To’oto’o – Mesa Community College

Brian Strobel – Ottawa University

Matthew Campbell – Ottawa University

Darius Glover – Mesa Community College

Dylan Bean – Ottawa University

Westwood

Volleyball

Sara Hansen – Mesa Community College

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