Signing day: 86 athletes recognized & Arizona picks up 8by Andy Morales on Feb. 06, 2013, under Sports
The spring signing day is officially in the books and some schools had ceremonies but many did not. 16 girls and two boys signed in one massive ceremony held at Mountain View this morning, Ironwood Ridge had a good turnout, then off to Tucson High, a quick drive to Sabino and then over to Salpointe.
Buena scheduled a ceremony and Sahuarita sent in a few names also. Many of the athletes listed below did not attend a school function but recently signed nonetheless or are preferred walk-ons. I tried to get all the names, sports and schools correct so please update me if you know of nay mistakes or of any other athletes who signed this spring.
I also tried to get as many of the athletes who were somehow left off their school list and were sitting in the audience because they deserved to be recognized as well.
Remember, I did not set up any signing events. I am just passing on the info that was sent to me from the athletic directors, coaches and even some parents.
As first written here, Todd and Amy Garelick have just done something incredible by sending 17 athletes to the next level from their Tucson Soccer Academy ’95 Girls Red team.
It is almost unheard of in the world of club sports and will probably never be matched. (The total would have been 18 but one decided not to play college soccer). Part of the reason for that success were the connections Amy was able to make at New Mexico.
Amy was part of New Mexico’s first collegiate team in 1993 and has kept the doors open between herself and the school and players such as Madison Irwin (Catalina), Maddie Parker (Catalina Foothills) and Laura DeMers(Catalina Foothills) have benefited from it.
“A big part of getting to play college athletics is getting seen,” explained Amy. “Connections are important and being able to get coaches out to watch your athletes and being able to have follow-up is the key.”
Irwin, Parker and DeMers are headed to New Mexico based on their skills but Amy opened the door to help them fill their dreams of playing at the next level.
TSA also sent four kids to play at the University of Arizona and all of them played at Mountain View: Justene Kesterson, Karina Gabino, Laura Pimienta and Priscilla Pimienta. The club also featured standouts such as Jasmine Stokes and Alexis Torres (Both from Palo Verde) and Madison Kinzer (Ironwood Ridge).
Boy’s soccer standouts Jack Ferguson (Catalina Foothills) and Samuel Kavathas (Flowing Wells) also took part in the ceremony at Mountain View.
Ironwood Ridge recognized 14 athletes at their ceremony. Jake Matthews is a baseball and football standout so his future is still wide open but he signed to play baseball with Pima to help secure his future.
His teammate, QB Tyler Williams, decided upon the Air Force Academy for what they will offer him during and after his playing days. “I liked the opportunity that it represents,” Williams said. “I look forward to the top-notch education I will be getting.”
Williams will be studying Pre Law.
As often is the case, there is always a story or an athlete that truly represents what signing day is all about. It’s not about wearing your hat “hip hop” style or thinking you are destined for the NFL – it’s about family, parents and what an education can do to help a family.
Alexis Clinton is a catcher by trade and that is what she will be playing at Eastern Arizona but she is much more than that. While other athletes were thanking their supportive parents, Clinton had been living in a “bad situation” with her mother for about four years and she was recently removed from that situation from Child Protective Services (CPS).
In a tearful speech, that gave true meaning of what the day should be about, Clinton told the audience that she had no mother but thanked the only father she had ever known who was sitting in the audience a few rows in front of her with her grandmother.
“I never told anyone what was happening over the last four years,” Clinton told me. “I’m in foster care now and I am placed with my grandmother. I do not know my real father but Robert Rodriguez raised me from a little girl.”
Rodriguez and Clinton became estranged due to her mother’s actions but the two recently got back together and are “worked things out.” Clinton would especially like to thank her club coach Bruno Gonzales and his Scramblers squad for giving her the chance to catch and for taking her in.
Tucson High held a ceremony for two of their standout athletes, lineman Antonio Rosales (San Diego State) and volleyball hitter Charlotte Trueman (Utah).
Charlotte, or “Charly,” made a visit to Utah and noticed that gymnastics and volleyball were jammed-packed events. “It was wall-to-wall and full of energy,” explained Trueman.
Utah has a rich history of supporting female athletics and they have been busy eating up Southern Arizona athletes over the last two years such as state champion swimmers Brandon Young and LeighAnne Oliver, state champion golfer Gentry Hicks, Sunnyside catcher Desaray Akins and state champion gymnast Kassandra Lopez.
Rosales is part Oglala Sioux, Yaqui and Tohono O’odham which, not only makes him the only Badger to sign to play D-I football on Wednesday, but is most likely the only known Native American in the country to sign this year.
“This is way too good to be true,” Rosales told the crowd. He thanked his mother for putting up with him and his father for keeping his head on straight.
Sabino put together a ceremony to showcase a few of their athletes including future Arizona Wildcat soccer player Devyn Hunley. Hunley, like Parker (Glenn Parker) of Catalina Foothills, is the daughter of a former Arizona football great (Lamonte Hunley).
“It’s an awesome opportunity for us to watch her play,” said Lamonte. “She has wanted to go to Arizona from day one so it’s great that she will be going to the school where her father and her uncle played.”
Devyn’s uncle, of course, is Ricky Hunley.
Shannon Shields traveled from Mountain View in the morning to Sabino to be a part of her two signing ceremonies. Shields will play soccer for Sam Houston State.
Jordan Hughes will play football for Pima, Matt Brindley for Adams State and Sunthi Danh for Colorado Mesa. Ty Pennington will play baseball at Howard College and Gabe Johnson at Odessa College.
18 athletes were recognized at Salpointe but 20 will be moving on including long snapper Alex Arnaud who will be a preferred walk-on at Arizona and Chase Gallagher who played for Pima and signed with Alderson-Broaddus College.
WR Brogan Kemmerly will also be a preferred walk-on at Arizona. The extensive group of athletes included linebacker Carlos Carroll (Southern Methodist University), Southern Arizona baseball player of the year Michael Hoard (University of Arizona) and volleyball player of the year James Gehrels (Pepperdine).
Hoard’s opportunities are wide open at this stage, however. You have to like his choice of Arizona or pro-ball.
Haley Howell and Jackie Dobyns round out the list of children of former Arizona football players to sign today. Howell (Glenn Howell) will play volleyball at Sienna College and Dobyns (Jay Dobyns) will play football at Chadron State.
Track champions Alyssa Thompson (Wake Forest) and Andy Trouard (Northern Arizona University) also signed.
Johnny Peña will play football at Brown University next year and the running back will hit the books running, just like he did at Salpointe. The future anesthesiologist used to spend hours studying in his room while his peers were wither playing video games or doing whatever young men do these days.
“We are thrilled,” said his mother Elia. “We were worried because he would not come out of his room because he was studying so much. I guess he did it for a reason.”
Peña learned early on in high school that getting one “B” would cause him to hit the books and school became somewhat easier from there. “I found that if I stayed focused I would get good grades,” he explained.
“You really don’t have to be smart, you just have to work hard,” he added.
Too many names to mention here but every athlete has their own story and hopefully someone will tell it. I look forward to catching up on all these athletes over their college careers.
University of Arizona
Justene Kesterson (Mountain View) Soccer
Karina Gabino (Mountain View) Soccer
Laura Pimienta (Mountain View) Soccer
Priscilla Pimienta (Mountain View) Soccer
Michael Hoard (Salpointe) Baseball
Brogan Kemmerly (Salpointe) Football
Alex Arnaud (Salpointe) Football
Devyn Hunley (Sabino) Soccer
Pima Community College
Lizzie Valenzuela (Salpointe) Soccer
Annie Batik (Salpointe) Soccer
Jake Matthews (Ironwood Ridge) Baseball
Travis Chavez (Ironwood Ridge) Baseball
Kurt Bailey (Ironwood Ridge) Baseball
Devon Harrison (Ironwood Ridge) Baseball
Trey Stine (Ironwood Ridge) Baseball
Tanner Fanning (Sahuarita) Football
Thomas Romack (Buena) Football
Elijah Callahan (Marana) Baseball
Kelton Vieux (Marana) Baseball
Jordan Hughes (Sabino), Football
Kelsey McKemy (Mountain View) Softball
Austin Cooper (Mountain View) Baseball
Christopher Kucko (Sahuarita) Baseball
Manuel Lopez (Catalina Foothills) Baseball
Pedro Muniz (Sunnyside) Baseball
Alejandro Robles (Tucson) Baseball
Jesse Robles (Tucson) Baseball
Samuel Kavathas (Flowing Wells) Soccer
Kevionte Alexander (Rincon) Football
Isaac Chacon (CDO) Football
Jason Fierro (Sahuaro) Football
Alex Howe (Sahuaro) Football
Paul Trip (Desert View) Football
Donavan Vance (Cienega) Football
Alexis Clinton (Ironwood Ridge) Softball
Asia Suarez, Soccer, Long Island University Brooklyn
David Reihle, Football, Dakota State University
Christopher Goss III, Football, Arizona Western College
Thomas Romack, Football, Pima CC
Isiah Stroder, Football, Mesa CC
TJ Palmore, Football, Mesa CC
Darius Kelly, Football, Pima/Syracuse
Canyon del Oro
Isaac Chacon, Football, Pima CC
Madison Irwin, Soccer, New Mexico
Jack Ferguson, Soccer, Cornell
Maddie Parker, Soccer, New Mexico
Laura DeMers, Soccer, New Mexico
Morgan Rooney, Soccer, Concordia Oregon
Manuel Lopez, Baseball, Pima CC
Donavan Vance, Football, Pima CC
Jordan Christianson, Football, Pima CC/South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
Paul Trip, Football, Pima CC
Spencer Woody, Football, Colorado Mesa
Samuel Kavathas, Flowing Wells
Jake Matthews, Baseball, Pima CC
Travis Chavez, Baseball, Pima CC
Kurt Bailey, Baseball, Pima CC
Devon Harrison, Baseball, Pima CC
Trey Stine, Baseball, Pima CC
John Klass, Football, Colorado Mesa University
Cris Thorson, Football, Colorado Mesa University
Alexis Clinton, Softball, Eastern Arizona
Madison Kinzer, Soccer, Oklahoma
Marissa Baca, Tennis, Northern Colorado
Tyler Williams, Football, Air Force Academy
Robert Coleman, Football, Mesa CC
Casey Fisher, Softball, Brown
Dria Nickles, Swimming, Denison
Elijah Callahan, Baseball, Pima CC
Kelton Vieux, Baseball, Pima CC
Bryson Gudas, Baseball, Sauk CC
Wyatt Nale, Baseball, Sauk CC
Justene Kesterson, Soccer, University of Arizona
Karina Gabino, Soccer, University of Arizona
Laura Pimienta, Soccer, University of Arizona
Priscilla Pimienta, Soccer, University of Arizona
Kelsey McKemy, Softball, Pima CC
Cooper Huslig, Soccer, Paradise Valley CC
Dylan Trapp, Soccer, Paradise Valley CC
Austin Cooper, Baseball, Pima CC
Jasmine Stokes, Soccer, Cal Baptist
Alexis Torres, Soccer, Paradise Valley CC
Kevionte Alexander, Football, Pima CC
Shannon Shields, Soccer, Sam Houston State
Jordan Hughes, Football, Pima CC
Ty Pennington, Baseball, Howard College
Gabe Johnson, Baseball, Odessa College
Matt Brindley, Football, Adams State
Sunthi Danh, Football, Colorado Mesa
Devyn Hunley, Soccer, University of Arizona
Alex Rios, Football, Adams State
Tanner Fanning, Football, Pima CC
Christopher Kucko, Baseball, Pima CC
Jason Fierro, Football, Pima CC
Alex Howe, Football, Pima CC
Spencer Arnaud, Golf, Holy Cross
Carlos Carroll, Football, Southern Methodist University
Emily Christensen, Volleyball, University of the Pacific
Mary Espinoza, Soccer, Gateway Community College
Travis Fister, Football, Southern Methodist University
James Gehrels, Volleyball, Pepperdine University
Cody Gibson, Football, West Virginia Wesleyan
Emily Griffin, Softball, Bowdoin College
Michael Hoard, Baseball, University of Arizona
Haley Howell, Volleyball, Sienna College
Brogan Kemmerly, Football, University of Arizona
Johnny Peña, Football, Brown University
Abby Reuland, Volleyball, Colorado School of Mines
Alyssa Thompson, Track, Wake Forest University
Andy Trouard, Track, Northern Arizona University
Lizzie Valenzuela, Soccer, Pima CC
Alex Arnaud, Football, University of Arizona
Chase Gallagher, Football, Pima/Alderson-Broaddus
Jack Dobyns, Football, Chadron State
Dylan Greenberg, Football, Youngstown State
Pedro Muniz, Baseball, Pima CC
Antonio Rosales, Football, San Diego State University
Savannah Quintana, Soccer, Paradise Valley CC
Charlotte Trueman, Volleyball, Utah
Alejandro Robles, Baseball, Pima CC
Jesse Robles, Baseball, Pima CC