On February 1st twelve of our athletes had the honor of joining an exclusive group: the less than two percent who were given an offer to further their athletic career at a division 1 school due to their athletic achievement.
This date, February 1st, marks this year’s National Letter of Intent Signing Day. At Mission a ceremony is held for family, friends, and faculty to celebrate their athletic accomplishments, usually symbolized by them signing their Letter of Intent (although many have already signed it, so they instead sign a paper that has their name and the college they are going to be playing at on it.
Mission first began holding this ceremony in February of their 2010-11 school year, since then over 200 student-athletes have received athletic scholarships and celebrated through this ceremony.
This year’s ceremony began with Principal Osborne talking about the history of Signing Day and recognizing the difficulties the athletes went through to get where they are today, and then transitioned to Assistant Principal for Athletics, Mr. Lindsay saying a few words of his own and then introducing the athletes, accompanied by their respective college’s fight song, and conducting the majority of the rest of the ceremony.
This year the athletes recognized were Mission Viejo football’s defensive end Jonathan Becerra to Northern Arizona University, offensive lineman Cody Going, who is committed to University of San Diego, Cornerback Joseph Libutti to University of Central Florida, offensive lineman Brady Norton to California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, linebacker Tommy Reese to Drake University, wide receiver Edward Shultz to California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, volleyball’s middle blocker Chloe Karn to Abilene Christian University, libero Brookelyn Madland to Southern Virginia University, track & field’s Jada Gatlin to University of Southern California, Emily Psarras to University of Arizona, swim’s Joey Change to US Military Academy at West Point, and boys volleyball’s Josh Aruya to UC Santa Barbara.
Each student-athlete was called up to the stand and given time to give thanks to their friends, coaches, and families, and after this Mr. Lindsay finished up by thanking ASB President Lauren Hendrawen and thanked Monique Davidson, who he said was the only reason that the ceremony was possible. He left the audience, and the athletes, with some advice: to cherish their next four years in college; they will go by like that, but at the same time he stated to remember what is most important: focusing on your family and, especially, your parents, who have been an insurmountable contribution to their success.