SISD celebrates 2021 spring athletic signings
Students at the Socorro Independent School District are set to continue their academic and athletic endeavors after signing with colleges and universities, ready to start next fall.
Student-athletes from various sports, including football, volleyball, track & field, baseball, softball, soccer and athletic training signed letters of intent to compete at the next level. Most ceremonies were celebrated virtually with families, friends, teammates and coaches and some were conducted in person.
Pebble Hills High School
Mya Sullivan, a volleyball player, signed with the Catholic University of America, where she plans to study business management. Sullivan’s accolades include being a three-year varsity starter, First Team All-District 2020-2021, and Second Team All-District 2019-2020.
“These have been the best four years of my life,” Sullivan said. “I’ve lived and learned through high school. I met some of the closest people to me, some of the best coaches, and everyone that I’ve met through high school has helped me form memories and lessons that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.”
DeAngelo Mickell signed with Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., for football. Mickell is an outside linebacker and was named Second Team All-District 1-6A, had 21 solo tackles, seven assisted tackles, one interception for 18 yards, one sack for -8 yards and one quarterback hurry. Mickell plans to study computer science.
“Only a year ago, I never thought I would get here today,” Mickell said. “I have definitely come a long way and I can’t be more grateful for the support of my teammates, coaches and family members.”
Eastlake High School
Julianne Granillo signed with University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M., and will pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminology. Granillo has competed in track and field for three years, two of those years on varsity where she has competed in all sprints 400 meters and below and all relays during her time on the team. She was part of the first team at Eastlake High School to compete in the 6A division.
“I think this is the best of both worlds,” Granillo said. “I get to continue experiencing running track, but at a college level, and I get to study for what I want to end up doing in the future.”
Kyahn Williams signed with University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M., and will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Williams has competed in track and field for three years, two of those years on varsity, where he competed in various events such as long jump, triple jump, high jump, and all sprints 400 meters and below. He also qualified for the area track meet in Odessa for high jump and the 4x200 meter relay in the 2021 season.
“My coaches and teammates always pushed me to strive for more than I could do, and they always pushed me to do my best in everything, both academic and athletic wise,” Williams said. “I’m pretty excited to go into this new chapter of life.”
Robert Bonilla signed with New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M., where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences, while he continues his baseball career at the collegiate level. Bonilla is a three-year varsity letterman whose accolades include being 1st Team 1-6A All-District Pitcher, leading the 2021 Falcon baseball team in wins (6) and strikeouts (79), and an El Paso Times 2021 preseason player feature. He is the recipient of numerous athletic scholarships.
“It feels amazing to be here and I feel successful that I've finally achieved this goal that I have always dreamed about and am moving onto the next chapter,” Bonilla said.
Christian Loveless signed with Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in homeland security, while he continues his baseball career at the collegiate level. He is a three-year varsity letterman whose statistics and accolades include 4 wins, 1 save, 31 strikeouts and Texas 6A Player to Watch.
“My Eastlake family pushed me and taught me many lessons that I’ll know for years,” Loveless said. “They just helped push me through my whole athletic and academic career just to make me better as a person and athlete.”
Julian Aguilera signed with Ecclesia College in Springdale, Ark., where he will pursue a bachelor’s degree in sports management, while he continues his baseball career at the collegiate level. He is a two-year varsity letterman whose accolades and statistics include 2021 District 1-6A Defensive Player of the Year; batted .312, 17 runs, 12 RBIs; led the team in fielding with a .980 fielding percentage.
“I had to put in countless hours to get to this point,” Aguilera said. “It just took a lot of hard work and dedication to play in this sport, but this is proof that if you just keep striving you can do great things.”
Elijah Batista signed with Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, where he will pursue a bachelor’s in kinesiology, while he continues his baseball career at the collegiate level. He is a four-year letterman whose accolades and statistics include 2-5A 1st Team Outfielder; 1-6A Second Team Shortstop; batted .323, 16 RBIs; led the team in doubles (10) and runs (25); top 3 in most offensive categories.
“We’ve spent countless nights in the cages, in the weight room, and on the field, just putting in the work and it’s really paid off,” Batista said.
Oscar Yanez signed with Trine University in Angola, Ind., where he will continue his soccer career and pursue a degree in computer science or cyber security. He has been a member of the Eastlake soccer program for the last four years. Yanez’s accomplishments include playing in Barcelona, Spain, three district championships, three bi-district championships, and three area championships. He also made the all-district team in 2020 and 2021. He currently is a member of the El Paso Locomotives youth team. He was a SATA student with a passion in electronics and graduated in the top 10 percent.
“It’s a special moment, not just for me but all the athletes, and it just proves how hard-working Eastlake students are and how talented we all are as athletes,” Yanez said. “Eastlake is a school of champions and I believe this shows that.”
Natalie Muela signed with State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo., where she will continue her soccer career and pursue a degree in criminal justice. During her four years on the team, Muela has scored four goals and three assists. Her coach referred to her as one of the hardest working athletes they have ever had the privilege of working with.
“It’s kind of emotional because I never pictured myself to be here signing, but I’m excited to move onto the next chapter,” Muela said.
Adam Herrera signed with the University of Texas at Arlington to continue his athletic career in track and field and pursue a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. His accolades include being a four-year varsity track and field athlete, being part of one of the fastest 4x4 teams in school history in 2020 and holding the fastest time in the open 200m and open 400m in Eastlake history. Herrera earned many medals this year and he helped to advance the team to the area track meet in Odessa and the regional meet in Arlington for the open 400m dash and 4x400 meter relay.
“This is something I’ve always dreamed of as a kid, so to be able to go on and compete at such a prestigious school makes me really happy,” Herrera said.
Montwood High School
Nathaniel Quintero signed with Texas Tech University for athletic training. Quintero was a head student athletic trainer and participated for two years. His area of study will be in athletic training for track & field.
“I am so excited to continue my athletic training journey in college,” Quintero said. “I hope to continue making everyone proud of my accomplishments.”
Melanie Gonzalez signed with Texas Tech University for athletic training. Gonzalez was a head student athletic trainer and participated for four years. She was the vice president for the Sun City Athletic Trainers’ Association Student Division and her area of study will be in athletic training for football.
“These have definitely been the best four years of my life so far,” Gonzalez said. “I’m sure I will enjoy the next four years of my life even more doing what I love the most and getting an education along with it.”
Zoey Cabeza De Baca signed with Midland College for softball. Cabeza De Baca was a pitcher and played first base. Her accolades include being a district champion, earning 1-6A 1st Team All-District, academic All-District and her area of study will be in chemistry.
“This is a super exciting time for all of us,” Cabeza De Baca said. “Seeing my teammates and other colleagues signing for the next level makes me a proud athlete of Montwood High School.”
Victoria Perez signed with Midland College for softball. Perez played second base and outfield. Her accolades include being a district champion, earning 1-6A 1st Team All-District, academic All-District and her area of study will be in business.
“I’m so honored and grateful to be part of this ceremony today,” Perez said. “Even though it’s been a crazy year with the pandemic, my school still made us all feel special on our big day and I am so excited for what lies ahead.”
Destiny Espinosa signed with Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS for softball. Espinosa was a catcher and an outfielder. Her accolades include being a district champion, earning 1-6A 1st Team All-District, academic All-District and her area of study will be in pre-med biology.
“I cannot wait to continue my softball career at the next level,” Espinosa said. “I feel like this is just the beginning of something very big in my life.”
Sal Soto signed with Valley City State University in Valley City, N.D., for football. Soto played cornerback and wide receiver. His accolades include 2nd Team All-District, 1st Team academic All-District and his area of study will be in criminal justice.
“I just want to take this opportunity to thank all my coaches, my teammates and most importantly my family, without any of them I wouldn’t be here signing today,” Soto said.
Josh Ochoa signed with Sul Ross State University for football. Ochoa was a quarterback, and his accolades include honorable mention All-District, academic All-District. His area of study will be in kinesiology.
“Words can’t express how happy and grateful I am for this opportunity,” Ochoa said. “Playing football at the college level has always been my dream and now I am going to fulfill that dream.”
Aiden Montes signed with Sul Ross State University for football. Montes was a safety and was named honorable mention All-District. His area of study will be in criminal justice.
“Without the people here with me today, I wouldn’t be here signing to play at the next level, thank you all so much for your support in my football career,” Montes said.
Saleen Doblado signed with North Central College in Naperville, Ill. for wrestling. Doblado earned sixth place in the state tournament and his area of study will be in general studies.
“I feel very accomplished and ready for this next chapter in my life,” Doblado said. “I hope I’ve made everyone proud so far and continue to make them proud.”
Ruth Sodipe signed with Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kan., for basketball. Sodipe played center and earned 1st Team All-District and honorable mention All-City. Her area of study will be in psychology.
“Being able to play my favorite sport and get an education at the same time is one big blessing,” Sodipe said. “I can’t wait to make everyone proud as I start a new journey in my life.”
Karyme Garcia signed with El Paso Community College for cross country. Garcia was the varsity team captain and a three-time regional qualifier. In 2020, she was a state qualifier and now plans to study fashion design, illustration, and marketing.
“The people around me are the ones who have kept me going this far,” Garcia said. “I want to thank each and every one of them for their support since the very beginning.”
Xavier Marquez signed with National Park College in Hot Springs, Ark., for soccer. Marquez was a goalkeeper and was named 1-6A Most Valuable Player in 2021 and earned 1st Team All-District. His area of study will be in general studies.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my soccer career,” Marquez said. “I cannot wait to play in the college level and hopefully become a professional in the near future.”
Published June 21, 2021
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