By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
It was after their freshman year when Los Altos High School’s Courtney Gano and Diamond Bar’s Stephany La Rosa gave verbal commitments to the University of Washington and UCLA, respectively, and accepted full softball scholarships.
On Wednesday they were part of an enormous senior class in the East San Gabriel Valley that signed national letters of intent on the first day of the early signing period for all sports except football, boys and girls soccer and boys water polo. At least 34 area athletes signed on the dotted line, including 11 in baseball and eight in girls volleyball, marking one of the largest signing groups in recent memory. (To continue click thread)
Don’t worry, faces won’t look so small in tomorrow’s paper.
From top row: Remontay McClain (APU); Rouric Bridgewater (Arizona State); Joe Chavez (UC Riverside); Antonio Gonzales (UC Riverside); Kenny Mathews (Cal State Fullerton), Adam McCreery (Arizona State); Jonathan Munoz (UC Irvine); Seby Zavala (San Diego State)
From second row: C.J. Cooper (UTEP), Bruce English (LMU), Megan Callen (North Florida), Samantha Lepp (Sonoma State), Taylor Anderson (LMU), Ashley Maxfeldt (LMU), Alissa Young (Sacred Heart), Jasmine Russell (Wake Forrest), Amanda Brown (Eastern Washington)
From third row: Mayko Wang (UNLV), Nicole Zugasti (CS Dominguez Hills), Gretchen Jaques (Texas), Andrea Grant (BYU), Samantha Nieves (Middle Tennessee State), Breeanna Sandoval (CS Bakersfield), Matt Munoz (San Diego State)
From front row: Jackie McCartin (Washington), Stephany La Rosa (UCLA), Courtney Gano (Washington).
At least 33 area athletes signing national letters of intent this afternoon and most showed for our group picture which will run in Thursday’s front page in Sports. If you have a shot at school that you would like to share you can email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post it on the blog. Also, the Inland Insider stopped by and did tons of video interviews that he will share later tonight, you’re going to love it. Congrats to all the signees.
Area athletes that signed Wednesday
C.J. Cooper, La Verne Lutheran, UTEP
Bruce English, La Verne Lutheran, Loyola Marymount
Taylor Anderson, Bonita, Loyola Marymount
Nicole Zugasti, Cal State Dominguez Hills
Courtney Gano, Los Altos, University of Washington
Breeanna Sandoval, Bonita, Cal State Bakersfield
Stephany La Rosa, Diamond Bar, UCLA
Samantha Nieves, South Hills, Middle Tennessee State
Samantha Lepp, Walnut, Sonoma State
Ashley Maxfeldt, Bonita, Loyola Marymount
Jasmine Russell, Los Altos, Wake Forrest
Megan Callen, St. Lucy’s, University of North Florida
Alissa Young, St. Lucy’s Sacred Heart University
Deanna Dalton, St. Lucy’s, West Point (Army)
Jordyn Siko, Chino Hills, CS Bakersfield
Kellie Finneran, Chino Hills, Bridgewater College, Virginia
Amanda Brown, Los Altos, Eastern Washington
Andrea Grant, Walnut, Brigham Young University
Gretchen Jaques, Glendora, University of Texas
Kenny Mathews, Diamond Bar, Cal State Fullerton
Rouric Bridgewater, Diamond Ranch, Arizona State
Jordan McCraney, Bishop Amat, USC
Seby Zavala, Bishop Amat, San Diego State
Adrian Franco, Bishop Amat, San Diego State
Matt Munoz, San Dimas, San Diego State
Jonathan Munoz, Diamond Bar, UC Irvine
Adam McCreery, Bonita, Arizona State
Antonio Gonzales, Damien, UC Riverside
Joe Chavez, Damien, UC Riverside
Cameron Pongs, Chino Hills, San Diego State
Jackie McCartin, San Dimas, University of Washington
Remontay McClain, Covina, Azusa Pacific
Mayko Wang, Los Altos, UNLV
“I’ve known where I was going for a while but it’s so much stress off your shoulders to finally sign,” Gano said. “It’s a dream come true. Now I can concentrate on the rest of the year and being prepared for college.”
Gano and La Rosa also are travelball teammates.
“I have been back and forth to UCLA a lot since I said I was going there, but the anticipation leading up to this day is still amazing,” La Rosa said.
In swimming, Glendora High School’s Gretchen Jaques and Walnut’s Andrea Grant have dominated since they stepped onto their respective campus. Jaques may go down as the most celebrated swimmer in area history after earning three consecutive Tribune swimmer of the year awards and going a perfect six for six in CIF-SS divisional finals. Jaques, who someday may be on the U.S. Olympic team, will continue her swimming career at the University of Texas. Grant, also one of the best swimmers in area history, is heading to the University of Brigham Young.
“It really wasn’t one thing,” Jaques responded when asked why she chose Texas. “It was a mix of everything. It all really seemed to fit. The whole atmosphere is what made me choose Texas.”
Jaques and Grant signed together at a sign party hosted by Mt. San Antonio College.
“I can’t believe it’s all (school) gone so quickly,” Grant said. “I chose BYU because I loved the campus and the (swimmers) are amazing.”
La Verne Lutheran’s C.J. Cooper and Bruce English have won two CIF-SS divisional boys basketball titles and a state championship. They’re regarded as two of the best in the Southland, Cooper is heading to the University of Texas El Paso while English will play at Loyola Marymount. “For me, signing with UTEP was one of the places I really wanted to go,” Cooper said. “Tim Floyd is a great coach and he runs a great program. I can’t wait to get there.”
In girls basketball, Bonita point guard and Tribune first-team selection Taylor Anderson signed with Loyola Marymount, where she will join South Hills’ Melinda Gomez, already a freshman on the Lions’ women’s basketball team. St. Lucy’s basketball standout Nicole Zugasti is staying close to home, too, after signing with nearby Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Bishop Amat baseball continued to feed big-time college baseball with three players signing. More Lancers, such as outfielder Jay Anderson, are expected to make their decisions later this month like outfielder Jay Anderson. On Wednesday, Amat outfielder Jordan McCraney made it official by signing with powerhouse USC while infielder Adrian Franco and catcher/infielder Seby Zavala are heading south to San Diego State.
San Dimas shortstop Matt Munoz and Chino Hills’ Cameron Pongs will join Franco and Zavala at San Diego State.
Arizona State landed a couple of gems in Diamond Ranch’s big-hitting Rouric Bridgewater and Bonita’s 6-foot-8 left-handed pitcher Adam McCreery. Bridgewater had an impressive junior season in which he batted .580 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs. McCreery led the Bearcats to a CIF-SS division finals appearance.
Diamond Bar left-hander Kenny Mathews could be a high selection in Major League Baseball’s spring draft, but his fall-back option wasn’t bad. He signed with area powerhouse Cal State Fullerton. Mathews wasn’t the only Brahmas player to sign. Diamond Bar infielder Jonathan Munoz is headed to UC Irvine.
The Damien duo of pitcher Antonio Gonzales and shortstop Joe Chavez will continue being teammates at UC Riverside.
Gano and La Rosa weren’t the only softball players earning scholarships.
Walnut High’s Samantha Lepp is going to Sonoma State while South Hills’ Samantha Nieves is off to Middle Tennessee State and speedy Bonita outfielder Breeanna Sandoval heads to Cal State Bakersfield.
The St. Lucy’s girls volleyball team would love to celebrate a Division 2-AA title later this month, and it wouldn’t be a surprise considering three Regents earned college scholarships.
The Regents’ Megan Callen is going to the University of North Florida, Alissa Young is headed to Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and Deanna Dalton signed with the Army’s West Point.
Bonita’s standout Ashley Maxfeldt will continue her brilliant career at Loyola Marymount while Chino Hills standouts Jordyn Siko goes to Cal State Bakersfield and Kellie Finneran heads for Bridgewater College in Greenville, Va.
Los Altos’ Jasmine Russell and Amanda Brown helped the Conquerors win a CIF-SS divisional title as juniors and were rewarded for their hard work. Russell signed with prestigious Wake Forrest and Brown is heading to Eastern Washington.
“All my dreams are coming true,” a wide-eyed Russell said. “Wake Forrest is one of the top academic schools and they have a great volleyball program.
“It couldn’t have worked out better. I can’t wait to get there and show them what I have.”
In track, Azusa Pacific landed a top athlete in defending state 100-meter champion Remontay McClain of Covina High School. He’s getting a full ride to compete for one of the NAIA’s best track programs.
Emily Donohoe of St. Lucy’s Water Polo signed with UCLA. She is a two time Sierra League MVP and was named CIF Division 3 Player of the Year as a junior
Gymnastics and girls golf may not receive the same publicity as other sports, but it doesn’t mean the competitors don’t work just as hard to earn scholarships.
San Dimas gymnast Jacke McCartin earned a full ride to the University of Washington while Los Altos’ Mayko Wang earned a golf scholarship to the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Below: Signing at Los Altos, Mayko Wang, (golf, UNLV), Lauren Stupin (soccer, CSUF), Courtney Gano (softball, Washington), Jasmine Russell (volleyball, Wake Forrest), Amanda Brown (volleyball, Eastern Washington)
Above: Bonita’s Ashley Maxfeldt (Loyola Marymount), Adam McCreery (Arizona State), Taylor Anderson (Loyola Marymount), and Breeanna Sandoval (CS Bakersfield) sign their national letters of intent this morning.
Below: La Verne Lutheran basketball players, C.J. Cooper (UTEP) and Bruce English (Loyola Marymount).
Below: San Dimas baseball player Matt Munoz signs with San Diego State and gymnast Jackie McCartin is going to Washington.
Below: Chino Hills volleyball standout Jordyn Siko is heading to Cal State Bakersfield and baseball’s Cameron Pongs is going to San Diego State.