By Jenelyn Russo     6/4/2020

In recognition of their 18 student athletes who signed letters of intent to play college athletics, Mater Dei High School created a video to honor the seniors’ accomplishments. 

Since the event could not take place in person due to COVID-19, the virtual signing ceremony was shared online May 1 and was hosted by Mater Dei Athletics Announcer Wink Williams. 

“It’s my pleasure to welcome students, parents, families, friends, administrators and signees to Mater Dei Athletics Commitment Ceremony,” said Williams. “Today marks the beginning of the next chapter in these 18 athletes’ careers. And I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make this event come together in these uncertain times.” 

Representing 12 sports, the athletes were all recognized individually with words shared by each of their coaches. Also making an appearance in the video were Director of Campus Ministry Helen Steves, Assistant Principal of Academics & Technology Geri Campeau, and Principal Frances Clare. 

“This is indeed a great occasion for each one of you, for your parents and for Mater Dei High School,” said Clare. “It is your God-given talent, skill, hard work and determination that have brought you to this successful signing moment. I commend you for your academic scholarship, your dedication and commitment to your great passion in athletics, your involvement in community service and your leadership throughout the school as a student athlete here at Mater Dei.” 

From the Monarchs baseball team, Grady Birmingham is headed to the University of Dallas, and pitcher Garrett Riley committed to Grambling State University. 

Cheerleader Maya Alves will be attending the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Jacob Rand will be cheering at the University of South Florida. 

From the gridiron, four Monarchs will be continuing their football careers at the collegiate level. Kicker Race Mahlum committed to the University of Oregon. Long snapper Cruz Rubio will be playing for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Benjamin Sullivan will be playing for the University of La Verne, and Nate White is headed east to the University of Pennsylvania. 

Two Mater Dei boys soccer players have committed to college programs. Liam Glenane is headed to Cabrini University, and Ricardo Quezada will pay for Waldorf University. 

From the track, Monarch sprinter Morgan Jennings will be running for the University of California, Irvine, and Nadia Martinez will compete in the cross country and track programs at California Baptist University. 

Girls lacrosse player Liliana Rigdon will be playing for Corban University. Rower Peter Adams is headed to Boston University. Henry Tran will continue his tennis career at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Sailor Gretchen Hohenstein committed to the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Jack Gannaway will be playing water polo at Santa Clara University, and boys volleyball player Sebastian Lara is headed to Loyola University, Chicago. 

“As you go forward in the pursuit of your passion and dream to the university where you sign today, I wish you every success, continued good health, and above all, happiness in all that you do,” said Clare. “Thank you also to your coaches, your high school counselors, your teachers and to all who have been involved in your development as a student athlete. Congratulations again to all of you and to your parents and grandparents for their support and sacrifice in making this day possible for you. And remember, once a Monarch, always a Monarch. God’s blessings to you all.”