Mater Dei and JSerra celebrate National Signing Day

By Jenelyn Russo     5/13/2019

On April 17, 2019, the final National Signing Day of the school year, several senior athletes made their commitments to continue their playing careers at the collegiate level.

JSerra Catholic High School celebrated eight athletes who have committed to college athletic programs. Introduced by JSerra Athletic Director Chris Ledyard to family and friends in attendance, Ledyard gave encouragement to the group as they prepare to take their next steps.

“The athletic department and I want to wish you the best,” says Ledyard. “Go get ‘em, embrace the pain, embrace the difficulty, rise above it and become special again.”

JSerra celebrated three athletes from the Lions’ boys soccer program who made college commitments. Two-time Lions Award winner Ryan Arzu is headed to Boise State University. Samuel Brooks, a 2018 1st Team All-Trinity League honoree, will be playing for Concordia University Irvine. And four-year JSerra player Parker Roseen has committed to Chapman University.

From the gridiron, the Lions saw two of their football players commit to continuing their playing careers. Caden Blyth will be playing for Idaho State University, and Zach Round is headed to St. Norbert College in Wisconsin.

Round’s signing was significant, as the senior has spent the last two years recovering from a brain tumor. After 13 surgeries and months of therapy to relearn basics such as walking and tying his shoes, Round will be fulfilling his athletic dream of playing collegiate football.

“An amazing young man with an equally amazing story,” says JSerra head football coach, Pat Harlow. “His mental toughness and perseverance are inspiring to me and his teammates.”

Distance runner Isabella Abusaid will be continuing her cross country and track career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Girls volleyball player Jillian Kay will be taking her skills to Emerson College. And rounding out the group of JSerra signees, Christiaan Moscani will be playing rugby for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“Today’s ceremony is an acknowledgment of the hard work and dedication that these student athletes put forth, both in the classroom and in their respective sports,” says JSerra Assistant Athletic Director Donald Evans. “Our students here today have modeled those values through their time at JSerra, and we are proud to recognize them for their commitment to continue their athletic endeavors at their future institutions.”

Mater Dei High School honored 29 of their senior athletes at a ceremony on campus. From the Monarchs’ football program, Vincent Jara and Sam Le are both headed to Chapman University. Cameron Gardner will be playing for the University of Utah.

The Mater Dei women’s golf team saw three athletes make college commitments, including Khameryn Utu who signed with Long Beach State University, Kaitlyn Vazquez who committed to Holy Cross College and Kailee Welch who is headed to Sacred Heart University.

From Mater Dei’s lacrosse program, five seniors, including three from the boys team and two from the girls team, signed letters of intent. Shane Gerrity and Blake Portillo will both play for Grand Canyon University, while Antonio Shepard is headed to Whittier College. On the girls side, Jamie Ko signed with Wesleyan University, and Peyton Smith will play for Dartmouth College.

The Monarchs track and field program also saw five of their team members sign to continue their athletic careers. Joey Murphy will compete for Concordia University Irvine. John Wacker is headed to Boston College. Sophia Chiaramonte signed with the United States Air Force Academy. Raquel Doering committed to Santa Clara University, and Kayla Mixon is headed to University of California, Irvine.

Six water polo players from across Mater Dei’s boys and girls teams have made their college commitments. From the boys team, Kaden Kaneko will play for Pepperdine University, Connor McManigal signed with University of California, San Diego, Cameron Reagan is headed to UCLA and Oliver Teitscheid committed to University of California, Irvine. From the girls team, Hannah Constandse will play for Stanford University, and Maisie McPherson is headed to Princeton University.

From the baseball diamond, Joey Nicolai will be playing for University of California, Riverside. On the softball side, Jacqueline Gonzalez has committed to play for Hampton University, and Nyomi Jones is headed to the University of Mississippi.

Two from Mater Dei’s boys soccer team have signed letters of intent, including Cole Martin for Pomona Pitzer College and Carlos Gonzalez for University of California, Riverside. Additionally, Elena Peabody will play womens soccer for Texas Christian University. And to round out the Monarchs’ signing group, Lauren Resurreccion will cheer for Clemson University.

“This signing event is a celebration of our student athletes and marks the next chapter in their lives,” says Mater Dei Director of Athletics Tia Meza. “We are so proud of each and every one of them and look forward to cheering them on as they continue their athletic careers.”