Ten Great Oak athletes sign letters of intent for the colleges of their choice

On Friday, Feb. 8, 10 of Great Oak’s stellar athletes gathered together with their family and friends to celebrate the decision of their futures. Great Oak Athletic Director Gil Rodriguez acknowledged “the life-changing decision to sign for the college of their futures that will set the stage for the rest of their lives.” He also acknowledged the families and coaches who shaped the lives of these student-athletes.

Great Oak’s second sports signing ceremony of the 2012-2013 school year featured athletes in sports such as soccer, cross-country, football and lacrosse. All 10 of these students signed letters of intent and will be going to various universities across the country to follow their athletic dreams.

One of the signers, Mitchell Burgess, a cross-country runner for Great Oak since his freshman year, committed to University of Alaska, Fairbanks and explained his reason for signing with such an unexpected school.

“Alaska came to me with the best offer,” he answered. “Not many schools that contacted me offered my major [petroleum engineering] and Alaska was the best choice.”

Burgess, a California native, who has yet to visit his school, is excited for the big change he will be facing in the fall, especially with the weather.

Ariel Lasiter, a star soccer player, who has been playing the sport for 14 years now, committed to Cal Poly SLO.

“I’m going to study Kinesiology,” Lasiter informed us, “but my main goal is to continue to play soccer after college and go pro.”

Another cross-country runner, Kaden Lapham, who has been running since eighth grade and committed to Long Beach State, confesses his excitement to have signed. “It felt awesome,” he exclaimed, “it just felt like everything I’ve been working for the past five years has finally paid off!”

Soccer standout Miki Brillon, selected Eastern Kentucky because she wanted “a home away from home.”

Kyle Ruhe, who will play football at the University of North Dakota, credits a recruiting service for getting him exposure to the Big Sky schools.

Diana Kewley – whose daughter, Miranda Kewley, was part of the State Championship Girls Cross-Country Team and will continue her career at Arizona State University – had this advice for parents of prospective recruits: “visit as many schools as possible, be involved in the process and be sure to ask the questions the kids wouldn’t even think to ask” (red-shirting, injuries, tutoring, graduation rates, etc.). She also volunteered, “California schools are impacted with the budget crunch; in Arizona, she is on a well-defined plan to graduate in four years.”

A number of Great Oak athletes have committed to schools but did not sign this day. Senior Carlee Bates, signed with the University of Montana for soccer. Junior volleyball players, Cadie Bates, who committed to Duke, and Jessica Gaffney, who committed to the University of San Francisco, will both be signing next year. Miranda Schulz and Stephanie Malherbe, also juniors who have been on varsity since their freshman year, committed to schools for soccer, Schulz to Oregon, Malherbe to Texas A&M.


Mikayla Brillon (Eastern Kentucky)

Chloe Armaradio (Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY)

Ricardo Martinez (Point Loma Nazarine)

Ariel Lasiter (Cal Poly SLO)


Kyle Ruhe (University of North Dakota)


Kara Morales (Concordia-Irvine)


Mitchell Burgess (University of Alaska, Fairbanks)

Kaden Lapham (Long Beach State)

Alexis Messerly (Kansas)

Miranda Kewley (Arizona State)

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