Student athletes from two local high schools recently participated in their first on-site National Letter of Intent signing day ceremonies since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020. National Signing Day for high school athletes usually includes big ceremonies at their schools in gyms or quads, in front of students, family and friends, and it has become a tradition that seems to get bigger each year. While most schools have recognized their signees virtually for the past few months, Temecula Valley High School and Murrieta Mesa High School staff, coaches and parents recently celebrated their student athletes on their own campuses.

Graduating student athletes from Temecula Valley High School signed their National Letters of Intent at an on-site ceremony last month. Valley News/Courtesy photo

As 2021 graduates, they are being recognized for committing to play sports and further their education at the next level. Wednesday, Feb. 3, was the first day of 2021 that a high school senior could sign a binding national letter of intent with an NCAA, NCCAA or NAIA college, committing in writing to attend that school in exchange for a commitment from the school to receive financial aid and scholarships. The final date for a graduating senior to commit to play sports in college is Sunday, Aug. 1.

Murrieta Mesa High School held a National Signing Day ceremony last month for its graduating seniors that will be playing their sport at the next level in college. Valley News/Alicia Salcedo photo

Here is a look at the colleges and universities to which the local student athletes from TV and Mesa will be reportedly taking their talents.

Temecula Valley High School

Kailyn Bandel – Softball – Briar Cliff University

Jada Cecil – Softball – University of California, San Diego

Abraham Flores – Football – George Fox University

Nolan George – Baseball – University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Gavin Grutzmacher – Baseball – Concordia University

Nathan Justus – Football – University of Redlands

Mason Krogsgaard – Baseball – Graceland University

Brenden Lapierre – Basketball – Pacific University

Madison Packwood – Basketball – University of Puget Sound

Kansas Polk – Water Polo – Johnson and Wales University – Culinary

Casey Rubin – Lacrosse – University of Oregon

Brody Smith – Baseball – Rose Hulman Institute of Technology

Ashlyn Weller – Girls Volleyball – University of Saint Katherine

Morgan Witz – Soccer – California Baptist University

Murrieta Mesa High School

Aidan Papell – Cycling – Milligan College

Natalie Torrez – Stunt – California Baptist University

Kailey Crisman – Cheerleading – Liberty University

Victoria Howard – Softball – Missouri Valley College

Sophia Ruiz – Softball – Saint Martin’s University

Bella Flexen – Softball – Long Beach State University

Jhayden Raineri – Baseball – Salem University

Delaney Kiendra – Volleyball – Adelphi University

Becca Lipp – Girls Soccer – Newberry College

Kalia Thunstrom – Volleyball – Utah State University

Abigail Macias – Volleyball – Cal State Northridge

Makana Olaso – Baseball – San Jose State University

Madison Corey – Volleyball – Hendrix College

Chase Hunter – Football – University of Redlands

Luke Simpson – Football – Jamestown University

Collin Des Roberts – Football – MIT

Stevie Wu – Football – University of Hawaii

Kayli Klemp – Basketball – Hawaii Pacific University

Amaya Garcia – volleyball – Palomar Community College

Lacie Ham – softball – San Jose State University

Kalyn Hill – softball – Seattle University

Gianna Green – soccer – Ottawa College

Kyla Painter – lacrosse – Augustana College

Sydney Moreno – lacrosse – University of Colorado Springs

Colby Moran – baseball – Northwest Nazarene University

Caden Byers – baseball – Vanguard University

If you know of a student athlete that is playing at the next level and did not get recognized in the Valley News this year, send information to