Student athletes from around the area took part last week in National Letter of Intent signing day ceremonies as they were recognized for committing to play sports and further their education at the next level. Because of the pandemic, this is one of the first signing days in two years where student athletes got to celebrate on campuses, with teammates, families, coaches and administration, mask free.

Wednesday, Nov. 10, was the first day of 2021 for National Signing Day, which is the first day of the 2021-2022 school year that a high school senior can 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.

Here is a look at the colleges and universities to which many local student athletes will be reportedly taking their talents, as reported by school athletic directors. If you know of a student athlete that is playing at the next level and did not get recognized in the paper this week, send more information to

Great Oak student athletes recently signed their Letters of Intent to play their sport at the next level after graduation. Valley News/Courtesy photo


Ramsey Suarez, softball, UCLA

Kylee Grimm, volleyball, Cal Lutheran

Alec Alvarado, soccer, Loughborough University in England

Bella Mejia, softball, Cal State University Northridge

Brandon Marina, volleyball, UC Irvine

Michael Rodda, baseball, California Baptist University

Christian Smith, baseball, San Diego State University

Owen Mercado, men’s lacrosse, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Kya Pratt, softball, Utah State

Fatima Sheriff, volleyball, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Sierra Cates, volleyball, Virginia Tech


Breanna Mitchell, volleyball, Cal State University Northridge

Linfield’s Breanna Mitchell will be taking her volleyball skills to Cal State University Northridge next season. Valley News/Courtesy photo


Zoe Karam, softball, Boise State

Claressa “Scooter” Zepeda, soccer, University of Nebraska-Kearney

Savanna Herz, soccer, Northwest Nazarene University

Justin Schneider, swim, Penn State

Carson Dickey, lacrosse, Colorado Mesa University

Alexis Hamilton, lacrosse, Longwood University

Carter Garate, baseball, University of Oregon

Cade Moran, track and field, University of Michigan

Cade Moran, of Murrieta Mesa High School, will be participating in track and field throws next year at the University of Michigan. Valley News/Courtesy photo


Madison Bailey, volleyball, Holy Cross University

Hailey Cass, stunt, Dallas Baptist University

Kaitlyn Bartlett, stunt, Cal Baptist University

Olivia Bettencourt, softball, SW Missouri College.

Austin Comstock, softball, Bradley University

Temecula Valley senior Raelle Gorman, who is headed to Pace University for softball, was just one of the many student athletes from her school committing to play college sports next year. Valley News/Courtesy photo


Natalie Mitchell, soccer, Eastern Carolina University

Sarah Assumma, soccer, MidAmerica Nazarene University

Peyton Bundy, soccer, Colorado Mesa University

Sarena Gonzalez, volleyball, San Diego State University

Emma Rhodes, volleyball, UCSD

Taylor Smith, volleyball, Queens College

Gabby McLaughlin, volleyball, University of Nevada Reno.

Tamiya Wilson, volleyball, San Francisco State

Abel Gaitan, wrestling, Morningside University, Iowa

M.J. Gaitan, wrestling, Cal Baptist University, California

Leah Gaitan, wrestling, Grandview University, Iowa

Mark “Bill” Takara, wrestling, Utah Valley University

Kaitlyn Christie, softball, Cal State Fullerton

Raelle Gorman, softball, Pace University

Natalie Bednarz, softball, Cal State University, San Bernardino

Brooke Foster, field hockey, Lincoln Memorial University

Christopher Paciolla, baseball, UCLA

Congratulations to all 2021-2022 student athletes committing to play at the next level.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at

JP Raineri
JP Raineri

JP is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and head of the Sports Department for the Valley News. Over his time in the Temecula Valley, JP, a former Southwestern League head baseball coach, was also an on-air radio personality at Q103.3, KATY 101.3, Hot 103.9, and was a television host for the Outdoor Channel. When not covering local, or national sports, JP also serves as an Associate Baseball Scout with NSR.