Local high school student athletes commit to play at college during early signing period

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Great Oak High School student-athletes chat before signing their national letters of intent. Jeff Pack photo

Some of the top student athletes from schools all over southwest Riverside County have begun the next step in their journey of playing sports at the next level. Signing Day ceremonies were held Wednesday, Nov. 13, which was the first day that a high school senior can sign a binding national letter of intent with an NCAA school, committing in writing to attend that school in exchange for a commitment from the school to receive financial aid or a scholarship. The national letter of intent is a contract with the school, not the coach. If the coach leaves the university, the athlete is still under contract with that school.

The initial signing date for most high school sports is the first Wednesday in February, which will be on the fifth this upcoming year, and the first day of the early signing period this month was Wednesday, Nov. 13, except for football. Student athletes that play football can sign their letters of intent beginning Dec. 18.

With only a few local high schools reporting so far, here is a look at the colleges and universities to which some of the area’s top high school student athletes will be taking their talents:

At Great Oak High School, the field hockey program had their first-ever scholarship offer, which went to Maddison Gonzales, who will be taking her skills to Kean University. Other Wolfpack signees include:

Ryan Landis will be mountain biking at Milligan University; swimmer Sydney Jackson committed to Iowa State University; soccer player Allison Blumenthal will attend Kansas Wesleyan University and teammate Marley Bramsway will play at Delaware Valley University. Four Wolfpack softball players committed with Landyn Bruce heading to University of Mississippi or Ole Miss, Sara Kinch heads to the University of Minnesota, Kaitlyn Stuft signed to Georgian Court University and Abby Trimble will play at Bryant University.

Madison Allen committed to Brigham Young University and Katrina Hedberg-Jensen heads to Boston College from Great Oak volleyball. Track and cross-country runners Audrey Dang signed with University of California Davis and Victoria Gaitan heads to Northern Arizona University. Wolfpack baseball players Blake Bambrick signed with University of Nevada Reno; Jordan Moskal committed to University of California Riverside and Luke Jepsen will play for Embry-Riddle University.

At Murrieta Mesa High School, the following four seniors were recognized for choosing to play their sport at the next level, which includes: Charlyn Miller, who will be attending Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tennessee, on a scholarship to play beach volleyball; Jackie Kincaid, who has committed to attend Southern Utah University where she will play volleyball for the Thunderbirds; Kaylee Platt, a four- year varsity swim and water polo player who will be continuing her water polo career at Ottawa University and Liberty Gilbert, who will be attending Ohio State, where she will continue as a member of their swim program.

Rancho Christian High School’s Evan Mobley, the No. 1 ranked high school basketball player in the country, signed his national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Southern California and Dominick Harris, also signed on the dotted line, committing to play for the University of Gonzaga next fall. Mobley, the 7-foot, 210-pound forward averaged 19.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.7 blocks last season for Rancho Christian and earned gold medals playing for USA Basketball at this year’s FIBA U19 World Cup and last year’s FIBA U17 World Cup.

Evan Mobley will join his older brother Isaiah Mobley with the Trojans as well as his father, Eric Mobley, who is an assistant coach at Southern California and according to www.247sports.com, Harris ranks as the 50th best player in the nation and reportedly had 11 scholarship offers including University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Florida State University and North Carolina State University.

Vista Murrieta High School also held a signing day ceremony which included the following athletes: Cayden Castellanos – Baseball – University of New Mexico; Zach Rodriguez – Baseball – University of California Santa Barbara; Joseph Romero – Baseball – California Baptist University; Italie Macchiavello – Acrobatics and Tumbling – University of Oregon; Makayla Fick – Track and Field / Cross-Country – University of Mississippi; Juliette Russell – Volleyball – University of Gonzaga; Reka Monteleone – Volleyball – University of Nevada Reno; Chloe Scheer – Volleyball – University of California Fresno; Venecia Zaia – Golf – University of North Carolina, Asheville; Abie Nowak – Softball – Biola University; Brie Nowak – Softball – Biola University; Alina Conde – Competitive Cheer – California Baptist University; Hannah Ramos – Soccer – California State University San Marcos; Marissa Levine – Soccer – University of California Irvine.

*We understand there are student athletes who did a signing day on their own but will be honored by their school in the future. If that is not is not the case and they want to be recognized in the paper, or if there are other schools that participated, but did not report, please send the information to sports@reedermedia.com.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.