Eleven Vikings receive athletic scholarships

Eleven Vikings receive athletic scholarships

During her senior year, Heather Schnars receives a full-ride scholarship to the University of Central Arkansas for her CIF winning volleyball skills. Schnars received the title CIF Player of the Year Division II-A during volleyball season.

Julia Ruiz, Sports Editor

Viking athletics conquered three CIF titles throughout the 2011-2012 season, turning the attention to various athletes. Eleven in particular stood out amongst the crowd as they put pen to paper on May 31 and signed their respective athletic scholarships.

Volleyball star Heather Schnars received a full ride scholarship from the University of Central Arkansas.  The young outside hitter earned numerous praise throughout her high school career, including CIF Division 2A’s Player of the Year award. With her natural talent and Coach Sim’s help, Schnars’ dream of earning a scholarship paid off her junior year, when she verbally committed to UCA.

“It feels really good [to receive the scholarship] and a full ride is really relieving,” the volleyball star said. “It’s always been my goal and I’m so happy it finally happened. I owe Coach Sims a lot. I wouldn’t be at Division I level if she hadn’t been my coach.”

Senior Jasmine Johnson also earned a scholarship from Vanguard University for track and field. The runner has participated in track since her freshman year in hopes of continuing to compete at a college level.

“My hard work has finally paid off and I’m really excited,” Johnson said. “I feel as if my spirituality, dedication to the sport, and ability to work hard got me this scholarship. I’m looking forward to competing, bonding with fellow Christians, and the omelet bar,” she added jokingly.

Like Schnars and Johnson, basketball captain Rayana Villalpando’s leadership and talent brought her a partial scholarship from Indiana Tech. This grant brings the young point guard a step closer to her dream of playing professional basketball in the WNBA.

“I’ve worked so hard and my hard work has gotten me to where I want to be,” the captain said. “I’m ready to pursue my psychology major and help improve the team. My coaches have inspired me to keep trying hard and to lead by example. They’ve always pushed me and now I have an opportunity to purse my dreams.”

In addition to the volleyball, track, and basketball star, eight additional athletes were also recognized. Softball players Jazmyne Cortinas (California State University, Northridge), Desirae Romero (Midland College), baseball player Anthony Cortez (California State University, Northridge), CIF Champion pole vaulter Andrew Gonzalez (California State University, Northridge), football players Anthony Gonzalez, Ralph Regalado (Greenville College), Jabari Ruffin (University of Southern California), and basketball player Garrett Neilan (Hope International University) all received either full or partial athletic scholarships. Come fall, these athletes will be put to the test as they transition from high school to college competitions.