Ball is life

Scouted for soccer, Idalis Gonzalez, 12, on Feb.4 officially signs with the University of Louisiana at Monroe. “I’m ready to just go off on my own without having to depend on my parents or sister,” Gonzalez said.

Irania Quintero, Staff Writer

As the 2014-2015 school year continues, Downey High School’s athletes have been receiving news about their official signing and commitment to four-year universities for the sports they play. Colleges all across the country expressed their interests and an athlete’s official signing proved their mutual interest.


Seniors who are undecided still express their gratitude for opportunities they are receiving. Senior Jeraun Richards has a couple of basketball offers to choose from such as Hawaii Pacific University and Chico State University. Although he is not sure of where he wants to accept a full ride scholarship offer from, he sees a bright future for himself.


“I’ve been working at this [point guard] my whole life,” Richards said. “I’ll be receiving a free education and continuing my hard work as a ball player.”


Committing to a university has been a dream come true for other commits. Cuban born and raised senior, Randy Labaut, was filled with joy when he realized that his efforts were paying off after he signed a contract with the Division 1 school, The University of Arizona, for baseball. As a Hispanic born athlete, Labaut has felt the need to work harder to prove his skills are noteworthy.


“Since I was in Cuba, I have always wanted to show how determined I am,” Labaut said. “My dreams are coming true. I’m receiving my full ride.”


The signing fever has affected the girls soccer team as well. Back-to-back CIF champions know their talent and aspirations are being rewarded as two of their own have already committed to different schools for soccer. Senior Idalis Gonzalez is excited to begin a new chapter in her life as a college athlete.


Gonzalez has signed to the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Although the school is across the country, Gonzalez is not letting distance get in the way of her dreams and has officially signed. National Signing Day allowed her to see the diversity of athletes being signed along side her.


“The coach and the team from ULM made me feel welcomed and supported,” Gonzalez said. “I was extra excited when I came across the many girls who I will be playing with next year.”


Not only are all these recruits excited for their futures, they are also excited about keeping a part of themselves [the sport] and taking it to a new level. Athletic director, Mark Rand, gave notice that the final count of all recruits will be known in early May. Official school recognition and signing of these athletes will take place in the Downey High School theatre on May 28.