Four local athletes signed their NCAA letters of intent Wednesday, affirming their plans to accept athletic scholarships to their universities of choice in 2014-15.
California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, California Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA Division II
Mireya Magana is accustomed to winning. In her junior year, she and the Kimball High girls soccer team went undefeated in the Valley Oak League, and she has also played for a West Coast Soccer Kryptonite team that won the U.S. Club Soccer National Cup in 2011 and was National Cup runner-up in 2012 and 2013.
Now she is joining a CSU Stanislaus Warriors team that went undefeated in the 2013 regular season and won its second California Collegiate Athletic Association title in three years.
Magana, who plans to study biology and psychology, jumped at the opportunity to play for the Warriors after coach Gabe Bolton noticed her at a showcase tournament in her junior year and invited her to a camp at the college.
Magana said she gained valuable experience as a center midfielder for both high school and club soccer teams.
“I like that I can attack and at the same time I can also defend. I get to contribute everywhere on the field,” she said.
“Kimball soccer has taught me how to have fun with the sport and really love it. West Coast has taught me how to be competitive.”
Dominican University of California, San Rafael, Pacific West Conference, NCAA Division II
Ivy Torres hadn’t heard of Dominican University until this past Thanksgiving break, when she saw the team and met coach Tara Koleski at a tournament in Southern California.
“She really believed in me and made me want to play for her,” Torres said.
After a visit to the San Rafael campus, Torres was convinced that Dominican was the place for her to study for a career in physical therapy and continue playing soccer.
“I fell in love with it right away,” Torres said. “Everything seemed to push me toward Dominican. This is definitely the school for me.”
Torres has played for the Pleasanton Rage since she was in seventh grade and credits coaching director Philippe Blin with providing opportunities for her to meet college coaches.
She has also played on the Millennium High girls soccer team since her freshman year and was a key player for the Falcons in 2011 and 2012 when they won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII title two years in a row.
De La Salle High, Concord
Cross-country, track and field
Stanford University, Palo Alto, Pac-12 Conference, NCAA Division I
Blair Hurlock’s East Bay Athletic League and North Coast Section individual cross-country championships were just the start of his success this year as a scholar-athlete.
Hurlock, a Tracy resident, went on to place fourth in the state at the California Interscholastic Federation championships in December and then placed eighth in both the western region and national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
Combine all of that with a 4.3 GPA and the top colleges in the U.S. were making him offers.
Hurlock said it was good to have so many choices, but he has long seen Stanford as his college goal.
“Ever since fourth grade, I’ve wanted to go to Stanford,” Hurlock said.
Now his goals include becoming a top competitor for the Cardinal and earning a degree that will get him into medical school. After that, he expects to have a career as a professional runner and as a doctor.
“I’m excited to see where this takes me,” Hurlock said of his new opportunity. “Both of those goals are very achievable by going to Stanford.”
Valley Christian High, Dublin
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., Mountain West Conference, NCAA Division I
Demaurier Blackwell of Mountain House knew that coming from Valley Christian, a small private school, meant that he would have to work harder than most NCAA prospects to be noticed by Division I schools.
He and his father, Ken, spent a week sending out email messages to 100 schools, with several follow-up messages to most of them.
“It took me four to six days, but I took my time with it,” Blackwell said.
The entire time, Colorado State was one of the top schools he had in his sights.
“Going into my senior year, I had met with their coach,” he said. “I started to look up more about the program and the coaching staff and their experience. When they called, it was a great feeling.”
Blackwell, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker, played football at Millennium High in his freshman year and transferred to Valley Christian, where he was just named the Vikings’ most valuable player for the second year in a row.
He attributes his drive to succeed to the Christian principles at the core of the school’s campus culture.
“Valley Christian is a small school, but it really helps me with my character,” he said.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.