Crusader Athletes Step into the Big Leagues

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According to the National College Association, seven million high school students play sports at the collegiate level.  Less than one percent of those students are offered scholarships.  Five Mater Dei Catholic High School Students have signed their letters of intent, making them a part of that one percent.

Kellie White ’16 is the only a senior athlete to receive a scholarship for softball.  Her sophomore year she verbally committed to the University of Mississippi.  The following year the coaching staff that originally gave her the scholarship was fired and Kellie and her family decided to look elsewhere.  Her junior year she verbally committed to the University of Texas Arlington.  Toward the beginning of her senior year she realized she was not happy with this decision and once again decommitted and went back to the drawing board.  As of now she has signed her letter of intent and will be attending Utah State in the fall.  When asked about this process all she had to say was “I took a tour of Utah State and it felt like home.  I fell in love with the campus and I could see myself living and playing there for the next four years.  I couldn’t be happier with my decision and I can’t wait to become an Aggie.”

kellie and jessica

Jessica Mangrobang ’16 is the only senior athlete to receivsie a scholarship for golf.  If you search Jessica Mangrobang in the google search engine you will see countless articles about her and her accomplishments.  Jessica is one of the top athletes in the state of California.  When asked about the process of searching for a college that would offer her a scholarship she said, “It was a long, grueling process.  I verbally committed my junior year, while many others had committed their sophomore or freshman years.  It took a while to find a school that would give me a full scholarship, as well as find a school where I felt at home.”  As of now she has signed her letter of intent and will be attending Gonzaga University in the fall.

Jayden Emberton-Gaines ’16 is one of three senior athletes to receive a scholarship for football.  Jayden will be attending Seton Hill University.  Jayden explained that there is work that he had to put in, on, but also off of the field.  He said, “I was constantly working to be in the best shape possible as well as being the smartest player I could be.  Training and studying for the game takes up the majority of my time, but the work off of the field turned into success on the field.”  Jayden was offered scholarships by more than one school, therefore, the search for a school that fit him was very difficult.  He said “I visited all of the schools that offered me except for one.  The visits were all nice, I was taken care of and liked what each one had to offer.  But it came down to where I saw myself being for the next 4 years and what the best choice was for me to be successful in life.  When I was at Seton Hill I just fit in very well and felt like the university gave me the best opportunity to receive a great education and continue to play the sport I love”.  As Jayden is going off to college, one of the main questions people have for him is: What do you look forward to?  Jayden said “I look forward to meeting new people and creating new relationships and memories with those I become close to.  I really look forward to playing collegiate football and getting a great education to start a well-paying career in Physical Therapy/Sports Medicine field of work.”

The other two seniors to receive scholarships are Mario Williams ’16 (will be attending Trinity International University), and Adomas Aleksandravic ’16 (will be attending Santa Barbara city college).  This past year the Mater Dei Catholic Crusader football team has gone above and beyond.  They are league champions, CIF champions, regional champions, and finally, STATE CHAMPIONS!

We don’t want to forget the other crusaders who have scholarship offers.  Football player CJ Verdell ’17 has countless offers from colleges across the country.  These including Cal State, Wisconsin University, San Jose State, Oregon State, University of Utah, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, Eastern Washington University, University of Hawaii, Washington State, Montana State University, University of Idaho, Boston College, Southern Utah, and the University of Colorado.  (UPDATE: Verdell has verbally committed to the University of Oregon!) Football player Kyle Moses ’17 has offers from Howard University, Jackson State, Columbia University, and Idaho State.  Football player Eli Shelton ’17 has just received his first D1 offer from Cornell University.  Football player Quentin Frazier ’17 also has just received his first scholarship offer to play ball at Langston University.  Softball player Kelsey Munoz ’17 has verbally committed to San Diego State University and Alana Burges has verbally committed to the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  There are also two freshmen, Lexi Sosa and Alyssa Garcia that have verbally committed to University of California Los Angeles.

As you can see there are many reasons that schools across the state of California beware Mater Dei Catholic athletes.  There are many reasons why you should be proud to be a Crusader.  Congratulations to all athletes!






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