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Nine athletes pursue careers on National Signing Day

Nine+CO+athletes+signed+in+public+their+intent+to+play+football+or+softball+at+colleges+in+three+states.+Photograph+by+Stephanie+Wang
Nine CO athletes signed in public their intent to play football or softball at colleges in three states. Photograph by Stephanie Wang

Nine CO athletes signed in public their intent to play football or softball at colleges in three states. Photograph by Stephanie Wang

Nine CO athletes signed in public their intent to play football or softball at colleges in three states. Photograph by Stephanie Wang

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The future may be unknown for many CO seniors this year, but it certainly was not for the nine student athletes who signed their letters of intent on National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

Football players Nathen Aceves, Michael Anyanwu, Jermaine Braddock, Louis Farrar, Isaiah Hamilton and Mario Mora along with softball players Melanie Aguilera and Lani Rodriguez presented their decisions for the next four years in emotional speeches to the audience.

“Appreciate the energy you see in front of you.  Appreciate the work they’ve done in the classroom, on the field and the opportunities you can give them,” Athletic Director Dominic Farrar said.  Each of the athletes are continuing their athletic career with the NCAA schools they have chosen.

Melanie Aguilera is continuing her softball career in Baltimore, Maryland. “Softball has brought many good things into my life, and I don’t know what I would do without it.  I want to thank the people that have made an impact in my life,” Melanie said. Melanie attributes her success to various families that have pushed her in her journey; her best friends; Mrs. Jaime Bauer, English teacher and Activities Director; and her own family.  “I am truly blessed to be going to Coppin State University,” she said.

Lani Rodriguez is playing softball for Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, next year. “Softball has taught me many life lessons, and the most important lesson I will carry with me every day is that passion is energy and not all family is blood,” she said.  She also thanked the various influences in her life for helping her get this far. “Thank you to my best friends, who have been with me through all the rough days and the great ones, and thank you to my parents,” she said.

Nate Aceves will be travelling to St. George, Utah, next year to play football for Dixie State University.  In a tearful speech, he thanked his family, his girlfriend, his coaches and others for helping him fight and being supportive.

Timothy Smith will be attending Azusa Pacific University to continue his academic and athletic career.  “I would like to thank anyone who has believed in me and helped me get to where I am today.  My journey has been very special, and it is something I will keep with me for the rest of my life,” he said.

Jermaine Braddock and Isaiah Hamilton will also be staying in state, attending San Jose State University to continue their schooling.  

Mario Mora will be journeying to Laramie, Wyoming, to attend the University of Wyoming for the next four years.  “I’d like to thank my coaches for raising me up these past four years.  […] Thank you Mom for being there for me physically and emotionally through all of the hard times.  Without you, I would not be where I am today, giving this speech,” Mario said.

Louis Farrar will be attending the University of San Diego, joining the Toreros for the continuation of his football career.  Louis plans to keep in touch with his teammates and friends during college.  “I want to congratulate each of my teammates as well for their brotherhood, memories, relationships and leaderships made here for a lifetime.  I am looking forward to what the future holds for each and every one of you guys,” Louis said.

Lastly, Michael Anyanwu will be attending Utah State University in Logan, Utah, joining the Aggies for the next four years.

Congratulations to all of the athletes, and CO wishes you luck on your future endeavors.

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Nine athletes pursue careers on National Signing Day