26 Lancer Athletes Celebrated at National Signing Day
In the final Athletic Signing Day of the 2021-22 academic year, Orange Lutheran saw 26 of their seniors commit to continuing their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
The athletes from 11 different sports were celebrated during two ceremonies held on Monday, April 25, in the Ellwein Center. Coaches, teammates, families and friends were on hand to honor these students’ achievements.
Orange Lutheran Assistant Principal of Activities & Programs, Jasmine Anderson, opened with a word of prayer and a thank you to those who have supported the athletes in their endeavors.
“We are so blessed to celebrate this day together and to recognize these amazing young men and women for all that they have accomplished,” said Anderson. “We are so proud of their diligent efforts and for all of the hard work they’ve poured into achieving this incredible goal. And we know that none of this would be possible without the steadfast support of their families and friends. It is their loved ones who have been there for them along the way and who have helped them to achieve this amazing goal.
“We also acknowledge and appreciate the amazing coaches, with the servant hearts that they have and their continued mentorship and tireless efforts in supporting all of these Lancers. They have played an important role in these students’ lives, and we are blessed to have them as part of our athletic department.”
From OLu’s softball program, Lancer catcher and four-year varsity player Jordyn Villanueva has signed with Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“She has a big bat and a really strong arm,” said OLu softball head coach, Steve Miklos. “Jordyn is really funny off the field, but when she steps behind the plate, she’s all serious and is no nonsense. She’s done a great job this year working with our younger pitchers, so I’ve really appreciated that. Bethune-Cookman is getting a hard worker and an all-around great kid.”
Villanueva has also played internationally and was named a member of the Mexican Junior National Team that competed in South America last fall.
“I want to thank everybody for being here and coming to support me on my continued journey to play softball at the next level,” said Villanueva. “I would not be here without my wonderful family who has not just supported me on the field, but also off the field. A special thanks to all of my coaches, teachers and sister who have helped me to become a great student athlete. Love you, (Ms. Laulhere). I know that Tata and Nana are looking down at me and are proud of their little girl. I’m excited to close this chapter of my life and to see the plans God has in store for me. Go Wildcats!”
Men’s Water Polo
Lancer water polo player Caden Licedis has committed to continue his athletic career at the United States Air Force Academy.
As a utility player for the Lancers, Licedis was key contributor to the team’s success. Anderson shared words on behalf of OLu aquatics coach Kellyn Carlson on the impact he made on the program.
“Caden is a man with a vision of where he wants to go, how he wants to serve the Lord and how he’s willing to stand up and represent the United States of America as a member of the Air Force,” said Carlson. “Whatever we asked of him, he did. As we see Caden take this step to commit to the Air Force Academy, I feel more confident that we see a man committing to continue to grow and become an alum of OLu that we will all be proud of. Caden, we are so proud of you, and we can’t wait to see what your focus, grit and determination will bring as you enter into this next phase of your career and life.”
Lidecis acknowledged those around him who have supported him and helped him prepare for this next step in his academic and athletic careers.
“I would like to thank my family and friends for helping in my life and supporting me along the way,” said Lidecis. “My mom and dad for always being there for me even when I messed up. My friends for being my brothers, and Reed, Leo, Clayton, Tooma, Donnie and Wade for being my teammates and brothers and helping me in my journey. My coaches for teaching me to be a better student, water polo player and a better man. Especially Coach Nestor, Jake and Kellyn. Thank you everyone for your help.”
Women’s and Men’s Cross Country / Track & Field
OLu’s cross country program honored three athletes who have committed to continue their running careers at the next level.
Hannah Doering will be heading to Pepperdine University to join the Waves’ cross country and track and field programs. OLu cross country head coach Kristen Goossens shared the ways the team captain has made an impact on the program during her time as a Lancer.
“If I could define Hannah in two terms it would be compassion and commitment,” said Goossens. “She notices the needs of her teammates. She’s always the first to volunteer to get the incoming freshmen together before the team starts training so that they can feel a part of the program. Hannah, you’ve had such a tremendous impact on this program, and I wish you the best of luck at Pepperdine.”
Doering thanked those in her support system for helping her achieve her goals.
“First of all, I want to thank my parents for pushing me and supporting me so that I can be where I am today,” said Doering. “I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today without you guys. I also want to thank Coach Goossens, Coach TJ and Coach Gillian for coaching me and teaching me so that this opportunity could be possible. Lastly, I want to thank all of my friends and teammates for the being the most positive influence I could ever have in this journey. I love you all.”
Lancer runner Lolo Landrith has signed with Biola University for cross country and track and field. The two-time captain is an All-Trinity League honoree and team MVP, as well as a member of the program’s 2019 CIF championship.
“She’s one of the greatest human beings I have and will probably ever meet in my entire life,” said Goossens. “I couldn’t speak any higher of who Lolo is as a person. While highly decorated, none of this compares to who Lolo is off the athletic field. She is unbelievably giving. She puts the needs of her teammates pretty much before hers on a daily basis. She’s so focused. She knows what she wants to accomplish, and there’s pretty much nothing that’s going to get in her way. She will give her blood, sweat and tears, every ounce of effort, to make sure she can accomplish her dreams.”
Goossens cited Landrith’s kindness, character, integrity and leadership that have allowed her to leave an indelible mark on the program.
“Thank you to Coach Goossens for helping me on every aspect of my life and being a student of the sport,” said Landrith. “You knew how to train athletes well and helped me achieve some crazy dreams. You have made such an impact on my life, and I can’t imagine my high school experience without you. Thank you also to Coach TJ for always running with me, and to my dad for always being there to cheer me on. I couldn’t have and wouldn’t want to have done this without any of you!”
From the boys’ side of the program, Nate Patton will be running for Carroll College in Helena, Montana. The four-year varsity runner and CIF qualifier has been a reliable contributor to the team.
“Your talent has been so valuable to our program the last four years, but even more valuable, was your constant, steady presence that the rest of the boys team could rely on,” said OLu cross country assistant coach, TJ Oros. “Your teammates knew that you would step up in big races, time after time, and perform when it mattered the most. Besides your reliability on the course, your teammates knew you would be there to support them when they struggled. Thank you for that. That’s what makes us as coaches the most proud. We’re so excited to see you continue to grow as an athlete and as a person during your time at Carroll College. We have no doubt that you will succeed.”
Patton has recently found a passion for the 800-meter event and is looking forward to continuing his running career in Montana.
“First, I want to thank my coaches Kristen Goossens and TJ Oros for the time and energy they put into developing my athletic ability and putting me in a position to continue to compete at the next level,” said Patton. “Furthermore, I’d like to thank my team and my family for constantly supporting me and encouraging me to continue pursuing this sport for the last few years.”
The Lancer baseball program celebrated eight of their senior athletes who are continuing their playing careers at the collegiate level.
“Collectively as a group, this is one of the finest groups of players that we’ve ever had come through Orange Lutheran, but more importantly, it’s one of the finest groups of young men that we’ve ever had come through Orange Lutheran,” said OLu baseball head coach, Eric Borba. “It’s been a pure joy to coach each of these guys. As you can see by where they are attending, they’re going to some of the best baseball schools in the country, and they’re going to do some big things.”
Lancer shortstop Mikey Romero has committed to play at LSU. Borba has known Romero since he coached him on the 2016 USA Baseball 12U National Team and is excited to see him take his next steps.
“I’ve had an unbelievably long relationship with Mikey, watching him grow, and I’m especially proud of him,” said Borba. “Every day he comes to the ballpark, or comes to the weight room, wherever it is, he leads by example. He’s the first one to reach out and support his teammates. His talent speaks for itself. Mikey, thank you for being a tremendous player, but an even better teammate.”
Borba shared that Romero is considered one of the top prospects for the 2022 Major League Baseball Draft this July, and he compared the shortstop’s leadership impact to professional athletes such as Derek Jeter or Tom Brady.
“I first off would like to thank God,” said Romero. “God has guided me throughout this whole process and blessed me with my abilities in baseball. I then would like to thank my family who has always been by my side through all my trials and tribulations and will continue to do so as I move forward athletically and academically. Geaux Tigers!”
Catcher Karson Bowen will continue his playing career at Texas Christian University. Also a member of the 2016 USA Baseball 12U National Team, Bowen is a four-year varsity player for the Lancers.
“As a former catcher myself, we immediately hit it off, and I really saw the impact that he had as a player,” said Borba. “Karson is the best defensive catcher in the country, and he still swings the bat too. He’s done a tremendous job for us. Not only that, but Karson is a tremendous student. We’re really going to miss you, but we’re really looking forward to seeing what you do over the next four years.”
In the 70 games Bowen has started in his playing career at OLu, the Lancers are 87-15. He also carries a 3.8 GPA.
“I want to thank everyone who has helped me along this journey and helped me grow to be a young man,” said Bowen. “I want to thank all of the coaches and the teachers for helping me improve to be a better person everyday. And most of all, I want to thank my parents for always being there for me and helping me in every way possible throughout my journey.”
Also committing to Texas Christian University is Lancer pitcher Louis Rodriguez. The sophomore transfer played alongside Romero and Bowen on the 2016 USA Baseball 12U National Team.
“The last two years, he has been our horse,” said Borba. “You know that every time he’s going to take the mound, he will give us a chance to win. He competes his tail off and does everything you could ask for. This man’s work ethic is just tremendous…he is really committed to his trade. I think that we’re going to see Louis going in the Major League Draft in July. But if he doesn’t and chooses to go to TCU, it’s going to be awesome to see these guys together there.”
One of the most dominant high school pitchers in the state, Rodriguez’s junior year included an 11-4 record and 1.53 ERA. His senior year has been even stronger with a 7-0 record and 0.78 ERA. Over the last two seasons, he has pitched 129 strikeouts and only 14 walks.
“First, I would like to start off by saying thank you to my parents and coaches who have helped me get to where I am at today,” said Rodriguez. “Without their hard work and attention, I have no clue where I would be at today. I would also like to take the time to thank all my teachers at OLu for helping me with my academics. This journey has not been easy, but with the help of the mentioned people it was possible to further my academic and baseball career at TCU.”
First baseman Gabe Miranda will be joining teammates Bowen and Rodriguez at Texas Christian University. The three-year starter also carries a 3.7 GPA and made an immediate impact on the program.
“The one thing about Gabe is that he is one of the most trustworthy, reliable kids you could ever ask for,” said Borba. “I think the biggest trait that Gabe has is that everybody can rely on him, and he is always going to come in the right frame of mind, and he is always going to go about the game the right way and treat his teammates the right way. He is a joy for the players to be around, and he makes everyone around him better because of his work ethic. I think he’s one of the most respected guys that has ever come through here.”
Miranda is grateful for the support he has received from family, friends and coaches as he has pursued his goals for playing at the next level.
“I’d like to thank my entire family and friends for pushing me and helping me along in my journey,” said Miranda. “I’d like to thank the coaching staff here at Orange Lutheran for giving me opportunities to be seen and guiding me in the process. And last but not least, I’d like to thank my parents for sacrificing so much for me to be able to do what I love.”
Lancer pitcher Oliver Santos is headed to the East Coast to play baseball for Duke University. The southpaw is in his first year at OLu, but has been a welcome addition to the roster.
“It was a true blessing to have Oliver come into our program,” said Borba. “Not only has he added that piece to our pitching staff…but he’s been a guy that’s really kept the dugout loose. A lot of times we play in some really tight competition, and Oliver always seems to be the one to get a good smile and a laugh out of the guys. He’s been tremendous for us on the mound, and he will do amazing things on the road ahead.”
Santos currently has a 6-0 record with a 0.74 ERA, and along with Louis Rodriguez, makes up one of the strongest high school pitching duos in the state. He also carries a 4.08 GPA.
“I just want to thank my dad and mom for everything they have done for me along the way,” said Santos. “My parents have given me every resource in order to achieve my goals and are my biggest supporters. On top of that, I want to thank all the coaches that have helped me along the way. This is my first year at OLu, but I want to thank the OLu coaches and staff for everything they’ve done for me this year.”
Lancer outfielder Bryan Martinez has committed to play baseball for Long Beach State. As a transfer his junior year, Martinez has started 95% of the Lancers’ games over the last two seasons and hits in the middle of the order.
“We knew we had an impact bat coming into our lineup,” said Borba. “He came in with the right work ethic and just continued to play the role that was asked of him. It’s going to be special to watch him continue to grow in college, and we’re going to be able to do it right down the street at Long Beach State. Bryan, just keep doing what you’re doing. The path is very bright for you.”
Grateful for the chance to play Division 1 ball, Martinez acknowledged those who have helped him on his playing journey.
“I would like to thank my friends, teammates, and coaches that have helped me reach my goal of playing Division 1 Baseball,” said Martinez. “I would also like to thank my family for helping me grow up into the person I am today and for all the sacrifices they have had to make for me to reach my goals. Very blessed for the opportunity to play for Long Beach State.”
Another member of the Lancer pitching staff has committed to play at the collegiate level as JD Rodriguez is headed to USC. As a junior, Rodriguez pitched on the junior varsity team as a way to allow him to develop his speed and velocity. The decision paid dividends.
“JD willingly and openly accepted that assignment, went to junior varsity and worked on it,” said Borba. “And last summer, he put his blinders on and went to work to become the best player he could. It was tremendous to see that change from the end of last season to the beginning of this season. It’s an amazing story for JD to overcome so many adversities that he’s dealt with and to get to where he is now and be playing in the Pac-12. It’s pretty awesome, and the development is going to continue to take place.”
Rodriguez thanked all of those around him who helped him achieve his dream of signing with USC.
“First, I’d like to thank God for giving me the ability to play the game of baseball,” said Rodriguez. “I’d also like to thank all my coaches along the way who have helped me develop into the man and player I am today. A huge thank you to my parents, as they kept pushing me and keeping me in a straight line for this path. I look forward to making you all proud in the future. Fight On!”
Sawyer Voortman committed to Baylor University. The outfielder and designated hitter put in significant time during the offseason to develop his bat. His commitment has made him an offensive force for the Lancers.
“Sawyer is one of the most well-respected kids on campus, not just on the team,” said Borba. “He has all of those attributes that you want in a young man. He’s a leader, he brings a smile and he brings an energy. He’s a total team player, whatever the role is that’s asked of him. It’s just awesome that you’re getting to fulfill your dream, and I think it’s such a great example to all the other athletes pursuing those dreams. Sawyer, hats off to you. Congratulations.”
With the specific goal of continuing his academic and athletic careers at Baylor, Voortman is grateful to those in his support system for making that goal a reality.
“I would first like to thank God for all he has done for me and the path he has put me on,” said Voortman. “Secondly, I would like to thank my parents for always being by my side and always making me compete for what I want. Thirdly, I want to thank my siblings for putting up with me and all the traveling they had to do for me. Lastly, would like to thank all the coaches who have helped me through my career.”
Men’s Ice Hockey
From the OLu hockey program, Kyle Isenberg has signed with the United States Air Force Academy. The assistant captain helped the Lancers earn their third straight league and state titles this season and was an All-Star game selection.
“Kyle has only been with us for one year, but he’s really embraced our culture, and he’s one of those kids who does all the right things,” said OLu hockey assistant coach, PJ Musico. “It’s pretty obvious that he loves what he does. He works insanely hard on the ice, insanely hard at the gym and even harder in the classroom. He’s going to have a lot of success at this next level.
“Kyle, you set expectations and standards that I don’t know if very many people can live up to, but we really appreciate everything you’ve done for our program and for our school. We’re really looking forward to seeing your success in the future.”
Isenberg is the first Lancer in school history to commit to a Division 1 college men’s hockey program.
“First, I would like to thank my family who have done everything in their power to help me reach me goal,” said Isenberg. “I would also like to thank my coaches, teammates and friends who have motivated and supported me on this journey. I would lastly like to thank the Air Force Academy for providing me with this opportunity to play Division 1 college hockey. Thank you, and Go Falcons!”
Lancer boys lacrosse player Trevor Hassenplug has committed to continue his playing career at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The midfielder and All-Trinity League selection was a top-five scorer last season.
“What stood out to me far more than Trevor’s on-field achievements are his relationships with his teammates, his family and with God,” said OLu boys lacrosse head coach, John Padama. “I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished, Trevor. As you begin your career as a Buffalo, never lose that sense of fun and continue brightening your teammates days, leading by example, holding yourself to a higher standard and putting your faith and trust in God.”
Padama expressed his gratitude for being a part of Hassenplug’s journey and is looking forward to seeing what he accomplishes at the next level.
“I would like to thank my parents and sisters for always being there for me and for their support,” said. Hassenplug. “I would also like to thank my coaches, John Padama, Kenen Ressler, Sean Maister, Brad Leon and Trevor Lopez, for their help and insane support in my athletic journey. Most of all, I want to thank God for the incredible opportunities and accomplishments he has so graciously blessed me with. Sko Buffs!”
Two Lancer athletes from the school’s girls soccer program have committed to continuing their playing careers at the collegiate level.
Goalkeeper Zoe Lavigne will join the roster at Concordia University Nebraska. In her two years in the Lancer soccer program, she worked hard and served as a role model for the younger players, all with a smile on her face.
“Zoe is an amazing young lady who is full of many of talents, on and off the soccer pitch,” said OLu girls soccer head coach, Sarah Klinkenberg. “She is confident in her ability and has the upmost respect for her teammates and coaches. What speaks most about Zoe is her steadfast faith in the Lord.
“Zoe, we as your Lancer soccer family can’t wait to watch you flourish in your collegiate career. Remember the Lord goes before you, and is with you always.”
Off the field, the scholar athlete, holds a 4.3 GPA, is a member of National Honor Society and plays in the school’s Wind Ensemble.
“I would like to thank my family, teammates, and coaches who have supported me and helped me grow as both a player and a person,” said Lavigne. “I look forward to continue playing soccer at Concordia Nebraska!”
Lancer scholar athlete and center back Emma Gonzalez has signed with University of California, Riverside.
“Emma is a cool, calm presence that every coach dreams of,” said Klinkenberg. “She controls the pace of the game and makes incredibly wise decisions with the ball. Off the field, she uses that same attitude toward her schoolwork and walk with the Lord.
“Emma, remember the Lord will continue to walk alongside you as you take these next steps. He is with you always. We are so excited to watch you take this step in your career and know that you have such positive things going for you in Riverside. Thank you, Emma, for your commitment to making the Lancer soccer program better than you found it and for the time and sacrifices you put in along the way.”
Gonzalez also represented Puerto Rico as a member of the 2022 CONCACAF Women’s U-20 Championship squad that competed in the Dominican Republic in February.
“I am so grateful and blessed to receive this opportunity to play soccer at the next level for UC Riverside,” said Gonzalez. “I would like to thank my parents for always supporting my decisions and encouraging me to progress as a student athlete. I would also like to thank all my coaches throughout my soccer career who have helped me become the player I am today. Last, I would like to thank my friends, family and teammates who have been by my side.”
In only its fourth year, the Lancer girls lacrosse program saw three athletes make their commitments to play at the collegiate level, the first in program history.
Three-year varsity Lancer Jessi Borton has committed to Concordia University Irvine for lacrosse.
“As a new lacrosse player her sophomore year, Jessi worked extremely hard to earn a varsity letter, despite never playing the sport before,” said OLu girls lacrosse head coach, Allie Kyte. “It is a true testament to Jessi and her work ethic and drive to be sitting here today, ready to play lacrosse at the next level. Concordia is so lucky to have such a fun-loving and hard-working example of excellence joining them in the fall. Myself and OLu lacrosse are so excited to see you excel, both on and off the field.”
Borton expressed her gratitude for those around her who have helped her achieve her goals.
“I would like to thank my coaches, as they always know the right thing to say in order to help me succeed,” said Borton. “I would also like to thank my teammates, who are the most supportive and energetic friends I could ever surround myself with. To my family, thank you for always being there for me and allowing me to participate in this wonderful sport. Lastly, I want to thank God for being by my side through any praise and/or trouble. I could not have done it without you all.”
A member of the OLu girls lacrosse program since its inception, Lancer Brooklyn Rhea has committed to the University Redlands. Rhea spent her freshman year as team manager but did all she could on her own to learn the sport and be ready to play as a sophomore.
“Brooklyn came out of the gate from the first moment she took the field,” said Kyte. “Her shot may just be one of the strongest I’ve seen in the last nine years of coaching, and she is definitely one of the top face guards in the Trinity League by far. Redlands is blessed to be receiving one of the most hard working, mentally tough athletes I’ve ever had the honor of coaching.”
Rhea thanked Kyte and all those instrumental in helping her grow and develop as an athlete and a person.
“I would like to thank my parents for making it possible for me to even play lacrosse,” said Rhea. “Every coach who has ever worked with me has enriched my athletic ability significantly, but I would like to especially thank Coach Kyte for these four years. Thank you to all my teammates, coaches and friends for helping me through my lacrosse career, and of course, thank you to University of Redlands for making this signing opportunity possible.”
Four-year varsity player and inaugural year member Alex Strauch will be joining teammate Jessi Borton at Concordia University Irvine.
“Over the past four years it has been so much fun getting to see Alex grow both on and off the field,” said Kyte. “Alex is one of our powerhouses. Even when she is hurting, she always puts in 110% effort because she knows it will best benefit the team. She is fast as lightning and will take the pressure of a big shot or play when necessary. She’s a fabulous teammate and will advocate for others when it’s most important. Concordia is so lucky to have Alex next year.”
Strauch is also one of the four remaining inaugural members from when the program got its start four years ago.
“I would like to thank my family for always going to my games and encouraging me, no matter what,” said Strauch. “I would also like to thank Coach Kyte and Coach Thomas for everything that they have done for me. If it was not for Coach Kyte, I would not be playing in college, and I want to thank her for always believing in me and pushing me to be the best that I can be.”
From the Lancer’s football program, three varsity athletes have committed to college athletics.
Lancer Noah Pimentel will be continuing his playing career at the University of La Verne.
“It’s not every young man that I think is going to even flourish more in college than he did in high school, but I know Noah is getting healthy, and he’s going to have a great career ahead of him,” said OLu football head coach, Rod Sherman. “He will be a huge contributor at the college level. We’re certain Noah is going to have success at the end of the journey.”
The inside linebacker battled a number of injuries over his high school playing career, but Pimentel persevered and is ready to take the next step.
“First and foremost, I truly want to thank God for keeping me strong through this whole process, because without him, none of this would be even possible,” said Pimentel. “I also want to thank my parents for supporting me through the ups and downs I had throughout high school. I want to throw a huge shout out to Mr. Lisk for putting up with me all four years with injuries and keeping me intact. And to (Ms. Laulhere), thank you so much for all the things you did for me so I was able to be in this wonderful position.”
Lancer Jason Terry has signed to continue his football career at Whittier College. As one half of this season’s running back duo, JT contributed in many areas for the team.
“JT is a quiet leader for us,” said Sherman. “He always knew what he was doing, always knew his job and always did it to the best of his ability. I think he’s the model of what an Orange Lutheran athlete is about. He continues to work hard, grow in his giftedness and is going to have a great career, both as a student and as an athlete.”
Terry thanked his family members for their support and encouragement, not only in athletics, but also in his faith.
“First off, I would like to start by thanking my dad for always being there for me and pushing me to be the best I can become and to become a better man in God,” said Terry. “I’d also like to thank my grandparents who have been by my side and supported me through everything. Most importantly, I would like to thank my great grandma for being my Number 1 supporter and being there for me whenever I need her.”
Lancer inside linebacker Jayden Niumata has committed to Colorado Mesa University. Niumata came to OLu as a senior but made an immediate impact on both the campus and the program.
“He was super physical on the football field, but if you ever took the time to know him, what a great young man,” said Sherman. “He models Jesus. Jayden, we can’t wait to watch your career grow in Colorado. We’re so thankful God has opened that door for you, and you’re going to have so much success.”
The All-Trinity League and All-CIF honoree brought a physicality and relentless energy to all he did.
“I would like to thank all of my family and all of the support from my friends and mentors (Ms. Laulhere) throughout my senior year,” said Niumata. “I would also like to thank my coaches from OLu, especially Coach Sherman, for all he has done for me. I want to give thanks to our Lord and Savior. Lastly, I would like to say I am super grateful to have two parents as loving and caring as mine who mean the world to me. With this, I would like to say that I plan to attend Colorado Mesa University and play football at the next level. AG2G.”
Three Lancers from the girls volleyball roster have committed to playing college athletics.
Scholar athlete and three- year varsity Lancer Mya Rodriguez has committed to Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. The 2nd Team All-Trinity League setter is also a member of National Honor Society and a High Honor Roll recipient.
“Mya, I encourage you to keep on being the leader that you already are,” said OLu volleyball head coach, Henry Valiente. “Not many can lead in the way that you can. Keep your faith and seek God every single time you need guidance. I thank you and your family for entrusting me in guiding your career. Your college is so lucky to receive you.”
Rodriguez also played varsity basketball for the Lancers, as well as club teams, often going from one practice to the next. Her presence changed the game for OLu and helped them accomplish several milestones.
“Thank you to everyone who has gotten me to this point in my athletic career,” said Rodriguez. “Family, friends, teammates and coaches, thank you all for making me into the person and athlete I am now. Your love, guidance and support in my life means so much, and I am so thankful the Lord has blessed me with all of you. Finally, I’d like to give an additional thank you to my OLu teachers and coaches for their continuous support throughout my four years here. I am so excited to continue on at the next level, and I am beyond grateful for everyone who has pushed me to get there.”
Lancer libero Vivian Fragoso will be headed to Eastern University in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. With an engaging personality, Fragoso kept things positive and optimistic with her teammates.
“Vivi has a confidence that most people struggle to find,” said Valiente. “When she puts her mind and faith into something, she accomplishes it. Vivi, keep being the light to this world. It’s people like you who keep the world from being so dark. Your personality is what makes you special and don’t you forget it.”
Fragoso also participated in OLu’s inaugural year of girls beach volleyball, finishing second and earning 1st Team All-League honors.
“I would like to thank God for all the opportunities he has given me,” said Fragoso. “I would also like to give thanks to my parents for all their sacrifices they have made throughout the years. It does not go unnoticed. I am so grateful to have a big support system, such as my family, friends and coaches behind this whole process. I’d also like to give an additional thank you to Eastern University for providing me with this opportunity. Go Eagles!”
Women’s Volleyball / Track & Field
Dual sport Lancer athlete Kennedy Cunningham is headed to Purdue University Northwest for both women’s volleyball and track and field.
“Kennedy, I’m super blessed to have our paths cross, as you are a rare talent that most coaches wish they had the opportunity to coach,” said Valiente of the outside hitter.
As a track and field team member, Cunningham specializes both in sprints and jumps.
“There are definitely no ceilings for her,” said OLu track and field head coach, Kevin Gillian. “The sky’s the limit, and I know she will do great things. They are definitely lucky at Purdue University Northwest to have her there as an athlete. And I just want you to remember that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.”
Cunningham thanked everyone who helped her achieve the rarity of committing to play two sports at the collegiate level.
“I would like to thank all of my coaches for pushing me not only physically, but mentally as well,” said Cunningham. “Without their support, I would have never thought that I would be here today signing for not one, but two sports. I would also like to thank all my teammates for pushing me and bringing out my competitive drive. I wouldn’t have been able to reach my goals of competing at a college level if it wasn’t for all of you. Finally, I would like to thank all my friends and family who have stayed by my side through it all. I truly could not have done this without you, and I’m excited to see what the future has in store.”
Anderson closed the ceremonies with parting thoughts of encouragement for the Lancer athletes as they take this significant next step.
“Lancers, we are so proud of you,” said Anderson. “God has gifted each and every one of you in incredible ways. Keep that with you and continue to serve him through all of your gifts and talents. Our prayers are with you, and we cannot wait to see what you continue to do in this next chapter. Remain centered and focused on the Lord, as he will always carry you through. Never forget that his love is abundant and unconditional.”