Fall signing day for student athletes

Jenna Heller, Makayla Long, Caden Malloy, Briana Mattos, Alyssa Montoya, Ella Rud and Gabby Valadez speaking at signing day. The students thanked those who supported them and expressed excitement and gratitude for the opportunities to play on a collegiate level.

Saydria Ostler, Staff Reporter

On Thursday, Nov 11, Perry’s Athletic Department had their annual Signing Day, celebrating athletes Jenna Heller (Volleyball), Makayla Long (Track and Field), Caden Malloy (Soccer), Briana Mattos (Softball), Alyssa Montoya (Volleyball), Ella Rud (Volleyball), and Gabby Valadez (Lacrosse), who are promising their skills to different colleges all around the country. These students have worked hard both academically and physically to play on a collegiate level. Here is what the athletes had to say at signing day. 

Jenna Heller will be playing volleyball at the University of the Pacific. Heller says, “I will always be a puma, but I can’t wait to be a tiger.”

Makayla Long, who runs track and field, is taking her skills to Baylor University. Long says, “I am extremely excited for this next chapter, and I want to thank Baylor University for giving me the opportunity to make my dream come true.”

Caden Malloy, who is a soccer player, committed to Liverpool John Moores University. Malloy says, “I’m really nervous, especially because it’s in a different country…I’m definitely nervous but it’s still a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Briana Mattos plays softball, and she will be attending the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Mattos says, “I want to thank my future college coaches for giving me this opportunity to continue my softball career at the next level and be a part of the Mountain Lion Family.”

Alyssa Montoya will be playing volleyball at Brigham Young University. Montoya says, “I’m excited for my new chapter, but I know, I’ll always be a puma. Go Cougs!”

Ella Rud signed for volleyball at Fresno State. Rud says, “I’m so blessed to be a part of a volleyball program like Perry’s [program] and to be surrounded by such amazing people. The memories I’ve made these past four years have been the best time of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”

Gabby Valadez plays lacrosse and will be playing for Northern Michigan University. Valadez says, “I’m so excited. I’m kinda nervous, because I’m going to be a freshman, but the coach for Northern Michigan is really excited to have me, and it feels good to be wanted. I’m super excited to start playing for them.”

These Perry athletes have been working in preparation for this new chapter of their athletic career; many have spent two or more years of high school playing in their sport. They have dedicated a great deal of their time and energy to be eligible for an athletic scholarship. As these athletes advance to the collegiate level, they will take with them the skills and memories that Perry athletics has offered them.