Signing Day for Southern Arizona began at 7 a.m. with the signing of 18 soccer players attached to the Tucson Soccer Academy (TSA). Most of the athletes signed at their own high school’s later in the day.
Tucson High’s Avadney Gerard-Osbourne was one of those athletes and she signed with New Mexico a day after leading her team to the Division II state playoffs.
“Scary,” is how Gerard-Osbourne described her feeling about playing at the next level. “I’ll be a freshman all over again and I’ll have to fight for my position again.”
Ironwood Ridge was next at 8:15 a.m. with about 14 athletes on the main stage with a couple more not quite ready to sign. One of those standouts was Lexy Ram. Ram has been a four-year starter on the basketball team and she is headed to Cal Baptist.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Ram said. “I’m from California so that with be an exciting environment for me.”
The Nighthawks are still in the playoff hunt.
Marana popped up next at 10 a.m. with three football players ready to move on. Garrett Turnbull is headed to Adams State.
“I’m super excited considering only a small percent get this far,” Turnbull said. “They wanted me and I wanted them. I can’t picture myself anywhere else. This is my calling.”
Cienega held a ceremony at 12:45 p.m. Soccer standout Seneca Fonseca was one of seven athletes and she signed with New Mexico Highlands.
“I’m excited because it’s a fresh start,” Fonseca said. “I’m going to meet new people and it will be a good change.”
Tucson High held a signing ceremony at 2 p.m. and Salpointe ended the day with a ceremony at 2:45 p.m. Justin Holt was one of two football players from Southern Arizona to sign with a DI program and the other (Jake Ksiazek, Air Force) also attends Salpointe.
Holt is the son of former University of Arizona standout Julius Holt. Holt is projected to fight for a post on either side of the ball this coming summer.
“This is an honor,” Holt said. “Going to Arizona is something I always wanted to do.”
Holt feels he can have an immediate impact at Arizona and he credits his father and several other former Wildcats like LaMonte Hunley for getting him ready to play for Arizona.
Hunley’s daughter Devyn Hunley was a standout soccer player at Pima before becoming an All-American at Pima. She signed with UTEP in a separate ceremony at Pima.
“I’m going to be an attacking mid,” Hunley said. “I visited last week and everything just felt right. I felt at home.”
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com