National Signing Day: Photos from across the Old Pueblo

Cienega QB Jamarye Joiner signed during a family celebration late Wednesday night. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Chris Aguirre (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Southern Arizona Defender of the Year, Chris Aguirre, signed with Pima in a private ceremony held in the Salpointe athletic office. “This means I get to play in front of my family for two more years,” the Lancer LB explained. “I’m grateful for this opportunity.”


17 athletes signed at the Tucson Soccer Academy this morning including six for Pima. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The day started out, as it usually does, at the Tucson Soccer Academy Clubhouse where 17 local standouts signed on to play at the next level including Salpointe standout Lauren Bollinger:

“I’m really excited,” the Idaho State commit said. “It’s a perfect fit for me and I feel I can make an immediate impact.”

Lauren Bollinger (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Eli Bussey, Pima, Soccer

Eli Bussey (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Connor Cosgrove, Pima, Soccer
Shane Shepherd, Luna CC, Baseball
Gabe Lopez, Pima, Football

Connor Cosgrove (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“We are extremely proud of Shane’s accomplishments as he has excelled in the classroom and on the field, fulfilling one of his dreams of playing college baseball,” his father Rodney Shepherd said. “We are very thankful to coach TC Nusser and his staff at Luna Community College for providing this opportunity to Shane, which will allow him to further his education while continuing to grow and mature as a baseball player at the next level. Shane could not have achieved these goals without the support, leadership and mentoring of coach JJ Northam and coach Ernie Durazo, and many thanks to all the coaches that may have made an impact in Shane’s baseball career over the years. Our Family Rodney Shepherd (Father) Diane Shepherd (Mother) and his sisters Riley and Laney Shepherd, freshman at Sabino, wish him all our love, support, prayers and best wishes. Go Rough Riders!!!”

Mikayla Edris, Northwestern Oklahoma State, Soccer
Haley Lawson, Pima, Soccer
Savannah Robinson, Pima, Soccer
Anicela Parra, Phoenix College, Softball
Miranda Carley, Cal State Fullerton, Softball
Daunte Boudy, Scottsdale, Football
Rodney Rodgers, Ottawa University, Football
Jamarye Joiner, Arizona, Football

Heath Beemiller, Northern Arizona, Football
Nick Brahler, Pima, Football
Brayden Smith, Pima, Football
David Phelps, Pima, Football
Quinci Black, Paradise Valley, Soccer
Madison Thacker, Trinity International, Soccer

Madison Thacker (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Madison Thacker contacted Trinity International and it was the perfect fit:

“I made a visit and I was hooked right away,” Thacker said. “It felt like home. I couldn’t deny it, this was the place for me.

Jaime Avila, Pima, Football
John Morgan, Pima, Football
Teon Simmons, Pima, Football

(Courtesy Photo)

Sean Benke, Adams State, Football
Kai Golden, New Mexico State, Football
Tavian Robey, Colorado State-Pueblo, Football
Samantha Angulo, Pima, Softball
Ashley Ketchum, Colby College, Softball
Reilly Tidwell, Western Oregon, Softball
Alexis Van der Werf, Midland, Softball
Kendall Deeter, Pima, Volleyball
Anaya Hyman, Western Virginia Wesleyan, Volleyball

Kai Golden. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“This is truly a dream come true,” Kai Golden said. “This is obviously a big financial bonus for my family and for my future. I’ll be studying mechanical engineering. It’s something I’ve been passionate about since the seventh grade,” the New Mexico State commit added.

AJ Saldivar, Scottsdale, Football

AJ Saldivar (Courtesy Photo)

Kendall Tobin, Hillsdale, Football
Lauren Corral, Trinity International, Soccer
Jessica Giacoma, Pima, Softball

Kendall Tobin. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

“It’s a really good feeling,” Kendall Tobin said when asked about signing with Hillsdale. “It’s a great accomplishment for those who helped me get here from my parents to my coaches and my school. The process itself was eye-opening because of all the games who have to play but I was able to find the right fit.”

Alec Nguyen Pima, Soccer

Alec Nguyen (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Osvaldo Miranda, Pima, Soccer

Osvaldo Miranda (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Isaiah Romero, Ottawa, Football

Isaiah Romero (Courtesy Photo)

Alexis Cardenas, Idaho State, Soccer
Brianna Lewis, Pima, Soccer
Val Franco, Pima, Soccer
Yesenia Dominguez, Pima, Soccer
Maya Ahumada, Pima, Soccer
Sabrina Zepp, Pima, Soccer
Rita Siaha, Grambling State, Soccer
Taylor Gutierrez, Pima, Soccer
Julian Gaona, Ottawa University, Soccer
Michael Pallanes, Pima, Soccer
Mercedes Gomez, Pima, Soccer

Rita Siaha (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Rita Siaha moved to America at a very young age and, although she has distant memories of Cameroon, the Tucson standout inherited the skill and love of playing soccer from her parents, Jean and Patricia:

“I know my parents are excited for me for being able to play soccer like they did,” Siaha explained. “It’s been my dream to play D-I and I met with Grambling at a showcase and sent them a video and it’s the perfect school for me.”

Yannira Acuna, Arizona State, Softball
Aleena Alexander, Embry-Riddle, Softball
Isabella Almazan, Northern Colorado, Soccer
Ana Alvarez Tostado, Grand Canyon, Cross Country and Track
Lauren Bollinger, Idaho State, Soccer
Derick Bush, Coastal Carolina, Football
Efrain Cervantes, South Mountain, Baseball
Daniel Durazo, Pima, Baseball
Josh Escobedo, Arizona, lacrosse
Josh Hackmyer, University of Arizona, Lacrosse
Annabelle Huether, Pomona, Golf
Gabe Madril, Pima, Football
Nate Maltry, University of Arizona, Lacrosse
Erika Marquez, Southern Oregon, Softball
Matteo Mele, Washington, Football
Christian Massey, Pima, Football
Jackson McKenney, University of Arizona, Lacrosse
J. Bill Rivera, Pima, Baseball
Paloma Teran, Arizona, Soccer

Yannira Acuna (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Salpointe standout outfielder Yannira Acuna signed on to play for ASU. “The coaches have made me feel like I was already part of the program,” Acuna said. “It will be good to get away and start something new.”


Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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 and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com

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