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Signing Day for Class of 2015

Logan Houck is signing for Harvard swim, he will attend there this coming fall.

Chandler Patrick

Logan Houck is signing for Harvard swim, he will attend there this coming fall.

by Michaela Jackson & Chandler Patrick, Sports Editor & Reporter

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Over 25 athletes have signed for athletic scholarship this coming fall for their colleges and universities. On May 1, all 25 athletes gathered up in room 200 to be recognized by their accomplishments in front of their friends and family.

The girls start off signing day, Tia Okano earned a tennis scholarship at Arizona Christian University. Okano is one of the team captains of the Women’s Tennis State Championship team this year. She is a four year letterman and this year a State Individual Doubles tournament Runner-up. Okano carries a 3.45 GPA and the daughter of Crystal and Rodney Okano.

“I’m most excited about the tight and disciplined schedule I will be on because I know it will make me improve as a player. I am looking forward to such improvements. By playing tennis, I learned how to keep my body in shape, to be an athlete and how to stand on my own two feet and mental discipline,” said Okano.

There were five girls who signed for soccer scholarships, the first Panther is Blair Hardy. Hardy will attend Saint Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington to major in biology. Hardy is a center back and played for Palo Verde during her freshman and sophomore years. She finished her soccer career for the FC Warriors as team captain for her club team. Blair is the daughter of Ken and Dainis Hardy.

The next Panther is Sierra Pagan will attend the University of Evansville to pursue a degree in criminal justice. Pagan played two years for the Panthers and is currently a starting forward on the Heat Soccer Club. Sierra is the daughter of Wendy and Jason Pagan.

Captain of women’s soccer, Mackenzie Nogues will play soccer at Long Beach State. She will pursue a degree in sports management. Nogues carries a 4.38 GPA and is a four year varsity starter for the Panthers. She is named the Sunset Region Team and the All State Team her junior and senior years. Mackenzie is the daughter of Marni and Rick Nogues.

The Panther’s Goalie, Jordan Goyeau signed at Eastern Utah State University to pursue a degree in environmental studies. Goyeau is a four year varsity soccer player at Palo Verde. She is team captain also named as the team’s MVP her junior year. Goyeau was also a three year member of the theatre department. She is the daughter of Derek and Cynthia Goyeau.

The last women’s soccer player is Dakota Grim, she will attend Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. There she plans to pursue a degree in music management.

There were seven lady Panthers who signed for softball this year. Dejanae Gage will play for Mississippi Valley State while pursuing a degree in criminal justice. Gage was the starting shortstop for the Panthers as they defend their 2013 State Championship. She is the daughter of Dia Gage and Robert Turner.

Known as Ginger on her team, Emily Guthrie will graduate with a 3.6 GPA and plans to study biology or pre-medicine at the College of Southern Nevada. Guthrie earned the distinction of being an NIAA Scholar Athlete and is a State Champion during her junior year. She is the daughter of Karey and Ron Guthrie.

Kiley Harrison will attend Kent State University, she earned a 4.73 GPA and is an NIAA Scholar Athlete. She is selected for the All State and All Region team, as well as the All State Academic Team. At Kent State University, Harrison plans to study psychology. She is the daughter of Cheryl and Ron Harrison.

Jordan Menke will be joining her fellow teammate at the College of Southern Nevada. She plans to pursue a degree in criminal justice. Menke is a catcher and outfielder for the 2014 State Champions. She is the daughter of Melissa and Don Menke.

The Panther’s pitcher, Kelsea Sweeney will pitch for Utah Valley University this coming fall. Sweeney was a four year pitcher for the Panthers while graduating with a 3.2 GPA. Her team won the 2014 State Championship and she is a first team All Region and First Team All State player in 2014. Sweeney was the athlete of the month during her junior year. Kelsea is the daughter of Kevin and Danielle Sweeney.

Starting third baseman for the Panthers, Lauren Oxford will attend Western Nebraska to pursue her dream of playing college softball. She carries a 4.4 GPA and plans on studying pre-medicine or athletic training. Oxford received the Clarke Scholarship for her excellence in academics and athletics during her senior year. She is also a defending State Champion.

“Softball is my life and I am most excited to play in college because I will be gaining another family of people who share my same passion for the game. I have learned to go into every situation with a positive attitude and always do everything 100% because that is the only way to succeed,” said Oxford.

Along with two other teammates, Mackenzie McBride will attend the College of Southern Nevada. McBride carries a 4.4 GPA and plans to pursue a degree in hospitality. She is a four year varsity starter and a State Champion. McBride is awarded a Silver State Player of the Month and a Palo Verde Player of the Week. She has three league championships in her time at Palo Verde. Mackenzie is the daughter of Dione and Damon McBride.

Erin Emery is a four year letterman for Palo Verde’s Women’s Swim team. This coming fall, she will attend the University of Minnesota while majoring in psychology. Emery has been a State Champion in the 500 M freestyle and is a three year team MVP. Emery also participated in the 2012 Olympic Trials with a goal of competing in the NCAA Championships. Emery will graduate with a 3.6 GPA.  She is the daughter of Joe and Frances Emery.

“I took recruiting trips in the fall and Minnesota was the right fit for me. I love the coaching staff and the swim team there, so it all worked out,” said Emery.

Kendall Cheval will attend Clarkson University on a volleyball scholarship while pursuing a degree in psychology. She carries a 3.9 GPA and is a four time member of the NIAA All State Academic Team for volleyball. Cheval is her team’s MVP as a senior and named Nevada All State Second Team. She led the team to the 2013 State Championship game where her and her team finished as runner up. Kendall is the daughter of Dave and Kristi Cheval.

“It’s kinda scary to think I’m already going to college, but I’m excited, especially with going so far. [New York] is a totally new place and I don’t know anyone,” said Cheval.

Once the girls had been introduced and praised by their coaches, the male athletes sat in their place and were welcomed.

Austin Manthey, Nolan Sherwood, Jordan Mashal, and Adam Afromsky were introduced as scholar athletes by their coach Garry Shackley. All will be attending their selected colleges on soccer scholarships, and will not forget their memories here at Palo.

Manthley will be attending Wright State University with a major in business. During his junior year, he accompanied his undefeated team as they went into the state championship final. As a senior, he led his team as they claimed the 2014 Nevada State Championship.

Sherwood will attend Rocky Mountain College with great memories from his years on the team. In his last two years of varsity soccer, he helped lead his team to the 2013 State Runner Up title and the 2014 State Championship Title. He also scored an astonishing 53 goals and 15 assists during his time at Palo.

Mashal will attend Westminster studying business and with a 4.0 GPA as well as an Advanced Honors Diploma. After missing his junior year season with a torn ACL, he was a starter and key member of the 2014 Nevada State Championship team. Mashal was also awarded Max Preps Player of the Week as the team won the Sunset Regional Championships. He also has a background as a campus leader in student council and in volunteer work in Best Buddies.

Lastly, Afromsky will attend Eastern Oregon University with plans to major in pre-medicine and exercise in physiology. He graduates Palo with a 3.85 GPA and memories of winning the Sunset Regional as well as the Nevada State Championship.

“The most exciting part about college soccer will be the experience it will give me. I will have immediate friends from the team and I will be able to make lifelong friendships. Also, it has always been a dream to play as a collegiate athlete and compete against some of the best,” said Afromsky.

Joshua Lovejoy is a four year letterman in lacrosse as well as a varsity captain who will be attending Randolph Macon College in the fall. He graduates West Tech with a 4.7 GPA as well as an Advanced Honors Diploma. Lovejoy was awarded the Presidential Merit Scholarship Award and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Lovejoy’s teammate and co-captain, Chase Bradshaw, graduates Palo with high honors. Bradshaw graduates with an Advanced Honors Diploma and a 4.5 GPA, the title of a four year letterman and two-year team captain. He plans on attending Loyola University, Maryland on a Division I Lacrosse scholarship.

Carson McCann is ranked 17 out of 692 in the senior class and will graduate with a 4.7 GPA. McCann is an AP Scholar who was recognized with the Rotary Youth Leadership Award in 2014 and will attend Denison University in the fall. He played one year of soccer for Palo and is now finishing up his fourth and final year of lacrosse as a Panther.

“Of everything I’m excited most about all the new adventures and new friends I will get to meet. I know that with lacrosse it will be the best four years of my life. I’ve learned [from lacrosse] to buy into a team setting and trust that others will have my back as I work as hard as I can to have theirs,” said McCann.

Jordan Foster plans to attend Connecticut College for lacrosse after  four years playing for Palo Verde. As a senior, Foster is now a varsity captain and a first team All State selection in 2014 and 2015. Foster will  graduate Palo with a 3.9 GPA.

Grant Dressler was introduced by Coach Sanchez who talked about his incredible improvement over the years in the men’s basketball program. He not only helping to lead his team to the State Championships this year, he was named to the First Team All Sunset Region team in 2015. Dressler will be playing Division I basketball at Sacramento State. He hopes to study biology.

Logan Houck is an open water athlete, a distance swimmer and is the second consecutive Palo student to attend the elite Harvard University. He graduates with a 4.5 GPA and a full-ride scholarship for swimming. He is a four year letterman and a NIAA Scholar Athlete. He also holds the Nevada State Championship Title in the 500 yard freestyle. One of his most exciting achievements is being a member of the National Junior Team, qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 1500 M and 400 M Freestyle.

After all of the introductions, the players were able to take photos with their parents and received bundt cakes. Their hard work and dedication paid off as they earned athletic scholarships to their future schools.

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