Student-Athletes Sign NLIs on National Signing Day

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  • Seniors Maddi Kriz and Ingrid Stading pose for a picture with Coach Nelson.

    Photo By CJ Groom

  • Senior Kolten Smith talks about his experience playing on the baseball team.

    Photo By Claire Janson

  • Senior Oni Boodoo talks about the memories and her journey while playing high school basketball.

    Photo By Claire Janson

  • Seniors Ian Cox, Peter Fagan, and Kolten Smith stand together after signing.

    Photo By Risha Sur

  • Maddi Kriz ’19 gives her speech to thank her volleyball coaches and team members.

    Photo By Risha Sur

  • Seniors Alyssa Popelka, Gabby Garcia, and Oni Boodoo pose before signing.

    Photo By Risha Sur

  • Ethan Riser ’19 talks about his journey on swim team through high school.

    Photo By Risha Sur

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Tuesday, April 16 marked National Signing Day for 2019 student-athlete graduates. Families and friends came to watch eleven Westwood athletes sign their binding contracts to their respective schools, which states that they will be playing a collegiate sport, which is a member of the United States National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“My sister went for college and basically, the reason why I played my entire life was to play in college. That was my goal the whole time,” Alyssa Popelka ’19 said. “I’m excited to play at the next level where there’s a lot of people rooting for you, but I think the most challenging part will be getting used to my schedule, because you’re going to have weights in the morning, mandatory study hall, practice everyday.”

After the initial signing, each student’s coach congratulated and commended the athletes.The seniors  then all got the chance to give a personal speech, thanking their families, teammates, and coaches for making their dream possible.

“Academically, [Westwood] has definitely prepared them for the future,” head soccer coach Malcolm Framjee. “A lot of our student-athletes go on to graduate early because they’re having to manage their time both playing at one of the toughest districts in the state as well as rigorous academic classes, so that prepares them for when they get to college. Whether they’re going to play in college or just be a student, they organized and managed their time so efficiently. We had a girl go to Texas [State University] who graduated in three years while playing soccer at a very high level.”

The signing of the National Letter of Intent (NLI) allows these student-athletes to securely make their dream a reality.

These students signed NLI’s for the following colleges:

Football

Tayvon Ousley – Abilene Christian University

Girls’ Soccer

Madison Larrea – Trinity University

Softball

Alyssa Popelka – University of Texas

Gabby Garcia – Loras College

Girls’ Basketball

Oni Boodoo – Schreiner College

Swimming

Ethan Riser – University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMBC)

Volleyball

Maddi Kriz – Stanford University

Ingrid Stading – University of Dallas

Baseball

Peter Fagan – The University of Puget Sound

Ian Cox – Odessa College

Kolten Smith – Schreiner College