Scholar Athletes

Amanda Scott- UC Santa Cruz

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Amanda Scott has been a part of our girls soccer team since she was a freshman and is currently in her fourth year on varsity. As an attacking midfielder it has always been a dream of hers to be able to play on the collegiate level and to get a great education. At UC Santa Cruz, she now has the opportunity to do both. Throughout the pandemic, Scott has stayed mentally and physically in shape by working out at home and participating in small training sessions with close friends. Scott has also been motivated to always improve on any aspect of her game whether it be improving mentally, physically, or tactically. She is also motivated to become the best player she can be to make her parents along with herself proud. As we are all aware, Mayfair lost a beloved member of our community in girls soccer coach, Sal Marroquin. Sal had coached Scott since she was a freshman and she credits him for making her the player she is today. She states, “He saw something in me and made sure I knew that he did. He really developed me into the player I am today and I am so grateful for him and everything he did for me” and there is no doubt that he would be proud of what she has accomplished.

Michael Diaz- Cal State Los Angeles

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Michael Diaz has run cross country since he was a freshman and has been nothing but impressive during his tenure on the team. His best event was the 3-mile cross country race which is also the event that gave him recognition from colleges. For Diaz, the last two seasons were the ones he truly dedicated himself to the sport. As a result, he was ranked top 500 in the country for his class along with being ranked 33rd in California’s Division 3. Cross country coach, Guillermo Boppell, has been very beneficial to Diaz. He thanks Coach Boppell for always pushing him to be better and giving valuable life lessons along the way. One being when the team had just won the suburban league finals and instead of celebrating, Coach Boppell proceeded to make the team do core workouts for the next twenty minutes. From that experience Diaz learned that “there is always work to be done, and things to improve on, no matter win or lose, always strive to become better” which is advice that can ring true to life in general. Diaz characterizes himself as a patient, competitive runner who always has the desire to win. He is also keen on working on his body control and he strives to be able to get better at all aspects of running. Diaz would like to give thanks and credit to all the coaches and teachers throughout his high school career. He gives thanks to his freshman basketball coach, Mike Coleman, for always offering feedback and encouragement during his cross country career. Coach Widman, Coach Wallace, and Coach Thompson are also some coaches that have impacted him through his journey to this scholarship. Diaz would lastly like to thank Coach Boppell, because without him he wouldn’t have been running in the first place. He thanks him for the countless hours he spent with him and helping him become not only the runner, but the person, he is today. 

Sydney Soto- Cal Baptist University

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Sydney Soto is our softball team’s center fielder and has decided to continue her playing career at Cal Baptist University. She has played on the softball team since her freshman year, with all four years being on varsity. This scholarship has been something she has strived for her entire life and to finally accomplish that lifetime goal has provided her with a great deal of satisfaction. To improve on her game she plans to get reps with her travel ball team as they play in tournaments during the summer. She also plans to work alone to focus on improving her strengths and weaknesses. To Soto, family support has been a major key to her success as she considers both her parents and her grandpa to be role models who have helped motivate her. She also gives thanks to Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Andrew McCutchen, as he has always been one of her favorite players and one she has modeled her game after. When it comes to why Soto decided to commit to Cal Baptist, she was automatically fascinated by how nice the campus and the softball field was. She also appreciated the chemistry between players and coaches as she states “the girls got along so well and the coaches pushed to make them the best players they can be. They are very flexible and work with everyone’s schedule making sure they get everything they need to be successful not only as an athlete but as a person”. As Soto’s playing career proceeds, we wish for her success to continue onto the next level.

Jersey Lauti- Grand Canyon University

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Jersey Lauti has been playing rugby for almost nine years, where  she plays both forward and center, but can play whatever position she is given. The sacrifices that her family has made in order for her to play at a D1 college is what really keeps her motivated to play. Just like any athlete, one of the difficult parts of playing a sport that you love are the injuries and mental battles. These mental and physical injuries are what Lauti finds the most difficult part to overcome while playing rugby. As a young athlete her main source of inspiration comes from her father. Her dad has won state championships for both football and volleyball while he was in high school so he’s constantly helping Lauti improve her game. Lauti’s favorite part about playing rugby is “playing with a group of individuals that end up [becoming] your lifelong friends no matter what happens in life.” Before a big game Lauti likes to eat avocado toast with some eggs and drink either water or orange juice. In order to continue being successful in rugby, Lauti has given up time for any activities outside of school and rugby. She uses any time she has to get extra training or practices in. If Lauti couldn’t play rugby, she would go back to playing softball or soccer. Lauti has committed to Grand Canyon University for the next four years on a scholarship due to all the hard work and time she’s put into becoming better at the sport she loves.

Jadin Williams- Cal State Northridge

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Jadin Williams is a part of our volleyball team and has been playing volleyball for six years now -- since she was twelve years old. For indoor volleyball she is an outside hitter, and for beach volleyball she is a blocker. Williams is motivated by her drive to be successful and make not only herself proud but everyone who has supported her. The most difficult part of her volleyball journey has been staying motivated to play volleyball ever since COVID-19 came around. Williams stated, “It was really hard to have faith and hope in my sport because my most important recruiting year was cut early due to COVID.” She didn’t let this obstacle hold her back long because she picked herself back up and worked her hardest to achieve her dream of playing at a Division 1 school. Growing up as an athlete, her older sister, Skyler Williams, inspired her the most. Williams would see how hard working, goal-oriented, and focused her sister was which led to Skyler playing D1 volleyball at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This has really inspired Williams n to keep pushing throughout her volleyball career. For Williams, the best part about playing volleyball is “...to share that amazing feeling with your teammates on a huge win whether it is a game point win or even a rivalry game.” In order for Williams to be successful in her sport, she’s given up her time to hangout with friends. She had to learn to prioritize the important things that would help her become even more successful in volleyball. After overcoming many obstacles and having a backbone of supporters, Williams has committed to Cal State Northridge where she will be playing D1 volleyball for the next four years.

Zac Ballard- Concordia Wisconsin University

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Zac Ballard is a part of our football team and has been playing football since he was six years old as both a defensive back and running back. Ballard’s main source of motivation comes from both his family and friends. One of Ballard’s main goals is to be able to retire his parents so he plays football in hopes of it helping him reach that goal. So far the most difficult part of his football journey has been keeping up with stuff outside of his sport such as his social life and school work. Oftentimes he finds himself befuddled with everything that goes on in his life at once but he finds the will and determination to keep pushing through. As a young athlete he was obviously inspired by professional football players but besides them, his dad has inspired him a whole lot. He said, “I probably wouldn’t be playing if it wasn’t for him”. For Ballard the best part of playing his sport is joking around with his team and overall just having fun. Before a big game he likes to eat candy, specifically chewy Sweet Tarts and mango-flavored Hi-Chews. In order for Ballard to be successful in his sport, he has given up a lot of his social time. Instead of hanging out with friends he's at team practices or working out on his own. If Ballard couldn’t play football for whatever reason,he would choose to play baseball. As a result of all the time and effort Ballard has dedicated to football he is now committed to Concordia University in Wisconsin for the next four years.

Riley Shue- Southern Utah University

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Riley Shue is our softball  team’s shortstop but was recruited as a middle infielder and outfielder. Shue has been playing since she was just a toddler at 4 years old and has been utilized all over the field throughout her playing career. She has been on the varsity softball team throughout her entire high school career and just like Soto, Shue plans to also improve her game during the summer as her travel team plays. Throughout the summer she also plans to try to get in the best condition so she can meet her competition in college. Although there are always things to improve on, she believes she has been able to polish up her approach in the batter’s box and has given herself a new sense of self-confidence. Shue’s biggest motivation has been making her family proud and rewarding them for all the support they have given her as she has played. Her favorite moments from her softball career at Mayfair have been when the team played 21 outs during practice. Those moments stick with Shue because to get out of practice on time the team had to come together as a whole to focus and work on getting those outs. Shue claims that “it was super frustrating at times, but those moments made us better as a team,” which is something any athlete can agree on. When it comes to giving advice to underclassmen trying to get a scholarship she expresses that school work should not be considered lightly as it plays a huge role in recruiting. Shue also supports the idea of always putting in extra work outside of school to improve. 

Jacob Gibson- Dixie State University

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Jacob Gibson is a member of the Soons football team and has been playing the sport since he first put on pads in 2012. Gibson is one of the best defensive ends on the team and because of his skill, he has received a Division 1 scholarship at Dixie State University. As he transitions into college, he knows that his game needs to elevate to be able to compete at this level. Gibson plans to become physically and mentally prepared over the next few months so he can vastly improve his game and advance up the depth charts when that time approaches. His motivation has come through his cousin Biggers, and his parents. Each made it their priority to make sure Gibson was a top tier competitor at everything he put his mind to. A highlight from his playing career that has stuck with him was when he was still playing Pop Warner and learning the sport. Gibson remembers the opposing quarterback throwing the ball over his head, however, he was miraculously able to come down with it. Sadly, since he was new to the game he had no idea he had just intercepted the ball and he carelessly threw the ball on the ground afterwards in the middle of play. This moment let Gibson know that even though he was still a student of the game he had a chance to dominate in the sport. At Dixie State, Gibson plans to go for the full five years while studying kinesiology and sports science. He also hopes to one day be able to open a training and rehab facility for kids who are not given the opportunity to be great. 

Damien Maldonado- Cal State Long Beach

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We did not hear back from Damien Maldonado but we wanted to acknowledge his accomplishment for getting accepted into Cal State Long Beach and being able to continue his Track & Field/Cross Country career.