Four Long Beach schools held Signing Day ceremonies last week to honor their student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent, going on to play college sports.
Long Beach Poly
As always, Long Beach Poly hosted a big Signing Day celebration in the school’s auditorium, where boys’ athletic director Rob Shock was emotional as ever.
“This is my favorite day of the year because I know it represents so much hard work for our student-athletes and families,” he said. “I tell kids every year, go get that degree and come back and tell us about it. Athletics are temporary, but that degree is forever.”
The Jackrabbits had 14 student-athletes sign on Wednesday, with several more still weighing offers or waiting for them. In recent years to accommodate the extras, Poly has begun holding a second event at the end of the year as well.
Noteworthy for Poly was a trio of lacrosse signees for the first time, as well as a pair of athletes heading to Washington State.
“The campus reminded me a lot of Poly, it was really welcoming like a family,” said swimmer Josie Liebzeit.
Matthew Iamaleava was the lone Long Beach State signee, as he’s now locked in with the school’s vaunted national championship men’s volleyball program. Iamaleava is the oldest of eight siblings, two of whom are now enrolled at Poly.
“I come from a big family and that’s the same atmosphere at Long Beach,” he said. “The fact that it’s close so my mom and dad and my brothers and sisters can come see me in the Pyramid is nice too.”
The full list of Poly signees:
Ashlee Lewis (basketball, Cal State Fullerton), Aniah Cutler (soccer, Washington State), Josie Liebzeit (swimming, Washington State), James “Chubba” Maae (football, UC Davis), Deja Gaines (soccer, Howard University), Ronan McMahon-Staggs (cross country, UCLA), Morgan King (soccer, Northern Colorado), Matthew Iamaleava (volleyball, Long Beach State), Evelyn Manzo (lacrosse, Marian University), Emelia Manzo (lacrosse, Marian University), Zuri Saunders (lacrosse, Marian University), Sarah Santos (soccer, San Jose State), Sydney Busse (soccer, Mount Mercy University), Mercie Fa’amalele Vivao (rugby, Life University).
The Rams usually host their Signing Day celebration at the end of the school year but opted for a February kickoff because of the number of signees, with 10 Millikan student-athletes signing scholarships.
The full list:
Kyle Paulson (volleyball, USC), Ashley Davy (girls’ soccer, Arcadia University), Mason Igawa (boys’ soccer, Rochester Institute of Technology), CJ Yogi (baseball, CSUN), Isabella Maclean-Cariello (swimming, Idaho), Katelyn Watkins (water polo, Azusa Pacific), Gabby Arredondo (girls’ soccer, Hope International University), Samantha Sierra (girls’ soccer, University of Portland), Mina Barajas (volleyball, Humbodt State), Molly Gold (rowing, Cal).
Five Vikings football players signed scholarships on Wednesday: Zion Bowens (Hawaii), D’Anthony Jones (Houston), Tariq Culpepper (Arizona Christian), Jabari Minix (Ottowa University), Teeshaun Turpin (University of North Texas).
There were a pair of St. Anthony signees on Wednesday as well: Devante Pollard (Upper Iowa University), Riley Jenkins (Washington State).