At the beginning of last week’s Signing Day Celebration at Long Beach Poly, Jackrabbit boys’ athletic director Rob Shock took a moment to put things into context for the hundreds of parents, family, and friends gathered.
“In all the years I’ve been at Poly as athletic director, 42 is the largest class we’ve ever had of kids signing college scholarships,” he said. “We’re only one away from that.”
To his right, 41 Jackrabbits were seated in three rows, ready to ink life-changing scholarships. In the days since, another Poly senior has committed and signed a scholarship next year, making the class of 2022 tied for the record for biggest signing class that anyone can remember–and there are still a few others still weighing options as well.
Forty-two Long Beach students signing scholarships to four-year universities would be a miracle in any year, but this 2022 class is something even more special. Their freshman year of high school was their last pre-COVID year, with their sophomore and junior seasons altered enormously by the pandemic before a relative return to normal in 2021-22.
“They’re a group that’s been through a lot and they’ve achieved even more,” said Shock. “These seniors won CIF championships in football, water polo and tennis and they were close in a few other sports. This is a special class.”
Joining the 42 scholarship signees on stage was Poly senior Ashton Sylve, who played football for the school before retiring from varsity sports in order to pursue a career as a professional boxer. Undefeated in his first eight fights, Sylve recently won his United States pro debut with a knockout in a fight held at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Poly also recognized their teams’ academic accomplishments, with almost every team on campus posting a 3.0 GPA or higher. The school also recognized its scholar-athletes of the year: water polo’s Beau Wade and wrestling’s Eliana Eats received awards, both of whom had 4.0 unweighted GPAs.
Here’s the full list of the class of 2022 Poly scholarship signees:
Bella Alonso, softball, CSUN; Sarah-Eden Amara, soccer, University of Chicago; Kamy Anaya, soccer, Mercy College; William Andrade, soccer, Ottawa University; Tyson Boreaux, football, Grambling State; Eric Brannon, track, Alabama A&M; Luke Brown, soccer, Carleton College; Malik Brown, football, Southwestern Oklahoma State; Kennedy Butler, track, University of Connecticut; Gabe Cummings, basketball, Carleton College; Maya De Los Reyes, volleyball, University of Oregon; Adonia Faumuina, volleyball, USC; Daniel Garcia Hernandez, XC/track, University of La Verne; Robert Guerrero, XC/track, Long Beach State; Jalen Johnson, football, Lake Erie College; Omar Juarez, soccer, University of San Francisco; Colin Jue, swimming, American University; Austin King, football, Baker University; Malcolm King, volleyball, CSUN; Jordan Kramer, baseball, Carleton College; Shea Kuykendall, football, University of Northern Colorado; Charlie Lemmes, water polo, Loyola Marymount; Rylie McGinest, volleyball, USC; Skylar Mills, basketball, UC Merced; Wendell “Wowo” Moe, football, Arizona; Alyssa Perkins, track, University of Miami; Rachel Perry, soccer, Emory University; Brandon Perry, XC/Track, Alabama A&M; Donovan Poe, football, West Point; Charlie Pruett, water polo, San Jose State; Lauren Reed, track, Cal; Trinity Salcedo, swimming, UC Santa Cruz; River Sampson, track, San Jose State; Amari Shepherd, track, Fresno State; Nolan Sheppard, basketball, Southern University; Garrett Stark, volleyball, Air Force; Zharia Taylor, track, University of Southern Mississippi; Donovan Turner, football, UMass; Jesus VillaGomez, soccer, Ottawa University; Nala Williams, basketball, Cal State Dominguez Hills; Aniyah Wyche, track, San Jose State; Isabella Yakel, soccer, University of Portland.