by Victoria Ramirez | staff writer

Athletes in every sport are gearing up to impress the college coaches as high school comes to an end. As seniors are about to graduate, they still remember how they began the road to college.

“I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4,” senior Ariana Shroyer said. “My dad threw me in a league and I kicked a ball and have liked it ever since.”

Shroyer knows hard work and dedication have brought her this far and hopefully farther, even after this year’s season .

“It took a lot of work to get into playing college soccer, because playing college soccer or any college sport for that matter is hard, but it was a lot of work. After soccer I would like to focus on my career in nursing,”Shroyer said.

Shroyer said even though she is committed to Texas Lutheran University, she plans to concentrate on her nursing career and where that could take her.

“I’m interested in TLU because I get to go with a couple of my friends and they have a really good nursing program that a lot of other schools in Texas don’t have,” Shroyer said. “I want to go into nursing, I want to be a travel nurse because I want to help people and also travel.”

Similarly, junior Jaydan Martinez has verbally committed to University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley.

“I’ve been playing baseball since I was four years old, so for about 12 years now,”  Martinez said. “When I was younger my mom didn’t want me to play a violent sport like football, so she thought why not baseball.”

Some athletes want to say they want to stay in-state and close to home, therefore location is a major consideration in choosing a school to attend. This was true for Martinez also.

“Definitely location, but you have to also want to look at a the baseball team, the coaches, and the people you’re going to be around, I just thought it was a good choice. I like the area, it’s down by the border and I just really appreciate the culture, and I think I need to get in touch with the other side of my family so I think it’s a good choice,” Martinez said,

Even though Martinez is a junior, he is extremely eager about this coming up season and what his upcoming senior year has to offer.

“RGV has been pursuing me just recently since this summer. They saw me pitch at a game at Dallas Baptist, and they thought ‘hey, he’s all right,” Martinez said. “When I was young I never really thought it would happen so really it’s a dream.”

Even though baseball is his passion, after college, Martinez plans to pursue a career in business.

“It would be a great thought, it is my dream but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. My mom’s a manager for a major hotel, so I really look up to her and I would like to be a manager for a hotel or something along those lines,” Martinez said.

Megan Valdez-Crader, who has been playing basketball for many years, now plans to pursue basketball as a career even after college.

“I’ve been playing basketball since first grade,” Valdez-Crader said. “I’m committed to Houston Baptist University, who has been pursuing me since 7th grade and I have been committed there for about a year now.” 

Valdez-Crader says even though the location is a major role in deciding where she will attend, one thing she looks at even closer is of course, the basketball program.

“I wanted to stay in Texas and be closer to home and not live too far,” Valdez-Crader said.“But the people, environment and the basketball team, of course, is a big part of it.”

Even though she said that she would like to start her basketball career after college, another thing she would love to do is to play overseas.

“I really want to start my career and maybe sometime go overseas,” Valdez-Crader said. “I haven’t actually looked into going overseas it was just an option for me, and I would like to mainly start my career first, but if overseas becomes an option then I’ll do it but it’s not my first choice.”

Along with Crader-Valdez, senior Josie Larson, who has also been pursued and recently committed to ACU, Abilene Christian University.

“I have been playing since kindergarden,” Larson said. “My parents were in Florida and they threw me in it and really liked it after that.”

Larson says she still loves the sport very much and her teammates even more.

“I love playing with my teammates, I absolutely love them they’re all great girls, playing with them is like more than playing with a team, it’s more like playing with my family out there, so it’s a whole bunch of fun, they make it a lot of fun,” Larson said. “My goal this year is to make the team bond stronger than before and of course go to state!”

Larson says even though basketball after college would be fun, she would like to work on her career for the most part. Her career goal and desire to play basketball made ACU her top choice.

“I get to go to college with my best friend and the aspect of the school I can major in bible missions and ministry which is something I couldn’t do anywhere else, so going there would give me a chance to pursue what I want to do after college as well,” Larson said. “I would like to be a missionary and go on mission trips around and i would also like for my part time job to be an athletic trainer to be able to have money to do that.”

Senior Alyssa Adams has also committed to Abilene Christian University.

“I’ve been playing basketball since the seventh grade,” Adams said. “Everyone in my family played basketball and Coach D., Johnson’s Head Girls Basketball Coach, said I should try it out and I did, and have loved it ever since.”

ACU wasn’t the only school purusing Adams, but when it came down to it, that was the one she stuck with.

“Abilene Christian has been pursuing me since last year and UIW, University of Incarnate Word, has been pursuing me since July.I am super excited to be going to ACU, I could just pack up my bags right now and leave.  I’m mostly excited about being on my own and experiencing what feels like a new world with amazing people, like my teammates,” Adams said.

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