Sparks High School’s Kevin Partida signed on to continue his soccer career at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, making him the first Railroader in over 15 years to sign with a Division I school.
For Partida, the choice to become a Runnin’ Rebel was an easy one.
“The process was a bit stressful because you have all these schools contacting you and you have to filter them differently, but in the end I think I made the right decision,” Partida said. “The biggest part for me was that their staff was really supportive. On top of that, they really showed a commitment to success.”
Surrounded by family and friends as well as coaches and teachers, Partida beamed at the thought of stepping onto the UNLV campus this fall.
“I’m just excited to get down there and get into it as soon as possible,” he said. “This is all just really exciting. It is special to be able to celebrate with all of my family and friends. I’m really thankful for all of them because they helped me get to this point in my life.”
At Reed High School, another student-athlete will be joining a Division I program as Adriana Newell put her name on the dotted line to become a member of the Kansas Jayhawks track and field team.
"This means so much because I’ve worked so hard,” Newell said. “There have been ups and downs, so it’s a load off my shoulders. It’s a new starting point because I’m definitely not done. I have so much more to do.”
At Kansas, Newell will join a women’s track and field team that is currently No. 1 in the country, but the ranking was just an added bonus to what Newell thought the Jayhawks had to offer.
“At the end of the day, it was just whoever I felt the most comfortable with, and that was Kansas,” she said. “It was just a combination of things from the facilities, the pre-med program, the coaches and the team. It just couldn’t have gotten any better than that for me. I don’t think I could have picked a better school. It’s exciting. I know I’m going to be held to a high expectation.”
Reed’s Christian Martinez also signed his letter of intent, declaring he will be a part of the Peninsula College soccer team in Port Angeles, Wash.
“I’m still speechless right now. This means a lot to me,” Martinez said. “I know how hard I worked for this day. My coaches trained me hard for this and I put in everything I could to get to where I am. I’m very thankful and feel blessed for that.”
Martinez said there were a number of things that stood out about Peninsula that made him want to become a Pirate.
“They showed a lot of interest in me and they’re also a very skillful team as well,” he said. “There were a lot things that pulled me toward the school. I’m just excited to get out on the field and doing what I do best.”
Spanish Springs’ Julio Soto will be joining Martinez at Peninsula as he also signed to become a part of the Pirates soccer team.
“I’ve been in contact with their coach for a long time, so that helped me make my choice,” Soto said. “They have a good team and the scenery around that area is really nice. I am also really good friends with Irvin Somera and he is up there and he just told me that it’s a really nice town and a really good school. All of that just made it a lot easier for me. I’m glad I got to do it on national signing day with all of my family and friends.”
Soto said he is excited to get to Port Angeles in the fall.
“I’m looking forward to a lot of soccer and progressing with that along with academics,” he said. “After two years I want to transfer out to a D-I or D-II school, so I’m looking forward to getting stuff done. That’s my goal.”
Another Cougar to declare his future campus was Vinny Agliolo, who will continue his days on the gridiron at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.
“I had been talking to the Colorado School of Mines since about September, so they seemed like the most interested in me for the longest time,” Agliolo said. “About a month ago I got a call from the football coach offering me a scholarship for football. So I went down there and had a great time. I just fell in love with it.”
While the football program and campus played a large role in Agliolo’s decision to become an Oredigger, so did academics.
“It’s one of the top two engineering schools in the nation and I want to be an engineer, so it helps to go there. The football team is also good. They’ve won multiple national championships and conference championships.
“This is a good feeling. It’s another step in my life. I’m excited to get better at football and continuing my education. I’m looking forward to getting my degree and hopefully becoming an engineer.”