BY TJ GARCIA
No Stanford. No Rice. No UTSA or Mary Hardin Baylor.
No doubt about it, there have been bigger hauls on National Signing Day (#NSD) for the Rio Grande Valley.
But Wednesday was still a great day for about a dozen RGV high school athletes that signed to play football or soccer at the collegiate level.
Topping the list of signees was McHi soccer stud Anna Hover. The Lady Bulldogs senior forward inked with D1 UT-Rio Grande Valley where she will join six other local products on the 28-woman squad. The Vaqueros have shown marked improvement the last two seasons and are a team on the rise. Hover is prolific scorer and is currently leading a McHi squad that is among the best in the state.
Weslaco’s Diego Rodriguez signed with D-II Texas A&M-Kingsville to play football. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound hard-hitting safety was on coach Tony Villarreal’s varsity teams for three straight years making the playoffs twice. He goes to a Javalinas’ team that is vastly improved (10-3 in 2016) and closed last season with seven straight wins.
The February 1st signing day is for football, soccer and water polo, according to the NCAA. Wednesday was the first day high school athletes in those sports can sign, but certainly not the last. After the hoopla of the first day and the biggest and brightest sign, later many of the smaller schools with half scholarships and like, will begin making offers. Other sports sign in other parts of the year.
Also signing on Wednesday were:
- Ricardo Miner, Saint Joseph Academy in Brownsville (formerly at McAllen Memorial). The 6-foot, 280-pound lineman signed with D-III Trinity University in SA.
- Krysta Armstrong and Ayssa Ozuna, Edinburg Economedes. The pair signed to play soccer at D-III Sul Ross State University in the West Texas town of Alpine.
- Jaime Alaniz (OL 6-2, 260), Joey Carreon (5-10, 240) and Caleb Luna (OL 6-1, 285), Edinburg Vela, sign to play football at D-II Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, OK (just west of Oklahoma City).
- Sarah Serrano, PSJA North. The midfielder signed to play soccer at D-ll St. Edwards University in Austin. The women’s soccer team is very successful.
- Roman De Leon, Mission Veterans. The wide receiver (5-8, 170) signed to play at D-II Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri, just outside of Saint Louis.
- Brandon Lee Perez, La Feria. The WR/CB signed to play football at D-II Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, OK.