May 17, 2012
By Melanie C. Johnson
Walnut High Athletes Sign College Scholarship Offers
Amber Marani, Elaine Brown, and Ari Anaya will be playing their respective sports at the college level in the fall.
They started playing the sports they love as little girls. And now three young women from Walnut High School will be taking their talents to college. The high school Wednesday had a lunchtime scholarship letter signing ceremony for graduating seniors Amber Marani, Elaine Brown, and Ari Anaya.
Marani, a soccer player will attend UC Riverside in the fall. Fellow soccer player Anaya plans to play for Bethany College in Kansas and Elaine Brown, a softball player, heads to Florida Tech. Principal Jeff Jordan praised the teens for their hard work and success.
“We are extremely proud of their accomplishments,” he said. “As they go forward, they will represent our school proudly.” Jerry Person, the athletic director, said the signing marks the culmination of their career in club and high school sports. The school typically has a signing every year for three or four girls who earn college scholarships, he said.
Anaya, 17, said she has braced herself for the Lindsborg, Kansas winter and she knows how to cook, so she is prepared for life away from home. The midfielder said she has been playing soccer since she was 7 or 8. “I feel very excited,” she said about heading to college. “It’s a relief…that all of my hard work has paid off.”
Marani, also a midfielder, said she first started playing soccer when she was five. She said getting her college scholarship to U.C. Riverside is dream realized. “I am very honored and blessed,” said the 17-year-old. “This has been a dream of mine ever since I started playing and knew what college was.”
Brown, 17, began playing softball at age 8. However, she said she didn’t seriously start playing until her sophomore year in high school when she joined a travel ball team. Brown plays mainly centerfield and said she looks forward to going to college in Melbourne, Fla.
“I’m really excited,” she said. “I feel very accomplished. We’ve worked for this for so long and it’s finally here.”