November 14, 2016
WALNUT, CA--Walnut High School held a celebration on November 9 to honor five star athletes as they officially signed national letters of intent.
The following recruits received scholarships to play their sport next year in college: Emily Honng, Swim – UCLA, Keisha Lugito, Golf – Seattle University, Anabelle Chang, Golf – Princeton University, Dylan Needham, Baseball – University of New Mexico, and Dylan Zavala, Baseball – University of New Mexico.
Families, friends, teammates and coaches gathered as the seniors made their commitments final during the lunchtime event.
“I’m so grateful for this opportunity to go to such a prestigious school,” said Emily Honng, age 17, after the signing. “I’ve been working hard balancing swim and my academic schedule,” she shared. “And the hard work definitely pays off!”
She has been a competitive swimmer since the age of six and admits to being “passionate” about her sport, eagerly plunging into the water for morning and afternoon practices each day.
Honng swims the breaststroke, individual medley, sprint, fly, and free races. She is the CIF Champion in the 200 individual medley and holds the school record in the 100 breaststroke.
“My next goal is to make the Olympic Trials cut,” she added.
“It’s a great feeling,” said pitcher Dylan Needham. “This has been my dream all through high school.”
Second baseman Dylan Zavala will be joining his teammate at University of New Mexico next year.
At 5’9”, Zavala said he wasn’t big enough for some colleges and was happy the the UNM Lobos coach realized his “fight in the dog” quality and gave him a chance.
“I’ve been competing my whole life with my older brother – in everything - even ping pong.”
Now, Zavala said he will solely focus on becoming a better person and baseball player. He hopes to pursue a criminal justice degree.
Anabelle Chang is looking forward to playing golf at Princeton, especially since her sister, Alison-WHS Class of 2016, is already there on an athletic scholarship.
“I’ve always played by her side,” said Chang, who has been hitting the links for a decade.
“I’m really glad I chose Princeton; I think it’s a really good fit.”
“Congratulations to our student athletes! “We’ll be looking forward to seeing you at the collegiate level,” said Principal Brandon Dade.
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
Five Walnut High star athletes sign national letters of intent on November 9.
Walnut High athletes Dylan Needham, Dylan Zavala, Emily Honng, Anabelle Chang, and Keisha Lugito, with Athletic Director Jerry Person and Principal Brandon Dade during signing day ceremony.