November 19, 2018
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA—Eleven elite athletes made their college commitments official during a lunchtime signing ceremony on November 14 at Walnut High School.
Congratulations to the following students who have received scholarships to play their sports in college: Manny Casillas – Baseball, New Mexico State University; Chris Lara – Baseball, Hope International University; Jared Medina – Baseball, Hope International University; Abigail Wiranatha – Golf, University of Pennsylvania; Nicole Le – Golf, University of California, Riverside; Alrik Pan – Golf, University of San Diego; Lauryn ‘Paris’ Alvarado - Water Polo, Virginia Military Institute; Alyssa Carrion – Softball, Wilmington University; Princess Matavao- Softball, University of Hawaii; Chloe Arriaga - Cross Country/Track, University of California, Davis, and Emma Arriaga - Cross Country/Track, University of California, Davis.
Families, friends, teammates, and coaches gathered as the seniors signed the National Letters of Intent.
“You’re living out the dream to take your talents to the next level!” said Principal Brandon Dade as he congratulated the student athletes and their families.
“Uphold everything that you believe in with your passion for your sport and education,” said Athletic Director Jerry Person before introducing each scholarship recipient.
Pitcher Manny Casillas,18, shared that although he was a little nervous before the ceremony, he knew he’d made the right decision to attend New Mexico State.
“I felt like it was home when I got to the campus; the team members were very welcoming,” he recalled about the college visit.
“My favorite Mustang memory will always be winning the CIF Championship my sophomore year!”
“I’m really excited and happy today!” commented Nicole Le, 17, who will be taking up the links at UC Riverside.
“I’m looking forward to going there!”
Teammate Abigail Wiranathais heading off to University of Pennsylvania.
“My best memories have been spending time with the team and being CIF Champions for the past three years,” she shared after the signing.
“It has always been my dream school,” said shortstop Princess Matavao, 17, who will be attending University of Hawaii in the fall.
“It’s where my dad is from and is like a home away from home.”
After the college signing ceremony, Matavao’s family members took the stage for a traditional Haka celebration dance.
“It’s amazing to have my family here. I’m so grateful they came out!” she said after the surprise performance.
National Signing Day! Eleven Walnut High athletes make college commitments on November 14.
Surprise Performance! Family members perform a Haka dance for scholarship signee, Princess Matavao.