Some students have been counting on receiving athletic scholarships, training for the sake of attending college. The Covid-19 pandemic wrecked those plans, as there are no sports seasons going on this year because of it. Despite this, some students were still offered athletic scholarships.
Senior Isabella Santa Cruz was offered a full-tuition scholarship to the University of California San Diego (UCSD) for volleyball. Santa Cruz verbally committed in September 2019, and officially signed her Letter of Intent on November 11th, 2020. It was always Santa Cruz’s dream to play volleyball at a Division I college, but she wasn’t sure her athleticism could get her into college. While training, she still worked diligently on her academics, but her hard work paid off in the end.
“UC San Diego recruited me at a volleyball tournament in my sophomore year of high school,” Santa Cruz said, “but they didn’t contact me until the legal date that colleges could contact high school athletes.” UCSD had in fact been waiting to get in contact with Santa Cruz, and on that same day, the UCSD volleyball coach invited Santa Cruz to their volleyball camp. Santa Cruz realized UCSD was the school for when she went on an unofficial visit to the school. “In the recruiting process, I knew that God would make it clear about what school He wanted me to go to,” Santa Cruz said, and the moment she stepped onto that campus, she knew God was telling her that school was meant for her.
Volleyball has been a part of Santa Cruz’s life for nine years. Maintaining that streak was tough when she was younger, but Santa Cruz is proud of herself for not giving up. “However, all the glory goes to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who I trusted (and still do trust) with my future. He provided me with a D1 college volleyball scholarship and He has always taken care of me,” Santa Cruz said. Santa Cruz also gives credit to her parents and brothers for inspiring her to better herself. “I’m very excited to compete for the UCSD volleyball team when I step on the court. However, I am most excited to glorify God, be a learner, give it my all, and make the people around me better,” Santa Cruz said.
Senior Brock Perreira was offered a full-tuition scholarship to California State University at Bakersfield for baseball, which was also his ideal school. The coaches of the school scouted Perreira and contacted him personally. “The coach called me, saying he was interested and that he liked me,” Perreira said. “We stayed in contact for a few weeks, and they offered me [a scholarship].”Perreira had always been hoping for a scholarship throughout his baseball career, and the scholarship he did earn was from his dream school. Perreira’s dedication shone during the pandemic, as he had to find new ways to work on his skills due to pandemic restrictions. Recently, he has been going to a nearby park to practice hitting and throwing in addition to working out in a gym. “I’ve been playing baseball since I was 3, and I’m very proud that my hard work finally paid off,” Perreira said. “I’m playing Division I baseball in a good conference.” Perreira has always been motivated by his parents for making him work harder and better, and as he leaves home for Bakersfield, he looks forward to making new friends and playing with a whole different team.
These two students are perfect examples of the result of determination if you keep working around the obstacles that life throws at you. Isabella Santa Cruz and Brock Perreira didn’t give up on working hard for their athletic careers, and achieved their dreams of going to college through their most passionate sports.