One by one, they signed.
It was a busy day for standout athletes in the San Luis Obispo County for National Signing Day on Wednesday, which featured more than the big four football players at Arroyo Grande High who are going to high-profile colleges and talented Paso Robles wide receiver Elias Stokes, who decided to stay close to home and play for Cal Poly.
Also signing were Arroyo Grande swimmers Amelia Schachter (Tulane) and Sonny Fiero (Cal Poly), as both shared the signing day spotlight with Oregon State-bound footballers Brent VanderVeen, Garrett Owens and Garrett Weinreich.
Templeton High’s Casey Dakin signed with Sacramento State football and track and cross country runner Savannah Camacho inked with Oklahoma State on a rare full-ride scholarship in her sports. With all the paperwork filled out, the athletes can focus on other matters.“They’re happy that they have that out of the way,” said Templeton’s Dan Loney, who coaches both football and track and field at the school. “They’re looking forward to get going on their futures.”
And 6-foot, 175-pound safety Chris Wheeler, a former Templeton football standout, will transfer from Allan Hancock College to Weber State in the fall.
In all, 10 county athletes contributed to one of the most exciting days in college sports. Seth Jacobs, the four-star recruit from Arroyo Grande, was the last to make his decision, announcing Wednesday night that he would play football at Oklahoma State.
For Schachter, she’s been waiting for her signing for months. The Arroyo Grande swimmer, who has earned All-American status in three different events on six separate occasions, decided among three colleges and went with Tulane, the only one that offered a full-ride scholarship.
UCLA made only a partial offer, and Dartmouth College does not have athletic scholarships. Schachter went on an official visit to Tulane in New Orleans and fell in love with the rich culture of the campus and the city.
“I really clicked with the team there and I liked the coaches a lot,” said Schachter, who is less than a second off an Olympic Trial qualifying time in the long-course breaststroke, her signature event. “The location was great and I liked everything about it. It was hard to pick a school so far away, but I’m thinking about going to law and it has a great law school and it has great programs there.”
Fellow Arroyo Grande swimmer Fiero decided to stay much closer to home. He committed to Cal Poly in December because the Mustangs worked for him academically and they can help him to continue to excel in the 200 and 500 freestyle events. He also considered UC Santa Barbara, which offered less of a partial scholarship than Cal Poly.
“It was a long process choosing colleges that would work for me and dividing it down to the academics that would work for me and which college team would be best for my abilities,” said Fiero, who plans to study in the medical field. “Cal Poly just stood out for me. It worked out academically and it has a great swim team.”