If anyone didn't think Desert Vista's athletic program was among the state's best, they needn't look any farther than the two tables atop the stage in the school's auditorium Wednesday morning.
There, 15 athletes were honored as part of National Signing Day, all of them moving on to play their sport collegiately next season. A total of 17 athletes from the school will be moving on.
"It's mornings like this that make me very proud to be a part of Desert Vista athletics," said DV football coach Dan Hinds, who will see eight of his seniors move on the play college football.
Wednesday marked the start of the NCAA's second signing period of the season, though it was the first day that football recruits could sign National Letters of Intent.
Among those signing included Devon Kennard, the No. 8 overall football recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com who inked with USC.
Also honored was Anna Gott, the girls volleyball team's setter who helped her team reach on the second state final in school history. She signed with NAU in the fall.
"Each year, it's growing," Gott said. "When I walked in and I saw two tables, I was like, 'Wow, this is awesome.' It's cool to see everyone's family and friends - not just parents came, but a lot of students came to support, too."
Eight DV athletes signed LOIs in a similar ceremony last February. DV also received the AIA's Earl McCullar award in 2008, given to the 5A conference's top athletic program.
"I've never seen something like this, it's crazy," said boys basketball's Josh Lowery, who signed with Pepperdine last fall.
"It's ridiculous. The amount of scholarships and people going to colleges speaks for the program itself."
Danny Mullarkey, a defensive end with the football team, signed with Weber State in Utah.
"Desert Vista's definitely one of the premier athletic programs in the state of Arizona," Mullarkey said. "It's great to be a part of it. You just get attention based on playing with other kids around you who are also getting attention."
Austin Caswell, a running back with the football team, signed with Glendale Community College, the same school his father, A.C., played for before going on to play in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders.
"Same coach, too," Caswell said with a smile. "It's good to know that relationship's there."
Also signing, from football, were Cole Pembroke (Dartmouth), Casey Bolena (Navy), Marcus Washington (ASU), David Kraus (Northern Colorado) and Jake van Raaphorst (Wheaton College).
Girls soccer had three signees who attended: Carley Meyers (Arizona), Kim Grennan (High Point) and Kristen Kastelic (Montana State Billings). Sarah Dutton and Kayla Vaughan, both of whom signed with Chandler-Gilbert Community College last fall, will also move on.
Boys track's Spencer Chase signed with Stanford.
Yoon Soo Kim (girls golf) signed with NAU.
"Since I've been here since the school opened," said Molly West, the school's girls volleyball coach, "I don't ever remember a day like this."
Check Friday's AFN and http://www.ahwatukee.com/">ahwatukee.com for more coverage of the event.