For a large number of athletes, their dream is to continue their athletic career for as long as they can.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, nine Mountain Pointe athletes made their dreams became a reality. Sitting under the Mountain Pointe Hall of Fame outside the school’s gym, athletes were joined by their coaches, family and friends as they signed their National Letters of Intent to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
The nine athletes represented four different sports programs at Mountain Pointe. Football and baseball each had three signees, volleyball had two and softball had one.
Those who signed for football included outside linebacker Thor Canales, kicker Cameron Rasmussen and offensive lineman Steven Williams. Canales signed with the University of Arizona, while Rasmussen signed with Rocky Mountain College and Williams with Minot State.
Despite offers from other schools, Canales chose to take a preferred walk-on spot at the University of Arizona. He called Arizona his dream school and was all smiles after he made it official.
“My mom is an alumna there so I can’t wait to be able to go and share the same experience that she had,” Canales said. “It’s a dream come true. It’s honestly something that you can’t really wrap your head around. I can’t wait to go out there and earn what I’ve been working for.”
For all three of the football players who signed, it was a moment that represented triumph. The Mountain Pointe football team underwent extreme adversity this year, as it was discovered a former assistant coach had shared game plans and strategy with opponents dating back to 2017.
But because of their perseverance and dedication to the program, they still were able to see their dreams become a reality.
“Through everything that happened this year, it is a blessing to be able to go to still,” Canales said.
For baseball, right-handed pitchers Ethan Long, Nate Ward and Todd Stawiecki all signed. Long signed with Arizona State, while Ward signed with Yavapai College and Stawiecki with Tufts University.
Long discussed what it’s like to have the opportunity to stay local and play for Arizona State.
“It’s definitely a dream come true to be able to stay home, you know, everyone calls it the ‘hometown hero,’ it’s really cool,” Long said. “But being able to know all my friends are still gonna be here and I’m only 20 minutes from my house so I can see my family whenever and have them come watch me play for as long as possible, that’s what I’ve been wanting to do since I was little.”
After baseball came softball players Victoria Salazar, who signed with the University of Texas at El Paso, and Theresa Wilsterman, who signed with Dominican University. Kahrizma Kyles, a volleyball player, signed with Cameron University.
Kyles transferred to Mountain Pointe during her high school career and had two of her seasons cut short due to an ACL injury one year and a broken finger another. For her to overcome adversity and sign to play at the next level was something she didn’t originally think would be possible.
“Before I came to Mountain Pointe, I didn’t know it was really an option,” Kyles said. “I knew people did it, but I didn’t think it was something that was realistic for me. Today, to just sign and to overcome that hurdle, overcome everything, it means a lot to me.”
Because of her volleyball scholarship, Kyles will now be the first one in her family to attend college. She said being able to accomplish that type of feat makes it that much sweeter.
Kyles, like every athlete who signed, is excited to represent Mountain Pointe at the next level.
“I love Mountain Pointe,” Kyles said. “It means a lot to represent Mountain Pointe because it gave me a bigger stage to be able to perform on and get recruiting looks.”
Mountain Pointe athletes who signed on Feb. 5
Thor Canales, Football, University of Arizona
Cameron Rasmussen, Football, Rocky Mountain College
Steven Williams, Football, Minot State University
Ethan Long, Baseball, Arizona State University
Nate Ward, Baseball, Yavapai College
Todd Stawiecki, Baseball, Tufts University
Victoria Salazar, Softball, University of Texas at El Paso
Theresa Wilsterman, Softball, Dominican University
Kahrizma Kyles, Volleyball, Cameron University