For most high school athletes, the chance to play at the next level might only be a dream. Thursday night, that dream became a reality for several Mountain View High students.
The high school held an athletic signing day, where 19 athletes signed letters of intent to play at the college level.
“To finally sign that piece of paper, the feeling is indescribable,” said former Mountain View quarterback Jacoby Moss.
Moss signed to play football at Eastern Oregon University and says this day was unlike any other.
“Putting that helmet on for the first time is an amazing feeling and I knew from there on, that was what I wanted to do,” Moss said.
A dream, playing at that next level.
“Today was honestly surreal. I remember watching my older teammates when I was a freshman do signing day and thinking, that is so cool, I really hope that is me one day,” said Celia Espinoza, who committed to Santa Barbara City College for volleyball.
Signing day might have been a dream for some of these players, but not too long ago a nightmare was sitting on the sidelines.
“It is unbelievable the fortitude that each one of these have had to keep going because a couple years ago it was pretty bleak looking,” said Mountain View Athletic Director Lance Hass during the event.
COVID-19 happened and sports were on hold.
“It was scary just not knowing if you were going to be able to get back into the gym and what it would look like, who would be there, who’s not going to be there.,” said Espinoza.
For many athletes like Espinoza, a seed of doubt was planted in her mind.
“Thinking, is this it, is this over,” asked Espinoza. “Especially as you get older and not knowing if you are going to play at the next level.”
This year’s group of Oregon high school Athletes had to fight through arguably more adversity than most.
“You’re just contemplating if you want to keep going and to have that push to walk back in and get back to it even though it never really went back to normal it was hard to find,” she added.
Despite a pandemic, shortened seasons, and spectator limitations, these athletes fought through it all and now have signed to play at the next level in front of family and friends.
“Don’t let anyone stop you, don’t let a coach or another player or somebody else ever tell you that you can’t because you can. Work hard, be a good teammate and be a good person on and off the court and you will be guaranteed to find a good fit somewhere,” Espinoza said.