So far, three girls from Colton High School are moving on to play college sports next year, and all three of them are going to the same school.
Monica Poet, Mikaela Shelton and Joslyn Stansfield all signed letters of intent to play for the Centralia College Trailblazers. Shelton will be playing softball and volleyball, Stansfield is playing softball, but shes hoping shell also get a volleyball offer soon, and Poet will be playing volleyball.
The girls have been up to Centralia, which is part of the NWAACC, to watch the Trailblazers play and to workout with them.
Ive seen [Stansfield and Shelton] play, Centralia softball Coach Matthew Bajo said. Theyve worked out with us. Theyre hard working and multi-sport players, which makes them really athletic. Thats what were looking for. Theyre both really good students, and theyre going to be successful in anything they do.
Bajo, who said hes coached teams in Coltons district, said the whole team is excited for them to start. Stansfield, who plays outfield, has a great arm, Bajo said, and Shelton, who is a middle infielder, has great speed.
Im so excited, Shelton said. If she had to choose, she said shed play softball over volleyball. Ive put so much time into it I feel like Im going to get more places with softball than I will with volleyball.
Centralia is about a two-hour drive from Colton. Its definitely nice, because you can get home on the weekends if you really want to, Shelton said. Its not too far.
Shelton intends to study child development and business, and shed like to one day go into day-care management, she said.
Stansfield intends to study engineering, probably civil engineering.
Poet said shes undecided about what shed like to study. They have a few good programs, but Im not 100 percent sure, she said.
For now all three of them are taking their education and athletic career one step at a time. And this step is big.
Not a lot of high school athletes get a chance to play at the college level, not just for the NCAA Division 1 level but at any level. The competition is extremely high across the board.
Ever since freshman year, I was hoping for a scholarship in something, Shelton said. I didnt know Id get two of them I was so excited. The athletic scholarships, which include a tuition waver, will cover most of her first year at Centralia College.
Its a big accomplishment, Poet said. I never expected it, because I never thought I was good enough to do it. But then I worked really hard.
Shelton and Poet plan to room together off campus. Stansfield said she hasnt yet thought too much about her housing situation. For now, shes just hoping a volleyball offer comes through.
Its interesting because volleyball is my first sport, Stansfield said. The fact that it hasnt really worked out yet for volleyball is kind of weird for me softball is my second sport. I mean, I love [softball]. Its so much fun. But its always been her plan to play volleyball after high school, she said.
Stansfield and Mikaela have played softball together for years, so Stansfield is excited that shes going to get to continue that. But shes still hoping for a spot on the volleyball team as well.
This summer, the girls plan to workout and stay sharp for their first season as collegiate athletes.