By Pam London
Special to The Seattle Times
Edmonds-Woodway athletic director Angie McGuire opened Wednesday’s national signing day ceremony with a simple message: it takes a village to raise a high school athlete. Echoing that sentiment were the friends, teammates, teachers and family members that gathered to celebrate seven seniors signing letters of intent, one of the largest group of Warriors to commit to college athletics.
Nick Morales (Amherst) and Nick Venema (Western Oregon) will both play football. Morales was drawn by Amherst’s criminal justice program and committed to the Division III school last Saturday. Morales had offers from Division I schools but wanted more of an academic challenge, choosing Division III WOU in November. Moni Jackson (University of Puget Sound) played softball and basketball in high school but will focus on basketball at UPS. Griffin Small (Saint Mary’s) will go to school in Lacey, Washington, after hearing from a friend and former teammate that the team needed a goalkeeper. Edmonds-Woodway does not have a gymnastics team, but that did not deter Malia Mackey (Cornell), who competed at the club level and has gone to state, regionals and nationals; she competes in the all-around event, with her favorite apparatus being beam.
McGuire took an extra moment to recognize state champions who became college athletes, as two of Edmonds-Woodway’s soccer players signed letters of intent. Rylee Peterson (University of Nevada) and Kiera Towell (University of Pennsylvania) played instrumental roles in helping the Warriors win their first state championship in girls soccer. Both verbally committed to their respective universities in the spring of 2014, taking the pressure of college decisions off before beginning their senior seasons.
Seven Edmonds-Woodway seniors signed national letters of intent today. From left: Kiera Towell (Penn, soccer), Nick Morales (Amherst, football), Moni Jackson (Puget Sound, basketball), Nick Venema (Western Oregon, football), Malia Mackey (Cornell, gymnastics), Rylee Peterson (Nevada, soccer) and Griffin Small (Saint Mary's, soccer). #stpreps