Granite Bay High seniors attend signing day

The annual commemoration continues…


Kelli Lewis

Nicolette Lewis (left) and Emily Talmi commit their attendance to Pepperdine and Cal Poly on signing day.

  Just because an athlete is committed to playing at the collegiate level, doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed a spot on the signing panel at Granite Bay High School.  

  Zach Wong, a senior, committed to play soccer at the University of California San Diego the summer before his senior year.  

  “To put it simply, nothing happened for me,” said Wong.

  He did not receive any athletic money at UCSD, but was offered a spot on the team.

  “It turns out I was getting an institutional letter of intent, meaning it was not binding, even though I committed before senior year,” Wong said.

   Wong was not signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI), so he was unable to participate in this event.  

  “A national letter of intent is about signing an athletic scholarship, in which a student receives money from a school to participate in a college program on their campus,” said athletic director Tim Healy.

  Athletes who were not signing a NLI, or walk-ons, were not permitted to sign at GBHS.

  “A walk on can be anyone from a kid that was invited to try out for a team, to a preferred spot on a team, to an actual spot on the team to which you are invited to spring training and other activities like all of the scholarship athletes,”  Healy said.

  Clare Murphy, a preferred walk-on at California Polytechnic University for women’s soccer, found out about her inability to participate from her high school soccer coach.

 “Before signing day, my high school coach, Mark Broers, texted me to ask if I was participating in signing day,” Murphy said, “he said that they were not honoring preferred walk-ons for signing day.”

  Murphy originally had a scholarship at the University of San Francisco, but decided to play soccer at Cal Poly instead.  

  “I wouldn’t change my decision to drop my scholarship, even though I didn’t get to sign,” Murphy said.

I wouldn’t change my decision to drop my scholarship, even though I didn’t get to sign.

— Clare Murphy


  Jack Powers, senior, was in the same situation as Wong and Murphy.

  Powers is going to play football at the University of Nevada at Reno, but is not receiving any athletic money as well.

  “I was kind of bummed because it would’ve been cool to sign with my friends – especially one of my best friends who’s also going to UNR,” Powers said.

  Both Wong and Murphy also said that they were sad because they were unable to sign with their friends.     

  “I was definitely upset because I wanted to sign next to my best friends, and it is something you look forward to as an athlete,” Murphy said.

  Healy said that he wanted to make sure the athletes are properly recognized on signing day.

  “A walk on can be synonymous with a try out, anyone can try out for a team,” said Healy, “to me that is different than earning an athletic scholarship from which a program or a school has stated that we think you are significant enough of a player or a level of player (to receive money) to come to our school.”

  Healy said that walk-ons have been recognized traditionally, but that was not the case this year.

  “I think it is important if they honor preferred walk-ons because it is the same circumstance, they just don’t have scholarship money,” said Murphy, “it is worth celebrating because they worked really hard to get that.”