Linfield Christian had 11 student-athletes sign their NLIs in front of students, faculty, and parents at their annual Spring Signing Day event on Thursday, April 20th.
“The goal of today: glorify God, and celebrate our student-athletes,” said Linfield Christian Assistant Principal Rory Carlton as he opened the ceremony. “Athletics is an avenue of growth, an act of worship, a platform for the gospel, and a practical fulfillment of the Linfield Christian mission.” Carlton mentioned.
He then went on to speak about each athlete individually:
RACHEL HOLLINGSWORTH – Cheerleading at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA
Rachel is a pin-it-forward recipient, America Needs Cheerleaders NCA Award recipient, NCA All-American Nominee, and NCA Spirit Stick recipient. Head Cheer Coach Jodi Crume said, “Rachel Hollingsworth strives to reflect Christ in all she does, even cheering! She always thinks of others first and will go above and beyond to support someone in need. Rachel thinks of her team first, then her own individual needs, and I am so proud and excited for her to continue her cheer career at the collegiate level. A cheerleader by definition is an enthusiastic and vocal supporter of someone or something, and there is no stronger example of this than Rachel! I know she will excel in all she does, and she will continue to honor our Lord and reflect his glory each step of her journey!”
MADDY ANDERSON – Cheerleading at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas
Maddy is a NCA and UCA All-American cheerleader three years in a row. She served as a captain during both her junior and senior year. She received the team Lion Award this year in addition to the NCA Spirit Stick all four years. Head Cheer Coach Jodi Crume said, “Maddy Anderson is a coach’s dream come true! Maddy anticipates needs before they ever occur and plans out each possible scenario to be prepared no matter what. Maddy is an amazing cheerleader because she truly cares about the sport and athletes she is cheering for. I rarely see someone so dedicated to being her best, simply so she can help bring out the best in others! I will truly miss Maddy’s amazing skills and leadership and am so excited to continue to watch her journey and see her continue to grow and impact the lives of all around her! She has always exemplified what it means to be a Linfield lion and I know she will take that same spirit with her to the collegiate level!”
JONATHAN AGUILERA – Football at Concordia Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jonathan was All-CIF, All-League, and Offensive Player of the Year. He also received the Lion Award and MVP during his senior year. He passed for 2000 yards, which earned him the #2 all-time passer spot in school history. Head Football Coach DeChon Burns said, “We are extremely happy to see Jonathan (Simba) pursue his dream of going to college and being able to play football. He has worked countless hours on his craft and to see it come to fruition this year was truly a blessing. Watching him be a part of a team that went to the semis in 2019 and then navigating thru Covid as well as becoming the starting quarterback has been incredible to watch. His dedication to his craft both off the field in the classroom and production on the field allowed him to have multiple opportunities to continue doing what he loves. He chose to trust the process from an early age in the midst of many challenges. His determination is paying off and now he will be taking the next steps on this football journey! We are very proud of him…personally he is like a son and to see him reap the rewards makes me happy. Continue to be great Simba!”
ERYN WARREN – Soccer at Ottawa University in Surprise, Arizona
As a sophomore, she was a state champion and was well as All-CIF. As a junior and senior, Eryn was 1st Team All-League and League Defender of the Year in addition to being the team Defender of the Year as a sophomore, junior, and senior. Head Girls Soccer Coach Frankie Estevez said, “Eryn was an absolute pleasure to coach during my first year at Linfield. She was a valuable resource and was always willing to help. On the field, she was the heart of the Lady Lion defense and she will continue to be a valuable addition to her new team at Ottawa University. I look forward to hearing about Eryn and her success at Ottawa and how her trust and love for Christ helps lead her to success in life. You will truly be missed!”
KENDALL SCHMOTTLACH – Basketball at Ottawa University in Surprise, Arizona
Kendall earned second team All-League honors as a sophomore and junior, and first team All-League as a senior. In addition, she was third in the league and 12th in the division for most 3 pointers made and also earned the team Offensive Player of the Year award as a senior. Head Girls Basketball Coach Harmony Pyper said, “As a team we could not be more excited for Kendall to continue playing at the next level! Kendall demonstrated tremendous growth as a player and person the last 4 years and led our team with her work ethic, lights out shooting, and compassion for others. We have no doubt that she will continue to grow and contribute at Ottawa University. We are so proud of Kendall and look forward to following her journey playing college basketball!
MIKE MCNAIR – Basketball at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts
Mike is the school record holder for points in a season, average points per game (24.9), rebounds in a game, for both season and career. He earned first team All-League all four years, was League Player of the Year as a junior, CIF Champion as a sophomore, undefeated League Champion as a junior, and Linfield’s first Division 1 basketball player. Head Boys Basketball Coach Waheed Mitchell had this to say about Mike, “It has been a pleasure to coach Mike for the past 4 years. His dedication to his craft, academics and teammates are second to none. I have had the opportunity to watch him grow spiritually and as a player on this journey to become an outstanding young man. With all his accolades on the court from all league, player of the year, all cif , mvp, offensive player of year awards coupled with league and cif titles, Mike has always remained humble. I am extremely excited to watch him at the next level at Boston University and live out a dream. The goals he set for himself as a freshman here at Linfield, to watch him put a plan together and execute it was fun to watch. Keep going Mike it’s been an honor. Proud of you and love you more.”
LUKE DRABEK – Track & Field at Dordt University at Sioux Center, Iowa
Luke serves as team captain of the boys throwing squad. His current discus PR is 87 feet and current shot put PR is 27′ 8″. Head Track & Field Coach Amber Young said, “Luke has been a part of the track & field team for two years as a thrower. He has been one of the most committed and focused athletes on the team. As a senior he has PRd in both events by multiple feet. This year he has served as a team captain and done it with grace, honor and a servant’s heart. Luke, we are so excited for you to continue developing as an athlete and thrower at Dordt University next year! Good luck!”
MATTHEW REZKALAH – Baseball at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA.
Matthew currently has a career batting average of .401, 75 hits, and 10 home runs. He has received first and second team All-League honors as well as All-CIF Honors. He is a two-time scholar athlete, and also earned Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors. Head Baseball Coach Kyle Owsley had this to say about Matthew, “Matthew has earned multiple All-League and All-CIF awards in his time here at Linfield. As a sophomore, he was voted by his peers as our Offensive Player of the Year. Last year, as a junior, he was voted our Most Valuable Player. He has not only been at or near the top of all team offensive categories each season he played, but has also been a top producer at the division, state, and nationwide levels. He has been a team leader since his first day in the program. Learning from older players in his first two years – how to do it the right way. He has taken the torch and not just carried it, but has increased the reach and power of that flame. Just as God has done for us, Matthew shows grace to his teammates when needed, and asserts his strength in the right moments. He demands the same greatness of his teammates as he does of himself. Even at a young age, he knows how to create transformational relationships with his teammates, and exhibits servant leadership. As much of a loss it’ll be when Matthew leaves, we are beyond excited to see all he will accomplish at Loyola Marymount. This part is easy to say: Go Lions!”
CHRIS ALLEN – Baseball at Dordt University at Sioux Center, Iowa
Chris has played baseball at Linfield all four years. His career highlight was throwing 5 shutout innings against Rancho, only allowing 2 hits. Head Baseball Coach Kyle Owsley said, “Chris Allen is resilient, determined, competitive, and confident. He has proven to be each of these attributes as he battled injury after injury for three years, but never gave up his dream and journey to be a productive teammate and contributor to our baseball program. Finally healthy, and stronger than ever, Chris has earned 2 wins on the mound this season, tallying 6 shutout innings in those two victories. Chris is also an incredible young man of God. He knows the Word. He knows God’s love. And he is quick and confident to share these things with others. Dordt is getting a winner in Chris Allen. We can’t wait to see all he does in his next 4 years, and for many years beyond.”
ANDREW EAVES – University of Montana in Missoula, Montana
Andrew earned Team Defensive Player of the Year and first team All-League as a sophomore, and second team All-League as a junior. Head Lacrosse Coach Dave Renno had this to say about Andrew, “Andrew has played three years at Linfield. He has been a huge part of our success over the last three years. He has grown into a leadership role this season as a captain on the team and handled it extremely well. May God Bless him as he continues his play next season.”
VANESSA PEREZ – Softball at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA
Vanessa earned first team All-League as a sophomore and junior. She was CIF Runner-Up and All-CIF as a junior in addition to being the team’s Offensive Player of the Year as a both a sophomore and junior. She is currently errorless on the season with a fielding percentage of 1.00. Head Softball Coach Paul Perez (and father) had this to say about Vanessa, “Vanessa is an absolute dream to coach. She is known in some circles as “the machine”. Anyone who has been near the softball field, football field or the weight room, has most likely seen “the machine” hard at work. She often works alone and has a relentless desire to be the best softball player she can be. The fire that burns inside her is a true gift from God. I have zero doubt she will work that desire into existence.”
The crowd gave a drum roll as the student-athletes signed their papers. Linfield Christian Athletic Director Waheed Mitchell then asked each of the student-athletes a few questions such as their favorite high school memory, how they’ve grown and matured as an athlete, what’s been the most rewarding part of their high school athletic journey, and what would they tell their freshman self.
Bible Teacher Cal Samuels then concluded the ceremony with a word of prayer.
Congratulation to the Linfield Christian 2023 Athlete Signing Class!