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Chico High soccer players commit to play Division I next year

Priscilla Ward and Taylor Dever will play women's soccer at the Division I level next year. Ward will play at St. Mary's. Dever is going to UC Davis.

Posted: Oct 27, 2021 6:46 PM
Updated: Oct 28, 2021 10:22 AM

Correction: In the second line, we updated the story to say the athletes are the first to go D1 straight from Chico High in 10 years. 

CHICO, Calif. - Two Chico soccer players will play at the Division I level next year.

They're the first athletes to go D1 straight from Chico High in women's soccer in 10 years. 

Priscilla Ward will play at St. Mary's College of California. Taylor Dever is going to UC Davis. 

"I think ever since I was little I wanted to go D1," Ward said. "So I just had that that goal and just kept working towards it my whole childhood."

Both athletes chose their schools for a variety of reasons, especially the coaching staff.

"I just connected with the coaches really well," Dever said. "They're competitive fire really matched mine."

"I'm just really excited to work with the coach and create something really special in the four years that I'm there," Ward added. "Just being in that competitive environment day in and day out. When you're on the college campus and training is right next to you it'll be a big change."

In addition to playing on Chico High's team, the pair travels to Sacramento three times a week to play for Davis Legacy, a competitive club team. 

"We just have a different level of trust," Dever said. "Off the field, we're close and we spend so many hours together. Before and after practice, before and after games."

Dever said the girls dedicate six hours to soccer on a practice day. All those hours on the field paid off with division one offers. They're not stopping there. 

"The week that I committed, my family and I went out to dinner," Ward said. "It was really fun and we celebrated for a couple days. Right after that, I sat down again with my parents and was like here are my next goals. This is what I want to do. This is how I'm going to prepare for the collegiate level and once I get there, here are my goals."

"I'm just excited to put my work ethic to really good use," Dever added. "I'm excited to grind out the fitness, go to practice everyday, even in the early mornings."

The soccer players have played on the same team for nearly five years.

"I think it's going to be really weird going to college and not playing with her," Dever said.

They may not be on the same team next year, but their schools are only an hour away. They plan to visit each other often. 

"Sometimes in the preseason, our colleges play each other," Ward said. "So that'll be really fun too."

Ward and Dever will officially sign on November 10th. 

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We've had a gray and cool start to the first full week of December in northern California. Light rain showers will fall tonight, we can expect a breezy and brighter Tuesday, with much more active weather ahead.
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