LOS MOLINOS, Calif. - Los Molinos High School hosted a signing day for five student-athletes on Wednesday.
I can't tell you how many of these kids told me that they just wanted to go work and I looked at them and said ‘Dude, God blessed you with the talent man. If they're going to give you money, take it and go to college,” said Los Molinos Athletic Director James Humphrey.
“…it's crazy to see it happen now,” he added.
Out of a senior class of 50, five Los Molinos student athletes are taking their talents to the college level.
Humphrey says, “That's what it's all about. Getting school paid for and getting a degree.”
Devin Henderson, Hayden Hamre, and Dylan Rocha are headed to Phoenix, Arizona to play baseball for Ottawa University.
Henderson says, “It feels really good going to college with two of my closest friends that I've known for a while.”
Although they received their offers weeks ago, it still feels unreal to these Bulldogs.
“It still doesn't feel like it’s true... I got the jitters again. It feels amazing being able to go to the next level,” said Hamre.
Sometimes the hardest part of college is transitioning to being on your own in an environment that you’re not used to.
Luckily, this baseball trio will get to experience this next chapter together.
Dylan Rocha said, “I was worried about college. Going somewhere, being alone, not knowing anyone not knowing what to do, buy having two of my best friends going with me helps a lot."
Reghan Shannon competed in rodeo since she was little.
When she found out she could take her talents to the next level, it was a perfect fit.
“That's really what pushed me… I want to go to college for this,” said Shannon.
She’s participated in other sports, but there’s nothing quite like competing in rodeo.
Shannon said, “I've done it my whole life so that's what I stuck with.”
Her skills earned her a scholarship to Frank Phillips College in Borger, Texas.
Humphrey says, “Technically it's not a CIF sport, but we claim it as a sport here.”
He added, “Anything that keeps kids involved and keeps them out of trouble, that's what we're all about.”
After winning League MVP in his last football season, Hunter Landingham is headed to Iowa to play for Clarke University.
“It's really nice knowing that everything paid off you know all the hard work and everything I've done to this point,” said Landingham.
It was a special day, but bittersweet. The coronavirus forced families and friends to watch from a distance. Los Molinos set up a Facebook live for those who were not allowed to attend.
“It still feels special, but the fact that I can't have my parents here kind of sucks because they helped me through all of this,” said Rocha.
Yet what wasn't missing was the appreciation for, and from, the 24 year old that's helped build this program.
Rocha credits this next chapter in his life to Humphrey.
“He's the reason why i got a scholarship to go play and I'm super thankful for everything he's done as the school's Athletic Director,” said Rocha.
Humphrey believes this crop of student-athletes is the best the school has had in its history.
With ten percent of the graduating class now having the opportunity to play college sports, Humphrey has built a special bond with athletes.
“They're the closest thing I have to kids because I’m so young. This class is going to be dearly missed.”