The early signing period in December may have stolen some luster from February’s National Signing Day but a healthy group of Santa Clarita Valley athletes still celebrated the occasion Wednesday by signing their National Letters of Intent.
Hart girls soccer forward Taylor Moorehead signed to play at San Diego State and defensive lineman Thomas Bambrick signed to Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, British Columbia). Quarterback JT Shrout also took part in the signing ceremony inside Hart’s gym, though he signed his NLI to play at Tennessee in December. “Everything that I’ve worked so hard for is coming together,” said Moorehead, who helped Hart girls soccer clinch its fifth straight Foothill League title this season. ‘This is like the last piece of the puzzle and now I’m all ready for college.” Shrout and Bambrick both landed on the All-Foothill League second team, helping lead Hart to the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 tournament. Shrout decommitted from Cal before signing with the Volunteers. Valencia football had a pair of signees in wide receiver and defensive back Zion Dunson (Western State Colorado University) and offensive lineman Parker Kernek (Sacramento State). Kernek was named to the All-CIF-SS Division 2 offensive team while Dunson landed on the All-Foothill League second-team defense. Saugus won’t hold its signing day ceremony until April, but former Centurions girls soccer defender Hailey Phipps — who’s played the last two seasons at College of the Canyons — signed to play at NCAA Division 2 Lubbock Christian. “Scary and exciting at the same time,” Phipps said. “I was born and raised (in Santa Clarita) and I’ve never really lived anywhere else. I’m excited to go out and learn how to live in a new place and see new things. But I’m also nervous because I’m leaving a lot behind.” Phipps would serve as the only player not from Texas on Lubbock Christian’s current roster. She was named the Western State Conference, East Division Player of the Year her freshman season at Canyons. Noel Iwuchukwu was the only other COC athlete to sign an NLI on Tuesday. The Cougars are likely to have at least 10 football players sign to play at four-year universities, with wide receiver Desean Holmes (Florida Atlantic), defensive back Bobby Brown (San Jose State) and punter Travis Reiner (Indiana State) signing in December. Four-star defensive end Dorian Gerald announced Tuesday on Twitter that he’ll be signing his NLI on Friday. The former Tennessee commit has narrowed down his choices to Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Florida, Arkansas and Louisville. Canyon senior Claudia McKail signed to play soccer at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York. McKail leads the Cowboys this season with 13 goals and seven assists as they occupy second place in the Foothill League. MORE: SCV athletes ink collegiate futures on Fall Signing Day Golden Valley offensive and defensive lineman Aaron Castaneda inked his NLI to play at La Verne. Castaneda was one of three Grizzlies named to the All-CIF-SS Division 6 offensive team. Trinity Classical Academy’s Ryan DeMarois is headed to North Dakota to play college football, signing with Minot State. DeMarois led the Knights with six touchdown catches and also tallied 55 tackles — 10 ½ for a loss — four sacks and two interceptions in seven games. West Ranch, like Saugus, did not hold a signing day ceremony Wednesday and will instead honor its athletic signees in April.