Mustang athletes gallop toward college careers

Maria Gallardo, Colton Rosendahl and Joelle Hameister sign their collegiate letters of intent before parents and teachers April 12

Photo by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
West Valley High School’s Colton Allen Rosendahl and family.

■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

High school sports can be a real test of one’s mettle. Through it all, the best characters come to light and leave a lasting impression. That impression made the difference for three high school athletes at West Valley High School’s National Letter of Intent Signing Day April 12.
That afternoon, West Valley seniors Maria Gallardo, Colton Allen Rosendahl and Joelle Hameister signed letters of intent before a small audience comprised of teachers, parents and siblings. The three were also given scholarships based on their performance on, and off, the field.
The letters needed to be sent in by the end of that week. And as the last three of the bunch to sign their letters, parents and teachers made sure not to leave them out of the celebration.

Gallardo signs with Cal State San Bernardino
Gallardo, having proved herself with 103 career points in her four years playing soccer with the Mustangs, is staying relatively local. She’s preparing to study at Cal State San Bernardino and play for the Coyotes soccer team:
“When I went to the campus, my first impression was that I felt like [I was] at home. The girls there were super great.” Gallardo says her sister Gabriella largely influenced her decision to pursue college. “She’s disabled, so she can’t do what I do. It feels rewarding to pursue what she can’t do.”

Rosendahl brings Cali style to South Carolina

Rosendahl is preparing to bring his California volleyball style to the east coast as he heads for Erskine University, a private Christian college situated in Due West, South Carolina. “They have a great biology program, and I plan to major in that. I hope that goes well.” Rosendahl says his girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend gave him the biggest push to play volleyball. “It was when they were dating; he told me to try out for it, it was just a lot of fun.” And before you ask, the two are on good terms now.

West Valley High School’s Maria Gallardo and family.
West Valley High School’s Joelle Hameister and family.

Hameister runs to Rocklin
Hameister, having been born again in coastal California waters, will be lacing up to make her run to Christian-based William Jessup University in Rocklin.
“I wanted to get out of the heat,” she says. Rocklin is about 45 minutes north of Sacramento, so that takes care of the heat. “I was actually looking at going to Oregon or Idaho, but this college stuck. They gave a good scholarship, and I wanted to go to a Christian university. And I really like the small campus feel.”
Hameister thanks her aunt and all her teammates for inspiring her to continue to pursue athletics. While in NorCal, she plans to study either biology or chiropractic medicine. Either one takes real backbone.
Principal Janice Jones expressed her well-wishes for her soon-to-depart athletes.
“Incredible athletes, first of all. But they are also, even more importantly, quality human beings. High character, great sportsmanship,” said Jones. “They are students who are models of leadership on campus, and I can’t say enough about them. We are so proud that they were able to participate in National Signing Day and I’m glad that their parents were able to come and support them.”
So with graduation just around the corner for these three, as well as roughly 400 other Mustangs, they’re now one step closer to reaching their goal.

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