By Jeremy Balan
St. Ignatius senior softball player Jordan Newell verbally committed to Santa Clara University last week, signaling the first of what could be multiple Division I commits from the Wildcats this year.
St. Ignatius seniors Sawyer Hulbert and Helen Buse are also getting looks from Division I and II colleges.
“It’s a relief and a huge load off my back,” Newell said. “I’ve wanted to go to Santa Clara for a long time now. I wanted to go back east for a while, but went on a trip to Santa Clara and fell in love.”
Newell has been knee-deep in the recruiting process since she began sending letters to college coaches in eighth grade and her determination is one of the main attributes St. Ignatius assistant coach John Vincent sees as one of her best strengths.
“She’s a talented kid who’s got a lot of power. Her only weakness is speed, but she’s scrappy and is not afraid to make plays and dive for balls,” Vincent said. “What puts her apart is her drive to improve and play at the next level.”
Santa Clara went 10-35 last season and Broncos head coach Lisa Mize was unable to comment due to an NCAA rule that prevents coaches from making comments on players that have not signed a letter of intent.
Even though Newell has settled on where she will be playing after high school, there is still work to be done for the Wildcats in 2011, when the will return every starter from last year’s team.
“We’re really excited about the season coming up,” Vincent said. “We have six seniors who’ve really set their minds on this season. Our goal is to win [the CIF-Central Coast Section championship] this year.”
Newell, Hulbert and Buse will be three of those seniors and they agreed to go all in in their final season.
“It’s going to be a good year and we really want to go to CCS again,” Newell said. “All the seniors are so committed and this is our last shot. We’re going all out this year.”