Sports

Three Merced County athletes share their signing day experiences. Where are they headed?

El Capitan High seniors (from left to right) Karen Godinez-Ramos, Amaya Ervin and Kyla Yang all made their college choices official during a signing ceremony at the high school on Thursday, May 2, 2019 in Merced, Calif.
El Capitan High seniors (from left to right) Karen Godinez-Ramos, Amaya Ervin and Kyla Yang all made their college choices official during a signing ceremony at the high school on Thursday, May 2, 2019 in Merced, Calif.

El Capitan High celebrated the college signing of three of its athletes on Thursday during a ceremony in the school gymnasium.

Seniors Amaya Ervin, Karen Godinez-Ramos and Kyla Yang all made their college choices official.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Ervin, who signed her national letter of intent with Holy Names University in Oakland. “I have no words to say. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s definitely special. I’m just excited to see what is to come.”

Godinez-Ramos is headed to William Jessup University in Rocklin to play tennis.

Yang will play soccer at Stanislaus State.

Ervin averaged 21 points and 7.4 steals per game this season to help lead the Gauchos to a 19-10 record and their first appearance in the playoffs.

Ervin transferred to El Capitan for her senior season after two productive seasons at Merced High. Ervin was the Sun-Star Girls Basketball Player of the Year in 2018.

IMG_sun-star1.jpg_3_1_CDF2JJII_L441147211.JPG
El Capitan’s Amaya Ervin goes up for a shot against Merced during a game this season. Ervin signed her national letter of intent with Holy Names University in Oakland on Thursday morning during a ceremony at El Capitan High. Photo By James Mendoza Merced

Ervin fell in love with Holy Names University during a visit.

“I got that warm feeling,” she said. “They were very welcoming, the coach, the school, the players. It’s a very small school. I had a little workout while I was there. I talked to some of the players individually. They told me how it’s going to be there.”

Ervin had also received interest from schools like UC Merced, Antelope Valley, Chico State and Stanislaus State.

She wants to become a physical therapist.

Ervin can’t wait to test her basketball skills at the college level.

“For me, this game is more than a sport,” Ervin said. “It’s something I enjoy doing. Playing Division II basketball is going to be amazing.”

Godinez-Ramos

The Gauchos senior kept busy as a multisport athlete during her time at El Capitan. Godinez-Ramos played tennis, soccer and track.

“I believe playing those sports helped me find myself,” Godinez-Ramos said. “Each sport allowed me to be around different people. They were all great people and made great friends.”

Tennis was always Godinez-Ramos’ favorite sport and she’s excited to continue playing in college.

“I love it so much,” she said. “Tennis teaches you so much on and off the court.”

Godinez-Ramos played singles for the Gauchos to help the team finish 13-1 and win a Central California Conference championship. She was happy to share her moment with teammates.

“It was so special,” Godinez-Ramos said. “To see everyone together. These are the girls that helped get me through practices when it was so hot.”

Godinez-Ramos plans to major in criminal justice and attend law school after college. William Jessup just felt like a good fit for her.

“It’s a small school and I feel I’ll have better relationships with my professors and the community on campus,” Godinez-Ramos said. “It’s a Christian university, which I think will not only help further my education, but strengthen my faith.”

Yang

When looking at prospective colleges, Yang had a list of things she was looking for in a school. She wanted to stay closer to home, she wanted to join a successful soccer program and she wanted to be part of a diverse soccer team.

Stanislaus State checked all the boxes.

Yang started playing soccer when she was 8 years old. She remembers going to watch one of her friends play a city league game.

“It looked so fun,” Yang said. “I was like, ‘I want to do this, too.’ “

Ten years later, soccer is still a big part of Yang’s life.

“I never imagined I would go that far,” she said. “I love soccer. I play to have fun. As I got older, I realized I can go to school with soccer. Now I get to experience real competitive college soccer.”

Yang was an All-CCC first-team selection as a defender this past season. She helped the Gauchos qualify for the playoffs for the first time as they finished with a 9-5-3 record.

Yang plans to major in kinesiology.

She was surprised when she was overcome with emotion during her signing ceremony on Thursday.

“Going in there, I wasn’t even nervous,” Yang said. “I just thought I was going to go in there and sign the paper. No big deal. As soon as the moment came, I was so nervous. I was shaking. I was telling one of my friends that I thought I was going to cry.”

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