While these days, she can be found doing volleyball workouts as she prepares for college, Haley Sanchez admits that when she started playing volleyball in eighth grade, it wasn’t her top choice.
“I didn’t want to play volleyball at all,” Sanchez said May 1.
While it had been different for Sanchez’s mom, whose favorite sport in high school was volleyball, Sanchez wasn’t convinced – until she made the team and started to play, she said.
Now a senior at Galt High School, Sanchez joined 10 of her classmates in taking their turns in a Letter of Intent signing session at Warrior Gym on May 1.
Sanchez will be playing the sport she didn’t want to give a chance, as she will be playing volleyball for Cosumnes River College.
Sanchez was discovered by the Hawks in her junior year, she said, and decided to pursue volleyball with the Hawks as a result.
“It was my junior year and I was at their summer camp. That’s when she reached out to me. She told me she wanted me to play for her,” Sanchez said of CRC’s volleyball coach.
A three-sport athlete, Sanchez played basketball and softball in addition to volleyball for the Warriors, following in the footsteps of her mom, who played all three sports for Galt as well and was offered several scholarships at one point.
Sanchez will major in elementary education.
This year, the Warriors had a large signing class with 11 total student-athletes; with schools shut down due to complying with COVID-19 safety measures, school administration was unable to hold one group signing as it has done in prior years.
Instead, Galt Principal Kellie Beck, GHS athletic director Matt Silva and assistant principal Alan Posey held a symbolic signing day, with student-athletes making short videos one by one, announcing the college for, which they will play in front of the Warriors’ official backdrop, before leaving. The Warriors then posted the videos on their Instagram to celebrate their seniors’ accomplishments.
In addition to Sanchez, Ethan Dewitt, Ethan Reece, Moises Preciado, Marcelo Lopez, Madison Petersen, Priscilla Baez, Daniel Maravilla, Isaac Madrigal, Gonzalo Garcia and Macario Bermudez all received scholarships.
Dewitt will compete in track and field for Delta College and Preciado (criminal justice), Maravilla (criminal justice) and Bermudez will all play soccer together and join Dewitt at Delta College.
Preciado, Maravilla and Bermudez played together on this year’s Sierra Valley Conference Championship team that went on to reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game as well.
Three members of the Warrior football team will be moving on to continue the sport at three different colleges; Lopez signed to play at University of Redlands and plans to major in criminal justice, Reece will play for American River College and Madrigal will play for Santa Barbara City College and will major in health professions.
While his classmates arrived at the school, filmed their signing video and left, Lopez stuck around for a while in the lobby of Warrior Gym in support of his classmates.
When he found out he had received scholarship offers, Lopez was relieved, he said.
“(It) was kinda just a stress reliever. I worked hard on and off the field, and by getting more than one offer and showing that it paid off, it just soothed me a bit and took weight off my shoulders,” Lopez said.
While Petersen’s final track and field season was cut short at Galt due to the school shutdowns, she’ll continue the sport, running for Sonoma State.
Fresh off the Warriors’ playoff season, Baez will play basketball at Pine Manor and major in kinesiology, and Garcia will play soccer for Sac State while majoring in architecture.
While their senior year was altered and in some cases shortened their final year playing one of their sports, being able to have a socially distant but special day like signing day made the occasion as memorable as possible (friends and family weren’t allowed to attend the May 1 individual recording session due to social distancing restrictions, but were able to watch the videos after they were posted online).
“Signing at the school was really symbolic for me because that was where it all started for me. It was where I (took) football serious for the first time, and having my friends and teacher I was close with kinda made the moment more memorable,” Lopez said afterward.