MABTON — Among the 14 Mabton High School seniors signing letters of commitment for college last Wednesday was Michelle Zavala.

She will be attending Walla Walla Community College, where she’ll play basketball.

Grandview, too, has some stand-out athletes, who signed commitment letters the following day.

Michelle Ruiz and Karina Fajardo will play basketball at Yakima Valley College, while Sariah Valencia is going to play soccer at Walla Walla Community College.

Athletic directors and coaches alike were full of praise for the student athletes.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Grandview A.D. Scott Parrish said.

The coaches lauded the commitment and legacy each of the athletes will leave behind.

YVC assistant coach Akil White said he’s watched Fajardo and Ruiz play since they were very young, and they are just two of a very select few selected for the team, which has eight returning to the roster next season.

Grandview girls basketball coach Glenn Braman was choked up when he said the hoops players will be missed for their dedication to family and legacy.

Anne Holden, who’s coached Valencia and several of her family members, said, “She’s a person of excellent principle and character.”

From Mabton, Zavala was the only athlete to commit to college, valedictorian Makaylaw Castellanos committed to the U.S. Navy, and academic commitments were made by Daniella Gonzalez (Columbia Basin College), Bella Velasquez (WSU Tri-Cities), Maritza Ochoa (Columbia Basin College), Juliady Marenco (WSU Tri-Cities), Adrian Prieto (Columbia Basin College), Kassandra Vargas (Yakima Valley College), Jorge Espinoza (WSU Pullman), Litzy Velasco (Colorado State University), Keanu Reyna (WSU Pullman), Sergio Medina (UW Seattle), Alejandro Lemus (EWU) and Luis Jacinto (Yakima Valley College).

Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.