SUNNYSIDE — SHS seniors Antonio Frausto, Diego Gomez and Enrique Palma, bound together by an on-field brotherhood pledge, will remain united in their collegiate pursuits as they signed their letters of intent to attend Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon and play soccer for the Cardinals on Tuesday, May 7.
“We caught the Sunnyside - Eastmont game early on in the season at Wenatchee and were really impressed with their players. And, we just kept following up with them, and thankfully, everything worked out,” Skagit Valley Head Men’s Soccer Coach Joe Spencer said.
According to Spencer, Skagit Valley College is historically the all-time winningest program in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC).
“It’s a privilege that I’m going to be up there with two of my teammates, two of my brothers, and hopefully, like we did here, tear up the league out there as well,” Palma stated.
“I’m happy that my parents and my friends were there (at the signing) to support me. My coaches, people that pulled for me throughout all these years, it felt really good.”
Palma is interested in pursuing a construction management career and almost didn’t play soccer this year because of work.
“I have to thank my manager for giving me the chance to come out and practice and play with the boys,” the goalkeeper acknowledged. “So, what I want to do in Skagit Valley is take my core classes there for two years, and hopefully transfer to a four-year college… whether I’m playing soccer or not.”
Frausto recalled meeting with Cardinal coaches and learning about their interest in his outside defensive abilities, following the team’s first game.
Once he toured the campus, Frausto fell in love with the school and plans to earn an associate degree in welding.
“I’m very excited to be a part of next year’s team. The coaches are great and funny. There’s a good vibe with them. I’m ready,” Frausto declared.
Season-leading scorer Diego Gomez with 9 goals in 12 games had been on Skagit Valley’s radar before moving to Sunnyside, after his last year as a sophomore at Prosser High School.
“I’m planning to play with Skagit for one year and then, get transferred to California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB),” explained Gomez, who seeks to study physical therapy.
“I am extremely proud of them and what they’ve been able to accomplish, and in taking it to the next level as well,” SHS Co-head coach David Guevara said.
The Grizzlies (9-3,11-4) ended the season as Big 9 Conference champions and earned a home opening bid to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 4A State Soccer Tournament, where they finished as one of the Top 16 teams this season.