Gael Castro and Itzel Meza become next in line to commit to college ball
YUMA, Ariz., (KYMA, KECY) – Amidst the success of many student-athletes to walk the halls of Cibola High School, two more standouts to kick up dirt on Raider Field made their commitment to the collegiate level on Wednesday.
In front of a good crowd of support, Itzel Meza signed with Ottawa University of Arizona to join the Spirit in the fall, while shortly after Gael Castro inked his name to Yavapai College soccer in Prescott.
In Meza’s four years of varsity soccer, she scored 39 career goals with 19 of them coming in her standout senior season – which was good for sixth in all of 6A, while earning the 6A Desert Southwest Region Offensive Player of the Year award.
Yet, it has always been her positive mindset and quiet leadership that stood out above the rest.
“Her teammates flow to her. She always gravitated to the ball and the game went to her. Her teammates saw that and they gravitated off her energy on the pitch,” said Cibola head coach Andres Preciado. “She has always been a leader. She’s quiet, but she leads by how she plays.”
Something that Meza will look to bring to the next level, along with a consistent positive mindset.
“I think the mindset is everything. Positivity,” said Meza. “At Cibola, we had our ups and downs like any other teams and schools and I feel like just keeping your head up all the time is what I need to have in order to have a positive attitude no matter what.”
With a good eye for numbers, Meza plans on majoring in accounting in her time off the field.
Shortly after honoring Itzel with a host of pictures with family and friends, it was Gael Castro’s turn to take the pen and commit to his future in soccer.
Castro, like Meza, will be staying in Arizona but headed up to Prescott to play junior college ball with aspirations of having a good couple of seasons and venturing to the Division I level.
Castro spent four years on the pitch for Bryan Claudio’s varsity squad where he learned to become a leader. Eventually he earned himself a captain band in his senior year – a year in which he was also named to the 6A Desert Southwest All-Region First Team list.
For Gael, becoming a captain was the moment that everything changed towards a future on the pitch for himself.
“I think a big moment was my senior year when Coach Claudio decided to put me as a captain, so it took a lot of responsibility for me,” said Castro. “It’s something I looked forward to since I was a freshman. So it feels good to accomplish something that I have been working hard for – and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Castro plans to study civil engineering at Yavapai and adds that he wants people from Cibola and the Yuma community to remember him as a good teammate and friend who you can count on at any time.
We congratulate both Itzel and Gael – along with the Cibola athletic community on these great accomplishments and wish them nothing but the best.