Good Sports: 21 girls from Clovis Crossfire Soccer sign scholarships

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis Crossfire Soccer has had plenty of success on the pitch -- scoring goals and national winning tournaments.

But perhaps the organization's greatest achievement took place recently when 21 players from the girls' division signed scholarship deals to play soccer in college.

"It's unprecedented in terms of the numbers that have come out this year that are going to be playing at that next level," says Coach Eric Farfan.

Farfan says he felt like a proud papa watching so many Crossfire players put pen to paper on National Signing Day.

"We have girls playing anywhere from Division I schools, a couple of girls going to Fresno State, San Diego State, UC Irvine, UNLV, all over the place," he said.

Goalkeeper Kaydence Cortez-Garcia is one of two Crossfire players staying home to continue her playing career at Fresno State

"It's rewarding," she said. "It's like lifting a big weight off my shoulders because I've worked so hard to get to where I'm at today."

Cortez-Garcia says she chose the Bulldogs largely because she was comfortable with the coaching staff.

"I was considering UC Riverside," she said. "That's when I was narrowing it down but when I compared them, I think Fresno State had more pros than Riverside."

Choosing a college program was the culmination of years of commitment and sacrifice for many of these ladies.

"I kind of feel relieved because I put so much effort and hard work trying to get scholarships, that it's relieving because all the hard work paid off," says Sydney Contrestano, who signed with Cal Poly Pomona.

"I came to Crossfire to get a scholarship because they were more known for that," says Karyssa Lopez, who signed with Fresno Pacific. "I thought maybe, I could put myself out there more with them knowing we have a good team."

In the end, it worked out. Farfan says signing an athletic scholarship is a tremendous reward for families who have invested so much time and money for their kids to compete in travel ball organizations, and it's a big step toward a bright future.

"Some players in this area feel like they have to go elsewhere to get that exposure, so our goal at Crossfire is to create a platform that can expose these kids at those highest levels here locally and put together a group of local talent that can compete with anybody in the nation," he said.

Farfan says it wasn't uncommon to have up to 30 college coaches on the sidelines to scout talent this season -- a tradition Crossfire hopes to keep going as the new seasons revs up in the next month or so
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