Mia Santana from Santa Maria signs to play football in San Diego Christian | Local sports
If all goes according to plan for Mia Santana, the Santa Maria High senior will spend the next four years playing soccer and studying at San Diego Christian College.
Soon after, Santana hopes to be back in class.
The Santa Maria soccer star signed with San Diego Christian on Friday. While playing for the Hawks, she plans to study to become a history professor after graduating from college.
Santana said that Nicole DeMatteo, one of her history teachers at SMHS, helped her get started in teaching.
But before Santana embarks on a professional career, she must focus on a senior season of football and four years playing for the Hawks in San Diego.
SDCC is an NAIA school that plays in the Golden State Athletic Conference against schools like Westmont, The Master’s University, Arizona Christian, and Life Pacific University.
âI love their style of play and can’t wait to start playing there,â Santana said. “They’re really playing forward and pushing everyone with three in the defensive line. I’m playing away right now in high school.”
Santana started playing club football in eighth grade. She was with the Saints last season when they won the school’s first CIF championship in the sport.
âMy family really helped me get there, my friends and teammates and of course my coach, Cristian Alvarez,â Santana said.
Alvarez has also coached Santana at club level. Santana said playing at a camp in Los Angeles helped her get noticed by college programs.
âThen they contacted me when we played Lompoc,â Santana said. “I had a long phone conversation with the coach and liked what he had to say about the school.”
Alvarez has made a habit of sending his football players to the next level to schools outside the region. Santa Maria has three daughters who play on the Waldorf University women’s football team in Iowa.
âIt’s great to see kids playing at the next level because it means we’re developing them the right way,â Alvarez said. âThey don’t have to go straight to a four-year school. I sent girls to colleges and that’s perfectly fine. A four-year program is just something more. I’m really proud. of Mia for living with this. “
Alvarez said that one of Santana’s best traits is her ability to strike over her weight. She is around 5 feet tall, but she can defend against bigger players.
“She’s a very smart player and she uses her speed very well,” Alvarez said of Santana. âShe’s not a player looking for contact, but she likes to touch the ball and move it quickly. She can read the game and that’s an advantage. She can compete at that level. Who knows if she’ll start all out. sequel, but she’ll definitely compete and earn a spot there. “
Alvarez said Santana taking on this challenge can show young players that they can follow a similar path.
âWhat I like about Mia, about her size, people underestimate her a lot,â Alvarez said. “I’ve had her at the club since day one and something I’ve always trusted is her willingness to never give up. I’ve always been able to count on her on the pitch. Watching her grow up at this point and seeing her this scholarship is an example of hard work that pays off. She also teaches freshmen what is possible. She has set the bar pretty high. ”
Santa Maria defeats Nipomo in PKs
After Santana signed with San Diego Christian, the Saints played a home game on Friday night against Nipomo and won 3-1 on penalties. The game was tied 1-1 in regulation time.
Photos: Mia Santana from Santa Maria signs with SDCC
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