Hawaii athletes select colleges during National Letter of Intent Day

It was a huge day for the more than 50 high school athletes who now have college scholarships.

Watching the athletes put pen to paper was an exciting event, especially for the young students and their proud parents.

“Well, I’m a senior at Iolani and I just signed for Pepperdine University to play soccer,” said Emily Tanaka.

Tanaka isn’t the only local girl who gets a chance to go away to school. Tasi Reid is going to Colorado State University Pueblo.

“I went for my official visit the first week of my senior year and I really like it. And I really liked the soccer program,” Reid said.

Reid joined close to 60 other athletes who signed letters of intent to play from as far away as Harvard to Hawaii.

“When I went up there, I instantly fell in love with it. I really loved what the coaches were offering to me. And basically how serious they took the academics,” said Kingston Fernandez, who signed with Washington State University.

The student-athletes KHON2 spoke with were quick to point out the student part of that equation. It’s something their parents are quick to encourage.

“Well, she was just always supportive. She really encouraged the academic part of it. Student-athlete versus athlete-student. So Pepperdine was a great choice for me academically, and soccer just happened to be there, too,” Tanaka said.

Tanaka’s mom should know — she’s the Superintendent of the Department of Education, Kathryn Matayoshi.

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