National Letter of Intent Signing Day: Four Trojans Commit to Collegiate Athletics


Chaminade University commit Lindsey Wilson takes one of her first steps into her collegiate career by signing at the National Letter of Intent ceremony.

Jacob Nakasone , Reporter

On Nov. 14, 2018, student athletes across Hawai’i put their futures into print at the Education-1st 2019 Hawaii State National Letter of Intent Signing Day. The event took place early Wednesday morning at the Hawaii Convention Center. The group of Hawaii high school seniors included athletes committing to play baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo and those participating in rowing and swimming. Among the students that signed were Mililani senior athletes Christopher Aquino, Kaitlin Hirasa, Cherise Mori, Gabrielle Naniseni and Lindsey Wilson. They signed with a wide variety of colleges, consisting of Chaminade University, Charleston Southern University, California State University Stanislaus, Warner Pacific University and Cisco Junior College.

It was pretty exciting because I never had that many people come for me, like I’ve always been the one to lei people and like, I’d never had that spotlight before. So it felt pretty good,” said soccer commit Lindsey Wilson.

For many student-athletes, committing to a college is an indication of the hard work they put into their sport. The National Letter of Intent Signing Day gives athletes the chance to be in the spotlight and celebrate the future of their athletic careers. “I feel like especially in Hawaii, not just going college here but college on the mainland, it’s not easy and everyone knows it’s a hard process. It’s a big achievement going off to college (with) a scholarship too,” said softball commit Cherise Mori. Wilson added, “It’s not something that all athletes have to do, but it’s something that I really suggest because it’s like a reward for all the hard work that you put in throughout the years that you’ve been playing your sport.”

However, their success did not come easy. Much time was put forth into actively coordinating with potential college options in the months preceding National Signing Day. “It was kinda hard. You have to reach out to a lot of coaches and just keep communicating. At one point, there’s rules you can only talk to them and they can’t talk to you so that was kinda tough,” said Mori. Wilson added, “Well, at first, it’s kind of stressful because you have to get everything done before like most of your friends. So you’re ahead of the process because this Signing Day was so early compared to the one last year so you have less time to like apply for applications you have to get. (For example) you have to go in and see your counselors for like your transcripts.”

From a young age, playing sports in college was a dream many of the student athletes wished to accomplish. Over time, this dream became a reality through hard work and dedication. “I went on multiple trips, I signed up for college ID camps, I started training like on my own like I started going to the gym more started running more, getting more in fit. I focused on school as well because I realize you have a better chance if you have a better GPA,” said Wilson. Mori added, “I would email a lot of coaches, just reach out to them. (I’d also go) on a lot of recruiting trips (too).

Many of the colleges that the student-athletes signed to were not in Hawai’i. However, their decisions were highly thought out and based upon many factors besides sports. “(California State University Stanislaus) was a good fit and I really liked the campus. They have a good kinesiology exercise Science program and that’s what I’m going into,” said Mori. Wilson added, “(Chaminade) has a really good nursing program — although there’s many other schools that have good nursing programs, this one really supports athletes. So I feel like that’s a really good pro to this college.”

The event is the next step in these athlete’s lives after high school, and one of the first actions of their collegiate career.