Five Granada Students Earn Student-Athlete Scholarships


Adam J Clark

All five student athletes ready to sign their letters of intent in the quad during lunch on November 17.

Juan Sanzonetti and Marco Garibaldi

On November 17, 2021 five Granada students signed letters of intent to colleges, receiving scholarships to the schools for their respective sports.  Jacques Grove signed with Cornell University, earning a scholarship with the swim team.  Abigail Herscu signed with UC Berkeley as a swimmer as well.  Jalen Bets will be going to Grand View University in Iowa on a wrestling scholarship.  Nayeli Tia signed with San Jose State University to play volleyball, and Makayla Winchell will be going to Notre Dame University for softball.

All five athletes got to commemorate this big moment and achievement by signing their letters of intent to these colleges in the quad with their friends and family in attendance to cheer them on.  

We got the opportunity to catch up and talk about these scholarships with three of the scholar athletes.  Below are the Q and A’s with each of the three.

Jalen Bets: Grand View University – Wrestling

Q: Who was a specific person who served as support for you to not give up and take your talent to the next level?

A: “I have my main coach. His name was Rich Bailey, and I started out with him, actually. He really pushed me beyond my limits, and he taught me everything I know.”

Q: What advice would you give to girls who are just starting out and want to wrestle in college?

A: “I would just say stick with it.  It’s going to be really hard.  There’s going to be times where you feel like you’re not doing as well, and you don’t think that you could move up from there and improve. As long as you stick with it and work hard and be coachable because they know what they’re doing and trust the process. It takes a long time to get good at something like this; it took me a long time, and I’m still learning.  I would just say stick with it and have fun with it.”

Q: What is next for you? Will you continue wrestling after college?

A: “For wrestling, I do want to try to make some world teams, and I want to be a national champion. There’s a lot that goes into that. Academically, I want to be a nurse, and I know those two things are going to take a lot of sacrifice, but those are my goals. But just in general, I’m really happy with where I am right now, and I just want to continue that throughout college.”


Nayeli Tia: San Jose State University – Volleyball

Q: What are some decisions and sacrifices you made to become a Division I volleyball player?

A: “Making the decision that I wanted to take volleyball seriously was when I knew that I had to really buckle down and start going after it. My goal was to receive a full scholarship to a D1 college, and I fully intended on achieving that. So, I started practicing whenever I could. For example, my dad, brothers, and I would go out to the baseball field every other day and literally use the fence as a net because we had no access to a gym.”

Q: How did you get into playing volleyball?

A:  “I had played softball since the age of five, all the way up to 8th grade, so that was the predicted pathway to college for me; of course I never thought about college as a kid. Then, when I played volleyball for the first time in 7th grade, I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed softball, so I planned to play it in high school as well, but never thought I would take it seriously. Then high school hit and softball conflicted with club volleyball in the spring, so I had to choose between the two. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions because now I am committed to play volleyball at a D1 college.”

Q: What are your plans for college and after?

A: “My plan for after college will probably fall along the lines of becoming a successful real estate agent. Afterall, this is what I intend on majoring in. But while I’m in college, I plan on achieving my goal of joining the 2,000 kill club by the time I graduate.”


Makayla Winchell: University of Notre Dame – Softball

Q: When did you start playing softball? Why softball specifically and not another sport?

A:  “I started playing when I was five and my parents put me in a whole bunch of different sports. I had a really good coach when I was younger and encouraged me to pursue playing softball.”

Q: What did you have to give up to achieve at the levels you have achieved at?

A: “A lot of long nights and early mornings and not hanging out with friends when I really wanted to. It takes a lot of sacrifice.”

Q: What has been your favorite softball memory so far?

A: “One of my favorite ones is actually a high school memory, hitting a walk-off against Livermore to advance us to NCS.”

Q: What are your plans for the future after college?

A:  “At this point, I don’t have plans for after college. My current interests are in product design (athletic wear and equipment) to allow athletes to optimize their training and performance.”