By Mitch Traphagen
RUSKIN — Shelby Sanchez, a senior volleyball player at Lennard High School in Ruskin, signed a letter of intent with Florida College in Temple Terrace on Tuesday. Her parents, Karen and Rodney Sanchez, grandparents Vaughn and Maxine Sanchez, Lennard Athletic Director David New, Florida College volleyball coach Donna Parimore, teammates, and friends were on hand for the signing.
Sanchez was part of the team that first earned a playoff berth in volleyball last year. She led the Longhorns with 47 kills for the season. The team is coached by Tara Whelan. Sanchez was also recently named Reserve Champion with the Lennard FFA Floriculture team during a state floriculture career development event in St. Petersburg. Additionally, she was recently recognized for academic and athletic excellence by the U.S. Army Reserve.
Sanchez is undecided as to her academic goals but is interested in veterinary medicine. She is most looking forward to playing volleyball for the Lady Falcons. “I’ll miss my friends,” she said of her high school career.
Also signing a letter of intent on Tuesday was Lennard athlete Ian Mills. He has signed with Dana College in Blair, Neb., near Omaha, on a wrestling scholarship.
In addition to wrestling, Mills has distinguished himself with the Lennard track team last month when the team took the new school’s first district title in sports. Mills was part of the Longhorn’s winning 4×400 meter relay team.
Family, including mother Joanie Mills, friends, teammates, Lennard coach Ron Buffano and athletic director David New were present as Mills signed with Dana College.
“I want to thank my mom, my teammates and coaches for their support,” Mills said.
Wrestling at 140 pounds, Mills is interested in pursuing a degree in business.
Lennard High School, opened in 2006, has gained attention for rapidly building success in athletics and academic activities.