Three Bakersfield High seniors sign to continue athletic careers in college

Posted at 3:03 AM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 06:03:33-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Seniors across Kern County and the nation have missed on many ceremonious activities. For many student-athletes who were looking forward to their next opportunities for competition in college, they did not have the chance to enjoy a typical signing day.

Three Bakersfield Drillers got to bring back a little hope to sports lovers while making their own collegiate hopes official on Tuesday when they held a signing ceremony at Just Wing It in Southwest Bakersfield.

Taylor Linzie, Ava Palm and Jaden Sanchez enjoyed their own unique signing day in front of friends and family just a couple
of months shy of when they were supposed to put pen to paper.

Linzie, led her Lady Drillers basketball team to three straight Central Section titles and four league titles during her Driller career, finishing with more than 1,000 points and rebounds. She's now headed to Cal State University East Bay to continue playing ball.

"I can't wait to get up there and play some more ball. I hope everything opens up before I leave so I can play some basketball out here, but I hope I brought a lot of energy and leadership to Bakersfield. I hope I can do bigger things with Bakersfield on my back," Linzie said.

Another stud for BHS on the court, just a different one, is Ava Palm. The versatile volleyball player finished with more than 1,000 kills and hopes to continue that success with her new family as an outside hitter for UTEP in El Paso.

"When I took my visit to UTEP, it felt like a really nice, like, family dynamic you know like it was a home away from home. And also I think it's a program I could fit in really well with and help excel in the next few years," Palm said. "I think it's like the perfect way to like end our whole high school career as athletes. Definitely with some of my best friends by my side."

Sanchez, a long snapper for the Drillers and a wrestler, his decision came a little later but will keep him a lot closer to home as he will continue wrestling at Cal State Bakersfield. He will graduate with a 4.5 GPA and with the satisfaction of reaching his goals and getting to celebrate his signing.

"When CSUB coaches, well, coach Manny, when he came up to me and talked to me, it was like, an eye-opening moment. I was like, 'Wow! I actually have the chance to play in college.' And, you know, I couldn't really take it down that I'm living at home, I'm a big family person as you can tell my family's everywhere and me leaving was just too big so I just had to stay," Sanchez said.

All three athletes were grateful to share this moment together and with family and friends. While Palm will be headed to Texas shortly to begin team workouts and practices, Linzie and Sanchez will be waiting to see when collegiate sports activities return in California.