The first Wednesday of February marks National Signing Day, the first day high school seniors can sign their National Letter of Intent (NLI). Reign Academy had its first group of college bound players declare their intention to attend their school of choice, and Reign FC hosted an event to celebrate the occasion.
“We’re really proud of our first graduating class,” said Reign Academy technical director Tracey Kevins. “I think this is a day that we’ll always remember. The level of institution that all the players are going to is indicative of the hard work these girls have put in. We’re sure they will do their colleges extremely proud and always represent the Seattle Reign Academy.”
The Academy has five players heading to colleges across the nation: Claire Trop, Gabriella Crenshaw, Samantha Miller-Foy, Serena Toney, and Natasha Tennyson.
Trop can play defender or midfielder and has committed to play at Dartmouth College. Her major is currently undecided.
“Claire is a tough tackling player who will immediately be an asset to any team because of her aggressiveness,” said Kevins. “She plays both sides of the game well, and she can be incredibly creative when she’s in possession. I think that Dartmouth are gaining a very fine player.”
Crenshaw has committed to play at Washington State. The forward joins her sister, who is currently on the Cougar soccer team, and will be pursuing a public relations degree.
“Gabby continues the tradition of her family at Washington State,” said Kevins. “She’s a strong, athletic player who can play in a couple different positions. Gabby’s real strength is her ability to get forward to join into the attack. She will be looking to make an immediate impact.”
“I like Washington State because it’s already like home,” said Crenshaw. “The Reign Academy know what to expect from their first team players and they hold us to that same standard, which has pushed me mentally and helped me so much already.”
Miller-Foy is a goalkeeper and has signed with Austin Peay University. She plans on studying nursing.
“Sammy really has qualities to challenge as a goalkeeper,” said Kevins. “She’s incredibly ambitious and driven towards improving her game. She’s taken huge strides this year and I think she’ll be an excellent asset to Austin Peay.”
“I chose Austin Peay because the school isn’t too big but it’s not too small,” said Miller-Foy. “The Reign Academy has instilled in me a really good work ethic, and they’ve helped prepare me in a technical, tactical, and mental sense.”
Toney has committed to Cal State Monterey Bay. The goalkeeper will be pursing a degree in communication and graphic design.
“Cal State Monterey Bay will be a good fit for Serena,” said Kevins. “She’s incredibly hardworking and she will bring a lot to the team. With their roster she’s in a position to challenge to start immediately which is always great for a freshman.”
Tennyson is a forward who has committed to Pacific Lutheran University. She will be studying nursing.
“Natasha is a great character,” said Kevins. “Playing locally will be something that keeps her close to Washington, and we want to keep representing the state with the players that we send. She’s going to do great at PLU, she’s an aggressive and strong center forward.”
“I chose PLU because it’s close to home but also far enough away,” said Tennyson. “The connections that the Reign Academy coaching staff has was really helpful in getting my name out there. The PLU head coach heard from some of the coaching staff about me and that’s how he got in contact with me.”
The Reign Academy is currently preparing for the upcoming Elite Clubs National League season.