Murrieta Mesa Athletes Announce College Commitments

From left: Averie Middleton, Joseph Bernal and Annie Blackwood signed letters of intent this week. Photo courtesy Murrieta High Sports Faceb...

From left: Averie Middleton, Joseph Bernal and Annie Blackwood signed letters of intent this week.
Photo courtesy Murrieta High Sports Facebook page

Murrieta Mesa High School celebrated the signing of three athletes to college scholarship offers during a ceremony on campus Friday.

Annie Blackwood and Averie Middleton committed to Point Loma Nazarene and Humboldt State, respectively, while boys water polo player Joseph Bernal committed to the University of Toronto. All three were highly praised by their coaches.

"Leader -- that’s the best way to describe Annie," soccer coach Mark Vogel said about Blackwood. "From the very first training to every game, Annie has been a leader. This four-year varsity player is willing to sacrifice and put the team ahead of her. In the short time I’ve know her, I’ve had the privilege to see her physically give everything she has, play through injury, cheer for her teammates, and consistently represent Murrieta Mesa High School with class and integrity."

Blackwood earned all-league honors last year in leading her team to the league championship. She also plays for West Coast Futbol Club's ECNL team. She will study business marketing at Point Loma Nazarene.

Water polo coach Audra Woods couldn't say enough about Bernal.

"Joseph Bernal is the type of athlete who always takes the initiative to help out fellow teammates who may not quite grasp what we are doing in practice," she said. "He is approachable and well liked on the pool deck by his teammates. He constantly excels in practice and at our games. He’s a big threat to opposing teams, not only offensively but defensively as well.

"Joseph has been more than an ideal athlete for me. He works extremely hard and demonstrates outstanding leadership. He not only rises to challenges confronting him, but he does so with enthusiasm, a sense of duty, and an unwillingness to be satisfied with anything less than the best from himself. He inspires those around him to do the same. He has made me extremely proud as his coach and will be greatly missed."

Murrieta Mesa's biggest recruit this year, football lineman Nathan Smith, is already on the USC campus after enrolling early. He was one of the most heavily recruited players in the county this year.










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