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Five area athletes go from Sierra to 4-year colleges

Sierra saw 30 athletes move onto 4-year colleges this year
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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ROCKLIN ? Annette Merjano may still have a few more games in her Sierra College career but her next stop isn?t far from her mind. Merjano, a Del Oro High grad, announced Wednesday her commitment to Concordia University in Irvine at the school?s first ever athletic scholarship press conference where it was announced that 30 Sierra athletes had signed on to play at four-year programs next season. ?I?m really excited,? Merjano said. ?It?s exciting to see that I was able to go somewhere with my skills.? Other area athletes headed to play at four-year universities are: Jeff Divine of Colfax, who will play football at New Mexico Highlands; Jon Talbot of Bear River, who will play football at Sioux Falls; soccer star Katie Pulliam of Del Oro, who will head to Cal State Fullerton and water polo standout Rachael Odell of Del Oro, who will go to Notre Dame College of Ohio. Merjano was one of six softball players to commit to a four-year university. The team advanced to the state championships, which begins Friday in Bakersfield, after it won four-straight games to avoid elimination in the Super Regional last weekend. Merjano, who was named to the all-state and All-American teams, leads the team in hits (72) and doubles (20) and is second in home runs (15) and RBIs (59). She is the Wolverine?s starting catcher, but with two catchers already on the roster at Concordia it?s likely she will shift positions. ?She?s just really interested in my bat,? said Merjano of Concordia coach Crystal Rosenthal. ?I?ll most definitely be batting, but fielding wise I?m not sure but I feel very versatile, I can play anywhere.? Divine was Sierra?s second-leading receiver with 557 yards on the season as a sophomore. He also scored four touchdowns and racked up 128 yards rushing on 13 attempts. Talbot was a first team All-Valley Conference selection last season after he led Sierra with 64 tackles at the linebacker position. Pulliam was a three-sport athlete at Del Oro but jumped into the goalkeeper position at Sierra where she thrived. In her freshman season opposing teams averaged 0.64 goals against her and during her sophomore season it was 1.03 goals against. Odell was the team captain on the water polo team and scored six goals in the team?s appearance in the Big 8 Conference Tournament this season where it finished third.