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Around the SCV: Balta to play for the U.S.

G.V.’s Ho, Canyon’s Sargema make college choices

Posted: December 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Valencia's A.J. Balta will represent the United States in the U.S.-Japan Friendship Series at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton between Dec. 26 and 28.

Valencia High baseball player A.J. Balta has been selected to play in a prestigious U.S.-Japan series.

Balta is one of 22 baseball players from Southern California who was selected to play in the U.S.-Japan Friendship Series at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton between Dec. 26 and 28.

He will represent the U.S. High School Federation All-Stars.

Balta was The Signal’s 2011 All-Santa Clarita Valley Baseball Player of the Year and is committed to play baseball at the University of Oregon.

The senior infielder/outfielder has been busy since Valencia’s baseball season ended in May.

He was a major contributor to the Connie Mack World Series winning Renegades travel ball team in August.

Balta signed his letter of intent with Oregon in November.

He joins former West Ranch players Ryan Keller and J.C. Cloney as locals who have participated in this series.

Keller and Cloney played with the U.S. team in Japan in 2011.


G.V’s Ho to attend Washington in Mo.

 Golden Valley girls tennis player Rebecca Ho has accepted an academic merit scholarhip to the prestigious Washington University in St. Louis and will play tennis for the Division III program.

Ho, the back-to-back Foothill League individual champion, chose the school because it gave her the best opportunity to continue playing tennis while enrolling in a high-quality engineering program.

“I know they have a really good engineering program and I want to do premed and they have a good program and that was something that stood out to me,” Ho said.

In St. Louis, Ho will play for head coach Kelly Stahlhuth.

“It’s always been a dream of mine (to play in college) and luckily I’ve been able to accomplish that dream,” she said.


Canyon’s Sargema makes her choice

 Injured Canyon soccer player Kalia Sargema received a full-ride scholarship to play soccer at Cleveland State University in Ohio.

The scholarship is partially athletic and partially academic based on Sargema’s ACT score.

Sargema is currently recovering from an ACL tear she suffered at a tournament over the summer in Las Vegas, and her status for the Foothill League season is uncertain.

That didn’t stop Cleveland State from recruiting her.

“They didn’t care. They see it all the time,” Sargema said. “They said I would come out strogner than I was before.”

Sargema said she used a service to aid her in her recruiting effort, and that led to Cleveland State seeing her recruiting video and contacting her.

“I went on an official visit with my family and right as I got there and hung out with the girls I connected with the team and I knew it was the school for me,” Sargema said. “I fell in love.”

Cleveland State is a Division I school and is led by head coach Derek Folor.

Sargema anticipates playing either striker or as an offensive center midfielder for the school.

“I’m really excited actually,” she said. “I can’t wait to go. I’m going to summer school up there so I can go up early and work with their stregnth and conditoning coach.”

As far as returning to Canyon, Sargema’s future is uncertain. She will find out more on Jan. 2 she said.


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