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Two IWA Students Commit to College Athletic Programs

They stood out on the athletics field as IWA Falcons. Now, Isabella Garza '21 and Amanda Stockton '21 are heading to the NCAA.

In a signing ceremony held Friday, May 14 in the IWA cafeteria, both girls signed their letters of intent in front of a crowd of coaches, their families and fellow classmates. Isabella signed with Bethany Lutheran College, where she'll play soccer and golf. Amanda will run cross country and track for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Both schools compete in NCAA Division III, Bethany Lutheran as part of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the American Southwest Conference.

"I feel like I've been working for this my whole life," said Isabella, who plans to major in nursing in college. 

As a center forward for IWA's Falcons soccer team, she served as team captain and helped lead the Falcons to their first playoff berth in school history. She finishes her high school career with 10 goals.

At the signing ceremony, soccer coach Bryan Gonzalez praised her for "always doing everything she can to help our team." 

Amanda committed to Mary Hardin-Baylor in part because its cross country program felt a lot like IWA's in how it seemed like a family.

"I love that the cross country coach there really puts the team ahead of the individual," she said. She plans to major in international business or computer science and minor in graphic design. 

IWA cross country coach Chris Warren described Amanda as someone who always helps others, praising her for leading running sessions and encouraging her team members.

"I know you'll do great and wonderful things," he said. 

Amanda finished in the top 10 at the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) state cross country meet last fall, and has earned a spot on the all-TAPPS academic team for the last two years. Her two-mile time is 12 minutes. On IWA's track team, she's been to the TAPPS regionals for the last four years, and landed in the state track finals, running the 800m in 2018 and 2019.

"It's great to see our athletes excel both on the playing field and in the classroom," said Andrea Smith, M.Ed., LPC, CCN, IWA's principal. "We're proud of their accomplishments, and know that they leave IWA prepared to succeed in college academics and athletics."

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