ST. GEORGE — Being a new school, Crimson Cliffs has seen a lot of firsts this year. That continued Tuesday afternoon as the athletic department held their first-ever signing day celebration.
The celebration honored softball seniors Lilly White, Oakley Giacoletto and Allie Laub who signed their letters of intent to play collegiate athletics.
White signed with Connors State college, Giacoletto signed with Phoenix College and Laub signed with Salt Lake Community College.
With it being the first signing day held at the school, athletic director Michael Winslow spoke about the importance of these seniors and the mark they will leave on the first-year program.
“We think it’s huge,” Winslow said. “Being the first year and knowing these seniors, having come from different programs, for them to be recruited and to have these opportunities is a strength for our team. We see it as a way to add strength and depth to our program and say, ‘we’re going to have a great season’ and these girls are going to be leaders for our team this year.”
White, a Desert Hills transfer, thought it was pretty cool to be a part of the first Mustangs signing class.
“One of my bigger reasons moving to Crimson was so I could start traditions and be the first, first graduating class, first softball team, stuff like that,” White said. “It means a lot to set the foundation and make it a nice solid foundation.”
White also spoke about the rivalry between Crimson Cliffs and Desert Hills. She’s looking forward to playing against her old team this season.
Giacoletto is also a Desert Hills transfer, but she sat out her entire junior season with an injury. She is excited to get back on the field with her new team. She said the seniors have been making a concerted effort to foster a good culture around the program.
“It’s been awesome. We’ve been able to create a really positive atmosphere for our players and really come together as a family,” Giacoletto said. “It’s definitely a good thing.”
As for Laub, she’s a transfer from Enterprise who has experienced success in Class 2A. She was named the 2A MVP last year and she helped lead Enterprise to the 2A championship.
The senior pitcher and third baseman will play a big part when it comes to leadership and experience with a young team and program.
“Being one of the three seniors, you want to push them to be their best and make them feel confident,” Laub said. “Especially because we have a young team this year. At practice I’m like, ‘just be confident, everything will come, don’t worry about it, you’ve practiced your hardest and everything will work out.'”
Crimson Cliffs is a team that will compete in its first season as a softball program, but the school has seen plenty of success in its first year being open. The boys golf team took the state championship, volleyball finished in the middle of the pack in Region 9 and the boys basketball team finished in a similar position. It has been a solid year for the Mustangs, and with plenty of youth on their rosters, the program is on the rise.
“To create something from nothing is where we kind of approached it and saying, ‘we know we’re kind of at nothing so where can we go and what can we do,'” Winslow said. “Also putting a little bit back on the students too saying, ‘what are you willing to put in to make this happen’. We’ve seen some of those programs really take off, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch the kids make it their own.”
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