Author: Rucker Group

Janel Pido of Aquinas

Janel Pido of Aquinas high school is one of one. This class of 2021 senior is not only a member of her varsity volleyball and track teams, but is also an international competitor in USA Taekwondo. 

Janel started taekwondo at the age of 5, and started competing at the age of 7. She is a second degree black belt and trains four to five days a week for competitions. She has been named an All-American Taekwondo athlete as she ranks in the top 10% in her division for the past two years. Janel was the California State Champion in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and also placed second at the 2018 US Open. In 2019, Janel won the Colorado, Utah, and Washington state championships. As an All-American athlete, Janel has been able to travel to Colorado Springs to train with the US Olympic Taekwondo Coaches at the USAT Center of Excellence.

Prior to the pandemic, Janel won the 2020 Arizona State Championships. In the future, Janel will use everything she had gained from her taekwondo career and apply them to her life after high school.

IE Preps 2021 Teen Education Conference

The Ivy League Sydney Ormiston Blog #1

Sydeny Ormiston Blog     What’s up readers, my name is Sydney Ormiston, and welcome to my blog. I am an Inland Empire volleyball and basketball player, and I am currently a senior at Murrieta Mesa High School.  Writing the word senior to describe myself does not feel right, and I am hesitant to believe that this is my last year as a Murrieta resident. My blog plan is to cover some relevant and current topics such as coronavirus and its effect, the state of our country, and my high school experience, but today I have chosen to simply explain my commitment, and hopefully give some advice to other athletes considering college sports. 

    To describe myself further, I am committed to the University of Pennsylvania for volleyball. Today’s athletic commitments are extremely competitive, each person constantly comparing their own achievements to the success of others. Every school has its own unique characteristics that hopefully fit the criteria the student-athlete was searching for. My goal was Ivy League, and I planned to get there without taking 7 APs per year and maxing out the SAT. My path to an Ivy degree involved bringing a unique talent to Penn: volleyball. I needed to set myself apart from the rest of the applicants in search of the same result as every other student, an Ivy League education. Do not get me wrong, hard work has resulted in legit test scores and grades, and those coupled with my service and sports resume were enough to make my commitment to UPenn. 

     I chose UPenn after many recruiting calls and campus visits because they fit the categories that I considered to be crucial to my personal decision-making process. My process created a noticeable pattern in that my list was made up of mainly high academic schools. I prioritized academics, but still craved competition on the court. Immediately after I experienced Penn for the first time, I knew it was right for me. It was the campus, the players, the students, the never quiet, undying energy of Philadelphia, and the overall feel of the school that convinced me this was the place I needed to be. The vibe of the school you want to attend is so important, if you feel that you will not fit in with the team or with the students you see and meet on campus, then it is not the right school for you. If something feels off about the school, then something probably is.

    I believe that there is a school or path for everyone, and deciding important aspects such as the size of the school, location, academic reputation, and the overall competitiveness of the team can aid in finding what is right for you. My story is just one of many, and what I looked for in a school might differ completely from what is important to you. All that matters is that you know what you want and that you do not stop until you find what you are looking for. Use the sport or activity that you love to find that place, and don’t do it for anyone but yourself.

     Thanks for reading my first blog and I am very open to discussion topics if you have any questions about my story do not hesitate to email me at   I am also open to writing about any other suggestions you may have so hmu blog squad.

No Giving Up

Marley Basurto No Giving Up

Chino Hills High Class of 2019 softball standout Marley Basurto looks to be the perfect high school student-athlete. Since she has been a 5-year-old, she has always wanted to be a softball player. Starting her career at Chino Hills Community Park, Basurto has been around the game her entire life, first being coached by her father. As an outfielder, Marley has used her speed and talent to outrun any challenge that she faced on the softball field.

During Marley’s 9th grade school year, Marley made the tough decision to tell her mother about the challenges that she was facing off of the field. Marley confided to her mother that she had not felt like her normal self for quite some time. For the past few years, she had felt pressure and anxiety. The desire to be like her brother, be a perfect student at school, and not make mistakes was quietly taking a toll on Marley. The feelings of moving in slow motion and having bad thoughts were too much for her to take on alone.

With help and copy strategies Marley began to make her way back to who she felt she truly was. Using the support of her family, fidget toys, talking to friends, music, and meditation Marley Basurto looked her opponent in the eye and won. Marley, like millions of people around the world quietly suffered through a mental health issue. Unlike many people, Marley made the courageous move to ask for help.

IE Preps Magazine applauds Marley Basurto for being a winner on the field and off. We are proud to say this Fall Marley will be headed to Valley City State University to continue her career in softball. She credits her family, team, and Crossfit of Chino Hills training for her on the field success.

With the month of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we hope that Marley’s story can give young people and adults the hope and inspiration to know that reaching out for help in life the best move that you can ever make.



Player Journal: Bobbiann Pratt

     My name is Bobbiann Pratt. I am a junior at Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, CA. and I will be playing Division 1 softball at Boise State University in the fall of 2020.

     When I am not playing softball for my high school, I am playing for an elite Firecracker travel team coached by Sean Brashear. For me, it is pretty much a year-round lifestyle. I have a personal trainer that I weight train with 2-3 days a week as well as doing workouts at home. My softball workouts consist of a scheduled hitting lesson once a week along with going to the softball field and hitting off the tee. For fielding, I go to the park and play with my little brother and Dad. With my travel ball team if we aren’t having practice on the weekend we are playing competitive games. I look forward to school starting because in the fall we start our softball workouts. As a captain, I always look forward to seeing what kind of talent we have.

     I always have high goals for myself and try to always give 100% on the field no matter what. Before a season starts I look at my stats from the previous season and make it a goal for myself to beat those stats. Our softball team has won our league for the last 10 years and as a captain, I feel it is another expectation that I have to win that again. I have a great co-captain, Maya Gonzalez, and a great team and I feel we can achieve this.

     Attending a private Catholic high school has been a great experience for me. Most importantly I am able to strengthen my relationship with God. We attend mass as a school every other month. For me having uniforms makes it way easier to decide what I am going to wear that day. Being at a small school you are able to have a relationship with your peers instead of being just another student. I have successfully maintained a 3.5 GPA. Sometimes I feel the stress of being a student-athlete when I have to balance my after-school workouts with heavy homework assignments, but as a student-athlete, you have to make sacrifices in order to get it done.

     If someone were to ask me what my hobbies are I would say softball. I live and breath softball. If I find any extra time I like to hang out with my friends at the mall or just be at home with my family. I have three brothers and two sisters so we stay pretty busy. I also help my little brothers baseball team with practices. That can be quite a challenge to keep twelve 11year olds attention.

I have been playing travel softball since I was 13 years old and have always had a dream to play softball at the next level. This past November of 2018 I was invited to fly out to Boise State to meet Coach Maggs and the rest of the staff. I knew when I got there it was the right place for me. My mom and I got to watch the team practice and meet some of the girls that I would be playing with when I get there. The coaches made me feel so welcomed. Coach Maggs offered me an amazing scholarship which I was more than honored to accept. I am proud to say I will be playing at Boise State University.

No matter what your dreams are don’t give up. Keep working hard and you will achieve your goals.

Bobbiann Pratt

Aquinas High School Softball