Getting ready to head out to College of St. Rose in New York to play soccer, two-time Valley Champion Izzy Navarro holds last year’s Madera South Valley Championship plaque. With her are, from left, her brother Rodrigo, father Severo, mother Nidia (sitting), Madera South athletic director Andrea Devine and Stallions girls soccer head coach Ramon Delgadillo. (Wendy Alexander)
For most of the summer, 2016 Madera South graduate Izzy Navarro had thoughts of going to school and playing soccer at Fresno City College.
However, something didn’t seem just right for Navarro until she made the decision to sign a National Letter of Intent to play soccer this season at the College of St. Rose in Albany New York.
“I got the opportunity and I thought I had to take it,” she said. “It’s a once in a lifetime type of thing and you never know when you’ll get that again. I got an offer to play and it was affordable for my parents.”
Navarro, a four-year varsity player, first team All-County/Metro Athletic Conference member and two-time All-Madera Tribune team member, will head out today to begin school and soccer practice.
“I’m ready to go,” Navarro said. “My parents are going to miss me. They support what I want to do.”
Over the summer, Navarro was planning to attend and play soccer at Fresno City College. However, she got a call from the St. Rose coach near the end of summer workouts and got the offer she was looking for.
“I was going to Fresno City’s summer practices and was in the last week of training,” she said. “The St. Rose coach called me and told me what they had for me. I talked to my parents and they said they could do it. Monday, I talked to the coach and told him this is where I was going. He was disappointed that they weren’t going to be able to have me. At the beginning, I didn’t think they were the right place. It might have been that I had St. Rose in my mind.”
Navarro said that she had been in contact with St. Rose during the soccer season when she led the Stallions to their second straight Central Section championship.
“They saw clips of me playing,” she said. “They emailed, called and texted me during the season.”
However, making the decision late in the summer isn’t typically when one decides to head across the country to go to school and play sports.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted,” Navarro said. “It was crazy to go across the country. It took me a while. They were offering me something, but I didn’t think it was good enough. They offered me the perfect amount so I had to go.”
Navarro, who was also the CMAC’s representative to the Central Section Scholar/Athlete of the Year dinner, was also getting looked at by Texas A&M International and even took a visit to the school. However, getting inked to a four-year school was a goal Navarro had at the beginning of my junior year.
“Rodney Fontes really helped me get my clips to the schools,” she said. “This is a nice capper to a career. I hoped to go to a four-year school.”
Navarro’s coach Fernando Delgadillo knows St. Rose is getting one of his best players.
“Izzy is one of the most outstanding players that I had,” Delgadillo said. “She is really dedicated and works really hard. She works on her own and when she comes onto the field and takes charge of what needs to happen. She’s one of the captains because of her work ethic, her dedication and the way she approached the other players on how to get better.”
Despite having to leave family and friends behind, Navarro is excited about her new journey in New York.
“I feel really proud of myself,” she said. “I’m really excited to leave Madera to see the world and play a sport that I love.”