By John R. Schirmer
For the first time in school history, two Nashville students have signed national letters-of-intent to play college soccer.
Natalie Alfaro signed with National Park College at Hot Springs, and Diana Martinez inked her letter with Arkansas Baptist at Little Rock.
Both Scrapperettes signed Wednesday, May 18, as family and teammates looked on in the NHS cafeteria.
“This is an historic event,” Athletic Director James “Bunch” Nichols said. “It’s our first-ever soccer signing. Soccer started here in 2016. This is a big day for us. Going to college is something special. Both colleges are getting great students.”
NHS is “so proud of them,” Nichols said. “We’re so proud to have two of our own moving on to the next level.”
Nichols presented traditional Signing Day pens to the two Scrapperettes. “Once a Scrapper” is written on the case, with “Always a Scrapper” on the pen.
“I’m proud of these two young ladies,” Coach Mikayla Clift said. “They’ve been great student athletes and leaders. Their dedication, hard work and commitment have made them very successful high school athletes. Those attributes have also provided them this opportunity to continue competing,
along with pursuing a college degree.”
Alfaro and Martinez “helped the Scrapperettes qualify for the state tournament for the first time in school history,” Clift said. “These two played a vital role in our success.”
Number 12, Alfaro, “has been a huge part of our soccer team as a four-year letterman. I would be able to put her in any position on the field, and she would always get the job done. Her main position on the field was middle mid-field, which if you know soccer is a very challenging spot to play in. You never stop running. She embraced that tough task and made it hers. Natalie is very talented and is a great communicator and motivator,” Clift said.
Alfaro “was named All-Conference in 2021 and has been named All-State, All-Star, All-Conference and the Scrapperettes’ offensive player of the year for this 2022 season,” Clift said.
“I am excited to see what Natalie’s future holds for her as she continues playing soccer and continues her education as a criminal justice major at National Park.”
Number 19, Martinez, “also known as Smiley, is a four-year letterman for the Scrapperettes. She is a crucial part of the team as a defensive player. She excels in her role as sweeper with her ability to boot the ball and in communicating with her teammates. She has been named defensive player of the year for the Scrapperettes’ 2022 season,” Clift said. I am excited to see what Diana’s future holds for her as she continues playing soccer and studying to become a dental assistant at Arkansas Baptist.”