Maricopa High School’s athletic director, Craig Moody, buzzed with excitement as two student-athletes announced their decisions to take their talents to the collegiate level. 

During a Tuesday ceremony, Sapphira Reyes signed to play basketball at Benedictine College in Mesa, while Josh Garcia will play soccer at Paradise Valley Community College.  

“These are the special moments,” Moody said. “This has been a really good year for Maricopa High School, and our kids are ready to go onto the next level.” 

Although the two Rams will be entering the next chapter of their lives, they will remain close to home.   

“We can all see [them] play once in a while,” Moody said, excited to keep a close eye on them.  

Garcia has played basketball since she was 5 and spent the last four years at MHS dominating the court as a forward and point guard. 

Reyes, the Rams’ MVP, made the all-conference tournament as the team captain.  

“If you look up the word workhorse, you’ll see Sapphira,” coach Rome Williams said. “She’s really kept the team together.”  

Heading into college, Reyes is looking forward to traveling with her new team, noting they made her feel included since the recruitment process.  

“When I went to open gyms, the other players were very supportive,” Reyes said. 

Across campus on the soccer field, #6, Garcia was the Ram’s forward and defensive midfielder. 

Now, he’s eager to be a PVCC Puma.  

“Community college is still pretty competitive,” Garcia said. “And Paradise Valley has a pretty good program, so I took it.”  

The ceremony ended with photos, smiles and well wishes from coaches and teammates. Once a Ram, always a Ram, Moody said.