Note from Sports360AZ CEO Brad Cesmat:Wednesday is College Football National Letter of Intent Day. We asked Saguaro linebacker/running back Connor Soelle, who’s signing with Arizona State, to share his high school experiences on and off the field, as well as why ASU was the best fit for him to continue his academic and athletic career.
As I am beginning to write this essay, I feel great amounts of happiness, sadness, and excitement. Throughout the past four years, I have attended and played football at Saguaro High School. Let me start by saying this, making the decision to come to Saguaro, AKA “SagU,” was one of the best decision of my life. A few of the things that have made my high school experience so great include: family, state championships and scholarship opportunities in that specific order.
As a young freshman entering a powerhouse program like Saguaro, I was beyond nervous. Around this time of year in 2014, I transferred from Notre Dame Prep High School to Saguaro for many reasons, one including family. Little did I know, I would be becoming a part of an entirely new family, one that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
I’ll never forget my first couple of days as a Sabercat, meeting coaches like Jason Mohns, and Frank Ruben, as well as new teammates like Clay Randall, Jayden Swink, Nate Polk, and many more. It only took me about a week to realize that I was going to be alright, better than alright actually, I knew that WE were going to be great.
Fast forward three years: three state championships, two record-breaking seasons and multiple lifelong relationships later, and we are just that — great. It’s truly amazing how close you can grow to people after just three and a half years. I have absolutely no hesitation calling these guys my family and I know that goes both ways. It’s sad to think that in just a couple of months we will all be going our separate ways and beginning our lives as young adults. Although I will forever have the memories we shared together, such as “Zero Dark Thursdays” spring workout, state championship victories and soon, graduation.
— Jason Mohns (@CoachMohns) November 29, 2018
As a young football player, I consider myself very blessed and I’m extremely thankful to have been part of such a successful program. Although, when I think about all of our state championships I don’t think just about the rings, the trophies, my mind tends to sway towards the thousands of hours that everyone collectively puts in so that we can be great. From the school administration, to the booster club parents, and the players and coaches, we all buy in, we commit to each other and commit to something bigger than ourselves.
All bought in…219’s ready? pic.twitter.com/ymfOs4H5at
— Connor Soelle (@cmsoelle) July 24, 2018
A common phrase used at Saguaro is ‘All In’ which is something we truly take to heart. If you’re ‘All In’ you are committed to the team, whether it be on the football field, in the classroom, or even out in the community. You are always representing the program positively, even more than that, you’re representing the school. When you have 100-plus student-athletes who are “All In,” you have something special. That’s what the recurring trend is at Saguaro, everyone is bought in for each other, for the school and the community. That is the true recipe to success.
As everyone knows, “SagU” produces Division-I talent. Before I begin this part of my story, I’ll start by saying none of the scholarships I had received would have been possible without Coach Mohns. When it comes to helping players get scholarships, there is absolutely nobody better. He is dedicated to his players and will always go to bat for them, anything it takes, if he feels a guy deserves an opportunity he will find a way to get it for them. With that being said, although we are mostly known for how many D-I players we have, that is not our main focus. Like I had said before, everyone buys into the program and winning the gold ball each season. When you do that and you play for your brothers next to you and the people who came before you, great things happen.
As for my future, I couldn’t be more excited. I am currently verbally committed to Arizona State University on a full ride football scholarship offer, although by the time you read this, I should have signed my letter of intent.
— Connor Soelle (@cmsoelle) June 20, 2018
Going through the recruiting process was extremely stressful. Imagine being a seventeen, or eighteen year-old kid who has to make a decision considering all of the aspects determining his future. A few key details include the location of the school, the type of education you can receive, the level of football you’ll be playing and much more. For me, these three were definitely the most important and all things I had seriously considered. Making the decision to attend ASU was both exciting and relieving. Not only do I get to play football in the Pac-12 but I get to play with my older brother only 20 minutes away from our house and family. I also have the great opportunity to pursue a degree in the incredible W.P. Carey School of Business. Who could possibly turn all of that down?
Looking back on these past four years of high school I am in awe as time truly flies when you’re having fun. It seems like yesterday I was just a skinny little freshman hoping for a great high school experience. The relationships and memories I have from Saguaro I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I can’t imagine my life without Saguaro and everything that comes with it, I am forever grateful. As for my future, it lies in God’s hands and I’m just along for the ride.