Six Folsom High athletes sign letters of intent

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Six athletes from Folsom High signed letters of intent Wednesday at a ceremony held in the school’s library.

Soccer players Matt Richard, Jamie Baker and Ashley Hallums, football players Trace Noble and Phillip Carter, as well as cross country and track runner Mike Kinoshita will all extend their athletic careers in college.

Matt Richard will play at CSU, Monterey, Baker at Bethany College in Kansas, while Hallums will attend William Jessup.

Richard didn’t play soccer for Folsom High, instead playing for his club team, while Baker and Hallums played on Folsom’s varsity girls’ team for three seasons.

“Matt’s club team didn’t allow him to play for us, but we’re proud of him to earn this scholarship,” Folsom soccer coach Mike McBride said. “He’s a good athlete and he’ll be successful at Monterey.

“Ashley played a varsity tournament as a freshman and then came up fulltime as a sophomore,” McBride continued. “She had a great game against St. Francis for us last year. I remember I had to ask Jamie to try out for varsity as a sophomore because she didn’t think she was good enough. She’s a hard worker and likes everybody so she will make friends wherever she goes, even though she might be a little homesick (in Kansas.)”

Noble, a receiver, earned a scholarship to Southern Oregon University, while Carter is headed to Duke University and will play safety.

“Trace and Phillip have been in the program all four years and have spent countless hours on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom to earn these scholarships,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “They’re both team leaders and captains and as varsity players helped the team win 25 games and lose only four. They’ve also been part of an offense that has led the state in passing the last two years.”

Kinoshita, who is legally blind, has had an accomplished running career already and has a bright future ahead at CSU, Stanislaus. He helped Folsom High’s cross country team qualify for the state meet last year and has also made his mark as a distance runner on the track team. Nationally, he earned the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 US Paralympic Games, among other accomplishments.

“Being legally blind, Michael’s had a tough road, but he’s become a leader in his sport,” said Steve Kinoshita, Michael’s dad and coach.

Folsom High track coach Nick Vogt added, “Michael’s been a leader and his influence goes beyond the track.”

Folsom High Athletic Director Lisa Finley spoke about all the athletes.

“We’re really proud of their accomplishments and how they represented Folsom High,” Finley said.