San Antonio, Texas – December 14, 2017– Tiara Gomez has been a starter for her softball team for all of her high school career. A senior at Harlandale High School in San Antonio, she has played in the infield and outfield for her team. Gomez bats left and is a “slapper” with a speed from home to first base of 3.2 secs. She is a tough out as evidenced by her on-base percentage of .488. In the midst of her senior year it was time to decide where she would go to college and start her education to become a veterinarian.
Several colleges have expressed an interest in Tiara but after visiting Cisco College in Texas, meeting potential teammates and the coach, she made her selection. Cisco has a long and storied history over the last century. Having its population decimated during two world wars the college has come back to a level of prominence. In 2004 the school was known as Cisco Junior College and in 2009 dropped the “Junior” from its name. It has an enrollment of slightly less than 5000 students. Athletically Cisco, known as the Wranglers, competes in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Conference.
No matter what team Gomez has played for, her coaches sing her praises. During the signing ceremony her high school coach at Harlandale, Shelby Veselka, talked about her work ethics both on and off the field. Then there is Coach Paul Greco, head coach of the elite SA Wildcats club team. A very selective coach in regards to players he allows on his team, he recommended Tiara to the selection committee of the non-profit organization AQUAS (Assistance for Qualified Underprivileged Athletic Scholars). Greco commented that, “this young lady Is one of the most coachable players I have ever had. She works hard and is all about ‘team’ in our games and in practice”
When Coach Greco contacted the CEO of AQUAS, Colonel Hugh Mulligan, in the spring of 2017 and said that he had someone special he wanted to talk about as a potential AQUAS candidate, Mulligan listened. AQUAS is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that is identifying underserved high school athletes who have demonstrated high academic performance. These students may not have received much national visibility for a number of reasons; thus college coaches may not aware of their skills. AQUAS overcomes that problem as it puts these selected students in front of collegiate athletic departments until the right academic and athletic matches are found.
“This young lady is truly special,” Mulligan recalls,. “When I first met Tiara, I was so impressed with her dedication to her studies with a 96.1 GPA and her desire to go on to attain a degree in veterinary medicine. Never have I met a young person that has overcome so much adversity in her seventeen years of life and yet rebounds in a manner that strengthens her dedication and grit to make a better life in the future. AQUAS is fortunate to have Gomez as part of their organization and, now, so is Cisco,” Mulligan went on to say. How many college coaches would embark on a 7-hour driving round trip to be present for the signing of one of their future players? Joel Prickett, Cisco head coach, did. Doesn’t that say something about the coach… and the player!
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Hugh F. Mulligan