Omar Plascencia has been proudly wearing red and white colors for three-plus years.
Mia Misasi has happily donned the colors of purple and gold since her freshman year.
In upcoming years, the duo will be sporting blue most of the time.
On Wednesday, in front of family, friends, school administrators and coaches, Plascencia and Misasi took part in National Letter of Intent signing day.
Plascencia, a Lodi High senior who was on the school’s baseball team that won the Tri-City Athletic League title last spring, inked his commitment with UC Davis, an NCAA Division I college.
Misasi, a Tokay High senior who has been a three-year starter on the school’s varsity softball team, signed with University of Nevada, Reno, which is also a D-I school.
Wednesday was the first day that high school senior athletes across the country could sign their letter of intent.
Inside the office of Lodi High Athletic Director Robert Winterhalter shortly after noon on Wednesday, Plascencia officially became an Aggie.
Plascencia had almost a half-dozen colleges on his list, including UC Davis, Sacramento State, Pepperdine, UC Santa Barbara and San Jose State.
What stood out about UC Davis for Plascencia, who plans to major in biology/pre-med and become a doctor of orthopedics, is the academic reputation that he described “the best.”
“It was just a perfect fit,” said Plascencia, who has a 4.1 grade point average. “Top in the state and in the nation. I couldn’t ask for any better education.”
Plascencia dreams of playing Major League Baseball one day, but the fact that the UC Davis coaching staff makes education a priority led to his decision to become an Aggie.
“I need a safety net to fall back on if baseball doesn’t go my way, right?” Plascencia said. “That was just a big help in that whole decision.”
Being close to home was another selling point for Plascencia.
Plascencia thanked all of his baseball coaches during his high school career, in particular Chris Wall and Brad Marcelino, both of whom helped Plascencia “get to this point in my life.”
Last spring, Plascencia had a .417 batting average, an on-base percentage of .611 and scored 20 run for the Flames. He also clubbed six doubles and a home run.
In front of Tokay High Athletic Director Michael Holst and others gathered inside the school’s library mid-Wednesday afternoon, Misasi inked her agreement with University of Nevada, Reno.
“I have a really big family,” Misasi said of the large gathering at her signing. “I’m super excited that they get to experience such a cool ride with me, you know?”
Toward the end of September, Misasi, who has a 3.7 GPA, was one of six incoming freshmen who visited the Nevada campus.
“I got a taste of what college will be like,” said Misasi, who plans to major in speech pathology. “It kind of felt like I was already there. It was awesome. I fell in love with how big it was. It was welcoming.”
During her visit, Misasi and the other incoming freshmen attended a Nevada volleyball match and watched the football team’s home game against Hawaii.
Misasi said she had met some of the other incoming freshmen at softball camps and travel ball tournaments.
“We’ve all become close and really good friends,” Misasi said. “When we all got to hang out, we got super close.”
There were other colleges on Misasi’s radar, including University of the Pacific, Sonoma State and Colorado State.
Misasi has family in the Reno area, including a cousin, Chelie Senini, an outfielder who is a freshman on the Nevada softball team. Rylie Brooks, a 2018 Lodi High graduate, is also on the Nevada squad.
In the summer of 2017, Misasi posted on her Twitter account that she made a verbal commitment to Nevada. Wednesday’s signing was the exclamation point on the college recruiting process.
Misasi still recalls the first phone call from Nevada.
“I was super nervous. I was shaking,” Misasi said.
While playing at a nearby college like Pacific would’ve been nice, Misasi felt Nevada was the best fit.
“I won’t be too far from home, but will be far enough from home,” Misasi said.
Last spring, Misasi, a three-year starter at catcher and shortstop, batted .415 and scored 21 times.
Misasi is also entering her fourth year as a guard on the Tokay basketball team. She’s also played goalie on the school’s varsity girls soccer team her freshman and sophomore years.
Contact Mike Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.