Combs Girls’ Soccer Trio Signs with Gateway CC

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Coyotes girls’ soccer teammates Willow Zimmerman, Dani DeWitt and Taylor DeWitt all recently signed to play soccer at Gateway Community College, located in Phoenix.

Zimmerman, an All-Section III Honorable Mention selection, said she didn’t necessarily choose Gateway.

“It was more like they chose me, to be honest,” she told the Ledger. “Gateway was the only school where I tried out and it was like, ‘Cool, I can go play.’”

All three players acknowledged they are not sure what they will study when they arrive on campus, but are focused on the core classes that will allow them to transfer to a four-year college or university in the future.

Neither attending the same school nor signing together at Gateway was planned, but now that it has the players admit there is comfort in knowing there will be familiar faces on campus.

Lt to Rt - Dani DeWitt, Willow Zimmerman, Taylor DeWitt

Lt to Rt – Dani DeWitt, Willow Zimmerman, Taylor DeWitt

“Honestly, I think it helps a lot,” said Dani DeWitt. “Having that support from your teammates who we’ve played with for a while definitely helped to sign with Gateway.”

Each of them multi-sport athletes, the three Gateway signees credit their participation in Combs’ athletics for providing the opportunity to continue their athletic and academic careers at the next level.

“Both soccer and track have mental and physical elements to them,” said Taylor DeWitt. “Over the years we’ve built on that and got a little stronger every year. It’s nice now that we have this opportunity to play college soccer. It’s a dream come true and definitely very exciting.”

The trio was part of Combs’ team that averaged more than 10 wins per year over the last three years. Head coach Chris Azanger knows he’s losing good players who have contributed to that success.

“Just their dedication,” Azanger answered when asked what each player does well that will translate to success at the next level. “Anytime we did anything in the offseason these girls always showed up, wanted to learn more, always wanted to play, and consistently asked how they could get better. Their dedication will go a long way at the next level.”

Lt to Rt - Dani DeWitt, Head Coach Chris Azanger, Asst. Coach Richard Azanger, Willow Zimmerman, Taylor DeWitt.

Lt to Rt – Dani DeWitt, Head Coach Chris Azanger, Asst. Coach Richard Azanger, Willow Zimmerman, Taylor DeWitt.

 

Andy Luberda (1135 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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