Rio Rancho High School senior Olivia Roskos poses for a picture with her family. Roskos signed her letter of intent to play soccer at UTEP. (Daniel Zuniga/Observer)
Rio Rancho soccer player and Rio Rancho High School senior Olivia Roskos recently signed her letter of intent to play D1 soccer at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
But not in the traditional way, at the school auditorium. The high school wouldn’t let her, so she did the signing event anyway, at Dion’s.
“The campus itself is just so clean and beautiful, the girls that I am going to be playing with are super nice, the soccer team is just so good, and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” Roskos said.
While surrounded by friends and family at Dion’s Pizza near Cabezon, Roskos made her decision official by putting pen to paper.
“I am super proud of her, and can’t wait to see her on her next journey at UTEP,” Roskos’ mom, Lisa Roskos said. “She is going to be amazing, and I love her to pieces.”
Usually, letter of intent signings occur in high school auditoriums, but Rio Rancho High School said ‘no’ to Roskos participating in the school signing day.
“It was pretty disappointing, she has played two years there, she’s a great student, she gives back to her community, and it was sad that she couldn’t sign in front of her school and peers” Lisa Roskos said.
The RRHS Athletic director informed Roskos that she would not be able to participate in the school’s signing day because she was not a current member of the team.
“We tried to talk to as many people as we could to see if they would change their minds, but we understand, and respect that rules are rules,” Lisa Roskos said.
Olivia Roskos played varsity soccer her sophomore and junior year for the Rams, and made a personal decision to sit out her senior year to prepare for her collegiate career.
She has been playing soccer since she was five years old, and was coached in many of those years by Rio Rapids Soccer Club’s Simon Rothman, who was in attendance to celebrate her signing.
“There’s a very small percentage of kids that get to do what she is going to do, especially in New Mexico, especially going into a Division One program,” Rothman said. “I feel like it should be an accomplishment that it is acknowledged by them.”
Since Roskos could not be a part of Rio Rancho High School’s signing day, her friends and family decided to organize their own signing day event to celebrate all of Roskos’ hard work.
Dion’s was filled with a lot of people, energy and love — a day that Roskos will never forget.
“I am extremely grateful, very grateful that all these people showed up to support me,” Roskos said. “It means a lot to me.”