Her years of athletic excellence in soccer, track, and field hockey paid off for San Benito High School senior Ryen Ortiz, 17, who signed her letter of intent with the University of North Carolina on Feb 11.
“I chose North Carolina because I felt it was a place I could grow academically and as a player,” she said. “Honestly, I just want to improve and play as much as I can. I am hoping that I will just have a spot on the team so I can have the chance to prove myself.”
Her mother, Kelly Davis, said that Ortiz has been driven as an athlete all her life.
“She is by far the hardest working female I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said. “I don’t even know how to say—try to outrun her, try to outpower her, she’s gonna just take it a notch above. She has created limitless opportunities for herself and has been an inspiration to her sister.”
Ortiz began playing soccer when she was 10 years old and proved herself talented enough to join the Balers varsity teams for all three sports in her freshman year. This year has been particularly satisfying for her.
“Our field hockey team made it into the playoffs,” she said. “And I am hoping we can win the CCS for soccer. There are a couple of things that have really stood out for me. I was awarded offensive player of the year in 2020. And in our most recent soccer game, I scored four of the five goals.”
Track coach Ryan Shorey has had a close relationship with Ortiz since her freshman year. He said that, with her contribution, San Benito High will have their best girl’s track team in recent memory.
“I have also been one of the ones that has been fortunate to see all the hard work that she has put in,” he said. “Obviously, this signing is a testament to what she has done. I’m very much looking forward to having her on the track team for her senior season, to get one last go-around on the team. She’s still one of our top returners from that freshman season even coming out this year so that gives me high hopes for what she’s gonna be capable of doing this year.”
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