Three Sobrato High student-athletes—Daniela Andrade, Ethan Marmie and Kaelyn “KK” Sullivan—were honored in a ceremony at the school on Nov. 16 signifying their signings to play sports at the four-year collegiate level.
The trio were able to officially sign their letter of intents on Nov. 9, the first day of the early signing period for high school athletes in sports other than football. Andrade signed with Cal State University Los Angeles for women’s golf, Marmie with Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo for baseball and Sullivan with University of the Pacific for women’s soccer.
The trio of athletes each had a coach talk about their respective journey and many friends and family members in attendance. Andrade, who won this year’s Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa Division golf tournament championship, established herself as one of the school’s best golfers in recent memory with consecutive years of making the Central Coast Section Golf Championships.
In the league finals, Andrade shot a round in the mid-70s at Santa Teresa Golf Club to take the title. She followed that up with a solid round of 80 at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch to place 24th in the CCS Finals on Nov. 1.
Andrade only started playing golf in middle school but caught on fast, aided by an incredible work ethic that included hundreds of hours on the practice range. Andrade credited her support system for helping her get to this point.
“I had a lot of support from friends and family, everyone out here,” Andrade said. “I loved what I was doing, they supported me and encouraged me a lot, so I used that encouragement to go and play my best golf and sign for a college. It’s great because it’s always been a big dream of mine.”
Sullivan also said her family and friends were instrumental in providing an extra push in her soccer career.
“They supported me throughout the whole process and kept me motivated and kept me going,” she said. “To have them at the finale of the signing was really fun.”
Matt Marquess, one of Sullivan’s coaches on the De Anza Force Developmental Academy team, said Sullivan took advice well and then applied it immediately, which resulted in a huge improvement in her game.
A versatile talent who can play striker, fullback and wing, Sullivan earned praise from coaches who said Sullivan’s determination shows on the field when she wins 50-50 balls going up against bigger and stronger girls.
“I’ve always been unafraid to challenge even though I’m not always as strong or as big as the other girls,” she said. “I’ve always fought for the ball no matter what and having that mentality of always getting after it.”
Sullivan said having two older siblings who were into sports gave her a competitive desire from an early age.
“I just think it made me a lot more competitive when it came to all areas of my life,” she said. “And as I grew older playing sports, the environment and competition only increased so I had to rise to it and having older siblings made it easier in a sense. Everyone else around me was playing sports and it’s just the culture in my family.”
Marmie is a baseball and basketball standout coming off a tremendous junior season in both sports. On the diamond, the 6-foot-7, 190-pounder went 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA. On the hardwood, Marmie averaged 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Sobrato baseball coach James Pozas spoke to Marmie’s work ethic, seeing the big right-hander on Saturday mornings with Marmie’s private coach, relentlessly honing his game.
Marmie was a late bloomer as he overcame physical adversity all the while taking time to grow into his tall frame. But he came on particularly strong last year and now has a scholarship to show for his efforts.
For most of his career, Marmie thought if he was ever going to get a scholarship, it would be to play basketball. That’s what made his signing to Cal Poly for baseball so rewarding.
“Baseball has kind of been difficult to fit into my life,” he said. “I’ve kind of been a basketball player, but this past Sobrato baseball season made me fall in love with sports again. All my teammates played a huge part in my motivation and I decided to take baseball seriously this last summer. It worked for me and how everything unfolded.”
Did it ever. Former San Jose State pitching coach Seth Moir noticed Marmie during the high school season, and when Moir took the same position at Cal Poly in the summer, the two stayed in communication.
The seminal moment in Marmie’s recruiting process came when he was invited to Cal Poly’s camp on Aug. 9.
“I went to the camp and struck out nine batters in a row,” Marmie said. “They gave me a tour of the school the next morning and said we’re offering you, and I committed two days later.”
Marmie faced 10 batters in all—all of whom were most likely Cal Poly recruits—at which point Marmie asked if there were any more hitters he needed to face.
“No, you struck them all out,” Marmie said of the Cal Poly coaches’ reply.
What made Marmie’s performance all the more remarkable was he had thrown just one or two days before at a showcase tournament in San Diego with his travel team, Alpha Power.
“My arm was kind of dead, but I drank a Monster [energy drink], warmed up the best I could and hoped for the best,” he said.
It was a crazy 48 hours for Marmie and his family, who in that time frame drove from San Diego back to their home in Morgan Hill to pick up some important items and then south again to San Luis Obispo to make everything work.
“It was hectic and we had a lot of things going on at home, but we were like this could be it and this could be our once chance to solidify their offer,” Marmie said.
Like Andrade and Sullivan, Marmie thanked his family and friends for their unwavering support.
“It was awesome I had so many friends with me, and a lot of family members came from out of town to celebrate the moment,” he said. “It was a big moment, my parents are super proud of me and overall it’s exciting for the whole family.”
Sports editor Emanuel Lee can be reached at [email protected]