Jadyn Shinn is keeping it close to home.
The Sierra High senior midfielder/striker inked her letter of intent Wednesday to play for the Cal women’s soccer program next fall.
“I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life,” said Shinn during her signing event held in the SHS library.
Those close to her were equally excited. Included were her folks, Janae and Justin Shinn, siblings Jordan and Jules, teammates, coaches, teachers and administrators.
Many were there for Shinn.
“She’s a unique player and a special person,” said Timberwolves coach Manuel Pires, who has coached Shinn for the past four years. “Her work ethic is very high — she’s humble, coachable, and always willing to help the other players.”
He observed her efforts in practices, which is always at a high level. “She’s at an even higher level come game time,” Pires said.
All that has translated in plenty of wins for the Timberwolves and recognition for Shinn. Her goal is to win a Sac-Joaquin Section title. Sierra (24-1-2) made it to the Division III semifinals last year, only to be denied by Central Valley.
Shinn is the reigning Manteca Bulletin All-Area and Valley Oak League MVP after registering 41 goals and 10 assists last year. She already owns Sierra’s career scoring record with 264 points (107 goals, 50 assists).
Shinn enjoyed her long-awaited signing day. Initially, she had planned to go to South Bend, Indiana, home to the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. But all that changed once head coach Theresa Romagnolo resigned earlier this year.
Enter the Cal Bears.
Shinn liked everything about the program under Neil McGuire, who is currently in his 11th season while leading the program in all-time wins with an overall 137-68-26 record.
The Bears have reached the NCAA tournament in each of those 11 years.
Jadyn Shinn is likes being close to family, crediting them for sacrificing their time to just to get her to all of those many years of practices and games, from Sierra to the San Jose Earthquakes Girls Academy team.
Although undeclared on a major — “I know I want to do something in biology, maybe become a physician assistant,” she said — Shinn loves the Berkeley campus along with the atmosphere that surrounds it.
“I know a lot of the players from the incoming freshmen class,” she added.
Pires, for one, believes Shinn will be successful playing NCAA Division I soccer.
“I know she will make an impact,” he said. “I’m very excited about her future.”