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Cherie DeJesus signs with C. Arizona
Lancer hopes to parlay success there into D-I scholarship
East Union senior Cherie DeJesus signs her letter of intent to attend Central Arizona College Thursday. Michele Alves, from left, Randy Friend, Lenny DeJesus, Kimberlee DeJesus, Brian Goulart surround Cherie at the signing.
All of the extra batting sessions, fielding drills and even the blisters on her hands have finally paid off for East Union High senior Cherie DeJesus. She signed her letter of intent to become a student-athlete for Central Arizona College Thursday.

DeJesus inked her commitment in front of family and friends, signifying a final hurdle cleared entering her senior season for a highly-touted Lancer softball program.

“I totally feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders,” DeJesus said after accepting a scholarship to play for the Vaqueras. “Now I know I can just go out there and play without worrying about trying to prove myself to any other teams.

“Now that all that is done, I am just looking forward to a good season.”

DeJesus surely accomplished that feat a year ago for East Union, finishing her junior season with a .378 batting average, eight multi-hit games and second-team All-VOL honors. DeJesus closed the season on fire, banging out two doubles in three of her final four contests.

Now she will look to make her mark in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference in the 2011 season, trusting that a pair of quality seasons in Coolidge, Ariz. will be the foundation for a transition into the NCAA Division I ranks. She will play for fourth-year head coach Sandra Wente, likely in the middle-infield.

“She is without question a Division-I prospect,” East Union head coach Brian Goulart said. “Had she followed the East Union tradition for four years, she’d be D-1 right now.”

DeJesus made the transfer from West High in Tracy to East Union for her final two seasons and the reward has been phenomenal for both parties. She has been a custom fit for a Lancer program that knows nothing but success, while putting herself in position to succeed at the next level.

“As an East Union family with her coming in and her family coming into ours it has been a perfect union,” Goulart said. “In just her second year in the program she is already a captain. That says everything. For our program that is the top honor.
“You get named captain because you are a top role model, on and off the field.”

DeJesus is carrying a stellar 3.5 GPA and has aspirations to earn a degree in the criminal justice field. She will strive to complete her associate degree during her tenure at Central Arizona, making the transition to a four-year program much easier.

“Playing at the Division-I level will definitely happen for her,” Goulart said. “Whether it’s after her freshman year, or coming out as a junior and where she will land is hard to say. Several coaches have contacted us about her, especially San Jose State, so for me there really is no doubt that it will happen.”

San Jose State assistant coach Stan McFadden has played an instrumental role in landing DeJesus in Arizona. The former third baseman turned middle infielder participated with McFadden’s summer league squad, boosting her stock with the ability to play multiple positions.

Her game has blossomed 10-fold since her days of playing on all-boys Little League squads, and now she has the responsibility of showing the young girls of the area that it is possible to achieve their dreams.

“I would tell all the little girls, that if this is what you want to do then work hard and have fun at it,” DeJesus said. “It is not just on the field either; it’s about what you do off the field in the classroom and in the community too.

“How much you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.”