Mark Leffingwell / File photo
Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Fairview gradute Raul Magno never gave up on finding the right college for himself to continue playing soccer. It just took a little while for that comfortable feeling to be overwhelming.
A first-team BoCoPreps.com all-region midfielder as a senior in 2014-15, Magno is finally going to be able to get back on the pitch competitively, fully healthy and champing at the bit to go to school at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming.
He is among several local athletes that have recently made announcements about their college destinations. Centaurus’ Shaquille Ebadi is another — the quarterback is headed to the College of DuPage, a strong junior college program in suburban Chicago.
For Magno, there were a couple offers on the table upon graduating but none sat particularly well with him. After taking some classes at a local community college, he reached out to several people to seek some opinions about what he could do and was offered plenty of encouragement.
“I spent a lot of the year recovering from injuries but I actually talked a lot with my good friend Quinn (Liebmann, a former Boulder player) about what kind of options he thought I had,” Magno said recently in a phone interview. “I was able to get in touch with some of the FC Boulder coaches, too, and I talked a little bit with Hardy (Kalisher).
“When I looked at everything, I was convinced that I was going to go to Otero Junior College but Laramie popped up and I went ahead with the process with them. I wasn’t expecting it, but I am happy. I figure I can get a couple years there and then just see what happens.”
Magno, who also was the place-kicker for the Knights football team in 2014, said that he has been training on his own a lot but the next few months will be dedicated to specific soccer training.
Ebadi was quick to develop as the one-year starter at quarterback for the Warriors in 2016-17, taking over for Ryan Cotter and throwing for 2,260 yards and 21 touchdowns in 10 games.
As a life-long football player, Ebadi was confident he’d get a shot to play somewhere despite just one full varsity season under center. After peering at a couple of Arizona colleges, Ebadi opted for the big city scene with the Chaparrals.
“Coach (Bob) Carskie brought up the school to me, and I ended up doing a lot of research. The visit to the College of DuPage, the things that coach (Matt) Foster was preaching there really hit home with me,” Ebadi said, ever grateful to the Centaurus coaches as well as his family and friends for supporting him. “I’m really looking forward to being in Chicago.
“I never doubted myself and I’ve had a passion for football since I was really young. I love the game and I love the process … the preparation, the training, the brotherhood, everything.”
The final official signing day for the 2016-17 school year is April 12.