Bremerton pitcher Mia Falotico drew the attention of college coaches and signed her intent to play in Oregon
There was a measure of relief for Bremerton senior Mia Falotico when she signed her letter of intent last week to play softball for Clackamas College in Oregon City, Oregon.
Falotico, like all high school athletes in the state of Washington, enacted a measure of control over her athletic career when she made it official during a ceremony with family smiling by her side.
“I totally think the community college route is perfect for me to get my foot in the whole college and thing and knowing what I’m getting myself into,” Falotico said, adding getting more playing time, saving money, and, with covid still playing its role in athletics, for so many seniors junior college is the way to go.
Falotico, who missed her junior season — a prime recruiting year for athletes who want to play in college — said the stress was definitely there during the lockdown last year. The uneasiness remained until Falotico decided to take matters into her own hands.
“You’re in the mindset, ‘What am I going to do?’ You have to be persistent and keep emailing coaches and making videos and get your name out there and do your best,” she said.
Her doggedness allowed her to make contact with several coaches, among them, Clackamas, Columbia Basin and Saint Martin’s in Lacey. It also definitely helped Falotico is one of the top 15 pitchers in the state, is a three-year varsity letter winner, and twice played in the KAR West Sound All-Star Softball Game. Her previous select teams included the Diamond Dusters and Washington Thunder has is coached by former Olympic College and Olympic High School coach Jessica Cabato.
“I really wanted to get away from Washington,” Falotico said, but not be too far away. “Oregon’s the perfect place. I have family half-an-hour away and Clackamas plays in Bellevue so (my family) gets to watch.”
Falotico did make a recruiting trip in person to Oregon City to check out the campus, meet coach Jessica Buel and her potential teammates. Falotico said she liked the competitive and fun atmosphere — “they win a lot of games,” she said of Clackamas. “I want to play and I want to win. I want the ability to move on and they have a very good rating on transfers. I really love the campus and being far enough and close to family. It’s perfect.”
Falotico said she had to learn how to be creative during the most severe of the lockdowns last year, then was able to travel with her select team, the Northwest Sidewinders under coach Jerry Justice when restrictions eased. She’s been traveling to Arizona to play every other week for tournaments.
What helped keep her motivated were the video team meetings where she and her teammates could talk about life, school and it gave them all a positive outlet.
More currently Falotico has been in touch with her upcoming college coach about what the next season will look like. Falotico is currently finishing her volleyball season for the Knights and is more than happy to be back on the court and looking forward to playing her senior year of softball.
“Steps are going in the right direction,” she said. “If we play volleyball, we should be playing softball.”