Baler athlete Ryen Ortiz signs with the University of North Carolina.

The soccer, track and field hockey star is looking forward to her final season with Hollister

your years Athletic excellence in soccer, track and field hockey paid off for San Benito High School senior Ryen Ortiz, 17, who signed her letter of intent Feb. 11 with the University of North Carolina.

“I chose North Carolina because I felt it was a place where I could grow academically and as a player,” she said. “Honestly I just want to improve and play as much as possible. I hope I only get one place in the team so I have a chance to prove myself.”

Her mother, Kelly Davis, said that Ortiz has been ridden as an athlete her entire life.

“She’s by far the hardest working woman I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said. “I don’t even know how to say it – try to outrun her, try to overpower her, she’ll just take it to the next level. She created limitless opportunities for herself and was an inspiration to her sister.”

Ortiz started playing soccer at the age of 10 and proved that she was talented enough to join the Balers collegiate teams for all three sports in her freshman year. This year has been particularly satisfying for her.

“Our field hockey team made it to the playoffs,” she said. “And I hope that we can win the CCS for football. There are a few things that really struck me. I was named Offensive Player of the Year in 2020. And in our last football game I scored four of the five goals.”

Course coach Ryan Shorey has had a close relationship with Ortiz since their freshman year. He said that with their entry, San Benito High will have the best girls’ running team in recent memory.

“I was also one of the lucky ones to see all the hard work that she put in,” he said. “Obviously this signing is a testament to what she did. I’m really looking forward to having her on the track team for her senior season to get one final breakthrough on the team. She’s still one of our top returns from this freshman season even coming out this year. That gives me high hopes for what she will be capable of this year.

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