Central Spartans' Sullivan, Cook commit to colleges for NCAA D-I football | Sports

Following the 2022 Imperial Valley soccer season, the Central Union Excessive Faculty Spartans’ soccer crew has had two of its senior soccer gamers signal NCAA Nationwide Letters of Intent for full school scholarships to play Division I soccer.

The 2 gamers are Charlie Sullivan, who will likely be attending California Polytechnic State College San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO), and Skylar Prepare dinner, who will likely be attending the College of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

That Prepare dinner and Sullivan have attained such high-level scholarships just isn’t misplaced on Central’s Head Coach David Pena, who summed the duo up with the best however most impactful assertion.

“They’re leaders on the sphere; they’re dedicated to being the very best they are often on and off the sphere,” Pena mentioned. “They’re merely, in the very best sense of the time period, student-athletes.”

Pena credit score his gamers success to additionally competing to be higher, whether or not coaching or taking part in three sports activities, and carrying that angle over to the classroom and to the recruiting course of.

Each Prepare dinner and Sullivan signed their Nationwide Letters final month through the NCAA permitted the early signing interval, which ran from December 21 to 23 in 2022.


Prepare dinner’s stellar three-sport profession at Central Union Excessive included being named a three-time First Crew All Imperial Valley League choice and a second crew All CIF San Diego Part choice.

Moreover, Prepare dinner additionally earned First Crew All IVL honors in baseball and was named Central’s Defensive Participant of the Yr in soccer, and twice in basketball. He additionally added Fall San Diego Mission Federal Credit score Union (CIF SDS) Scholar-Athlete of the Yr to his resume.

In his three seasons as a defensive again on the Spartan varsity soccer crew, Prepare dinner amassed 120 tackles, together with 81 solo tackles, and 9 interceptions whereas additionally taking part in on offense as a wide-receiver.

”After my freshman yr and I made the swap to primarily taking part in protection and I discovered I liked it at security,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “I discovered I’d fairly give the hit than take the hit. Particularly in my senior yr I needed to deal with protection, and New Mexico’s defensive coaches admire that I can catch the ball fairly than simply knock it down.”

One in every of solely three of the 11 preliminary Lobos signees slated for the defensive facet of the ball, Prepare dinner will enroll this fall as New Mexico introduced his signing on Twitter (@UNMLoboFB), letting everybody know that Prepare dinner is able to play, tweeting “…Get you a highschool senior at security that appears like a school senior. We simply did that!!! Welcome to the Lobo Household Skylar Prepare dinner!!! Lobo followers will love seeing @_skylarcook fly round College Stadium!!!”

“I am fairly positive that was the defensive backs and line coaches that got here to look at me play,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “I feel they had been emphasizing that my body was already at a collegiate stage and that bodily I am mature.”

Whereas taking part in collegiate soccer was a prime precedence for Prepare dinner, he was drawn to New Mexico due to what his scholarship expertise may in the end achieve for him.

“Fresno State and USD (College of San Diego) had been each fascinated with me,” Prepare dinner mentioned, “however a very powerful factor for me was my training, and New Mexico has a nationally acknowledged enterprise program.”

Visiting the campus additionally left an impression on Prepare dinner.

“Albuquerque is a really wide-spread metropolis, extra populated than El Centro however has the small-town really feel, the elevation is increased and it is cooler and chilly proper now,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “I liked the campus … the openness, the structure, and the athletic services are nice.”

Not surprisingly, Prepare dinner, being raised in a close-knit household, was additionally drawn to New Mexico due to the curiosity they displayed in him as each a soccer participant and as a person.

“Their curiosity was very sturdy and so they positively made a steady effort to satisfy me and my household,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “They make quite a few visits to the Valley and never simply to look at me play soccer, but in addition to be taught what sort of an individual I’m and about my household.”

What they discovered was sturdy household assist for Prepare dinner, main together with his mom, Daybreak McKinney, and brothers and former Spartans’ Randy and Brandon Andrews. Brandon Prepare dinner can also be taking part in on a scholarship to South Dakota State College.

“Undoubtedly my Mother, she’s the closest relationship in my life,” Prepare dinner mentioned. “My brothers are a giant a part of my life as mentors and position fashions, and so they did not let me win something once I was younger, they made me work for the whole lot,” the brand new UNM Lobo mentioned.

When requested if he had any feedback he needed so as to add to the IVP interview, Prepare dinner was fast to reply.

“I needed to say that none of this might have occurred with out the assistance of The Man Upstairs who has blessed me with all of the folks round me.”


One other three-sport standout for the Central, Sullivan is following up his spectacular soccer profession by at present taking part in his third yr of varsity basketball earlier than becoming a member of the observe crew this spring to defend this Imperial Valley League championship titles within the 200 and 400 meter races.

“I really like taking part in a number of sports activities however I will be taking part in the one which I really like probably the most at Cal Poly,” Sullivan mentioned.

Soccer can also be the game that gained Sullivan probably the most native notoriety, as a Central Operating Again, Sullivan rushed for 1,347 yards and 19 touchdowns throughout his simply accomplished senior season. Sullivan’s highschool profession soccer totals embody dashing for two,158 yards and 33 touchdowns, and 32 receptions for seven extra touchdowns for the Spartans.

Sullivan dominated IVL opponents in 2022, scoring 4 touchdowns towards Imperial and Southwest, whereas scoring three touchdowns towards Brawley within the CIF SDS D-II playoffs and two touchdowns, together with the game-winning rating, within the notorious Bell Sport.

As spectacular as these stats are, it was Sullivan’s stats on protection that garnered him the full-scholarship that weighed vital for Cal Poly SLO, whose Head Coach Paul Wulff launched Sullivan as an incoming linebacker.

“Charlie performed operating again and linebacker in highschool. We had him in summer season camp this previous yr and we’re very impressed together with his explosiveness and quickness as an athlete,” Wulff mentioned through a Cal Poly SLO press launch on signing day. “Charlie will convey a superb quantity of pace and physicality to the linebacker group.”

On protection, Sullivan notched 57 tackles, together with 33 solo tackles, in addition to 2.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries, and one pressured fumble within the 2022 season.

“Personally, with soccer I do not care what facet I used to be on,” mentioned Sullivan, who was named to the All Imperial Valley League First Crew on each offense and protection, and named the IVL’s Offensive MVP.

“Cal Poly mentioned they need me to play on protection and I suppose they see one thing in my defensive potential greater than on offense,” the long run Mustangs’ linebacker mentioned.

In direction of that finish, whereas the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Sullivan continues to compete for Central this spring, the Cal Poly SLO Mustangs have already got him starting a coaching routine to extend his energy.

“They have not mentioned something about whether or not I am going to proceed in observe to work on my pace,” Sullivan mentioned, who has weight-trained a Central for 4 years, “however they already despatched me their exercise plan and it is manner completely different from what I have been doing.”

Sullivan labored diligently to realize his scholarship fielding affords from College of California Davis, Idaho State, Colgate, Air Power Academy and the College of San Diego earlier than selecting Cal Poly SLO.

“I met a few of their coaches at a showcase at Redlands College and I went to considered one of their summer season soccer camps,” Sullivan mentioned. “They knew I used to be there at camp and I obtained to speak to extra coaches and to get used to the campus.”

The standard of the college, which ranks first within the California State College system, and the campus had been each elements in Sullivan’s college determination.

“I fell in love with the setting and space … once I was up there I took a tour to an summary of the campus and it is spectacular,” Sullivan mentioned.

Born in Virginia, Sullivan got here to El Centro within the third grade when his father, Michael Sr., moved Charlie together with older brother Michael Jr., and mom Nellie as a part of his obligation task as an officer within the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Apart from studying a terrific athletic work ethic from his household (Michael Jr., was a three-sport athlete at Central) and a love for basketball (Nellie Sullivan is the varsity ladies basketball coach at Southwest), Charlie additionally realized the worth of getting a stable training, which aided his scholarship pursuit.

“I used to be all the time taught that sports activities was a stepping stone for training … succeeding within the classroom all the time got here first,” Charlie Sullivan mentioned. “Really, I used to be taught to do the very best I can do it doesn’t matter what I’m doing,” he mentioned.