As usual, Long Beach Poly’s signing day celebration was an epic event that filled up the stands in the Ron Palmer Pavilion, as 27 Jackrabbits were recognized for signing scholarships this year, representing more than two million dollars in total money for college.

“This is always a special day at Long Beach Poly and it’s my favorite day of the year,” said Poly boys athletic director Rob Shock. Shock helps set up a genuine show at the school, with a big inflatable screen and dramatic lighting.

The size of Poly’s class is even more impressive considering that many athletes are still evaluating their options or waiting until after the year to sign.

The Jackrabbits football signees all ended up where expected, with another strong class that featured Josh Brown (linebacker, Arizona) and Josh Talbott (safety, Washington State).

“I’ve been coming to these since I was a little kid,” said Brown, who is the fourth and final Brown brother to play defense at Poly and earn a four-year scholarship (his brother Jayon is currently preparing for the NFL Draft after four years at UCLA). “It was amazing to finally be sitting in that chair with everyone cheering.”

The Jackrabbits other signees were Aaron Shampklin (Harvard), Zion Bowens (Air Force), Nolan McDonald (Air Force), Moises Gonzalez (Whittier College), Jeremy Saddler (Northern College), Tyler O’Neil (Azusa Pacific), Edgar Hayes (Whittier College), and Noah Hall (Whittier College).

From the girls soccer program: Emily Knous (Arizona), Aaqila McLyn (Washington State), Sarah Pilster (Long Beach State), Luz Lopez (Marymount College), Arnise Williams (San Jose State), Breeanna Martinez (Marymount College) and MacKayla Dean-Grady (SCAD).

The school had a pair of highly sought-after volleyball players including USC signee Sam Lewis, one of the top recruits in the nation and the top-ranked middle blocker. From the girls team, Penina Tusa signed with Washington State as a setter.

Other signees were: Jack Neton (swimming, Seattle U), Olivia Gleason (cross country, Scripps College), and Lauren Fillipow (cross country, Southern Oregon).

Mike Guardabascio