Future Brazos Rivals Collazos & Torres Embrace Senior Year Roles
The Austin area produces top tier athletes in a lot of sports. Two of them are Class of 2020 college softball recruits Sydney Collazos and Mariana Torres. Both are experiencing a unique senior year situation and will ultimately end up on opposite sides of a college rivalry.
We start with Sydney Collazos, who currently plays softball at Georgetown High School. She chose Baylor because the "competitive athletics and academics" and Christian-based university sold her on the Waco campus.
"Baylor is my dream school and I prayed that God would allow me to end up there, so I was incredibly honored to receive an offer," said Collazos. "Staying close to home and my family had always been a top priority, so getting to stay in Central Texas is really exciting for me."
It's been a great 2019-2020 athletic year at Baylor, with the men's basketball program having one of its best seasons in history, the women's basketball program still acting as a juggernaut, the football team nearly winning a Big 12 championship and the softball team recording an early 14-2 season record. Collazos wants to be a part of that success, so she has a plan in place once she steps on campus.
"They came out this year more hungry and eager to win," Collazos said of her future softball program. "I plan on bringing that with me when I step onto campus, [along with] the work ethic, passion and championship mindset. I [also] plan to come in prepared and ready to compete."
Collazos will lean on the same things to finish her high school career on the right note. She helped Georgetown march to the UIL 5A Region III Semifinal in 2019 and wants to top that during the 2020 campaign.
"We're chasing a state title," said Collazos. "Fortunately, we returned an entire varsity roster this year, so we know what we're capable of. Our plan is to play selflessly for each other and play as a team."
Another prospect on Austin's north side is Mariana Torres, who currently plays for Pflugerville Hendrickson. She will first suit up for Texas A&M during the 2020-2021 school year and could face Collazos in a Battle of the Brazos rivalry renewal. She received an offer from A&M's softball program in September 2017 and quickly committed in October of that year. There were two main reasons for her quick decision. The first was the environment that she'll join when she puts on the Maroon and White.
"The atmosphere and community support for A&M athletics is unlike any[thing] I've ever seen," said Torres. "The rich traditions and knit close family that A&M has established would not be possible without the irreplaceable 12th Man."
Torres also said that she enjoys the school's chants and is looking forward to receiving an Aggie Ring.
"A&M having a lot of traditions is an understatement," she said. "If I had to choose one [that I'm looking forward to experiencing], it'd be Aggie Ring Day because the Aggie Ring symbolizes all the hard work you've instilled into your education while managing life and, in my case, a hectic softball schedule."
The other thing that sold her on the College Station campus was the coaches.
"The softball coaching staff genuinely cares for your development as a person and player, and I wanted to have a support system away from home that'll treat me like their own and prepare me for my life after softball."
Torres definitely has a future to look forward to, but her immediate focus is on the 2020 high school softball season. There's been a slight change to her senior year plans, but that's not stopping her from making the most of her final high school campaign.
"Since my labrum surgery in November, I kind of took on a coaching role," said Torres. "The girls sometimes call me 'Coach Torres' [and] I've really enjoyed seeing the game from another perspective because it really challenges you to appreciate the game when you can play it."
Torres has come a long way in her recovery process and is now weeks away from returning to a full time player role. She is currently serving at defensive positions until she's back at full strength.
"I'm still trying to help mentor in any way I can," she said. "Just trying to take on that senior leadership role."
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