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‘Little Gambo’ signs letter of intent

She had 14 days from today to sign and date the document for it to become official. But she had no need to take that long. She was not allowed to sign it until 7:00 a.m. Wednesay morning, so she signed it at 7:01 in the auditorium of Desert Vista High School in front of friends, family and coaches. Since she is not 21 years of age, I had to sign it as well. But only after reading all six pages quite a few times. The document is called a National Letter of Intent or for sports purposes a LOI, and today my daughter Kaylee Gambadoro officially signed her LOI to play Division I soccer at Loyola Chicago on a full scholarship.

It is the culmination of a lot of hard work, dedication, sweat, tears, late nights practicing and even later nights doing homework, long car rides, long plane rides, long bus rides, long weekends away from home, lots of ice baths, lots of cleats, lost balls, one day in a New Mexico hospital with a concussion, lost toe nails, lots of scars, even more raspberries from slide tackles, plenty of missed school events, dances, parties, football games and the list goes on and on and on. Needless to say there were a lot of sacrifices, including some friends who had different priorities in high school.

But it got her to where she is at now and she will get to fulfill her dream of playing college soccer at the highest level, and in the process become the first Gambadoro to go to college. Hard to believe, especially when you hear how intelligent I sound, I know, but it’s true. And more importantly than the soccer, she will get an outstanding education at one of the top colleges in the country.

Kaylee started playing soccer for the Gilbert Arsenal when she was 7, moved over to the Ladybugs when she was 11 and then to Sereno when she was 14 where she was a part of a great run by the Sereno 95 Girls that saw them win five state championships. In her final year of club soccer after her Sereno team disbanded, she is playing for the defending state champion Tucson Soccer Academy and making the three-hour round trip commute for practice three times per week.