On July 18, Sunnie Yarnell confirmed that the University of Northern Colorado women’s soccer program knew something she had known for a long time.
Yarnell is most interested in continuing his successful football career beyond the last two years of high school. And Bears’ program in Greeley is where Yarnell intends to continue.
Yarnell, who will become a gifted junior at Northridge High School, made an oral commitment to UNC’s women’s soccer program on July 18th.
She will have to wait at least a year before she is eligible to sign.
But that simplistic form does little to quell Yarnell’s excitement to know that her college future is solid.
“It’s incredibly exciting,” Yarnell said. “It’s an honor to play at such a high level for a great coaching staff. (UNC) was the number one school and I love the idea of playing college football in the community where I grew up. Especially with all the fans who watched me in high school.”
During her two years in high school, Yarnell led the Grizzlies in goals and overall runs in her forward/midfield position.
In her sophomore year last spring, she has scored 41 goals and 95 points, including 20 goals and 9 assists.
By attending UNC, Yarnell is following in the footsteps of her mother, Jesse, a UNC graduate.
Yarnell will also join the same program as Windsor High School graduate Abby Bush, one of her former Rapids club teammates.
But aside from these factors, Yarnell is a perfect fit for her both in athletics and academics, as UNC plans to pursue a degree in psychology.
“UNC has a beautiful campus and a great psychology program,” Yarnell said. “I love the Greeley community and it’s my dream to continue my education and play college football in the city where I grew up.”
Yarnell was impressed with the Bears football program after meeting the coaching staff.
She has attended three camps at UNC over the past few years and is more than just a Bears football fan. She said she is looking forward to contributing to UNC’s success on the pitch at the highly competitive Division I Big Sky Conference.
Still, Yarnell has some unfinished business he wants to tackle before he packs up his bags for UNC and shifts his focus to university rankings.
Yarnell was at the forefront of Northridge’s rise in Class 4A women’s football.
The Grizzlies advanced 12-1 to the 2021 State Semifinals, Yanel’s freshman season.
Last spring, Northridge advanced to Round 2 with a 15-2 record.
The Grizzlies went 9-7 in the 2019 season before Yarnell arrived on campus. The ’20 season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Northridge is clearly knocking on the door for the first-ever women’s soccer state championship in school history, Yarnell hopes the program will help knock right on that door during her last two years of high school.
“The state championship is always an amazing goal,” Yarnell said. “I think this year will be our year. … We have a great group of players and a coaching staff that provide the perfect balance of competition and fun. I am very excited to see how the next season will play out.”
Bobby Fernandez covers Greeley Tribune’s high school sports. Contact (970) 392-4478, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.