GIRLS SOCCER: Odessa High’s Abby Salcido signs letter of intent with Sul Ross State University

Abby Salcido always dreamed of playing college soccer.

Wednesday afternoon inside the Odessa High Fieldhouse, that dream became a reality.

In front of friends, family, coaches and teammates Salcido signed her letter of intent to play for Sul Ross State University in Alpine.

Salcido is the third Lady Broncho to sign to play collegiately this year as fellow Lady Bronchos’ seniors Zaida Lopez and Stephanie Renteria inked to play for Lubbock Christian University last month.

“I’ve always had that dream,” Salcido said about playing college soccer. “Of course when you start, you just enjoy the game, but as you get closer to going to college, that’s what you have a mindset on and I’ve always wanted to play college soccer and continue my career past high school so it’s really great.”

Salcido has spent her entire Odessa High career at the varsity level playing both midfield and forward for the Lady Bronchos and she hopes to continue to play in one of those spots for the Lady Lobos.

“She’s always been a worker for us,” Odessa High head coach Cecilia Kellar said. “Even this year where she’s been out a few games with injuries, she’s constantly just a positive voice on the sidelines. She supports her teammates and leads them in the right direction.”

In the past four seasons, Salcido has been with the Lady Bronchos for three playoff appearances including a bi-district victory over El Paso Socorro in 2014.

Throughout that time, Salcido not only took care of what was best for her on the field, but off of it as well.

“It’s a process and it’s easy to fall out of that process when you feel like you’ve hit a point that you are satisfied with,” Kellar said about getting to a point where college soccer is an option. “We always like to stress to our athletes that we don’t want them to be satisfied. You want to be happy with your successes, but you don’t want to be satisfied with them.

“You always want to raise that bar, raise that level and have high expectations for yourself and your future and Abby has always done that.  Her family has done great job of creating that culture for her with education being in the forefront, which is the way it should be.”

Salcido intends to major in biology while at Sul Ross and liked that when she met Lady Lobos’ head coach Marquis Muse he showed an interest in her athletic abilities as well as what her goals are in the classroom.

“I really loved that it’s close to home and just the atmosphere that I got from there and all the girls,” Salcido said about Sul Ross. “As soon as I went there I really liked it and my parents liked it as well and that’s a good thing.”

It was also important to Salcido to stay close to home so her family could travel to a lot of her games. Sul Ross is a member of Division III’s American Southwest Conference along with Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University and Howard Payne University — all of which are in Abilene.

“I really love that it’s close to home because my grandparents are getting older,” Salcido said. “I just want them to be a part of my life as much as they are here.”

The Lady Lobos soccer program will enter their third season of intercollegiate competition this fall — giving Salcido a chance to help build a legacy for the school on the field.

“I think it benefits her,” Kellar said about Salcido heading to a newer soccer program. “If these are the types of kids that they are recruiting, they’ll definitely have a good name to the program and she’s going to help build it and grow it in the right direction just like she helped our program.”

Salcido’s dreams at Odessa High aren’t over. She’ll join her teammates for a bi-district playoff game against El Paso Socorro at 4 p.m. Friday at Grande Communications Stadium in Midland.

But when the Lady Bronchos’ season comes to a close, Salcido knows that her soccer career won’t be ending — fulfilling that lifelong dream.

“We’re really excited for her,” Kellar said. “I have no doubts based upon her values and the type of kid that she is that she will be successful.”