MOSES LAKE — Relatives and coaches shuffled in and out of pictures as Eric Shaporda sat in front of a circular table, his future laying in front of him — literally and figuratively.
Shaporda, accompanied by his parents, sister, grandparents and coaches, signed his national letter of intent to play soccer for Whitworth University Saturday in the Moses Lake High School office.
That windy afternoon was the culmination of a years long dream.
“There were a few options, but it mostly came down to Whitworth,” Shaporda said. “They were kind of higher in the league for soccer so I wanted it to be a competitive team and also Whitworth their schooling’s really good and for me going into the medical field afterwards that was kind of like a deciding factor — that they had a really good medical focused school there, too.”
Shaporda is a senior forward on this year’s iteration of the Chiefs.
Head coach Richie Ramirez highlighted Shaporda’s intelligence — on an off the pitch — as a trait that will allow him to adjust smoothly to college athletics.
“Just his ability to understand the game, his IQ level and his soccer knowledge will adapt well to a university,” Ramirez said. “I mean, when you’ve got 18 to 20 guys that can play just the same as you it takes a whole different mentality when it comes to playing and he adapts to that very well. We wouldn’t be in the position we’re in if it weren’t for him and him being the role model he is this year.”
Shaporda is the first player under Ramirez — in his second season as head coach — to commit to a program at the university level.
“This is an accolade for Moses Lake High School,” Ramirez said.
Whitworth wrapped up its 2018 season with a 5-11-4 record, graduating seven seniors.
Shaporda’s goal-scoring should help the Pirates improve in 2019.
Win or lose, Shaporda is eager to continue playing.
“It’s been the dream,” he said. “This is kind of what I’ve wanted to do ever since I was a little kid — have soccer continue to be a big part of my life even after I’m done with high school and all that, especially having my parents here knowing that they’re proud of me. It feels great.”