The Blaine College women’s football program recently honored three Buccaneers who will continue their football careers with four-year colleges this fall.
Blaine coach Michael McBride and assistant coach Alexandria Jackson hosted sophomores Angel Chase, Lexington Needler, and Victoria Canto and their families, friends and colleagues at the LOI signing ceremony inside the Cross Center on the Brenham Campus.
The three athletes will leave Blinn after a successful season that saw the Buccaneers grab their second consecutive appearance in the playoff after qualifying for the NJCAA Gulf South District Championship.
“Being a new program, seeing things pay off for our athletes so quickly and having the opportunity to move forward to the next stage of their career is very special,” said Blaine coach Michael McBride. “Signature day and graduation day are the two biggest days for us, and these players will be part of the two. That’s the most important for us.”
Angel Chase, a goalkeeper from Houston, is heading to NCAA Division II at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (Alpha, Oklahoma), where she will study business administration.
Chase has played in 12 games for Blinn this season (all start) and finished with 40 saves and a 75% save rate.
After accepting a backup role as a freshman in 2020, Chase said that a summer of hard work that led to a fall season began enlisting her and setting her up for the next level.
“I took my future on me and I trained all summer and put in the work to show my coach that I could play,” Chase said. “When I got back to Blinn in the fall, I fought for starting position and haven’t left the field since. I just found love for the game again. Once I got to my stride, I think the schools started taking note.”
Lexington Kneedler will enroll in Division II from Missouri Southern State University (Joplin, Mo.) after establishing itself as the top Blinn ball distributor this past fall. The Pasadena, Texas, midfielder led the Buccaneers with nine assists and added one goal in 14 games (13 starts).
Needler thanked McBride and Jackson for their efforts in finding a destination beyond Blaine and said their efforts pushed her recruitment to the finish line.
“They advertised for me in a lot of schools and really got my name there,” Needler said. “I am grateful to Blaine and to coaching McBride and Jackson on this.
“I’ve grown as a player, and I feel Blinn has given me this opportunity and the experience I needed to test myself against tougher competition. I feel like I’ve achieved something here and that feels great.”
Needler said she plans to pursue a degree in kinesiology.
Victoria Canto, of The Colony, Texas, will attend the University of North America (Stafford, Texas) — joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in July — where she will study business.
Kanto played in 14 games with four matches last season, scoring three goals for Boss.
Canto said the team structure and high standards set by Blaine’s coaching staff helped prepare it for the next level.
“We expect a lot from you here, but the way your teammates and coaches support and care for you, makes you want to do everything you can,” Canto said. “I think I grew as much as I did and got a chance at the next level because of the people around me here.”
Since the Blaine Women’s Soccer Program began in fall 2018, every player has transitioned to a four-year school.
“I have to give coach Jackson a helping hand because she’s working so hard to get our players to where they want to go after Blaine,” McBride said. “Having three more of our players sign today shows that’s real; players can come here hoping to transfer to a four-year school and know it’s a reality here.”