Colusa’s Helena Harris signs with Dominican University

Helena Harris signed her National Letter of Intent at Granzella's last month, committing to continue her softball career at Dominican University of California.

Colusa High School senior Helena Harris, a four-year varsity starter for the RedHawks’ softball team, is taking her talents to San Rafael.

Last month, Harris signed her National Letter of Intent with Dominican University of California, where she will continue her softball career for the next four years and plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Harris starts school at Dominican University in the fall. She officially signed on Nov. 14, at the Granzella’s in Williams. 

“I chose the school because it’s a place where I can not only further my softball career, but also my passion for passion for nursing, and also to grow stronger in my faith, because it is a private Catholic college,” Harris said.

Since she joined the varsity squad as a freshman, Harris has held down the starting shortstop position, and will do so once again in the spring. Harris received All-League honors for her play during the softball season last year. 

“She’s always, since she was a freshman, been solid at shortstop and has always just been a good kid,” Colusa softball head coach Jaime Lay said of the senior. “She puts her best foot forward and has always tried to lead, even when she was younger. I have always been able to count on her.”

Harris is the most recent in a string of players to continue their softball careers after graduating from Colusa High School and coming up through the school’s strong softball program.

“We’ve had four girls in the last three years go off and play college softball, and that’s pretty awesome for a small school,” Lay said. “I think all of them will step in and contribute at the college level.”

Harris has also played volleyball and basketball for the RedHawks, before shifting her focus solely to softball. Outside of sports, she is an outstanding student, maintaining a 4.3 GPA, and has held numerous officer positions while at Colusa High School in a number of different clubs. Harris has received numerous academic and athletic honors for being a student athlete, including being named as a Super 7 sophomore and junior. 

Colusa High School Athletic Director Eric Lay, who coached Harris even before she arrived at Colusa High School, said that Dominican University got itself a model student athlete and person in Harris.

“Helena, I’ve been lucky enough to have her since she was nine or ten years old, in both Little League and Rec League Basketball,” Lay said. “She’s always been very athletic, but I think the biggest thing with Helena is that she’s very coachable – she is willing to put in the work, willing to learn and willing to listen. For Colusa, we’re really excited because she is a model student athlete. She is great in the classroom, great out in public, and obviously great on the field as well. She is truly just the model for a student athlete, and it couldn’t have happened to a better person.”

In addition to playing four years of varsity softball for Colusa, Harris has played travel ball since she was eight years old. She currently plays travel softball with the California Yard Sharks organization. Harris plays numerous positions, which has allowed her to be a versatile player. Former RedHawks Sidney Lay and Merissa Almeda, who graduated last year, were also California Yard Sharks team members who moved on to play softball at the college level. ■

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.