EDINBURG – Two seniors from IDEA Toros College Prep signed to play soccer at the next level.

Aleythia Gutierrez and Brandon Morales will hit the pitch for Lamar University and Air Force Academy respectively.

Both students held their signing ceremonies at H-E-B Park where they spend half of their day practicing with RGVFC Toros coaches. The other half of the school day they complete their work on a computer using an individualized learning approach.

Both athletes were members of the RGV FC Academy which allows players, coaches and parents to participate in dynamic soccer sessions on a year round basis. The academy provides a progressive structure that will focus on long-term player and team development through a combination of individual and team-focused programs.

In the inaugural year of the academy 10 of the 11 students went on to play at the next level.

This season the academy has doubled in size and Gutierrez and Morales are the first two players to sign letters of intent to play college soccer.

Viviane Manzano, a counselor at IDEA Toros said most of the student-athletes are interested in playing at the next level.

“About three or four of them are not interested,” she said. “They actually came for soccer but they decided they wanted to focus on academics.”

There are different levels these athletes will compete in both academics and athletics. Four students for example just visited Colorado State University, a member of the Mountain West Conference. Two students recently visited Maryville University, a private school in St. Louis.

While students in the program fine tune their game they still need to be accepted to these universities. Take for example the Air Force Academy which requires a congressional recommendation.

Morales was one of 20 students to received a letter of recommendation from Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15).