On March 4th, 2021, Camas High School Senior JJ Davis-Mercado committed to play soccer at Ottawa University in Surprise, Arizona. He joins fellow CHS Seniors and teammates Jake Bilsborough and Brady Ellis, who both committed in late January.
Bilsborough and Ellis were thrilled when they found out Davis-Mercado would be joining them in the desert.
Bilsborough said, “I was very happy when I found out JJ committed. I’m excited to continue to play with him at a higher level.”
Ellis said, “When I found out, I was excited for him. I knew it was a good college and to have another teammate there is nice.”
Davis-Mercado is excited to have connections established in the program prior to going down there. He believes it will make the transition to college easier. However, he is excited to make new friends as well.
“I’m really excited to get to know the guys a lot better because I have been playing with Jake and Brady for a while, but not an extreme amount. I will not only get to know them, but a bunch of new people and just experience college,” he said.
With the three of them having prior chemistry on the pitch, Bilsborough, Ellis, and Davis-Mercado are looking forward to the possible success their trio can have in the future.
“We’re hoping to bring our existing chemistry to Ottawa and compete for our spot on the team,” Bilsborough said.
“Together we are hopefully helping the team get better and stronger,” Ellis said.
Davis-Mercado worked extremely hard to earn the opportunity to play at the next level. He has played club soccer at a high level since he was eight years old.
“I play for the Washington Timbers. It’s been a real adventure, to not only develop my skills, but I get to meet a lot of new people. It really put me in hard situations that really test my skills and meet great coaches,” he said.
Davis-Mercado started reaching out to college coaches a couple of months ago. He got in touch with Warner Pacific University, Bethel University, Whitworth University, and Ottawa University. Out of all the schools, Ottawa really stood out.
He said, “I really liked their coaches, they are super nice guys, plus having two people going there with me. It allowed a great opportunity because they have two teams, a first team and a second team. The second team is for the new guys, and I think that would be a great transition into college soccer.”
Davis-Mercado, Ellis, and Bilsborough will start off on the second team and compete against other neighboring college club teams, such as Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona.
Ottawa will award him $6,000 a year in scholarship funds to play soccer at their university.
Another deciding factor was that he can pursue electrical engineering, which is a subject he is interested in learning about.
Transitioning smoothly from the Pacific Northwest to the desert may take some getting used to, but Davis-Mercado is up for the challenge.
“I think it may be a little brutal at first, but I think after a few months I might get used to it,” he said.
Davis-Mercado is excited for the upcoming CHS season and wants to end his high school soccer career on a high note.