EBCI Grad Profile: Sterling Santa Maria, Cherokee High School 

by Apr 7, 20202020 EBCI Graduate Profiles




Sterling Santa Maria (Photo contributed)

Sterling Santa Maria, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians from the Yellowhill Community, is set to graduate from Cherokee High School (CHS) this spring.  He has been accepted to and will attend the University of Oregon this fall.  

While at CHS, he played varsity basketball (four years), varsity track and field (shot put, three years), varsity soccer (one year), and varsity football (three years).  

During his athletic career, he won numerous awards including: 

* Defensive MVP, Braves varsity soccer, 2016 

* Member of Braves 1A state championship football team, 2017 

* All-Conference, Braves varsity football, 2018 

* All-Conference, Braves varsity basketball, 2018-19 and 2019-20 

* In January 2019, Santa Maria scored his 1,000th career point in basketball.  

* Offensive MVP, Braves varsity basketball, 2018-19 

* Men’s Discus second place in 1A State Meet, 2019

* Field MVP, Braves varsity track and field, 2019 

* Selected to Blue-White All-Star Basketball game, 2020

Sterling Santa Maria (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photo)

“First off, I would like to thank my mother and father because they push me to my absolute greatest potential no matter the cirumstances,” he said.  “For teachers, I’d like to thank Gregg McGaha and Heath Robertson because they truly prepared me for what was next in the real world.  Also, they made me feel very welcomed and made me laugh quite a bit.”  

When asked his thoughts on graduation, Santa Maria noted, “I am very excited to be moving on to bigger and better things.  Also, I am ready to meet new people.”  

He is the son of Mike and Teresa Santa Maria and brother to Callie Phillips.