National Signing Day for Local Athletes

By Rancho Santa Margarita Patch published February 6, 2013

Wednesday was the day rubber met the road or, at the very least, ink met the paper. For high school athletes around the country, it was their day to sign National Letters of Intent to indicate which college they will attend-and play sports.

The sports covered are football, soccer, cross country, track and field, boys' water polo and field hockey.

Some athletes also use the day to publicly announce they will attend institutions that don't use Letters of Intent, such as the Ivy League and the service academies.

It's also a day in which schools recognize athletes who may not have a scholarship but have determined where they will attend and attempt to make the team as a walk-on candidate.

Notably in Rancho Santa Margarita, eight football players committed, six of them to Division I programs-and that doesn't include tailback Ryan Wolpin, the touchdown machine who chose Northern Colorado.

Of those six players, five chose Pac-12 football programs; the exception was quarterback Johnny Stanton, who made good on his longtime commitment to attend Nebraska.

Tesoro has six football players going to the next level, though none competing in college football's highest division.

Submitted by Tesoro High

Adam, Matt


Indiana State University

Allen, Tyler


Point Loma Nazarene University

Almao, Lisaanne


Pacific University, Oregon

Bates, Makensie


University of California, San   Diego

Brown, Courtney


Liberty University

Brown, Katy


Liberty University

Coburn, Morgan


Mount Holyoke College

Crouch, Nick


Sacramento State University

Dhillon, Justin


Cal Poly University, San Luis Obisbo

Diacono, Alyssa

Water Polo

San Diego State University

Eubank, Clayton


Brown University

Gipe, Megan


Harding University

Gleason, Hannah


Utah State University

Goodbrand, Kyle


University of Nevada, Reno

Hartman, Rachel


Iowa State University

Hoskins, Emmy


Chapman University

Jones, Mayci


Brigham Young University

Koh, Taylor

XC and T&F

The Masters College - Santa   Clarita

Krufka, Sarah


Sacred Heart University

Lancona, Tanner


Washington State University

Legaux, Brooke


Fresno State University

Lopiccolo, Aaron


Bentley University

McLeish, Courtney


Cal State University, San   Marcos

Petersen, Taylor

Water Polo

Naval Academy

Saunier, Derek


University of Colorado,   Colorado Springs

Simmons, Hunter

Track & Field

Harvard University

Tago, Nate


Portland State University

Yoch, Theodora


Middlebury College

Patton, Nathaniel


University of Arizona -   preferred walk on

Scharmann, Emily

XC and T&F

UCLA - preferred walk on

Schottenfeld, Zach


University of Utah - preferred   walk on

Submitted by Santa Margarita Catholic

  • Andrew Thompson of Laguna Niguel has committed  to Washington University in St. Louis for baseball. Andrew is a  versatile player and possesses a high baseball I.Q. Although limited in  varsity experience, Andrew looks to help the Eagle baseball team  tremendously this spring. Andrew is a full IB candidate, member of the  National Honor Society, MUN, CSF, is a senior counselor to Special Camp  for Special Kids, and maintains a 4.42 GPA.
  • Chelsea Carey of Trabuco Canyon has committed to Gonzaga  University to play soccer. Chelsea, a goalkeeper for the Eagles, is the  President of her senior class, International Baccalaureate candidate,  and a Model United Nations student delegate.  Chelsea is a campus Peer  Minister, Student Ambassador, and former Link Crew member as well.  She  has been awarded Scholar Athlete honors, the Post to Post award, and the  Christian Eagle award.  Chelsea is currently president of the  Saddleback Valley Assisteens Chapter, plays for the So Cal Blues, and  maintains a 4.46 GPA.
  • Connor O'Brien  of Trabuco Canyon has committed to the University of Washington to play  football.  In his time at SM, Connor has been named to the All Trinity  League 1st team, All-CIF team, All-County and All State teams as one of  the premier defensive backs in the California. Connor's most memorable  experience as an Eagle was winning the state championship in 2011.  Connor appreciates everything Santa Margarita and the football team has  taught him and looks to contribute to the Husky football team  immediately.
  • Christian Thierjung of Dove Canyon has committed to the  University of California, Berkeley to play Soccer. Christian is a  nationally ranked player and was a Varsity Starter for the Eagles as a  freshman. Thierjung has been playing in the United States Soccer  Development Academy League and has been one of the top goal scorers in  the country with 45 goals. Christian is nationally ranked by College  Soccer News, ESPN Rise, and Top Drawer Soccer. Christian is a member of  the National Honor Society and maintains a 4.13 GPA.
  • Dane Crane  of Irvine has committed to the University of Washington to play  football. In 2012, Dane was named the Trinity League Offensive Line Most  Valuable Player, selected to the 1st team All-County, 1st team LA  Times, 1st team All-CIF, All-State, and was named a Semper Fidelis All  American. Dane was the starting center on the 2011 state Championship  team and as a junior was named 1st Team all Trinity League, 2nd team  All-County, and 2nd team All-State Underclassmen. Dane will head north  with fellow teammate Connor O'Brien as members of the U-Dub football team.
  • Danielle Geiger of Mission Viejo has committed to the  University of California, Irvine to play volleyball. Dani is a three  year varsity athlete for the volleyball program and is also a member of  the Saddleback Volleyball Club. In her junior year, Dani was named to  the All-Trinity league second team and was named to the All-Trinity  league 3rd team this year.
  • Jennifer Rupey of Mission Viejo has committed to San Diego  State University to play soccer. Jennifer has enjoyed 4 years of soccer  at SMCHS with successes that include a CIF Regional Championship, 3  Trinity League Championships, and being named to the 2012 Trinity League  1st team. Jennifer played with the SC Blues and Slammers ECNL club  teams and has played on the ODP team as well. Jennifer appreciates the  support her coaches have given her through the years. In the classroom,  Jennifer maintains a 3.67 GPA.
  • Johnny Stanton  of Coto de Caza has committed to the University of Nebraska to play  football. Johnny is a three-year varsity starter and the starting  quarterback for the Eagles the past two seasons. Johnny was the  recipient of the National GTM Player of the Month award in September,  was a member of the California All-State Team in 2011, and was a  finalist for the California Mr. Football award last season. Johnny's  most memorable experience at Santa Margarita was winning the Division 1  State Championship his junior year. In the classroom, Johnny maintains a  3.92 grade point average.
  • Kailey Hackett of Coto de Caza has committed to the University  of California, Santa Barbara to play soccer. Kailey is a three year  varsity athlete and has been recognized as the team's defensive MVP and  the defensive MVP of the Trinity League in 2012. Kailey, a captain on  this year's team, earned first team All-County and All-CIF honors in  2012 and was recently named to the 2012 NSCAA Western Regional team.
  • Karli Ladwig of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to the  University of Kentucky to play soccer. Karli contributed to three  Trinity League Championships and a CIF Regional Championship in 2012.  Karli was a member of the Swedish National Soccer team and has earned  the California Scholarship Federation Award, Honor Roll recognition for 4  consecutive years and 2011 Distinguished National Youth Leadership  Forum for Medicine Award. Karli has been awarded the Provost Scholarship  at the University of Kentucky where she will study pre-veterinary  medicine and maintains a 4.33 GPA.
  • Lauren Rodriguez of Lake Forest has committed to the  University of California Los Angeles to play soccer. Lauren is a  three-year varsity athlete, two-time All-League Selection, and was named  a Farmers  Student Athlete Citizen in 2012. Lauren has played club  soccer since U-8 and currently plays for West Coast Futbol Club. Off the  field, Lauren volunteers in the athletic department and training  program where she assists the athletes with medical treatment. Lauren  also volunteers with the organization, Soccer for Hope, benefitting kids  with life threatening diseases, and has maintained a 3.68 GPA.
  • Nick Begg  of Aliso Viejo has committed to Arizona State University to play  football. Nick has enjoyed playing football for the last 4 years here at  Santa Margarita, including being part of the 2011 California State  Championship team his junior year. This year, Nick earned 2nd team  All-Trinity League honors on the defensive side of the ball, and has  played in All-Star games such as the B2G West Coast Bowl and the  California State All-Star game. In the classroom, Nick boasts a 3.75  GPA.
  • Natalie Grabowski of Trabuco Canyon has committed to Boston  University for Track and Field. Natalie is a three year varsity athlete  for the Track team where she specializes in the Pole Vault. Natalie has a  personal best of 11'0" and placed 5th at the CIF Southern Section  Finals last season. Natalie participates in the International  Baccalaureate program, is a member of the Mock Trial team, and maintains  a 4.14 GPA.
  • Niki Miyashiro of Laguna Niguel has committed to Ohio State  University to play soccer. Niki is a 4-year varsity athlete and is a  co-Captain of this year's team. Niki has been a part of four consecutive  Trinity League championship teams, is a two-time First Team All-Trinity  League selection, and was second team All-CIF as a sophomore.  Niki  carries a 4.67 GPA and has been accepted into the Fisher College of  Business at thee, Ohio State.
  • Reid Andrew of Foothill Ranch has committed to Wesleyan  University in Connecticut to play football. Reid is a two year varsity  starter for the Eagles and has accounted for 3 interceptions and 45  tackles on the defensive side of the ball. He is a four year scholar  athlete and the founder of the Fellowship of Eagle Athletes, a chapter  of Christian Athletes on campus and maintains a 3.83 GPA.
  • River Cracraft  of Coto de Caza has committed to Washington State University to play  football. River has been a starting wide receiver on the varsity  football team at Santa Margarita for the past three years and was most  recently named Trinity League Offensive Most Valuable Player. River  plans to major in Sports Management and has a career goal of becoming a  college football coach once his time as a player comes to an end.
  • Riley Sorenson of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to  Washington State University to play football. Riley started 39 games on  the offensive line in his varsity career for the Eagles. Riley was  selected to the All Trinity League team twice, All County team twice,  All CIF team twice, All State team twice, and was recently named to the  Max Preps All American team. In addition to Riley's success on the  football field, he is also a member of the boys varsity basketball team,  was awarded the Bradley J. Dillahunty memorial scholarship award, and  maintains a 3.57 GPA.
  • Ryan Wolpin of Coto de Caza has committed to the University of  Northern Colorado to play football.  Ryan is a four year varsity  athlete and was named to the Trinity League 1st Team his junior and  senior years. Ryan was selected to the All-State and All-CIF SS teams in  2011 and set a school record with 6 rushing touchdowns against Carson  High School while averaging 124 yards per game.
  • Sofia Lavin of Aliso Viejo has committed to the University of  San Diego to play volleyball. Sophia is a 4 year varsity athlete and has  been named to the All-Trinity League team for three straight years and  was named the Trinity League MVP in 2011. Sophia has earned back to back  All-County honors, making the second team in 2011 and 2012. Sophia was  ranked amongst the top 100 players in the nation and maintains a 4.28  GPA.
  • Sarah Maher of Orange has committed to Emory University to  play volleyball. Maher, a three year Varsity athlete, is also a two time  All-Trinity League honoree, and in 2012 was named to the AAU All  American Team in the 17-Open Division.  Sarah carries a 4.85 grade point  average and currently plays for Orange County Volleyball Club.
  • Samantha Trenary of Coto de Caza has committed to the  University of California, Berkley to play soccer. Sam is a four year  varsity starter for the Eagles and was named the captain of the 2013  varsity soccer team. Trenary has been named the most valuable player for  the Eagles soccer team, the Trinity League, and was named the MVP of  the 2012 CIF Regional Championship game. Sam's most recent  accomplishment came by the way of being named to the 2012 National  Soccer Coaches Athletic Association High School All-American team.  Sam  is a member of the National Honor Society and maintains a 4.0 GPA.
  • Tessa deRecat of San Juan Capistrano has committed to Sonoma  State for water polo. Tessa recorded 20 goals, 17 assists and 11 steals  as a junior and was recognized by her teammates as the most  inspirational athlete last season. Tessa has trained and competed with  the SET Water Polo Club for the past four years and is grateful for the  guidance and support of her parents, Chris and Alayne, and her two older  sisters.
  • Taylor Wulf of Mission Viejo has committed to the University  of Pittsburgh to play soccer. Taylor, a goalkeeper for the Eagles, is a  three year varsity athlete at SMCHS and is proud to be in her ninth and  final year as a member of the So Cal Blues Soccer Club. Taylor is  looking forward to competing at the Division 1 level in the Atlantic  Coast Conference for the Panthers next fall and maintains a 3.71 GPA.

The following student-athlete celebrated their Ivy League school  commitments.  Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships,  therefore no letter of intent was signed.

  • Brittany Ptak of Coto de Caza has committed to Princeton  University to play volleyball. Brittany is a three year varsity athlete  for the volleyball program and has been selected to the All Trinity  League 1st team in 2011 and 2012. This year, Brittany was named to the  All-County 1st team. Brittany is a Full IB Diploma candidate; a member  of the National Honor Society, a 5.0 student and has never received any  grade other than an 'A' in all 4 years at Santa Margarita Catholic High  School. Brittany Ptak.
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