By Gareth Kwok, Sports Editor
Twenty-three Acalanes senior student-athletes were honored by Acalanes Boosters last Friday, May 19th during lunch break in the big gym. These athletes were recruited over the course of the school year and have committed to play their respective sport at the collegiate level next year.
Here are the senior athletes and their colleges that they will be attending next fall:
Emily Attiyeh, Golf, Claremont McKenna College
Samantha Bell, Soccer, University of Texas at Dallas
Matt Burns, Baseball, Chapman University
Josh Candau, Baseball, UC Santa Barbara
Caroline Clark, Soccer, UC Berkeley
Casey Conrad, Water Polo, Princeton University
Molly Davis, Soccer, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
Callie Ericksen, Soccer, Rice University
Paul Griessel, Baseball, Amherst College
Emma Godfrey, Basketball, Pomona College
Parker Jones, Volleyball, University of Pennsylvania
Katharine Larson, Soccer, University of Pennsylvania
Windy Margerum, Track & Field, UC Berkeley
Allison Merrill, Soccer, Chapman University
Kevin McConnell, Baseball, Utah Valley University
Julia Mueller, Lacrosse, Scripps College
Brooke Panfili, Basketball, St. Edwards University
Brad Robison, Water Polo, UC San Diego
Morgan Rogers, Soccer, UC Berkeley
Matt Ruegg, Swimming, University of Puget Sound
Ben Salquist, Baseball, Santa Clara University
Nate Welcomer, Lacrosse, Colgate University
This year’s class of 2017 recruits is substantially bigger than the class of 2016. Only ten student athletes were recognized last year compared to this year’s twenty-three.
The student athletes sat together along a table spanning the length of the basketball court, wearing their college shirt, balloons tied and hung from their chairs, while answering questions from Acalanes Boosters co-president Richard Ney. Friends, family, teachers, and students filed into the bleachers listening intently to these student-athletes. Most of the questions were about how long the student athlete has been playing their sport or what went into their decision making toward that university.
“UC San Diego is the perfect combination of academic rigor and athletic competitiveness and that combined with the fact that they get 330 days of sunshine and averaging over 70 degrees a day,” senior Brad Robison said during the ceremony.
Nate Welcomer had a similar answer compared to Robison.
“Colgate had the right size and the balance between academics and athletics is really good for me. I really enjoyed the campus when I visited the campus; it’s really beautiful,” Welcomer said.
Kevin McConnell took the opportunity to thank everyone as he looks forward to his next chapter at Utah Valley University for baseball.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to play next year and I’m thankful for all my friends, teammates, and family members who came out to support me today. Just wanted to say thank you,” McConnell said.
University of Texas at Dallas soccer commit Samantha Bell liked that the university offered her desired major as well as the opportunity to continue playing soccer.
“The school has a competitive undergraduate program for business, which is what I plan on majoring in,” Bell said. “The soccer program is supportive, ambitious, and hardworking. I’m looking forward to being on the team.”
Interestingly enough toward the end of the program, when all the athletes were asked whether they would miss Acalanes, none of them raised their hand, resulting in a chuckle from the audience. It looks like these athletes are ready to move on and hopefully, big things will happen for this graduating class of 2017 in their academic and athletic endeavors.
Make sure to view Blueprint’s photo collection of the ceremony on the website, which will be posted shortly.