By Tom Bequette, Online Sports Editor
// Although the 2019-2020 athletic year ended early due to COVID-19, athletic celebrations at Acalanes High School have not come to an end.
Acalanes Boosters, parents, and faculty recognized 22 senior athletes recruited to play at the collegiate level during a Zoom ceremony yesterday at 4:30 p.m.
“I thought that it was nice to be recognized by everyone, especially since we didn’t have a signing day,” senior water polo star Jewel Roemer said.
Although the ceremony couldn’t be held in-person, Acalanes Boosters and faculty wanted to acknowledge the amount of hard work and dedication the student-athletes put in throughout the school year and during the quarantine.
“Academic and athletic success are hard enough to achieve on their own, and the fact that you guys are accomplishing all of that during quarantine is definitely something worth celebrating, so congratulations,” Bell said in the Zoom call. “We are very proud to call you all Acalanes alumni in a week.”
Acalanes Boosters Co-President Dan Meade spoke to each athlete individually about their experience in their sport and reflected on memories he had of each athlete as a kid.
“Hearing Mr. Meade talk about when we were little, and knowing that he has seen a lot of us grow up is really cool. He does really want us to succeed,” senior water polo player Mary Beth Heffelfinger said.
Meade also asked each student about their future and what they planned to do after college.
“I want to win a couple of [National Collegiate Athletic Association] championships at Stanford, and then hopefully, I will grow enough as a player to make the Olympic team,” Roemer said.
Meade gave more information on each student’s future team, and he showcased a wide range of knowledge about each player’s future destination.
“It was pretty cool that Mr. Meade knew all about the teams we were going to. It shows that he cares and that he will be following us closely at college,” Heffelfinger said.
At the end of the ceremony, the participants thanked Acalanes Boosters for putting on the event.
“I thought it was a cool ceremony and that it was handled well. I appreciate those parents who worked hard to reach out to us and make something like this happen,” Heffelfinger said.
The recruited athletes from the Acalanes class of 2020 are:
Zoe Benisek – Connecticut College, Water Polo
Charlie Bettencourt – University of Pacific, Water Polo
Kate Carter – Chapman University, Soccer
Mac Darin – Long Beach State, Water Polo
Mary Beth Hefflefinger – University of California Santa Barbra, Water Polo
Logan Hurd – Loyola Marymount University, Baseball
Nick Kresnak – University of Washington, Baseball
Scarlet McCullough – Scripps College, Track
Luke Miles – Lawrence University, Baseball
Kevin Mlynek – Cal Poly Pomona, Track
Aidan Mosley – Kansas State, Track
Mala Neuman – California State University, East Bay, Water Polo
Mike O’Donnell – University of California Davis, Football
Kaylee Pond – Iowa State, Softball
Maddie Risch, University of Pennsylvania, Volleyball
Jewel Roemer – Stanford University, Water Polo
Emily Sverak – Tufts University, Track
Ivy Souza – Chapman University, Soccer
Tommy Thrasher – Long Beach State, Baseball
Lauren Westergren – San Diego State University, Lacrosse
Brooke Westphal – University of California Santa Barbra, Water Polo
Steven Williams – San Francisco State University, Wrestling