Dos Pueblos High School held a signing ceremony on Wednesday for its 18 student-athletes that will be playing at the collegiate level next season.
Each athlete was introduced by their respective high school coaches while sitting in front of a banner announcing their college destinations.
Of the eighteen, six come from the girls volleyball team, five come from the aquatics program and three more from the girls basketball team.
Two will be following their older sisters to big-time NCAA programs. Kodi Hill will be joining Sami Hill on the UCLA water polo team and Taylor Racich is headed to Pepperdine where Caitlin Racich plays.
Both Kodi and Taylor said there was a level of comfort because of the level of familiarity with the programs. Taylor had her sights set on Pepperdine ever since tagging along for Caitlin’s college visit three years ago.
She recalled thinking that day that Pepperdine would be a good fit for her too.
“I just absolutely was like ‘ok, I can see myself here too. I mean, if it all works out, I’ll do this’.”
Both Racich and Hill finished their high school careers as First Team All-CIF selections for their respective Charger teams.
Tristan Racich has decided to attend Azusa Pacific, as did baseball player Joe Husthsing.
“Everything about the school I love and so I’m really excited about Azusa,” Racich said. “It’s the perfect fit for me.”
Tristan, Taylor, Caitlin and brother Chase will make it four siblings to all be playing college athletics next year.
Tennis player Lauren Stratman didn’t lose a match in Channel League competition in four years. She is one of four Dos Pueblos seniors heading to the East Coast for athletics. Stratman chose Columbia and New York City.
“They just had a really great season in Ivy League this year,” said Stratman, who’s already starting to feel like a part of the team. “Because I’ve been following it constantly.”
Swimmer Vincent Dodero and basketball player Kristen Gowdy will also head east and play at Ithaca College. As will Lina Kleinschmidt who will be playing volleyball in New England for Franklin Pierce College.
Softball pitcher Hannah Harris accepted a scholarship offer to play in the Western Athletic Conference at Fresno State.
“I fell in love with the campus and what the softball program represents,” explained Harris. “I love the coach, Coach Margie Wright, she’s in her like 27th year, very respected throughout the softball community and that was a major factor in my decision.”
On top of Hill and Dodero, aquatics coach Chris Parrish also introduced water polo players Sjors Van Alphen, Philip Bates and Laurel Kistler. Van Alphen, the reigning Channel League MVP, will become Parrish’s fourth athlete on the current UCSB men’s water polo team.
Girls volleyball coach Todd Garrett has also sent his fair share of players to college. This year’s crop includes the Racich sisters, Amanda Moriarty, Katie Speiler, Lina Kleinschmidt and Sarah McKinny.
Girls basketball coach Jelani Hicks sent off three athletes. Jessica Escalante, Chiara DiMarco and Gowdy come from a team that was one of the best in CIF Division 2-A this year.
For Dos Pueblos football fans, Jake Roberts will carry the torch to California Lutheran. The Kingsmen are a perennial playoff contender in NCAA Division III.
DOS PUEBLOS STUDENT-ATHLETES RECOGNIZED:
Lauren Stratman, Tennis – Columbia University
Hannah Harris, Softball – Fresno State
Joe Huthsing, Baseball – Azusa Pacific
Philip Bates, Water Polo – UC Davis
Sjors Van Alphen, Water Polo – UCSB
Kodi Hill, Water Polo – UCLA
Laurel Kistler, Water Polo – UCSD
Taylor Racich, Volleyball – Pepperdine
Tristan Racich, Volleyball – Azusa Pacific
Katie Spieler, Volleyball – University of Hawaii
Sarah McKinny, Volleyball – Vanguard
Amanda Moriarty, Volleyball – Hawaii Pacific
Kristen Gowdy, Basketball – Ithaca
Chiara DiMarco, Basketball – Cal State LA
Vincent Dodero, Swimming – Ithaca
Jake Roberts, Football – California Lutheran University
Jessica Escalante, Basketball & Track – California Lutheran University
Lina Kleinschmidt, Volleyball – Franklin Pierce