Chargers send off 16 student-athletes

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The student-athletes in Sovine Gym on Tuesday are the best of the best from Dos Pueblos’ senior class, as 16 Chargers have committed to play athletics at four-year colleges across the country.

They were assembled together, with each wearing their new school colors, for a ceremony recognizing their athletic achievement. The lineup included seven from aquatics, three soccer players, two from the girls volleyball team, two from the softball team, and one each from baseball and football.

Nathan Alvarez, a cross country runner and Vice President of the Letterman’s Club, gave introductions with Athletic Director Dan Feldhaus. The varsity coaches then came to the podium and talked about each one of the athletes for a minute or two.

Chris Parrish, a three-season coach for water polo and swimming, had seven seniors to talk about. He started with his swimmers and returned later for the water polo players.

Alex Valente is a national champion butterflyer who has already won two CIF titles for the Chargers.

“He’s the fastest backstroker and butterflyer to ever swim in Channel League,” Parrish said.

Valente and Walker Bell will remain teammates swimming for the USC Trojans.

“Walker Bell absolutely the most versatile swimmer I’ve ever associated with,” Parrish said. “He’s the school record holder in the 200 IM and could be a CIF qualifier in every high school event. He’s truly versatile.”

From the girls swim team, Reagan Eickert and Courtney Nuttall are continuing their competitive careers. Eickert is headed to UC San Diego and Nuttall to Cal State East Bay.

Parrish said Eickert can contribute right away in college in distance events but has the ability to be a top sprinter as well.

“Reagan is a serious competitor and has really only scratched the surface of her potential,” Parrish said.

Nuttall was a standout leader for the Chargers and a talented backstroker and butterflyer.

“But more importantly as a team captain, Courtney makes an individual sport a team sport. Her charisma is going to lead her to incredible success at Cal State East Bay.”

Volleyball players Natalie Klapp (Azusa Pacific) and McKenna Goss (Boston College) were next. Both were three-year starters who were DP’s go-to players. Klapp plays outside hitter and Goss is an opposite.

“Natalie rarely came off the court, she as good playing backrow defense as she is attacking in the front row,” said coach Todd Garrett.

Goss, Dos Pueblos’ MVP and Channel League First Teamer, is headed to the ACC.

“She does it all, and she does it all well,” Garrett said. “She even tries to set in practice.”

The boys soccer team has two players making the jump in Tim Heiduk and Geoffrey Chappaz. Heiduk is staying in Santa Barbara to represent the Westmont Warriors and Chappaz is committed to Colorado Mesa University.

“Although we only had him within the program for a short amount of time he’s a remarkable young man,” said Chargers soccer coach Matt York. “He was instrumental in us getting our first league championship since 1983.”

York called Chappaz the fittest player on the team.

Heiduk is a four-year varsity player and two-time team captain who was named the Channel League’s Offensive MVP as a senior.

“He’s destined to do great things,” York said.

Ady Willett leaves the girls soccer team for the women’s team at Cal State Los Angeles. Willett was one of the Chargers’ top goal-scoring threats for multiple years.

“Ady is one of those people I have the greatest admiration for… She has that natural ability to be a leader,” said Chargers head coach Hugh Hollis. “I know she will be a tremendous asset to them.”

Dos Pueblos football coach Nate Mendoza couldn’t have been happier talking about Caesar Flores. A two-year starter at safety, Flores was voted senior team captain. He’s also the youngest of 10 children and the second in his immediate family to attend college.

“He’s dependable, trustworthy, high character, extremely loyal, unbelievable work-ethic, unparalleled teammate,” described Mendoza.

Veronika Gulvin (UCSB) and Lani Evans (Iona State) form the backbone of this year’s softball team. Both are terrific pitchers who can swing the bat. Evans won the Channel League MVP as a junior when Gulvin was injured but Gulvin is back and dominating again in 2015. Dos Pueblos head coach Jon Uyesaka hopes the duo can lead the Chargers to this year’s CIF final.

Westmont Baseball will have Luke Coffey next year after an impressive career at Dos Pueblos. Coffey has been an all-league selection at catcher and third base.

“He’s not the most vocal guy but he puts in the work and it rubs off on the other guys,” said Chargers head coach Nick Katzenstein, who thanked Coffey for his team-first attitude.

Parrish returned to the podium for his water polo athletes: Jordan Williams, Kyle Krutenat and Blake Parrish.

Williams is going to Sonoma State and Parrish credited her with overcoming all sorts of adversity. She has played multiple positions throughout her high school career and eventually became one of the premier two-meter defenders in the league. She also overcame injury and academics struggles to become a First Team All-League selection and a straight-A student over her last six semesters.

Another player Parrish will miss is boys goalie Kyle Krutenat, who is headed to Pepperdine.

“Kyle has the best attitude I’ve ever seen,” Parrish said. “He’s always smiling no matter how nervous he got.”

It’s that type of fearless approach that caught the attention of the Pepperdine coach according to Parrish.

Parrish saved his son, Blake, for last. He shared a letter that Blake wrote to himself at the end of the third grade in 2006. Back then he dreamed of being a great water polo player and going to Stanford. Both came true. Blake Parrish scored over 200 goals as a senior, one of the most prolific offensive seasons in CIF Southern Section history, and will be attending Stanford in the fall.

“I’m proud of you, and congratulations on choosing Stanford,” Chris Parrish said.

DOS PUEBLOS SENIOR STUDENT-ATHLETES

Football
Caesar Flores – Graceland College

Boys’ Water Polo
Blake Parrish- Stanford University
Kyle Krutenat- Pepperdine University

Girls’ Volleyball
McKenna Goss- Boston College
Natalie Klapp- Azusa Pacific

Boys’ Soccer
Tim Heiduk- Westmont College
Geoffrey Chappaz- Colorado Mesa

Girls’ Soccer
Ady Willett- Cal State Los Angeles

Girls’ Water Polo
Jordan Williams- Sonoma State

Boys’ Swimming
Alex Valente- University of Southern California (USC)
Walker Bell- University of Southern California (USC)

Girls’ Swimming
Reagan Eickert- UC San Diego
Courtney Nuttall- Cal St. University East Bay

Softball
Veronika Gulvin- UCSB
Alana Evans- Iona College

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