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Where SCV athletes committed to college in 2013

Posted: July 18, 2013 8:29 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2013 8:29 p.m.
This map indicates where Santa Clarita Valley prep athletes in the class of 2013 will play this year at the college level. This map indicates where Santa Clarita Valley prep athletes in the class of 2013 will play this year at the college level.
This map indicates where Santa Clarita Valley prep athletes in the class of 2013 will play this year at the college level.

The Santa Clarita Valley has nationwide reach in athletics.

A list compiled by The Signal in a collaborative effort with the athletic directors and coaches at local high schools shows that 125 students from the most recent graduating class will be competing with four-year college teams.

The list of colleges varies greatly in location, type and prestige, and it shows a wide distribution of student-athletes across the country.

Naturally, the majority of the college-bound athletes are attending institutions within the state — 69 to be exact.

The 56 others not going to California schools are spread out across 31 other states, with one added in the District of Columbia.

SCV athletes are traveling as far as Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and South Carolina, with many more in between.

“I think there’s more schools out there recruiting and pulling the athletes,” said Hart co-athletic director Linda Peckham on the geographic distribution of local athletes. “There are just a lot more colleges out there. A lot of smaller schools offering up money that are small, Division II type of programs.”

There also didn’t appear to be any pattern linked to a particular school.

The six major local public high schools all had relatively equal proportion of in-state and out-of-state commits.

Trinity Classical Academy’s Dakota Prochnow (Benedictine College in Kansas) was the only SCV athlete from a private school to move on to a four-year school this year.

These local athletes will attend a variety of different schools this coming fall, ranging from big Division I programs like the University of Wisconsin (Golden Valley’s Leon Jacobs) and the University of Minnesota (Canyon’s Drew Wolitarsky) to smaller liberal arts or religiously-affiliated schools.

One school that fits into that category is The Master’s College, where eight SCV students will continue their athletic careers this coming season. That’s more commits than any other single college this year.

Other popular colleges for the class of 2013 include Cal Lutheran (six commits) and Cal State Northridge (five).

Canyon athletic director Chad Phillips said he and the coaches on campus are less concerned with the size, prestige and location of the colleges. The emphasis is to help kids get scholarship money wherever it’s available.

“I don’t know how often we’re going to draw Division I (athletes),” Phillips said. “I hope that our goal as a community is education first and foremost. The level that they’re going to play should be second.”

In fact, nearly half of this year’s SCV commits — 57 total — will be playing for NCAA Division I level teams. The rest are playing at the Division I Football Championship Series (football only), Division II, Division III or NAIA level.

“Sometimes it’s a humbling experience for parents and for athletes,” Phillips said. “They’re not going to get the knock on the door, the call on the phone that they wanted, but ultimately they’re going to get to put a uniform on again and continue to compete at the next level.”

For the most part, athletic directors at area high schools said coaches are the ones more heavily involved in the college recruiting process.

In many instances, athletes get recognized outside of the high school season.

“A lot of these kids, besides baseball, a lot of these kids are getting recruited in travel ball and things like that,” said West Ranch athletic director Cassandra Perez. “That’s the case with basketball. That’s the case with softball a lot of times.”

Sometimes, recruiting is about much more than athletic ability due to the fact that certain colleges have strong reputations academically or otherwise. That’s the case for West Ranch softball player Kylie Sorenson going to Stanford and football player Jake Lambirth bound for Cornell University.

It also fits for three Hart athletes who are going to military academies — swimmer Asia Antoniuk (U.S. Air Force Academy), baseball player Baggio Saldivar (U.S. Military Academy at West Point) and track runner Billy Walker (U.S. Naval Academy).


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