National Signing Day finalizes college plans for La Jolla student athletes


By Ashley Mackin

The college plans for San Diego student athletes — including seniors from La Jolla High, The Bishop’s School, Torrey Pines High and La Jolla Country Day schools — were solidified Feb. 6 during National Signing Day, held at the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park.

In exchange for a one-year scholarship, the students each signed a Letter of Intent, a document committing them to play a sport for a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) college for at least one academic year.

Once a student athlete signs a Letter of Intent, it is faxed to the college and no other college may recruit them.

At the Hall of Champions standing-room-only event, each student announced before family and friends the college they were committing to and for which sport — many donning the sweat- shirts of their choices.

Steve Brand, Hall of Champions award coordinator, said at last year’s Signing Day, more than $14 million worth of scholarships were accepted, and that group of student athletes was smaller than this year’s group.

Here is the list of committed, recruited La Jolla students:

From La Jolla High School:

• Logan McCarthy, Penn State, water polo

• David Beary, Cal State Fullerton, soccer

• Carly Zlatic, Harvard University, soccer

From The Bishop’s School:

• Claire Manhard, Northeastern University, volleyball

• Coral Hasley, Middle Tennessee State, soccer

• Mason Church, Rhodes College, Lacrosse

• Geneva Decker, Yale University, soccer

• Kelly Boutelle, Northwestern University, volleyball

• Gabby Hartman, Wellesley College, soccer

• Viktor Wrobel, Harvard, water polo

From La Jolla Country Day School:

• Ana Cruz, Texas A&M, soccer

• Ziad Damanhoury, Nevada Reno, football

• Marcos Scaruzzo, Colby, football

• Sage Burmeister, Idaho State, football

• Nate Michalski, Williams College, football and basketball

From Torrey Pines High School:

• Katie Fletcher, Yale University, soccer

• Kristen Buchanan, Ohio State University, field hockey

• Kelsey O’Connell, UC Santa barbara, cross-country and track

• Jacob Alsadek, University of Arizona, football

• Garrett Heine, George Washington University, soccer

San Diego Charger (1991- 94) Darren Carrington, also a parent of a student signing that day, spoke to the hundreds in attendance. His son committed to Oregon State football.

“What I had inside of me is what you all have inside of you; you have a passion, you have a dream,” Carrington said.

He offered the students some advice that served him in his football career: “The one thing that you hold on to is, no matter what you’re dreams are, if you give everything you’ve got to achieve your dreams and you don’t achieve them, you will be absolutely OK because you’ll have no regrets.”

He also quoted scientist George Washington Carver, saying “99 percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” Carrington added, “It’s obvious you are not in the habit of making excuses.”

Hall of Champions marketing director Jesse Lovejoy said, “It’s a day we love a lot here at the Hall because there’s lots of good energy and positivity, and we get to see the next class of athletes that will represent our city.”