Star athletes announce choices for college

“It was always a place I wanted to go because it’s such a strong school academically and the water polo is so good there,” Smith-Carmichael said. “I’m really excited.”

Smith-Carmichael, a senior driver and utility player from The Bishop’s School, is just one of a handful of athletes from La Jolla’s three high schools who have recently made their college commitments. Greg Hirshman, a La Jolla Country Day senior, has committed to Stanford’s men’s tennis program, and Country Day senior boys soccer player Timmy Sedwitz will study and play soccer at Princeton.

Two golfers from Country Day are also continuing their careers on the links: Bryan Sheridan at Washington State and Connor Allan-Lee at Notre Dame.

The five athletes continue a tradition that has seen numerous La Jolla athletes over the years earn their way into top level academic institutions thanks to their standout performances not only in the classroom but also in their chosen athletic arenas.

Smith-Carmichael committed to Stanford after achieving just about every conceivable goal during her first three years in high school. She has helped Bishop’s to three straight CIF-San Diego Section Division II championships and has twice been named to the all Western League and All CIF-San Diego Section first teams. Her three-year goal-scoring total is a whopping 234.

Outside of high school play, Smith-Carmichael excelled with her San Diego Shores club team and this year played on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the Junior Pan American Games.

Stanford knows they’re getting a polished player who can excel at the college level.

“Chelsea is an excellent goal-scorer and a tough, skilled all-around player,” Stanford Coach John Tanner said in an athletic department release. “She is a major threat from anywhere on the perimeter and plays with tenacity in every phase of the game.”

Smith-Carmichael had given Stanford a verbal commitment about a week before signing her national letter of intent on the first day possible, Nov. 8. She said part of the attraction in heading to Palo Alto was her comfort level with the school, which was based partly on the fact that a pair of former Bishop’s teammates - Koree Blyleven and Meaghan May - are already there.

Sheridan said he looked at a handful of other schools, but he felt Washington State was the right fit for him both because of its academics and because he wanted to play in the Pac-10.

Sheridan has achieved some success with Country Day’s boys golf team, but he has really stood out on the junior golf circuit, which is where most college golf coaches go to find potential players. He has won tournaments and finished among the leaders in American Junior Golfers Association tournaments, among tournaments on other state-wide and national junior circuits.

His scoring average in junior golf is 75, three over par.

Hirshman was the No. 2 recruit for Stanford’s men’s tennis program. He made a verbal commitment at the beginning of November and has been accepted to the school, though the school won’t offer him a full scholarship because off its limited number of scholarships for the program.

He said getting the phone call from Stanford’s head coach was a big thrill.

“For a lot of people, there’s always that one college that has that special ring to it,” he said, “and that’s what Stanford had for me.”