28 athletes made their futures evident on Wednesday, Nov. 14, as they officially signed letters of intent or celebrated their commitment to attend colleges across the country for their sport
28 athletes from Santa Margarita Catholic High School made their futures evident on Wednesday, Nov. 14, as they officially signed letters of intent or celebrated their commitment to attend colleges across the country for their sport. Nov. 14 marks the first day that high school seniors could sign scholarship papers for all sports except football. The letter of intent is a binding agreement between the student-athlete and a college, by which the student-athlete agrees to attend the college for one academic year.
The following student-athletes signed as part of the NCAA National Letter of Intent Signing Day:
· Brianne Riley of San Clemente has committed to UCLA for soccer. Brianne is a three-year varsity letter winner for the Eagle soccer team as she prepares to begin her senior season. Last year, she was awarded the Santa Margarita Defensive Player of the Year, earned 1st team All-County, 1st team All-CIF, Top Drawer Soccer All-Regional Team and the Trinity League MVP. This past season, she helped the Eagles to a Trinity League Championship and to CIF finals appearance. Brianne plays club soccer for Strikers FC ECNL and has been a dual sport athlete, where she was a part of the 2017 Trinity League and CIF Champion track and field team. Off the field, Brianne volunteers for charities such as Top Soccer and Special Olympics, while maintaining a 4.14 GPA. Brianne Riley.
· Tatum Brakke of Coto de Caza has committed to Loyola Marymount for soccer. Tatum played on the Santa Margarita JV team her freshman year where she earned the most valuable offensive player award. Her sophomore year she played varsity, moving from offense to center back and helping the team make an appearance in the 2nd round of CIF before suffering an ACL injury. Tatum has played club soccer since U-9 and currently plays for the Strikers FC ECNL team. Off the field, Tatum has volunteered with the youth ministry at her parish along with being involved in Peer Ministry and leading retreats at Santa Margarita. Tatum is a scholar athlete and maintains a 4.2 GPA. Tatum Brakke.
· Jaida Smith of Mission Viejo has committed to Pepperdine University for soccer. Jaida's freshman year of high school, she was a part of both the CIF Championship and California State Regional teams and has won three National Championships in the past four years with her current club team, LAFC Slammers. In addition to soccer, Jaida enjoys volunteering in the children's ministry at her church and creating pieces of art which have been displayed in various local art exhibits. Jaida is a member of The California Scholarship Federation and maintains a 4.33 GPA. Jaida Smith.
· Jake Kyman of Aliso Viejo has committed to UCLA for basketball. Jake is a four-year varsity starter for the Eagles, earning All-Trinity League 1st Team his freshman, sophomore and junior Seasons, as well as All-CIF as a sophomore and junior. Jake is a 1,000 point scorer, attended the NBA Top 100 Camp and is currently rated #81 in the nation by Basketball Magazine. Last season, Kyman averaged 17 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game, shot 50% from the field, 45% beyond the arc, and 83% from the free throw line. Kyman has participated in the annual Dove Dash the last four years, a race that helps benefit Ryan’s Reach, a 501©(3) that provides financial assistance for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries who cannot afford the therapy needed to recover. Jake Kyman.
· Max Agbonkpolo of Laguna Niguel has committed to USC for basketball. Max is a two-year varsity starter for the Eagles, earning 2nd Team All-Trinity League and All-CIF as junior. Max has attended the NBA Top 100 Camp and is rated #51 in the nation by 247 Sports. Last season, Max averaged 14 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 3.9 assists per game. Max has participated in the annual Dove Dash the last four years, a race that helps benefit Ryan’s Reach, a 501©(3) that provides financial assistance for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries who cannot afford the therapy needed to recover. Max Agbonkpolo.
· Shengzhe Li of Shanghai, China has committed to BYU for basketball. A 6-11 center, Big Li is a two-year varsity starter for the Eagles. Shengzhe only played half a season for the Eagles last year because of a CIF transfer rule, but Li had a big impact in Santa Margarita’s 7th seed in the Open Division last year. Shengzhe averaged 6.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, and shot 50% from the field last season. Li has participated in the annual Dove Dash the last two years, a race that that provides financial assistance for individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries who cannot afford the therapy needed to recover. Shengzhe Li.
· Alex Schrier of San Clemente has committed to University of California, Santa Barbara for baseball. Schrier is a three-year varsity starter for the Eagles as a right handed pitcher. Alex had an ERA his Junior year of 1.96, playing in the competitive Trinity League where he gave up less than 2 runs in half his starts, including throwing two complete games. Schrier has pitched 61 innings, walking only 16 while striking out 51. Last season, he earned Trinity League Honorable mention and was recognized by the Red Cross for a heroic act in saving a couple’s life from a burning car last year, going on to be named the Junior Red Cross Hero of the Year, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Alex Schrier.
· Ava Perkins of San Clemente has committed to University of Hawaii for water polo. Perkins has been a center on varsity for all four years, helping her team qualify for CIF the past three years, getting as far as the semifinal game last year where she earned 3rd team All-CIF. Playing water polo for 10 years, Ava has participated in the last 10 consecutive Junior Olympics, four of which have been ranked top three of the nation. Perkins has had the opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Center with the US Senior National Team in 2014 and 2015. She was selected to try out for the development, cadet, and youth national teams in 2015, 2016, and 2018, earning a spot in 2015. Outside of the pool, Perkins is a member of California Scholarship Federation, serves as a youth leader for teens getting their Confirmation at St. Edward the Confessor, and is a part of peer ministry. Perkins is four-year scholar-athlete, earning Academic All-American status through USA Water polo, First Honor Roll freshman through junior year, and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Ava Perkins.
· Angel Sanchez of San Juan Capistrano has committed to Cal Baptist University for water polo. Sanchez is a four year varsity water polo player, with his first year spent at JSerra where he earned All-Trinity League 2nd Team and led the team in scoring, assists and defensive steals. In his sophomore year, he transferred to Santa Margarita and continued as a starter his remaining three seasons. Sanchez is heavily involved in the LDS Church and Community, he serves as President of the Young Men’s group and is a volunteer CPR Instructor. He is a member of National Honor Society and surfs on the SM surf club. Ángel had the opportunity to travel to Mexico and see the need throughout the country with this in mind, he is planning to study Mechanical Engineering and take that knowledge back to Mexico to make a difference. Angel Sanchez.
· Justine Cook of Dove Canyon has committed to Merrimack College for Golf. Justine is a three-year varsity letter winner for the lady Eagle golf team. This past season, Cook was a four-time medalist as a part of the 12-3 varsity team that most recently qualified for the CIF team championship. Justine had an overall nine hole average of 39.9 and most recently earned 2nd Team All-Trinity League for the 3rd place CIF Central Section Divisional team. Justine is a three-year scholar athlete and has been a Lion's Heart volunteer member since 2012. Justine Cook.
· Kimmy Woolfenden of Mission Viejo has committed to the US Air Force Academy for swimming. Kimmy arrived at SMCHS after transferring in her junior year and will be a two-year varsity letter-winner with the Eagles. Last season, Kimmy qualified for CIF in two individual events, the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke, placing in the championship finals in both events. Kimmy’s 100 breaststroke qualified her for the California State Championships where she placed 9th. Her time in the 100 breaststroke earned Kimmy her first All-American swim and is ranked as the 2nd fastest time in school history (1:03.18). Outside of the pool, Kimmy is a member of the Civil Air Patrol, squadron 56, is a USA Swimming Scholastic Member, and has a 4.0 GPA. Kimmy Woolfenden.
· Nicholas Leavell of Coto de Caza has committed to the University of Michigan for diving. No male diver in Santa Margarita history has qualified for CIF more than Nicholas, and at the end of this year, he will arguably be considered the greatest male diver in Santa Margarita history. Nicholas has qualified for CIF three straight years and enjoyed his highest finish in 2018 with a CIF runner-up finish, the highest a male diver has accomplished at Santa Margarita. Nicholas capped his 2018 season by qualifying for the California State championship meet, again another first in SM history, where he would place 13th. Nicholas dives for the Mission Viejo Nadadores and has competed at the U.S. Diving nationals, and maintains a 4.23 GPA. Nicholas Leavell.
· Mackenzie Degn of Mission Viejo has committed to Cal Baptist for swimming. Mackenzie is a member of an elite group of Eagle athletes who qualified for the U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials in 2016. When Mackenzie qualified for the Trials, she was the youngest swimmer in the U.S. to qualify for the 100 freestyle. At Santa Margarita, Mackenzie is a six-time CIF qualifier and six-time high school All-American, recording All-American times in the 50, 100, 200, and 500 freestyles. She ranks 3rd all-time in Santa Margarita history in the 50 free, 5th in the 100, 4th in the 200, and 2nd in the 500. Mackenzie owns school records in the 200 free relay and 400 free relay which set the national high school record in 2017. Mackenzie Degn.
· Miranda Renner of Laguna Niguel has committed to UC San Diego for swimming. Miranda transferred to Santa Margarita her junior year after attending high school in Paris. In Miranda’s first season with the Eagles, she was a two-time CIF individual event qualifier in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke. Last year she was a member of the CIF Division 1 championship team that won the NISCA Dual Meet National Championships. Miranda has dual citizenship with the Philippines and has qualified for the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Tokyo and the 2017 World Junior Championships in Indianapolis. Miranda will be named a NISCA Academic All-American this year while maintaining a 4.5 GPA. Miranda Renner.
· Connor Gorrien of Ladera Ranch has committed to Chico State for soccer. Connor is a three-year varsity starter for the Eagles where he plays center back and defensive center midfielder. In 2018, Connor was named the team’s Defensive MVP along with being selected to Trinity League 2nd Team and will serve as a team captain this season. Off the field, Connor volunteers at the Second Harvest Food Bank helping to provide food for the needy of Orange County. Connor Gorrien.
· Austin Lavell of Trabuco Canyon has committed to Point Loma Nazarene for soccer. Lavell is a three-year varsity midfielder for the Eagles and was the first player of the 2017-2018 season to earn “Player of the Game” for their win against Beckman. This past season, Austin earned 2nd Team All-Trinity League and played a major role in the team’s success after going 20-4-1. Lavell has served as a leader for the junior retreat and will be leading the freshman retreat this spring. Austin Lavell.
· Katelyn Murphy of Aliso Viejo has committed to San Diego State for lacrosse. Through her junior year, Murphy is a three-year varsity starter, back to back leading scorer and team MVP. After three seasons as a midfielder, Katelyn has 171 goals, 46 assists, 129 ground balls, 55 take-aways and 259 draw wins. Last spring, Murphy earned Academic All-American and 1st Team All-County honors. Over the last three years, Katelyn has been named to both the underclass Under Armour West and US National Teams. Murphy is a three-year scholar-athlete, member of The California Scholarship Federation and maintains a 4.62 GPA. Katelyn Murphy.
· Caitlin Caruso of Mission Viejo has committed to Seattle University for swimming. Caitlin is a five-time CIF qualifier through her first three years at Santa Margarita, qualifying in the 200 IM three times and the 100 breaststroke twice. Her top times rank her 11th all-time in the 100 breaststroke and 18th in the 200 IM. Caitlin has been a member of three straight CIF Division 1 championship teams, three straight Trinity League championships, and is a member of the school record-setting 4x50 breaststroke relay that is the fastest in Orange County history. Out of the pool, Caitlin volunteers at Mission Hospital, she will be named an NISCA Academic All-American at the end of this season, and maintains a 4.14 GPA. Caitlin Caruso.
· Miranda Johnson of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to the University of Notre Dame for softball. Miranda is a four year varsity starter and plays middle infield and outfield for the Eagles. Johnson posted a .417 batting average through her first three years, earning the Offensive Player of the Year two years in a row and Trinity League First team honors, as well as honorable mention. Miranda has been ranked as one of the top 100 softball players in the United States three years in a row by So. Cal Sidelines and FloSports. Miranda enters her senior season as a team captain and starting short stop. Off the field, Johnson is active in her church as a youth leader, is in Peer Ministry, a three year Scholar athlete, a member of the California scholarship federation and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Miranda Johnson.
The following student-athletes celebrated either their Ivy League, Division 3, NAIA or walk-on school commitments. Ivy League and Division 3 schools do not offer athletic scholarships, therefore no letter of intent was signed.
· Isabella Fiorentino of Rancho Santa Margarita of has committed to the University of Pennsylvania for softball. Isabella is a four-year varsity starter and two-year captain for the Lady Eagles. She has played a variety of positions for the Eagles, both as a pitcher and infielder. For the past two seasons, Isabella was an All-Trinity League selection, and in 2018 was the recipient of the Offensive Player of the Year. Isabella has also received the EAGLES Value award, which is given to the Most Valuable Player of the team, while helping the Eagles garner playoff appearances in three consecutive seasons. Off the field, Bella earned Scholar Athlete honors each year, is a member of National Honors Society, and a member of California Scholarship Federation, while maintaining a 4.71 GPA. Isabella Fiorentino.
· Spencer Edwards of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to Cornell University for baseball. Edwards, a left handed pitcher, is a three-year varsity scholar athlete who has 21 appearances on the mound in his last two seasons. Spencer is a member of The California Scholarship Federation, The National Society of High School Scholars, a peer leader at both SM, as well as Holy Trinity Catholic Church, and longstanding member of Lion’s Heart Service Organization where he’s earned the Presidential volunteer service award, all while maintaining a 4.3 GPA. Spencer Edwards.
· Tessa Green of Ladera Ranch Has committed to Columbia University for track and field. Tessa is a three year varsity letter winner for the track and field team, where she has been a part of three of their last four CIF Championships and two Trinity League championship teams. Tessa is a two-time CIF Finals qualifier in the 100 and three time qualifier in the 4x100m relay, the latter of which set an All-Time Orange County record in 2017 with a time of 46.28. Through her first three season, Green has qualified for the California State Finals as the anchor of the 4x100m relay team each year and earned her first individual CIF title this past season in the 200-meters with her time of 24.71. Off the track, Tessa volunteers for the American Red Cross and Hearts for Hearts, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Tessa Green.
· Noah Brune of Mission Viejo has committed to Harvard University for swimming. Noah will go down in Santa Margarita swimming history as one of the greatest distance swimmers of all time. Ranked #3 all-time in the 500 freestyle (4:30.33), and 7th in the 200 freestyle (1:41.93), Noah has been named to the NISCA All-American team in 2016 and 2018 for his swims in the 500 freestyle. Noah will be named an NISCA Academic All-American at the end of this year as well. In addition to the pool, Noah is a nationally ranked open water swimmer, a national champion on the U.S. National Team, and is a member of the school-record setting 4x100 IM relay, while maintaining a 4.71 GPA. Noah Brune.
· Madison Curry of Coto de Caza has committed to Princeton University for soccer. While at Santa Margarita, Madison has played on the varsity soccer team both her freshman and sophomore years, where she was a part of the national championship team, winning the state regional and CIF Southern Section championships her freshman season. Her sophomore year, Curry was awarded the MVP award, named to the All-Trinity team and 2nd team All-County. Madison plays club for LAFC slammers and has been a part of three national championship titles in both ECNL and DA leagues, as well as three ODP championship teams. Off the field, Madison volunteers at the Ronald McDonald house, is a scholar athlete, and maintains a 4.57 GPA. Madison Curry.
· Kevin Tu of Irvine has committed to the University of Pennsylvania for swimming. Kevin will finish his swimming career at Santa Margarita as one of the most decorated swimmers in school history. A 6-time individual event CIF qualifier and double state qualifier, Kevin owns the 2nd fastest 100 backstroke in school history (49.85), 5th in the 200 freeestyle, 6th in the 200 IM, and 3rd in the 100 butterfly. Kevin has earned All-American recognition in the 100 backstroke in 2017, and is a member of school-record relays in the 200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay, 4x100 IM relay, and 4x50 backstroke relay. He will also be named an Academic All-American by NISCA and maintains a 4.31 GPA. Kevin Tu.
· Alexander Ness of San Clemente has committed to Biola University for swimming. Alex is a four-year varsity letter-winner who earned his first CIF consideration time last year in the 200 freestyle. Alex’s time of 1:44.67 ranks him 12th in school history. He is a member of two school-record setting relays, the 6x50 freestyle relay and the 4x50 backstroke relay. In 2018, Alex was selected to swim on the CIF relay teams for the Eagles in the 200 freestyle relay and the 400 freestyle relay, which both placed in the top 15. And last year, Alex wrapped up his season swimming first on the school’s 400 free relay at the California State championships. Alexander Ness.
· Shane Suxho of Ladera Ranch has committed to play volleyball at USC as a preferred walk-on. Shane is a four-year varsity letterman for the Eagles where he plays as a Setter. Over the last three seasons, Shane has helped the Eagles finish in the top two each year in the Trinity League and has been named 1st team All-Trinity league two out of the last three seasons. A varsity captain the past two years, Shane has led the Eagles in assists with 1,237 for his career, along with an 89.3% serving percentage. Off the court, Shane is one of five siblings and volunteers at the Surfrider foundation. Shane Suxho.
· McKenna Morgan of Coto de Caza has committed to the University of Southern California for rowing. Mckenna has been a member of the girls’ volleyball team for the past four years, including the 2017 Southern California Regional Championship team and State Championship team. Morgan is a CIF scholar-athlete and member of the California Scholarship Federation. She is a founding member and current President of Gratia Dei, while also owning her own business, MCM Branding that she started as a sophomore. McKenna Morgan.