20 senior athletes make fall college commitments in midst of shutdown

20 senior athletes make fall college commitments in midst of shutdownCONTRA COSTA COUNTY—Clayton Valley Charter, Carondelet and De La Salle high schools celebrated 20 senior student athletes last month signing their National Letters of Intent committing to play their sport in colleges from coast to coast.

The signees were baseball, lacrosse, swimming, golf, soccer, water polo, volleyball and cross country athletes at the three schools.

Eight of the 20 seniors did not get to play their sport last spring as juniors and all high school athletes in the state are still awaiting word if they can play in their final year of high school. One local student athlete, Thomas Cordova, is going to graduate early this term from CVCHS and enroll at Southern Virginia University. The Ugly Eagles and Diablo Valley Wolves club player is hoping to make the Knights soccer team for the spring season.

Coast to coast

Bay Area four-year schools getting commitments were San Francisco State, Menlo College, UC Berkeley, Santa Clara and Saint Mary’s College.

Eastern schools St. John’s, Johns Hopkins, Southern Virginia, Tennessee and Boston College nabbed the signature of local athletes, as did four Pacific 12 Conference schools Cal, UCLA, Washington and Washington State.

De La Salle water polo teammates Gavin Grosz and Brodie Sladek will be joining forces again at Loyola Marymount.

Reigning four-time North Coast Section championship De La Salle baseball team is sending three of its players on to college programs. The Spartans weren’t able to add a fifth straight NCS crown last spring when the season was canceled. That 2020 team had four players sign NLI, however star pitcher Kyle Harrison never made it to UCLA, instead signing a multimillion-dollar deal with the San Francisco Giants.

Baseball and women’s soccer each had four local signees while there were three water polo players and three golfers committing, two swimmers and one athlete each in lacrosse, cross country, volleyball and men’s soccer.

This Wednesday to Friday, Dec. 16-18, is the early signing period for football. The other NLI signing periods this school year begin Feb. 3 and April 14.

NLI signees (sport and college):

Clayton Valley Charter

Thomas Cordova (Soccer, Southern Virginia)

Mason Oakley (Baseball, Saint Mary’s College)

Rylie Velez (Soccer, San Francisco State)

Jenna West (Soccer, San Diego StateRead more about Jenna’s signing

De La Salle

Blake Burke (Baseball, Tennessee)

Joey Donnelly (Baseball, Cal)

John Curran (Baseball, Menlo College)

Justin Hopkins (Golf, WashingtonRead more about Justin’s signing

Mitchell Hoey (Golf, Saint Mary’s College)

Connor Mechelke (Water Polo, Johns Hopkins)

Gavin Grosz (Water Polo, Loyola Marymount)

Brodie Sladek (Water Polo, Loyola Marymount)

Patrick Curulla (Cross Country, UCLA)

Cameron Reath (Lacrosse, St. John’s)


Jessica Davis (Swimming, Cal) has been an integral part of the Cougar swim team’s success over the past four years. She is extremely proud to have been a part of the 2019 NCS team, which finished 3rd overall. As a sophomore Davis finaled in the 100 back and 100 free and on two Cougar relays at the 2019 NCS championships.

Hailey Fanner (Soccer, Northern Arizona) is proud of her many accomplishments both on the field and in the classroom, but winning NCS in 2019 and being the NorCal Regional champions in 2020 are two that she will never forget.  NAU head coach Kylie Louw says, “We are excited to welcome Hailey to our team. Her defensive presence and ability will add great strength and reliability to our backline. Hailey’s character will add immense value to our culture and the mission of the program.”

Madelyn Gamble (Golf, Washington State) has been the backbone of Carondelet’s golf program the last four years with another signee, Madison Wu. Together they led the Cougars to a team appearance at State in the fall of 2019. Gamble was named one of the Top 10 NorCal High School Female Golfers of the Decade by SportStars Magazine. As a junior, she finished in the top three at the state championship, shooting a 73.

Julia Haggerty (Volleyball, Boston College) has been a member of Cougar varsity volleyball since she was a freshman. As a junior, she was team MVP and was also named to EBAL all-league first team. Haggerty is most proud that she and her Cougar teammates broke the all-time win record for Cougar volleyball that had stood for 15 years.

Madison Wu (Golf, Santa Clara) and Maddie Gamble have been the backbone of the Cougar golf program for the past four years. She is most proud of helping lead Carondelet to State in 2019. During her time as a Cougar, Wu made EBAL all-league team twice and was awarded the Carondelet Cougar Award twice as well.

Jordyn Young (Soccer, Cal) is going where both of her parents and many aunts and uncles have gone before her. You might say this has been her destiny all along and the Cougar senior is part of the No. 1 women’s soccer recruiting class in the nation for the Golden Bears. Young has been a big part of successful Cougar teams, most notably winning NCS in 2019 and winning NorCal in 2020 as the lowest seed! She was named NCS soccer sophomore and junior of the year, as well as tabbed EBAL all-league and NCS first teams both her sophomore and junior years.