16 SMCHS Athletes Sign on to Play at Collegiate Level

Photo courtesy of Santa Margarita Catholic High School.
Photo courtesy of Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

Originally posted at 9:18 a.m. April 16, 2014. Edited to correct a university.

From a Santa Margarita Catholic High School press release:

Sixteen athletes from Santa Margarita Catholic High School made their futures evident on Wednesday, April 16 as they officially signed or verbally committed with colleges across the country for their sport.

The following student-athletes were a part of the NCAA National Letter of Intent Signing Day:

·         Alex Ury of Mission Viejo has committed to Washington University, St. Louis for Football. Ury is a scholar athlete and is a three-year varsity kicker for the football team. He holds three school records for kicking, has scored 100 points in his career and has a 97 percent PAT average.  Outside of football, Alex is a Carson Scholar, HOBY student ambassador, a member of the National Honor Society and California Scholastic Federation, and is an Eagle Scout while maintaining a 4.42 Grade Point Average. 

·         Matt Merrill of Mission Viejo has committed to University of California, San Diego for Soccer. Merrill is a three-year varsity player for the boys’ varsity soccer team as a center mid-fielder. He is a three-time All-Trinity League selection, All-CIF selection, HS All-Star selection, team captain, Eagle of the Year recipient and Father Martin Benzoni Award recipient. In addition to playing soccer, Merrill volunteers with the Surfrider Foundation, Special Olympics, Top Soccer for Disabled Kids, Catholic Charities and maintains a 3.5 GPA. 

·         Chandler Kirby of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to Point Loma Nazarene University for soccer. Kirby is a four-year varsity athlete and a two-time captain for the Eagles soccer team. Chandler has started and played in every game since his sophomore year as the team's goalkeeper, won a Trinity League Championship in 2013, has received the Trinity League MVP award, was named to the All-CIF team and received 1st and 2nd All-Trinity League awards.

·         Ben Draheim of Coto de Caza has committed to Franklin & Marshall College for soccer.  Ben is a 2 year varsity athlete for the Eagles, playing both mid-field and forward positions.  This year, Ben was selected to the 1st Team All-Trinity League and was also named a top winter athlete by the writers of OC Varsity. In the quarterfinals, Ben scored the winning goal to help the Eagles advance to the quarter finals for the first time in five years. Ben is a recipient of the Soccer Scholar Athlete Award, he is an AP/Honors student and is a designated AP Scholar. Off the field, he also volunteers as an after school elementary tutor and on weekends at the Del Obispo Terrace Assisted Living Center while marinating a 3.86 GPA. 

·         Vince Hernandez of Lake Forest has committed to the University of California, San Diego for Track. Vince is a four-year track and field athlete for the Eagles and is a part of the school’s frosh soph 4x100 meter record team. His sophomore year, Vince was a member of the varsity 4x100 relay team that placed 7th at CIF Finals in a time of 42.76. Hernandez finished 8thplace at Orange County Championships as a junior and qualified for CIF Prelims with a personal best of 10.98 in the 100, and looks to bounce back this season after battling injury. Hernandez is the recipient of the Bradley J. Dillahunty Memorial Scholarship and maintains a 3.77 GPA. 

·         Parker Curry of Mission Viejo has committed to the University of California, Santa Barbara for Track and field. Parker is a four-year varsity athlete for the track and field team with a focus in the pole vault. Last season, Curry solidified himself in the record books by breaking a 13 year old school record which he has since broken again this year with a vault of 16 feet. Last year, Curry claimed the title of Orange County Champion, CIF Champion, and finished tied- for third place at the California State Championships. This year, Curry is ranked fifth in California and ranked 18th in the Country with half of the season still left to go. 

·         Jordan Steele of Rancho Santa Margarita has committed to Azusa Pacific University for baseball. Steele is a two-year varsity letterman for the Eagles as both an Infielder and outfielder. Steele has played several different positions for the Eagles throughout his four years in the program and is known as a very versatile player.  Steele is an active member with the Fellowship of Eagle Athletes and does community service at animal shelters once a month. Off the field, Steele devoted his sophomore and junior year volunteering with an Elderly Care program and maintains a 3.00 GPA.  

·         Axel Reed of Coto de Caza has committed to Villanova University for swimming.Axel was voted as a team tri-captain this year by his teammates and will conclude his time at Santa Margarita as a four year varsity letter winner.  Axel was recently named to the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) Academic All-American team and currently has a 4.16 cumulative GPA.  Last year, Axel was a member of the school record setting 4 x 50 backstroke relay and this year was on the team that set the school record in the 4 x 50 butterfly relay that ranks as the 2nd fastest butterfly relay time in the 43 year history of the CIF Relay Championships.

·         Megan Roby of San Clemente has committed to the University of California, Santa Cruz for swimming. Megan is a legacy swimmer for Santa Margarita and has been named a team tri-captain the past two years.  Megan qualified for CIF in 2013 in the 100 butterfly and placed in the Top 18 at CIF finals.  Megan has earned CIF entry times in each of her four years on the varsity and participated on CIF relay teams in the past including the 4 x 50 freestyle relay in 2013.  Megan is a member of the school record-setting 6 x 50 freestyle relay that was set in 2013.  Megan is also a longstanding member of the school’s surfing team.

·         Raquel Remick of Ladera Ranch has committed to Arizona State University for swimming. Raquel shattered the school record in the 100 butterfly her sophomore year at Santa Margarita and re-broke it again last season.  Her times have earned her All-American consideration in the 100 butterfly for each of the past two seasons.  In addition to the 100 butterfly record, Raquel is a member of the school record setting 4 x 100 freestyle relay, the 4 x 50 medley relay, the 4 x 50 butterfly relay, and the 4 x 50 freestyle relay.  The 4 x 50 medley and 4 x 100 freestyle relays were named All-American.

·         Emily Gibson of Irvine has committed to the University of Cincinnati for swimming.Emily will graduate from Santa Margarita as arguably the greatest breaststroke swimmer in school history.  Emily set the school record last year in her junior year and has already re-broken her school mark this year.  Emily earned an All-American honorable mention time in the 100 breaststroke last year and already has an All-American consideration time this season.  Emily has qualified for CIF in three consecutive seasons and was a member of the school’s CIF medley relay team each of the past two years.

·         Grant Clancy of Coto de Caza has committed to play rugby at The University of Oklahoma. Grant played football all four years at Santa Margarita, which helped him grow into a better rugby player. Grant has played rugby for only two years at scrum-half and wing, but within that timeframe he has been selected to the Southern California Griffins all-star team, to the Serevi select side camp this summer, and plays for the USA under 19 national rugby team. Grant has volunteered at Special Olympics for the past five years and is also a proud supporter of ICEF rugby. Grant Clancy.

·         Alexandra Kraft of Ladera Ranch has committed to the University of Toronto for Water Polo.   Alexandra is a two-year varsity center for the Eagles, and has contributed to the team’s two back-to-back CIF Championships.  In 2012, Alexandra was named the Junior Varsity Offensive-MVP after leading the team in goals and steals.  She has also participated in Junior Olympics for the last three years, and has been named a USA Water Polo Academic All-American.  She is excited to continue her water polo career at an international level. Outside of the pool, Alexandra is an AP/IB student and maintains a 4.57 GPA.  Alexandra Kraft.    

·         Taylor Rowden of Mission Viejo has been admitted to The Master’s College in Santa Clarita for soccer. As an Eagle, Taylor has been a member of the girls’ soccer and varsity lacrosse teams, and currently plays for the So Cal Blues. Taylor excels in the classroom having earned academic excellence in Mandarin Chinese for four years and scored a five in AP World History and AP/IB English. Taylor is a member of the Saddleback Church High School Ministry and volunteers as an Activities Aid at Silverado Senior Living where she works with elderly patients that suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and maintains a 4.18 GPA. Taylor Rowden.

·         Brett Oosdyke of Coto de Caza has committed to UCSD for basketball.  Oosdyke was the team captain for the CIF 3AA champions, averaging about 10 points and 6 rebounds this past season for the 26-8 Eagles.  He was voted second team all-Trinity League and was all-tournament Team at the Merv Lopes Christmas Invitational. Oosdyke has a 4.0 GPA.

·         Sage Pfeiffer of San Clemente has committed to LMU for water polo. Pfeiffer is a two year SM varsity water polo athlete, helping her team achieve back-to-back league and CIF titles. This year, she was named second team all-CIF and first team all-league.


OldTimer April 16, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Congratulations, kids! You are very fortunate to get your college education paid for (I assume all have scholarships) by virtue of engaging in games that you love to play. What's not to love about that? And by the time you graduate college, who knows? Maybe your college will have an athletic union and you can sign million dollar contracts in addition to getting all your other expenses paid. Maybe they'll even offer pension programs. The world is changing fast. Way too fast for me. But I wish each of you all the luck in the world. Just one word of advice: Always plan in advance to come out ahead even if you lose.
mOmO123 April 16, 2014 at 03:52 PM
Way to go kids! your community is proud of you
Bob Oosdyke April 17, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Everyone, make the most of it...Before you know it, you will be out of college and looking in the rear view mirror. Dont believe me? Ask any senior in college now from SM who is playing sports or even going to college! Good Luck, SM has prepared you, trust me.
Brad McGirr April 17, 2014 at 12:22 PM
Well said Bob! I missed you and Brett at the city council presentation. Congratulations to your and the Oosdyke clan! Brett will be great at UCSD!


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