Vista Athletes That Move Beyond


Daniel Baldini, Copy Editor

The probability of a high school athlete competing at the collegiate level  is much lower than most people think. For example, one of the most recruited high school sports, football, has one of the lowest probabilities of athletes competing beyond high school. Only about 6.8 percent of students playing at the high school level for football compete at the college level.

Even lower probabilities include men’s basketball (3.4 percent), women’s basketball (3.9%), Track and field (4.8 percent), and women’s tennis (4.9 percent). Even the sport with the highest percentage of athletes competing beyond high school, women’s ice hockey, is a low figure at 24.1 percent.

These statistics make a coach very proud when their athletes move on to the college level at their sport, and Vista’s coaches are proud. Many athletes from Vista are moving on to the next level, showing that not only the athletes’ hard work has paid off, but so has the coaches.

Following is a list of our Vista athletes that are continuing their sport after high school.

Michael Nelson will be attending Willamette University in Oregon to continue his career in baseball.

Luke Avdalovic, Will Fitzpatrick, Chris Fairchild and Grant Bellis are all continuing their careers in basketball in college. Avdalovic will be attending Northern Arizona University (NAU). Fitzpatrick plans on attending Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, while Bellis will be attending Southern Oregon University. Fairchild hasn’t committed anywhere but still plans to play.

Delaney Rasmussen, Henry Fischer, Colin DeJulio, Jackie Davis, and Ayden Perez are all going to run cross country in college. Rasmussen is running at NAU, while both Fischer and DeJulio are attending San Jose State University. Davis will be going to UC Santa Cruz and Perez plans to run locally at William Jessup University.

Two athletes are going to Nebraska for their sport. Brenden Hall is taking his talents to Chadron State for Football and Noor Ahmed will be attending the University of Nebraska for golf.

Kevin Huff will also be playing golf. He is going to attend Fresno State University.

Seamus McLaughlin, Morgan Rhomann, Janessa Staab and Hannah Trengove are going to college to play soccer. McLaughlin will be playing men’s soccer at the University of San Francisco. Rohmann will be playing at Southern Oregon University,.Staab will be playing at San Francisco State University and Trengove committed to Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

Morgan Hawkins, Katie Vetros, and Ally Smith are all continuing their careers in softball. Hawkins is continuing on to CSU Monterey Bay, Vetros is playing at the University of San Diego, and Smith will be at  at Pacific University in Oregon.

Hannah Highsmith will be playing tennis next year at Sonoma State. Nikki ball will be playing volleyball at the University of Idaho and finally, Lauren Wong will be competing in track and field locally at Sacramento State University.

This list does not include rugby players or rowers on campus (who don’t compete for Vista, but deserve to be recognized), Matt Karp, David Hull, Serafin Garcia and Joy Buch. Karp is attending Boise State while Hull is planning on trying out for BYU’s team. Buch will participate in crew at the University of California Berkeley, and Garcia is going to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to participate in crew.

Some of these athletes formally signed to their school of choice on May 11 in the Vista del Lago high school multi purpose room.

Brenden Hall is particularly grateful for the opportunity he’s been given to play in college. “I’m honored to even have the opportunity to compete at the next level,” said Hall, “It’s a good feeling when you sign to a school and realize that your years of hard work got you where you are now.”

The culture at Vista is different from other schools, allowing students to thrive in a unique way. “I believe it is just our culture. We are strong academically, and that competitive nature that drives our students in the classroom to succeed also transcends into sports. We also have incredibly supportive parents as well as a community that understands the importance of creating an environment which allows our student athletes to thrive,” said Mark Keeton, Vista’s Athletic Director.

The students and families take school very seriously. Vista finishes top in the region on standardized tests and many students go on to top educational colleges and Universities around the world. This educational drive correlates with athletic success.

Not only are the athlete’s at Vista outstanding, but the athletic program in itself is special. Much of the success comes from the school’s emphasis on team bonding. “The best part about playing for Vista soccer is making friends with students of all ages. We get the opportunity to practice with freshman and sophomores as a senior, and it forms a bond that you wouldn’t have if we didn’t practice with them.” said Morgan Rhoman. This is just one example of the benefit of playing for a school like Vista.

Vista also incorporates coaching from younger alumni, and it creates a unique coaching atmosphere. Vista Football is an example of one team that utilizes this. “I think it’s easier to relate with some of the younger coaches since they’ve been in the same position as you only a couple years before. This makes it easier to learn the techniques needed to succeed.” stated Hall.

All of the programs at Vista have a small team feel, with a big team attitude. This makes an intimate, friendly environment, but also a drive to succeed and win. That’s what makes Vista athletics special, and it helps shape the athletes into college level performance.