Feb 3 was National Signing Day, where High School Athletes complete their letters of intent for playing college on scholarship next year. 16 boys in San Diego will be playing college soccer on scholarship next year, and 6 of those were DMCV Sharks.
All of these boys played with Warren Barton.
Elliot Cohen (Canyon Crest) – Carnegie Melon
Patric Krall (San Marcos) – University of San Diego
Braden Salvati (Francis Parker) – Dartmouth
Milo Barton (Cathedral Catholic) – UC Santa Barbara
Kian Vidarsson (Cathedral Catholic) – University of San Diego
Noah Tekle (Ranch Bernado) – Notre Dame de Namur.
Read more about our College and Elite Program here.
By Don Norcross | 8:25 p.m. Feb. 3, 2016
One by one, student-athletes walked across the San Diego Hall of Champions stage Wednesday morning, said their name, the sport they play and college they’ll be attending next fall.
Cathedral Catholic’s Olivia Erlbeck introduced herself, informing the audience she’s a soccer player bound for Duke.
“I’m very proud of her,” said Stephany Erlbeck, Olivia’s mother. “Of the strength and commitment she’s shown amidst adversity.”
Two years ago Thursday, Kurt Erlbeck, Olivia’s father, watched his daughter play a soccer match, returned home, worked out in the gym, suffered a heart attack and died. He was 50.
Said Stephany, “He didn’t miss a match. We think he’s looking down on her, smiling.”
Some 165 athletes representing 49 high schools attended the event that has become a regular celebration hosted by the Hall of Champions. Major universities renowned for their athletics and academics were represented: Stanford, Dartmouth, UCLA, Michigan, Wisconsin.
And smaller schools requiring maps landed San Diego County athletes: Alcorn State (Mississippi), Doane College (Nebraska), Prairie View A&M (Texas).
An estimated 500 spectators attended the event, most of them family members and friends of the athletes. Drew Moser, executive director of the Hall of Champions, estimated that scholarships earned by the athletes are worth about $2,000,000.
Combined, family members probably spent as much on T-shirts, sweatshirts and polos showing off their child’s college of choice.
The athletes ranged from diminutive girls soccer players to 6-foot-5, 325-pound San Diego High offensive lineman Jalen Booth, who, if they were still around, could fill a phone booth. Francis Parker’s Simon Hartt will be rowing at Cornell. Calvin Christian’s Ryan Thomsen will be competing in the decathlon at Michigan’s Hillsdale College.
Parents whipped out cellphones and cameras to record the party. Players huddled with classmates from their schools for photo ops, then bonded with teammates from travel teams.
“This is outstanding, absolutely awesome,” said Lani Booth, whose son, Jalen, will attend Azusa Pacific. “A lot of these kids don’t go to the big-name high schools. This is their platform that allows them to be recognized.
“It absolutely means the world to them.”
Football, baseball and basketball purists may scoff at soccer’s professional popularity in the United States, but there’s no denying the sport is funding college educations. Of the 165 athletes who announced where they’re heading for college, 72 will be playing soccer.
Of those 72, 56 were girls. By comparison, 46 players announced where they’ll be playing football.
Those girls soccer players are tough, too. Poway High’s Téa Carrillo (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) walked across the stage on crutches. Three weeks ago she broke her right tibia and fibula in a collision with a goalkeeper. She has a rod in her leg, screws in her knee and ankle.
“It’s kind of bittersweet,” said Carrillo. “I wish I were walking across the stage.”
Some athletes are in for adjustments. Take Torrey Pines’ Jack Sampiere, bound for Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon on a soccer scholarship. The temperature dipped to a low of 22 in Steelers country earlier this week.
“I’m going to need more than one pair of pants,” said Sampiere, “which is all I own right now.”