It was a crisp November morning at Peabody Stadium where six talented athletes gathered to take the next step toward their college careers. Having already given verbal commitments to their respective schools, the Fall Signing Ceremony made it official as they signed binding contracts surrounded by their families and coaches. A semi-annual tradition at Santa Barbara High, this season’s lineup included four volleyball players in addition to a cross country runner and Waterpolo player.
Keeping it local, Michael Denver and Raglan Kear will be attending UCSB to play D1 Men’s volleyball, a sport they have been excelling in since childhood. “I think our connection is really going to show, we grew up together, we went to the same elementary school and we’ve been playing club and highschool for the past six years”, said Kear of his kinship with Denver. “Going to the same college is going to be really awesome…that connection is really going to show and we’re going to be a big force at UCSB.” Denver agreed saying that “when I took my visit there I really loved it so I couldn’t be happier with my choice.”
On the other hand, fellow volleyball player Tessa de Albergaria will be moving across the country to attend George Washington University in D.C. Of her decision de Albergaria said “I actually didn’t know what George Washington University was if I’m being honest but my coaches told me about it because I always wanted to go to a high academic school” GW definitely fits the bill as it is highly ranked among the top universities in the U.S. “I started talking to them and when I went on my officials it just felt like home and I really liked it.”
Waterpolo player Nalani Yim was similarly taken with her new school stating that “[it was the] first school I ever talked to in my recruiting process so I’ve had a huge connection with them for like a year and a half and then when I went on my official I instantly fell in love with the place.” This is not surprising considering Yim is headed to the University of Hawaii, a dream locale for any student. Interestingly, Yim has only been playing waterpolo since her freshman year, having previously been a soccer goalie. “I transferred in a little late” Yim said of her advantageous decision to try water polo.
Alternately, cross country runner Andreas Dybdahl has been running since he was six years old, although he did not become serious about the sport until high school. After placing 1st in the 1 mile state championship last year, he will be heading to UCLA which has been his dream school since childhood. “I’ve always loved UCLA ever since I moved here honestly even before I started running UCLA was like that school, basically my dream school so it’s kinda insane”
For many of these athletes college is only the beginning. “I definitely want to play indoor, hopefully overseas or something like that and then also play on the AVP for the beach as well”, said volleyball player Ford Harman. He will be attending Cal State Long Beach which is currently ranked #4 in the nation for Men’s D1 volleyball. This special ceremony was the first public recognition for these young athletes as they advance to a new level of competition against a diverse group of skilled players from around the world. This was our schools small way of recognizing their accomplishments and announcing how proud we are of their achievements and dedication to the SBHS athletic programs.