Cal says goodbye to its D-I athletes

Prestigious schools recruit eight students

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Cal says goodbye to its D-I athletes

Paige Zilinskas, Staff Writer

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It’s that time of year again when Cal High seniors are making huge decisions about where to go to college.

But for some Grizzlies, it was a little bit easier for them to decide their college paths.

The class of 2015 has eight Division I athletes from a variety of sports. These eight students have chosen a different path loaded with rigorous practice regimens, social restrictions, and extreme dedication.

Varsity baseball catcher Jake Ackerman will be furthering his career at Fresno State this fall. After two years as a starter for the Grizzlies and making the Northern California A’s Area Code team, which is made up of 30 of Northern California’s best baseball players, Ackerman was on the map for colleges and professional scouts.

Ackerman chose Fresno because the school offered him the most to continue playing baseball.

“I’m excited to play D-1 baseball, and hope to get drafted to the pros after my junior year at Fresno,” said Ackerman.

Varsity soccer player Malissa Shadle committed to the University of Hawaii this winter, to continue her dedication to soccer. Shadle’s four years on Cal’s team have shaped her into a better player overall.

The big island has a lot to offer Shadle, who has had a lot of interaction with coaches and current players. She has even taken on the first hand experience by staying with them over a period of time to see how her next four years would be.

“I am excited to travel and play other colleges,” said Shadle.

Although she has taken on the commitment of a college sport, Shadle does not plan on pursuing soccer after college.

UCLA offered Lillianna Hebert a full ride scholarship for the triple jump and high jump, and she easily accepted.

“UCLA is a great school, has awesome people, and is very accepting overall,” said Hebert.

Hebert has held the school record for high jump and triple jump at Cal since her sophomore year. She is ready to compete at an even higher level and break more records by joining the UCLA track team.

“Cal track has definitely pushed me to reach new heights,” said Hebert.

Hebert wasn’t the only track athlete being recruited from Cal. Sprinter Tyler Carr will be taking another step in her track journey at UC Santa Barbara.

“I picked UCSB because they’re developing their track program into something really great and it is somewhere I see myself excelling,” Carr said.

Along with the developing program, UCSB’s track coach and Carr really gelled over the same philosophies, which persuaded her to attend UCSB.

Carr is ready to take on the commitment of a college sport, and knows it won’t be the same experience fellow seniors will be having.

“Doing track so competitively at Cal, I’ve missed out on a lot of things my friends do,” Carr said. “So I guess it prepared me for UCSB in that I wont be able to party or do all the normal things freshman do, I’ll just be going to school and running.”

Varsity swimmer Kaya Philapil will be continuing her career at Arizona State University. Although Philapil received offers from schools all around the country, she chose ASU because of their great athlete support system, the fact they are a highly competitive PAC-12 school, and have a great broadcast journalism program, which interests her.

“I’m excited to meet my new teammates and train with my new coaches next year,” said Philapil.

Senior, Remi Prieur will play soccer at St. Mary’s College, which he felt was the best choice for him because the school offers D-1 soccer and a great kinesiology program.

Prieur did not play soccer for Cal, but he spent his high school years on the San Jose Earthquakes Academy team as goalkeeper.

“My best soccer memory would be last year when my team and I reached the quarterfinals for the national championship, resulting in finishing sixth in the nation,” Prieur said.

Offensive lineman Tyler Whisenhunt will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to further his football career. After four years playing for Cal and receiving great coaching from Coach Eric Billeci, Whisenhunt feels ready for what college football has in store for him.

“I’m most excited about the competitive environment that comes with college football,” he said. “Cal Poly was the best fit for me athletically and I love the location a lot.”

Whisenhunt is hoping to pursue football after college as long as it stays a viable option for him.

Whisenhunt was not the only Grizzly recruited for football. Alongside him is varsity tight end, Matt Snyder, who will be attending University of Nebraska. Although Nebraska was not Snyder’s first choice though  – he originally committed to  Oregon State – he changed his mind when Coach Riley left OSU for Nebraska.

The historically great football program and fan support were the biggest attractions to for Snyder.

“Cal football has prepared me better than any high school could,” Snyder said. “The work ethic Cal football has, has had me ready to compete at the next level. Playing football beyond college would be a dream come true.”