The Corona del Mar High graduation is less than a month away, but before the seniors could walk across the stage, the school wanted to honor its 25 athletes going to play in college.
Several of the athletes took the time to share their favorite moments as a Sea King during Wednesday’s ceremony in the main gym, and many of them had decorated careers at the high school level.
Boys’ golf standouts T.J. Jenkins (Sonoma State) and Guy Clauss (Loyola Marymount University) came together to take pictures with family following the ceremony.
Clauss said his favorite high school moment was winning the CIF Southern Section South Coast Division team championship in their junior year. Jenkins hoped that they set a good example for those looking to follow in their footsteps.
“As seniors, it’s our job to leave a legacy, in a way, and teach the [younger] kids what our team is all about,” Jenkins said. “I think we did a pretty dang good job.”
Kyle Cord (Westminster College), a goalkeeper for the boys’ lacrosse team, won a U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division championship as a freshman. In addition to that memory, Cord appreciated the CdM coaching staff’s commitment to growing the sport.
“Just to think about it right now is a lot,” Cord said. “It’s what we’ve been told every single day is to grow the game. [It is about] integrity, spreading kindness throughout the sport, and not really trash talking on the field and what not.”
At one point in an address to the crowd, CdM athletic director Don Grable mentioned that the path of a student-athlete’s career is not always rosy, and that some thorns would be expected along the way.
It was an apt description for the girls’ basketball career of Tatiana Bruening (Chapman University). The Sea Kings center was hindered by illness for much of her senior year. Still, she found a way to extend her career to a four-year college, just as her older sister, Natalia Bruening, did in going on to play for the UC Santa Barbara women’s basketball program.
“I can say that I always gave it my best effort,” said Tatiana Bruening, who added that she is happy that she will get to play again. “Whether or not it turned out the way that I wanted it to, I can say that I put in the full effort.
“We’ll see what happens in college because I know that all of my teammates are really, really excited, and I can’t wait to be on a team where everyone is really, really pushing themselves to win a championship.”
Signing day ceremonies often serve as a reminder that the athletes have many supporters, including family, friends and teammates.
Outside hitter Kendall Kipp (Stanford) and libero Brey Sands (Southern Methodist University) were recognized from the girls’ volleyball team. Kipp will be going off to Stanford with a lifelong friend in Sophie Wallace, who was an attacker for the Sea Kings and will play women’s water polo for the Cardinal.
“It’s really special because the end of senior year is always kind of bittersweet,” Kipp said of attending Stanford with Wallace. “We’re excited for next year, but you’re leaving all of your friends behind. It’s nice to know that we’ll be together next year, and we’ll have each other.”
Below is a list of CdM athletes committing to their respective colleges:
Layne Anzaldo, UCLA women’s water polo
Amerys Barshtak, Harvard softball
Reece Berger, San Diego State baseball
Carter Britt, Michigan women’s water polo
Tatiana Bruening, Chapman University women’s basketball
Guy Clauss, Loyola Marymount University men’s golf
Kyle Cord, Westminster College men’s lacrosse
Max Dunk, Long Beach State men’s volleyball
Kristina Evloeva, UC Davis women’s tennis
Luke Fisher, University of St. Thomas (Minn.) football
Adam Flood, USC men’s volleyball
Natalie Hueston, Cal women’s soccer
TJ Jenkins, Sonoma State men’s golf
Kendall Kipp, Stanford women’s volleyball
Roxanne MacKenzie, Butler University women’s tennis
Janie Marcus, Pomona College women’s tennis
Alyssa McKenzie, Eastern Washington University women’s soccer
Nick Meisenheimer, University of Massachusetts, Boston men’s lacrosse
Emily Mickelsen, UCLA women’s soccer
Kyle Pham, Southern Methodist University men’s tennis
Brey Sands, Southern Methodist University women’s volleyball
Chloe Smith, Bucknell University women’s water polo
Luc Stuka, Cal State San Marcos baseball
Ian Turner, Carnegie Mellon University men’s cross-country and track and field
Sophie Wallace, Stanford women’s water polo
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