The winter season is upon us and, as usual, the Trinity League is expected to feature some of the best athletes and teams in the country.
Here are five high-profile athletes to track in the coming months.
Freedman is the third-year starting point guard for the Mater Dei boys’ basketball team, leading the Monarchs to an 89-13 record in that span. When he’s on the floor, there’s no question who’s in charge moving parts. Freedman keeps the team organized while also keeping his talented teammates happy by distributing the ball evenly and effectively. When the Monarchs need points, they can also count on Freedman’s pinpoint accuracy from long range or the free throw line. Freedman, who carries a 4.2 grade-point average, passed up opportunities to play in the Pac-12 Conference colleges and opted to sign with Harvard, where he has high hopes for himself both on and off the court.
The Mater Dei girls’ basketball team has gone unbeaten in the Trinity League over the past nine seasons, but that streak seemed at risk after 2016-17 league co-MVP Jayda Adams graduated and moved on to Duke. The Monarchs received great news at the start of the school year, however. Crocker, 5-foot-9 junior guard, transferred from Los Alamitos to Mater Dei, where she should fit in nicely. Crocker was the second-leading scorer in Orange County last season at 21.23 points a game, and was selected co-MVP of the Sunset League. Crocker recently underwent foot surgery and won’t be available until January, just in time for league play.
D’Aquila has combined for 62 goals her first two seasons on the JSerra girls’ soccer team, and figures to continue hitting the back of the net on a regular basis as a junior. She had 34 goals last season while leading the Lions to their first Trinity League title, following by CIF-SS Division I and Southern California Regional championships. D’Aquila has been playing with the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team this summer and fall, and scored a goal as recently as Nov. 20 to help the U.S. to a 4-0 victory against Mexico. D’Aquila has committed to Santa Clara University, where her teammate last season, Julie Doyle, recently concluded her freshman season.
Thawley’s back for her senior season after scoring 77 goals and notching 36 steals last season, leading the Mater Dei girls’ water polo team to its first league title since 2012 and the program’s first trip to the CIF-SS Division I semifinals. She was at her best in big games, scoring four goals, including the game-winner, in an 11-10 victory against Orange Lutheran that solidified the league championship. Thawley also drew four ejections in the game, which kept the Lancers short-handed during key stretches. Thawley, a left-handed two-meter player, committed to Harvard over the summer.
Madrigal begins his fourth season as a key member of the Servite wrestling team. Among his accomplishments as a junior last season were a third-place finish at the John Bright Memorial, second place at the Clovis West Shootout, Mann Classic and Peoria Invitational, and fifth at the Sierra Nevada Classic and Five Counties. He won Trinity League and CIF-SS titles before finishing second at Masters and eighth in state. Expect a lot of first-place trophies this season.