By Jenelyn Russo     3/12/2019

On February 6, several senior athletes from Mater Dei High School and Santa Margarita Catholic High School made their commitments to play college athletics as part of National Signing Day.

Four football players from Mater Dei signed their letters of intent to continue their careers at the collegiate level.

All-purpose back Shakobe Harper has signed with California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Harper ran for 1272 yards and 20 touchdowns in the Monarchs 2018 state title season, averaging seven yards a carry. He also had 19 receptions for 264 yards.

Aidan Livingston committed to Boston College. The Monarchs starting long snapper is also a member of National Honor Society and is a Semper Fidelis All-American.

Place kicker Nick Lopez will be continuing his playing career at University of California, Berkeley. An All-County honoree, Lopez hit 77 of 80 extra point attempts and three of six field goals. Also, 73 of his 101 kickoffs made it to the end zone for touchbacks.

Second in receiving for the Monarchs with 43 receptions for 661 yards and six touchdowns, tight end Michael Martinez is headed to UCLA.

“We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate our student athletes and their accomplishments,” says Director of Athletics at Mater Dei, Tia Meza. “Having the chance to continue their athletic careers at the next level is a dream come true for each of them, and we are so proud to honor them.”

Santa Margarita had 13 athletes participate in signing day festivities from across seven sports.

Soccer player Jack Boccuzzi is headed to University of North Carolina, Asheville. A three-year varsity starter and team captain for the Eagles, Boccuzzi was also the varsity football team kicker. He is a member of Peer Ministry and National Honor Society.

From the pool, Jake Marquez will play water polo for the University of California, San Diego, and Yurian Quinones is headed east to continue his water polo career at Princeton University. Marquez is a two-year starter and team captain for Santa Margarita, as well as a 1st Team All-Trinity League and 2nd Team All-CIF honoree. Quinones was selected Eagle of the Year and led the team in scoring in addition to 1st Team All-Trinity League and 1st Team All-CIF honors.

On the girls side of water polo, Alexis Kieckhafer is also headed to the Ivy League as she will play for Harvard University. Kieckhafer played as the four-year starting goalkeeper for the Eagles and served as team captain. She is also is a two-time USA Water Polo Academic All-American.

From Santa Margarita’s boys lacrosse team, Ryan You has committed to College of Wooster. You has been a part of the three Trinity League championships for the Eagles playing multiple positions including midfielder and attack.

Middle infielder Jeffrey Bounds will continue his baseball career at Grinnell College. Bounds was awarded the OC Heroes Award by the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross, and he serves as a student mentor at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

From the softball diamond, Katie Weekley has committed to Simmons University. The outfielder and left-handed pitcher for the Eagles is a two-year varsity player and batted .289 over the last two seasons.

The Eagles football team had six players commit to playing collegiately.

Offensive lineman Matthew Kilander has committed to the University of San Diego. A 2nd Team All-Trinity League honoree, Kilander was selected to play in the 2019 Orange County All-Star Game.

Two-year varsity starter Nate Clay will be playing football for Black Hills State University in South Dakota. Clay played both offensive and defensive line for the Eagles and is also a Trinity League champion wrestler.

Team captain and tackle Connor Burke has committed to playing for Washington University in St. Louis. The two-year varsity player is also a member of Santa Margarita’s track and field team.

Offensive tackle Brandon Schillig and linebacker Matt Lynch will both continue their football careers at the University of Chicago. Schillig is also a member of the Eagles track and field team and participates in the school’s Chamber Choir and performing arts productions. Lynch is a Santa Margarita Student Ambassador and a member of National Honor Society.

Team captain and 1st Team All-Trinity League running back Jake Thomas has committed to Boise State University. Thomas averaged 128 yards per game and rushed for 1,159 total yards and 16 touchdowns.

“We are so proud of these young men,” says Santa Margarita Athletic Director, Annie Mai-Garrett. “To be able to handle the rigors of football training and balance it with their academic workloads really speaks volumes about them, their families and the Eagle football program as a whole. Not only do they make us proud on Friday nights, but we know they will make us even prouder in their future endeavors.”