San Marcos High girls' water polo teammates Ava Stryker, Kate Meyer, Elaia Hamilton, Sophia Panossian and Reagan McEachen celebrate their signing day.

After years of dedication and sacrifice, a new batch of local athletes realized their dreams by signing their National Letters of Intent affirming their commitments to various collegiate athletic programs. 

All athletes outside of Division 1 football and men’s and women’s Division 1 basketball players can begin signing scholarships on November 9, 2022, and continue to sign anytime through August 1, 2023, so the first day of the signing window was commemorated by signing ceremonies at Dos Pueblos, Santa Barbara, San Marcos, and Bishop Diego.

Santa Barbara High’s ceremony was held at the 50-yard line of Peabody Stadium, where seven student athletes put pen to paper.

Girls’ volleyball standout Shae Delany signed with Claremont McKenna after leading a renaissance of sorts in the Dons’ program, including a CIF championship in 2021 and a Channel League title in 2022.

“It unlocks the next chapter, and I’m really excited to be continuing my volleyball career in college,” said Delany of signing her National Letter of Intent. “It’s every athlete’s dream to play in college, so I’m excited to play at the next level.”

Cal Wipf was the lone early signee out of the Santa Barbara High baseball program. He will attend Pepperdine and continue an impressive legacy of playing college baseball in his family. His uncle Mark Wipf was drafted by the Mets and holds the Santa Barbara Foresters single-season home run record: 12. Cal’s grandfather Vaughn Wipf played at UCSB from 1957-1960.

“It has been my dream to play Division 1 baseball ever since I put on the cleats and grabbed a glove,” Wipf said. “My dreams are coming true, so I’m super excited about that.”

Santa Barbara High Athletes enjoy their moment in the sun. | Credit: Victor Bryant

The other Santa Barbara High signees include: Kasia Wolf (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo soccer), Olivia Obando (UC San Diego water polo), Maria Bittle (Fresno State water polo) and Landin Romo (Wagner water polo).

The Dos Pueblos signing day ceremony was highlighted by two Stanford signees. Superstar pitcher Ryan Speshyock has been committed to Stanford for more than two years, and he finalized that commitment on signing day.

Girls’ volleyball outside hitter Chloe Hoffman will also be heading to Palo Alto after dominating indoor, and on the sand, she will compete in beach volleyball at Stanford.

Ryan Speshyock and Chloe Hoffman will both be attending Stanford. | Credit: Courtesy

The rest of the Dos Pueblos signees were Makeila Cervantes (Pomona Pitzer, volleyball), Maddie Nees (Embry-Riddle, lacrosse), Emma Gilbert (Harvard, water polo), Ava Bennett (Pomona Pitzer, water polo), Cooper Costello (University of Chicago, swim), Nikko Carrillo (Wagner College, swim), and Avery Ball (Messiah University, lacrosse).

At San Marcos, five girls’ water polo players signed with major universities, including Ava Stryker (USC), Kate Meyer (Cal), Elaia Hamilton (Cal), Sophia Panossian (Michigan), and Reagan McEachen (Stanford).

“I’m just proud of all my teammates for making it this far and never giving up throughout the process of high school and club [water polo],” said Stryker, who has already played with the U.S. national team. “It’s never easy waking up at 5 a.m. for swim practice, but we stuck with it and it got us here.”

Additional San Marcos signees were Eloise McGibben (Texas A&M, Corpus Christy, volleyball), Caitlin Sparks (Point Loma, soccer), Leo Metzger (UC Davis, golf), Cole Schoenwetter (UCSB, baseball), and Owen Estabrook (Columbia, baseball)

“Nine years ago I would go to games at [UCSB], and I think that’s where I always wanted to go,” Schoenwetter said. “They were on me early. I knew I wanted to go there, and I made the commitment to Checketts. I was glad to be able to keep that promise.”

Siena Urzua signs her National Letter of Intent to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. | Credit: Victor Bryant

The lone early signee at Bishop Diego was soccer and girls’ volleyball standout Siena Urzua, who finalized her commitment to play soccer at Cal Poly. Urzua is a phenomenal multisport athlete with a bright future.

“It’s kind of a testament of how hard I’ve been working for basically my whole life. I’ve been playing soccer since I was 4,” Urzua said. “I went on my official to Cal Poly last month, and I loved the environment, the school, the coaches and the team.”

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