Carlsbad athletes conquer their dreams


(Photo Courtesy of Carey Riccitelli)

Maggie Sweeney , editor in chief

On Feb. 3, high school athletes gathered at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park to sign their name on their National Letter of Intention to complete their sport of expertise at the collegiate level. These athletes, who did not sign at the previous date in November, represented soccer, boys water polo and football.

Out of more than 150 athletes, eight students gathered onto stage to represent Carlsbad. Signing three athletes to football and five to soccer, these select CHS students will live out their dreams of doing what they love at a higher level.

“It was really exciting,” senior Hanna DeWeese said. “Kind of like a big weight lifted off my shoulders because this is what I’ve been waiting for.”

Working from early morning practices to late night games, these athletes have put in countless hours to achieve their goal and now prepare for an even tougher schedule of putting in more physical work while balancing harsh college academics.

“In high school, playing a sport is a big time commitment, but in college, it’s everything.” DeWeese said. “You base everything off of soccer and school and you’re training all season, twice a day so it’s going to be really difficult to balance all that.”

Though rigorous, the long recruiting process has paid off for students as they now focus on improving for their college of choice rather than looking at the sidelines to see who’s watching.

“I started the recruiting process freshman year and it’s been a constant thing looking at the sidelines and getting nervous about who’s watching,” DeWeese said. “Junior year, I finished all my visits, put together all my lists and decided on UCSB and it was really fun.”

While balancing athletics and academics can be a struggle, most college athletic programs provide private study hours and tutors for players to ensure academic success with the team. Many athletes even feel balancing academics and athletics in college will be more achievable in college.

“You’re living on your own and you have tutors available for you, so I think it will be easier in college,” DeWeese said.

After this school year, these athletes make way for what lies in their future. Carlsbad’s college-bound athletes prepare to live out their dream and receive a prestige education with new teammates from across the nation.

“My biggest motivation would be always wanting to play at the collegiate level,” DeWeese said. “I’ve always wanted to be here and it’s finally becoming a reality.”


Yasmin Ahooja: soccer (University of Michigan)

Milena Barnes: soccer (University of Texas at Dallas)

Troy Cassidy: football (San Diego State University)

Hanna DeWeese: soccer (University of California at Santa Barbara)

Noe Favila: soccer (Multnomah University)

Katia Mezey: soccer (Greensboro College)

Colin Riccitelli: football (Stanford University)

Zachary Thomas: football (San Diego State University)