Making a splash

Womens varsity water polo athletes, Lauren Schmidt, Kallie White and Laurene Padilla commit to play in college.

As the California chill takes over Carlsbad, high school winter sports spring into action. The recent college commitment of senior athletes Lauren Schmidt, Kallie White and Laurene Padilla, from the women’s varsity water polo team, pumps up the team as they prepare for the 2019-2020 season.

These athletes have contributed considerably to the team since their entrance to the program in 2016, as freshmen. Schmidt, White and Padilla have established themselves in the water polo community and have each earned a spot on a college team.

It’s unreal. You don’t really think that you are going to be there next year.

— Schmidt said.

“I have been playing water polo since 6th grade, so about 7 years,” Schmidt said. “My friend, Jordan and my sister, Bella convinced me to join. I played in the field for a little bit, but then I became a goalie. I played for Carlsbad Water polo Club until it changed to Seaside and then I played there. And now, I’m going to UC Santa Barbara (UCSB).”

Considering the team has been playing together since their youth, they have had the opportunity to grow up alongside each other both in and out of the pool.

“I felt really grateful signing alongside my long time teammates,” White said. “All the hard work we put in, early mornings, long hours of training, was really worth it in the end.”

This success did not come easy. The time and determination needed to play college sports is demanding, but these girls  put forth the effort to be where they are today.

“The biggest thing I’ve have to give up is time,” White said. “There are lots of occasions where you just want to hang out with your friends but there is a practice or games. I’ve missed multiple family vacations to stay back and train or play with my team.”

By dedicating their lives to water polo, these athletes have been recognized by many colleges and institutions. In the fall, White will be attending Indiana University, Schmidt will be attending UC Santa Barbra and Padilla will be attending San Diego State University.

“After committing a huge stress was lifted off my shoulders,” Padilla said. “It took me a while for it to set in because I was choosing between two great schools and it was hard to make a decision but now I know that I made the best decision for me. For my college team I can only hope we will advance and make an NCAA while I am there.”

As the athletes enter their last high school season, playing together will soon come to an end with the start of college seasons. Signing day has brought the realization that this next chapter is approaching sooner than expected. 

“It’s cool to see where everyone is going on signing day,” Schmidt said. “It’s unreal. You don’t really think that you are going to be there next year. It’s hard to see yourself there. It seems so far away.”