Senior athletes take on National Collegiate Athletic Association

With less than forty days left of their last year of high school, seniors have begun narrowing down their college considerations. For some, this consideration includes athletic scholarship offers from colleges and universities—enticing for students who wish to continue playing their sport at the collegiate level. From late nights under the Irvine High stadium lights to playing in colossal stadiums, double the size of Irvine’s, the following Vaqueros have signed for college athletics:

 

Jack Condon 

Condon is ready to start the next chapter of his life at George Fox University in Oregon. He is planning to major in Kinesiology, in hopes of becoming a firefighter and will be playing for their football team. Condon fell in love with the sport during high school playing under Coach Tom Ricci and is now dedicating his time to train for his upcoming season with his new team. Condon plans to enjoy the Oregon scenery, snowboard and indulge in the programs offered at George Fox. 

Senior Jack Condon poses in front of George Fox’s Alumni Plaza, celebrating the legacy of both past and present Bruins.

El Vaquero: Why are you deciding to continue your football career as a collegiate athlete?

Condon: “I kind of just always had a love for the game. Football, really just makes you feel part of a family. So even going off to college, I’ll feel part of a family. I just can’t imagine not playing football because I feel like I would just not know what to do. It’s kind of my outlet for everything—I don’t have to worry about anything when I’m playing.”

El Vaquero: What attracted you to George Fox? 

Condon: “I really love the scenery, the coaches and programs after meeting with some of the professors there. And they have a really high graduation rate; it just seemed like a good road to success for me.”

 

 

Jeremiah Gedeon

Chicago bound, Gedeon has committed to playing baseball at McKendree University. Ever since he started playing baseball at 3 years old, Gedeon has dreamed of playing baseball in college and would attend campuses and showcases during high school in order to show college recruiters his capabilities. At McKendree, Gedeon is looking forward to experiencing a new lifestyle as a collegiate athlete, life beyond Southern California and competing amongst others on a more intense playing field.

Eye’s on the ball, senior Jeremiah Gedeon—Irvine’s varsity middle infield—is headed to McKendree University for baseball.

El Vaquero: What is the most rewarding part of your recruitment and/or commitment process? 

Gedeon: “Definitely knowing that all the work I’ve put in throughout the years has rewarded me. If you really want something, you have to fight until you get it.” 

El Vaquero: What advice would you give to someone interested in playing in college (and will be going through the process in the coming years)?

Gedeon: “Everyone has their own journey. Trust in yourself and your abilities. Hard work always pays off.” 

 

 

 

Cameron Goods

Irvine High School record holder for the most touchdowns scored in a season—30—Goods has dreamed of playing football at college since childhood. After receiving a scholarship from Black Hills State (BHS), a small college in South Dakota, he can now fulfill that dream. He is planning to major in Business, one of BHS’s top programs, and hopes his degree will translate to something he wants to pursue professionally. At BHS, Goods can be found practicing hard on the field or admiring the beauty of South Dakota. 

Posing with a football, senior Cameron Goods sports his future jersey at Black Hills University.

El Vaquero: What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome?

Goods: “The greatest challenge I probably had to overcome was my size. As a freshman and sophomore, I was really short and not that strong. Over quarantine, I lifted weights almost every day and finally got some size on me. That was probably the turning point, from then on I had the strength and confidence to play at a high level.”

El Vaquero: What attracted you to BHS?

Goods: “It was beautiful. There was snow on the ground which I have rarely seen in my life growing up in California. Not only the scenery but attracted me but also the community. It was a small town and had a very unique culture but it felt like everyone there was really close with each other.”

 

Hannah Hong 

Hong has committed to playing soccer at Pomona College. She loves and believes it’s the perfect school for her as it balances an education at a top liberal arts college, while still providing the opportunity to continue playing soccer at a collegiate level. Once Hong entered high school she started taking soccer more seriously and knew it was something she wanted to continue beyond her club soccer years. This coming fall, she is looking to major in either Biology or Sociology and looking forward to the preseason with her college teammates and getting to play for a national NCAA champion.

Senior Hannah Hong is decked out in her college spirit wear in front of a Pomona College lecture hall.

El Vaquero: What was the hardest challenge or obstacle you’ve had to overcome with your recruitment process? 

Hong: “Not being able to play and travel for showcases because of COVID-19 restrictions was probably the hardest challenge I had to overcome during this process. I could only contact coaches virtually through phone calls and over zoom. The recruitment process was obviously different because of COVID-19 but, in the end, I think it worked to my advantage as I got more time to talk to college coaches and find the school that best fit me.”

El Vaquero: What is the best piece of advice a coach has given you during your recruitment process? 

Hong: “The best piece of advice my coach has given me during my recruiting process was to stay focused on my clear driven goals and be proactive in my own recruiting.”

 

Mandy Langerlof 

Irvine High’s varsity water polo goalie is headed to play for San Diego State University (SDSU). Lagerlof chose SDSU for its high ranked business school—a compelling point for her Business Administration Finance major—and her love for the city. At SDSU, she is looking forward to the built in community of other student athletes and getting to support their respective teams as well as practicing and traveling with her own water polo team. Lagerlof has wanted to play water polo in college as she’s been attending camps and clinics throughout high school, adapting quickly and loving the intensity of the game at a collegiate level. 

At the beach, senior Mandy Langerlof celebrates her commitment to San Diego State University for water polo.

El Vaquero: What is the best piece of advice a coach has given you? 

Lagerlof: “The best advice my coach gave me was that your rent for success is due everyday, and the drive to outreach your potential will set you apart from everybody else—so never stop hustling and grinding.”

El Vaquero: How did you keep yourself motivated during the recruitment process?

Lagerlof: “Throughout the recruitment process, I continued to work hard in the pool to showcase my efforts and talents, keeping myself motivated. I was also surrounded by a great deal of coaches and players that pushed and challenged me to be better everyday, with this, I was able to visualize myself playing at SDSU.”

 

 

Emmeline Law 

Majoring in public health, Irvine High point guard is headed to Orange Coast Community College (OCCC) to play basketball. Law chose OCCC for its women’s basketball program and for how the school provides for its every student—the campus and facilities are all new and advanced. She has always wanted to pursue basketball at a higher level and is looking forward to being a part of the collegiate athlete community at OCCC.

Orange Coast College’s basketball Instagram page highlights senior Emmeline Law’s athletic commitment.

El Vaquero: What did your recruitment process look like? 

Law: “Coach Sam Davis (girls basketball head coach) has helped me a lot through my recruitment process. It was an unlimited waiting period for college coaches to reach out to me; in the meantime, I’m working out in the gym and on the court every day trying to improve. Once I had multiple offers, I visited different campuses and learned more about their programs to ensure that it was the best fit for me.” 

El Vaquero: What was the hardest obstacle or challenge you had to overcome during your recruitment process? 

Law: “I have had to put in twice the amount of work than what I was used to and I’m just starting to get used to it, which I think was the hardest obstacle or challenge I have had to overcome during my recruitment process. It took a lot of encouraging words from people and I would learn to believe in myself the way they believe in me.”

 

Nickolas Rudolph 

Rudolph is headed to Saddleback College to continue his football career, which he has been playing for four years. He was inspired to start playing after seeing the connection and relationship those on the team had, in addition to their hard work and dedication to the sport in order to achieve their goal: out-perform the opposing team. To Rudolph, those a part of the team are considered more than just a team—a family—who has pushed him through hard times to become a better person both on and off the field. At Saddleback, Rudolph will be focusing on fulfilling his general education requirements in order to transfer to obtain a degree in Business Administration. 

Number 50, senior Nick Rudolph (left) celebrates Irvine winning the Dennis Toohey Fence Post Trophy next to fellow senior, friend and teammate Logen Wilson (right).

El Vaquero: Why did you choose Saddleback College? 

Rudolph: “I wanted to continue my football career with a team where I felt I could be useful so I choose Saddleback College. I also wanted to have the experience of going to a school outside of Irvine while completing the general education requirements.”

El Vaquero: When did you decide you wanted to play football in college?  

Rudolph: “After our last game, I decided I wanted to play football in college. I knew that even though it was nice to have a few weeks off, it was something I wasn’t ready nor willing to let go of. Saddleback was interested and came to Irvine to talk to me and a few other players. I knew after seeing how interested they were, that Saddleback was the best option for me.”

 

 

Sierra Suttle 

Suttle has signed to Concordia University, Irvine (CUI) for volleyball. At CUI, she will be majoring in Psychology with a minor in Criminology and is excited to bond with her team, and other athletic teams on campus, and show school pride. During COVID-19, Suttle found it difficult to talk to schools and get recruited as college recruiters were not allowed inside tournament venues. Overcoming this hurdle, she signed up for camps over the summer which is where she fell in love with CUI’s coaches and volleyball team.

In her college merch, senior Sierra Suttle celebrates her athletic commitment to play volleyball at Concordia Univerity, Irvine.

El Vaquero: Why did you choose CUI?

Suttle: “Concordia Irvine immediately made me feel like home, the atmosphere on campus is just what I dreamed of. The volleyball team is also very hardworking and dedicated to achieving goals as well as welcoming to new players.” 

El Vaquero: How did you stay motivated during your recruitment process? 

Suttle: “In order to keep myself motivated I made sure to keep talking to coaches around me and truly balance out the pros and cons of playing in college. I ended up with the fact that my heart loves volleyball and I didn’t want to stop just yet; I craved a hardworking team that would love to be competitive!”

 

Tate Zimmerman

Dreaming of playing collegiate football with his brother, Zimmerman has committed to the University of New Mexico to do just that. During his time at Irvine High, Zimmerman played soccer, football and baseball and was inspired by his dad, who played collegiate football, to pursue sports at a higher level. Besides accomplishing a lifelong goal, Zimmerman believes that the University of New Mexico will provide him with the best opportunity to not only experience college but also be surrounded by a community of communicative and impactful coaches. He will be majoring in Fire Sciences in hopes of later pursuing a career in firefighting and is looking forward to the academic support he will receive in college.

Headed to New Mexico University, senior Tate Zimmerman poses in his future football jersey, marking the start of his collegiate career.

El Vaquero: Looking back now, what advice would you have given yourself when you were first starting your recruitment process?

Zimmerman: “Probably just to never give up. Because there were some times I wanted to quit and some times when I could have put in more effort than I did. I would just say give it the full effort you can. I can do a lot more things than I say I can and I think that, honestly, everyone can do a lot more things than they say they can do too.”

El Vaquero: If someone is interested in playing a collegiate sport, and will be going through the recruitment process, what advice would you give to them?

Zimmerman: “Try to start and form connections with coaches that you have and make sure you are always reaching out to colleges that you are interested in going to. Make sure you can start connections at places that can help you with your recruitment journey.” 

 

 

Photos are courtesy of Jack Condon, Jeremiah Gedeon, Cameron Goods, Hannah Hong, Mandy Langerlof, Emmeline Laq, Nick Rudolph, Sierra Suttle and Tate Zimmerman.