by: Karli Stichter and Benjamin Rodriguez
Yesterday Tustin High School celebrated seven exceptional athletes in the plaza to announce where each Tiller will attend college in Fall 2016. This year’s athletes were a part of the largest signing day group the school has ever held. This was a highly anticipated day for all of the athletes. Throughout their high school athletic careers at Tustin, each one expresses the characteristics of hard work, endurance and determination on the field and in the classroom. Every student athlete on stage has over a 3.5 GPA and represents what it takes to be an athlete and student in high school and at the collegiate level.
These athletes include: Tony Barrios, Nick Jacobson, Katelyn Merrell, Dailin Lee, Alema Pilimai, Anthony Walters, and Austyn Tengan. Five of the seven athletes are a part of the Tiller baseball program. The other two–star soccer player Katelyn Merrell and the football playing “Polynesian powerhouse” Alema Pilimai. Tony Barrios committed to the University of California, San Diego. “When I visited the area was great and the campus was what I wanted in a college. The facilities were renovated and it was so nice there,” and the new member of the Triton family.
Nick Jacobson decided to continue his academic and athletic careers at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. “They are competitive in their conference and they have D1 education.” Katelyn Merrell will attend Westmont College in Santa Barbara. “I immediately fell in love with the school when I stepped on the campus. The coaches were amazing and so were the girls on the team. After visiting a couple times I just knew Westmont was the school for me.” Anthony Walters is taking his talents to the University of California, Berkeley to be a member of the Golden Bear baseball team. Austyn Tengan will take his talents to California State University, Bakersfield where he will join the Roadrunner’s baseball team.”I heard from friends and other coaches that Coach Macaluso was a great coach and will get my game to the next level,” says Austyn. Last but not least Alema Pilimai, the most shocking decision, flipped from a verbal committal to University of Utah to Brigham Young University to join the Cougars’ football team. “I felt more at home at BYU. Utah just didn’t really have the same feeling, and I really bonded with the recruits at BYU on my trip and already established that brotherhood with the the teammates,” Alema happily states.
Tustin High School is very proud of the student athletes who committed to their school of choice. Their commitment to their athletic and academic careers throughout high school has brought them to this exciting moment of their lives and we are excited for all of their futures.