Magazine Sport Volume 70, Issue 4

Where are Senior Knights Playing Sports in College?

By Charlie Pentland

Graphic by Yiying Zhang

For many, it’s a dream to play collegiate sports. Student athletes will dedicate hours of hard work for the opportunity to play at the next level. Las Lomas, regarded as one of the best academic schools in the district, has also seen many students and alumni go on to play division one, two and three sports. The senior class of 2021 has produced many athletes who will go on to play at the highest level of collegiate sports, division one. 

Playing on varsity as a freshman and averaging 22 points per game her junior season, Rose Morse has been instrumental for Las Lomas on the court. She has been a leader on the girls’ varsity basketball team and is now committed to the University of California, Riverside. Morse described Las Lomas as the place where she learned to be a good teammate, leader and hard worker: “Playing for Las Lomas has taught me a lot of lessons; how to be a good leader and the value of hard work.” Morse went on to talk about what drew her to play at UCR. She discussed how UCR made her feel valued and how she liked what the coaching staff had to offer. “I chose UCR because I felt like they wanted me and needed me. A lot of the colleges that were talking to me made me feel that they already had someone of my skill and that they just wanted me to fill a spot, whereas UCR wanted me because they felt that they believed in my potential and that I would be a valuable player for the team.” Morse continued by saying: “UCR also has a new coaching staff that I felt like I connected to very well. And not to mention that I’d be playing for Nicole Powell, a former WNBA player.” 

For many seniors, male and female, who play water polo, the lack of sports on campus this year is heartbreaking since they will not get to play their senior season. While this ends many playing careers, senior Renee Fleeming will get to continue playing water polo at San Jose State next fall. “I chose SJSU because, along with the gorgeous campus and great location, it offered me the opportunity for a good education and to continue my water polo career at a D1 level.” Fleming, who played on varsity all four years of her high school career, mentioned how Las Lomas coaching really took her game to the next level. “Las Lomas truly helped prepare me because I was given the opportunity to improve my skills and play against – and with – some of the best athletes in the country. I was/am a captain junior and senior year, which really helped my leadership skills improve, and I was able to learn how to communicate and instruct in ways other high schools and programs don’t allow. What I was able to achieve through Las Lomas and high school water polo will really help me when I get to start playing at the college level, because after four years as a varsity athlete, I am stronger and smarter than when I started.”

Former Las Lomas defensive end Troy dela Vega recently committed to continue his football playing career at the United States Air Force Academy. Troy relocated to Utah with the hopes of playing a football season and getting the opportunity to play for a football scholarship. Located in Colorado, the Air Force has produced eight players who later went on to play professionally in the NFL. Troy also reflected on his time at Las Lomas and credited Head Coach Doug Longero and Assistant Coach Mike Ivankovich for some of his success on the field: “Las Lomas helped me get prepared for the next level by teaching me how to lift weights, as well as Head Coach Longero and my other coach, Coach Ivankovich, teaching me how to be a better football player by spending time on me to get me where I am today.” When asked what drew him to play at Air Force, dela Vega said, “Air Force is just a great fit for me and my family. Also, it was a great decision. I chose the Air Force because it’s gonna set me up for life.” dela Vega went on to say, “One of the main things is that I am going to be able to play college football at the next level on TV, which has always been my dream.” It is important to note that Troy did transfer out of Las Lomas to Park City High School in Park City, Utah, to have the opportunity to play his senior season, where he had a total of four sacks in 12 games.With the Las Lomas administration trying to salvage what it can for sports this school year, student athletes are still finding ways to play at the next level. This senior class has produced many athletes who will have the opportunity to play all across the country at the highest level in their respective sports, and The Page looks forward to honoring more seniors for their athletic accomplishments.