SHP's best, brightest athletes to continue at next level

Sacred Heart Prep student-athletes pictured standing: (left to right) Brad Yaffe, Alexander Nemeth, Eric DeBrine, Cate Desler, Mia Shenk, Corey Tanis, Luke Rohlen, Dante Cacchione and Tatum Angotti. Front row: (l. to r.) Melina Stavropolous, Sara Choy, Jack Crockett, Angelo Tonas, Nadia Paquin, Rory Hocker and Michael Sonsini. Not pictured: Alex Tsotadze, Addi Duval, Matte Snow. Photo provided by Elizabeth Nelson/SHP.

Tennis star Sara Choy, who was 79-1 as a singles player during her high school tennis career, is one of 19 Sacred Heart Prep seniors who will continue their athletic careers in college.

The school recently honored the class, which will compete for programs as close as Stanford (Choy) and as far as the east coast, with athletes committed to Princeton, Harvard and Georgetown.

Cate Desler
For the ninth time in 10 years, SHP sends 18 or more student-athletes to play at the intercollegiate ranks. This year, the class has 19 students representing 12 different sports.

"We couldn't be more excited for these 19 student-athletes who have artfully balanced academics and athletics these past four years,” said SHP Assistant Principal of Athletics Frank Rodriguez. “They’re well-prepared to continue their athletic pursuits at the college level.”

Choy, who stands 4-foot-11 but who has a heart infinitely larger, joins reigning NCAA champion Stanford as a blue chip recruit. She won two CCS singles titles and reached a third in her junior year before suffering her only loss. Injuries limited Choy to doubles play only as a senior.

Melina Stavropolous, who played doubles with Choy, will be playing tennis at Vassar College.

PAL Bay Division Pitcher of the year Angelo Tonas will take the mound for Georgetown next spring. Teammate Dominic Cacchione will pitch closer to home as a member of traditional Pac-12 powerhouse Arizona State University.

MaxPreps California State Division II volleyball player of the year Cate Desler will make an immediate impact next year at Tufts University. Classmate Eric DeBrine will also make the trek to Tufts as a recruited member of the men’s basketball program.

Seven of the 19 student-athletes playing at the next level will come from SHP’s water polo programs. Two members of this year’s CCS Open Division Finalist girls’ squad will become conference rivals when Nadia Paquin competes next year for Pomona College and Addi Duval for Claremont-McKenna College.

CCS Open Division Champion boys’ team members Alexander Nemeth (University of California San Diego) and Rory Hocker (California Lutheran University) will compete next year on the West Coast while teammates Alex Tsotadze and Michael Sonsini head east to Harvard University. Corey Tanis will compete in water polo and serve his country when he heads to the United States Air Force Academy.

Two-time CCS Division IV basketball champion team member Tatum Angotti will play at Bowdoin College.

After making a big contribution to SHP’s first ever WCAL boys’ lacrosse championship this past spring, Jack Crockett will move on to Princeton University.

After celebrating four consecutive WBAL swimming championships and multiple trips to the CCS final meets, Matte Snow and Luke Rohlen will swim next year at New York University and Dartmouth College, respectively.

Mia Shenk, who missed her senior year with an injury, will play soccer next year at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brad Yaffe, the quarterback on SHP's football team, joins the nationally-ranked University of Oregon's program as a preferred walk-on and making up one of the top recruited classes in the nation.

“These students’ dedication and diligence both in the classroom and on their respective field of play has paved the way for more opportunities to compete at the next level," Rodriguez said. "They are a terrific bunch and we wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”

— Palo Alto Online Sports/SHP Athletics

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Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 3, 2018 at 11:54 pm

Good luck to Sara Choy at Stanford tennis. A Stanford student journalist wrote about Sara’s aspiration when she lived at Oak Creek ie on campus a mile from Maples (and my neighbor there, 3 doors down).
Tongue in check I baited former Stanford star Stephanie Savides to critique Sara’s game and compare herself at that age (and Sara was coached by another Gunn/Stanford ace, Jeff Arons)
I also rang recently Rebecca Dirksen another multiple CCS champ, from Gunn and Dartmouth now down in North Carolina.
Amazing still SHP won CCS football.

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