(UPDATED on May 5 with Arcata’s Nicholas Brichta added to the list)
By Ray Hamill — Competing at the Division-I level in college is nothing new for local student athletes, although I’m not sure we’ve ever seen as many of them at one time as we are seeing these days.
So how many student athletes from the H-DNL do you think are currently either playing at the top collegiate level or have received scholarship offers to do so?
With Eureka junior Keylei Carroll committing her future to the UC Davis women’s soccer team this week, we can think of at least 18 right now. (Please let us know if there is someone we’re missing on our list.)
That number also does not include University of Oregon’s Jake Hanson, a former Eureka football player who recently completed his senior season with the Ducks and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers over the weekend.
Of the 18 we can think of, six are from Eureka High, five of them receiving D-I scholarship offers in the past few months alone, with four more from McKinleyville, three from St. Bernard’s and Arcata and two from Fortuna.
Four of the 18 are in football, with two each in women’s soccer, women’s rowing, women’s basketball, baseball, cross country and track and field, and one each in softball and women’s golf.
Interestingly, 10 of the 18 are in women’s sports and eight in men’s.
Isaak Gutierrez will play football for the University of New Mexico this fall after receiving all-state honors as a freshman at Butte College in 2019.
Alana Busby-Dunphy, a 2018 high school graduate who will play women’s basketball at the University of Alabama later this year after playing this past winter at Dodge City Community College in Kansas.
Olivia Stone plays women’s soccer at Portland State after graduating Eureka High last year.
Miles Meynell, a Loggers senior who recently signed a letter of intent to play football at UC Davis after graduation.
Malia Guilbert, a senior who has received a scholarship to join the Sacramento State women’s crew team.
Keylei Carroll, a junior who has accepted a scholarship offer to play women’s soccer at UC Davis after graduation in 2021.
Bryce Petersen, an offensive lineman who has started all 24 games in his two seasons with the Akron Zips.
Kyle Spalding will be a fifth-year senior at San Diego State this fall, after starting at left tackle for the Aztecs in football in 2019.
Morgin Coonfield is a senior at the University of Nevada, where she competes on the Wolfpack women’s cross country team.
Lizzie Dolan, a 2018 Mack graduate and a member of the women’s track and field team at UC San Diego, which will make the jump to Division-I this summer.
Allison Sobol, a 2018 St. Bernard’s graduate who is a sophomore on the University of Montana women’s golf team.
Nick Dugan, a Crusaders sophomore who has already verbally committed to pitch for the Stanford baseball team after graduation in 2022.
Makenna Schoenhofer, a redshirt freshman who is playing for the Seattle University women’s basketball team after graduating St Bernard’s in 2017.
Kori McCracken, a freshman on the Oregon State women’s crew team who graduated Arcata in 2019.
Merek Sears, a Tigers senior who earlier this year accepted a scholarship to pitch for the Washington State baseball team.
Nicholas Brichta, a junior who runs cross country at UC Davis after previous successful spells at both Arcata High and College of the Redwoods.
Hailey Dolcini, a junior ace pitcher who plays softball at Fresno State and is enjoying a stellar collegiate career.
Jevin Kitchen, a 2017 Fortuna graduate who is also enjoying plenty of success at the collegiate level, competing in the high jump at Sac State.
Future D-I student athletes from the H-DNL
Del Norte’s Kaleya Sanchez will likely have her choice of colleges after her upcoming season playing volleyball at Sierra College, including most probably some D-I programs.
Likewise with St. Bernard’s Justin Hagler, who will play football at Shasta College in the fall and has already received some Division-I interest even before graduating high school.
His teammate at Shasta, Fortuna’s Cory Johnson, also is a likely candidate to take his game to the D-I level after his time with the Knights, as is another former SB football standout, receiver Micah Fontenot-Cornely, who is gearing up for his sophomore season at Santa Rosa JC.
There could very well be others too down the road.
Perhaps Eureka’s Tyce Mullins or St. Bernard’s Lane Thrap, while current prep basketball standouts Saulele Tanuvasa at St. Bernard’s, Jadence Clifton at Del Norte both look like potential Division-I prospects.