St. Francis High School had 18 student-athletes sign National Letters of Intent or commitments to play sports next fall at colleges and universities across the country. They were celebrated with a ceremony at the school today to highlight their outstanding achievement.
“We are really proud of our girls,” said Athletic Director Mark McGreevy. “It really says a lot about their hard work, the support of their parents and the wonderful school we have at St. Francis. It is a great accomplishment to be able to achieve at a high level and earn the opportunity to compete at the next level. It is reflection of their dedication in their sport and academics, balancing the demands of being a student-athlete. We cheer them on in the future but they are always part of the St. Francis red and gold.”
The Troubadour signing day was highlighted by seven players from the volleyball program and six athletes who compete for local rowing clubs. Student-athletes from the golf, softball and swimming and diving programs also made commitments on Wednesday.
Volleyball showcased the talent in the program with seven players recruited to play at schools in Arizona, Oregon, Hawaii and California. Anna Baytosh (Chico State), Karson Bisharat (Central Arizona), Lea Felton (Hawaii Pacific), Chloe Hakim (UC Irvine), Ali Koumelis (Portland), Noa Nightingale (UCSB) and Megan Sullivan (UCSB) will play collegiately next year. They are currently in the midst of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with a third round game on Thursday.
“It was amazing,” said Sullivan. “I could not wait for this day to come and it finally came. UCSB is a dream school for me and I get to go with my best friend (and teammate) Noa (Nightingale). It is a great program with great new coaches. They are really amazing. I love all the girls on the team. I am really excited.”
Crew has become a popular sport for several St. Francis students at the two local rowing clubs, earning six student-athletes opportunities across the country from Georgetown to USC. While not a school-sponsored sport, they represent the talented student body at St. Francis. Caroline Boals (USC), Hannah Gasser (San Diego State), Jacqueline Holben (California), Sophia Kershaw (Georgetown), Nina Obaldia (California) and Jullisa Romani (San Diego) will all row at the collegiate level.
“It meant the world to me to be able to sign with a school I have wanted to go to since the seventh grade,” said Obaldia, who will compete for California. “And to do it for a sport I love so much. Go Bears.”
Three swimmers, who will compete for St. Francis in the spring, also signed. Maddison Johnson (TCU), AnnClaire MacArt (Dartmouth) and Alexis Martinez (Seattle) will continue their careers next year.
The team spirit in all sports, especially swimming, is great,” said Johnson. “There are so many of us but we all come together for champs and for sections.”
Golfer Emily Laskin will play golf representing the U.S. Naval Academy, while softball player Alejandra Garcia will compete for Cal Poly.
“I have been waiting my whole softball career for this,” said Garcia.
2013 St. Francis fall commitments/signees include: Anna Baytosh for volleyball at Chico State, Karson Bisharat for volleyball at Central Arizona, Caroline Boals for crew at USC, Lea Felton for volleyball at Hawaii Pacific, Alejandra Garcia for softball at Cal Poly, Hannah Gasser for crew at San Diego State, Chloe Hakim for volleyball at UC Irvine, Jacqueline Holben for crew, Maddison Johnson for swimming at TCU, Sophie Kershaw for crew at Georgetown, Ali Koumelis for volleyball at Portland, Emily Laskin for golf at the U.S. Naval Academy, AnnClaire MacArt for swimming at Dartmouth, Alexis Martinez for swimming at Seattle, Noa Nightingale for volleyball at UC Santa Barbara, Nina Obaldia for crew, Jullisa Romani for crew at San Diego, Megan Sullivan for volleyball at UC Santa Barbara.
Anna is a two-year letter winner for the volleyball program, helping the team to a 2012 CIF State Championship runner-up finish, Nor Cal Championship, Sac Joaquin Section title and two Delta River League titles. She has led the team with 287 kills while hitting .259 with 247 digs. She saw action in 29 sets as a junior, recording 35 kills and 37 digs. She has a 3.5 GPA and has been an Honor Roll recipient every year. She has participated in the Freshman Overnight, Freshmen and Sophomore retreats. Parents: Michael and Jenifer Baytosh. Siblings: Christopher and Joey.
Karson is a starter and two-year letter winner. She is fourth on the team in kills while hitting .304 with 45 blocks, the second-best total on the team. She was a member of the 2012 CIF State Championship runner-up, recording 18 kills and 16 digs in 38 sets. She has helped win two Delta River League titles, the 2012 Nor Cal Championship and the 2012 Sac-Joaquin Division 1 North title. Parents: Charlie and Brenda Bisharat. Siblings: Mackenzie, Aja and Beau.
Lea is a two-year starter and three-year letter winner for the Troubadours, helping the team to three Delta River League titles, two section titles, 2012 Nor Cal Championship and 2012 CIF state championships runner-up finish. She has recorded 145 kills in the season while hitting .304 with a team-best 47 total blocks. She was named to 2013 High Sierra Invitational all-tournament team. In 2012, she was named to the Delta River All-League team. She has a 3.6 GPA and received High Honors every year. She has attended the Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior retreat. She has volunteered at the local food bank and was a member of San Francisco service trip Parents: Sue and Mark Felton. Siblings: Adam and Luke.
Alejandra is a four-year starter for coach Al LoGuidice and Kevin Warren, playing shortstop and catcher. She earned all-league honors as a junior, hitting .364 with a .982 fielding percentage to help the team reach the playoffs. She was the co-MVP as a sophomore after batting .305 for the season and received the Coaches Award as a freshman. She plays for the Lady Magic Fastpitch club. She has a 3.9 GPA. She has attended the Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior retreats and has volunteered with Mercy MacMahon Terrace and the Elk Grove Girls Softball clinic. Parents: Ben and Kristy Garcia. Siblings: Isabela and Azalea.
San Diego State
Hannah will sign with San Diego State for rowing. She has competed for Capital Crew for Head Coach Toby Johnson for three years. She recently placed second at Youth Nationals in Tennessee in the Lightweight 4 boat. She has a 3.47 GPA and is a member of the Honor Roll. She has participated in numerous retreats and volunteered with St. Vincent de Paul and Loaves and Fishes. Parents: Sheila and Jim Gasser. Sibling: Robert.
Chloe is two-year starter and letter winner, helping the team to back-to-back Delta River League titles. She was a key member of the 2012 Nor Cal Champion and CIF State Championship runner-up team. She has recorded 468 digs on the season to lead the team. As a junior, she recorded 340 digs. She attended the Bronx, N.Y., Christian service trip, assisting the elderly and working at a soup kitchen and has taken part in the Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior retreats. Parents: Cornelis and Chitra Hakim. Sibling: Chazel.
Jacqueline has been am member of Capital Crew since 2011. As the Coxswain, she coxed the varsity 8 to second-place finishes at the Head of the Port and Head of the Lakes this fall. Varsity 8 boat placed first at the Pacific Invite and all three races at the Stanford Invitational last spring. She was named to the US Rowing Junior National Development Camp in 2012, one of just four coxswains born in 1996. She has volunteered with the Center for Contemporary Art since 2005. Parents: Chris and Cheryl Holben. Sibling: Celeste.
Maddison is a three-year standout for Head Coach Richard Levin, helping the team to three Delta River League titles and a section championship as a freshman. She was named an Academic All-American by USA Swimming. She won the DRL titles for the 100 fly and 200 IM in 2013 and has been named one of the team Most Valuable Players each season. She also competed with the Arden Hills National club tam, participating in Junior Nationals and NCSA Junior Nationals. She has attended Freshman, Sophomore and Junior retreats and volunteered with Specials Olympics, Loaves and Fishes and Davis Community Meals. Parents: Tammy and Larry Johnson. Siblings: Nicholas, Jacob and Hayden.
Sophie has competed for Capital Crew and Head Coach Toby Johnson for four years. She has been a captain for two seasons, earing the Captains Award. She was part of a Lightweight 4 that finished second in Youth Nationals in 2013 and second on a Lightweight 8 at the same event in 2012. She has a 4.33 GPA and is a member of the Honor Roll. She has volunteered with the Sac State Aquatic Center. She is a member of the Native American Culture Club and Guitar Club. Parents: Gary and Tracey Kershaw. Siblings: Edward and Charlotte.
Ali has been a leader on the Troubadour team as four-year letter winner and two year starter. She is one of three captains on the 2013 team that won the Delta River League title with a perfect 10 mark. Overall, she has led the team to three Delta River League titles, two section titles, 2012 Nor Cal Championship and 2012 CIF state championships runner-up finish. She has recorded 764 assists, averaging 9.6 per set (17th in California). She was named to the 2013 High Sierra Invitational All-Tournament team. As a junior, she recorded 847 assists (8.5 per set) to lead the team and rank eighth in the Sac-Joaquin Section. Parents: Dave and Cathy Koumelis. Siblings: Daniel, Andrew and Lauren.
U.S. Naval Academy
Emily was a four-year letter winner and two-time captain for the Troubadour golf team. She helped the team to two state championship appearances (2010-6th, 2012-6th), six section titles and three Delta River League titles (2010, 2012, 2013). She posted a 79.7 scoring average over six rounds and carded an average of 35.8 in five Delta River League matches. She was twice named the Delta River League Most Valuable Player. She is the senior class president and attended Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior and Kairos retreats. Emily as a 4.38 GPA and was a member of the Honor Roll member each of her first three years. She was a product of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and received the Girls Most Athletic Award after playing basketball, volleyball and golf. Parents: Alan and Julie Laskin. Siblings: Sonia and David.
AnnClaire is a three-time varsity letter winner for Head Coach Richard Levin, helping the team to the section title in 2011. She has received the St. Francis Most Outstanding Swimmer three times. She garnered all-league honors in 2013 and was named to the Sacramento River Cats all-city team in both 2012 and 2013. She also won the 100 freestyle at the CIF Section meet in 2012. USA Swimming has named her a Scholastic All-American in both 2012 and 2013. AnnClaire has a 4.31 GPA and is member of the National Honor Society. She has attended the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior retreats and volunteered with Loaves and Fishes and the Davis Community Meals program. Parents: Marilyn and Gregory MacArt. Siblings: Jonathan and Patrick.
Alexis is a standout for the St. Francis swimming team and was named the MVP on the 2013 team. She reached the finals in both the 50 free and 100 free at the CIF State Championships in 2013. She won individual titles in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays at the Delta River League meet, earning all-league honors. She was part of the record-setting 400-free relay at the Delta River League meet last season. She was swam on the varsity for all four seasons, including two seasons at Granite Bay. She earned All-America honors in the 200 free relay in 2012. Parents: Nicole and Michael Martinez. Siblings: Andrew and Ashley.
UC Santa Barbara
Noa has been a two-year varsity member for Alynn Wright. She has been part of two Delta River League titles, a Sac-Joaquin section title, Nor Cal Championship and 2012 CIF State Championship runner-up finish. She has 168 kills on the season, recording two games of 10 or more in 88 sets played. She has volunteered at St. John’s Shelter in Sacramento and owns a 3.7 GPA. She also attended the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior retreats. Parents: Jeff and Cheryl Nightingale. Sibling: Zoe.
Nina competed for River City Rowing Club for coach Tricia Blocker. She is the stroke on the varsity 8 and varsity four. She was part of V8 that broke seven minutes for 2K at Southwest Regional Championships at Lake Natoma in 2013. She has attended Frosh, Sophomore and Mother-Daughter retreats and participated in volunteer activities at River City, St. John’s and Loaves and Fishes. Parents: Berman and Vivian Hernandez-Obaldia. Sibling: Natalie.
Jullisa has been competing for Capital Crew under Head Coach Toby Johnson for the last four seasons as a rower and starboard. She has been part of four successful boats in 2013, recording several high finishes. They finished first at the 2013 Head of the Port (V4+) and third at the Southwest Junior Championships. They were fourth in the nation at the Youth Nationals in Tennessee. She also placed first at the Pacific Invitational in V8+ to win the gold medal. She has a 4.05 GPA and has received General Excellence and Honor Roll accolades. Parents: Bruce Romani. Siblings: Brian, Brett, Shelley and Ashley.
UC Santa Barbara
Megan has been a two-year varsity member for Head Coach Alynn Wright. She has been part of two Delta River League titles, a Sac-Joaquin section title, Nor Cal Championship and 2012 CIF State Championship runner-up finish. She was named a PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace: The 150 and Just Missed. She has 182 kills on the season, hitting .372 (51st in California) with 51 blocks. She was a member of NCVA team that went 18-1 in 2013-14 and placed 22nd at the 2013 USA Junior National Championships. She earned a silver medal with the 18 and Under team at 2012 USA Junior Beach Volleyball Tour. She has volunteered at St. John’s Shelter and Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary in Sacramento. Parents: Lori Sullivan Abinanti and Joe Abinanti. Siblings: Joey.