Athletes garner college attention


by Topher Rzasnicki
Staff Writer

Playing at the collegiate level takes talent, dedication and determination. Last year, St. Thomas produced 22 collegiate athletes that signed at different colleges.

This year even more seniors are striving to do the same.

Athletes from sports such as baseball, wrestling, basketball and cross country/track are being recruited by college coaches with the hope of being able to compete at the next level. These student athletes are being looked at by a plethora of colleges, such as TCU, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Rice, USC and Stanford.

Michael Rodgers has already made his commitment to play baseball at Rice here in Houston. Rodgers has been the number one pitcher on the St. Thomas baseball team for two years and has proved his worth on the field.

“My dream is to hopefully one day to play in the College World Series,” Rodgers said.

Rice has always had a quality baseball program that consistently goes deep into the NCAA tournament. The team will be hoping for another good season next year and Rodgers will definitely add to its potential.

The baseball program also has another athlete that has made a commitment to Loyola University in New Orleans. Ben Condara recently issued his verbal commitment to play his college ball at Loyola.

“I chose Loyola,” Condara said. “It had really nice facilities and the coaches were extremely nice and knew the game.”

Condara is also looking forward to the lively atmosphere of New Orleans.

James Keating, another prospective college athlete, is looking to play basketball in college. Although Keating is looking at prestigious Ivy League schools like Cornell and Brown, his favorite is NYU.

“I have the best relationship with their coaching staff,” Keating said. “They also have a top five business school and it is located in New York City.”

Another Eagle that is looking at competing in college as a wrestler is Jack Chadbourne. Chadbourne is looking at wrestling at the University of Stanford, even though it is not his first choice. His first choice was USC, but since the school only has a wrestling club and not a team, he is leaning more towards Stanford.

“They aren’t amazing but they’re still division one,” Chadbourne said. “Plus, the assistant coach is one of the best coaches I’ve worked with and the wrestlers all know their stuff.”

Another prospective collegiate athlete is Harrison Grant, who is looking at running cross country/track at Tulane in New Orleans or at Vanderbilt in Nashville.

“John Mouton who graduated a couple of years ago is trying to get me to run there,” Grant said. “They are in dire need of a good distance runner he tells me.”

Many high school athletes dream of playing their respective sport in college, but it takes a certain type of student who can balance both the academic load and athletic commitment.

These Eagle athletes have exemplified their athletic talent in their time here at St. Thomas and will have the chance to continue to do so at the collegiate level.