Wilson High

Wilson Athletes Headed To Next Level Celebrate Together

The ink on the National Letters of Intent signed by a few Wilson High Class of 2018 student-athletes has been dry for months. However, they were honored again on Monday as part of the annual athletics celebration in the gym along with other Bruins who are continuing their athletic and academic careers at universities and junior colleges around the nation.

2018 Long Beach Wilson High Athletics Celebration

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“No matter where they’re going next, we like to give all of our students a chance to celebrate their accomplishments together,” Wilson athletics director Jeff Evans said. “That’s why we do it this way every year.”

Wilson coaches spoke briefly about all 33 student-athletes in front of their families, friends and fellow students.

“This has been my dream since third grade,” said Ian Issa, a track and field star headed for UC Santa Barbara. “I promised my mom that I was going to go to a four-year university and get a scholarship. It worked out, and I’m blessed.”

Three-time Moore League golf champion Tyler Schafer and cross country star Sabrina Del Bello are both attending Long Beach State. Schafer held strong to his early commitment despite a coaching change at LBSU.

“I wanted to stay local and didn’t see myself going any other place,” Schafer said. “I think the coaching change is for the better. I really get along with (the new coach Michael Wilson) and I think it’s going to be a great experience.”

The last name announced at the celebration was football wide receiver Cameron Johnson. He was surprised to get a Twitter message from West Point coaches after he caught 43 passes for 683 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

“At first I really didn’t think they were going to offer me because I only had one year of film,” Johnson said. “I wanted to really know more about the non-football parts because obviously there’s a lot going to West Point. They told me a lot of the athletes can find common ground on (military training) because it’s similar to training for a sport.”

The crowd in the gym was bigger than recent years, and Issa said that’s a product of the school getting better.

“Wilson has really stepped it up athletically in the past couple of years,” Issa said. “I’m really excited for Wilson, and I hope this sets an example for the kids coming in to excel and push themselves.”

The boys’ and girls’ soccer teams had the most honorees with Madison Barbara (University of West Alabama), Lauren O’Malley (Point Loma Nazarene University), Briana Vasquez (CSU East Bay), Ashley Anguiano (Marymount College), Macy Sorensen (Cal State Dominguez Hills), William Cabello (San Diego Christian College), Lukas Ryan (Concordia University), Harold Aguirre (Vanguard University), Matthew Cox (Vanguard University) and Hudson Ashcraft (Dixie State University).

Despite not being able to compete for Wilson, Hailey Thompson (CSU Maritime Academy) and Trent Turigliatto (University of Miami) will continue their sailing careers in college.

Notable honorees included Randall Jubilee (Track & Field — University of Oregon), Emari Bennett (Track & Field — University of Arizona), Matthew Schmidt (Basketball — Westmont College), Jose Rodriguez (Rugby — Humboldt State).

Eric Watson – Long Beach City College
Arielle Teabout – Cypress College
Daniel Noble – LBCC
Ryan Guerero – LBCC
Miguel Martinez – Compton College
Dean Kefalas – LBCC
Track & Field
Byron Hurtado – LBCC
Steven Camacho – Louisiana State University
Maya Ferguson – CSU Los Angeles
Amanda Castro – St. Thomas Aquinas College
Joey Vega – Cypress College
Katelyn Howard – University of Oregon
Water Polo/Swimming
Garrett Harryman – Orange Coast College

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.