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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Athletes nail down college choices

At least a dozen seniors will be playing sports at the college level in the next few years.

Among others, Stephen Cho is heading to Harvard to play water polo; Grant Faylor will play football at Menlo College; Mady Fagan will compete as a high jumper on the track team at the University of Georgia; Zach Hewlin will play tennis at Whitman College; Nadia Roohparvar will participate in crew at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Jason Tatman will play football at the University of Puget Sound; Kial Kaiser will play tennis; and Mandy Lee will play softball. (Both Kaiser and Lee have yet to decide where they’re going.)

Roohparvar, a coxswain for the Los Gatos Rowing Club, is one of a few students participating in crew who received offers from various schools. (Other crew participants who plan to continue rowing in college are Isabella Zuccarino, Nicole Bowman and Colin Albert.)

Roohparvar has had teammates and friends who have been recruited in the past that served as her introduction to the recruitment process.

“I heard from my friends in the grades above me, who were also coxswains, that high school really prepares you for collegiate rowing and that it isn’t all that different,” Roohparvar said.

Roohparvar is ready to take on the challenge of college sports. Time commitment and the rigorous practices are oftentimes aspects high school athletes struggle with when they enter campus, but Roohparvar is not too concerned.

“I understand that it's a major time commitment but we already spend [at least] 20 hours a week at practice and I have become good at managing my time,” Roohparvar said. “I'm expecting the intensity to increase, but I don't think it'll be that different.”

Roohparvar is excited for the opportunity to play the sport she loves in a college environment.

“It'll be cool to be somewhere where everyone is super into it and everyone wants to win,” Roohparvar said. “Even though I'll be going there with no one I know, it'll be cool to meet a ton of new people.”

Roohparvar is not the only athlete traveling north for college athletics. Tatman, a safety and cornerback, has committed to play football at the University of Puget Sound.

Like others, Tatman’s journey to playing collegiate sports was filled with the desire and drive to get to the next level.

“Entering my junior year, I realized how much I loved the game of football and how hard I wanted to work to reach the next level,” Tatman said. “My [safety and cornerback] coach, Coach [Eric] Wong, told me that he thought that I had the potential to play football at the next level so I began to work towards that goal.”

Football has opened doors for Tatman and he can now go to the school of his choice. Despite this, Tatman does not feel he is already prepared for collegiate football and knows he must work even harder.

“As of now, I think that more work in the weight room and on the field are needed,” Tatman said. “I am super excited for the opportunity and want to excel [at Puget Sound]. I have already set my goals for next year and look forward to joining a program that wants to grow.”

While Roohparvar and Tatman already know where they will be taking their talents, shortstop Lee still does not know where she will be playing softball next year.

Lee has an offer to play at M.I.T. but has not committed yet because she is still waiting to hear from Stanford.

Lee said she felt was skilled enough to pursue college athletics after seeing coaches express interest.

“I saw some coaches come out to my tournaments and watch me play,” Lee said. “The fact that they took the time to come watch my game made me feel like I was good enough for [the coaches] to take interest.”

The recruiting experience helped Lee look into the future and has given her a variety of school choices she may not have had.

“[Softball] has definitely helped me get into schools that I might not have without it,” Lee said. “It also forced me to start looking into colleges early so when senior year came around I already had a pretty good idea of what schools I was going to apply to.”

Lee recognizes that there will be a “learning curve” once she gets to college, but is excited to take on the challenge.

“It makes it feel like all that practice, traveling, and hard-work has paid off,” Lee said.

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