San Marcos spring signing day
Seven San Marcos student athletes signed college letters of intent on Wednesday at the school’s Greek Theater. They are, from left, Sofia Martinez-Tomatis, (Sweet Briar), Jaden Lind (Claremont McKenna), Evony Diaz (Alfred University), Joaquin Sandoval (Lewis & Clark), Masato Perera (Harvard), Mia Amberger (Pomona-Pitzer) and Becca Rodriguez (Vassar). (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

In a sign of the times, the college recruitment of San Marcos High tennis star Masato Perea was done in the virtual world.

Masato, the reigning CIF-Southern Section singles champion, said he met with the Harvard coaches online before he made his decision to attend the Ivy League school in Cambridge, Mass.

Perera made it official on Wednesday as he signed with Harvard during a ceremony at the San Marcos Greek Theater that included six more college-bound student athletes for the Royals.

The other six moving to the next level are lacrosse player Sofia Martinez-Tomatis with Sweet Briar College in Virginia; boys water polo player Jaden Lind with Claremont McKenna College; girls soccer player Evony Diaz with Alfred College in New York; girls soccer player Becca Rodriguez with Vassar College of New York; baseball player Joaquin Sandoval with Lewis & Clark College of Oregon; and girls water polo player Mia Amberger with Pomona Pitzer College.

Amberger will be joining her sister, Zosia, at Pomona Pitzer. She was a standout goalkeeper at San Marcos.

Masato is following the path his siblings took from San Marcos to a prestigious institution of higher learning. His brother, Kento, recently graduated from Stanford, and his sister, Yuka, is in her junior year at MIT.

Masato Perera said Yale, Princeton, Rice and a couple of University of California schools were recruiting him, but Harvard was “a place I really wanted to go.”

He said he’s looking forward to the challenges of playing Division 1 tennis and keeping up with the rigorous academics at Harvard.

He noted that Kento told him it’s doable.

“He said it seems really difficult coming in, but you can do it,” Masato said.

He also got a boost from Harvard tennis alums. 

“The alumni told me it’s very doable,” he said.

Sandoval, the Royals’ standout catcher and team captain, signed with Lewis & Clark on his 18th birthday.

“It’s somewhere I can definitely grow in all aspects of my life,” Sandoval said of choosing the Division 3 school in Portland. “I’m just excited to be there and become a batter player and a better person.”

Sandoval is not only looking forward to going to college and continuing his baseball career, he’s excited about the new surroundings and the opportunity to do some fishing in the Northwest. He’s an avid fisherman.

“I’ve always loved that terrain,” he said of the forest. “Obviously, we’re blessed with the ocean, but I’m excited to have a little change in scenery and to fish in fresh water.”

Rodriguez and Diaz were a potent scoring combination for the San Marcos girls soccer team. They were key players on the 2021 CIF-SS championship squad.

The teammates will be about 270 miles apart at Division 3 schools in New York.

“I look forward to hanging out with her possibly while I’m out there,” Rodriguez said. “It’s such an honor to go out there be able to play in college.”

Diaz said: “I’m kind of excited we’re going to be close by.”

She admitted being disappointed that Alfred and Vassar don’t play in the same conference. Alfred competes in the Empire 8 and Vassar in the Liberty League.

“It kind of sucks we’re not playing in the same league; we could go up against each other, but I’m excited,” Diaz said.

Rodriguez cracked: “I would’ve liked to play against her a little bit … and maybe knock her around.”

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.