Before Santa Barbara High’s six senior student athletes signed their names to their college letters of intent on Wednesday, Athletic Director Todd Heil had a heart-felt message for them.
“Athletes, from me to you, this means a lot to you, I know. And I’m so proud of each and every one of you that you’re Dons and you’ve been our high school representatives. And you represent us so well in your sport and outside (of sports) as well. So, from me to you, thank you. Thank you for being who you are and to the school. It means a lot.”
The Santa Barbara student athletes to sign during the signing ceremony at Peabody Stadium were volleyball’s Shae Delany (Claremont McKenna), baseball’s Cal Wipf (Pepperdine), soccer’s Kasia Wolf (Cal Poly), girls water polo’s Olivia Obando (UC San Diego) and Maria Bittle (Fresno State) and boys water polo’s Landin Romo (Wagner College).
For Wipf, a third baseman for the Dons, his signing follows a baseball tradition in his family. His uncle, Mark Wipf, was drafted by the New York Mets and reached the Double-A level. He also played for the Santa Barbara Foresters. His grandfather, Vaughn Wipf, played at UCSB and for the Foresters, and is a member of the Foresters’ Hall of Fame.
“It’s been a dream to play Division 1 baseball since the day I first put on the cleats and a glove,” said Cal of signing with Pepperdine. “I’m super excited. My dreams are coming true.”
Obando said she’s “beyond thrilled” to be able to play water polo in college. “This has been a dream of mine to play at the next level since I was really little. It’s a huge deal for me and I’m super excited.”
Her older sister, Isabella, plays water polo at Loyola Marymount.
“She loves it there,” said Olivia. “I was like, ‘I can’t wait to do that. I can’t wait for it to be me.’ I’m just happy to follow in her footsteps.”
Bittle said after signing with Fresno State, she was happy to be done with the college application process.
“I can focus more on my sport and the high school season,” she said.
Romo, a member of the Channel League-champion boys team this fall, was pleased how much the Dons accomplished during the year. The team went 25-8 and was ranked in CIF-SS Division 1.
“It was a great season,” said Romo.
He’s looking forward to a new experience of going to school in New York. Wagner water polo plays in NCAA Division 1.
“I always wanted to go to an East Coast school,” he said. “I loved the coach there. I really connected with him.”
Wolf, who plays defensive midfielder and center back for the Dons’ soccer team, said the team and the vibe on the campus drew her to Cal Poly.
After what she described as “a perfect last two years of high school” volleyball, Delany is looking forward to “unlocking the next chapter” in her career at Claremont McKenna.
Delany was a force as an outside hitter for Santa Barbara. She led the Dons to a CIF championship last season and a Channel League title this year.