Two Foothill League playoff athletes make college decisions

Golden Valley's Gabriel Coronado is a candidate for The Signal's Male Athlete of the Year. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

For a high school athlete, playoff season can be a lot to handle.

Two Foothill League athletes are dealing with the pressure of postseason plus some added excitement.

Golden Valley track and field’s Gabriel Coronado signed with UC Santa Barbara and West Ranch baseball’s Alex Burge verbally committed to Loyola Marymount.

Coronado inked his deal on May 15. Three days after he qualified for the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 finals in both shot put and discus.

“Even though I committed, I’m trying to stay calm coming into CIF finals,” Coronado said. “Just stay relaxed because at prelims, I was a little nervous, it was almost the end of my season, but I stayed relaxed and I should be fine.”

The senior thrower currently has the best marks of the year out of all Foothill Leaguers in both shot (55 feet, 10 inches) and discus (175-0).

“I just wanted to know where his head was at throughout the whole process,” said Grizzlies throwing coach Diontre Harris in regards to Coronado’s college decision. “Make sure he had a plan and the whole thing because I didn’t want him to wait and get up to the end and not have anybody to talk to.”

Coronado plans to be a pharmacy major.

Burge, a Wildcats pitcher, committed to LMU on May 12.

“They were the first school that really showed interest that gave me an offer, and then it just seemed like a perfect fit for me,” Burge said. “They have similar practices, their arm care is similar.”

West Ranch’s Alex Burge (23) throws a pitch during a baseball game at Valencia on Tuesday. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

This season, the junior is 8-3 with a 2.72 ERA.

West Ranch baseball alum Michael Silva also pitched for Loyola Marymount and was drafted in 2015.

“It’s a testament to what Casey and the coaches have done in terms of helping them along in the process,” said Wildcats pitching coach Jim Wagner. “My job is really just to get them prepared to get to a skill set so they can showcase themselves.”

Burge would like to major in health and science, but is also considering business.

West Ranch plays on the road at El Dorado of Placentia in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs on Thursday.

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