Valencia student-athletes sign National Letters of Intent

Top row from left: Kamryn Shields, Cal State San Marcos, softball; Alexis DeYoung, Dakota State, softball; Dylan Parente, University of the Pacific, swimming; Joshua Lee, CalTech, swimming; Allison Cho, Pepperdine, swimming. Bottom row from left: John Haimowitz, Nebraska Wesleyan University, baseball; Amanda Tabanera, Valparaiso University, tennis; Joshua Doyle, United States Military Academy, football; Sarah Cooper, Arizona Christian University, track and field; Tanner Miller, Oregon State, football; Jayvaun Wilson, University of Oregon, football. Not pictured: Katie Von Mecklenburg, Maryville University, lacrosse; Kyle Barileau, Cal State Bakersfield, baseball; Davis Cop, UC Santa Barbara, baseball.

Valencia athletics will be well-represented on the college stage, as 14 student-athletes signed their National Letters of Intent on Monday at Valencia High School.

The reigning 10-time consecutive Foothill League champion Vikings football team have three of its star players moving on to play at the next level.

Two will be headed to the state of Oregon, with offensive lineman Tanner Miller signing with Oregon State University and running back Jayvaun Wilson signing with the University of Oregon. Cornerback Joshua Doyle is heading east to the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York.

As the main component on an offensive line that racked up 1,982 rushing yards and 1,952 receiving yards, Miller earned Foothill League lineman of the year honors. Though Wilson only played in five games this season due to injury, he was a highlight reel ready to happen every time he touched the ball. He racked up 286 yards and two touchdowns on only 47 carries.

Doyle served as Valencia’s shutdown corner, often guarding the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver. He led the Foothill League with five interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.

The swim team also has three Vikings continuing their careers in the pool. Dylan Parente will swim at the University of the Pacific, Joshua Lee is heading to the California Institute of Technology and Allison Cho will join the Waves of Pepperdine University.

While their talents in the water was a key factor in helping lead the Vikings to victory in the Foothill League swim finals for both boys and girls, Valencia swim head coach Kathryn Rosenast is even more impressed with their leadership and character.

“They are exceptional swimmers and always have been, they’ve been an enormous addition to the team with their athletic abilities, but coming round the other way they are all in their own very unique ways exceptional role models and exceptional leaders,” Rosenast said. “Their dedication and discipline and responsibility goes hand in hand both in the pool and out of the pool.

“They’ve helped both younger kids and older kids, they’ve really helped them to see what it takes to be successful no matter what your goal is, how to get to the next steps. I think that’s really important because all three of them know what it takes to get to where they want to go.”

From the softball team, pitcher Kamryn Shields signed with California State University, San Marcos and infielder Alexis DeYoung signed with Dakota State University.

The Foothill League title-winning baseball team boasts three players who will be playing at the four-year level next year: Davis Cop, Kyle Barileau and John Haimowitz.

Cop, who will play at the University of California, Santa Barbara, led the Vikings this season in RBIs (27), home runs (5) doubles (13) and tied with Barileau for runs (28) in 30 games. He also logged a .377 batting average and had 40 hits.

Barileau, who recorded 32 hits, 18 RBIs and two home runs, will be taking his talents to California State University, Bakersfield. He finished the season with a .327 batting average in 30 games.

In 15 games played, Haimowitz had two RBIs, three hits and four runs scored. He will head to Lincoln, Nebraska to play at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

“It’s really cool to see when these guys accept scholarships to play at college, it allows us to have proof to what we say, when the hard work is put in the rewards are shown,” said Valencia baseball head coach Mike Killinger. “It’s nice to have those examples of kids and get these rewards at the end.

“Davis is a true leader, Kyle an extremely hard worker, John is super positive.”

Katie Von Mecklenburg will continue her lacrosse career at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. She led the Vikings in assists (23) and was second on the team in goals (44) and points (67) this season.

Sarah Cooper, who excels at the pole vault, long jump and triple jump, will extend her track and field career at Arizona Christian University in Phoenix. In her latest outing, she finished in fourth place at the Foothill League finals last week in the varsity girls pole vault with a mark of nine feet and seven inches.

Valencia’s No. 1 girls singles tennis player Amanda Tabanera will play tennis at a Division 1 college, signing with Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Tabanera was a key piece of a Vikings team that finished second in the Foothill League. A four-year varsity player, she advanced to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs in each of her four years either as a singles player or doubles player. She made it to the round of 16 this year with teammate Brenna Whelan.

“I thought it was a perfect for me. I visited several schools and Valpo felt right for me,” Tabanera said after making her commitment in October. “I’m proud of myself and my family is super proud and very supportive of me through everything. All the hours playing have finally paid off.”

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About the author

Dan Lovi

Dan Lovi

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dan has covered sports from the high school level to the professional ranks. He is a graduate of Hofstra University in New York and The University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He is a sports writer for The Signal.