The College Game


Ethan Inman, Co-Editor In Chief

College is fast approaching for all seniors at Tracy High School, but for four exceptional THS athletes, the next step in their athletic and academic careers is already clear. Alina Garcia, Aaliyah Jenkins, Natalie Laiolo, and Danica Larwill all have one thing in common: they dominate at the sports they play, and colleges have taken notice. However, the college paths they have chosen are all quite different, and it is interesting to see what made the college they chose special to them.

Alina Garcia plays soccer at THS and has committed to continuing her academic and soccer careers at Indiana Tech, an NAIA school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When asked what drew her to Indiana Tech, she said, “I loved the small community and family feel of the campus.” She believes that she will be able to form bonds with her professors in the classroom that will help her succeed academically and bonds with her teammates on the field that will help her succeed on the soccer pitch. It seems that Indiana Tech is going to be a good match for Alina and she is set for a bright future in athletics and academics. 

When Aaliyah Jenkins steps up to the plate for her first at bat as a member of the Nevada Wolfpack at Christina M. Hixon Softball Park, or into her first college classroom, she will likely do so with a smile on her face. The softball star committed to Division I University of Nevada, Reno back in January, and as soon as she stepped on campus, she knew it would be an easy decision because of how happy everything about the campus made her.

“What really inspired me to commit there was just this overwhelming feeling of happiness when I first arrived. Then, the second I met the coaches I knew that this was the school for me,” Aaliyah said. She also added, “You step on the campus and it feels like its own little world.” Well, if that’s true, then Wolfpack Softball fans are about to find out what Aaliyah’s THS teammates already know: she’s about to rock the Wolfpack’s World.

Natalie Laiolo is entering her fourth year of varsity volleyball at THS. After her and her Tracy High teammates try to make it back-to-back Section titles this year, she is slated to become a Bearcat and play volleyball for Division II Northwest Missouri. It’s clear that she is a fit for the school.

I knew after my visit to Missouri, it was the perfect fit. The coaching staff and girls made it feel like a home away from home,” Laiolo said. 

She’ll always be a Bulldog, but it’s clear that Natalie has found her next team to continue to elevate her volleyball career. If she continues to play like she has throughout her career at THS, she and the rest of the Bearcats will play high level volleyball for her whole college career. 

Not to be outdone, Danica Larwill will be playing Division I softball while also studying at an Ivy League University. She is committed to playing softball for the University of Pennsylvania Quakers, and she knows she truly has an amazing academic and athletic opportunity at UPenn.

“I couldn’t pass up the chance to be part of such a great team that acts like a family,” said Larwill. University of Pennsylvania is already a great school filled with top athletes and brilliant minds, but it’s clear that by bringing Danica to Philadelphia, they believe she can lead them to even more success.

These exceptional four each have one year left before they take their talents out of Tracy and out of California to their respective colleges. Keep your eyes on them as they do so, because they’re all going to be stars in their sports and successful in building their careers.