Nearly eight million athletes compete in high school sports every year. Just 480,000 of those athletes will be blessed with the opportunity to play in college. This makes national signing day a special day for those athletes who worked hard and have been offered opportunities to play at the next level. It’s a day that student athletes dream about. The many sacrifices that athletes and their families make finally culminates in the signing of that National Letter of Intent. The long hours honing their craft at practice and in the weight room, weekends on the road, missed time with friends, it all feels worth it on National Signing Day. For six Christian Brothers athletes, their dream of playing college sports became reality on Wednesday. Owen Hunt (’18), Gunnor Faulk (’18), Courtney Krause (’18), Kristina Murphy (’18), Jake Regino (’18), and Spencer Webb (’18) all signed on campus Wednesday to continue their athletic and academic careers at four year universities.
Owen signed to dive at the University of California, San Diego. Owen has been diving for 3 years at CB and has wanted to dive at UCSD since sophomore year. In his first ever season diving, Hunt placed second at the league meet. Hunt finished 6th at the section meet as a junior after winning the CAL championship earlier in the year. He also won CB’s Most Improved Diver as a freshman and was awarded Christian Brother’s Most Valuable Diver last season.
“I chose UCSD because I grew up visiting San Diego every summer and I fell in love with the area, the beaches, surfing, everything. I always wanted to go there for school,” Owen says. “My friend chose UCSD when I was a sophomore and she loved it. That really put it on the map for me. I loved the atmosphere and especially the fact that they’re making the transition to Division I in the next few years really set it apart for me.”
Owen wants to master harder dives, such as a full two and a half list on a one meter springboard. He wants to become a competitive Division I athlete and set an example for CB divers to follow. Hunt ended our conversation with an emphatic “Go Tritons.”
This year was Gunnor’s first season on the gridiron with Christian Brothers. But it was certainly a season that no one will forget anytime soon. Faulk dazzled at quarterback for the Falcons this season, setting the school record for passing TD (48) and yards (2,904). Prior to coming to Christian Brothers, Faulk led Pace Academy as a sophomore to a Georgia state championship. Faulk signed to play quarterback at the University of California, Davis, where he will learn under the tutelage of Head Coach Dan Hawkins. Hawkins is also the former head coach at Christian Brothers.
“I picked UC Davis because when I went on a visit I loved the feel and it felt like home,” Gunnor says. “It’s my best opportunity to go in and play pretty early. I fell in love with the coaching staff, they made me feel like a priority. The whole college experience at Davis, just being out there with the boys really stood out to me.”
Faulk, who many would consider under recruited, chose Davis over Nevada and a walk on opportunity at Notre Dame.
“My recruitment was pretty quiet because a lot of schools laid off on me after I transferred, but UC Davis stuck with me throughout the process. I want to help put UC Davis back on the map and get back to a winning standard.”
Section champion golfer Courtney Krause signed to play golf at St. Thomas University of Houston. The NAIA school will be Krause’s home for the next four years after a successful career at Christian Brothers.
“I picked St. Thomas because I really liked the school and the coach. I also really wanted to go to school in Texas,” she says. “I liked the small campus and small classes, and the coach is a former professional golfer so he really knows a lot about the game.”
Courtney is excited about playing in tournaments in college and building new friendships with the other girls on the team. While most kids sleep in on weekends and during the summer, Krause is up at the crack of dawn and on the course most mornings by 8 AM. These long sessions are a testament to Krause’s work ethic along with her passion for the game of golf. All those long hours makes this opportunity special for Krause, as the hard work has finally paid off.
After an illustrious career at Christian Brothers filled with accolades, swimmer Kristina Murphy signed to swim at San Diego State. She won an individual section championship in the breast stroke as a junior, with a time of 1:01.83. She placed fifth and seventh at the CIF state meet last season as well and qualified for the national junior swim meet in Indianapolis. Murphy has been swimming since she was 12, and now will swim in the Mountain West Conference. Murphy is juiced about her future at SDSU.
“I’m really excited to be spending the next four years at San Diego State,” she says. “It will provide me with a great opportunity to train with Division I college coaches, swimmers, and amazing facilities. I’m most looking forward to being a part of an amazing team and traveling to new places. I’m also looking forward to training and living in such a beautiful place.”
Murphy leaves CB as one of our most accomplished swimmers of all time. Her times of 1:01.83 in the 100 meter breaststroke and 2:02.17 in the Individual Medley set section records.
“I really enjoyed swimming all four years on the CB swim team. It has given me the opportunity to meet new friends and represent my school. I love how much CB supports athletics across the board. Also, the education I received at CB has prepared me well for college.”
Regino is a true Christian Brothers success story. His family is full of aunts, uncles, sisters, cousins, and brothers who all attended and played sports at CB. Jake was no different. He began playing football at CB as a seventh grader as a member of the Jr. Falcons. From these humble beginnings, Jake emerged into a key player on the varsity defense by his junior year. As a junior, Jake recorded 94 tackles, including eight for loss, while starting at linebacker on a team that fell one win short of a section championship.
Prior to his senior campaign, Jake was named a captain and he responded big time. 124 tackles, nine of which were for loss, put him among the top defensive players in Northern California. As far as his next four years goes, Jake explained why he picked Southern Oregon.
“It was a great fit when I went down to visit, all the coaches really treated me like family,” he said. “I loved the town around it and the football program, it was really a family not just a football team.”
As far as goals for college, Jake looks to play right away freshman year and eventually develop into an all conference talent in the prestigious Frontier Conference.
“This is a huge day for me and my family because I know that it was always my dream and my dad’s dream for one of his sons to play college football, and now I’m living the dream.”
The freak is what his coaches call him. Spencer Webb can do things on a football field that most people only dream of. From the one handed catches to running over defenders on his way to the end zone, Webb is the kind of special talent that powerhouse Division I programs scour the nation seeking. After setting single season school records with 23 touchdowns and 1063 receiving yards during his senior year, Webb will head off to Eugene and fly with the Ducks. Oregon is a program that is trying to return to the national prominence it once enjoyed during the Chip Kelly era, and Webb hopes to be apart of this revitalization.
“I want to get the most out of [college] and just embrace it and have fun with it, get my degree at the end and if the NFL comes along then pursue that,” he says. “With the [recruiting] class we have coming in its gonna be awesome and my goal as a team is to win the natty.”
Signing Day is also special for Webb, who has been through many ups and downs on his path to Division I football.
“[Signing Day] was awesome, just to see all my friends in the stands and my family and to sign to my dream school its been a good day.”
It will be fun to follow Webb, CB’s highest rated football recruit in more than a decade, as he plays on Saturdays this fall and potentially Sundays down the line.