By Zach Cavanagh
Senior Brad Gerken Signs on Early Period Signing Day
Just five days after announcing his commitment, San Clemente senior defensive back Brad Gerken officially signed with Bucknell University to open the early signing period for NCAA Division 1 football on Wednesday, Dec. 21.
The early signing period goes from Wednesday to Friday, Dec. 23, before the regular signing period opens with National Signing Day on Feb. 1.
Gerken had a hand in five turnovers for the Triton football team this season, with two fumble recoveries and three interceptions, including a pick-six in the regular-season finale over Tesoro and a late interception to help San Clemente force overtime in its CIF-SS Division 2 first-round playoff game. The three-year starter was named to the All-South Coast League First Team and maintained a 4.5 GPA.
As a senior, Gerken racked up 80 total tackles for San Clemente, including 41 solo tackles. Gerken came up with double-digit tackles three times this season: 13 against Murrieta Valley, 13 against Tesoro and 13 against Chaminade in the playoffs. As a junior, Gerken posted 65 total tackles, with 39 solo tackles and an interceptional—also against Tesoro.
Bucknell, located in Lewisburg, Pa., competes in the Patriot League of the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision. The Bison finished 3-8 this season, including a 2-4 record in the Patriot League, in its first campaign under new head coach Dave Cecchini. The program, which played its first game in 1883 and was permanently established in 1887, most famously won the first Orange Bowl in 1935 over the University of Miami.
Girls Basketball Takes Segerstrom Elks Classic
Coming off a successful run through the Troy Classic the previous week, the San Clemente girls basketball team rolled on to a tournament championship last week.
The Tritons (11-3) have now won seven games in a row after winning all four of their games en route to taking the Segerstrom Elks Classic. San Clemente posted 30-point wins over Cerritos, 58-20, and Canyon, 57-26. The Tritons then edged out Calvary Chapel, 56-51, and won the tournament finale over Los Alamitos, 45-36, on Saturday, Dec. 17.
San Clemente, ranked No. 9 in CIF-SS Division 2AA, is off this week for school finals, and the Tritons will be back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at the SoCal Holiday Prep Classic in San Diego.
Girls Soccer Remains Unbeaten after NorCal Tournament
Now 10 games into this season, the San Clemente girls soccer team remains unblemished.
The Tritons are 6-0-4 after a trip up to Danville, California for the TriValley Classic hosted by San Ramon and Monte Vista High Schools. San Clemente posted one win and two draws in the tournament.
The Tritons allowed goals in consecutive games for the first time this season, but San Clemente still came out with a 2-1 win over St. Ignatius of San Francisco and two 1-1 draws against Archbishop Mitty of San Jose and Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa.
San Clemente has allowed just five goals in 10 games this season, while scoring 16 goals.
The Tritons, ranked No. 7 in CIF-SS Division 1 & 2, will compete at the Excalibur Tournament at Tustin and Foothill next Tuesday, Dec. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 29. After that, San Clemente next takes on the South Coast League with its opener at Aliso Niguel on Jan. 12.
Boys Soccer Bounces Back with Shutout Win
After a tough stretch through the Huntington Beach All-Turf Tournament, the San Clemente boys soccer team came back in a big way on the road.
The Tritons shut out Santa Ana, 4-0, at the Santa Ana Bowl on Dec. 14.
Ryan Savoie registered the clean sheet in goal, and Kai Trager knocked in two goals, including a well-placed, 23-yard free kick. Will Pico and Jacob Poole also registered goals, with Beckham Beauchemin contributing two assists.
San Clemente hosts its alumni game on Thursday, Dec. 22, at 5:30 p.m., and the Tritons get back to competitive action next week at the SoCal Classic in Oceanside from Tuesday, Dec. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 29.
The Tritons then open South Coast League play on Jan. 11 at Aliso Niguel.
Boys Basketball Wins Home Opener
The San Clemente boys basketball team finally got back to its home court after an up-and-down tournament slate, and the Tritons took advantage.
San Clemente won by 29 points over visiting University, 77-48, on Dec. 14.
The Tritons (5-9) had 14 different players register points against University, including three players in double figures. Weston Voigt led the way with 14 points, Jayden Schnabl scored 12 points, and Chase Tolliver put up 10 points.
San Clemente stayed local for a matchup with Dana Hills on Friday, Dec. 16, but the Tritons couldn’t keep up their newfound momentum in a 69-57 loss. Sophomore sharpshooter Collin Haugh scored 28 points for the Dolphins.
Next up for San Clemente is the annual North-South Challenge at Tesoro. The Tritons will take on Foothill on Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. San Clemente will roll into the Tustin Tournament next week before the New Year break and their South Coast League opener against San Juan Hills on Jan. 11.
Girls Wrestling Grabs Two Golds at Goddess of Olympia Tournament
Eden Hernandez and Madison Diaz each collected first-place finishes for the San Clemente girls wrestling team in the Goddess of Olympia tournament at Olympian High School in Chula Vista.
After a first-round bye at 116 pounds, Hernandez won two matches by fall to reach the medal rounds. In the semifinals, Hernandez registered a major decision, 8-0, to reach the final, where she claimed the title with a closely contested 2-1 decision.
Diaz received two byes at 235 pounds to reach the quarterfinals. Dias then won three straight matches by fall in under two minutes to win the tournament title.
The Tritons also got a fourth-place finish from Berlyn Davis at 143 pounds and sixth-place finishes from Cyra Bybee at 121 pounds, Brianna Rodriguez at 160 pounds and Remi Cheselske at 189 pounds.