While Berkeley High School (BHS) has maintained years of high level sports teams and athletes, this year’s senior class of 2020 has shown particular talent in a multitude of sports.
This year, at least nine BHS athletes officially committed to play their sports in college. These nine seniors include Jona Birkholzer (men’s soccer), Sumi Cameron (women’s diving), Roxanne Ferentz (women’s soccer), Mateo Grau-Rodriguez (men’s soccer), Theo Hardy (baseball), Milan Machado-Buckley (softball), Kalani Kossa-Renzi (men’s soccer), and Dixie Lewis (softball).
For many of these veteran athletes, playing professionally has been a long-time goal, and committing to play in college has brought them one step closer to that dream. Theo Hardy is a varsity baseball player who has committed to San Jose State University. During his last ten years of playing baseball, Hardy has learned about the importance of having a good work ethic. Playing Division I baseball has always been a goal for Hardy, and upon receiving a scholarship, playing was a “no brainer.” This upcoming BHS season, Hardy is focussed on winning the league championship. Personally, Hardy hopes to play baseball as long as he can and at the highest level possible.
Women’s soccer goalie, Leah Freeman, has been playing soccer since she was four years old and she is now committed to the University of Oregon. Freeman said that throughout her soccer career, she has learned to value hard work over everything. “You can never work too hard for something that you want, and everything happens for a reason,” Freeman said. She continued to say that, “If you get cut or miss out on something, you have to work twice as hard [to] get the next thing.”
Freeman had already committed to the University of Oregon in her freshman year of high school, and had always wanted to play in the Pacific-12 Conference. In the future, Freeman would like to be a professional soccer player, either playing overseas, in the National Women’s Soccer League, or hopefully for the United States Women’s National Soccer Team.
Five-year softball veteran, Milan Machado-Buckley, has now committed to Sacramento State University. Through softball, Buckley has been able to learn how to be a leader and inspire her teammates. Buckley emphasized the idea of “being a sponge” when it comes to learning valuable information, which has helped her improve her playing. In her freshman year at Sacramento State University, Buckley wants to continue her love for the game, while simultaneously putting 100 percent of her energy into her school work.
While BHS will most likely continue to produce high caliber athletes in the future, having nine committed athletes in one class is no small feat, and is no doubt a testament to Berkeley High’s vastly talented student athletes.