South Tahoe athletes celebrated as they move on to next level |

South Tahoe athletes celebrated as they move on to next level

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — South Tahoe High School’s strength and conditioning room was packed full Thursday afternoon to celebrate a dozen student athletes who are headed to the next level for education and sports.

South Tahoe soccer girls Lillie McGuire, Quinn Simpson and Andrea Vazquez, baseball players Cameron Johnson, Aaron Johnson and Kevin Lehmann, basketball player Kaitlyn Janese, volleyers Hailey Naccarato and Layne Hembree and Tahoe Hockey Academy’s Tyler Kitchen, Noah Dahlen and Holt Schwarm were all celebrated by coaches, administrators and family for earning and choosing their career paths.

South Tahoe soccer players Quinn Simpson (left) and Lillie McGuire
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

South Tahoe Athletic Director Louis Franklin kicked off the event followed by assistant principal Pat Harnett and career technical education exercise science teacher Everett Goldberg and they all spoke briefly, sending off the kids with some inspirational words.

McGuire and Vazquez are staying local and will attend Lake Tahoe Community College.

Coyotes head coach Jeremy Evans was in attendance to celebrate his local recruits.

South Tahoe soccer player Andrea Vazquez
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

McGuire plans to study business and Vazquez is thinking of becoming a pediatrician or studying to become an oral interpreter/translator.

Simpson is headed to Santa Barbara City College and will study kinesiology with hopes of transferring to University of California, Santa Barbara.

Cameron Johnson will head further north in California and attend Yuba College in Yuba City, about an hour or so south of Chico and Paradise.

South Tahoe seniors Cameron Johnson and Hailey Naccarato.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

He’s mostly undecided on study plans but has an interest in video editing.

Aaron Johnson plans to study kinesiology and sports medicine at Cabrillo College to eventually become an athletic trainer.

South Tahoe’s Aaron Johnson.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Lehmann, along with Janese, will head to American River College in Sacramento.

Lehmann plans to study physical education and Janese wants to be an emergency medical technician/paramedic.

Naccarato, who probably could have also pursued basketball at a higher level, is still up in the air about what to study.

South Tahoe’s Kaitlyn Janese, Kevin Lehmann and Layne Hembree.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Hembree on the other hand wants to study everything but has her eyes set on criminal justice law or marine biology at San Diego Mesa College.

Schwarm, from Columbus, Ohio, will play in the Eastern Hockey League for the NE Wolves and Dahlen and Kitchen, both from Orange County, California will play in the Western States Hockey League for the Pueblo Bulls.

All have hopes of college scholarships and to play as long as they can and credited the academy for helping them develop as players and people.

Tahoe Academy hockey players (from left) Holt Schwarm, Noah Dahlen and Tyler Kitchen.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

“I’m pretty excited,” said Kitchen who has been at the academy for two years. “They helped develop my skills and be a better player and person.”

Franklin was thrilled with so many athletes are moving on and continuing their careers and feels like the culture is shifting at the high school.

“We have all these college signings in the strength and conditioning room because the culture is shifting,” he said. “We have this beautiful facility, the kids and parents have bought in and hats off to them. The kids having more exposure to this and details can add up to a great sum and make college a real opportunity. I only see us growing exponentially.”

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