Division I dreams materialize for student athletes


Nick Nye ’25

Zion Wells ’23, Zachary Jones ’23, and Isiah Chala ’23 smile as they sign to their next schools: Davidson College, UC Davis, and Fresno State.

Ethan Vargas ‘23, Staff Reporter

 As the Class of 2023 prepares for graduation soon and completes college applications, some students, especially student athletes, dream of what it’s like getting into a Division 1 school. 

          Known to have the best college athletes, especially in popular sports like football and basketball, D1 schools have big sports facilities. There are over 300 D1 schools that cover a variety of sports from football to volleyball to baseball.

          It’s not simple to move from high school sports to the D1 level of college sports. On average, a high school athlete can maybe have a 2-percent chance of playing their sport at the D1 level. Having the opportunity to play D1 can also differ depending on which sport they play.

          One Riordan alumnus has had the opportunity to attend a D1 college. Anatomy and Physiology teacher Tom Harlan ’08 committed to Fresno State University to play baseball. 

“I was extremely excited when I announced my commitment to Fresno State. They were a school known for their success in baseball, and to receive an offer from them was incredible.”

          But becoming a D1 athlete has to start here at Riordan. Harlan believes, “the most important thing that Riordan has taught me through my four years was that discipline and structure were important. Not just in college, but in life.” 

Harlan majored in Kinesiology and then later received his Masters in Education from Loyola Marymount University.

Football and Baseball player Sean-Paul Bruemmer ’24 believes it’s going to be tough for Riordan athletes to make it to a D1 college. 

“For how low a percentage of high schoolers that actually commit to a D1 school, it’s going to be difficult for athletes to commit.”          

For high school students aspiring to commit to a D1 college, Harlan has some advice. “Student is first, and that being smart in the classroom translates to whatever sport you are playing.” 

To all those who strive to one day play a sport at the D1 level, it all starts in the classroom.