Families choose to live in Lamorinda for many reasons – the great schools, the open spaces, proximity to metropolitan areas, friendly downtown districts, and of course, youth sports opportunities. If your child plays a particular sport, or wants to learn, chances are he or she will find a Lamorinda program that offers high quality instruction, great coaching, fitness, and lots of fun.
Our local swim clubs and their playful rivalries are legendary. Little League baseball games at Lafayette’s Buckeye Fields are community events. And if you can find a parking spot near the sports fields during soccer season, you’ve got luck on your side. Lamorindans surely do love their athletic endeavors; from recreational teams with the Lafayette/Moraga Youth Association (LMYA), to more intensive club programs, a team exists for nearly anyone who wants in on the action.
And if your child chooses to become a student-athlete at one of our local high schools (Miramonte in Orinda, Campolindo in Moraga, and Acalanes in Lafayette), our top level programs and great coaching staffs will help your child achieve his/her potential. Here are a few recent grads (such as my daughter Kendall) who excelled in our high school programs and on club teams and took their athletic interests beyond the bounds of Lamorinda:
BRADY AIELLO (Acalanes class of 2015): University of Oregon football. Brady started playing football with the MOL (Moraga, Orinda, Lafayette) flag football program for 3rd through 8th graders. He then played flag football at Stanley Middle School, transitioning to tackle football at Acalanes, and then earned a scholarship to play for the University of Oregon Ducks as an offensive tackle. Brady redshirted last fall and is now eligible to play four years at Oregon.
HENRY CASSRIEL (Miramonte class of 2014): Yale golf team. Henry started playing golf with his dad at Orinda Country Club when he was very young and got serious about the sport during middle school. Though golf is a very individual endeavor, Henry’s four years of play at Miramonte, with great coaches and teammates, helped him to thrive in a team environment. He feels fortunate to have found that same camaraderie at Yale.
TONI FINNANE (Campolindo class of 2015): University of Notre Dame cross country. A travel club and high school soccer player, Toni started running merely for fitness and found she liked it – a lot. On a lark, she joined the Campolindo cross country team her senior year, and found she had a bit of talent for the sport. Within months of running competitively, she placed second at the 2014 Division III cross country championships and 22nd at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships. Many colleges took notice, but Notre Dame won her heart.
KENDALL GREEN (Campolindo class of 2014): University of Oregon acro and tumbling team. My daughter started gymnastics at age 4 at Lamoreem in Moraga, now Luna Gymnastics. After reaching level 7 (the highest level at Lamoreem) she moved to Edge Gymnastics in Dublin to compete on a National level as a level 10 Gymnast. She now tumbles for the Oregon Ducks on their D1 Acro and Tumbling team where she is on a partial scholarship. They placed 2nd at National’s last year!
MATT LADRECH (Campolino class of 2014): University of California, Berkeley baseball. Matt got his start with Lafayette Little League, then moved on to travel ball with various local club teams. At Campolindo, the coaching staff helped him hone his pitching skills (as did well-known local pitching coach Jeff Pick), and Matt became the team’s starting left-hander. During his freshman year debut outing for Cal, he pitched 7 shutout innings against Stanford.
LAUREN PETITE (Campolindo class of 2014): University of Pennsylvania soccer. Lauren took-up soccer at age 7 with LMYA, and joined Lamorinda Soccer Club at 11 where she was team captain for several years. During this time, she also dabbled in swimming, baseball, and volleyball. At Campolindo, she was a starting defender and sometimes forward, and as captain her senior year, led the team to its first North Coast Sectional win in 11 years. She started her college soccer career at TCU, and then transferred to Penn where she currently plays midfield.
TYLER PETITE (Campolindo class of 2015): University of Southern California football. Tyler (Lauren’s brother) played every sport possible during his youth: soccer, lacrosse, swimming, basketball, baseball…and football with MOL, where he also refereed. He didn’t get serious about football though until high school at Campolindo, where his athleticism captured him a number of accolades and awards. The Ivy League, and many others, pursued him, but a desire to play at a higher level led him to USC where he continues to excel.
NICK SHEEHAN (Miramonte class of 2013): University of California, Berkeley lacrosse. Nick started playing lacrosse with the local youth club, Lamorinda Lighting, at age 8, though at the time he was mostly interested in baseball. As his lacrosse interest grew, he joined local travel teams and then played four years at Miramonte. He was recruited heavily, primarily by east coast Division III schools, but his desire to play on a larger level led him to Cal, where he loves the balance between academics, athletics, and social life.
KATHARINE TORCHIO (Acalanes class of 2015): University of Wisconsin, Madison soccer. Katharine started playing soccer in elementary school for LMYA then moved onto Lamorinda Soccer Club, then Walnut Creek Soccer, and finally the premiere Mustang Soccer Club, during which time she also played at Acalanes. Now she’s a Badger and member of the Wisconsin women’s soccer team (her top college choice) – 2015 Big 10 Conference co-champs.
BRITTANY USINGER (Acalanes class of 2015): Harvard University swimming. Brittany started swimming at age 3 for LMYA, then moved to Springbrook Pool. Between the ages of 8 and 18, she also swam with three local clubs: Orinda Aquatics, Crow Canyon Country Club, and Walnut Creek Aquabears. Voted most valuable athlete at Acalanes her senior year, she was also an Olympic Trials qualifier, and is now balancing her studies and athletics as an academic All-American at Harvard.
Coming next…..how Lamorinda students flourish in the arts.