Best of Trojan senior athletes going on to college
For the majority of graduating high school athletes, their sports careers are over or almost over. The glory days in whatever the sport end when they receive their diplomas. For a talented and dedicated few, those careers will continue in college.
Petaluma High School recently honored those select few who will continue competing on the next level.
Among those honored by friends, family and the school at a combined celebration of their success were:
Two-way football lineman Nick Siembieda will continue his grid career at the University of California, Davis.
Siembieda was nominated for appointment to all four military academies - the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and the Military (Army) Academy at West Point. He chose, instead, to attend UC Davis so he could continue his football career as well as study for a career in either political science or economics.
His difficult decision was made easier by his visit to the Davis campus. “The coaches really welcomed me, and made me feel at home,” he said. “It is a great academic school and I’m going to have an opportunity to play football.”
Just to make him feel more at home, he will be rooming with Petaluma friend Joe Lampe, a soon-to-be Casa Grande graduate who has signed to play baseball for the Aggies.
Siembieda is the son of Dave Siembieda and Cary Darcy.
He enters Davis coming off an outstanding senior season of Petaluma High football, earning all-league first-team honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman. Academically, he carries a 4.0 grade point average.
“He is a great person on and off the field,” says Petaluma High football coach Rick Krist. “He is a quiet leader. He was the guy we leaned on because of physical ability and because of who he is. He doesn’t want to let anyone down. When he makes a commitment, he sticks to it.”
Robbie Isetta was surprised to find himself in a position to continue his basketball career. An outstanding ball handler and accurate outside shooter, he had an excellent senior season as Trojan point guard.
However, at 5 feet, 8 inches he is somewhat undersized for college basketball. Fortunately, the Holly Cross College (South Bend, Indiana) coaching staff saw beyond the tape measure.
Wrote head coach Mike McBride in welcoming Isetta to the Holy Cross program: “We are excited to welcome Robbie to Holy Cross and our team. He is a tremendous fit in terms of skill, intelligence and toughness. Beyond basketball, Holy Cross is a very special place that will benefit him immensely.”
“It kind of came as a shock,” Isetta acknowledged. “It is exciting. I’ve always loved basketball. I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity.”
Isetta visited the campus for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and was even more convinced than ever it is where he wants to continue his education. “It is beautiful. It is right on the Notre Dame campus,” he noted of the school where he will study business and sports management.
Isetta is the son of Andy and Stacey Isetta.
Jaden Krist walked - actually hobbled - through the fire to come out smiling at Sonoma State University.
Krist, who most agree had the potential to be one of the best three-sport athletes ever at Petaluma High, suffered Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries to both knees. The second cost her to miss her senior seasons in both basketball and softball.
The injuries didn’t stop SSU volleyball coaches from offering her a volleyball scholarship.
“I really liked their coaching style and the campus is nice even though it is close,” Krist said.
Being close means that her tight-knit family of father Jim, mother Geri and three older sister, athletes all, will be able to see her play.
She will study kinesiology at Sonoma State, something she already knows quite a bit about after dealing with her own injuries.
Krist signed her letter of intent in November, but she just recently received a practice schedule from her coaches.
“It makes it seem more real,” she said. “It’s making me even more excited.”
Hannah Dillingham, the Petaluma volleyball captain and team leader, is leaving the area, but not going all that far. She will play next season for the University of California at Merced.
“It is close to home, but far enough away I can feel like I’m actually leaving,” she explained.
It also helps that she was impressed by the campus during a visit. “There was something comforting and welcoming,” she said.
She also likes what she sees with the Merced volleyball program. “The coach (Ai Prachumsri) has really transformed the program. They are a balanced team with a lot of talent,” she explained. Dillingham, one of the best outside hitters in the North Bay, should fit right into a building program that was 9-5 in California Pacific play last season.