13 Lancers Celebrated On National Signing Day

Wednesday, November 8, marked the first National Signing Day of the 2023-2024 academic year, and Orange Lutheran celebrated 13 of their student athletes as they signed letters of intent to compete in their respective sports at the collegiate level.


Seven OLu sports programs were represented as family and friends gathered in the Ellwein Center to honor the senior Lancers’ accomplishments. Orange Lutheran Athletic Director Karen Kekipi welcomed the attendees.


“Thank you so much for coming today for this awesome celebration of the accomplishments of these fine young men and women,” said Kekipi. “I know how much support and love is in the room and that these students are able to have reached their goals with the support of you as family and friends.


“This is one of my favorite days on our campus that we have the opportunity to celebrate our students,” continued Kekipi. “It's been a privilege over the last several years to be able to watch all of you compete on your different playing surfaces and just shine with the gifts and talents that the Lord has given you.”



Gabriel Hughes

In a first for the OLu Esports program, Gabriel Hughes has signed with Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. One of the founding members of the Esports team on campus, the four-year varsity player has served as Rocket League manager and captain, as well as Overwatch captain. Hughes was also on the first Overwatch team at OLu and was pivotal in helping the team achieve a league championship in spring 2022.


“He's got the skills, but it's his character that leaves this lasting impression,” said OLu Esports head coach Spencer King. “He encourages and leads his teammates with a Christ-like heart. He is everything that is bright about Esports, especially in a world that is dominated by toxic internet culture. Gabe will be a light for Christ in the Esports world and then wherever God sends him next.”


Hughes will not only compete for Huntingdon College’s Esports team but will also be casting for the Hawks, bringing color commentary to each of the school’s live streams.


“I want to thank my father for this,” said Hughes. “He was the one who encouraged me and didn’t stop me from pursuing streaming and playing video games. He was the one who helped me financially and really is the true MVP for this. Another one would be Mr. King, or Coach King. Thank you for helping me and supporting me both physically and mentally during my four years.”



Katie Harper

Lancer senior Katie Harper has committed to the STUNT program at Missouri Baptist University. As a transfer student, Harper competed for the first time for OLu last season and was the highest ranking athlete for the rounds of play in the 2023 Big Orange Battle Tournament, as well as earning 2023 2nd Team All-League honors.


“It's been amazing to see how much Katie has grown as an individual, an athlete and a leader, and I can't wait to see what God has in store for her future,” said OLu STUNT head coach Shannon May. “Katie, we know that earthly discipline has benefitted you, and this discipline from our Heavenly Father will benefit you all the more. It will produce righteousness in your life. It will cause you to bear fruit that pleases God as you become conformed to the image of Christ. We're proud of you and the work that you've done so far in this sport and the discipline to focus on your future.”


Harper is thankful for those around her who have been instrumental in helping her achieve her athletic goals.


“I would like to thank my parents for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to play the sports I love,” said Harper. “I truly am grateful for all the support they have given me by showing up at my competitions/games and always pushing me to do better. I also want to thank all of my coaches, the ones at my previous school and my current coaches, for supporting me, pushing me and giving me the opportunity to compete on their teams. Thank you to everyone who has helped shaped me into the person I am today.”


Men’s Water Polo

Matthew Mai-Prasarnsuk

Lancer water polo player and team captain Matthew Mai-Prasarnsuk is headed to the United States Naval Academy to continue his athletic and academic career. The four-year varsity player was a key part of the program’s 2022 CIF Division 1 championship team and has averaged four goals a game for OLu.


“Matt is an incredible athlete and competitor,” said OLu boys water polo head coach Jacob Moore. “He continuously works to improve his skills and game IQ through countless hours spent in the water after practices and watching game film during his downtime. His calm presence helps to harness the emotion and energy of his teammates, and he knows when it's time for him to step up and be the man that everyone looks to in the game.”


Mai-Prasarnsuk was named 2022 2nd Team All CIF-SS Division 1, 2022 1st Team All-Trinity League and is a Trinity League Scholar Athlete. He also played nearly every minute of every game this season, and his style of play helped him to become the season leader in team goals, assists and ejections drawn.


“I’d like to thank all my family and friends for supporting me,” said Mai-Prasarnsuk. “Thank you to Coach Moore for instilling the confidence in me to be the player I am. I’d like to thank God for earth, life and everything.”



Brianne Weiss

Standout OLu pitcher Brianne Weiss has committed to play softball for the University of Notre Dame. The four-year varsity player’s many accolades include being a three-time Trinity League champion, a three-time 1st Team-All Trinity League honoree and the 2023 Orange County Pitcher of the Year.


“To say Bri is special would be an understatement,” said OLu softball head coach Steve Miklos. “She's a phenomenal pitcher. Not every athlete gets to go to the school of their dreams. I know Bri has always wanted to go to Notre Dame, and for her to be able to play there next year is a dream come true for her. I've been able to watch her grow in her athletic ability, and more importantly, in her faith. She's a great spiritual leader on our team, and I'm looking forward to her leadership for us this year.”


Weiss led Orange County in both ERA and strikeouts for the 2023 season. Her ERA in the last two seasons are 0.79 and .083, and she has more than 500 high school career strikeouts to her name to date.


“I want to thank all of my coaches and both of my parents for your guidance and support you have provided throughout my softball journey,” said Weiss. “Your dedication, encouragement and sacrifices have made a significant impact on my growth, not only as an athlete, but also as an individual. I am truly grateful for the opportunities and valuable lessons you have given me, and your faith in my potential is what kept me going. Thank you for shaping me into the person I am today.”


Mya Diaz

Lancer infielder Mya Diaz has signed with Concordia University Irvine to continue her softball career. The four-year varsity player and three-year starter is a 2nd Team All-League selection and has been part of the Lancers’ three consecutive Trinity League championships.


“Mya is the kind of player that coaches love,” said Miklos. “If you look at the box score, she's not flashy, but she does a lot of things for the team. She's very selfless. She does all the little things, she's encouraging…and she's really grown in her faith.”


Diaz is grateful to God, her family and her support system for encouraging her to pursue her dream of playing softball at the next level.


“I truly can’t give enough thanks for what God has done,” said Diaz. “I’m completely grateful for this opportunity he’s opened for me. I also wouldn’t be here without my amazing family, so thank you guys for being my number one supporters and for loving me through the process. A big thank you to all my coaches that have been with me to this point and anyone who was involved in pushing me to be a better version of myself. I couldn’t have done it on my own.”


Men’s Soccer

Dillan Danks

Lancer goalkeeper Dillan Danks is headed to Loyola Marymount University to continue his soccer career. Danks is a two-year varsity player and part of the 2023 CIF and State championship team.

“You've matured and grown into an excellent goalkeeper and most importantly, an excellent young man,” said OLu boys soccer head coach Mike Oseguera. “It has truly been a pleasure to be a part of your journey, and I'm extremely excited for your future. Always remember to keep the love of Jesus in your heart and to keep that confidence in yourself. To be the best goalkeeper version of yourself, be your own best friend. Work harder than you can ever comprehend and never forget that you have the love and support of this program, always.”

Danks is grateful to those who those in his support system who helped him elevate his play and achieve this next step.


“I would like to thank my friends, coaches, and especially my parents, for getting me to where I am today,” said Danks. “This would not be possible without their unwavering support and willingness to help me along the way.”


Xavier Alcantar

OLu soccer player Xavier Alcantar has signed to play at the next level for University of North Carolina Ashville. The four-year varsity player is part of the 2023 CIF and State championship team.


“As a young man, Xavier is committed, responsible, passionate and caring,” said Oseguera. “He's an excellent teammate, and when we have needed him the most, he's always stepped up in the big moments. His skill, work ethic and ability to play larger than stature are just some of the reasons it's been a pleasure to coach him. But most importantly, I know that he cares. When it comes down it and the whistle blows, Xavier shows up. He's there to support his teammates, and he's there to do his best.”


Having achieved this longtime goal of playing college soccer, Alcantar is grateful to those who have supported him on his athletic journey.


“I would like to thank my family, friends and coaches for helping me achieve a dream of mine,” said Alcantar. “Without their help, this milestone in my athletic career would not have been achievable. Lastly, I would like to thank God for giving me the strength and ability to play at such a high collegiate level. All thanks to the Lord!”


Women’s Volleyball

Lily Underwood

Lancer setter Lily Underwood has committed to continue her volleyball career at Westmont College. The four-year varsity player was a Trinity League champion her freshman year and is a 2023 CIF-SS Division 2 team finalist.


“What truly sets (Lily) apart is her genuine kindness and selfless character,” said OLu girls volleyball head coach Henry Valiente. “She consistently goes above and beyond to support her teammates and is always willing to lend a helping hand or offer words of encouragement. Whether on or off the court, she embodies the true spirit of teamwork, always fostering a positive environment that brings out the best in everyone around her.”


Underwood is grateful for those who have supported her athletic journey and who have inspired her to reach her goal of playing collegiate volleyball.


“On this college signing day, I want to first express my gratitude to God for guiding me on this incredible journey,” said Underwood. “I also want to extend my deepest thanks to my friends and family, whose love and encouragement have been a constant source of motivation. Their sacrifices and belief in me have made this dream a reality. I am immensely grateful to my coaches for their dedication and guidance. They have helped shape me into the athlete and person I am today, and I look forward to representing our team and school at the collegiate level. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all the support, love and opportunities that have brought me to this special moment.”


Makalin Goehring

OLu opposite hitter Makalin Goehring has signed to play volleyball for Cal State University San Marcos. The three-year varsity player recently helped her team reach the 2023 CIF-SS Division 2 finals.


“Throughout her high school career, she has shown major dedication to the sport,” said Valiente. “She has fire on the court and it's unmatched, igniting a sense of determination with her teammates. Whether it's jumping for a block, spiking with precision or celebrating with her heart, her relentless pursuit of excellence has inspired everyone around her. Her passion for the game is evident in every move she makes.”


Goehring credited those around her in her support system for helping her take this next step in her athletic journey.


“I would like to thank my family, coaches, and teammates for pushing me to achieve my dreams,” said Goehring. “They have always been by my side and kept my head up. Most importantly, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to continue to glorify Him every time I step on the court. Go Cougars!”


Women’s Water Polo

Isabella Calderon

Four-year varsity water polo player Isabella Calderon has committed to continue her athletic and academic career at University of California, Irvine. Calderon was part of the 2023 Lancer team that won both the Trinity League and CIF-SS Open Division titles.


“Bella is the ultimate team player,” said OLu girls water polo head coach Brenda Villa. “Bella, I appreciate your work ethic, your attention to detail and the spiritual leadership that you've brought to the team. I look forward to continuing to cheer you on at UCI. I know you will continue to be an ultimate team player there as well and continue to be selfless. That is something that we can all strive to be.”


Calderon is a three-time USA Academic All-American and a three-time Orange Lutheran Scholar Athlete.


“I would like to thank all of my current and past coaches for shaping me into the player and person I am today,” said Calderon. “I would also like to thank my family for their never-ending support and love throughout my journey and always pushing me to be my best in all that I do. All the glory to God, as this wouldn't be possible without His faithfulness. I am super excited to continue my athletic and academic journey at UCI! Zot Zot!!


Lauren Steele 

Standout OLu goalkeeper Lauren Steele will be continuing her water polo career at UCLA. The four-year varsity player was part of the Lancers 2023 Trinity League and CIF-SS Open Division championships.


“Lauren is hard to describe, and the word that came to mind was firecracker,” said Villa. “Her incredible work ethic and her obsession with water polo are something that I admire and kind of reminds me of myself a little bit. She is a resilient kid from Connecticut that took California by storm. She came out here, she had dreams, and last year she had a breakout year…It's your work ethic, your resilience and your commitment to your team that has allowed you to fulfill your dreams. I look forward to continuing to support you and watch you with Team USA and UCLA.”


Steele’s elite performance in last season’s playoff run earned her 2023 Trinity League and CIF Player of the Year honors.


“Thank you to my coach Brenda Villa and coach Tony Azevedo for always believing in me and helping me get here,” said Steele. “Thank you to my parents for supporting me always.”


Samantha Kim

Senior Lancer Samantha Kim will be continuing her water polo career at Brown University. The four-year varsity player was a contributor to the Lancers 2023 Trinity League and CIF-SS Open Division championships.


“Sam is a fierce competitor, a great listener and an amazing artist,” said Villa. “She's incredibly talented in and out of the water…Sam, I admire your commitment as a student athlete and the time management skills that you have shown the last four years to help get you to Brown. I look forward to continuing to watch you thrive in and out of the water.”


Kim was also named 2022 3rd Team All-CIF and 2023 2nd Team All-Trinity League.


“I would like to thank my family for always supporting me and pushing me to achieve my goals,” said Kim. “They always believed in me, even when I doubted myself. I would also like to thank Brenda Villa and Emily Cardona for supporting me in my process and decision and helping me to play at the collegiate level.”


Sofia Umeda

Four-year varsity Lancer Sofia Umeda has committed to continuing her water polo career at USC. Umeda was a key contributor to the Lancers’ 2023 Trinity League and CIF-SS Open Division titles.


“Sofia is a gamer,” said Villa. “She is an extremely sweet and bubbly person out of the water. But once the whistle blows, she is all business, and I'm incredibly grateful for her authenticity and her modeling that she can be a princess…and also be a fierce competitor in the water. Something I greatly appreciate about Sofia, besides her incredible work ethic and her kindness, is she is someone that I can turn to get a pulse for the team. She has a great connection with everyone on the team. I look forward to continuing to support you and watch you play at USC and for Team USA.”


As part of last year’s playoff run, Umeda earned 2023 1st Team All-Trinity League and 2nd Team All-CIF honors.


“I would like to thank my mom and dad for always being there for me and helping me become the person I am today,” said Umeda. “I wouldn’t be anywhere without them or my family. I would also like to thank all my coaches for putting so much time and effort in helping me become a strong competitive player. I love you all with all my heart.”


The next National Signing Day celebration will be held on Wednesday, February 7.  Follow Orange Lutheran athletics on Instagram or the athletics app

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