Five Lancers Celebrated At Signing Day

With the academic year quickly coming to a close, Orange Lutheran took time out to celebrate five senior Lancer athletes from across five sports that have made commitments to continue their athletics and academics at the collegiate level.


OLu Athletic Director Vince Brown welcomed the athletes and their families, friends, coaches and teammates to the Ellwein Center for the celebration and opened the event in prayer.


“Heavenly father, we gather before you with hearts full of gratitude and joy, celebrating our seniors and their families as they commit to colleges for their scholastic and athletic pursuits,” said Brown. “We thank you for this incredible journey and the opportunities that lie ahead. We express our deepest appreciation for these talented athletes who have consistently given glory to you on the athletic field. Their dedication, perseverance and God-given talents have been a testament to your grace and strength.


“As our seniors step into their new chapter, we seek your guidance and wisdom for them,” continued Brown. “Grant them clarity of mind, resilience in the face of challenges and unwavering faith. May they continue to use their talents to honor you and be a source of light in their college communities. May their journey be filled with success, growth and opportunities to positively impact others.”



Brock Wirthgen

From OLu’s baseball program, Brock Wirthgen is headed to California Baptist University to continue his playing career.

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Primarily a catcher and designated hitter for the Lancers this season, Wirthgen has been instrumental on the offensive side for the team in the CIF playoffs.


A team player who always did what was asked of him by the coaching staff, Wirthgen is described by his teammates with words such as “selfless, giving and supportive.”


“He’s one of those kids who’s had to work for everything he’s earned on the baseball field,” said OLu baseball head coach Eric Borba. “He comes with the ultimate energy to practice every day. It’s rare that you see him without a smile on his face. He’s one of those guys that when you’re having a bad day, he comes in the room and makes you laugh. Just a very, very special human being.”



Rex Barrera

Lancer Rex Barrera committed to continue his football career at Carleton College in Minnesota.

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Barrera played outside linebacker his junior season and was a key part of the Lancers CIF championship team. For his senior year, he moved to running back to fill a need for the program where he made a solid impact.


“One of my favorite verses from Ecclesiastes, ‘Whatever your hand finds to do, do with all your might,’ and as I think of Rex, that describes him,” said OLu football head coach Rod Sherman. “He’s an unbelievable student. He did everything we asked him to do on the football field – special teams, defense, offense. Whatever Rex does, he does with all of his might. We’re so proud of him and know that he’s going to make a huge impact on campus at Carleton College.”


Men’s Lacrosse

Mason Johnson

Defender Mason Johnson has signed to play lacrosse at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.

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A multi-sport athlete who also played defensive end on the gridiron for the Lancers, Johnson made significant growth as a lacrosse player during his time at OLu.


“If someone is willing to show up and show out and continue to get better and is never satisfied with being okay…that’s the definition of Mason,” said OLu boys lacrosse defensive coordinator Kenan Ressler. “He embodied that throughout the whole season and the whole time I’ve [been able to coach him]. It’s been a pleasure watching Mason grow into the player he’s become and the young man he’s becoming on and off the field. I have no doubt in my mind that he will continue to prosper at the next level and do whatever he puts his mind to.”


Men’s Cross Country / Track & Field

Joseph O’Donnell

Distance runner Joseph O’Donnell has committed to University of Redlands to continue his running career in the school’s track and cross country programs.

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A four-year Lancer runner who has set a number of marks in the OLu cross country all-time Top 10 list, O’Donnell was named 1st Team All-Trinity League his senior year, earning an individual berth in the CIF-SS Division 4 Prelims where he finished 9th out of 96 runners. During his junior season, he helped lead the Lancers to the CIF-SS Division 4 Finals.


“He’s always been dependable, dedicated to the program, and most importantly, his teammates,” said OLu head track and field coach Kevin Gillian on behalf of OLu cross country head coach Kristen Goossens. “Utilizing his athletics to continue his education makes Joseph a great role model and an example for future Orange Lutheran athletes in cross country. His work ethic and determination will truly be missed.”


Women’s Track & Field

Hannah Wons

Track and field jumper Hannah Wons will continue her athletic career at Concordia University Irvine.

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Despite suffering a knee injury that kept her out of competition her senior year, Wons’ junior season saw tremendous success including being named Trinity League champion in the long jump with a mark of 16’-11”. She went on to represent the Lancers in the 2022 CIF-SS Finals and was a 1st Team All-League selection.


“With all the hard work and dedication she put in on the track her junior season, Concordia University gave her a scholarship,” said Gillian. “We’re definitely going to miss you here. We will be watching you…and we wish you the best of luck.”


To close the ceremony, Brown offered words of encouragement to the Lancer student athletes.


“It’s very special to have this opportunity…to celebrate this day with you,” said Brown. “I know our coaches appreciate everything you’ve done for OLu. And I hope that you continue to know that you’re always welcome at Orange Lutheran.”

Topics from this blog: Athletics