Nick Oakley couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of facing longtime friend Bryce Warrecker as they part ways at the end of this school year.
They’ll go from lifetime teammates to Big West foes after both players signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday at Santa Barbara High’s Alumni Room.
Oakley will be staying home to play baseball at UCSB, where he will join a team that is coming off a 45-win campaign and has reached the College World Series over the past five years.
Meanwhile, Warrecker accepted an offer to play baseball at Cal Poly — staying committed to a school that had at one time offered him a basketball scholarship.
“I couldn’t be more excited to stay in town, play for my friends and family,” Oakley said. “Hopefully I’ll face (Bryce) one day. We’ll see.”
Warrecker was ecstatic to still be able to commit to his dream school.
“Everyone is going to get to their school differently,” Warrecker said. “I’m happy how mine ended up.”
The Dons hosted their ceremony on Wednesday a bit early, as Chase Raisin had to make his way to Irvine to play in Santa Barbara’s CIF boys water polo semifinal at 3:30 p.m. — a game they won 10-9. The big day started with Raisin officially making his commitment to Santa Clara University.
“A really big day (for me),” Raisin said.
Two girls water polo players also made commitments on Wednesday, with Abigail Hendrix headed to USC and Faith Tedesco to UC Irvine.
“I absolutely love it there, I’m a big family girl, and it’s just one huge family,” Hendrix said.
Tedesco loved Irvine’s proximity to home, as well as staying on the beach.
“It’s a competitive conference, it should be fun,” Tedesco said.
Girls soccer standout Mikayla Thoits fell in love with the beauty of Oregon and will be playing at Eastern Oregon University.
“It was very stressful trying to figure out where I was going to go, but excited that I finally figured it out,” Thoits said.