Record Number of Spartans Commit to Play Collegiate Sports

On February 7, 2024, 14 members of the St. Stephen’s Class of 2024 signed National Letters of Intent to continue their sports careers in college in the fall – the most in school history in one year. These outstanding student-athletes have worked hard, not only in the classroom, but also in their athletic pursuits.
“It’s been a joy to watch each of these athletes excel in their respective sports,” commented Athletic Director Jon McCain. “We are excited to follow their careers as they step up to the next level.”
Congratulations to these amazing Spartans!
Solange Barbier ’24 will continue her academic and athletic pursuits at the University of Southern California for Rowing this fall. Barbier’s Rowing coach Lizzie Hebo said, “I am excited for this next chapter of her athletic and academic journey. All of us coaches knew that she was one of those special athletes that could achieve whatever level that she set her mind to. USC is just going to be the starting point for Solange. She is one of our top athletes at TRC and a natural leader among her teammates. I look forward to the next four years for Solange at USC.”

Daisy Botkin ’24 will head to Bowdoin College for Field Hockey as she continues her academic and athletic career at the next level. “When Daisy started playing Hockey at St. Stephen’s in sixth grade, she might have been the tiniest kid on the pitch, but that didn’t stop her from soaking up every bit of instruction from coaches and more experienced players,” remarked St. Stephen’s Field Hockey Program Head Chelsea Richards. “The combination of her coachability and work ethic is unbeatable. She’s got no-quit – even a bloody whack straight to her face didn’t stop her from returning to the field for the SPC Tournament this fall. Daisy, as you make the transition to Hockey at Bowdoin, stay relentless, keep up that competitive spirit, and most of all, continue to cherish the little moments with your teammates. Go Bears!”

Kamau Brame ’24 will continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Michigan playing soccer in the fall. St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy Head Coach and Program Director Shane Maguire said, “This young man is a beast and he can be all that wants to be on the soccer field or anywhere else for that matter. Be big Kamau, you can do it all!”

Bethany Butler ’24 will attend the United States Air Force Academy to continue her academic and athletic pursuits by joining the Olympic Precision Style Rifle Shooting team this fall. Butler’s Rifle Shooting coach Guy Taylor commented, “It didn’t take long to know that the dedication that Bethany had to the sport and the content of her character would show that she had what it took to develop into the wonderful person and athlete she is today. The United States Air Force Academy is one of the toughest colleges in the world to get into. Bethany not only has the highest academic standard, but also the highest athletic standards and is one of the top shooters in the nation.”

Salvador Castaneda IV ’24 will attend the University of Rochester next fall to play soccer and continue his academic career. “Sal is a leader,” remarked St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy Program Director Shane Maguire. “The best leaders don’t see that as a means to do less, but a responsibility to do more. Sal seeks out every opportunity to better himself and all of those around him. He is a true coach’s dream.”

Jorik Dammann ’24 is committed to play soccer and pursue his academic career at Yale University next fall. “No one has ever scored more goals, or gotten higher grades in the history of the St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy than Jorik,” commented Soccer Academy Program Director Shane Maguire. “We figure he will do the exact same thing at Yale - we are excited to see him at the next level.”

Kayla Fink ’24 will continue her college career playing Field Hockey at Swarthmore College. “Kayla, without a doubt, is a model of consistency,” said St. Stephen’s Head Varsity Field Hockey Coach Chelsea Richards. “She’s level-headed, gritty, and, most notably, kind. The ultimate teammate, Kayla raises the bar in daily training sessions and in games. I’m so excited to see how she grows at Swarthmore, and I can’t wait to see how she impacts her next team.”

Phoebe George ’24 will continue her academic and athletic career at Fairfield University next fall. “Phoebe has been the anchor of our back line since the very first day she joined our program as a ninth-grader,” said St. Stephen’s Varsity Soccer Coach Andy Aceves. “She is smart, physical, and technically gifted, but what separates Phoebe from other top-class players is her remarkable leadership. Throughout her time at St. Stephen's, Phoebe has pushed herself to reach the very highest levels of club and high school soccer, but she has never once let her individual goals come at the expense of her team; instead, she strives to be great in service of her teammates. As a coach, my job always feels easier when my best players are also my most selfless and hardest-working players, and for the past four seasons, that is what Phoebe George has given to St. Stephen’s soccer.”
Kevin Kimazi ’24 is committed to play soccer and continue his academic pursuits at Berea College next fall. “Kevin, we are so proud of you,” remarked Soccer Academy Program Director Shane Maguire. “We are sure that he will continue to score goals and continue to create goals at Berea. Just do us a favor - make a tackle and do your homework!”
MK Lutz ’24 will attend the University of California, Davis, where she will join the Field Hockey team and continue her academic career. “As a captain of our Varsity squad and a leader on our attacking line, MK stands out on the field because of her killer shot and her blazing speed down the right side,” remarked St. Stephen’s Field Hockey Program Head Chelsea Richards. “It is her drive to improve, though, that got her to this moment. She puts in hours of work when no one is watching, she takes feedback and applies it to her game, and she’s passionate about the success of her team.”
Kayla Patel ’24 will go on to play volleyball and continue her academic career at Rice University next fall. “Kayla’s story is for all of us to learn from,” said St. Stephen’s Volleyball Program Head Juliann Johnson. “It’s a story of resilience, perseverance, beating all odds and belief in oneself. She really took the reins on her recruiting journey and it’s really cool to see her signing today. Kayla has been a fierce leader for our program throughout her time here, and I have no doubt that she will continue to be an effective volleyball player and incredible person in her time at Rice. They are so lucky to have her!”
Hannah Simmonds ’24 will head to Wellesley College to play Field Hockey and  continue her academic career in the fall. “Hannah has been the player that has challenged me to be a more thoughtful, purposeful coach,” commented St. Stephen’s Field Hockey Program Head Chelsea Richards. “Her conscientious approach not only to the game of Hockey, but also to her teammates and to our community is what sets her apart. In addition to leading our program to host the school’s first-ever Pride Game, Hannah consistently managed our backfield – lifting up teammates when they needed a boost and leaning on teammates when she needed one. Wellesley is lucky to add such a well-rounded, genuine player to their community.”

Harrison Simms ’24 is committed to play Lacrosse at Haverford College this fall. “Watching Harrison grow over the years has been a joy,” remarked St. Stephen’s Head Lacrosse Coach Noah Fink. “It’s clear he is a coach’s kid. He has put the work in on and off the field. He’s an amazing student, he’s an amazing player and he’s an amazing leader. I’m excited to see him play at the next level.”
Evan Yang ’24 will continue his academic and athletic career in Rowing at Cornell University. Yang’s Texas Rowing Center Coach said, “I have been watching Evan grow into a mature young man the past few years. He has certainly left his mark at the Texas Rowing Center as an incredible leader, but I am most excited about the chapters that he has yet to write in his future and I look forward to following along with his progress at Cornell.”

—Juliann Johnson, Sports Information Director
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213