The 2014-15 college sports year begins in the next week or so and central Solano County will be very well represented.
Several athletes have been busy over the summer, but none were busier than Katelyn Rowland of the defending national champion UCLA women’s soccer team.
The Vacaville Christian graduate was the starting goalie for the United States team that took part in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
After losing to Germany 2-0 and defeating Brazil 1-0 and China 3-0 in group play, Rowland and her teammates reached the quarterfinals where they fell 3-1 on penalty kicks to North Korea after the teams were tied 1-1 through regulation and overtime.
Rowland was still involved with the U-20 World Cup when the Bruins won a 3-1 scrimmage with Texas A&M on Aug. 15. They opened defense of their national title by hosting Maryland on Friday.
“It’s for sure going to be a tough road,” Rowland said of UCLA’s chances of repeating. “Obviously, winning we have targets on our back. We’re fully capable of doing it again. If our mindset is right and we put in the work, it’s not going to be easy, but it’s something we can accomplish.
“We’ve just got to take it one game at a time. We can’t get overconfident.”
Junior forward Tyler Cunningham (Rodriguez) is a preseason All-Big West selection at UC Riverside.
Northwestern Christian will have a decidedly Solano Community College flavor with junior midfielder, junior defender Kandis Hatfield (Armijo), junior midfielder Janelle Richards (Vacaville), senior defender/midfielder Michelle Giron (Armijo) and senior midfielder Karlie Mast suiting up for the Beacons.
Other former Falcons playing elsewhere are senior forward Barbara Bakh at the University of Mary
Briana Scholtens (Rodriguez) is a senior goalkeeper at Cal State East Bay.
In addition to repeating as Fairfield City Amateur champion, Aaron Beverly (Armijo) came within a hole of winning the Northern California Golf Association Amateur Match Play title.
Beverly, who was the top seed in the match play event after winning the two-round stroke play qualifying competition, was all square with Matthew Seramin through 35 holes. Beverly got a par on the 36th, but Seramin notched a birdie to pull out the victory.
Beverly redshirted with the Hornets in 2013-14 to recover from a shoulder injury. They open the 2014-15 season at the Ram Masters Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo., on Sept. 15.
Brock Hekking (Vacaville) is a certified “player to watch” for the 2014 season. The Nevada senior defensive end is on the Lombardi and Hendricks award watch lists and is on Phil Steele’s, Athlon’s and the media’s preseason All-Mountain West Conference teams.
The Wolf Pack host Southern Utah and Myles Carelock (Vanden, Rodriguez) and Cameron McGregor (Armijo) on Aug. 30. Carelock is a redshirt junior cornerback, McGregor a freshman linebacker.
Arizona senior safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant (Fairfield) was named to Phil Steele’s All-Pac-12 third team. The Wildcats entertain UNLV on Aug. 29 to open the season.
Eastern Washington senior running back Quincy Forte (Fairfield, Vacaville) is on the College Football Performance Awards watch list and on the Sports Network preseason All-America third team. The Eagles are No. 1 in the Sports Network preseason Football Championship Subdivision rankings, No. 2 in the FCS coaches preseason poll.
Another former Falcon suiting up at a four-year this season is Keith Williams, a sophomore quarterback at San Diego.
Armijo alumni playing this season are freshman receiver Jeffrie Brown at Case Western Reserve and sophomore running back Jairon Gacosta at Dakota State.
Vanden has the most former players of any city school with sophomore receiver Christian Basden at Humboldt State, senior tight end Chris Broadnax and senior defensive back Randey Peterson at Sacramento State, sophomore safety David Bucannon at Washington State, freshman defensive end Jordan Garcia, sophomore quarterback Ben Scott at UC Davis, sophomore running back Matthew Walker and sophomore defensive lineman Tyler Corsi at Pacific, sophomore linebacker Mike Weaver at Elmhurst and freshman receiver Dion Williams at Montana Tech.
Rodriguez has senior safety Konner Bent at Southern Nazarene, senior receiver Demondre Boler at Valley City State, junior running back Myles Burton at Dixie State, junior linebacker Darnell Dailey at Texas State, senior Andre Lewis at Utah and junior running back Spencer Morrow at Minot State.
From Vacaville, there are senior receiver Blakelyn Birks and sophomore running back Melvin Mason at Southern Oregon, and senior defensive lineman LaRyan King and sophomore defensive lineman Johnny Schupp at Colorado State.
For Wood, there is junior defensive back Brian Clay at Washington.
Justin-Siena graduate Brandon Weaver of Vacaville is freshman defensive lineman at UC Davis.
Lainey Brown (Vacaville Christian, Solano) is the lone senior among area players. She plays libero for Menlo.
Wood features three players with junior outside hitter Sarah Cusick at Pacific Union, freshman outside hitter Tia Clay, Brian Clay’s younger sister, at Florida International, and freshman middle blocker Maggie Singleton at Tulane.
Jazmin Wallace (Fairfield) returns as defensive specialist for Simpson, while Hope Grace (Rodriguez, Solano) heads to Maine-Fort Kent.
Katie Gomez (Vacaville) is back for her sophomore season with the Dominican women’s team, while freshman Alex Jenks (Vanden) will be running for Utah Valley State.
On the men’s side, Tyler Sickler (Wood) is a sophomore for Sacramento State.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.