Downey, Modesto, Central Catholic, Turlock athletes sign college letters of intent

04/18/2014 8:53 PM

04/19/2014 7:25 AM

Student-athletes go off to various colleges for various reasons to study various subjects.

Downey’s Carly Wickman, Modesto’s Jasmine Hill, Central Catholic’s Matt Ringer and Turlock’s Kenny Fraser are no different. That became evident as each made known which college they’ll attend next school year.

Wickman will attend Cal State Northridge to play water polo and is glad she won’t have to swim anymore.

Hill will play softball at Alcorn State and is excited about living in Mississippi, even if she can’t remember the name of the town in which she’ll live.

Ringer will attend the University of Chicago – in essence, the nation’s Midwestern Ivy League school – something he would not have been able to do without football.

And Fraser, who will play basketball at UC San Diego, is looking forward to living 15 minutes from his older brother, Alex, who attends San Diego State.

Wickman will have to swim a little bit – it’s sort of a requirement for water polo – but she won’t be on the swim team anymore.

“That kind of makes me happy,” said Wickman, who won’t miss the grueling and monotonous swim workouts. “But I still need to train hard.”

Wickman’s speed and height will be a big advantage at the collegiate level. She has recorded a time of 25.4 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle, which would have been good enough to win the recent Stanislaus County Swim Championships. At 5-foot-10, with long limbs, she’s better able to outreach her opponents for the ball.

Wickman plans to study kinesiology with hopes of becoming a physical therapist.

Hill chose Division-I Alcorn State believing she fits into their plans.

“I feel like they want to build around me, in a way,” said Hill, who laughed when she couldn’t remember the name of the Mississippi town – Lorman – in which Alcorn State is located. “No, I can’t remember, but I like the city, so that’s OK.”

Hill will sign her letter of intent in the coming week at a ceremony at Rainbow Fields. She plans to major in biology and would like to become a pediatrician.

The 5-10, 210-pound Ringer led Central Catholic to a second consecutive CIF Division IV state championship last fall, rushing for 2,348 yards and 33 touchdowns. He had offers to play football closer to home but opted for the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s most prestigious universities, even though he’ll receive no aid.

“Matt’s grades were very good, but he’s getting into a school he might not otherwise have gotten into if not for football,” said his father, Pat Ringer.

The University of Chicago, where the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg coached for 40 years and Jay Berwanger won the nation’s first Heisman Trophy, is a Division III school. The athletic demands during and after the season aren’t as great as those at the higher levels, which will allow Ringer more time to devote to his studies.

“I’m not just looking at the next four years but the next 40 years,” said Ringer, who is undecided on a major. “During my visit there, I had a meeting with some of the players and they told me about the interviews they’d had with Fortune 500 companies. That kind of caught my attention. A degree from the University of Chicago can take (me) somewhere that football never will.”

Fraser, a 6-foot-7 forward, has always been a fan of the San Diego scene.

“I’ve liked San Diego ever since I visited when I was a little kid,” said Fraser, who averaged nearly 18 points and 10 rebounds per game for Turlock last season. “I felt more comfortable with the coaches there, and I got along well with the players.”

Not only will he get the added benefit of living near his older brother, but since UCSD is a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, he’ll get to play in his hometown once a year when the Tritons visit Cal State Stanislaus.

Fraser is considering marine biology as a major.

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