Roseville High School's independent student press

Eye of the Tiger

Where are they now

Eye of the Tiger’s sports staff takes a look at some of RHS’ former athletes who have continued their careers at collegiate and professional levels.

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(COURTESY/RYLEY KRAFT)

(COURTESY/RYLEY KRAFT)

(COURTESY/RYLEY KRAFT)

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RYLEY KRAFT

Roseville native and former Roseville High School student Ryley Kraft is currently a signed professional midfielder for Orlando City B, the Orlando City Soccer Club’s B-Team.

The B-Team competes in the United Soccer League, one step down from Major League Soccer.

Kraft attended RHS his freshman year and part of his sophomore year, but finished his sophomore year by taking online classes. He finished his high school courses at Independence High School and graduated in the spring of 2016.

In his last year of school, Kraft was a staple for the U-18 Sacramento Republic Academy team in its inaugural season.

The team exceeded first year expectations and made it all the way to the national quarterfinals before losing to MLS academy Vancouver Whitecaps.

After graduation, Kraft made the decision to stay another year with the academy while still remaining eligible to play due to his age.

Kraft was named captain by his teammates at the beginning of the season. Through the first 17 games Kraft appeared in in the 2016-2017 season, he scored six goals for the club.

After returning to SRFC after a brief appearance with the U-19 mens national team, he made his official professional debut as a second-half substitute in a preseason friendly match against the San Jose Earthquakes on Feb. 26 despite not signing an official contract with the club yet.

His success eventually resulted in an offer from Orlando City Soccer Club in Florida, so he had a tough choice between two clubs. The decision to choose Orlando City came down to the available opportunities for Kraft to develop as a professional player.

“It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life to be honest,” Kraft said. “I believed I would be given a better opportunity with playing time at Orlando. And it helped that Orlando has a first team that I can work for and hopefully play for in the near future. I loved Sacramento.”

He signed his first professional contract with OCSC at the beginning of March and is currently one of the youngest players on the team’s roster.

ARTURO SOTOMAYOR

Arturo Sotomayor graduated in 2015 and now runs track for UCLA.

He holds the Roseville High School mile record with a time of 4:14.49 as well as the 800 meter record with a time of 1:52.49, but has since bested both of these times at the collegiate level.

He has found recent success in his sophomore year, being recognized as the men’s Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Week – a huge honor – for the week of April 3-9 for his blazing 1,500 meter time at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on April 9.

(COURTESY/ARTURO SOTOMAYOR) Arturo Sotomayor (right) runs track for UCLA and is excelling in the 800 meter and 1,500 meter races in his sophomore year.

At the meet, he ran the fifth fastest 1,500 meter in the country and also set a new personal best with a time of 3:42.6. This time earned him a first place finish at the meet.

He has had other first-place finishes and impressive performances as well, one being a 1:49.6 800 meter run at the indoor Columbia East-West challenge.

Last year in the Husky Classic, he placed first in the distance medley relay with a 9:48.92.

His 9:37.9 time at the MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships got him a second-place finish in the same event.

Sotomayor has had great success so far and hopes to continue growing to set faster times and reach bigger goals.

“Currently it’s qualifying for NCAA champions here in June,” Sotomayor said. “I want to make the record board for the 1,500 and 800. My final future goal would be making a world championship or Olympic team.”

DALTON BLASER

(COURTESY/DALTON BLASER)

Dalton Blaser graduated from Roseville High School in 2012.

He was actually drafted in the thirty-ninth round by the Oakland Athletics straight out of high school but decided to spend two years at Sierra College before transferring over to Cal State Fullerton.

At Sierra College, Blaser was named All-Conference First Team, All-State First Team and was the Co-MVP of the Big-8 Conference. During his two years at Fullerton, he led the Titans with a .359 batting average as well as hits (74), RBI (38), slugging percentage (.485), on-base percentage (.439) and walks (30).

In 2016, he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the eighth round, 248th overall.

He was assigned to the franchise’s minor league team, the Staten Island Yankees, for whom he currently plays.

BRAYDEN LEACH

Brayden Leach graduated from Roseville High School with the Class of 2016 and now runs for the track and field team at Humboldt State University on a scholarship.

(COURTESY/BRAYDEN LEACH) Brayden Leach (right), who graduated last year with the Class of 2016, now runs track for Humboldt State University. His main event is the 800 meter but he also runs the 400 meter, the 4×400 meter relay and the 1,500 meter.

‘When he ran for RHS, Leach showed lots of potential early on in his running career when he qualified for Masters in the 800 meter when he was just a sophomore.

He has continued his success onto the collegiate level, recently placing fourth in the 800 meter at the CCAA conference championship.

This performance helped his team to a fifth-place finish overall in a meet consisting of many schools.

Leach also runs the 400 meter, the 1,500 meter and the 4×400 meter relay and looks forward to continuing his track career in his future years as a Logger.

“We have a really young squad which gives me a lot of hope for the future,” Leach said.

JORDAN CARRELL

Joining the very exclusive list of former Roseville High School athletes who now have professional sports careers is football player and Class of 2012 alumnus Jordan Carrell. A 6’3” 275 pound defensive lineman, Carrell, after averaging 3.4 tackles a game for the Tigers at the defensive tackle position in high school, continued his career at American River College where he acquired 61 tackles and eight sacks in his sophomore year.

 

His play during the 2014-2015 season was enough to earn himself a scholarship with the University of Colorado football team, where he earned a starting spot at defensive tackle.

He notched 46 tackles – six of which were for a loss – and five sacks, two of which came in crucial games against Oregon and Washington State.

The previously mentioned statistics plus an impressive pro-day turned the heads of some NFL teams at the end of his senior season who noticed scouts rave about his “reactive athleticism,” according to NFL.com.

Then, with only eight picks to go until the end of the last day of the 2017 draft, where players who went undrafted would leave the draft without a secure contract, Carrell was drafted in the seventh round – 246th overall – to the Cowboys, where he will now be competing for a starting spot throughout the cowboys’ rookie mini camp.

Carrell now has the opportunity to make a name for himself in RHS professional sports alumni history.

JORDAN KUNASZYK

2014 graduate Jordan Kunaszyk is another highly successful former Roseville High School football player.

The former star linebacker acquired some of the most impressive stats ever for a linebacker at RHS with two sacks, an interception and 101 total tackles, 72 of them solo.

He continued his football career at American River College where his productivity only increased, earning 118 tackles, three sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, three pass break ups and the title of NorCal Conference Defensive MVP.

Other titles Kunaszyk earned that year include Freshman All-American and first-team All-Conference.

His team went 7-4 that year and earned a spot in the Gridiron Classic Bowl.

Kunaszyk’s impressive performance at ARC caught the attention of multiple Division I programs including Southern Mississippi, Texas State, Fresno State, University of Colorado and UNLV.

In his eyes, none of these schools topped his offer from UC Berkeley, where he now plays.

Last season, after having a more limited role in games while trying to work his way up th

e depth chart, Kunaszyk recorded 47 total tackles with one for a loss and a game-clinching interception on live television against Oregon in double-overtime.

Kunaszyk will be competing for a starting role at inside linebacker this fall.

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