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Gauchos beckon Morgan

December 12, 2005|By By James Lee

Corona del Mar High soccer and track standout signs with UCSB. Ex-Sea King Rhodes sets baseball future with Hawaii. There's a strong connection between the women of the Morgan family and UC Santa Barbara, and it's about to get stronger.

Corona del Mar High track athlete Kelly Morgan has signed a national letter of intent with the Gauchos, her mother, Lynn Morgan, said Saturday.

In addition, former Corona del Mar baseball standout Nick Rhodes signed with the University of Hawaii, Sea Kings Coach John Emme said.

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Both signed during last month's early signing period.

Kelly Morgan will become the third member of her family to attend UCSB. Her oldest sister, Jennifer Morgan, ran cross country and track for the Gauchos. Elisha Morgan, the other sister, played soccer for UCSB.

"She [Kelly Morgan] loves UCSB," Lynn Morgan said. "That was her dream school. She pursued and that was it."

Kelly Morgan finished fourth in the girls' 400 meters at the CIF Southern Section Division III track finals last spring, with the eighth fastest time among juniors in the state at 56.73.

She was also a third-team All-CIF Southern Section Division II selection in soccer, but is expected to focus on track as a freshman.

Rhodes, who graduated from Corona del Mar in 2003, pitched last season at Cypress College. The left-hander went 5-3 for the Chargers, with a 4.55 earned-run average in 57 1/3 innings. He struck out 53 and walked 19, on the way to earning second-team All-Orange Empire Conference recognition.

"Nick is a great sign for us," Hawaii Coach Mike Trapasso said in a press release. "He comes from a great program at Cypress. He's a left-handed pitcher with a tremendous change-up. He could come in and be a frontline guy for us."

Rhodes, who helped lead CdM to the CIF Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals as a senior, is the Sea Kings' career leader in strikeouts with 128.

Emme said the pitcher would play for Cypress in the spring and transfer to Hawaii for the 2006-07 season.

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