May 29, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Four baseball players make college commitments; AD hopeful high school sports returning

Villa Park baseball players and coaches look on during a playoff game in May 2019. (File photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

It was another week without high school sports events, but off the field it was a big week for four Orange County high school baseball players, who made their commitments and we were pleased to be able to share their announcements on OC Sports Zone.

First, Jack Bunnell of Woodbridge announced he had committed to University of Washington.

Two days later, Brandon Luu of Northwood and Gavin Grahovac of Villa Park, who have played club baseball on the same team, announced they had committed to play for Arizona State University.

What made it especially significant and pretty remarkable is that both of these players are only sophomores and have three more years of high school eligibility.

Then on Thursday, Irvine High’s Patrick Hackworth told us he has committed to play for UC San Diego. He will join former Vaquero star Bubba Filia. Hackworth has one more season left with the Vaqueros, provided high school baseball launches in March 2021 under the CIF plan.

We welcome coaches and players of all sports to send college commitments to us by email to and we welcome pictures.

As for the future of high school sports, there is still uncertainty but there seems to be some optimism too that high school sports will get under way in December and football can kick off in January 2021, barring any unforeseen setbacks.

In fact, new Corona del Mar Athletic Director Dennis Wilbanks expressed some positive thoughts about high school sports starting up.

“I have a good feeling, and selfishly, I hope they do, but I think they will, unless we get a spike like some people are talking about in December,” he said this week. “But I see sports occuring in other states and they’re doing it the right ways and they know that CdM will do it the right way, so I guess I’m optimistic but I think it will happen.”

Coach Kyle Kim-E’s boys and girls water polo teams at Northwood are among the squads preparing for December starts.

So, a lot still has to happen and we all have to do our part, but the steps appear to be trending in the right direction for the return of high school sports. As we’ve said before, we want sports back when it’s safe for all.

During this unprecedented time, we remain committed to our communities with sports news about OC athletes and coaches.

In case you missed it, here’s a look back at this week’s top stories: