Cameron and company – CSD’s Class of ‘23 Spartan athletes set a huge recruiting mark


Photo courtesy of The Shield yearbook.

Senior women’s soccer player, Cameron Koster, was the first Class of ‘23 Spartan athlete to sign a national letter of intent.

Conner Shelton and Ben Gallagher

When senior soccer player, Cameron Koster, signed her national letter of intent to play women’s soccer at Troy University back in the fall, no one knew that this would be the start of something great for CSD’s athlete Class of 2023. 

As spring signing day recently came to a close, the Spartan seniors achieved a signing milestone. From the Griffin Gym courts and Fisher Farm running trails to the Spartan Park turf fields and multiple pools and tracks in between, the largest number of graduating Spartan athletes will be playing sports in college than any other previous graduating class.

In total, when spring signing day concluded on Monday, May 15, a total of 13 Class of ‘23 Spartans signed letters of intent to play college sports after graduation.

The 13 graduating Spartans who committed to continue their sport at the collegiate level are:

– Cameron Koster, Women’s Soccer, Troy University

– Natalie Vazzana, Women’s Soccer, St. Mary’s

– Gar Watlington, Women’s Lacrosse,  Warren Wilson College

– Asie Buttar, Men’s Swimming, Lees-McRae College

–  Aiden Morris, Football, Wofford College

– Tye Allison, Football, Limestone College

– Austin Paigo, Men’s Soccer, Lenoir-Rhyne University 

– Austin Hartsell, Men’s Swimming, Roanoke College

– Cooper Ricks, Football, University of Miami

– Luke Webber, Men’s Swimming, Gardner Webb University

– Liam Sherman, Football, Limestone College

– Alayana Cox, Women’s Volleyball, Salem University

– Eliana White, Women’s Swimming, Air Force Academy

”I’ve had the Air Force Academy on my radar for a very long time,” said Eliana White. “I’m so excited to be swimming at such a great school.”

In the past, CSD has graduated many extraordinary students to compete in Division I, II and III sports. Some of these athletes include:

– Malia Ellington, Women’s Cross-Country and Track, Harvard

– Christian Keel, Baseball, Brown

– Baylor Nelson, Men’s Swimming, Texas A&M

– Emme Nelson, Women’s Swimming, Texas A&M 

– Lissi Gordon, Women’s Soccer, Liberty University

– Darby Bevis, Women’s Soccer, Gardner Webb

– Reed Hannan, Men’s Swimming, Lenoir-Rhyne 

– Alec Freese, Men’s Lacrosse, Seton Hall

And others, including Nick Vecchiarello (‘21), who currently attends UNC Chapel Hill and plays junior varsity basketball, have continued to play sports in college while not on scholarship.

Before 2023, CSD sent a total of 43 athletes to play men’s and women’s sports since the first Spartan graduating class in 2014. While there have been many years with multiple athletes, never has there been a Spartan athlete graduating class like 2023.

‘It’s been a great recruitment year,” said newly hired athletic director, John Bellissimo.

CSD’s winter signees included three swimmers plus a women’s lacrosse and men’s soccer player. (Photo courtesy of senior photographer, Lily Asano. )


Pictured are six of the seven spring signees. Missing from the photo is football player, Liam Sherman. (Photo courtesy of The Shield yearbook.)