Riverdale Ridge alum Mathias Talarico knows where he’s heading to school for at least the next two years.
“I chose Rainy River (Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minnesota) because of how much the coach showed interest in me and how much he told me how I would fit into the program,” Talarico said. “One of my previous coaches put me in contact with coach (Josh) Koenig. We had multiple conversations, and it just felt as the right fit for me.”
There was no campus tour that accompanies a lot of the decision-making process for high-school athletes who wanted to play in college. But that was OK with Talarico.
“We had many conversations on how he planned to use me this season and how exactly he runs his programs,” Talarico said.
International Falls, Minnesota, is more than 1,000 miles from Thornton.
“The distance for me did play a factor a little bit,” Talarico said. “When I hear Minnesota, I thought about how far it was from home. But after many conversations with my parents and the coach, I knew that it would be a good fit.”
Talarico is leaving Otero Junior College in Trinidad.
“I had some interest from my previous school about returning. But for me, I think stepping away from my last school was the best decision for me,” he said. “My plan right now is to work towards my AA (associate of arts) degree and, hopefully, transfer to a four-year and work towards a teaching degree.”
As a senior at Riverdale Ridge, Talarico drove in seven runs and hit .256 in a pandemic-shortened season.
“The pandemic did play a part in the recruiting process because so many kids planned on staying at schools for another year, making it hard for a roster spot to open up,” he said. “There are some nerves going so far from home but also a lot of excitement because I am able to still play the game."
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