What’s it like to be a student athlete in college?

Toshi Kondo and Nolan Rapp are part of the Wilsonville class of ’22. Now, they’re playing lacrosse at a collegiate level.


UCSB Lacrosse

Nolan Rapp shows off his team spirit at halloween practice, decked out in his shark suit.

Many students at Wilsonville High School are involved with sports, but not all get the opportunity to keep playing at the collegiate level. To be a student athlete in college requires a degree of skill, passion, and dedication that not everyone is capable of. However, it should come as no surprise that there are numerous wildcat alumni representing their schools in the classroom and on the field.

Just recently I had the pleasure of watching Toshi Kondo, class of 2022, play college lacrosse for the University of Oregon. Kondo plays face off for the Ducks, and in his senior year at Wilsonville he was all-state for the position. He continues to be successful, taking the majority of face-offs for UO despite being just a freshman.

After the game, I was able to interview Kondo. When asked about what it meant to him to be able to play this game that he loves at a collegiate level, he said “it means everything to have this opportunity and be surrounded by all these great people who have the same goals as me.” I wanted to know about Toshi’s journey to getting to this spot, and what he had learned from his experience. 

Toshi said that he “learned hard work, and learned discipline more than anything. I learned that if I wanted this, I was gonna have to train a lot harder than I had been. Me being able to play at this level should give everyone so much inspiration, and it means so much to me.” Toshi’s story is most definitely inspiring, his hard work paid off, the results speak for themselves. Toshi is representing Wilsonville well through his passion, discipline, and determination. We’re all rooting for his continued success at the UO!

Another class of 2022 graduate playing college lacrosse is Nolan Rapp. He attends the University of California, Santa Barbra, where he is studying computer science. Rapp is a model student athlete, representing the UCSB Gauchos on and off the field.

When I spoke with Rapp, he commented on the culture of collegiate lacrosse extensively. “Everyone on the team is a lot closer because a lot of us live together,” he said in our interview, “the game itself is a lot more intense, and everything is way more player-led. I had to sum it up in a few words, it’s like high school ball, but sicker in every way.”

“The culture of the team is very welcoming and supportive, but they won’t coddle you when you make mistakes. we’re all adults who have been playing this sport for years, the guys hold you to a high standard. It’s all constructive and encouraging though, they want to see everyone succeed.” Rapp said he “never expected” to be part of a college team, and that he chose his school based purely on academics. “If I had to go back, I wouldn’t do it any different.” He loves the community of his school and his team, whether it’s games vs rival schools or surfing with his boys after practice. The Gauchos just placed first in their men’s lacrosse league, and look forward to continued success in the future.

Wilsonville High School is very fortunate to have a student body full of gifted student athletes. Each and every one of them has a story to tell, a journey to share, Tosh Kondo and Nolan Rapp are just two out of many.