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San Clemente Journal

Top Triton Alumni in the World of Sports

Brian de la Puente blocks for Drew Brees

Our coastal city might have a reputation for surfing, but many former residents have gone on to achieve good things in the world of sports.

Whilst many do so on a board, some Triton alumni have gone on to be a success in other areas, such as volleyball, baseball, football and even soccer. Being coastal, it is little surprise to see volleyball and surfing feature so prominently amongst the careers of Triton alumni, but the spread of athletes across different sports may surprise you.

So with that in mind, here are five Triton alumni who have gone on the ascend the ranks of their chosen sport, with some degree of success.

Colin McPhillips

Surfing is something of a San Clemente speciality, with the explaining how the Gudauskas family were handed the Citizens of the Year Award in 2019 on the back of their endless trophies. Another surfer and Triton Alumni, Colin McPhillips, also achieved success after growing up here. He was ASP Longboard World Champion in 1999, 2001 and 2002, as well as winning the US Open of Longboarding in 1994 and 2007. His brother Iain is handy on a board too, he won the NSSA Explorer Men’s event in 1996.

Kolby Allard

Allard is perhaps the most successful Major League Baseball player on the list, having played for the Atlanta Braves and currently the Texas Rangers. Allard was selected by the Braves as the 14th pick in the first round of the 2015 MLB Draft, alongside another Triton alumni, Lucas Herbert. The 23-year-old is still only at the start of his career, and reports he has recently retained his role in the bullpen at Globe Life Field. His current career stats are 85 strikeouts and a 6.34 earned run average.

Gabriel Gardner

45-year-old Gardner is a two-time Olympian, having been part of the Men’s Volleyball team in 2004 and 2008. He was part of the US team beaten in the semi-finals by Brazil in Athens, suffering further disappointment in the bronze medal match against Russia. He was back four years later, part of the team that got revenge on Russia in the semi-finals, and that beat Brazil in the gold medal match. He also took gold in the FIVB Volleyball World League at Rio in 2008.

Brian de la Puente

NFL center Brian de la Puente was twice drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, one of the most successful NFL franchise of all time, according to While he was waived on both occasions, he has gone on to enjoy a stellar NFL career, starting 50 games and appearing in 61 in total. In 2011, whilst playing for New Orleans Saints, he won the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award. While based here in San Clemente, he was an all-rounder, playing basketball and volleyball as well as appearing on the track and field team.

Dani Weatherholt

27-year-old Weatherholt cements San Clemente’s legacy for producing all-round athletes as she excels in the world of soccer. She has appeared for Orlando Pride but won her first professional trophy with Melbourne Victory in Australia. In 2020 she signed for OL Reign, where she shares a dressing room with world stars such as Megan Rapinoe and Karen Bardsley. She has yet to be capped by the USWNT, but she has played up to Under 23 level for her country.