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Tenger to continue lacrosse career at University of Montevallo

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Cole Tenger, who played lacrosse for Fallbrook High School before graduating last month, will continue his lacrosse career at the University of Montevallo.

"I'm super excited for my next four years," Tenger said.

"I think Cole will be an excellent representative of Fallbrook High, and I think he's going to excel at the college level," said Fallbrook coach Mike Zinniger.

The University of Montevallo is in Montevallo, Alabama, which is about 35 miles south of Birmingham. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics allows high school student-athletes to sign letters of intent with NAIA schools prior to their senior year and, as a junior last year, Tenger committed to Westcliff University in Irvine. Westcliff did not field a lacrosse team in 2022, and Tenger decommitted from that school. "I think I got out at the right time," he said. "It just wasn't for me, honestly."

Tenger was also considering Concordia University in Irvine and Dominican University in San Rafael. Financial aid made the University of Montevallo Tenger's choice. "I got a better offer," he said. "It helped me more financially."

His visit to the University of Montevallo in September was Tenger's first time in Alabama. Tenger is a lifelong Bonsall resident who attended Bonsall Elementary School from first through fifth grade and Sullivan Middle School for sixth grade. He was a Potter Junior High School student for two years before starting at Fallbrook High School in 2018.

Both of Tenger's parents were athletes at Carlsbad High School. His father, John, played football and baseball. His mother, Jenelle, was on the Lancers' tennis team. Tenger has an older sister, McKenna, who graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2019 but did not play any sports.

In his youth, Tenger played organized baseball. He played freshman football for Fallbrook High School in 2018 but did not play any sports as a sophomore. He planned to play football as a junior but broke his collarbone prior to the Warriors' first game.

Fallbrook's boys lacrosse team includes John Downey, who was a junior in 2022. Tenger and Downey were friends prior to 2021, when Downey recruited Tenger to the Warriors' lacrosse program. Tenger went to a practice and decided he enjoyed the sport. Fallbrook didn't have a junior varsity team for 2021, so Tenger made the varsity without any previous lacrosse experience.

Lacrosse includes faceoff specialists who often leave the field after the faceoff to be replaced by another midfielder. The position is also called FOGO which stands for face off get off. Tenger was a FOGO at Fallbrook High School and will likely be a FOGO at the University of Montevallo, whose nickname is the Falcons and who play in the Peach Belt Conference which is part of Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Tenger plans to major in business finance. "I want to be a firefighter," he said. "I can always do something on top of being a firefighter or after I'm a firefighter."

During the 2022 season, Fallbrook defeated Valley Center on the Jaguars' field March 22, which was the Warriors' first win over Valley Center since 2013 and Fallbrook's first-ever win at Valley Center, and that is Tenger's favorite Fallbrook High School lacrosse memory. His favorite overall Fallbrook High School memory is hanging out with his friends.

"Cole was a tremendous asset to this team, and we wish him the best," Zinniger said.


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