Local student has bright future in both football, engineering at MIT

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SAN DIEGO — Anthony Altala loves a good challenge, whether athletically or academically. The La Jolla Country Day senior has an impressive resume to prove it. He’s earned the opportunity to attend MIT, where he looks forward to learning and playing football alongside some of the country’s brightest young minds.

Altala will remember his high school football season at La Jolla Country Day fondly.
The Torreys finished second in their league and reached the division four semifinals.
But for Altala, the true success came from being a leader.

“Being a mentor to some of the younger kids on my team was probably one of the things
that I enjoyed the most,” said Altala. “Leaving something behind for other years to follow and just kind of leaving your mark on a program is something that was really valuable to me.”

Altala’s leadership extends beyond the football field. He’s captain of the track and field team, carries a 4.15 cumulative GPA and serves as ASB president, marks he’s trying to balance while learning from home.

“There’s not that constant reminder of being in class to kind of hold you accountable,
so a lot of it takes strength from within, and as a second-semester senior that can be a little difficult,” Altala SAID.

So can getting into MIT, where less than 7% of applicants are accepted. Altala plans to continuing playing football while also pursuing his other passion.

“I’ve always been a hands-on learner and I’ve always enjoyed doing things with my hands, making things, engineering,” he said. “From a young age I’ve always enjoyed building Legos and stuff.”

That applies whether it’s in robotics class or in his family garage, where he’s restoring a 1955 Chevy 210 Delray.

“It’s just kind of fun to work alongside it and see how everything comes together in a car, because in some instances it’s kind of simple, but in other instances it’s like, ‘Wow, this is insanely complicated,” Altala said.

But it’s that kind of skill, determination and focus that he looks forward to building upon on and off the field at one of the toughest schools in the country.

“I feel like I’m ready to sort of accept that challenge, and I feel like that challenge is going to help me in my career and in the future,” Altala said.

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