Dons Football is Back: Bigger, Better and 100% Won-DON-derful!

Dons Football is Back: Bigger, Better and 100% Won-DON-derful!


What a year it’s been. Surely not one that any of us had planned for or expected. As we slowly move towards reopening and getting back to some sort of new normal, it’s important to focus as much as possible on positive experiences for our young men.

The Acalanes coaches, Andy (Touchdown Club) and Jane (Sports Booster) have said, Acalanes has a long history of football excellence. This is not only reflected in the win/loss column, but more importantly in the way it has molded the incredible players who have come through the program over the years.

The truth is, there really is nothing like the camaraderie and brotherhood of football. Other sports try to replicate it, but there is nothing like suiting up on Friday night and going to battle with your brothers while your friends and family cheer you on. Football is an intense sport that requires dedication, toughness and most importantly teamwork. Every single player plays a critical role in the success of the team, from the first summer workout through the last game of the year.

So let’s be thankful for the opportunity that we may have taken for granted before, with the start of summer practice this week, and truly appreciate the joy it provides our boys during this time of uncertainty. As Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights said many times, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose”.  Are you ready? Are you psyched? Then GO DONS!

Jeff Julian, Proud Acalanes Football Parent












A Varsity Dons Baseball Player was Once a Lafayette Little League Player

A Varsity Dons Baseball Player was Once a Lafayette Little League Player

Dons show up to share their Acalanes baseball stories to the future Dons

As we know the Varsity Baseball season had their spring sport season cut short by COVID-19, with  Seniors saddened to miss out on their last high school sports season. The 2020 Dons baseball season was guaranteed to be a golden season.     The Acalanes Dons were one of the deepest teams in the NCS during 2019 and that same depth carried over to 2020 with returning seven starters and four pitchers. This well balanced Dons team was ready to take on the world!   Senior and Varsity baseball player Tommy Thrasher shared with a group of little leaugers on Tuesday, that he was looking forward to this year’s baseball season until life was interrupted with COVID, “Having your last season of high school baseball stripped from you isn’t  easy.

Nick Kresnak, Tommy Thrasher, and Nick Bamont paid a surprise visit to the Lafayette Little League  12 year old All Star team sharing their baseball insight. The three started out  highlighting  their great times playing at  the Buckeye Fields in Lafayette Little League. They reminisced with smiles, their big moments in the field from  amazing hits to  big catches  to playing all stars to  visiting the snack shack for a chili dog or a box of Lemonheads.  

Bamont started out telling the group, “We did not know our last practice was to be the last time we would be together as a  team.  We thought it was going to be three weeks and then we would be back. That day was the last time we stood on the Acalanes field as a team”.  Yet, baseball is not over for them. These three seniors will be heading to different colleges to play baseball, yet before they take off it was time to give back to the community, where they grew up and learned  the fundamentals of baseball.   The 12  All Stars listened intensely to Kresnak, Bamont and Thrasher recounted  their  little league memories and enumerated their baseball knowledge.

Their  words of wisdom contained messages of always improve yourself,  work hard,  learn from your mistakes and support one another as a team.  All three graduates  added and often repeated their success was because of   their baseball coaches over the years.    Coach Hoover, Acalanes Varsity Coach has been the biggest  influence on the trio.  They echoed  his praises of   patience, honesty, sincerity, positive leadership and  baseball expertise. Baseball success  requires constant  strategizing and observation, Hoover gets that!   Hoover taught his players to not worry about the score, just  focus on doing your job on the field right and in doing that, great results will come.  This is something Dons baseball players will take with them to college and beyond. 

The Dons triad  drove the message home to the future Dons, the moment a baseball player starts to think they can’t get any better, they’ve lost. If you think you’re the best and never work to improve on your craft, somebody is out there who will surpass you. The future high school baseball players of the class of 2026 walked away with the message of never stop improving, work hard, have fun, and keep believing in yourself. 

Congrats to the Varsity Seniors of 2020

Nicolas Bamont
Will Easley
Logan Hurd 
Nick Kresnak
Luke Miles
Cole Murgia 
Kade Shipp
Tommy Thrasher 

Life’s a fastball, belt high,
Coming right down the middle.
Don’t stand there and let it go bye
Swing hard and aim for the stands!

The Baseball Song by Corey Smith

Three Dons Athletes Show Leadership off the Field – Go 24 Miles in 24 Hours for Acalanes Athletics

Three Dons Athletes Show Leadership off the Field – Go 24 Miles in 24 Hours for Acalanes Athletics

On a long weekend designed for rest and relaxation, Acalanes student-athletes Benjy Braunstein, Evan Malmquist and Rhett Skvarna had other plans.  In their words:

As sophomores at Acalanes, we find ourselves needing to burn off energy while our sports are cancelled. We are challenging ourselves to run one mile every hour, for 24 hours straight.  We are fundraising for the Acalanes Boosters program to ensure that our sports can get off on the right foot as soon as programming resumes.

The boys began the challenge at 7pm on Sunday evening, running intermittently throughout the night, and finishing strong at 6pm yesterday, exhausted but gratified.   Supported by friends and family, the effort has raised $2,633 so far to support Acalanes Boosters, which helps fund all athletic teams at our school. 

The initiative, thoughtfulness and follow-through displayed by Benjy, Evan and Rhett makes our Acalanes Community (which CANNOT be cancelled) proud.  It also once again supports the notion that, in the face of adversity, DONS SHOW UP.  

Great job guys!   Go Dons!

If you wish to contribute, please follow the link below:

Celebrate Acalanes Recruited Athletes May 19th 4:30pm

Celebrate Acalanes Recruited Athletes May 19th 4:30pm

Acalanes High School consistently produces top performing athletes, and Boosters would like to recognize those athletes that have been recruited to participate at the NCAA level. Due to current circumstances, we won’t be able to do this with an in person event this year, so Boosters will be hosting a virtual event on May 19th at 4:30pm via Zoom.

This year, over 22 Acalanes grads have been recruited to participate in athletics at Division I, II and III colleges. These colleges and universities include UCSB, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Stanford, Iowa State, Kansas State, Loyola Marymount and many others.

This is a great achievement by these athletes, and we hope you will join us to recognize their accomplishment on May 19th.

Please use this link to join the Zoom Webinar: Recruited Athlete Webinar Or, paste this URL into your browser:

You can also check the Booster website homepage at to find the Zoom link and more information about all the athletes.

Track vs Clayton Valley

This past Wednesday, March 4th, we hosted Clayton Valley Charter for our first home  Diablo Athletic League (DAL) dual meet. Due to some major unforeseen issues with the timer we hired, the meet ran exceptionally long and there are still a lot of corrections to be made with the results.  Huge thank you to everyone who volunteered and participated!

As it stands now, our boys team cruised to a 78-57 victory and the score on the Girls side is still being verified.  On the girls side, despite incredibly valiant efforts from Caroline Crossland and Nicole Frigon, who hopped in the 3200 late in the meet in an effort to swing the score, we fell 63-59 – a heartbreaking loss that could have been swung by only one event. Big shoutout to Nicole for rallying her teammates and also running an outstanding leg in the 4×400 relay only 15 minutes after competing in the 3200m.

Next week, we start a 2 week road trip at Las Lomas for DAL #2! 

Photo Links: Galley 1, Gallery 2

Full results are here, highlights below. There were a lot of great performances – so many that we have had to split hurdles and sprints into separate categories for the first time!


  • Portia Seymour and Gema Villafan-Perez both PR in the High Jump – Portia also wins the Triple Jump and currently ranks as the DAL #2 in High Jump
  • Owen McNamara polevaults to a DAL leading 13’10”
  • Scarlette McCullough returns to the pole vault, also posting a DAL leading mark
  • Marcela Wiznewska leads a squadron of her teammates to PRs in the Long Jump with a jump of 13’-10”
  • Devin Miniello PRs with a jump of 17’-5” in the Long Jump as well


  • Josh Ramlan hits 3 digits with a throw of 108’-5” in the discus – a PR of nearly 10 feet!
  • Ben Thistleton-Dyer and Brooke Blacklidge PR in both Shot and Disc
  • Led by Dane Jenssen, our varsity boys sweep the 100 meter dash
  • Freshman Eli Brent posts a huge PR of 11.53 (and DAL #4) in the 100
  • Freshmen Sarah Gohres and Rachel Pan PR and take 3rd in the Frosh-Soph Girls 100 and 200 respectively, leading all of their teammates to PRs- both run impressive relay legs in the 4×100 and 4×400 as well
  • In the 400, freshmen Jasmine Lattimer and Laura Selle both PR  
  • Freshman Bennett Dodge posts an impressive 52.52 in the Varsity Boys 400m


  • Senior Emily Sverak wins the 300m Hurdles with a DAL #1 time
  • The 3 sophomores Marshall Lockwood, Evan Malmquist, and Connor Spellman PR sweep the Varsity Boys 110 Meter Hurdles 
  • Sophomore Josh Gohres leads a trio of Frosh-Soph Boys 300m hurdlers 
  • Finally, senior Kevin Mlynek PRs in the Boys 300m hurdles with a time of 41.53 – a DAL #1 mark and a #7 Acalanes all time mark


  • Freshman Taylor Carlin debuts with an impressive time of 6:05 in the 1600
  • On the Boys side, freshman Dominic Sarica turns heads in his 3200 debut
  • Junior Megan Baginski PRs in the 1600
  • Dominic Basaldua and Tyler Hunt take 1st and 2nd in the Boys 800 – both PR!
  • Lauren Yee and Nicole Frigon cruise to easy victories in the Girls 800 AND the girls 1600!
  • Andrew Owens breaks the 5 minute barrier in the boys 1600


  • Rayce Walton anchors the Boys 4×400 with a huge PR
  • Freshman Carly Harriman runs a great leg on the Varsity Girls 4×400, giving our team a chance
  • Lauren Yee leaves it all on the track and nearly snags the win for our Girls team – she also splits an impressive 61 seconds

Girls Varsity Soccer Falls to Burlingame in CIF Regional Semifinals

Girls Varsity Soccer Falls to Burlingame in CIF Regional Semifinals

All good things must come to an end. The Varsity Girls Soccer team fought valiantly against a very well-coached team from Burlingame High School. The Dons had put their hearts and souls into the win against Branson less than one week ago to win the NCS Championship, and they simply ran out of gas. Battling injuries and illnesses, the Dons just couldn’t find a way to get on the scoreboard. Passes that were usually connected, weren’t. Shots that usually went in, were blocked. They lost 1-0. Every player was giving it their all, but they were spent. The sign of a true team is when each player is playing as hard as they can for their teammates…that was evident yesterday, but they fell short.

The Dons finished their historic season with a record of 18-6-3. They are the first Acalanes Girls Soccer team to win NCS. They made it as far as the CIF Regional Semifinals. Quite an accomplishment.

Wishing all of the seniors the best of luck in their next endeavors. The 15 seniors on this team are: Taylor Boren, Maile Broad, Kate Carter, Beth Daughters, Dylan Hagglund, Georgia Karas, Natasha Malinovsky, Ellie Meyer, Gabby Ortale, Eliza Parry, Olivia Pelligrini, Jordan Pratt, Elle Skvarna, Ivy Souza, and Keri Wendt. Each and every one of you made this team special.

Thank you to our head coach, Nick Barbarino, for turning this program around. You made this team a true family.

Thank you to all of the fans that showed up to support our Dons. It was a packed house yesterday!

Until next time…


Strong Start for Boys Golf

The Dons took on Alhambra at Franklin Canyon Golf Club and bested the team by an astounding 53 strokes! Will Condy led the pack shooting a 38, followed closely by Mike O’Donnell and Joe Evans, both shooting 39. Tucker Gannon came in with a 40, Murphy Baker a 41 and Ryan Reilly a 44. An impressive start – Congrats Dons!

Track Season has started!

This past Saturday, February 22nd, we hosted a scrimmage against College Park and Concord High Schools, and wow, what a start to our season! Incredible performances in nearly every event from underclassmen, upperclassmen, returning veterans, and complete track newbies! As a coaching staff, we are all incredibly proud of how our freshman and sophomores stepped up and competed fearlessly against juniors and seniors from other schools and can’t wait to see how they finish the season!


  • Despite an injury that sidelined our Varsity Boys 4×100, our Frosh-Soph Boys stepped up and won the event outright, defeating College Park and Concord’s varsity relay teams by over a second!
  • Both of our Frosh-Soph and Varsity Girls 4×100 teams notched commanding wins as well
  • Freshmen Tyler Hunt and Bennett Dodge feed off a great performance from senior Rayce Walton and notch their first varsity relay win!


  • Newcomers including Tyler Hunt, Dominic Sarica, Sam Swan, Tom Bequette, Peter Buchel, and Sam Pecci  post strong performances in the 1600m, 800m, and 3200m.
  • Sophomore Lauren Yee returns from the soccer field and sets a new PR of 5:28.55 in the 1600m.
  • With an aggressive effort in the 800m, sophomore Nathan Krishnan sets a new PR of  2:31.05.


  • We’ll let this video of senior Kevin Mlynek’s virtuoso 400m performance speak for itself – Wow! – #10 all time in Acalanes history
  • A strong headwind on the home stretch made good marks hard to come by in the short sprints, but that didn’t stop junior Dane Jennssen and freshman Eli Brent from breaking 12 in the 100m! Both win their respective divisions
  • Senior Charlie Keohane breaks 14 and finishes 3rd in the 100
  • Isabella Starbuck and Bennett Dodge win their divisions of the Frosh Soph 400m
  • Sophomore Evan Malmquist posts a dominant victory in his first 110 meter hurdle appearance
  • Sophomores Benji Yadegar and Seth Kline both manage to overcome the wind and PR as well


  • After a long, long time away from track, senior Owen McNamara returns and breaks in our new pole vault pad with a dominant victory!
  • Junior Maddie Rogers and freshman Isabella Starbuck finish 1st and 2nd in the Long Jump!
  • Sophomore Marshall Lockwood completes the triple crown and wins the long jump, high jump, and triple jump – on varsity – his high jump PR is a whopping 6 inch improvement!
  • Freshman Portia Seymour wins the girls high jump with a PR of 4’8” – her mark is the highest overall of the day!
  • Sophomores Natalie Stadt, Devin Miniello, and Josh Gohres also post long jump PR’s


  • In keeping with the theme of this meet, strong efforts from underclassmen rule the day across all throws
  • Sophomore Anthony Ortale wins the varsity discus by throwing a commanding 18 feet farther than anyone else
  • Sophomore Kyle Otsuka also hits a discus PR 
  • Senior Michael Roux and junior Josh Ramlan PR in both throws as well.

Next weekend, select athletes will attend the Super Seven Invitational at DVC. Entries will go out Monday night.The next full team meet will be Wednesday, March 4th, we begin league competition when we will host Clayton Valley Charter. Until then, go Dons!