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!
ACALANES VARSITY TENNIS OFFICIALLY ENDED IT’S 2020 SEASON WITH A TEAM AWARDS CEREMONY CALL YESTERDAY. HEAD COACH DREW DIEFENBACH WAS PROUD OF WHAT HIS TEAM ACCOMPLISHED IN THE SHORTENED DAL SEASON AT AT THE BOYS CALIFORNIA TENNIS CLASSIC TOURNAMENT IN FRESNO THAT THE TEAM COMPETED IN EARLIER THIS YEAR.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: ISHAAN SAHA
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: TYLER TONI
LEADERSHIP AWARD: COOPER SMITH
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: ANDREW TSO
DOUBLES PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: NICO FLINT & ESTEBAN VANT
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!
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:
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
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
If you wish to contribute, please follow the link below:
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: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89461663384?pwd=V2owd1NXZjR3Rkp0OE5tT2JSbUVIdz09
You can also check the Booster website homepage at www.acalanesboosters.com to find the Zoom link and more information about all the athletes.
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!
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 3sophomores 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
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!
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!
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 hitsa 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!