East Bay Athletic League football and Cornell University go together like a Big Red machine.
Consider that Monte Vista High senior Mason Melin, a standout tight end, will soon be joining halfback Sean Miller (San Ramon Valley, 2012) and wide receiver Lucas Shapiro (De La Salle, 2011) on the Cornell football squad.
Of course, Melin's school colors won't change much. He's going from the Mustangs' Red and Black to The Big Red in Ithica, N.Y.
Melin (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) had 46 receptions for 683 yards and seven touchdowns last season. Another ex-Monte Vista star, quarterback Brett Nottingham, will play for Columbia next season, after transferring from Stanford. Columbia will visit Cornell on Nov. 16. Circle the date.
The Ivy League seems like a popular destination for elite EBAL student-athletes. Princeton senior guard Niveen Rasheed (Monte Vista) completed her brilliant college basketball career last season. She was named the unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year for the second straight year
Amador Valley quarterback Kyle Moreno, a graduating senior and first-team all-EBAL pick, is headed to Brown.
DEFAZIO DELIVERS FOR CSM: College of San Mateo shortstop Brandon DeFazio, a Foothill High graduate, was named MVP of the NorCal All-American team after a second consecutive stellar season on the Peninsula. DeFazio, a transfer from Oregon State who is headed to the University of San Diego, was also MVP of the Coast Conference-Golden Gate Division.
He led the Bulldogs in a bunch of categories, including batting (.357), home runs (5), runs batted in (40), doubles (20), slugging percentage (.597), and stolen bases (14).
KELLER FINISHES STRONG: The awards are rolling in for former Livermore softball star Katie Keller, a junior second baseman at Louisville. She was a first-team all-Big East Conference selection after finishing the season batting .402 with 12 HRs and 54 RBIs in 60 games. Louisville (47-13) was ranked No. 12 before being eliminated on the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. Keller had a slugging pct of .709.
MUSTANGS, WOLVES TO BE HONORED: Monte Vista and San Ramon Valley will be having separate ceremonies on May 31 to honor their college-bound senior athletes. The Monte Vista Athletic Boosters will pay tribute to 39 graduating Mustangs, and San Ramon Valley will honor 40 Wolves athletes. These are always great events. Danville should be proud.
Here are the Monte Vista students being recognized:
Baseball: Brett Binning (Auburn,); Basketball: Jen Casper (Menlo College), Steveie Oliveira (Santa Clara), Jasmine Dilworth (Howard); Cheer: Vanessa King (SMU); Football: Mason Melin (Cornell); Jalen Avery (Laney), Zack Chang (Willamette); Golf: Scott Munger (San Jose State); Lacrosse: Andrew Simor (Michigan); Ashlynn Goerz (Stanford); Jackson Scott (Chapman), Mike Garrigan (Cal Poly), Chris Yoshida (Cal Poly); Melissa Hsu (UC Santa Barbara); Soccer: Lyndsey Hromatko (Cal), Hannah Clark (BYU), Hailey Mamizuka (Satin Mary's), Ben Pancioni (Chico State), Josh Eusebio (Point Loma); Softball: Sarah Weber (Texas Tech); Kristen Clark (UC Santa Barbara); Swimming: Dillon Williams (Cal), Linda Lu (Amherst); Sidney Cooke (Cal); Tennis: Michael Feldman (Stevens Institute-Technology), Julia Gulub (Chabot), Kaitlyn Haithcock (Sonoma State); Track: Nina Rondoni (Cal Poly), Colton Tyler (DVC), Katharine Smiley (Tulane), Johnathan Davies (CSU-Bakersfield); Volleyball: Audrey Utchen (Washington Col.); Jenessa Helu (Delaware State); Water polo: Mackenzie Milham (UC Irvine).
The San Ramon Valley athletes will be announced when the final list is made available.