The Register sports staff has turned its attention to the Napa County student-athletes who are returning to play sports in 2020-21.
Per announcements from the California Interscholastic Federation and North Coast Section in late July, the fall season for high school sports in the 2020-21 school year is now scheduled to begin in December and January with the rest of the sports slated to start in February and March to help stop the community spread of the coronavirus.
With that in mind, we continue our Up & Comers series, which highlights rising stars and players to watch for when their long waits are finally over.
Our 54th edition features Megha Jackson of Justin-Siena, Emilio Deianni of Napa High, and Raegan Roldan-Jackson of American Canyon.
Class of: 2023
Sports: Tennis, basketball
Jackson is excited about returning to the Braves for her sophomore season this spring after teaming with current junior Bella Rampa on the Vine Valley Athletic League doubles title last fall. Jackson played most of the season at No. 1 doubles with current senior Lucia Lanzafame.
The Fairfield resident plays tennis in the offseason at In-Shape Rancho Solano and at Green Valley Country Club, where she says “a lot of Justin-Siena tennis stars were taught and trained.”
She believes this year’s Braves can be is as good or better than last year’s team and will extend their 28-match regular-season win streak, win a third straight VVAL title, and go deep into the North Coast Section Tournament.
To accomplish this, Jackson said, the Braves need — and have — the positive attitude and camaraderie she experienced with last year’s team. She said she loves competing not only against other schools but against her own teammates in practice so they can help each other improve, and believes her team will continue to succeed with its established work ethic.
“Megs,” as her family calls her, also enjoys playing the piano and drums, and participates in a leadership group at Justin-Siena. She also tutors first-graders from her elementary school as a fun way to help kids catch up during the pandemic.
Three years away from graduating, she already intends to attend Harvard University and major in medicine — possibly sports medicine.
School: Napa High
Class of: 2021
Sports: Football, wrestling
Deianni played on the offensive line last fall and helped the football team finish second in the Vine Valley Athletic League and 7-4 overall, after a winless 2018 season.
He and several other gridders then returned to the wrestling team and also enjoyed a turnaround. Pinning his Vintage opponent in 47 seconds, Deianni helped the Grizzlies snap a four-year Big Game Meet skid with a 45-24 victory.
Deianni placed fourth at 195 pounds in the VVAL Championships at American Canyon to qualify for the North Coast Section Championships at James Logan High in Union City, where he went 1-2. He opened with a 13-7 loss before pinning his next foe and then getting pinned.
School: American Canyon
Class of: 2022
Roldan-Jackson looks to be on the way to four-year career as a varsity starter, one of several young players 10th-year head coach Roger Harris expects to put the Wolves on the map.
American Canyon was ranked 12th in the North Coast Section and 23rd in the Sacramento region by MaxPreps.com when its season was suspended due to the pandemic, following a wild 14-13 loss at undefeated Rodriguez on March 11.
Roldan-Jackson, the shortstop, had a double and three singles in three games for the 2-1 Wolves.
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