With the 2019-20 school year mercifully in the books, the Register wants to give one last shout-out to the athletes of the Class of 2020.
Last week we concluded our Senior Spotlight series, which highlighted some of the top senior athletes from around the county that were in line for potentially big spring seasons before the COVID-19 pandemic ended their prep careers prematurely. We thank all the student-athletes who participated in that project because we know these last three months have not been easy, having what should have been the best days of high school taken away with no say in the matter.
Having featured only a handful of seniors in our Spotlight project, we are now acknowledging all the seniors who had their spring seasons cut short.
So, this week we’ll be running a new series – Senior Day, recognizing every senior in every sport from around the county.
Today we’re highlighting boys golf, girls lacrosse and boys lacrosse.
- Arsenio Villarimo
- Bryan Matel
- Andre Aiken
“I’m terribly disappointed for our senior golfers. The sport doesn’t garner much attention or fanfare, but these kids were as dedicated to their sport as any. Our golfers have grown and improved immeasurably over the past few years and I’m very excited that they have the tools now to spend a lifetime enjoying the game. Golf is a sport they can conceivably play for the next 40-50 years, and I hope their experiences thus far have fostered a love for it that will last that long.”
— American Canyon High head coach Scott Hayburn
- Cole Dominguez
- Grant Koehler
- Dominic Lee
- Rocco Lee
“Cole was a four-year player for us. He was able to step up to the varsity level his junior and senior years and helped the team to a solid record. He has always been willing to work hard and do what was needed for the team. I will miss Cole’s clever way of asking questions, just checking to see if I really knew what I was doing.
“Grant was a four-year varsity player for us. He was given the nickname ‘Grinder’ because he never gave up during a match. No matter what, you were going to get the best he had that day. Grant was always able to keep everything in perspective. He was serious about competition, but also knew how to have fun doing it.
“Dominic was a four-year varsity player for us who worked very hard balancing a top-tier class load as well as being an integral part of the golf team. It takes a special person to make it into Columbia University and play a competitive sport at a high level. Over the four years, Dominic was one of the most consistent players on the team. He just knew how to get around a course.
“Rocco was a four-year varsity player for us and our No. 1 player the last two seasons. He was an all-league player as a junior and was well on his way to another all-league award and his best year this year. “He loved the golf team. He was always doing what he could to make the team better. He was able to motivate players and help keep them focused on the task at hand. He was ready to compete day in and day out and loved the competition. I will miss his love for the game. I know it will be with him for the remainder of his life, and that makes it all worth it.” — Justin-Siena head coach Ray Graziani
- Pierce Brown
- Colby Baumbach
- Max Caldwell
- Cody Freitas
- Sebastian Hoxsey
“It’s gonna be tough to lose three great seniors in Pierce, Cody and Colby. I’ve really enjoyed having them on the team these past few years. It’s really unfortunate they won’t get to finish this season and compete for another VVAL championship and possibly a North Coast Section championship. This has been a great run for Vintage golf the past three years.
“Pierce plays the game aggressively, with no fear. He has a great short game, he’s independent-minded, and he loves to compete.
“Colby is a very consistent scorer. He controls his golf ball and competes well. He never complains and always works hard.
“Cody is one of my favorite athletes I’ve coached. He is super fun to be around and always keeps things entertaining.” — Vintage head coach Arvin Persaud
Napa and St. Helena
- Karolina “Karlie” Wells
- Kelsey Gahub
- Cielo Guerrero
- Sophia Smith
“Kelsey was a great surprise this season. She worked hard in the offseason and was a starter on defense. Her aggressiveness and tenacity were perfect for the position and, despite her smaller size, she measured up to all of the larger opposing attackers she faced – a true example of how hard work and effort can lead to success.
“Cielo was a pleasure to have on the field, always putting in the effort, and her lacrosse skills greatly improved from preseason until we were shut down. She was mostly an offensive player, but was both capable and willing to play any position asked of her.
“Sophia’s stick skills have really developed and we were seeing great things from her before the season was cut short. She is a multi-sport athlete and her physical skills were apparent on the lacrosse field. She was also a team leader and someone that I as a coach could rely on the help guide drills and lead warm-ups.
“As the team captain, Karlie excelled both on the field and as a team leader. She not only had the most high school playing experience but had been a mainstay of the offense the past few years. Her strength, speed and stick skills made her a potent threat to dodge and score, and her tenacity and aggressiveness were imposing to our opponents. She was a great mentor and motivator to her teammates and led by example. She had one of the hardest shots I’ve seen at the high school level. The fact that she led the team in assists is a testament to how she has grown as a player. When she was covered tightly by a defender or double teamed, she would often pass off to an open player instead of trying to power through and take a low-percentage shot. I think this shows maturity as a player; it definitely buys into the team concept.
“These four seniors were a pleasure to coach and I feel so bad for them that their final season at Justin-Siena was cut short. I hope all of them continue to be involved in lacrosse at some level.” — Justin-Siena head coach Jon Edie
- Lainey Laband
“Lainey is great. She is an experienced lacrosse player who grew up on the East Coast, where lacrosse is more common. The girls looked up to her and she was always there for me to either help with practice or communicate with the team. Since I came on so late, I did not have any help (assistant coaches) and keeping 29 girls’ attention can be a challenge, so Lainey was great with keeping things focused.” — Napa head coach Sean Capiaux
- Alaina Feldstein
“Alaina has been a part of this fight to get lacrosse added to Vintage for so long. It is absolutely devastating that this is how her one year to play for her high school team has to end, especially since we could have saved some or all of our season if our national and world leaders listened to scientists from the beginning.” — Vintage head coach Emily Pastula
- Xaelan Arcia
- Jonas Gonzales
- Miles Williams
“The last four years at Justin-Siena we have been unable to field a JV team and that has led to the unique opportunity to coach an individual for four years,” Murray said. “This is my first class that I have coached from freshman year to senior year and it has been an absolute privilege to coach these outstanding players and people.
“It speaks volumes that all three of our seniors were captains this year. My heart breaks that the journey we started four years ago was cut short at our peak. The hard work and commitment these three have shown is reflected in the success we have had the last two years and success we will have in the future.” — Justin-Siena head coach John Murray
“Playing lacrosse as both offense and defense middle for three years at Justin-Siena has been enjoyable. What would’ve been my last year playing as a senior and making captain is unfortunate because of the circumstances of COVID-19. I miss my team, the practices and the games. What I miss the most is the intensity of the games. I really was looking forward to playing and making more memories with my team. I wish my last year didn’t end this way, being sheltered in.” — Xaelan Arcia
“While the season was cut short, I want to encourage everyone to continue the grind and finish what we started. We had some big goals that can be accomplished next year as long as everyone keeps going. They just need to remember that they don’t need to be a captain to lead. I had a great season with these guys and I can’t wait to see everyone get better.” — Jonas Gonzales
“I want to thank Coach Murray and all my teammates for an amazing four years of a great program and an exciting start to our 2020 season. It was on track to be our best season. I wish nothing but the best to every one of my teammates and I know all of them will continue to perform at their very best.” — Miles Williams
- Justin Barnes
- Darren Roberts
- Anthony Toscano
“Intensity, hustle and no fear are a few characteristics that describe Justin. Give a kid a long stick and ask him to get after it was a sight to behold with Justin. I would have loved to have seen him play four years of lacrosse as he is a natural.”
“Darren is a true leader through his actions, hard work and dedication. Breaking three sticks with hard checks and scoring Napa High’s first boys lacrosse goal will stay with him forever. Darren will go forward and do great things in this world.
“Anthony is a coach’s dream and is always looking for ways to improve his skills and help his team. With only three games in our shortened season, he made huge progress and scored the second goal for Napa High lacrosse. His hard work and dedication to whatever he does will allow him to be successful at all things.” — Napa head coach Paul Trette
- Matt Commander
- Bryce Eade
- Noah Gulbransen
- Cutler Low
- Albert Savala
“Albert, who had not picked up a lacrosse stick until this year, scored his first goal and Noah had several attempts on goal, so the season was successful.
“Matt worked with the defense to intimidate and control many of our opponents. He was able to stop some of the top offensive teams in the VVAL with his aggressive play. His work to intimidate and take the ball away from opponents was outstanding, and Bryce added 3 takeaways in the first two games and was a valuable asset on both defense and offense.
“I was hoping many of my seniors who were new to the game would be able to have an entire season for their first year as players to help instill the love of the game, and to let them know that if they continue with their skills they can play at a club level in college as well.” — Vintage head coach Dave Eade
In this Series
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