Will C. Wood High grad Carson Strong has sights on NFL Draft – The Vacaville Reporter

By Corey Kirk

During his days in Pop Warner, 9-year-old Carson Strong wanted to be under center, going back to pass and throwing the ball deep, aiming for the end zone. He dreamed and hoped that one day he would find himself in the NFL.

Fast forward over a decade later, a path of practicing hard and competing at the Division I level behind him, the 2018 Will C. Wood High, graduate now 22, stands on the doorstep of joining the league he had cherished his entire childhood.

What would 9-year-old Strong think now?

Source: Will C. Wood High grad Carson Strong has sights on NFL Draft – The Vacaville Reporter

Fairfield High alum graduates from Army Ranger School – Daily Republic

By Todd R. Hansen

Lt. Micah Rankin took an unusual route to Army Ranger School, but he graduated like all other rangers.

The Fairfield High alum was commissioned as an infantry officer in the Arizona National Guard after graduating from California State University, Sacramento, the last two years of which he was a member of the ROTC.

He knew then, however, he wanted to “try his hand” at Army Ranger School.

Source: Fairfield High alum graduates from Army Ranger School

A parade fit for champions: Vanden High football team – The Vacaville Reporter

Lined up in front of the confines of Vanden High School, patrons decked in black, green and gold lined up the sidewalk with posters, confetti poppers and smiles from ear to ear waiting for the Vanden High football team to embark on De Ronde Road.

“I could watch it over and over again, I love seeing them enjoy the moment and they worked so hard,” said Sandra Null, the mom of junior Orion Null. “They deserve this and so much more.”

Source: A parade fit for champions: Vanden High football team – The Vacaville Reporter

Aaron Beverly recipient of Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption – Daily Republic

Aaron Beverly has a friend in Tiger Woods.

The 15-time major winner and tournament host announced that Beverly, an Armijo High graduate, is the recipient of the Charlie Sifford Memorial Exemption into the 2022 Genesis Invitational.

Beverly, the 2014 NCGA Amateur runner-up and two-time Fairfield City Amateur Champion (2013-14) will join the 120-player field at The Riviera Country Club Feb. 17-20.

“I’m looking forward to welcoming Aaron Beverly to The Genesis Invitational as the 2022 Sifford Exemption,” Woods said in a Northern California Golf Association release. “Like me, Aaron learned the game from his dad. I know Charlie Sifford would be proud of Aaron as he makes his PGA Tour debut at Riviera next month.”

Vacaville High senior signs with Texas A&M for equestrian sports – The Vacaville Reporter

By Corey Kirk

Decked out in crimson red, with some of her accolades laid out all around her, Vacaville High senior Kyla Jackson signed a letter of intent to compete in equestrian sports at Texas A&M.

Beaming with pride, her mother Maureen Jackson, sitting with her husband Mark, couldn’t have been any prouder of seeing their daughter accomplish a dream.

“When they made the offer it was absolutely fantastic,” Maureen Jackson said. “Kyla was the first western commit for A&M so that was just huge.”

Source: Vacaville High senior signs with Texas A&M for equestrian sports – The Vacaville Reporter

Vanden captures state crown in comeback win over Aquinas – Daily Republic

By Nick DeCicco

Valhalla, they are coming.

The Vanden High Vikings drove their ships to new lands Saturday night with a come-from-behind, fourth-quarter rally to win the California Interscholastic Federation Division 3-AA State Championship Game, 14-13, over visiting Aquinas of San Bernardino at George A. Gammon Field.

To fight the visiting Falcons horde, Vanden called on the resilience that has been the wellspring of the Vikings’ success throughout the year for a team inspired to succeed after the deaths of teammate Daniel Hughes and coaches Dan Gardner and Michael Belk Sr.

Source: Vanden captures state crown in comeback win over Aquinas

Vanden High School football team grabs first section crown since 1995 – The Vacaville Reporter

By Matt O’Donnell

After waiting 26 years for a Sac-Joaquin Section crown, all the Vanden High School football team had to do was turn East.

The Vikings traveled East toward Stockton’s St. Mary’s High on Saturday afternoon to face Merced in the Division IV title game. Vanden also veered the championship contest in the direction of wide receiver/defensive back Jamai East.

East caught three touchdowns from quarterback Tre Dimes and had two back-breaking interceptions — including a 24-yard pick-six early in the fourth quarter. The rest of his teammates did the rest is a convincing 49-21 win.

Source: Vanden High School football team grabs first section crown since 1995 with triumph over Merced – The Vacaville Reporter

Will C. Wood graduate lands first major role in PSA series – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Vacaville native Seychelles Mizel has landed her first big acting role — one that aims to spark conversations on how to navigate through tough conversations.

Mizel, a 2016 Will C. Wood High School graduate, plays teenage daughter Rosie on the YouTube series “Awkward Conversations,” a part scripted drama, part podcast-style discussion produced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Elks Lodge Drug Awareness Program aimed at providing an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about drugs.

Each episode consists of short scenes of a family talking about drug-related issues, followed by a chat hosted by Jodie Sweetin of “Full House” fame and featuring licensed clinical social worker Amy McCarthy and a rotating series of celebrity guests talking about the issues presented in the episode and how the discussions could have gone better.

Source: Will C. Wood graduate lands first major role in PSA series – The Vacaville Reporter

5 Rodriguez student-athletes sign national letters of intent – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

Rodriguez High School celebrated five of its student-athletes Wednesday afternoon in a ceremony on campus as they signed their national letters of intent.

Camryn Washington will be headed to Cal State East Bay in Hayward to join the women’s basketball program.

Kate Tobola and Julianna Roxas will play softball at Dominican University of California in San Rafael; Desirae Bally will do the same at Adams State in Alamosa, Colorado; and Janaiya Terrones is headed to San Diego Christian College to join the Hawks softball program.

“Those are my girls. I love them,” softball head coach and athletic director Tracy Lopez said of her softball players. “I can’t say enough good things about them. They’re all good girls. I can’t wait for our full season this year and I can’t wait to see what they do in their futures.”

Source: 5 Rodriguez student-athletes sign national letters of intent

Alamo custodian brings joy during pandemic, gets national recognition – The Vacaville Reporter

By Nick Sestanovich

Mick Simpson is more than just Alamo Elementary School’s custodian.

In many ways, he has been a source of joy for the students during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, whether playing characters for the school’s morning announcements, painting murals of different cartoon characters, or taking the otherwise mundane task of disinfecting classrooms to a new level by imagining himself as a Ghostbuster, only working to keep the virus at bay rather than paranormal creatures.

It is this approach to Simpson’s job that has earned him a reputation not only across campus but beyond. He was featured on a local news broadcast back in April and more recently in the pages of Time magazine for a feature honoring school staff throughout the country.

Source: Alamo custodian brings joy during pandemic, gets national recognition – The Vacaville Reporter

Meet the Educators Who Saved A Pandemic School Year (VUSD Custodian) | Time

By Jasmine Aguilera, Madeleine Carlisle and Katie Reilly

Mick Simpson noticed that kinder­gartners seemed a little scared when they returned to the school building in the spring and saw him walking around with a backpack of disinfectant, spraying everything down. So he got playful, decorating his gear with a Ghostbusters sticker and dubbing himself the “COVID Buster.”

“I try to keep it fun and exciting to come to school,” says Simpson, 50, a custodian at Alamo Elementary School in Vacaville, Calif.—a city of about 97,000 residents, roughly 55 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Source: Meet the Educators Who Saved A Pandemic School Year | Time

Armijo grad’s Olympic dream as ‘Dreamer’ comes true – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

Luis Grijalva has been running one of the biggest races of his life in recent weeks . . . the race against time.

He crossed the finish line Monday, a winner.

The 2017 Armijo High School and recent Northern Arizona University graduate announced on Instagram that he will be competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo for his birth country, Gautemala.

Source: Armijo grad’s Olympic dream as ‘Dreamer’ comes true

Solano, Rodriguez grad Lindsey McLaughlin signs to play for Humboldt State – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Having suffered a torn ACL in 2017, Lindsey McLaughlin already knew what it was like to miss time in volleyball when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

It wound up costing the Rodriguez High graduate her sophomore season with the Solano Community College volleyball team.

That sophomore season will now be played with Humboldt State University after McLaughlin recently signed a letter of intent to play for the Lumberjacks.

Source: Solano, Rodriguez grad Lindsey McLaughlin signs to play for Humboldt State

Benicia High graduate Olivia Mackey helps Southern Oregon go back-to-back – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Benicia High School graduate Olivia Mackey says she felt great that she was able to recently end her college softball career with a bang. And by “bang” she means a clutch triple off her bat that helped lead Southern Oregon to another NAIA Softball World Series title.

Although it was the second time in three years (there was no winner in 2020), Southern Oregon won the second of its back-to-back titles last week with a pair of same-day wins over Oregon Tech. Southern Oregon won the first game 3-2 in Georgia to force a second game, which it took 7-5 behind Mackey’s two-out RBI triple for a valuable insurance run in the ninth inning.

“I was getting thrown outside pitches all game but I was still hitting the ball to left,” Mackey said. “That final at-bat, I kept looking for an outside pitch to drive to the opposite field and I finally got one that seemed like a gift. When I got to third base I was so juiced up because we needed to score that huge insurance run. Words can’t describe how super dramatic that was for me.”

Source: Benicia High graduate Olivia Mackey helps Southern Oregon go back-to-back – Times-Herald

Wood alum gets bird’s-eye view of St. Louis Cardinals – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

Katie Woo might have trouble connecting on a major league curveball like most of us, but she has no problem connecting with baseball fans thanks to her quick Twitter thumbs and ability to pound out game stories and features in no time at all.

The 2014 Will C. Wood High School graduate joined the staff of The Athletic, the national sports writing website, just in time to become the new 2021 beat reporter for the St. Louis Cardinals. Her dream was to have a life following Major League Baseball and she was able to achieve it faster than most ballplayers toiling in the minor leagues.

Source: Wood alum gets bird’s-eye view of St. Louis Cardinals

Vallejo High wrestler Maylin Reyes signs with Elmira College – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

Like most of her fellow classmates, Vallejo High senior wrestler Maylin Reyes did not have the typical prep career due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Reyes, however, also did not have the quintessential four years due to a serious eye injury.

The 17-year-old put all those obstacles in the past on Saturday when she signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Elmira College in New York. She signed her letter in front of family, coaches and friends in an emotional ceremony in the Bottari Gym lobby.

Source: Vallejo High wrestler Maylin Reyes signs with Elmira College – Times-Herald

Vaca native, Vanden grad earns medical degree – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A Vacaville native and Vanden High graduate, Kyle Thomas Herout, will receive a degree in medicine on Sunday during commencement at a Pennsylvania medical school.

Herout, 26, will be a newly minted osteopath when he accepts his diploma from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie. After graduation, he will undergo emergency medicine residency training with Kaiser Permanente Central Valley in Modesto.

Herout’s completion of his medical studies comes as the Association of American Medical Colleges has projected a shortage of up to 139,000 physicians — many in primary care — by 2033, according to a March 23 report by the U.S News and World Report. It cited the aging American population and the large number of doctors reaching retirement age, as two major factors.

Source: Vaca native, Vanden grad earns medical degree – The Reporter

Vanden High senior Keaton Stout wins Robert O. Briggs Music Scholarship – Daily Republic

The Solano Winds Community Concert Band recently awarded the Robert O. Briggs Music Scholarship to Keaton Stout, a senior at Vanden High School.

The $1,000 award will help to defray education costs when Stout enrolls at Azusa Pacific University in the fall to work toward a degree in commercial music.

He is an accomplished musician and a leader in all of the ensembles at Vanden High School.

Source: Vanden High senior Keaton Stout wins Robert O. Briggs Music Scholarship

Wood grad pursues solo music, more acting after 2 seasons on Netflix’s show ‘Selena’ – Daily Republic

Carlos Alfredo Jr. is in the middle of a very good dream.

Alfredo, who grew up in Vacaville, can be seen in the Netflix series, “Selena.” The second season hit the small screen Monday.

Alfredo, 32, was able to watch the last episodes with his sisters and mother over a span of a few nights.

Source: Will C. Wood grad pursues solo music, more acting after 2 seasons on Netflix’s show ‘Selena’

Vacaville grad DeSouza earns 4 All-American honors – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Prior to this season, the University of California, Berkeley women’s gymnastics program had earned seven All-American honors with the lone first-team award coming in 1992.

The Golden Bears more than matched that total at last week’s NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, with Nevaeh DeSouza by herself claiming four Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association All-American awards.

The Vacaville High graduate earned first-team honors on vault (fourth, 9.8875) and second-team on beam (fifth, 9.9125), floor (sixth, 9.9250) and all-around (eighth, 39.525).

Source: Alumni update: Vacaville grad DeSouza earns 4 All-American honors