A lot has transpired since my last column nearly eight months ago. While high school and junior college sports remain on hiatus because of the ongoing pandemic, the world has continued to turn.
Numerous athletes in our county are finding landing places to pursue their college education and athletic careers, even as sports remain in a holding pattern. Here are some of the most recent athletes to earn scholarships in Monterey County.
A junior at Stevenson, Tomi Main did not follow the footsteps of her older sisters Caroline and Jensen, who both earned softball scholarships.
Instead, Main is headed to Texas Tech on a tennis scholarship, committing last month. She will enroll in 2022.
As a freshman, Main didn’t lose a singles match until the Central Coast Section semifinals. Last year she sat out the high school season to focus on high-level tournaments.
Main recently won the NorCal 18-under sectional singles championship. She is nationally ranked in her age division.
A Palma multi-sport standout, J.T. Amaral committed last weekend to play baseball at the University of San Francisco.
An all-Gabilan Division selection as a defensive back last year in football for Palma, Amaral has been a starter on the Chieftains’ baseball team since his freshman year.
Recruited as a catcher, Amaral has the range to play third base and the speed and arm to play in the outfield as well.
Amaral was among the team leaders as a sophomore in 2019 in runs batted in and runs scored. An extended basketball season last year saw him play in just one baseball game before the pandemic shut down spring sports.
Amaral’s father, John, played college golf at St. Mary’s, while his grandfather ran the second-fastest time in Palma school history in the 200 (21.9 seconds) in 1967. That mark remains the third-fastest mark in school history.
A Central Coast Section 100-meter finalist at Seaside in 2018, Deantae Choates blistered the track at Hartnell College in 2019, clocking 10.64 in the 100 to get on numerous college radars, earning a track and field scholarship this spring to Washington State.
Choates finished fifth at the Northern California finals in 2019 and ran a leg on the Panthers’ 400 relay team, which took third at the state meet. He also ran a leg on the state qualifying 1,600 relay team.
In his only full season for Hartnell, Choates put his name into the top 10 all-time in the 100 (10.64) and 200 (21.67).
Stevenson water polo player Patrick Powers has committed to play in 2021 at Loyola Marymount.
Powers helped the Gabilan Division champions set a school record for wins last year with 23, producing over 100 goals, earning Pacific Division Most Valuable Player honors.
Stevenson reached the Central Coast Section Division II semifinals last year, falling to eventual champion St. Ignatius of San Francisco 13-12.
Bound for the University of Chicago on a baseball scholarship, Stevenson’s Josh Peyton has been a starter since his freshman season.
As a freshman, Peyton was the Pirates’ Most Valuable Player, hitting .411, leading the team in hitting, hits, slugging percentage, doubles and triples. He was an all-leaguer and team MVP as a sophomore, leading the Cypress Division in hits, doubles, runs scored and stolen bases.
In two full seasons at Stevenson, Peyton has hit .391 with a .494 on-base percentage. He’s driven in 30 runs, scored 42, and is 27-for-27 in stolen bases in his high school career.
A four-sport standout at Stevenson, Rhea Cosand, a junior, made an early commitment to play lacrosse in 2023 at UC Davis.
Dynamic with the stick, Cosand is a threat each time she’s on the charge with the ball, averaging over six goals a game.
During the spring, Cosand doubles as a shortstop on the softball team, earning all-league honors as a freshman in 2019.
Cosand was also among the team leaders in scoring last winter in basketball for the Cypress Division champion Pirates, earning all-league honors.
Monterey County’s co-record holder in the pole vault, Vincentejordan Vanderlipe will take his talents this spring to the Ivy League, committing to Cornell University.
A state meet qualifier in the pole vault as a junior at Alvarez, Vanderlipe cleared 16-feet in 2019. He had gotten off to a great start last spring, soaring 15-8 in his first meet before the pandemic shut down all sports.
Vanderlipe broke the Alvarez school record in the pole vault three times during his junior year in 2019, placing third at the Central Coast Section finals.