Parker Warner, who’s moving to Granada, reflects on his HS profession

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BASEBALL: Quite a ride for the GRANADA STAR

It finally dawned on Parker Warner when he saw his Senior Day poster.

The five-foot-tall banner featured two pictures side by side.

On the proper was an elementary school photo of Warner in his Little League uniform. On the left is a photograph of Warner from this season in his black and gold Granada jersey.

As the senior walked off the sphere Thursday after Granada's final home game of the regular season, he quickly realized how much time had passed since he first wore Granada's colours 4 years ago.

“It seems like yesterday when I was a freshman watching the seniors being celebrated on Senior Day,” Warner said. “But being here with all my friends that I played Little League with and seeing everyone come in and do well was definitely a cool moment for all of us.”

Warner, a Stanford commit, had his own struggles as a freshman. Like a minor player attempting to stay within the show, Warner was bounced backwards and forwards between JV and varsity during his first 12 months on the Livermore school.

But since then he has turn into the undisputed leader of the Matadors. His 1.39 ERA and 49 strikeouts make him a powerful candidate for East Bay Athletic League Player of the Year.

“Parker was an exemplary example of what we expect from our baseball players,” Granada coach Corrigan Willis said. “It’s fun to see a guy who does everything right in the classroom, in the community and on the baseball field win some accolades.”

Granada and Warner usually are not finished yet.

The Matadors, who secured the league title within the regular season, have high goals. They hope to complete the season by winning the EBAL Tournament, North Coast Section and NorCal Regional Championships.

“We set goals at the beginning of the year and it was never our goal to go undefeated or anything like that,” Warner said. “But we have a lot of talent. But I definitely knew that if we played the way we were supposed to play, we would go into the playoffs with a lot of confidence.”

– Nathan Canilao


Archbishop Mitty's McKenna Woliczko (10), center, high fives Willow Glen's Katelynn Dilbeck (25) after a game at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area Newsgroup)
Archbishop Mitty's McKenna Woliczko, center, kisses Willow Glen players after a game at Willow Glen on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group)

McKenna Woliczko is as busy as a highschool athlete may be: She's gone from a nationally recruited basketball player within the winter to a premier softball star within the spring.

If you mix school and social life along with her sporting commitments, the result’s a young woman who at all times has something to do.

“I really had to learn time management,” Woliczko said. “You can’t hesitate.”

This busy schedule continued unabated until a slide into second base against St. Ignatius on April 17 resulted in a serious knee injury and a number of weeks of inactivity. For the primary time in years – or possibly ever – Woliczko needed to decelerate.

She hates it.

“That sucks,” Woliczko said. “I want to be out there and play with my team.”

The excellent news is that Woliczko didn’t suffer any serious tears or sprains and is anticipated to be back on the softball field inside the following week. The sophomore was seen catching together with his teammates between innings of a game against Willow Glen this week.

After the softball season, it's on to AAU basketball.

In other words, Woliczko can be back to her normal, busy self.

—Joseph Dycus


Oakland A's pitcher Paul Blackburn holds his 11-month-old son Callum while receiving a framed jersey during a pregame ceremony at Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif., Thursday, May 2, 2024 admired, which is reminiscent of the retirement of his jersey number.  (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Oakland A's pitcher Paul Blackburn holds his 11-month-old son Callum while receiving a framed jersey during a pregame ceremony at Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif., Thursday, May 2, 2024 admired, harking back to his number, which was retired. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Paul Blackburn, surrounded by family and friends at Heritage in Brentwood, hoisted his framed number 24 at the tip of Wednesday's pregame ceremony. On the A's pitcher's time off, his highschool alma mater retired his number before a crosstown rivalry game Liberty back.

“I haven't been here for a while. The opportunity to come back here and make these memories is more than I could have ever imagined,” Blackburn said.

He didn't should think long before he remembered his fondest memory from his time playing at Brentwood Public School.

“I still remember my no-hitter against Deer Valley because one of my best friends played for Deer Valley,” Blackburn said, referencing his eight-strikeout performance against Blake McAuley’s Wolverines on May 1, 2012.

Blackburn was a 24/7 starter as a prep star, posting a 1.04 ERA. Blackburn, a two-way player, hit .347 as a senior in 2012. A number of months later, the Chicago Cubs chosen Heritage's ace with their first-round pick.

He has spent his entire major league profession (2017-present) with the A's, was named to the All-Star team in 2022 and began this season 2-1, the A's last in Blackburn's Bay Area.

“I grew up playing there at the Coliseum and saw some really good teams,” Blackburn said. “I remember when there was an all-you-can-eat area in the third deck behind home plate that many of us frequented when we were in high school. The move is bittersweet.”

—Joseph Dycus


Willow Glen's Alanna Clincy (89) throws against Archbishop Mitty in the fourth inning on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, Calif.  (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group)
Alanna Clincy of Willow Glen competes against Archbishop Mitty on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group)

Alanna Clincy of Willow Glen had a freshman season that saw her go from an unknown newcomer to the ace of the NorCal Division II champions.

She was even higher as a sophomore this season, striking out 146 in 85 innings for a team on the lookout for further postseason success.

After counting on her heater last 12 months, Clincy has now added devastating breaking pitches to her arsenal.

“I'm trying to work more on my own because that's how you should compete against good teams,” Clincy said. “You don’t want to send them anything outside the box.”

However, that fastball remains to be very effective, as is her bat. She posted a .508 average with two home runs and 25 RBIs.

—Joseph Dycus


Even though she is simply a sophomore, Julia Simón is already the most effective young players within the West Catholic Athletic League.

The presenting catcher leads her team in batting average (.469), on-base percentage (.542), hits (23), RBIs (20), slugging percentage (.795) and extra-base hits (11).

Simón attributes her dominant 12 months to a change in approach from her first season.

“I was a big home run hitter last year,” she said. “But this year I got more base hits and did my job at the plate. I focused on getting a runner in scoring position because we don't have the biggest hitters on our team. So I just played small ball, got on base and did my job.”

Although Simón will not be quite halfway through highschool, he has already taken on the leadership role on the team.

“This year it was easier because I was named co-captain,” Simón said. “I communicate very well with my coaches about what everyone on my team needs. That comfort alone has also helped me be a leader on the field.”

While Presentation (5-13, 1-6) remains to be an up-and-coming team, the core group of players is primarily made up of underclassmen. The Panthers will only graduate three seniors this 12 months, meaning this group can have experience next season.

“I’ve seen a lot of our freshmen really grow since the beginning of the year,” Simón said. “We're not the biggest team at Presentation, but there are so many girls who have so much potential. I really hope we can all grow in the coming seasons.”

– Nathan Canilao

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