By Marty James
Napa Valley Register Sports
Adrian Maldonado, a senior who graduates Thursday from Vintage High School, will attend Cal State East Bay in Hayward in the fall and play men’s soccer for the Pioneers.
Maldonado is a center back and as a two-year captain, led the Crushers to two straight Monticello Empire League titles. He was a two-time Napa County Defensive Player of the Year and Monticello Empire League Defensive Player of the Year.
Vintage allowed just five goals during league play and recorded 11 shutouts in 15 games last season, reaching the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
The Crushers’ defender was a “leader in the back, the vocal leader for the team,” said Vintage coach Miguel Ayala.
Maldonado plays club soccer for Napa Sporting in the NorCal Premier League.
“Adrian is a very strong, assertive and serious defender,” East Bay coach Andy Cumbo said on the Pioneers’ website. “He is very vocal and has great leadership skills. He will make an immediate impact on our back line.”
Maldonado is one of seven players — four high school seniors and three midyear transfers — who have signed and will join East Bay for the 2011 season.
“Our objective was to bring in quality student-athletes who fit in well with our system, and who can help us be more competitive with and without the ball,” Cumbo said. “These young men are very good students, solid citizens and quality soccer players. They are a great addition to our team and to CSUEB.”
Maldonado also played basketball and tennis throughout high school. He is an exceptional leader in the community, participating in the peer support program at Vintage, coaching youth basketball and soccer and volunteering at numerous events.
He has received several scholarships and awards, including the Napa Valley Hispanic Network Scholarship, Vintage High Peer Support Scholarship, Damian Maldonado Scholarship, ROP student award, Crusher of the Year Award, Student of the Month, and more.
Vintage (16-3-1 overall) was undefeated in MEL play. Their season came to an end with a 2-0 loss to Jesuit-Carmichael in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.