Four Encinal Students Commit to College Teams

Courtesy photo Left to Right, Encinal High School students Dylan Tonningsen, Alexandra and Cecilia Sifuentes and Melissa Ma all committed to play for college sports teams this fall.

Three Encinal High student-athletes and one from Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) committed to their future college destinations last week on the Encinal High campus.

Current seniors Melissa Ma — she attends ASTI, but is a member of the Encinal women’s soccer team — Alexandra (‘Alex’) and Cecilia (‘CeCe’) Sifuentes and Dylan Tongilson all committed to college programs within the last two weeks.

Melissa Ma is a goalkeeper for the Lady Jets. She committed to attend and play soccer for the University of the Pacific of Stockton, which belongs to the West Coast Conference with Bay Area teams such as Santa Clara University and St. Mary’s University of Moraga. Ma was a four-year starter, team captain and multi-year All-League recognized goalkeeper.

"Melissa is much more than a star goalkeeper," said Jets soccer coach Tom Shultz. "Pacific is lucky to get her."

Alexandra and Cecilia Sifuentes are also on the Jets’ soccer team and have both committed to Sonoma State University where they will become the newest members of the Seawolves soccer team. Alex played forward, while Cece played midfield. The twins were also team captains, four-year starters and were on multiple All-League recognized teams.

"Losing the heart beat of our team is Sonoma State’s gain," said Schulz. "As part of a unique class of five senior girls, Cece and Alex have brought the Jets program to new heights the past four years with their scoring, defense and all-around skills and toughness." Cecilia and Alexandra have also been standout players on their Bay Oaks Club team for many years leading that team to numerous NorCal final fours.

"Alex and I are more than best friends," said CeCe about her sister Alex, "we are so happy to be able to stay together for college."

Sonoma State is a Division II school and a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Dylan Tonningsen was a member of the Jets men’s water polo team, but this fall he will be attending Occidental College in Los Angeles. Tonningsen has been a starter for the Jets’ water polo team for the past four years. He was also voted a team captain and League Most Valuable Player in his time on the team.

"Dylan’s not only the best player on our team," said first-year Encinal water polo coach Kyle Baldi, "he’s the best player in the pool and ‘Oxy’ College is going to be really happy Dylan will soon be there."

Occidental is a liberal arts college. The school is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The administrators at Encinal could not be more proud that these students are going to continue their academic and athletic endeavors.

"The Jets have had a lot of success on and off the field for many years" said Kevin Gorham, assistant principal for athletics at Encinal. "This success is testament to our kids, teachers and our coaches that Encinal can place kids into not only the best schools academically, but can give kids a chance to continue to play sports as well."

"We are so happy to be able to stay together for college."

— CeCe Sifuentes about both she and her sister, Alexandra attending Sonoma State in the fall.