Cal men’s sports stars make it big


Courtesy of Matt Hanson

Senior Matt Hanson looks to take a shot during Cal’s run to the NCS Championship game.

The Californian shined a spotlight last issue on one of the top female athletes from each spring sport. This issue, we will focus on one male athlete from each spring sport.

Owen Berry

Junior swimmer Owen Berry qualified for the CIF State Finals in the 200 meter freestyle by winning the event at NCS on May 7. He also advanced in the 500m free (4th at NCS) and the 200m free relay (8th).

At state,  he placed 10th in the 200m free on May 14. 

“I’ve been swimming since I was six years old,” Berry said.

Before swimming at Cal, Berry played water polo but stopped sophomore year. 

“When COVID hit, the first thing to come across was swimming, and that’s when I started to fall in love again,” Berry said.

Berry said that this year has been especially good for his swimming career. He credits this to being able to have many more meets this year as well as the team having a coach now. 

Berry says he is looking forward to what the future holds for him as he has recently verbally committed to UC Santa Barbara.

“I wasn’t going to be swimming until recently but I am happy to be going,” Berry said.

-Vishwas Balla

Tyler Cheung 

Junior Tyler Cheung shined as one of the top players for a volleyball team that struggled this season. Despite the team’s rough year, he feels optimistic about next season.

Cheung said he has been playing volleyball for three years now and started in high school.

“My dad used to play volleyball in college, so that was my first kinda intro to volleyball, and then I got into it in high school,” Cheung said.

Cheung initially used volleyball as a means to train for the basketball season, which used to be his primary sport. But he said that he found volleyball more enjoyable and switched over. 

So far Cheung has just played for Cal but he intends on trying out for club teams this summer.He hopes that next year the team can do better as many players will be returning and lack of experience will be less of an issue.

– Vishwas Balla

Raoul Fabian

Senior Raoul Fabian has been  hitting bombs and throwing out runners since he was five years old. 

Now, he’s the starting center fielder for Cal High and he led the team to the NCS semifinals, with two wins against Alameda and Granada. 

Fabian is a four year varsity player. He only played a few games his freshman year, but then his sophomore year he made the jump to  a full-time starter. 

Now, Fabian is moving on to becoming a Dirtbag at Long Beach State University and is committed to play  for their Division 1 baseball program. He said he’s looking forward to many things next season. 

“The entire atmosphere of college baseball,” Fabian said.  “Hopefully being able to start as a freshman, and then having a chance to make the college playoffs, would be amazing.”

Fabian fell in love with baseball when his dad took him to an A’s game as a kid. His father has played a huge role in his life, both in baseball and outside of it. 

His dad actually played baseball in the minor leagues, and Fabian says his parents are a huge part of where he got his competitiveness that has turned him into the player and person he is today. 

“[My favorite part of playing is] definitely going to a lot of different places to show off my skills and also making so many friends along the way,” Fabian said.” He said his best memory from playing in high school was the grand slam home run he hit last year against San Ramon Valley, which led to a series win against the Wolves.

This year, the team as a whole has found great success. Cal went 20-4 during the regular season, and then went on to go 1-1 during the EBAL tournament. Their season just ended in a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to Foothill in the NCS semifinals.

Fabian’s competitive and humble spirit has allowed him to excel on the baseball field throughout high school, and now, he will move on and take these talents to the collegiate level. 

          – Dylan Allen

Matt Hanson

Senior Matt Hanson is a midfielder for the men’s varsity lacrosse team and was instrumental in the Grizzlies’ incredible playoff to the NCS championship game. 

Hanson has been playing lacrosse on Cal’s varsity team for all four years, becoming a starter his sophomore year. Before Cal, Hanson had more than a half dozen years of experience. He just completed his 11th year playing the sport.

He said he fell in love with the game because of the opportunity to be able to play with his best friends and be alongside them when they win. 

“My favorite thing about playing lacrosse has been the relationships I have made, from coaches, to teammates, players, and many more people,” Hanson said.

 This year, Cal had its deepest playoff run in school history, winning three NCS playoff games against Casa Grande, Granite Bay, and Redwood before losing to De La Salle in the finals. The wins marked the first playoff victories in school history for the men’s lacrosse team.

“We took a couple of hard overtime losses [in the regular season], but we’ve made it farther than any other team has in program history,” Hanson said.

Hanson proudly said the victory against Redwood to advance to the NCS finals was easily his favorite memory from this season. Cal won by a goal in overtime on the road. 

Some of his best memories in general from playing for Cal lacrosse come from celebrating big wins in the orange shed on the far side of the Cal bleachers. 

After graduation, Hanson is committed to play at University of Utah. He said he is pumped to be able to play at a Division 1 school in the Pac-12, and he is excited for the new competition.

“I’m looking forward to playing with bigger, better guys, along with better coaching, and better competition,” Hanson said. “I also can’t wait to play against my friends at other D-1 schools, like Duke.”

– Dylan Allen

Ben Ragland

Ben Ragland is one of the senior captain’s for the men’s varsity golf team and will go down as one of the top golfers in Cal High history.

Ragland led the Grizzlies to a fourth place finish at the NCS Tournament of Champions and qualified for Northern California Championships as an individual after shooting a 4-under 68 at Lone Tree Golf Course on May 16.

At NorCals, Ben shot a 1-over 73 at Berkeley CC on Monday to miss a playoff for state by one stroke.

Ragland has been playing golf for about 13 years and is driven by his dedication to the sport and his desire to always be improving as a player

He’s been on the varsity golf team since his sophomore year, after playing baseball as a freshman. 

After a long recruitment process, Ragland commited to play D-1 golf at  Seattle University. 

 “I’m excited to be there and explore a new place,” Ragland said. “I can’t wait to golf on some new courses too.”

Ragland boasted the team’s lowest scoring average this season, finishing 5-over for his top 14 matches and the EBAL Championships, and shooting even or better in almost half of the league matches.

He earned first team All-EBAL honors and  was the fourth ranked player in league.

“One of my favorite memories was my first hole-in-one, when I was playing with my friends one day,” Ragland said.

A memorable moment from this season for Ragland was when Cal dominated De La Salle in their final home match, beating the first place Spartans by seven strokes. 

The Cal team has had a great year, going 14-4 and posting the school’s highest finish in NCS since 2005, when the team last advanced to NorCals.

– Dylan Allen

Josh Shavies 

Although senior Josh Shavies is running in his first full season of track and field, he has established his spot on top of  the league standings for his events. 

Shavies runs the 100-, 200- and 400-meter races and competes in both of the relay events. His best times are 11:07 seconds for the 100; 22:34 for the 200, and 49:35 for the 400.  

These numbers shot him up to the top of the league standings as he placed second in the 200 and 400, and fifth in the 100. Shavies started running track freshman year part time, but this is his first full season after the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the last two seasons. 

“What made me fall in love with track was surprising people, including myself, with how fast I am,” Shavies said. 

Part of the reason Shavies also loves running is because the competition is  not just against his opponents, but also himself. 

When asked about his best memory with the track team, Shavies recalled the two trips to Los Angeles for big meets. 

“Both nights after the meets were really fun because we got to celebrate our performances and mess around,” Shavies said. 

This season was only his second season running the 400 and he admits he could’ve ran a faster time, but a bruised bone in his leg held him back. 

As for next year, Shavies is still debating where to run. He has an offer from Cal State East Bay. 

“I’ll be running next year in college, but I still haven’t made my decision yet,” Shavies said. 

– Dylan Allen