Redlands’ 6-foot-11 senior water polo/volleyball player, Cal Mende, has signed his National Letter of Intent for volleyball, to Penn State. Above, he talks about playing water polo.
From the Penn State media release:
“Mende is a two-sport athlete, playing both volleyball and water polo. Coached by Mark Mina, Mende plays club volleyball for Oasis VBC and serves as the goalie on the water polo squad at Redlands. Mende was recently honored as one of four recipients of the Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) Outstanding Student Athlete awards.
Coach Pavlik on Mende: “Cal gives us a blend of size, skill and intelligence. As a left handed opposite, I think he’ll be able to elevate his game in order to provide what’s needed at this level of play. Coming in as a multi-sport athlete will also serve him well during his career here.”
Yes, many of those baseball players who were drafted earlier this month have already started their pro careers, including Redlands High’s Jacob Nottingham, the all-Sun catcher this year who was drafted in the sixth round by the Houston Astros.
Nottingham has started his career with the Astros’ rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate in Florida. His career has started a little bit slowly, but that’s understandable, especially for high school hitters going from metal to wood bats. Through his first four games through Tuesday, Nottingham is 1 for 11 with one RBI, three walks and six strikeouts.
In the four games, he has appeared twice as a designated hitter and twice as a catcher. Perhaps his most impressive statistics have come in his limited playing time as a catcher. In the two games, he has thrown out two of three baserunners trying to steal, has no errors or passed balls. Many scouts will say that the best players won’t let struggles in one area (offense or defense) affect the other. So far, it appears Nottingham hasn’t.