Dublin High School Alum Joe Mello Signs Seattle Mariners Contract, Prepares for Minor Leagues Spring Training
Dublin High School Class of 2011 alum and Lewis-Clark State College student Joe Mello received the phone call of a lifetime earlier this month when the Seattle Mariners offered him a contract and possibility of pitching for a minor league team, a big step closer to pitching in “the show”. Joe took a few minute out of his intense training schedule to talk with OneDublin.org about his love for baseball and how he connected with the Seattle Mariners organization.
James Morehead: What triggered your passion for baseball?
Joe Mello: “I started playing baseball when I was two years old. Some of my first memories are of me with a bat and a ball in my hand, working out with my dad at our house. I’ve played baseball pretty much every day since then. Baseball’s always been a part of my life, and always will be. I’ve put all my eggs in one basket with baseball – it’s all I know. So far it’s paid off.”
Morehead: Baseball can be a polarizing sport – either you are a fanatic tracking every stat and metric, or you think baseball is boring. What makes baseball so addicting for the former group (which includes me, by the way).
Mello: “I love the competitive side of baseball, especially when it comes to pitching. I was a shortstop until the last two years when I converted into being a pitcher exclusively. I’m a competitive person and when I’m on the mound there’s no other place I’d rather be. I think what draws people in is the competitive nature of the game. While baseball is a different game – it’s more slow-paced and not as action-packed as football or basketball – you can really see the love players have for the game.”
Morehead: What drove you to switch from shortstop to pitcher?
Mello: “I used to pitch when I was a lot younger, but had a minor arm injury when I was twelve so I switched to shortstop, and was a shortstop at Dublin High School for all four years. I had Tommy John surgery in my senior year of high school and after completing rehab, and my second year at Chabot Community College, I started pitching again. I’ve always had a strong arm since I was little, and love throwing the ball as hard as I can. When I went to Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho I knew that shortstop wasn’t for me, and that I was meant to be a pitcher.
“There is a competitive side of pitching that I love. There are moments when it is all about you, and I love the feeling that I can change the game with one pitch. That’s what drew me in. God blessed me with a fantastic arm and I love being able to show that off, and use the tool I’ve been given to it’s full capacity.”
Morehead: At what point did you start believing that reaching the Major League level was more than just a childhood dream? Read more…
We recently met with Dublin parent and professional chef Michele Kay Wieser to learn more about the importance of proper nutrition for developing athletes. “Chef Michele” is not only a chef for professional athletes, including boxer Andre Ward, but also her family, including her pole vaulting daughter Savannah who is a freshman at Harvard University (and Dublin High School Class of 2015 graduate).
OneDublin.org: What does it mean to be a chef for professional athletes?
Michele Wieser: “I’m a private, professional chef for professional athletes. I work for a basketball player, a football player, a boxer; I do all of their cooking. Because of their jobs as athletes they don’t have time to shop, prep or cook. Andre Ward has his own private boxing gym, so I can go there to cook, and I’ll cook in the private homes of other clients.”
OneDublin.org: Catering for professional athletes is a very specialized job – how did you get started?
Wieser: “I was working for Viking Home Chef and teaching classes at Valley High School in Dublin. The ex-wife of an Oakland Raider attended a class at Viking Home Chef and connected me to my first client, and it was word-of-mouth from there. It turns out that professional athletes, even across disciplines, are a pretty tight community. Andre Ward connected me to Justin Forsett of the Baltimore Ravens and to Dorell Wright of the Portland Trail Blazers. Since Andre’s never lost, everyone wants to know what he’s eating (since you are what you eat)!”
OneDublin.org: What have you learned about cooking and nutrition through working with professional athletes? Read more…
DUBLIN, Ca. – In some ways, it is a rite of passage. Late August brings the beginning of the school year in the Dublin Unified School District and shortly thereafter, Back to School Nights events are conducted throughout the district. For this Thursday evening, it occurred across the Dublin city boundaries at each and every elementary school site. For many parents and guardians, it was the first opportunity to meet their child’s teacher, to understand the mechanisms of the classroom and to tour the school site.
It should be stated that these assemblies look and feel very different – even versus just five years ago. With the rapid housing and enrollment growth throughout the entire City of Dublin, the school sites have been required to adjust their programs. Portable classrooms populate each and every site to accommodate annually added enrollment. Now, it is typical for the elementary sites to split their “BTS” nights into two segments during the evening simply to accommodate their rapidly growing student populations. This movement is logical as it helps to facilitate the flow of families throughout the site that possess students in multiple grades.
To take one example, OneDublin.org elected to peek into the Back to School event at Frederiksen Elementary School. Fred is one of the most established elementary sites in the district. However, in a mere six years, the student population has expanded to over 800 students – a 300 student increase over this period of time. This is in contrast to some of the rapid high growth sites in Eastern Dublin where a student population at build-out approaches 1,000. Clearly, Dublin continues to remain an attractive destination for many families with school-aged children. And the City-approved development trends will continue to add pressure to the existing infrastructure. Currently, the School District is exploring ways to alleviate “pressure” on their system by reconfiguring the proposed E-5 site into a hybrid K-8 site – much in the way that Fallon Middle School was configured at its inception. Subsequently, there will be numerous opportunities for the community at-large to both comment and to participate in further discussion/action upon these items.
On Monday, the Dublin Unified School District Board of Trustees and the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee convened for their Annual Joint Meeting. This once a year event allows both organizations to tour school sites where Measure C and E funds are being expended for capital improvement.
By design, the majority of Measure C funds were earmarked towards the redevelopment of Dublin High School. Over the past several years, we have witnessed the construction of numerous and significant structures. Some of these included the refurbishment of Gaels Stadium, the Sports Complex and the Center for the Performing Arts and Education. The final sale of Measure C – slated to occur in 2016, has contributed mightily to the Phase 4 elements of the Dublin High School Master Plan phasing.
The tear down of the old theater has now yielded a wider walking concourse and gathering area that unifies the Student Union to the refurbished gymnasium. The old gym was plagued by a leaky roof which caused significant water damage. The reconstruction has resulted in brand new lockers and showering facilities for all athletes. In addition, four classrooms have been added to the structure. Finally, the P.A. and speaker systems have been improved and the gym floor has been refinished. The opening of this facility will help to alleviate practice scheduling pressure for many programs on the existing sports complex. Read more…
We continue our Life After College Series with a focus on excellence in mathematics. Dublin High School Class of 2006 alum Travis Scrimshaw received a Phd in Math from UC Davis in June and will begin a two year post doc position at the University of Minnesota. Travis has had the opportunity to participate in math conferences and projects all over the world including Japan, South Korea, India and Iceland. We recently caught up with Travis between trips to learn more about his passion for math.
OneDublin: What sparked your interest in math?
Travis Scrimshaw: “It started as something I was good at. When I was in high school, I was interested in creating video games, and I needed to learn more math in order to apply it to create the graphics and physics engines for games. The biggest decision I had to make was choosing between mathematics and computer science for my major. From this point it was down the mathematical rabbit hole, and I grew more and more interested in math the more I learned.”
OneDublin: For many students, especially in high school, math is a struggle. Was there a teacher or teachers, in high school or beyond, that reinforced your interest in math?
Scrimshaw: “Actually the first teachers that come to my mind are my 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Snyder. They gave me more challenging problems and pushed me to improve my abilities in math. However, the biggest influence I would say is Mrs. Hall during my Junior year in high school. One thing I distinctly remember was when I had a question about how to derive a rotation matrix. She brought in one of her college textbooks for me to read.”
OneDublin.org: As a follow-up, math gets a bad rap not only for being hard, but also for being “not fun”. What makes math fun for you?
Scrimshaw: “Short version: it’s not calculus. There are a lot of problems in a variety of different areas of mathematics, some of which can be explained to elementary school kids. That’s not to say they are easy; in fact, some of these problems have remained unsolved for decades. Those that have been solved required deep mathematical insights, but that doesn’t mean that these problems can’t be explored by those without training in math. That’s what makes math fun to me, I can choose problems that are fun and interesting.”
OneDublin.org: Of the many math problems you’ve had to untangle are there any problems that stand out, and why?
Scrimshaw: “The irony of the word tangle. I have looked at what are known as braid groups. So imagine you have a disk with ‘n’ marked points. Now make a copy of that disk and connect the marked points on one disk with the other with string. This is a braid to a mathematician. You can connect two braids together by tying the strings at each of the marked points together and removing the disk in the middle, and so you get a new braid. A generalization of this was the first problem I started working on, and it turns out to be related to what I am currently working on. It was a surprising relationship to me and is why it stands out to me.”
I feel so fortunate to be writing this article as a proud Dublin High School Class of 2015 alumni. As the oldest child of two Vietnamese immigrant parents with a limited high school experience, I had a blurry idea about what events like Homecoming were like when I entered the school in 2012. As time went on, my experience at Dublin High School became the best and most challenging four years that I had endured.
Track and Field was a memorable part of my high school experience. I came into Dublin High Track and Field with the encouragement from my Fallon Middle School Track coach, Mr. Branson. I am so glad that I followed his advice to compete in high school because this sport helped me make new friends and learn the great value of hard work and perseverance. I still remember freshman year of Track and Field which consisted of many late evening conditioning practices and countless laughs with my hurdle crew. Track helped me make friends with upperclassmen who I looked up to greatly. One of my favorite moments was when I was passed down a “Senior Will” from Noria Mitchell during my freshmen year Track Banquet. Every Track Banquet was so emotional and left me even more inspired by my teammates to work hard.
I never would I have thought that in my high school Track and Field career, I would be running with the talented 2014 CIF 100m hurdles champion Mecca McGlaston and contribute in breaking two school records. In my sophomore year, my teammates, Mecca McGlaston, Jessica Bouchard, Alexxis Kelley and I broke the DHS girls’ 4x100m relay record and qualified for the NCS Meet of Champions. I will never forget the anxiety and excitement attained by my teammates and I as we stepped on the beautiful, glistening, and gold track at UC Berkeley’s Edwards Stadium! When Junior Year came along, Track and Field was difficult as I struggled with my five AP classes. My struggles in the classroom eventually showed in my Track race performances as I was not attaining personal records and meeting my Coach’s expectations. With encouragement and some tough love from my Coaches, I was able to make it through the season and learn from my mistakes of not working hard enough.
Like in any sporting endeavor, it is traditional to elect a Captain, or one that will lead the squad both physically and mentally. For those unfamiliar with high school band programs, it is no different. For the second consecutive year and now as a Dublin High School Senior, this honor will reside with Mr. Davis Zamboanga. While initially a transplant from Rocklin, CA, he and his family arrived in Dublin and he enrolled at Wells Middle School. He already had the benefit of musical experience with the violin, but eventually transitioned to the trombone. As the oldest of three children, he helped his family to matriculate successfully in the DUSD system.
But before exploring his story, it is imperative to understand Davis – the person. He was willing to volunteer some of the most important elements of his life and we are pleased to share them. Dar Luz: He calls his Grandfather “Dar” and his Grandmother’s name is Luz. In English, this means “to give light.” In music and in life, every single note and action should give light – the result of overflowing emotion from the soul. He also clings to the Finnish word “Sisu” which translates to courage and resolve. Mr. Zamboanga also provided a biblical phrase – “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5). He believes in humility over pride, gentleness over harshness, patience over frustration and love over irritation.
Now, within this context, we can partially absorb Davis’ journey from Rocklin to Dublin and now in the vital seat of Drum Major of the Dublin High School Irish Guard. We recently sat down with him and his mother to discuss this odyssey. Read more…