M-A alumni

While Shaun Paga was born 6,500 miles away in New Zealand, his roots in Menlo Park run deep. Moving to the United States when he was nine years old, he attended Encinal, Hillview and Menlo-Atherton High School. He married his high school sweetheart, and their three children attend La Entrada and M-A.

At M-A,  he excelled as a linebacker, earning first team Peninsula League as a senior. His accomplishments at M-A will be highlighted this Saturday evening when Shaun is inducted into the M-A Athletic Hall of Fame along with the 1965 Swim Team and the 1985 Boys Soccer Team, and six other individuals.

Shaun, who went on to play football and rugby at Cal, is bringing some of his rugby knowledge to the current football team, as the tackling coach. “In football, you tackle with your head in front,” he said. “But in rugby, where they are no helmets, you tackle with your shoulder.

“It’s safer for the players, and many NFL teams are moving to that approach. [M-A football coach] Adhir [Ravipati] is pretty advanced in his thinking about player safety.”

M-A’s football team was NorCal champion in 2016, and the program is 4-2 this year with losses only in non-league games. One of those non-league games was Valor Christian, the #1 team in Colorado. It was the first time M-A’s football team traveled out of state for a game, according to M-A co-athletic director Paul Snow, who added:  “The hosting school in Colorado basically covered our airfare, and the M-A Football Association fundraised for the rest (hotel, ground transportation, food, etc.). I’m sure they’re actually still fundraising for it.”

Shaun’s son plays defensive end on the team, and last week they won decisively against unbeaten Terra Nova, 30-8.  Ranking 16 on the Chronicle Top 25 football list, Friday night is a home game against Menlo School. At half-time, all the 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees who are in attendance will be honored.

In addition to playing football at M-A, Shaun wrestled for legendary Coach Parks, who was also the strength coach. “The old weight room was right here where the stands are today,” he said while getting his photo taken. “Like so many other athletes who played at M-A, Coach Park had such a lasting positive influence on me.”

Looking to the future, Shaun is excited that M-A will be adding rugby to its athletic line up next spring. “I enjoyed playing rugby at Cal and glad it will be offered here now.”

Photo by Irene Searles (c) 2018


Two M-A grads make the news in sad ways

Two Menlo-Atherton High School grads, both of whom excelled in their professions, made the news the in the last few days. Craig Rockhold (photo right) was identified as the man who was killed in a Caltrain collision on Saturday night, which Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said appeared to be an intentional act. Craig, who played […]

Click to read more →

M-A baseball coach David Klein is PCA top 50 “Double Goal Coach”

Menlo-Atherton High School head baseball coach — and M-A alumnus — David Klein has been named a 2018 Double Goal Coach national winner by the Positive Coaching Alliance. David tells us that while the award lists Legends Baseball Academy, a program of the Menlo Park Legends, which he founded and serves a Managing Director of, […]

Click to read more →

Karen McCann turns political with new book, Women of the American Resistance

We met author Karen McCann in 2012 soon after her book, Dancing in the Fountain: How to Live Abroad was published. Given her emphasis on travel writing, we were surprised when the Menlo-Atherton High School alumni reached out to us about her latest project, Women of the American Resistance, which includes both a book and […]

Click to read more →

Jim Rutter’s latest endeavor is all about sports – and you!

Sports have long been part of Menlo-Atherton High School grad Jim Rutter’s life. Growing up, he played Little League with former 49ers quarterback John Paye who later was a fraternity brother at Stanford. “I wasn’t a great athlete but participated in football, wrestling and baseball at M-A,” he said recently at the Dutch Goose, seated […]

Click to read more →

Hundreds expected at funeral mass for three young men killed Halloween night on Skyline

A funeral mass will be celebrated at 1:30 pm today, Thursday, Nov. 9, at Nativity Church (210 Oak Grove Avenue) in Menlo Park for Matthew Cruz, Andrew Gonzales and Ricky Torres, followed by a procession to Skylawn Cemetery at 4:00 pm. A joint memorial and viewing service held was Wednesday evening at Nativity to an […]

Click to read more →

Two of the teens killed earlier this week were Fire Explorers – Menlo Park Fire District mourns the loss of promising lives

The three teenagers — Ricardo Torres, 19; Andrew Gonzales, 19; and Matthew  Cruz, 18 — who were killed in a vehicle accident on Halloween night on southbound Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard) were not only very close friends, two belonged to Fire Explorer Post 109 sponsored by the Menlo Park Fire District, and one was the oldest son […]

Click to read more →

Spotted: Swim/water polo teammates from M-A circa ’67

The Menlo-Atherton High School class of 1967 is holding its 50th reunion this weekend. Four who swam and played water polo together gathered for a pre-reunion lunch in downtown Menlo today: left to right: Jeff Lapiere, Frank Aronoff, Tod Spieker and Rob Jensen. They’re most famous teammate (Lindsay Buckingham) is MIA . Photo by Dennis Nugent […]

Click to read more →

Talking farm management (and sports!) with fourth generation Webb, Atlee Frechette

We’d driven out to Webb Ranch to talk with Atlee Frechette, a fourth generation Webb who earlier this year got involved in the farming side of the business — there is also a horse side — for the first time. Along the way we talked volleyball and baseball. About the latter, Atlee is indeed named […]

Click to read more →

Here’s your chance to hear great bluegrass music – Menlo-Atherton High School style!

The finest bluegrass pickers to emerge from the halls of Menlo-Atherton High School are getting together this Saturday, July 15, for a special show at Club Fox in Redwood City (2209 Broadway). Since graduating in 2004 and 2005, Ryan Breen (banjo), Henry Warde (guitar), Kyle McCabe (bass), and Andy O’Brien (mandolin) have developed into some […]

Click to read more →

Kim Young works with POST to preserve and protect Peninsula lands

Looking back, Kim Young realizes she was too young to fully appreciate the Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Program at Stanford. “I went straight into the program after graduating from Dartmouth,” she recalls. “Most of the people were older. It was a bit intimidating.” During her studies, which focused on poetry, she did meet writer and environmental activist Stegner, […]

Click to read more →