Six Salesian seniors signed letters on intent on Tuesday. (From left) Ajuma Reed, Ariel Anderson, Silivia Fonongaloa, Nevaeh Asiasi, Devin Quinn and Max Haro. Athletic director Chad Nightingale (L) and school President and head girls basketball coach Stephen Pezzola look on.
Harold Abend/Prep2Prep

Salesian senior student-athletes in the spotlight

May 12, 2022

RICHMOND, Calif. – Seven Salesian student-athletes hit the spotlight on Tuesday afternoon at the Richmond campus. Six signed letters of intent, but one young woman we went to see won’t be playing in college. Rather, she was part of a project that involves a book review on a book that will be coming out in June in conjunction with the 50-year anniversary of the Title IX ruling.

Three of the young women that signed letters were members of the Pride’s CIF Division I state championship basketball team: center Silivia “Via” Fonongaloa, and wings Nevaeh Asiasi and Ariel Anderson. Fonongaloa and Asiasi signed to accept offers from Cal State-Los Angeles, while Anderson accepted an offer from UC Santa Cruz.

Three young men signed letters as well. Max Haro and Devin Quinn were also on a state championship team. Haro was a defensive lineman on the CIF Division 6-A champions in football and signed on at Sacramento State. Quinn was a defensive back and wide receiver and he will be attending Kansas Wesleyan. The third young man is Ajamu Reed. He runs track and is one of the top competitors in the Tri-County Athletic League-Rock Division in sprints and the high jump and long jump.

The fourth young woman, Satchel Paige Ford, was also a member of the Division I state championship basketball team. She was a solid contributor who provided strong character and leadership, all things needed to produce a true champion.

Ford is still deciding on college between San Diego State and Spelman College, a private, historically black, women's liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia. She won’t be playing basketball but studying economics and finance.

Back in February we were contacted by Indiana University Press asking us to accept for review a copy of What’s the Score, a soon to be published book that is authored by Dr. Bonnie Morris.

Morris is a professor of women's history at UC Berkeley. Dr. Morris has written several books - including others on women’s sports - but this book was specifically designed to be published in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX coming into law.

Last month Prep2Prep Foundation approached Salesian head women’s basketball coach and school president Stephen Pezzola. We wanted to know if one of his players or any of the school’s female students would be interested in earning some Prep2Prep Foundation scholarship monies to write a review of Dr. Morris' book. Without hesitation he responded with Ford’s name.

Satchel readily accepted and shortly thereafter I went to the school to give her the review copy and talk to her about what was expected in the review. We set a deadline for completion and she met it with an amazing piece of work. In fact, when we sent the review to Dr. Morris and the publisher for permission to use it pre-publication Dr. Morris answer by email was as follows. “Wow! Please thank Satchel for me. I would be delighted to have the review used if you get permission from my publisher.”

That permission from Indiana University Press came earlier this week and set the wheels in motion. The review will be published on Prep2Prep later this month and is also going to potentially be used by the CIF on its Resource Pages under the Gender Equity category.

The review has now been expanded to include an interview of Dr. Morris by Satchel. The professor is tentatively scheduled to come to Salesian at the end of the month where Ford will interview her and then write about the interview that will also earn her additional scholarship monies.

In a short video taken at the school on Tuesday, Satchel talked about the experience and what it was like to get this opportunity.

“This was a really great opportunity I got to review this book,” she said. “I learned so much in the book about women in the sports field and the struggles that they go through. It was a great opportunity to be more informed and well-rounded and I would definitely recommend this book. It was a great opportunity presented by the Prep2Prep Foundation.”

Ford also had some advice on the opportunities at Prep2Prep Foundation for other young women potentially interested in some sort of potential career in sports. When asked if she felt these opportunities are valuable for other young women she had a simple answer:

“Yes, definitely, and they should take advantage of it.”

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