CCS Freshman of the Year
MEGAN GRANT, ARAGON
There were a lot of freshmen that stood out in the Central Coast Section this past season, and deciding on who should get the Prep2Prep top honor for players in their first season was not an easy task.
It was made even more complicated because sometimes when there are two players on the same team being considered for the same award they can cancel each other out.
However, in the case of the UCLA-committed Grant, her leading the CCS in two very important offensive categories as a freshman on a team that won a CCS Division I title for the first time in school history, plus, her being named San Francisco Chronicle All Metro Bay Area First Team and All Bay Area News Group First Team was just too much to overlook.
As a result, the Dons shortstop has been named the 2019 Prep2Prep Freshman of the Year for softball.
“Yes! That’s nice. It’s crazy. I can’t believe it,” was the immediate response of Grant on hearing she was being named the top freshman in the CCS.
The numbers Grant put up were phenomenal. She hit an even .500 and led the CCS in home runs with 13, a number that tied her for the fourth highest reported mark in the state and the top mark for freshmen. Grant also led the CCS in RBI with 51 that tied her for No. 13 in the state. Plus, she also had 11 doubles and 33 runs scored.
For Grant to post those kind of stats would be a career season for any player but to do it as a freshman is outstanding.
Aragon finished 22-6 and 10-4 and tied for second place in the Peninsula Athletic League – Bay Division with cross-town arch rival San Mateo, but in the CCS Division I playoffs Aragon drew the No. 3 seed behind top-seeded Watsonville and the San Mateo team they split with in league.
For the four games Grant had six hits and three walks in 16 plate appearances, five RBI, and although she struck out for one of only four times all season, she hit home run No. 13 and went 2-for-4 in a semifinal 7-5 victory in the rubber match with San Mateo.
In the title game 6-1 victory over Watsonville Grant had an RBI single and scored a run, and she walked and reached on an error.
Even in games the Dons lost Grant carried a big bat.
The Dons lost both games in league to a Carlmont team that won the PAL – Bay and was eventually the No. 5 seed in the CCS Open Division, but Megan went deep in each of the two losses, hitting a three-run home run in a 7-6 loss, and another three-run blast in a 12-9 loss where she also walked three times and scored twice.
Her biggest output came in a 12-2 win over St. Ignatius when Grant had two home runs and six runs batted in. In another game against West Catholic Athletic League competition she had a home run, two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored against CCS Open Division runner-up St. Francis in a 9-8 defeat.
“She is the real deal,” said St. Francis coach Mike Oakland, whose sophomore daughter and Lancers shortstop Jessica Oakland was among those considered for this award along with Grant’s teammate and Dons catcher Olivia DiNardo.
“I just saw the ball well that day,” said Grant about hitting well against St. Francis. “I have a lot of respect for their program and Coach Oakland. I know him from travel ball too.”
When asked what her strongest assets were and areas she feel she need to improve in Megan had this to say.
“One of my strongest assets with softball would be the confidence I have within myself and my mindset on and off the field,” said the 4.0 GPA student-athlete that says Spanish is her favorite subject. “Some things I am looking to improve on would be my overall craft and being the best I can possibly be.”
And to think that up until less than two years ago when she joined the West Bay Warriors travel ball team she had been playing baseball and not softball starting at age five with her father Shawn and brothers, Devin Grant, a 2016 Aragon grad and three-sport athlete, and 2019 Aragon graduate, Camron Grant, who led Aragon in hitting (.411), home runs (six), RBI (33), tied for tops on the team in runs (32), numbers that earned him an All CCS First Team selection as an outfielder. Camron also played football and basketball.
The full story of the athletic prowess of Grant continues, because like her brothers she’s also a three-sport athlete. The 5-9 Grant played basketball for Aragon and she was pretty impressive for a freshman on an 18-12 team that went 10-2 in the PAL – South, won the CCS Division II playoffs and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF Northern Regional Division III playoffs. She was third on the team in scoring with 7.4 points per game, third in rebounding with 5.3 rebounds a game, and led the Dons in assists and steals with 4.2 and 3.7 per game, respectively.
Along the way she even played on the freshman volleyball team as a middle blocker on team that went 19-4 and 11-2 in league.
Add it all up and it means Grant already has two Central Coast Section championships in her freshman season, and that is almost assuredly a rare feat if anyone has even done it before in any section in California.
“To be able to win not only one but two CCS championships as a freshman is crazy,” Grant remarked.
And what did Megan have to say about her early commitment to UCLA this past January before even playing a game of varsity softball, and the sport period for less than two years?
“I didn’t really see it as committing there early at the time,” answered Grant. “I just saw the opportunity to be placed in an amazing program with great coaches. I liked everything about UCLA and I didn’t see anything holding me back from make that decision.”
An amazing budding superstar that is some day headed to an amazing program. The question is can any opponent hold Grant back the next three years?
For her efforts throughout this season, we are pleased to recognize Megan Grant as the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Freshman of the Year.
Other players considered for this award include Aragon’s Olivia DiNardo, Saint Francis’ Jessica Oakland, Notre Dame-Salinas’ Samantha Rocha and Archbishop Mitty’s Elon Butler.