ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: NU grad Tanner Vallejo back with Cardinals, has big game vs. Steelers |

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: NU grad Tanner Vallejo back with Cardinals, has big game vs. Steelers

Tanner Vallejo’s third season in the NFL has been a bit of a roller coaster.

After a playing in 13 games for the Cleveland Browns in 2018, Vallejo was let go only to be quickly picked up by the Arizona Cardinals ahead of the 2019 season. Vallejo played in three preseason games for the Cardinals, wrapping up 15 tackles and grabbing an interception, but was waived ahead of the start of regular season play. The 2013 Nevada Union graduate was then signed by the Washington Redskins, where he played in nine games, mostly appearing on special teams. On Nov. 16, Vallejo was waived and subsequently cut by the Redskins.

“Can’t break me!!!!” Vallejo said in a tweet after being waived.

He would once again find a spot with the Cardinals, joining their practice squad Nov. 20 and eventually being added to the 53-man roster last Wednesday.

All that led up to a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday in Glendale, Arizona where Vallejo played just 16 snaps on defense but had arguably his best game as a pro.

Vallejo, a 6-foot, 1-inch, 230-pound inside linebacker, tallied five solo tackles, forced a fumble and notched his first-career sack against the surging Steelers.

The Cardinals lost the contest, 23-17.

While at Nevada Union, Vallejo tallied a school record 419 tackles in his three-year varsity career. He was also a two-time Sierra Foothill League Defensive MVP, three-time All-Metro selection and three-time All-Sac-Joaquin Section selection. Vallejo led the Miners to the playoffs in 2011 and 2012.

Vallejo was heavily recruited out of high school and chose Boise State over several Pac-12 options. He played in 42 games, made 275 total tackles and earned all-conference honors three times in his four-year college career with the Broncos. In 2014, Vallejo helped Boise State win the Mountain West Championship as well as the Fiesta Bowl, garnering Defensive MVP honors in both games.

Next up for Vallejo and the Cardinals (3-9-1) is a game against the Browns, Sunday in Arizona.


Danica Minard and the American River College Beavers had their season come to close last Friday after falling to Irvine Valley College in the quarterfinals of the California Community College Athletic Association’s State Championship Tournament.

Minard, a 2018 Nevada Union grad, played in all five sets, notched four blocks, two digs and a kill in the loss.

For the season, Minard finishes second on her team in blocks (52) and sixth in kills (132).

The loss for American River ends a 2019 Campaign in which it went 24-8 overall and won a share of the Big 8 Conference title.

While at Nevada Union, Minard was a two-year varsity standout who helped the Lady Miners reach the playoffs in both her junior and senior seasons.

In her freshman year with American River, Minard played in 32 matches, tallied 129 kills and helped the Beavers win the 2018 California State Championship.


David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands men’s basketball team split a pair of games last week, topping Occidental College, 83-73, and falling to University of Puget Sound, 74-72.

Menary, a senior forward, led the Bulldogs with 20 points, including five made 3-pointers in the win over Occidental. He tallied 23 points and four rebounds in the loss to Puget Sound.

Redlands teammate and younger brother Gary Menary, a 2017 NU graduate, tallied 13 points and eight rebounds in the game against Occidental, and netted six points and six rebounds in the contest with Puget Sound.

For the season, David Menary is averaging a team-highs in points per game (18.8) and assists per game (3.8).

Gary Menary, a junior, is first on the team in steals with 2.6 per game. He’s second on the squad in rebounds per game (6.3) and third in scoring per game (9.6).

Redlands (5-2) is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River College Beavers won their lone bout last week, beating Solano Community College, 95-89, in overtime.

O’Looney, a freshman forward, came off the bench and played 28 minutes, scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the win. For the season, O’Looney is averaging eight points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

American River (4-3) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.


Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup Warriors opened conference play with a pair of wins last week, topping Hope International University, 78-70, and Life Pacific University, 73-67.

Willis, a junior guard, scored 18 points and nabbed six rebounds in the win over Life Pacific. She tallied eight points, six rebounds and five assists against Hope International. For the year, Willis is averaging 11.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

William Jessup (7-3) is a NAIA school which competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union grad, and the Western Oregon University Wolves dropped a pair of conference games last week, losing to University of Alaska, Fairbanks in overtime, 81-76, and University of Alaska, Anchorage, 73-41.

Aragon, a freshman forward, scored three points and grabbed two rebounds against Alaska, Anchorage. She had a rebound, a steal and an assist against Alaska, Fairbanks.

Western Oregon (2-6) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.

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