NU’s Birds migrate toward numerous challenges
It is said that birds of a feather flock together.
This certainly seems to be the case concerning two Birds who attend Nevada Union High School.
Melvin Bird, a sophomore, plays football, wrestles and pole vaults in the spring.
Younger brother Jon Bird, a freshman, plays football, wrestles and pole vaults as well.
As if their schedules are not busy enough just trying to be three-sport athletes, the pair have other plans as well.
After a few diplomas, Melvin Bird plans to be a heart surgeon. Ditto for Jon.
En route, both are in the early stages of a plan to graduate from Nevada Union High School early.
“I want to graduate to start my life earlier,” said Melvin of the fast track he put himself on, one that apparently his brother intends to follow. It is one their mother, Sandra, followed when she graduated early from high school in Los Angeles.
They are not clones, despite similar aspirations of excellence. Far from it. Jon is better at English; Melvin, better at mathematics. Melvin is more straightforward, Jon a little softer-spoken.
Sandra said she is not the author of their early graduation plan, and supports the effort as long as such a busy schedule does not crumble under the weight of such lofty goals.
Like the wrestling in which they are currently involved, the schoolwork will get more difficult the higher they move up the academic rungs.
And if they really want to get on with getting on, who are we to say? At least they have goals and plans of the academic variety. Whether they stay the course to graduate early or change their minds somewhere down the road, at least they are traveling a road with off-ramps leading to somewhere.
May all children take to their academics with such vigor, for even if college is not for some, what one learns in high school, believe it or not, comes into play in some shape or form later in life.
Last Friday, both showed they take their athletics as seriously as they take their schoolwork. Melvin placed fourth at the Capital Athletic League varsity wrestling tournament in the 152-pound weight division. Jon, bumped up a weight from earlier in the season, took second at 140 pounds.
By virtue of their performances, both advance to subsections. The Birds, and perhaps some homework, will travel to Natomas High School for Thursday and Friday’s competition.
And so it goes.
Both insist that they manage to find some free time, and manage to find it in the same 24 hours we all live by. Okay, this was admitted while the pair were busy helping out around the house, but that is beside the point.
They just like staying on the move. No sooner had Jon finished with his second-place finish at Del Campo High School Friday than the the Bird family was in the car, rushing back to Nevada Union High School.
Jon had been named the freshman prince of the Winter Homecoming and wanted to be in the House of Pain for the coronation during halftime of the varsity girls basketball game.
The Birds made it with a few minutes to spare. No sweat. Just another day, just another day.
Vince Vosti is a sports writer for The Union. You may contact him care of The Union, 11464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945, or via e-mail at
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.