50° Larkspur, CA
The Student News Site of Redwood High School

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

What it means to be a Giant
What it means to be a Giant
Gil LadetzkyJune 22, 2024

In fifth grade, I attended my first-ever Redwood basketball game. It was a rainy Thursday night in a gym packed with energetic students. As I...

A high school student ridden with acne scrolls through social media posts of influencers with seemingly flawless skin from filters.
The bulging red bumps of your teen years shouldnt be normalized: Acne vulgaris, a detrimentally neglected disease
Emily HitchcockJune 20, 2024

Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory disease —those red, white or scarred marks, the ones that stand out or grow beneath the skin as a painful...

Seniors launch their caps in their air as Dr. Barnaby Payne announces they have officially graduated.
Redwood class of 2024 graduates amid tears, cheers and airhorns: A celebration to remember
Cora ChampommierJune 15, 2024

  On Thursday, June 13, the Redwood class 2024 solidified their impact on the school over the past four years and became a step closer...

Prep of the year: Jake Vasquez

Senior and two-sport star athlete Jake Vasquez has had a goal since middle school: to play sports at the highest level possible. Throughout his time at Redwood, he has developed not only as a player on the field but also as a person off of it.
“I think sports, especially at Redwood, have shaped me into [who] I am, both personality and work ethic wise. It’s about being a good person on and off the field,” Vasquez said.
As a freshman, Vasquez started his high school career strong, making the varsity teams for both basketball and lacrosse.
“[Making varsity] was my goal since middle school. When I made both as a freshman, I was nervous but also excited to work with the best players,” Vasquez said.
Since playing at the varsity level, Vasquez has left his mark on Redwood athletics. His record-breaking performance in basketball, scoring over 1,200 points throughout four years and receiving a first-team nomination two years in a row in the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL), is a testament to his exceptional skills. Boys’ varsity basketball head coach Jay DeMaestri has coached Vasquez since middle school and has noticed his significant athletic growth.

Leading the offense, Jake Vasquez signals the play in front of the Giants fans. (Photo by Matthew Knauer)

“[Vasquez] was always one of if not the best players on the court. He wasn’t perfect, but he was always bigger than everybody, faster than everybody and stronger [than everybody]. It definitely carried over into his perfect high school career,” DeMaestri said.
Throughout Vasquez’s time at Redwood, he has created everlasting moments that he’ll cherish forever, but one that stands out was from his sophomore basketball season.
“One of my favorite basketball memories was hitting a three [pointer] as a sophomore during the MCAL Championship. The crowd erupted, and it’s always a sound I will remember for the rest of my life,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez has committed his time and efforts not only to school teams but also to various nationally recognized club and amateur athletic union (AAU) teams throughout the year. The first of these is Lakeshow, an AAU organization based in the East Bay that is one of the Bay Area’s top youth basketball programs. Vasquez has also been a part of Jalen Green Elite. This high-level team competes in the Adidas Circuit, a tournament-style circuit allowing players to compete at the highest pre-college level.
Not only has Vasquez shown commitment and domination on the basketball court, but his impressive athletic career has also perspired on the boys’ varsity lacrosse team. Vasquez has earned the title of a first-team player in MCALs for two consecutive years. He plays both offensive middle and attack for the team and has made countless contributions. During the off-season, Vasquez plays for the Alcatraz Outlaws club team, a premier Northern California club team that Inside Lacrosse Magazine has recognized as one of the best lacrosse clubs in the country. While Vasquez enjoys his time with the Outlaws, some parts of playing for Redwood are slightly sweeter, including playing alongside his best friends.
“Having really good friends like BJ [Fisher], Gil [Ladetzky], Ian [Rothbart] and Will [Parsons] gives me such a good opportunity to feel comfortable. I can say stuff during huddles, and if the coach starts getting mad at me, my friends support me and are right by my side helping me get through it,” Vasquez said.

Running down the field, senior Jake Vasquez looks to pass the ball. (Photo by Lauren Poulin)

Not only did Vasquez lead his teams through his athletic contributions, but he also served as a captain for both the basketball and lacrosse teams.
“As captain [in both lacrosse and basketball] this year, whenever we would have a big loss, it was hard to sometimes bounce back and keep people’s positivity high,” Vasquez said
But despite the challenges, Vasquez managed to do just that, bouncing back and leading the team to the North Coast Section lacrosse semifinal and MCAL basketball finals.
“[Vasquez is] a winner. He led the [basketball] team for the last two years. He was a four-year varsity player who would always try to take guys under his wing and get the best out of each player,” DeMaestri said.
Not only do coaching and friendships drive Vasquez, but so does his family.
“Having three brothers and playing with them all the time has shaped me into the person I am today. They help me be innovative and adjust on and off the field,” Vasquez said.
Vasquez looks forward to continuing his lacrosse career by playing at the University of Notre Dame, the back-to-back Division I NCAA champions.
“Notre Dame is such an incredible school, both academically and sports-wise. It’s the perfect fit,” Vasquez said. Lacrosse is the sport that had the upper edge for me. I like it a little more, and I’m excited to play at the next level.”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emma Rosenberg
Emma Rosenberg, Copy Editor
Emma Rosenberg is a Junior at Redwood High School and a copy editor for the Bark. She is a competitive dancer at the Performing Arts Academy of Marin.