There might not be another Calaveras High School student-athlete who had as much fun this past school year as Nick Quinday. Between playing football and golf and being in the middle of nearly every student activity, the Class of 2017 graduate made the most out of his senior year.
“It’s definitely a great honor,” Quinday said. “It’s something that you see in the newspaper and it’s something that you strive for. It’s a guy you look up to and a great athlete.”
Quinday was a cornerstone of the Calaveras football program for the past two seasons. He played middle linebacker and was a jack-of-all-trades on the offensive line, lining up at center, guard and tackle.
Calaveras finished the 2016 season in third place in a competitive Mother Lode League, but went 8-2 overall in the regular season. The team was littered with talent and had high hopes of making a deep run in the postseason, but a 38-7 home loss to Marysville in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Division V playoffs ended that dream.+4
“You can’t really surpass Calaveras football,” Quinday said. “It’s just a great experience here. The coaches do a great job and the players all grow up together. It’s a family atmosphere. And then you go out there and play hard every Friday night.”
When the football season came to a close, Quinday went from making an impact on the field to making one in the stands. He became the vocal leader of the popular “Red Sea” cheering section that always made life difficult for opposing basketball teams entering Calaveras High’s Mike Flock Gymnasium.
“I enjoyed dressing up for every game and coming up with different ideas on how we could get people involved,” Quinday said. “Once you start getting people involved, they have more fun and everyone is out there having a good time and doing it for a good cause and that’s rooting for our team.”+4 Photo by Gordon Long
When spring arrived, Quinday didn’t feel like sitting idle for his final few months at Calaveras. Longtime friend and classmate Hunter Gore persuaded Quinday to join the Calaveras boys golf team. Although he had never played on a golf team before, that didn’t deter Quinday from taking a swing.
Quinday had played a few rounds of golf in his free time, but adapting to the way team golf is played took some time to get used to.
“It’s difficult because there is a whole new set of rules that you have to learn and you are playing with guys who take it a little more serious than other guys are,” Quinday said. “It’s kind of difficult to (acquaint) yourself to each situation and who you are playing against.”
Although Quinday may not have had the same impact on the golf links that he had on the football field, he did help Calaveras have an outstanding season that nearly ended in a league championship. CHS entered the final day of the MLL season tied for first place and ended up third behind Sonora and Bret Harte.
Quinday’s high school football days were not finished once the 2016 season came to an end. He, along with teammate Noah Preuss, represented Calaveras in the annual Lions All-Star Game, which was played last Saturday, June 17.
Hall of Fame
2005: Elliott Joses
2006: Matt Harvey
2007: Jeremy Kautz
2008: Joey Gellerman
2009: Steven Klith
2010: Gary Gellerman
2011: Chris Ussery and Monti Wilson
2012: Gino Alberts
2013: Zack Johnson
2014: Mike Seawell
2015: Taylor Manning
2016: Dylan Byrd
2017: Nick Quinday
Although Quinday will no longer play football for Calaveras, he has not hung up his cleats for good. Quinday and Preuss, along with Bret Harte’s Colin Preston, plan on playing for the Modesto Junior College football team this fall.
“It’s just a big family,” Quinday said. “Everyone participates and everyone has a good time. We are a very successful program.”
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