Jefferies, Miller sign national letters of intent

sjansen@mercedsun-star.comNovember 15, 2012 

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY BEA AHBECK Buhach Colony’s Daulton Jefferies pitches against Central Catholic during Thursday night’s championship game of the Fran Oneto/Atwater-Winton Lions Easter Tournament. Jefferies and the Thunder went on to beat the Raiders.

Daulton Jefferies is well aware of the list of talented baseball players that went on to Division I programs to come out of Buhach Colony.

The list includes players such as Dylan Floro and Brett Mooneyham, who were selected in last year’s baseball draft.

Jefferies added his name to the list on Thursday when he signed his national letter of intent to play baseball at Cal. “It feels great to call myself an alumnus with those guys,” Daulton said. “All those guys are great ball players. I hope I can carry my career as well as they did.”

Jefferies is one of two area athletes signing letters of intent this week.

Merced senior Alison Miller is headed to the University of the Pacific to play water polo.

“At first, when I started looking at colleges, I wanted to go out of state,” said Miller, who will sign with Pacific today. "Then a lot of the girls I played with were staying in state to play. Pacific just felt right. I wanted to stay here.

“I’m pretty excited. I’ve kept pretty quiet about it until now.”

Jefferies had verbally committed to Stanford, but things didn’t work out. Barely a month after decommitting from Stanford, Jefferies verbally committed to Cal.

“I’m really excited to be a Cal Bear,” Jefferies said. “When things didn’t work out at Stanford, I talked to Cal. It was a better situation. I like the environment there. It’s a close-knit team. Everyone is like brothers and you can’t go wrong with the education.”

Buhach Colony coach Greg Wakefield says Jefferies belongs in the Thunder Division 1 fraternity of players.

“He fits right in with those guys,” Thunder coach Greg Wakefield said. “We’ve been lucky to have good talent come through here.

“You look at the Floros, the Mooneyhams, Joe Medeiros, Markus Melgosa and Kert Woods. Even last year’s team, we have a lot of guys playing college baseball.

“It’s not easy. It’s not like football where there are 80 scholarships. Most schools only hand out 11 baseball scholarships.”

Jefferies was 8-0 with a 1.26 ERA on the mound last year. He also hit .366 with 29 RBIs on his way to being named the Central California Conference MVP.

Miller earned her third straight CCC MVP after leading the Bears to league championship.

Merced coach Kristie Dunham recognized early on that Miller had an opportunity to play water polo at the collegiate level.

“I think UOP is getting a strong athlete,” Dunham said. “She has a great outside shot. She has great speed. “I think they’re getting a player that can help them counter attack and create offense.”

Miller worked year round, playing club polo in Modesto when she wasn’t playing for Merced to work toward this goal.

“A lot of people would tell me ‘you’re really good, you’re really good’ and I would always brush it off,” Miller said. “I felt there were a lot of better players than me out there. Maybe this shows that I really am that good.”

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