Chaidez gets scholarship to wrestle at Menlo


Claudia Chaidez

Setting himself up for his future, senior Diego Chaidez signs a letter of intent for Menlo College surrounded by his parents Cesar and Maria Chaidez. “It was an awesome day, I knew I was starting a new chapter of my life, one that I worked hard to achieve,” Diego said.

Graduation marks the end of an era for a lot of students as they get ready to embark a new chapter in their lives. Students leave their memories and friends behind for a new start, one they are both startled and scared of. Student athletes also leave something behind. They prepare to leave their athletic careers behind and focus on new hobbies or responsibilities as they go on to college, but for Diego Chaidez this isn’t the case. 

College is as expensive as it is important which is why financial help and scholarships are crucial when it comes to going to a post secondary institution as they help pay off student debt. In order to win scholarships, an individual must take certain steps to stand out to committees who give them out. Those steps consist of confidence in skills, exceeding in academics, and success of showing off abilities through extra curricular activities, Chaidez exceeded those expectations, receiving a close to a full ride scholarship from Menlo College. “It felt unreal but all I know is that my hard work paid off,” Chaidez said.

On Thursday, April 6th, senior Diego Chaidez signed a national letter of intent with Menlo College. “When it comes to the signing, it was an awesome day,” Chaidez said. “I did not expect that many people to show up but a lot of people came and supported me in my time of signing.” With an intended business major in marketing, he focused hard on his academics in taking multiple AP’s, being a part of a college and career readiness program, and achieving a balance in schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Menlo College is a private school located in Atherton, California near Stanford. It has over 846 undergraduates attending with an acceptance rate of only 43%. It has a suburban setting with a campus size of 40 acres. Menlo is best known for its practical arts of business in the entrepreneurial economy. The college has one of the best business programs in the state and is ranked as a top school in the nation. “I applied to every school I wanted with a major in business… Menlo has one of the best business programs in the state,” Chaidez said. 

Academics aren’t the only thing on Chaidez’s mind, while the school may be his main focus, his career as a wrestler is just as important to him. Menlo has kept an eye out on him and even went out of their way to give him a well deserved scholarship, not only for his hard work as a student, but for his performance and efforts as a wrestler for Alisal. “On top of my sports, I think my academics – 4.1 GPA and being able to balance an athletic and academic life – stood out to them because I conveyed myself as motivated and disciplined,” Chaidez said.

Why did he choose Menlo? Chaidez specifically pointed out that their wrestling program was a big key factor for his decision. “Their wrestling program just won the NIH championship and now they are going to be transferred to a NCAA D2 school,” Chaidez said. “They’ve been putting in a lot of work and it shows.” He mentioned that it’s inevitable that he’ll end up wrestling for Menlo’s Varsity team. In order to reach his goal of becoming a champion, Chaidez must work harder than ever in developing his strength, techniques and desired weight class of 195 lbs. His plan for the summer is to work on his techniques and maintenance of weight so he’ll be ready by the time the new school year begins.

Apart from the wrestling program, the school’s environment and overall energy grabbed a hold of Chaidez’s attention. “When on my official visit I noticed the environment of the campus as well as the faculty and students. They all had a positive attitude as well as a family-like relationship,” he said. 

Family and friends of Chaidez are all very proud of his accomplishments and can’t wait for what the future has in store for him. “You know as an organization we’re super happy for him,” wrestling coach Miguel Rodriguez said. “I’m not surprised at all because he’s an awesome student… he’s really excelled especially this year in the sport so moving on and continuing his athletic career is not surprising but in general we know we’re really really proud of him.” 

When talking about the kind of person Diego is, his coach often referred to him as someone with good character, someone who’s determined, and a hard worker. “I know he’s got a lot of room to grow and I’m just kind of excited to see how far he can take it,” Rodriguez said. “I want to wish him good luck and see how far he goes.”

Chaidez wants to contribute as much as he can to the team in order to lead them into championships once again. “I think I can contribute a lot, my strength is a big part of who I am now and I want to use it for the benefit of the team,” he said.