The second day of the National Football League Draft last Friday was a pretty good one for Pleasanton.
One player from the town and one that played junior football in Pleasanton found their way on to NFL rosters.
Jevon Holland, who was raised in Pleasanton, went to the Miami Dolphins at 36th overall, with Aaron Banks -- a former Pleasanton Junior Football League player -- going to the San Francisco 49ers at No. 48.
I was fortunate to spend some time around both when they were younger.
Jevon is the younger brother of former Foothill two-sport (football and lacrosse) star Jamirr Holland, who was a lacrosse teammate of my son Josh for Pleasanton club, high school and various travel teams.
That Jevon made it to the NFL comes as little surprise as the Hollands are a family rich in athletic genes.
Father Robert started playing professional football in Canada with the BC Lions out of Sacramento State in 1990, and then went on and played for the Birmingham Fire in the World League of American Football.
He was then with the San Francisco 49ers before returning to the CFL, winning a Grey Cup and earning an all-star nod in 1994. He now runs Holland Fitness and Performance Training in Pleasanton.
Jamirr played for Tabor College in Kansas before signing a free agent contract with the CFL. Jevon's sister Jada was a star basketball player at Bishop O'Dowd in high school and now plays for UC Riverside.
Jevon played high school ball at Bishop O'Dowd, earning a scholarship to Oregon where he excelled as a safety.
In two seasons as an Oregon starter, Holland amassed nine interceptions (one pick-six) to go with 108 tackles (71 solo) and 10 passes defended. As a sophomore, he was a PFF All-Pac-12 first-team selection.
He opted out of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL Draft and saw his dreams realized in the second round.
Aaron Banks (now a 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive guard) I was blessed to coach in PJFL for one season as I have written about before in this space.
Aaron, whose parents brought him out from Hayward I believe, was a fifth-grader on our team because of his size. We had no idea what to expect from the much-younger player, but it didn't take too many practices until with saw the talent level.
We spent a lot of time running behind the youngest player in the league on the way to taking the league championship.
Banks went to high school at El Cerrito where he was a prolific football player and a pretty good basketball player. When it came to pick a college, Banks got a scholarship to Notre Dame.
I did get a couple of chances to exchange messages with Banks during his time at Notre Dame, and he was still very personable.
After becoming a consensus All-American his third season of playing (he red-shirted one year), Banks debated playing one final year as a tackle, but after talking with former Irish players, he made the decision to turn pro.
I look forward to the NFL every season, but this year it will be special to see a pair of players that graced the athletic fields in Pleasanton in their youth sports time.
Amador girls soccer
The Amador Valley girls soccer team opened their abbreviated spring season at home with a solid 3-0 victory against the California Grizzlies last week.
Maille Smith scored a pair of goals, one unassisted and the other on a header off a Leah Allari cross. Kennedy Mayo netted an unassisted goal to cap the scoring.
Penny Murphy helped control the midfield, while Noelle Marceno anchored the Amador defense. Goalkeepers Elizabeth Fineberg and Sydney Head secured the clean sheet.
Amador boys basketball
Granada and Amador opened the season with a pair of games, with the Matadors coming away with wins in both games.
In the first game last Friday night at Granada, the Mats took an early lead 15-8 at the end of the first quarter, but the Dons cut it to five at the half -- 29-24.
It was Granada who came out on fire to start the second half, running the lead out to 54-35 at the end of three on the way to the 71-47 final.
In the rematch Saturday afternoon at Amador, the teams fought to a 15-15 score at the end of one, with Granada taking a 36-33 lead into the half.
The second half was equally as tight as Granada led 53-51 at the end of three quarters, and then held on for the 65-63 win.
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his "Pleasanton Preps" column, email [email protected]