By John Philip Wyllie
A year ago, the Bonita Vista Barons posted a very respectable 8-2-1 record won the Mesa League title and qualified for the CIF San Diego section playoffs. That won’t be enough this season for senior Meir Maya, the Barons outstanding offensive and defensive lineman.
“Bonita usually makes it to the first or second round (of the playoffs) and then gets eliminated. This year we hope to go all the way to Qual-comm,” Maya said.
he Barons got off to a good start September 2 when they crushed Hawaii’s Kapa’a High School 37-0. They will face a much bigger challenge on November 10 when they take on traditional Mesa League rival Eastlake in the final game of the regular season. But in between now and then there will be a lot of football played. And while Maya is optimistic about the Barons’ potential, he is taking nothing for granted.
Born into a close-knit Mexican-American Jewish family, the multi-lingual Maya has spent considerable time living in three distinct cultures and has visited his extended family in Mexico City on numerous occasions. That cultural awareness has helped forge him into a leader.
“Being Jewish, I am very involved in the local Mexican-Jewish community. We have a youth group called Ken. It is open to Americans too, but it is mainly for Mexican-Jewish kids. We get together on Saturdays and do all sorts of activities (pertaining to) Judaism, but at the same time it is in a very Mexican environment.” His leadership skills carry over on to the football field as well.
“Meir is a very dedicated, hard-working kid,” according to Baron assistant coach, Greg Raby. “He really understands the game of football and how to play it and that makes him a good leader. He is unusual in that he has been on our varsity team for four years and he helps the younger guys learn their positions. Having him on our team is like having an additional on-the-field coach.” His strength, power and great technical skills combine to make him one of the conference’s top offensive lineman.
“This year, I am just hoping to play well on both sides of the ball and get a look from a Division I college. If I don’t get a Division I scholarship, I will probably go to Israel and study for a year,” Maya said.
Maya will cross that road when he comes to it. For now, he is focused on making his senior year of Bonita Vista football one to remember.