For The Madera Tribune
Madera South three-sport standout Jared Guglielmana is joined with his parents Steve, who is also the coach of the Stallions boys volleyball team, and Danene after signing his National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at UC Merced.
Like his late older brother did more than 10 years ago, Jared Guglielmana is heading to college to play volleyball.
Guglielmana signed his National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at UC Merced a couple of weeks ago with his parents, siblings and coaches in attendance.
“It was pretty cool to sign,” Guglielmana said. “Playing in college was definitely the goal when I got into high school. My dad (Madera South boys volleyball head coach Steve Guglielmana) was going to resign as a head coach when I was going to be a freshman. I told him, ‘No, you’re going to be my coach.’ He said, ‘If I’m going to be your coach, you have to give 100 percent effort throughout the next four years.’ I told him I would. It definitely paid off.”
Landon Guglielmana ventured to Limestone College in South Carolina in 2009 to help start the men’s volleyball team. However, he tragically died in an automobile accident before he could even take the court.
Jared saw the bar Landon set and has been working hard to reach that bar.
“In between my sophomore and junior year, I talked to my dad about how good Landon was,” Jared said. “I asked if he was one of the best players. He said that he was one of the best to come through here, but he said I think you can be better than him. That’s what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to meet his bar he set in high school. I think I did a good job.”
Jared received interest in Grand Canyon University, Master’s College, Menlo College and Arizona Pacific.
“I got to know the coach at UC Merced,” he said. “I went to one of their practices and liked their vibe there. There’s nothing bad about UC Merced. It’s definitely closer to home than the other schools. My family can come over and watch me play and I can head over on the weekends and visit them.”
Now that he is headed to college, Guglielmana is proud to know he set a pretty high bar for the rest of his siblings to reach following him.
“They’ve always looked up to me,” he said. “Seeing me going to UC Merced, they are all excited about that. My younger brother is trying to train for volleyball now that he’s going to high school.”
Guglielmana, a three-sport athlete in his senior year, received the Madera South Champs for Life Award, the school’s equivalent to the Senior Athlete of the Year.
“There are a lot of great athletes there,” he said. “When I watched the presentation, I saw my name. My whole family was proud of me. I thought this was pretty cool. I will be able to go back and visit to school and have something to remember.”
Although volleyball was his main sport, Guglielmana played water polo for four years.
“I had a couple of buddies in water polo since middle school,” he said. “Freshman year, they were egging me on to get out there. I said, why not. It’s off season and I can stay fit for volleyball. I hopped in that pool that first day and was about to die. It kept me fit through the offseason. I stuck with it through my four years. I was having knee pains. My knees and hips are pretty bad. Just treading water in water polo, that helped the joints for volleyball.”
In addition, Guglielmana played basketball this season.
“I tried out for basketball my freshman year and got cut from the team,” he said. “I didn’t associate myself with basketball the next two years. My senior year comes around and the basketball guys were egging me on, too. I told them I’ll see when it gets there. Basketball season came up and I tried out and I made the team. It was a great fit. The coach said I helped the team a bit and I got some playing time.”
Those two sports set him up for volleyball season where the Stallions were defending its Div. II Central Section Championship and were primed for a run at a repeat.
“I felt like we were going to do good this year,” he said. “I could have broken some school records this season. We had some really good team chemistry. We were on an incline. I feel like we could have gone back to that Valley game this year. I think we set the bar pretty high this year and last year. It will be hard for the underclassmen to reach that bar.”
In addition to Guglielmana signing, the Stallions had Sebastian Moreno sign to Westcliff University, an NAIA school in Southern California. The two teams are league opponents so the two teammates will face off against each other.
“That’s pretty cool to have two guys sign to a four-year,” Guglielmana said. “We’re in the same conference, so we’ll play each other. Sebastian was interested early on with UC Merced. He went to one of the practices, too. Westcliff called him up and they had a scholarship for him so that was cool.”
Now that Guglielmana is signed to UC Merced, he is happy with his decision and where he will be for the next few years.
“It feels pretty good,” he said. “I was worried about my decision of colleges. UC Merced turned out to be a good fit. I talked to my family and friends about it. Now that I’m committed there, it feels pretty good to know where I’ll be for the next four years.”