Aptos High School’s Shane Modena, a stand-out tight end and linebacker on the Mariner’s varsity football team, signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) for Whitworth University in Spokane, Wa., during a signing ceremony on Feb. 27. With his teammates and coaches at his side, Shane signed the letter, bringing exuberant cheers from the crowd.
“My signing day today is one of my favorite memories in high school,” Shane said.
Born and raised in Aptos, Shane started playing flag football when he was just 5 years old. By seventh grade, he had fallen in love with the sport, especially after attending one of his cousin’s high school football games. Making varsity became his dream.
“I tried convincing my parents to let me play pop-warner, but they said I had to wait until freshman year,” Shane said. “I couldn’t wait until freshman year so I could finally play some real football.”
Shane initially played both defense and offense in his freshman year, but he knew early on which side of the ball he belonged.
“When I first got to Aptos, Coach Scott, the freshman head coach, put me in as a quarter back and outside line backer,” he said. “I disliked being the quarterback and wasn’t very good at it but I felt like outside linebacker just felt right.”
In his sophomore year, Shane played outside linebacker and tight end on junior varsity. Linebacker came much easier for him, clarifying in his mind and the coaches where he belonged.
Shane made varsity in his junior year, and that’s when the fun truly began. His dream was coming true.
“We are very proud of Shane,” coach Mark Dorfman said. “Not only is he an outstanding football player, he is also an iconic throwback athlete from the 60’s and 70’s, a true three-sport star, which is rare these days. Most importantly, he is a great young man, kind, generous, and hard working. He will be an asset to any college that he attends.”
“We worked harder then any team we played and it showed on the field,” he said. “We are CCS Champions and was one touchdown away from being Nor Cal champions, winning those games were awesome! However, what made our team so special is that everyone on are team was very close and shared a bond unlike anything I experienced before.”
The Mariners, lead by Coach Randy Blankenship, finished the 2018 season with an 11-3 record (5-2 League).
Shane chose Whitworth College because it has a good football program and is a good fit academically. His future plans are to become in engineer and make great memories on and off the field with future teammates and friends.
When asked what he likes about football, Shane said: “The intensity and work ethic of playing. It is a physically and mentally challenging game. You have to stick with it and really work hard to get what you want out of it … When the game starts and it’s 11 on 11 and the crowd is cheering — being nervous was the last thing I thought about.”
Varsity Career Stats
6’2”, 170 lbs.
451 Receiving Yards, (21.5 per catch), 21 Receptions, 28.2 Receiving Yards Per Game, 5 TDs, 4 INTs
For more information on Aptos High Sports: www.aptoshs.net