Lane Cefalu wanted to celebrate his commitment to George Fox University at a place he may as well call home.
Last Sunday, April 11, the East Union senior outside linebacker was the center of attention at CrossFit Excel where family, friends, teammates and coaches gathered to honor him. Cefalu initially committed to the NCAA Division III school out of Newberg, Ore. back on Dec. 2, 2020.
“I wanted to do it at CrossFit Excel because that's where I started my journey,” Cefalu said. “I've been working out there since I was 12 years old — I kind of grew up with it. It's a big part of how I became the athlete I am today, so I figured there's no better place to have it than there.”
It's where he'll spend much of his time before leaving for GFU, now that the pandemic-shortened spring football season is over. For East Union, it ended a week earlier than scheduled after a positive coronavirus test within the program was revealed this past Tuesday.
The Lancers (2-2) were supposed to play cross-town rival Manteca (4-0) today. While surely bummed out about not getting the opportunity to face the Buffaloes one last time, Cefalu is grateful to have some semblance of a senior season after months of doubt of that even happening.
“It was good. It certainly added a little light to this whole pandemic,” he said. “That was one of the big things for me to do before I graduated, was to go out there and be with my fellow seniors I've played with all four years.
“The only thing that kind of (dampens) it a little bit was that I really wanted to play Manteca one more time, but just being able to have four games, I can't complain about that.”
Cefalu was named to the All-Valley Oak League second team as a junior. This year, he finished with 16 tackles (five for losses) and one sack.
George Fox University is part of the Northwest Conference. Cefalu plans to major in business management.
“It feels a lot more real now,” Cefalu said of signing his commitment letter four months after verballing. “It's nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. I'm making a big jump in my life and my football career. I look at it as a new beginning and fresh start for me. The next time I put on a helmet and pads, I'll be playing for George Fox.”