Cade Alger takes pride in excelling at multiple sports, much like his older sisters.
Twins Mikaela and Morgan Alger played four sports at Ripon Christian, where they graduated in 2012 after helping the volleyball team capture three Sac-Joaquin Section championships. Mariah Alger, a 2015 grad, played both basketball and volleyball.
Basketball is Cade’s specialty, and the versatile 6-foot-8 guard who was named to the Cal-Hi Sports Division V All-State First Team will continue his career at NCAA Division I Seattle University.
He was also quarterback for Ripon Christian’s Southern Athletic League championship football team last fall. In the spring, he was a natural at volleyball, given his length and abilities.
Ripon Christian’s boys volleyball team has a ways to go to match the success of the girls club, but the Knights are off to a good start. The youngest of the Algers is a big reason for its sudden rise, and Cade is the 2019 Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP.
“I was usually in the gym when they were playing their games, so I touched the volleyball every now and then,” Cade said of attending his sisters’ matches in his younger days. “When they introduced boys volleyball to the high school I was definitely interested in that.
“Being part of three sports was a nice way to stay active, and all three benefitted me as an athlete in different ways. It was fun to go through the seasons with different people and develop friendships that I value very much. Being successful was a bonus, that’s for sure.”
Alger got to play for SJS championships in all three sports, winning the Division VI basketball crown his junior year. The boys volleyball team was revived in 2018 — the Knights previously earned league titles in 1997 and 1998 before disbanding in the early 2000s.
The sport returned for Ripon Christian’s male athletes in 2018. With Alger leading the charge, the Knights seized back-to-back Trans-Valley League crowns while going undefeated each year. The hard-hitting outside hitter was voted All-TVL MVP this past spring, finishing the season with 358 kills, 49 digs, 41 blocks and 26 aces.
Ripon Christian carried a 17-match winning streak to the SJS Division III final against a far more established program in Bear River. Ripon Christian is the first school from the southern half of the section to be represented in a SJS boys volleyball championship match.
The Knights fell in four games and again three days later at Valley Christian in their first-ever appearance in the CIF Northern California Regional Championships appearance. They ended with a 20-4 record.
“It was cool to make history and go out not having lost a league match,” Alger said. “Getting to play in the section championship and NorCals against these teams was a great experience, and it really got me to respect the game even more. Hopefully the program continues to do good things in the future.”
Rael Carmesis, Lathrop, So.
Gabriel Gutierrez, Lathrop, Sr.
Armando Mendoza, W. Ranch, Sr.
Flavio Mercado, East Union, So.
Tyler Riggleman, Lathrop, Sr.
Jacob Van Groningen, RC, Jr.