Stanford Bound: senior Diego Preciado shares his experiences


Diego Preciado, center, recives the Admiral’s Award aboard the historic USS Midway. Photo courtesy of Diego Preciado.

Paige Townsend, Reporter

It’s not easy being a high school senior, but you don’t have to tell senior Diego Preciado that. Preciado, wide receiver and defensive back on the CAHS varsity football team, was recently accepted into Stanford University with a promise that any other scholarship offered to him would be matched by the school.

“It’s been my dream school since I was… eight or nine years old … when we were visiting friends around the San Francisco area. I love the feel of the campus, and my dad told me what a great school it was … Ever since then it’s been my goal to get there,” Preciado said.

He attributes this enormous academic achievement not only to high test scores, but also to his entrance interview, conducted by a Stanford alumnus. “I’m really good at communicating, so I think … that really helped me get into Stanford,” Preciado said.

In addition to rigorous academics, Preciado also does freelance graphic design around San Diego in order to earn some extra money. “I do logos and graphic design, like sports designs … for local high schools with their posters or sports schedules. So I do a mix of a lot of different types of things. It’s a lot of fun,” Preciado said.

But how does one balance the pressures of school, sports, and work? Preciado attributes much of his success to the discipline his parents instilled in him from an early age. “My mom and dad gave me a lot of encouragement, and in middle school they helped me find a good rhythm. I transferred that rhythm over to high school… I work obviously independently, but my parents are one of the main reasons that I have such a good work schedule … I’m able to manage work very well because of the principles that they taught me ever since I was a little kid.”

Preciado also cited football, Coach Goodman, and the Caiman Way as pillars that helped him become the person he is today, as they instilled in him a sense of teamwork and working for the good of a team rather than oneself. “Most of the sports I played until high school were about the individual. They preached success by yourself over the success of the team … They taught you how to be the best individual, as opposed to the best team player. I think that being here for the last four years and being taught how to play for my team and not for myself has really shaped me as a player and as a student.”

Furthermore, in recognition of both his scholarly and sportsmanlike triumphs, the self-proclaimed student-athlete was recently awarded the Admiral’s Award aboard the USS Midway. Described as “an all-around student-athlete award, for a person who has a big impact on their school, their team, and their community,” Preciado was “very excited” when he heard that he was selected as the recipient. “The Admiral’s Award is probably at the top of my achievements list.

Finally, he thanks CAHS. “The thing that I’m most proud of here is being a part of this football team for four years, and part of the sports teams here. It’s really different than a lot of other schools and a lot of other programs, [since] you really feel at one with the people around you. It’s really more of a brotherhood.