East County Sports


Monte Vista grad Andy Canedo on the Petco Park jumbotron.




By Dave Dickens



SPRING VALLEY (6-13-2021) — There comes a point in sports history, as rare as it may be, that any high school athletic program produces one full-ride athletic scholarship, possibly even the same team sport, as both Andy Canedo and Ernie Arambula are those recipients from Monte Vista High School. 


Not only did these two athletes play baseball together for four years, but come to find out, they grew up together, played travel ball together, and competed against each other, as well.


How fortunate for them to end up on the Monte Vista Varsity Monarchs as teammates for four years.


“It has been an honor to grow up with Andy,” Arambula said. “From being little kids and lucky enough to end our high school careers at a high standard, Andy is one of the best pitchers in San Diego and leaning on each other to do the right things on the field. Andy is a leader, always is aware and ahead of the game, and is our mentor as far as our team is concerned. Andy will always be like a brother, and being able to have a close friend to me that is playing at a high D-1 college is one of the most exciting things. I cannot wait to see him play at his best at the next level.”


Anyone and everyone that has seen this young talent pitch, whether a spectator, coach, scout, opponent, or fellow teammate, always speaks of the pop when his fastball hits the glove.


Just ask Mount Miguel High skipper Frank Coit.


“Upper-level talent on the hill, extreme competitor and a great leader of his teammates vocally, and by his play,” Coit said. “I don’t know if they are gonna let him swing it in college, but he definitely has some big-time pop. I really, truly, enjoyed watching Andy pitch, even though it was usually opposing us. In our 2-1 loss to the Monarchs this season, when Thomas Ringer and Andy Canedo locked horns, we scored right off the bat in the first inning, with a couple of hard-hit balls, a stolen base, and were up 1-0 against Andy. Shocked him for a brief second and his reaction? Andy struck out 13 of our players for a 2-1 complete-game win.”


Canedo finished this season 8-2 with a 3.16 ERA, and while pitching is going to be his forte, this young athlete could also swing the stick a bit. Canedo finished with a .361 batting average. On the mound, he issued 24 walks and had 69 strikeouts. A phenomenal baseball IQ should also be added to the list of accomplishments. 


Canedo and his squad, built as a very young team with growing pains as all young teams go through, remained very competitive in 2021 as they finished 13-12 overall, and 7-4 in league play. The Monarchs finished second in the league only behind a very good Santana Sultans team, who finished 21-6 overall and 9-0 in league play and held their own and lost to a very good Mount Carmel team (20-13), 1-0. Definitely, a season in which Canedo and the rest of his team will remember as an extremely competitive season.


“I have built an amazing relationship with everyone associated with my baseball team, the coaches, the players, and everything,” Canedo said. “Being a four-year varsity starter being the captain all four years, I have helped show younger guys how Monarch baseball is supposed to be played and look like. This was all learned early because of the way Coach (Craig) Neu is. Becoming an amazing coach of mine, sharing his knowledge and everything he has to make me a better player, which in turn allowed all of us to create a strong bond with our coach. As a senior leading my team, we have built an amazing relationship amongst my teammates that no other team could compare to. I will greatly miss my teammates and my coaches, as we have become a brotherhood. I cannot wait to see what each and every guy has to show in the future and very grateful to each and every person that has made my career successful.”


It was not an easy feat for the senior, who will be continuing his baseball career at UC Riverside on a full-ride scholarship.


“Andy has been a dominant player on the mound for four years,” Neu said. “He worked tirelessly every year to perfect his craft. Andy was in the weight room every summer to improve his strength. The hard work over the summers led to huge velocity gains. We helped Andy reconstruct his throwing motion his freshman year because he had a history of arm pain. Once he had a proper arm slot and rotator cuff strength, we got him on the mound at the end of his freshman year. We taught him how to throw a changeup, which ended up being his best pitch. He went from throwing 78 mph to 83 mph from his freshman to sophomore year. During his sophomore year, we decided to teach Andy how to throw a slider. The development of Andy’s slider refined him into a strikeout pitcher. Canedo was now throwing 88 mph by the conclusion of his sophomore year. Andy was now even better throwing in the low 90’s over the 2020 summer. Andy continued to work on his craft throughout the pandemic. I continued to feed Andy information, such as exercises, drills, etc., and he would work on them religiously. Andy’s incredible work ethic inside and outside the classroom has also allowed him to become a Division 1 player. Andy will graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.56. Our teachers and student population love him, just a quality kid. On the mound, Andy is a bulldog. Nobody wants to win more than Andy, he is the ultimate competitor. He doesn’t shy away from competition, he embraces it. Andy is emotional and passionate on the mound. If you need to get the big win, the best bet is to hand Andy the ball.”


Another of three this season to look out for from Spring Valley.


Andy Canedo, remember the name because you will hear it often, great kid, great athlete.


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