Highlanders who found success in pro sports

By Griffith Jennings

Since Granada Hills High School (GHHS) was established in 1960, the school became charter in 2003, there have been many great Highlanders who have taken part in school sports. However, a small number of these individuals have been able to rise to the top of their respective professional sports.

The most notable sports alumnus in GHHS history is John Elway, class of 1979. Considered by some to be the greatest modern American football player, Elway played quarterback at Stanford University and for the Denver Broncos for 16 years.

Throughout his career, Elway racked up numerous awards and honors. He won two Super Bowls, was a Super Bowl MVP, and was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times. Elway was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000 as well as the the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in his first year of eligibility.

Since retirement Elway has continued his successful career. He was CEO and co-owner of the Arena Football League’s Colorado Crush from 2003 to 2008. Elway has also  served as the general manager and executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos since 2011, helping the team win a Super Bowl.

Another GHC alumnus is former professional wrestler Ariane Andrew, class of 2005. Andrew wrestled in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) under the ring name “Cameron.” She also starred as one of the main cast members of the WWE reality television show “Total Divas.”

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Gary Matthews Jr. also attended, graduating in 1992. A one time all star, Matthews Jr. played professionally from 1999 to 2010.

An additional GHHS alum who had a successful MLB career is Ryan Braun, class of 2002. Braun is currently an outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. Making his debut in 2007, Braun is one of the most prosperous alumna. Braun won Rookie of the Year in 2007, and was the National League home run leader in 2012. He is also a six time all star, five time silver slugger, and won the National League MVP in 2011.  In 2017 Braun hit his 300th home run.

Other noteworthy alumnus include Kameron Loe who pitched in the MLB from 2004 to 2013, Jamal Brooks who played 23 games in the NFL, and Kristine Quance who won a gold medal for the 4×100-meter medley relay in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Ultimately, in the school’s 58 years, we have seen many great athletes who have gone on to achieve substantial success in their professional sports. Clearly the school offers an excellent sports program that benefits not only students but future fans as well.

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