“We eat a lot,” says older brother Gabe Solis, a senior who takes the lead in the conversation. Diego Solis, seated next to him, is a sophomore. A man of select words, he nods in agreement.
While Gabe can eat cereal “three meals a day,” that won’t speed him in bulking up as he works on enlarging his 5-feet-10-inches tall frame, weighing in at last count at 160 pounds. Diego, at 5-feet-9-inches tall, is still filling out. What does help both expand includes “lots of protein shakes, a lot of eggs, burritos, stir-fry, and pasta.” “I can’t cook, so my girlfriend fixes me some food,” allows Gabe, including scrambled eggs. Diego is more adept at the stove.
These are good times for the Viking pair. At this writing, both multiple-sport student-athletes are healthy, and they are enjoying what they have wanted to do for some time-play together on the same teams for La Jolla High.
Gabe, Coach Tyler Roach’s leading receiver with 1,081 yards on 66 receptions and 10 touchdowns as a junior on a squad that went 3-1 in the City League, 6-6 overall last year, participated in football camps at Yale and Columbia earlier this year.
“Things went really well,” he reports of those visits.
He carries a 4.4 cumulative grade-point average, with an interest in environmental science. The younger Solis is no slouch in the classroom, either, copping 4.0 GPA’s both semesters of his freshman year.
“We played against each other in the backyard,” the elder brother says of the intrafamily competition. “Now it’s nice to be playing on the same team with Diego.”
“It’s awesome,” Diego says simply. As a freshman last year, Diego played a significant role on Coach Paul Baranowski’s varsity basketball team. Gabe was also a member of the varsity, but he was held back by a back injury from football. So the two are finally playing as a real tandem in high school sports this year, both as receivers in football and guards in roundball.
Early in the summer, the two participated with their Viking teammates in a whirlwind of games in their two favorite sports over a period of four days: on Thursday, both made patented leaping catches of passes from Viking quarterback Carsten Phelan in a 7-on-7 round-robin at La Jolla High. Then, early Friday evening, the Viking basketball team smoked an undermanned Olympian squad 82-44 in a Grossmont High summer league game.
On Saturday, Roach’s gridders played host to their first 7-on-7 tournament at Edwards Stadium. La Jolla made it to the semifinals. Finally, the brother duo returned to the basketball court Sunday, shellacking poor Olympian at Grossmont High again, this time 64-44.
“Gabe brings athleticism to the (football) team,” says Roach. “He’s electric with the ball in his hands and brings a bit of swagger. Diego is dynamic. He can do so many different things on the football field. We are excited to move him around this year and let him make plays for us.”