It may be an overused cliche, but for Fremont High School the saying that “big things often come in small packages” is an apt description for one of the school’s biggest rock stars. Recent 2020 graduate Melissa Lee, was not only the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the CCS in the 101 lb weight class, but she also competed in track and field while graduating with an unweighted 4.0 GPA. While Lee saw her senior year of track end abruptly due to COVID-19, she still managed to be one of the 14 winners of the CCS Scholar-Athlete Scholarship for the 2019-20 school year.
“She is a trailblazer for our program,” said Fremont Wrestling Co-Head Coach Erik Duus. “She set a high bar and standard for the girls coming up in our program. Her presence will be missed.”
Lee’s presence will be missed at Fremont but will be a welcomed addition to Stanford University in the fall. The rising college freshman will be studying computer science up the road at the prestigious Bay Area university.
“Unfortunately, I only had minimal exposure to computer science in high school, but I am taking classes at De Anza right now,” said Lee on her interest in the computer science arena. “I am really into artificial intelligence and the development of various technologies to advance society.”
There is certainly nothing artificial about the impact Lee made in advancing Fremont’s Wrestling program. Co-Head Coach Dan McCune also raved about the impact Lee had both on the wrestling team and as an academic standout for the school.
“The Lee family has constantly strived for success through their diligence and hard work within and outside of our program. Melissa is a competitor in all things, including on the mat and in the classroom,” praised McCune. “We expect continued great things from her as she continues her education with her sister Nicole at Stanford next year. All of the Lee’s, Ryan at UC Berkeley, Nicole and Melissa at Stanford and Derek, who will be a junior at Fremont next year, have taken the lessons of wrestling and applied them to everything they attempt. It has been a pleasure having all of them as a part of our program.”
With Stanford not having a women’s wrestling program, Lee says she plans on getting involved in either Jiu-Jitsu or Judo clubs on campus to keep the competitive spirit flowing while earning her degree. That competitive spirit had her placing first in CCS in both 2018 and 2019 in her weight class. Lee was also set to compete in the 4X100 relay, 100 meter, and long jump before shelter in place abruptly ended her high school athletic career. Looking back, Lee says she will certainly miss the unique atmosphere the wrestling program provided.
“I will definitely miss my team and my coaches, the wrestling program is very unique,” said Lee. “It’s coed so, we have a very unique team dynamic. I can honestly say everyone on the team is a part of my family. I am going to miss seeing them at every practice.”