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Alcantor Earns Full Academy Appointment
Ever since he can remember, Daniel Alcantor has dreamed of being in the Navy.

And not just going the traditional enlistment way; the Escalon High School senior has received a Congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland through the office of 11th District Congressman Jerry McNerney.

"I really don't know where it came from," admitted Alcantor of why he has been so focused on a naval career. "I just always wanted to go into the Navy and my dream was getting into the Naval Academy."

An appointment to the Naval Academy is a four-year school commitment, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree. For Alcantor, who wants to get into aviation, that will bring more schooling and a likely seven-year commitment, at least, to the service.

The son of Robert and Tammy Alcantor of Escalon, Daniel also has a younger brother, Andrew, a freshman at Escalon High School.

Knowing that he wanted to try and get into the Naval Academy, Alcantor said there was more paperwork and testing than he anticipated, but little by little, it all got done and his efforts came to fruition with the recent announcement from McNerney's office that the full appointment had been awarded.

"I'm feeling kind of still in disbelief," Alcantor admitted. "It'll probably hit me when I get there."

He graduates from Escalon High School in early June and by the end of that month, will be several thousand miles away, starting on the next chapter in his life.

Along with a variety of physical fitness tests, letters of recommendation and a thorough review of his academics, Alcantor said he also had to provide a variety of documentation for the process. Among those working with him was his high school varsity football coach, Mark Loureiro.

"No doubt about it, Daniel fits right in with what the Navy is looking for," said Loureiro. "Daniel is a hard worker, he's a finisher, he sets a goal and he knows how to achieve that goal."

Adding that Alcantor's school work and citizenship are equally impressive, Loureiro said the Academy is getting a fine new recruit.

"He's a leader," Loureiro said. "It makes me proud to say I've coached him. It's always a thrill to see kids from Escalon go on to achieve great things."

Also adding her words of praise was math teacher Charlene Sughrue, who worked with Alcantor during his sophomore and junior years, in pre-calculus as a sophomore, calculus as a junior.

"He was at the top of his class in both of those," Sughrue explained. "He's an outstanding young man."

The process to get in to the Naval Academy started for Alcantor last May, when he first sought the nomination from his Congressman. He did some work this past summer on the application, then put it on the shelf for a few months once he got back into school, finally completing it after the fall football season.

Alcantor said he and his parents - who now don't have to pay for college, his dad pointed out - were beyond happy with the appointment. Between now and graduation, Alcantor will continue to work hard at his AP and regular classes, maintaining a high GPA. He also credits his small town upbringing with forging some strong ties and a good sense of camaraderie that he will take with him when he leaves.

"There's a lot of support here," he said. "Plus you learn how to get along with people."