Madera Tribune Sports Top Stories of the past 10 Years
Stallions win first-ever volleyball section title
Despite playing on the Independence-Bakersfield Falcons’ home court and losing 25-16 and 25-19 in the first two games and making the chances of a comeback remote, the Stallions bounced back for a 25-23 win in Game 3 and then evened the match, 2-2, with a convincing 25-13 win in Game 4. With the season and section title on the line, the Falcons took a 12-9 lead before the Stallions finished on a 7-4 run to win the school’s first-ever girls volleyball Valley Championship with a 16-14 Game 5 and 3-2 match win. Valeria Martinez led the Stallions with 21 kills and 32 digs, while sophomore Justine Williams had 12 kills and Evette Torres served up 24 assists.
Stallions’ cross country wins third straight title
After winning the Valley title in its previous two years in Division III, the Madera South boys cross country team stepped up to the Division II level this year. The Stallions made a mockery of the best the Valley has to offer at the Division II level, with five runners finishing in the top 12 in a field of 126 to score 35 points for their third-straight Valley title. Runner-up Clovis North Broncos (86) and third place Sunnyside-Fresno Wildcats (117) were far behind.
Cook wins state title
James Cook had accomplished nearly everything in his highly-decorated high school wrestling career heading into his senior season at Madera High. A 3-time state placer — fifth as a freshman and second as sophomore while earning All-American honors at Clovis West before transferring to Madera. He then placed fourth in the state for the Coyotes as a junior despite wrestling with a broken foot. Cook became the first Coyote wrestler since Ryan Philp in 1997 to win a state title and joins an illustrious group of seven Coyotes who can lay claim to being a state champion.
Stallions football claims first league title
This was the season that the Stallions finally quieted the naysayers who doubted the five-year program would ever produce a championship caliber team. The Stallions were a team with a tremendous defense, allowing fewer points during the season than all but two of the 78 Central Section teams heading into the playoffs. The Stallions defeated cross-town rival Madera High 14-3, then ran through the North Yosemite League, outscoring their opponents by an average of 48-9.
Stallions dominant in Valley title run
By the time the Division I Central Section boys cross country race was over, it was no question who the top team was — the Madera South Stallions.
The Stallions dominated the rest of the field, placing five runners in the top 11 for the school’s fifth straight Valley Championship, their first in Division I. They are also the first school in the state to win section titles in Division I, II and III.
The Stallions finished with 29 place points led by senior Jose Herrera, who won the race with a time of 15:37, just a second behind his personal best time at Woodward Park.
Liberty’s Ryan Colebrook blazing a new trail
Ryan Colebrook is fast. Some might even say blazing fast.
And if this was in question, just ask the eight hurdlers from big time programs that the Liberty High senior finished ahead of to win the 300-meter intermediate hurdles at the CIF Central Section Masters track and field championships.
As he bolted out of the blocks, passing runners around the turn and giving them a good view of the back of his jersey, Colebrook no longer needed an introduction.
His time of 38.69 seconds was the fastest time of the year in the section. And he now has the all-time best time for lower division schools in the history of the event.
Stallion cross country take 2nd at state meet
After winning its sixth straight Central Section championship including back-to-back Div. I titles, the Madera South cross country team set its sight on a state championship.
The Stallion runners of Eduardo Herrera, David Garcia, Miguel Villar, Juan Macias, Michael Marquez, Luis Becerra and Michael Ochoa did what no other Rich Parris coached team has done — reach the podium of the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Fresno’s Woodward Park.
Ranked No. 6 in the nation and No. 2 in the state, the County/Metro Athletic Conference and Valley champion Stallions had five runners in the top 35 and became the first Madera South team to place in the top three in the state. With 88 place points, the Stallions finished in second behind the country’s No. 4 ranked team Arcadia.
Coyote baseball wins Valley Title
In his second year at the helm, head coach Andy Underwood brought something back to Madera the hasn’t seen in 17 years — a Central Section baseball championship plaque.
The No. 2 seeded Coyotes, held the top-seeded San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers scoreless to capture the Div. II Central Section championship.
The Coyotes scored six runs in the first two innings and let their starting pitcher do the rest. Starting pitcher Scott Roberts tossed five innings of three-hit ball with six strikeouts to pick up the historic win. Sophomore Alec Gamboa finished the job, allowing two hits in three innings with three strikeouts.
Hawks football repeat as Valley Champions
The top-seeded Hawks proved they were the team to beat in Div. V in the Central Section with a 31-19 victory over the second seeded Mendota.
The victory came less than a year after Liberty won its first football section title after beating Corcoran 35-13 as the Hawks finished 12-1 for the second consecutive season under head coach Mike Nolte.
Liberty receiver Travis Jordan set a new school record for receiving yards in a game. He caught three passes for 154 yards for an eye-popping 51.3 yards per catch average. The Liberty running trio of Wade Wallace, Kendall Malone and Richie Brandt rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns.
Stallion girls brings home section title
Despite a heavy downpour the night before the biggest race of the season, the Madera South girls cross country team wasn’t going to let Mother Nature deny it a championship.
With 57 points in the Div. II section championship race on at Fresno’s Woodward Park, the County/Metro Athletic Conference champion Stallions brought home the first girls cross country championship plaque in the program’s history.
Madera South sophomore No. 1 runner Jonnie Montano took second in that race with a personal record time of 19:03 while Shantell Solis, Lindsey Montano, Franki Navarro, Karina Martinez, Ruth Velazquez and Angelica Costilla all helped the Stallions earn the second girls Valley Championship in school history.
Liberty football captures third straight Valley title
When the final gun sounded in the Div. IV Central Section Championship game on Dec. 5, the Liberty Hawks football team was celebrating its 24-6 victory over Central Valley Christian-Visalia for its third straight Valley Championship and first in that division.
Led by defensive lineman C.J. Cambra — the Madera Tribune Defensive Player of the Year — the top-seeded Hawks used a suffocating defense and got opportune big plays from the offense for the victory.
For the third straight season, Nolte came away from the Valley Championship game soaked from the gatorade shower after the Hawks capped the best season in school history. After winning back-to-back Div. V titles, Liberty finished its first undefeated campaign at 13-0.
Madera South cross country wins seventh straight title
Since 2008, the Madera South cross country team has left Woodward Park with a first-place Central Section Championship plaque — in three different divisions.
In the Valley Championship meet , the Stallion boys continued to uphold that concept with a supreme outing in the Div. I race on an overcast afternoon.
Led by junior runner Eduardo “Lalo” Herrera and sophomore Miguel Villar, Madera South finished with a team time of 78:08 — a Woodward Park section championship and school record — to claim its third straight Div. I title and seventh in a row in any division.
In the final boys race of the event, Herrera (1st, 15:07) and Villar (2nd, 15:15) finished as the top two runners out of 83 participants.
Along with the time of Juan Macias (7th, 15:47), Michael Ochoa (8th, 15:49) and Christian Nevarez (12th, 16:08), the Stallions were able to once again top Clovis North for a section title.
Stallions claim eighth title
FRESNO — Eight years, the Madera South boys cross country teams have competed in the Central Section Cross Country Championships in Woodward Park. Eight times the Stallions have gone back to Madera with the Valley Championship plaque.
This year, the Stallions ran away with the plaque in dominating fashion with senior Eduardo “Lalo” Herrera leading the way for the second straight year.
The first four runners to cross the finish line in the Div. I race were Stallions and the fifth runner was 10th and the Stallions defeated Buchanan 20-61.
Herrera led the race from the beginning. He stayed in front of teammate Miguel Villar the entire race and finished with a time of 15:01 to win his second straight Div. I individual Valley Championship.
Villar finished 28 seconds of teammate Michael Ochoa for second place.
Ochoa finished with a time of 15:48, seven seconds ahead of teammate Nicholas Hernandez. Freshman Victor Ochoa closed out the team scoring with a 10th place finish, 19 seconds behind Hernandez.
Sophomore Adrian Alvarez was 12 seconds behind Ochoa in 15th place. Senior Diose Ramirez was the seventh stallions and placed 27th.
Coyotes win Valley title
VISALIA — It took Madera Coyote softball head coach Judy Shaubach 34 games to win her first Valley Championship. However, it took 841 games over the next 27 seasons to win her second.
Behind what has been a Coyote tradition with Shaubach — pitching and fundamentals — the No. 2 seeded Coyotes scored three runs in the fifth to defeat the top-seeded Redwood-Visalia Rangers , 4-2, to win the Div. II Valley Championship.
The Coyotes used small ball, bunting with three straight batters to force Redwood into three errors and score three unearned runs in the Coyote victory.
Freshman Destiny Ricks came in relief of starter Emily Martinez and tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless ball with three strikeouts and four hits.
Stallions win Valley title
In front of an energized Memorial Stadium crowd, the No. 2 Madera South girls soccer team set out to make history when it hosted No. 9 Central Valley Christian-Visalia in the Div. II Central Section Championship game.
“We’re Valley Champions!” Esmeralda “Izzy” Navarro proclaimed after the Stallions’ 2-0 win over the Cavaliers.
With the defense holding firm in the back and clearing the ball out to create scoring opportunities, the Stallions relentlessly attacked CVC’s goal before Sophia Zertuche and Kim Montoya each scored in the second half.
Liberty captures 4th title
BAKERSFIELD — The Liberty Hawks girls soccer team reached the championship match of the Div. III playoffs for the second time in four years and came away with its first Valley Championship, upsetting top seed East High School-Bakersfield.
The Hawks got a goal from Haylee Hoelzel in the fourth minute and got the go-ahead goal with about 10 minutes left in the first half and held on for a 2-1 victory to win the school’s first Div. III Valley Championship and fourth Valley Championship overall.
Hoelzel got a cross from Raina Wristen and headed it into the corner for the first goal five minutes into the game.
Lauren Alexander dribbled through the East defense and sent a shot past the keeper for the go-ahead goal and a 2-1 lead.
Stallions place 5th in state
FRESNO — In its ever-elusive chase for that podium finish, nine-time Valley Champions, the Madera South boys cross country team finished just out of the top three at the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Fresno’s Woodward Park.
Madera South was led by Div. I individual Valley Champion Miguel Villar, placed 14th with a time of 15:33.4. He finished his career with three top 15 finishes in the state meet.
Sophomore Victor Ochoa was the next Stallion across the finish line in 51st place with a time of 16:09.8. He was followed by senior Christian Nevarez in 55th place with a time of 16:11.4. Nevarez made his return the state meet after missing last year to an injury.
Senior Michael Ochoa was the fourth Stallion to cross the finish line in 81st place, finishing the race in 16:22.8. Senior Nicholas Hernandez closed out the scoring three seconds behind Ochoa in 85th place.
Junior Adrian Alvarez was sixth on the team and 87th overall, five seconds behind Ochoa. Junior Seth Garcia was the seventh Stallion across the line in 119th place.
Walk-off leads to Valley Championship
FRESNO — With one trip around the bases, a run through a stop sign and a headfirst dive into the plate, the Madera Coyotes softball team seized its second straight Div. II Valley Championship with a 4-3, eight-inning win over the Monache-Porterville Marauders.
Madera’s Aaliyah Cuevas lined a ball down the right-field line. The ball ricocheted off the foul pole and the Monache right fielder had trouble picking up the ball cleanly.
Cuevas raced around second and ran though head coach Judy Shaubah’s stop sign around third. When Shaubach whipped her head around, she saw Cuevas sliding head first into home plate to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning, igniting a team dogpile at the plate.
Stallions repeat as champs
Twice is nice.
That’s the best way to sum up the Madera South girls soccer team’s run to its second straight Div. II section championship.
With a 1-0 win over No. 2 seed Redwood-Visalia in Memorial Stadium, the top-ranked Stallions successfully defended their Valley Championship title.
Sabrina Ibrahim assisted on Kimberly Montoya’s game-deciding goal in the 62nd minute.
Hawks win back-to-back titles
If the pressure of going undefeated for a eighth straight season wasn’t pressure enough, being the No. 1 seed in the Valley Championship match just added to it for Liberty girls soccer head coach Erick Walker.
“I was still nervous going into this game,” he said. “It was a little bit easier since we were at home.”
The Hawks got a goal and assist from Raina Wristen and Martha Ochoa and two clutch saves from senior goalkeeper Michaela Motz to keep the Div. III championship plaque at Liberty for the second straight year.
Herrera and Smith win track titles
Madera South’s Eduardo “Lalo” Herrera’s just-missed attempt at the distance triple (800 meters, 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters) at the Central Section Master’s Championship (Valley Championship) at Buchanan-Clovis’ Memorial Stadium.
Along with his win in the 3,200 meter run, Herrera won the 1,600-meter run by four seconds.
Herrera’s wins gave him back-to-back victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
In her third trip to the Central Section Master’s Championships, Madera’s Addyson Smith finally got the gold medal.
On her second throw of the meet at Buchanan-Clovis’ Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Smith, a junior, threw 41 feet, 5.5 inches, outdistancing the field by well over a foot.
Defense leads Coyotes to title
FRESNO — In the lowest scoring basketball championship game in the Selland Arena-era, the Madera Coyote girls basketball team held tough for a 27-26 victory over the Sanger Apaches to win the Div. III Valley Championship.
The Coyotes shot just 24 percent from the field, but the Apaches were even worse, shooting 14 percent. The victory over the Apaches was Madera’s third this season and gave Madera its second Valley Championship (2003) in school history.
Coyotes capture Valley title
A perfect run through the Div. II Central Section playoffs culminated in the Madera Coyote boys volleyball team’s first Valley Championship after defeating third-seeded Central-Fresno in the title game.
Madera head coach Rhonda Jefferson got inspired performances from her frontline players — Brian Garcia, Devonte Orlando, Matthew Brunner and Tyler Mallonee. The quartet combined for 29 of the team’s 32 kills and and eight of the team’s 16 blocks.
Coyotes capture first title
With about four races left to go in the Div. II swimming Valley Championships at East High School in Bakersfield, Madera Coyotes girls swimming coach Erik Baymiller knew his team wrapped up the school’s first swimming Valley Championship.
The Coyotes finished the meet with 312 points, defeating Kingsburg by 86 points (238) and almost doubling third place Wasco’s points.
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The Madera Tribune Sports did not publish a Sports Year in Review in 2018 and 2019.