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F.A.N. to host Spirit of Sport banquet

The Madera F.A.N. will host its annual Spirit of Sport banquet to honor middle school and high school student/athletes Monday at Madera South High School, beginning at 5 p.m.

Both Madera and Madera South high school will honor a coach with a Most Inspirational Coach award. The Madera F.A.N. will honor a student from each high school with the Kenny Taylor Athlete of Integrity Award. Spirit of Sport/Most Inspirational Coach honorees

Madera High School

Coaches- Yosef Fares (football), Cameron Hill (girls soccer) and Scott McKinney (boys golf). Madera South High School

Coaches- Eddie Durham (girls golf), Ramon Delgadillo (girls soccer) and Eloy Quintana (track and field) Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Fall- Vincent Botello (football) and Tori Medrano (cross country)

Winter- Apolonio Ordaz (wrestling) and Melani Rinder (soccer)

Spring- Seth Rollins (swimming) and Julieonnie Mendoza (track and field)

Coaches- Darcy Nainoa (football), Titus Shields (basketball) and Bobby Dawson (softball) Martin Luther King Middle School

Fall- Gladys Torres (Tennis) and Fabian Mendoza (football)

Winter- Brianna Maciel (girls soccer) and Isaiah Garza (wrestling)

Spring- Lexandra Cota (track) and Daniel DeJesus (track)

Coaches- Allen Smith (football), Pedro Murillo (wrestling) and Sky Fierro (track and field) Desmond Middle School

Fall- Bryce Walters (football) and Mariana Leon (girls tennis)

Winter- Diego Talavera (wrestling) and Aaliyah Herrera (girls soccer)

Spring- Arturo Perez (track and field) and Clarice Barrundia (track and field)

Coaches- Erica Engelhaupt (cheer), Quinn Cody (girls soccer) and Rolando Arredondo (baseball) Madera F.A.N. Spirit of Sport nominees

Madera Coyotes

Fall Male Spirit of Sport

Cade Sherrod

Grade: 11. GPA: 4.07

Sports: Football, (3 years); wrestling, (3 years).

Volunteer work: VFW breakfast, Madera Police Department Community Camps, Little Coyote Football Camp.

Coach Yosef Fares’ comment: This is a kid who has handled adversity better than any player I have had in my 17 years of coaching. He injured his knee at the end of his sophomore year and worked hard to get it rehabbed and healed. He showed up to every morning workout and practice even though he could not participate. He wanted to be around the guys and help motivate them. He, more than anyone else, had the best shot at playing college ball. Unfortunately, on his first day he was cleared, he injured his other knee. He did not let this get him down and has approached being a part of the team the same way as before. He is at everything we do and is still considered a leader on this football team by his peers. Fall Female Spirit of Sport

Alejandra Lara

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.67

Sports: Girls golf (3 years), softball (1 year), soccer (1 year).

Volunteer work: Madera Animal Shelter administering shots and registering animals for license. Church volunteer as a youth group teacher’s aid, coordinator of Harvest Festival. Art Club- Coordinated homecoming float decoration. Member of the California Scholarship Federation.

Coach Scott McKinney’s comment: Ale has been in the golf program for three years, just completing her senior season. During that time, Ale has demonstrated countless qualities that make her a candidate for the Spirit of Sport award. In particular, her trustworthiness has been apparent during our matches and practices. Ale always has the utmost integrity in reporting scores and playing precisely to the rule book of golf. Winter Male Spirit of Sport

Seth Valencia

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.33

Sports: Soccer (4 years), boys volleyball (3 years)

Awards: Soccer- All- CMAC First team in soccer, team captain, All-Madera Tribune team.

Volunteer work: M.U.L.E.S. referee, Lector at St. Joachim’s Church, Holy Family Table (feeding the homeless).

School activities: ASB Member (3 years) Blue Crew student rep.

Coach Nic Landeros’ comments: Seth Valencia is a prime example of a student-athlete with integrity. His production on the filed and in the classroom is infectious among his peers. Seth demonstrates class in both winning and losing. With Seth’s work ethic, influence and selflessness, he has the potential to be a great future leader in our community. Elias Garcia

Grade: 12. GPA: 2.64

Sport: Wrestling, (4 years)

Volunteer work: MULES referee, Lil Coyote wrestling instructor.

Coach Joe Romine’s comments: Elias is a quiet, hard working, lead by example leader. He made varsity for the first time his senior year, but was part of our program for all four years. The fact he stuck with this grueling sport for so long with limited success is a testament to his character. Elias is always there to pick up his teammates when needed and has a positive outlook on life. When matches or situations do not go his way, he still finds a way to stay committed. His teammates look up to him and he always looks out for them, even the younger wrestlers. Winter Female Spirit of Sport

Amanda Sordi

Grade: 12. GPA: 2.60

Sports: Basketball (4 years), track & field (4 years), gymnastics (2 years).

School involvement: Educators Rising, FHA-Hero.

Volunteer work: She is a four-year member of Interact club helping with various community projects such as the Interact Haunted House each year.

Future plans: Enlist in the National Guard, serving her country.

Coach Jason Smith’s comments: Mandy showed elements of all six of the pillars of character throughout her career at MHS. Trustworthiness: Mandy was one of our most committed young ladies we had. She attended almost everything summer, winter and fall, despite the fact that she played very little on varsity. Respect: Mandy showed the utmost respect for her teammates by working hard to be the best she could be at all times and was a tremendous teammate cheering her team on and celebrating her teams success. While working hard to understand and fulfill her role on the team, even though it wasn’t the role she wanted. Responsibility: Mandy was an excellent teammate. She worked hard to try and become the best she could be and push her teammates to improve everyday in practice. Her tireless efforts eventually led to more playing time and success for herself on the court later in the season. Fairness: I have the utmost respect for this young lady, she didn’t always see the process as fair, but she trusted and continued to work to get better and maintain an outstanding attitude for her team. Caring: Mandy has a deep and kind heart. She has a love of her school, her teammates and the sports that she plays. She has a deep desire to be successful and a willingness to work hard. Spring Male Spirit of Sport

Richard Brian Hefner

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.41

Sports: Baseball (4 years), Basketball (1 year).

Coach Andy Underwood’s comments: Brian is committed to his team, school and community. He has never missed a workout or game in four years. He has been committed to the classroom posting a 3.41 GPA. Brian is the hardest working student athlete in the program. He goes above and beyond the program expectations. Not once in four years has Brian hinted towards bad body language or has had a bad attitude. He has gone through struggles on the playing field and not once did he wear his emotions on his sleeve. His perseverance has led him to his success as a senior. Brian is always motivated and worked extremely hard to get himself in this position. He is now ready for college and preparing himself for a successful life. Spring Female Spirit of Sport

Lola Gill

Grade: 10. GPA: 2.83

Sports: Girls water polo (2 years) girls swimming (2 years)

Volunteer work: Fundraises at the Elks Lodge in Madera to feed the homeless. She also volunteers her time as a swim coach for “Little Sharks,” an age 5-8 swim program ran by the Madera Aquatics Team.

Awards: Valley Semi Finalist- Girls Water polo; Defensive Player of the Year; CIF Div II Champion- 200 free relay; CMAC League champion, two straight years; member of back-to-back Div. II Valley Championship swim teams.

Coach Erik Baymiller’s comments: Lola is the most driven athlete I have ever seen. Her focus is impenetrable and she pushes herself to her limit every time she trains. This determination has paid off as she was a Valley Champion her freshman year for swimming. But that is not the most impressive thing Lola has done. She used sports as motivation to completely changed her education, 360 degrees. School is not a strong suit of Lola’s so she has to work extremely hard, even for C’s. Lola’s grades were suffering when she came in as a freshman but she made a conscious decision to make a change. We sat down multiple times and strategize ways to improve and she has not only implemented better schooling techniques, but has built on them as well finding new ways to set herself up for success. We set a goal for her to get 4.0 in one semester before she graduates and I have no doubt she will obtain that. It was and still is inspiring to watch how she has grown and matured in such a short time. Madera South Stallions

Fall Female Spirit of Sport

Veronica Ortega

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.9

Sports: Track and field (4 years), qualified for Valley three years. cross country (3 Years). Qualified for state two years and won the CMAC team championship 2016 and 2017. Individually won a CMAC championship in the 1,600 meters.

School involvement: Leos Club, 2 years; Fashion Club, 1 year. Received the Academic Excellence Award, Scholastic Achievement Award, and International Tutor Training certificate.

Volunteer work: Volunteers at Holy Family Table

Next year: Attending Fresno Pacific majoring in Kinesiology to be an athletic trainer.

Coach Eloy Quintana’s comments: Veronica is a young lady who has passion to succeed, but most importantly, passion to see others succeed, as well. She always would help her teammates and make sure they are doing well in life. She has been an intriguing part of our ladies program in cross country and track in helping to take our girls program to the next level. She led with examples and words that many appreciated. Her leadership is something that many kids don’t possess and her hunger to be the best is always on display in whatever she does. We will miss her but we excited to see what she will do next in the coming years. When she does come back to Madera, she will be the ultimate example of not selling yourself short and to reach for the highest level of success you can. Fall Male Spirit of Sport

Seth Garcia

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.93

Sports: Cross country (3 years); track and field (2 years); volleyball (2 years). Div. I Section Champion in cross country in 2016 and 2017 CMAC team champions in 2016 and 2017. He also placed first in the Dennis Dewitt, Rich Parris Twilight Meet, Clovis North Invite, Roughrider Meet, and the CMAC Championships his senior year in cross country. Arcadia track 4X1,600 Champions in 2017. Second place in CMAC 3,200 Championships. First in West Coast Relays.

School activities: Block S- 4 years; Involved in Drama at the Madera South Theater Co.- Stagehand of the Year in 2014-2017. Gold Award for 1 Act play. Gold for Tech Olympics. Scholar Athlete all four years. Helped run MULES cross country meets and track meets.

Volunteer work: Volunteers at the Madera Rescue Mission. Helps with yearly coat drive at church.

Next year: Attending and running cross country and track and field for Fresno Pacific University and he would like to study chemistry and or history to be a high school teacher.

Coach Eloy Montoya’s comments: Seth is a young man with high morals and hard work. He will always go the extra mile to make sure each teammate is doing well. He has helped to continue the tradition of Madera South cross country in representing the school, his family and the community with integrity that is unmatched. He is a workhorse that everyone admires and the younger students on the team follow to be like him. He comes from a first-class family that is always looking to help the school in any way they can. Seth displays that unselfishness in everything he does. We will miss him not because of the great times he has run, but because he knew how to lead and help others to be a team and family. Winter Female Spirit of Sport

Destiny Pursell

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.7

Sports: Varsity soccer (1 year); Unified soccer (1 year); Unified basketball (1 year).

Academic awards: Most Improved soccer player 2017-2018 season. Student Recognition Award from Ms. Rodriguez.

Next year: Destiny plans to attend Adult Transition and to someday become a coach.

Coach Ramon Delgadillo’s comments: Destiny is a determined and hard working player. She has learned there are no walls in front of her to accomplish what she wants to achieve. She knows it takes hard work and she’s always willing to do it. Winter Male Spirit of Sport

Junior Segura

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.0

Sports: Basketball (3 years); cross country (1 year); track and field (2 years). Was a member of the Div. IV runner up in the Central Section boys basketball championships. He also placed third in the 4X400 West Coast Relays.

School involvement: Active in Block S for 3 years and helps with Lil Stallions Basketball.

Next year: He is attending York College in Nebraska for track and field. He is studying criminology to become a police officer.

Coach Jody Sharp’s comments: Junior Segura played four years of basketball in our program, with three of those years on the varsity. He was our starting point guard for the majority of those three years he was on the varsity. He was a major contributor and a part of making history in the basketball program his junior year, as the varsity team played in the valley championship game at Selland Arena and then played in the state playoffs for the first time in school history. His senior year, he helped the varsity boys team reach the semi-finals, before running into a very good Bakersfield Christian team and coming up short of the opportunity to reach another valley championship game and qualifying for the state playoffs for the second year in a row. Junior has been a part of establishing a quality basketball program at Madera South. Spring Female Spirit of Sport

Alexus “A.J.” Martinez

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.4

Sports: Softball (4 years); 2nd Team CMAC All League in softball, Honorable Mention in softball, Iron and Class Athlete Award.

School involvement: State Senate Award for academics, Scholar Athlete Award; Founder of the Hiking Club; Criminology club- 1 year; volunteer at the Soup Kitchen; helped with the Little League softball clinics; volunteer at Selland Arena to work events.

Next year: Plans to attend Grand Canyon University in Arizona to study sociology with an emphasis on social work.

Coach Peter Gallegos’ comments: A.J. embodies the spirit and strength of what a Stallion athlete should be. A.J.’s commitment to support her team is a true testament of what determination and hard work looks like. I know her team feels a sense of confidence when she enters the circle and pitches for us. She is a four-year varsity player and is the all-time career strikeout leader at Madera South. Spring Male Spirit of Sport

Matt Estrada

Grade: 12. GPA: 3.2

Sports: Football (4 years), track and field (1 year), golf (since seventh grade). Second team All-CMAC in football, September Athlete of the Month, Golden Helmet award in football, team captain for football and golf, Eagle award for golf.

School involvement: FFA, 4 years- Received State Degree; Block S- 4 years; MULES ref every year for football; mentor the Alpha Elemetary students around the FFA farm yearly.

Next year: Plans on attending Reedley College to play football and possibly the track and field team. He will be studying to become an agriculture teacher.

Coach Eddie Durham’s comments: Matthew improved each year he participated in golf. As a senior he was the most consistent player on the team. He was reliable and a positive role model and competitor. He was a member of the football program all four years of school, showing hard work and dedication to improve. He is a tremendous worker in the weight room and leader. He also joined the track team his senior year in discus and shot put. He improved from the beginning of the year to almost qualify for the section championships during his only season. Matt is a tremendous student, one of the nicest young men I have ever coached. His level of competitiveness and desire to succeed overcomes all else.


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