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Madera South’s Lal honored as student-athlete of the week

Madera Tribune File Photo Liberty quarterback Zach Richey pushes his way into the end zone to score one of his three touchdowns — one rushing, two passing, in a 2014 victory over the Chowchilla Redskins.



For the second year in a row, a Madera South volleyball player was chosen by Fresno radio station KFIG-1430 as its Student-Athlete of the Week.

KFIG, which is affiliated with ESPN radio, honored girls volleyball defensive specialist and co-captain Sharalyn Lal for her efforts on the court. Last year, football, basketball and boys volleyball player Derek Hansen was honored by the station.

“I was shocked and surprised,” Lal said about receiving the award. “I didn’t know anything about it. I was happy to be able to get the award.”

Lal, a junior, was honored and presented the award in front of the school during the lunch hour.

“She brings such an inspiration to everybody,” Madera South girls volleyball coach Andrea Devine said. “She comes to the gym with a smile on her face. It spreads to everybody.”

Lal is the defensive stopper for the Stallion volleyball team, which finished its second straight undefeated North Yosemite League season. She plays the libero position, which is a defensive specialist that can play for anyone in the back row on the court. Her main job is to pick up hits by the opposing team and start the counterattack.

“It’s scary hard in the back row,” Lal said. “I’m happy to get a pass and get a hit up. I was scared when I was put as a libero at first, but now I’m used to it and it’s second nature.”

Stallions give Bears the broom in playoff win

Now that Halloween’s been over for 11 days, there’s a few broomsticks available for giveaway. Fresh off completing its second straight undefeated North Yosemite League championship, the Madera South High girls’ volleyball team had to quickly make the switch to playoff mode and was eager to hand one of those cleaning devices away.

Though it wasn’t exactly quick and painless, the No. 3 Stallions (21-7) did sweep the No. 14 Selma Bears, 3-0, in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Central Section Division III playoffs at Madera South High.

With their sights set on a Valley Championship appearance, the Stallions did exactly what they had to do against a much lower seeded team — advance to the next round with a 25-12, 25-13, 25-18 win.


Coyotes escape and advance

After securing the top seed in Division II and a first round bye, the Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team had to wait a little longer to get on the court for playoff action – but it was worth the wait. Madera held off an exciting El Diamante-Visalia comeback attempt for a five set win and a berth in the semifinals.

Madera (21-8) built an early lead by taking the first two sets, but the No. 8 seeded Miners (20-11) wouldn’t quit and took the Coyotes to a fifth game. Madera held on for the 3-2 win; 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 14-25, 15-12.

Coyote’s coach Robyn Keune was excited with her team’s win and to move on in the playoffs.

“It was a great effort, super excited to go to the semis,” Keune said. “Our block was enormous. My team did a great job. We played really great defense.”

From the first game the Miners showed they would be a tough test for the Coyotes. The first set was back and forth all the way to the end with both teams trading side outs. Madera’s Makinna Malady put down one of her 13 kills to tie the game at 24, before the Coyotes took the last two points to seal the set.

Stallions roll into playoffs with NYL title in hand

The wait is finally over for the Madera South High football team.

With a 55-0 trouncing of the McLane-Fresno Highlanders, the Stallions (9-1) celebrated their first North Yosemite League championship on Senior Night in Memorial Stadium.

After finishing one win shy of an NYL title last year, Madera South ran the table through league play this season to finish 5-0.

Van Horn, a three-year varsity letterman, paved the way for an offense that scored seven touchdowns out of nine possessions against the Highlanders (2-7, 1-4).

The Stallions were led by running backs Marcus McCoy, who rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown and Ranferi Pineda, who scored three times and ran for 53 yards on five carries.

Madera South’s opportunistic defense forced seven turnovers, including two that went for scores, to give its offense short field position to work with throughout the game.

For the second straight week, the Madera South defense didn’t allow a touchdown and also posted its third shutout win of the season. Defensively, the Stallions were led by Donald Caballero, who picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown while senior linebacker Mark Abraham had an interception and also returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Stallions roll into semis

The Madera South Stallions are right where they knew they would be, albeit, two days ahead of schedule.

Last season, the Stallions capped off a Valley Championship with an epic five-set victory at Independence in Bakersfield.

The No. 4 seeded Stallions head into the match-up on a roll with two convincing victories in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the second coming with a 3-0 victory over No. 5 seed Delano at Madera South.

“We need to stay focused and go one game at a time,” head coach Andrea Devine said.

The Stallions rolled by the Tigers, despite their second set hiccup to set up a rematch of last year’s Valley Championship game.

“It was almost a replay of the other night,” Devine said. “We let up a little bit and we can’t do that in the playoffs.”

Williams recorded a game-high 17 kills with six blocks. She got some help from Vanessa Escobar, who had 11 kills with eight digs. Karen Teran added five kills.

Sarah Thomas recorded 34 assists with 10 digs. Amy Dierberger had nine digs


Hawks complete first goal

With an emphatic victory over the Chowchilla Redskins, the Liberty Hawks completed the two of their four goals for the season.

Goal No. 1: Finish the regular season undefeated. Check.

Goal No. 2: Win the North Sequoia League. Check.

With a 42-18 win over the Redskins, the Hawks finished with the program’s first-ever undefeated regular season. The Hawks also won the their first undefeated North Sequoia League season. The playoff committee gave the Hawks enough respect to award Liberty the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Div. IV playoffs and a first round bye.

The Hawks gained 221 yards on the ground, led by Wade Wallace’s 109 and two touchdowns. Richie Brandt added 68 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Zach Richey scored his second rushing touchdown in two weeks with his longest touchdown run of his career — 12 yards.

Richey was also 6-of-9 for 118 yards and made two perfect throws for both of his touchdowns — both to Joseph Castaneda.

Two-point conversion helps Coyotes triumph in OT win

Welcome back, Alec Gamboa and Jesus Jimenez.

After missing the previous two and a half games with injuries, the three-year varsity lettermen returned to the lineup for the Madera football team — just in time too for the 7th annual Stadium Road Showdown against Madera South.

Those two seniors turned out to be difference makers for the Coyotes in a thrilling 32-31 overtime win over the Stallions.

On their Senior Night, Jimenez and Gamboa accounted for 133 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground in a County/Metro Athletic Conference grudge match that was televised for the section to see on CW KFRE 59 Friday Night Rivals.

Gamboa — a three-sport star athlete — had the two key plays of the game in overtime that helped the Coyotes (7-3, 2-3 CMAC) avoid the major upset and earn a No. 3 seed in the Div. III playoffs.

After Madera South (1-9, 0-5 CMAC) scored the go-ahead touchdown in overtime to lead 31-24, the Coyotes faced a 4th-and-goal from the 7-yard line. After Madera junior center Nicholas Zamora snapped the ball, Gamboa took the pitch from senior quarterback Nathaniel Nelson and found Mason McKinney running freely in the end zone on the half-back pass completion to make it 31-30. That set the stage for Coyote head coach Bonner Cunnings to make the gutsiest call of the season — keep the offense on the field and go for the possible game-winning two-point conversion.

Cunnings’ gamble paid off as Gamboa took the ball on a run down the left side and stormed past the Stallion defenders into the end zone — sending the Coyotes’ sideline, players and fans into jubilation.

His score also helped snap the Coyotes’ three-game losing skid.


Stallions win boys, girls CMAC titles

FRESNO — The Madera South Stallions boys and girls cross country team prepared for the Central Section Championships by winning the County/Metro Athletic Conference title, yet again.

The Stallions boys team hasn’t lost a CMAC crown since entering the league and dominated the boys race, outpointing Sanger by 45 points. The girls team also claimed the top spot on the CMAC podium.

“We’re proud of the kids,” Madera South head coach Eloy Quintana said. “What else can we say about the kids. They sacrifice so much. People always come to the coaching staff and say good job. We can only go so far with the coaching. At the end of the day it’s up to the kids to take on that guidance and do the work. It’s all the credit to the kids. They did exactly what they’re supposed to do. All the credit goes to the kids.”

The Coyote girls team had a good chance to wrestle the CMAC title away from the Stallions, but they were missing four of their top seven runners and ended up in second place.

No. 2 Hawks advance to semis

The Liberty Hawks girls volleyball team made their third straight semifinals, but are looking for that ever-elusive Div. IV Valley Championship match.

Liberty went into the quarterfinal match against No. 7 Porterville as the heavy favorite and showed it the first two sets, winning 25-13 and 25-13.

After a hiccup in the third set, the Hawks closed out the match with a 25-14 win in the fourth set to advance to the semifinals.

The Hawks, who had problems in the third set in their first round match with Lindsay before winning 25-20, lost the third set to Porterville, 25-22.

Hannah Chase led the Hawks with 25 kills, more than the rest of the Hawks. Zoey Richey added five kills and Audrina Vasquez and Karsyn Woods had four each.

The Hawks also served up eight aces and kept the Panthers off balance.

Coyotes overcome tough quarterfinal

The Madera Coyotes girls volleyball team continued its quest for a Div. II championship after a three-set sweep of the fifth-seeded Tehachapi Warriors in the quarterfinals in Joe Flores Gym.

“It was good volleyball tonight,” said head coach Meghan Haas. “At the end of the game, they made some huge digs that, on anyone else, it would’ve gone down. We’re playing exciting volleyball and people are excited to see it so it’s fun, it’s good.”

Led by Hallie Page and Isabella Saucedo, who combined for 24 kills, the fourth-seeded Coyotes pushed past a stubborn Warrior team, 25-20, 26-24, 28-26, to set up a date with top-seeded Bakersfield Christian in the Div. II semifinals.


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