2021 Sports Year in Review


Madera Tribune File Photo

The Div. II Central Section Baseball Champions, Madera Coyotes.

 

Feb. 17


Madera South to host first event of year


After almost 11 months of inaction, high school athletic events in Madera Unified School District begins.


The Madera, Madera South and Matilda Torres cross country teams will run around Madera South High School for a “dual” meet with Torres added in.


March 13


Toros make history with win


Just the fact of being able to race in a cross country meet is accomplishment enough, but Matilda Torres Toros runner Esaud Vargas became the first in school history to win an event with a five second victory in the boys cross country triangle meet at Madera’s Memorial Stadium.


Vargas overtook Madera’s Victor Jimenez over the final mile to win the boys race by five seconds in a time of 14:19 in a meet between Madera, Matilda Torres and San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno.


April 10


Brogdon makes history in first opening week


Maybe it was having his parents in the stands or maybe it was the confidence of being on the opening day roster or a combination of both, but Connor Brogdon has made the most of his 2021 season in just six games.


Liberty’s Brogdon has three wins in the Philadelphia Phillies’ first six games. He is the first Phillies’ pitcher to accomplish that feat in the modern era (1900). He is also just the 13th player in Major League history to accomplish that feat since 2010.


April 21


Stallions capture tourney title


SANGER — Behind the right arm and hot bat of Murf Gray, the Madera South Stallions defeated the Sanger Apaches to win the Central Valley Diamond Classic and improve to a school record-best 9-0.


Gray tossed a complete-game three-hitter in the 6-1 victory at Sanger. He struck out nine and walked one. He also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double, run scored and an RBI.


April 28


Stallions win first game in new stadium


The Madera South Stallions football team wanted to make a statement in its first game in its new stadium with non-conference opponent Hanford West.


The Stallions made a statement with a 24-0 victory in a game where they dominated on both sides of the football.


Madera South amassed 383 yards of total offense, including 361 on the ground. They limited Hanford West to just 61 yards of total offense and five first downs.


May 8


Coyotes celebrate 1,000th game with win


The last time Madera Coyotes softball coach Judy Shaubach celebrated a milestone, pitcher Alexis Galvan threw a no-hitter in a 1-0 victory.


Madera High School was finally able to celebrate Shaubach’s 1,000th career game coaching the Coyotes and Galvan, again, threw a no-hitter and another 1-0 victory, this time over the Sanger Apaches at Zimmerman Field in County/Metro Athletic Conference action.


May 26


Coyotes sports diving champion


Ariana Igler captured the Div. II diving championship in Bakersfield. Igler, who also won County/Metro Athletic Conference championship, won by 18 points and clinched the championship on the final dive.


“I knew once she did the 11th dive,” diving coach Lisa Bennett said. “There was a possibility that she won. It was neck and neck for the whole competition.”


June 5


Madera honors 8 college signings


After a long-awaited and impatient delay, Madera High School honored eight graduating student-athletes that have signed National Letters of Intent to play athletics at a four-year school in the fall.


Included in the eight are three that signed last year to go along with some of the more recent additions who were honored in Joe Flores Gym.


Athletes honored were: Isabella Saucedo (Volleyball) Southern Utah University; Bryson Smith (Track), San Jose State; Lealani Ricks (Softball), Howard University; Garrin Hatfield (Swimming and Water Polo), Concordia; Julia Martinez (Cross Country and Track), Chico State; Aislynn Jordan (Softball) Jamestown; Raul Medrano (Football), Luther College; and Nate Martinez (Baseball), Mid-America Christian University.


June 9


Hawks basketball advances to semis


After a dominating victory over Sierra Pacific-Hanford, the Liberty Hawks will face a second opponent in a row in the Div. IV Central Section playoffs who will be playing its first game.


The No. 2 seeded Hawks used a dominating second half to pull away for a 74-50 victory over Sierra Pacific, just two days after Sierra Pacific’s first round game with Yosemite was called off.


June 12


Stallions stunned as the top seed


The Madera South Stallions baseball team earned the program’s first top seed in the Div. IV playoffs, but an old nemesis appeared and the Golden West-Visalia Trailblazers recorded a 4-3 upset victory at Eddie Chapa Field.


The Stallions looked to be cruising with three runs in the first two innings. However, the Trailblazers scored four runs in the third inning and made it stand up the rest of the way to record an improbable victory.


Coyotes make road trip worth it


ARROYO GRANDE — At the end of a 12-hour road trip, the Madera Coyotes softball team came home with a Div. I Central Section playoff victory after a 3-2 win in Arroyo Grande.


The ninth-seeded Coyotes made the three-hour trip worth it after scoring runs in the third, fourth and seventh inning and made it stand up through a stressful seventh inning.


Coyote pitcher Alexis Galvan didn’t allow a walk in a complete game victory, her 14th win of the season.


June 23


Coyotes capture Div. II Valley Championship


ARROYO GRANDE — Throughout the postseason, Madera Coyotes baseball assistant coach Jake Saldate has been preaching to his team, “Why not us.”


After a three-hour bus ride, the sixth-seeded Coyotes proved the game is played on the field, not on paper after a 9-1 victory over top-seeded Arroyo Grande.


Nathan Palacioz stayed hot on the mound by tossing a two-hitter. He had a no-hitter going for the first five innings and allowed just two hits, in an 84-pitch effort. He walked two and struck out nine.


July 28


Camacho Tire scores late for Babe Ruth title


Madera Babe Ruth top seed Camacho Tire scored all of its runs in the final four innings for a 12-5 victory over No. 2 seed G&J Truck Sales at Mel Parker Field


Aug. 7


Pro T’s holds on for MNLL title


To say softball is a pitcher’s game is an understatement when you look at the Madera National Little League championship game.


Pro T’s Danity Aguirre and Mazon Trucking’s Trinity Cervantez combined 30 strikeouts in the 36-out game.


It was Aguirre’s team that held on for a 4-3 victory to capture the MNLL Softball Championship.


Aug. 14


Lee’s Concrete captures MALL title


For the 10th time as a manager of Lee’s Concrete, Guni Grewal won the Madera American Little League championship.


Grewal’s kids came through in the clutch in a 6-2 victory over Holiday Muffler, who was the top seed.


Aug. 25


Toros win first game on first try


With time running out in the fourth quarter, Matilda Torres Toros football coach Joseph Marquez elected to punt the ball with about four minutes left in the game trailing 22-21.


However, his decision came up roses when Joe Bass blitzed on the edge, forced a fumble and recovered it.


Three minutes later, Torres quarterback Jose Soriano scored the eventual game-winning touchdown for a 29-22 victory against the Hoover-Fresno Patriots at McLane Stadium.


Sept. 25


Madera coaching legend passes


Longtime coach at Madera and Madera South high schools, Mark Lohuis, lost his battle with COVID-19.


Lohuis was a coach of the 1996 Central Section championship team as well as many other teams during his tenure at Madera and at Madera South.


He was a long-time baseball coach, working with former coach Dan Ascanio and most recently John Fernandez, the Madera High School Athletics Director, at Madera South.


Oct. 20


Coyotes dominate for historic win


FRESNO — The Madera Coyotes football team didn’t use a late arrival to stall them in picking up its first County/Metro Athletic Conference victory (other than Madera South) since 2013 and its first victory over Edison-Fresno since 2004.


The Coyotes jumped out to a 27-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 34-14 victory at Ratcliffe Stadium to ruin Edison’s Senior Night.


Stallions’ golfer wins CMAC championship


For the first time in school history, a Madera South Stallions’ girls golfer took home the County/Metro Athletic Conference Individual Championship.


Ava Arredondo shot a 75 at Pheasant Run Golf Course to capture the title.


Nov. 3


Madera outlasts Madera South in rivalry


It was Madera South who struck first in the Stadium Road Showdown matchup against Madera. But it was the Coyotes who had the last say, taking down the Stallions 36-20.


“I thought our team responded really well,” Madera Coyotes head coach Kenny Paolinelli said after the win. “We came out a little slow. We were getting the look that we expected. Then as the game progressed, we started picking apart some of the things they were doing.”


Nov. 17


Hawks give coach 100th victory


REEDLEY — In another dominating defensive effort, the Liberty Hawks advanced to the Div. V semifinals with a 14-0 victory over top-seeded Immanuel-Reedley to give head coach Mike Nolte his 100th victory at Liberty.


Nolte, who has a .676 winning percentage, said heading to the semifinals is more important that the win.


For the just the second time in school history, and the first since 2012, the Hawks pitched three straight shutouts, and this time at the end of the season.


Nov. 24


Madera schools excel at XC Valleys


FRESNO — While one school returned to prominence, other Madera schools showed they are also powers to be reckoned with at the Central Section Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park.


The Madera South boys cross country team won the Div. I championship for the first time since 2016, and did it in rather easy fashion.


Meanwhile, the Liberty Hawks boys cross country surprised coach Jason Napier and won the Div. V Central Section championship for the first time in school history. On top of that, the girls team placed second and it marked the first time that both teams will race at Saturday’s CIF State Championship.


In addition, the Matilda Torres Toros boys cross country team placed second in Div. IV and also earned an invitation to the state meet.


Dec. 4


Stallions get first win for new coach


Behind a 29-point performance from senior Joe Galvan, the Madera South Stallions boys basketball team made new head coach Corey Edmiston a winner in his first home game of the new season.


The Stallions used a third quarter run to turn a tie game at the half into a 68-55 victory over the Fresno Warriors.


Dec. 18


Madera kicker impresses at national showcase


Back from a trip to the Kicking World National Showcase at Del Valle High School in Austin, Texas, Madera kicker Richard Lozano impressed not only scouts, but the owner of the camp.


At the end of the two days (he left on Dec. 3 and came back Dec. 6), Lozano was named as an On the Cusp Hot Prospect. He also ranked in the top 10 in punting over the two days.


Dec. 22


Gray makes it official with FSU Bulldogs


What has been known for several months, Madera South baseball player Murf Gray made it official by signing his National Letter of Intent to play at Fresno State next year.


Gray and Madera South held a signing ceremony to announce his intentions to Fresno State. He had many friends and family members attend in the Madera South gym.

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