Here’s some sports moments from around the area this decade
Grizzlies alum, Pascoe wins Super Bowl (2012)
Granite Hills grad Bear Pascoe won a Super Bowl title in the NFL alongside his New York Giants in a 21-17 victory against the New England Patriots in 2012. The tight end had 33 yards on four receptions.
Monache, Lindsay girls basketball start decade off dominant (2011-14)
The early years of this decade were good to Monache and Lindsay High School girls basketball teams, with both programs winning back-to-back Valley championships from 2011 to 2014.
The Marauders started things off by winning Div. II titles in 2011 and 2012 followed by the Cardinals winning the Div. IV title in 2013 and 2014.
Sandoval becomes 4-time state placer (2012-15)
For four years in a row, Porterville’s Sabrina Sandoval wrestled her way to an 8th-place or better finish at the CIF State Championships for girls wrestling. Her highest finish was at 108 pounds in 2013 when she placed third. Sandoval was one of 19 girls wrestlers to place all four years at the state tournament, which began in 2011.
In that time, Porterville’s Natalee Ozuna placed three times while Wednesday Marquez and Reyna Pina were also state placers.
ESL soccer dominates the decade (2012-17)
East Sequoia League soccer dominated this decade with Strathmore High School girls soccers’ three Valley titles — in 2012 (Div. V), 2015 (Div. IV) and 2016 (Div. IV) — leading the way. The Spartans were also ranked nationally in all three years. The 2015 team was by far the best team and earned a No. 1 seed to begin the CIF Southern California Regional Div. IV playoffs. Unfortunately it lost 3-1 to second-seed Maranatha of Pasadena.
During that same span, Lindsay boys and girls also won a total of three Valley championships with the boys winning two of the program’s Div. IV titles in 2012 and 2017, while the girls won the program’s first in 2013.
Porterville rules the pool (2013-2018)
The pool was Porterville’s to rule for much of the decade with Panthers’ boys winning the program’s only Div. II Valley titles in 2013 and 2016, with a 30-1 record. The girls also made waves in 2018 by winning the the program’s third Div. II Valley championship.
In 2014, Strathmore girls water polo also won the Div. III Valley title — the program’s first.
M and M boys win state (2013), Pengilly wins nationals (2014)
In 2014, Porterville High School’s Mason Pengilly became not only the area’s only four-time state placer but a national champion after winning the title in the National High School Coaches Association Championships at 120 pounds. Pengilly also joined a group of just six wrestlers to win CIF State titles in 2013.
The only other state champion this decade was Monache’s Matt Gamble (113), who won his state title in 2014.
Within this decade, the area has produced a total of seven state placers. four from Porterville and three from Monache.
Sharman dies (2013)
Bill Sharman, a 1944 Porterville High graduate, died at the age of 87 on October 25, 2013. Sharman was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame and the International Basketball Hall of Fame. He had a legendary NBA career as a player with the Boston Celtics and later coached the Los Angeles Lakers to the 1972 NBA title, winning 33 straight games on the way, still a major sports record. He won 17 professional titles as a player, coach and executive, more than anyone in the history of sports.
Marauders claim Valley titles, Panthers a Valley champion (2014-2019)
Known for having some of the area’s most elite runners, Monache cross country claimed both its girls’ Div. II Valley titles in 2014 and 2017. The latter was also accompanied by the boys winning the program’s first title in 2017 as well.
In 2019, Porterville boys not only won the Div. IV Valley championship, Jorge Sanchez also won the city’s first-ever individual title.
Panthers basketball claim first Valley title in 90 years (2015)
The area’s only other basketball Valley title came by way of Porterville in 2015. The second-seeded Panthers won the program’s first title since 1925, making them the only local team to win one in nearly 80 years. They took down top-seed West 89-72.
13th-seed Porterville wins Valley baseball title (2016)
In one of the best underdog stories of the decade, Porterville baseball won the program’s first Valley title as the 13th-seed in the Div. III Valley championship game. The Panthers’ upset sixth-seed Selma 7-3 for the win.
Second-seed Lindsay baseball also claimed a Valley title in 2018, the program’s fourth, by upsetting top-seed Bishop Union 7-6.
Strathmore wins Tulare County’s first football state title (2017)
Escorted home by Tulare County first responders, Strathmore football received plenty of support after winning the county’s first-ever state title with a 31-29 win over Orange in the 2017 CIF State Division 6-AA title game. The Spartans closed out the season with a perfect 16-0 record.
At the end of the school year, SHS head coach Jeromy Blackwell was named a 2017-18 Model Coach Award winner by the California Interscholastic Federation.
From 2016-2018, the Spartans went to three state championships and won three Div. VI Valley championships and three state regional championships. In 2016, Blackwell also won his 100th game.
Strathmore remains the only school in the Porterville Unified School District to win a state title and the only one to win a Valley title.
Kouyoumtjian goes to nationals (2018), places at state (2019)
Monache’s Charlotte Kouyoumtjian (116) also made history in 2019 by becoming the Marauders’ first-ever state placer with a third-place finish, while Felipa Acosta became the program’s first-ever state qualifier the year before.
During the summer of 2018, Kouyoumtjian also represented California in both divisions of the U.S. Marine Corps Junior and Cadet Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota. She placed second in the Cadet Freestyle Championship at 112 pounds and top 12 in the Junior Freestyle Championships.