MHS alum named MOP for Reining, co-Rookie of the Year

Freshman Macey Newkirk stood out so much on the University of California Davis equestrian team, that her teammates selected her Most Outstanding Player-Reinier of the Year and co-Rookie of the Year.

Newkirk, a graduate of Monache High School, said this first season had its challenges but she worked hard and was proud to know her teammates saw her hard work too.

“It was a pretty cool feeling to know that my team thinks of me that highly,” Newkirk said.

In an Instagram post from the equestrian team (@ucdaviseq) announced Newkirk’s MOP-Reining selection saying, “Macey finished her inaugural year off with a 4-3-1 record, garnering 4 scores above a 71. Notable rides: She kicked off her freshman debut with 2 wins at the Willis Invitational winning an MOP with Penny against DSU. She scored a career high 73, tying her point against OSUs Hannah Mitchell on Trigg. And also defeated Auburn’s Boo Kammerer with Remi.”

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Short season costs PC academic, postseason honors

The accomplishments of Porterville College softball, both on the field and in the classroom, will go largely unrecognized because of a shortened season due to COVID-19.

Kuea “Kiki” Angilau, the Pirates' star hitter, was on pace to become the program's second-straight All-American but was unable to finish the season. Batting .467 through 20 games, Angilau was second in the state in home runs (11) and slugging percentage (1.244), 17th in RBIs (25) and tied for 18th in runs scored (26).

“The lack of closure for the sophomores was the most difficult,” PC head coach Vickie Dugan said. “All but one of the sophomores will be coming back, but for Kiki there was no final sophomore game, end of year activities, etc. She was on pace to be an All-American and will not get that opportunity now. Hopefully she will keep the same pace at Texas A&M.”

Shorter seasons, no fans among early changes

On Tuesday, the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) announced its new athletic plan for the 2020-21 season. But even with all its documents, powerpoints, charts, forms and more; there is still a lot up in the air about how sports will look this upcoming season.

Porterville College volleyball coach, Pete Rasmussen, and men’s and women’s cross country coach Michael Kasimoff, both said it was good there are plans in place but there’s still things they’re unsure about.

“It’s kind of all up in the air and it’s all fluid,” Rasmussen said Wednesday. “It seems like it changes daily.”

Kasimoff said PC athletics would have a ZOOM meeting Thursday at 2 p.m. to go over some things.

Some uncertainty centers around the CCCAA’s three plans — the Conventional Plan, the Contact/Non-Contact Plan and the Contingency Plan — which depend on the health guidelines of the state and what stage California is in on the Resilience Roadmap for COVID-19.

Madison Emerson has had an outstanding career at Fairleigh Dickinson University. And she hopes it will continue.

Emerson, a 2016 Porterville High graduate, has one more season of eligibility and would like to play softball for one more season at the Division I university in New Jersey in 2021. She has earned her bachelor's degree at Fairleigh Dickinson. She plans on returning to the school in 2020-2021 to earn her master's degree.

Fairleigh Dickinson will make a final decision in July if the university will resume on campus class in the fall of 2020, so Emerson is keeping her options open.

This past season in 2020, Emerson received the Knight Award which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies what it means to be a Knight in competition, the classroom and community service.

SACRAMENTO – The CCCAA Board of Directors unanimously approved a three-part plan on Friday to allow the state’s community colleges a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year while being directed by health guidelines from the state of California. 

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“I always have a gut feeling someone’s right behind me,” she said. “Like no matter what, there’s always going to be someone right behind me wanting to take my spot, just waiting for me to stop. So that’s what I keep in mind. And that’s what pushes me.”

Vasquez’s mindset is a good one to have as she heads into the college arena. Last year, the Cardinals top female runner signed with, and received a partial scholarship from, California State University, Sonoma -- a NCAA Division II program. She will run cross country and track for the Seawolves.

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The mere mention of the city home to his favorite NFL team had Daniel Baca hooked.

A Pittsburgh Steeler fan since he was young, Baca received a call from Duquesne University’s tight end coach, Matt Stansfield, offering the Reedley College sophomore an opportunity to be near his favorite team while playing NCAA Division I football for the Dukes, a program in the Northeast Conference.

COVID-19 kept Duquesne from bringing Baca, a 2018 graduate of Monache High School, out to Pittsburgh, Penn. for an official campus visit, but Stansfield and head coach Jerry Schmitt offered Baca the one thing other programs hadn't offered — a full-ride scholarship.

“I put the phone on mute and I almost cried,” Baca said. “I kind of yelled but I like tensed up. Like my chest started beating. And I was like, ‘Woah, that’s a full offer! He said it.’”

Three area athletes affected by the suspension of upcoming season

The California Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Tuesday the suspension of all fall sports for the upcoming year.

The CCAA, a NCAA Division II conference, is home to 12 California State Universities (Pomona, Dominguez Hills, East Bay, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay, San Bernardino, San Marcos, Chico, Humboldt, San Francisco, Sonoma, Stanislaus) and the University of California, San Diego.

The CCAA’s decision followed CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White's Tuesday announcement that the 23 schools in the CSU system would use online learning for the majority of classes during the fall semester due to COVID-19.

However in a Wednesday press release on Chico State’s website, chicowildcats.com, Chico State Director of Athletics, Anita Baker, clarified that the suspension was only a suspension, not a cancelation — at least for now.

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Monache senior committed to FPU’s cross country and track programs

Before he was a standout runner for Monache High School, Isaiah Sotelo was drawing attention in middle school and at the elementary level.

Now the senior looks to do the same as a member of Fresno Pacific University’s track and cross country programs after committing to the NCAA Division II Sunbirds.

“I chose Fresno Pacific because of how coach Ray Winter sold me on the program,” Sotelo said via email. “They are an up-and-coming program that has a lot of potential. Hopefully, through hard work and dedication, we can achieve something over the next four years. It means a lot to continue my career in college (with) new goals, new people. It is a blessing to be able to continue something that I enjoy doing.”

Along with running at FPU, Sotelo plans to major in criminal justice before moving on to law school and becoming a district attorney. At FPU Sotelo will receive $11,000 in academic scholarships ,and the rest in grants and athletics, to cover the total cost according to MHS head coach Seth Ishida.

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Neda Velasquez was all set to hang up her running shoes after high school and simply continue her education at California State University, Chico.

But as running became more of a passion and a part of her life, she decided to give it a collegiate try and reached out to one of her top college choices, the University of California, Merced, for an opportunity. Now the senior is committed to competing in cross country for the Bobcats — an NAIA program in the California Pacific Conference.

“With track season ending early I noticed that running became a part of my life, and as a runner with little experience I wanted to see my full potential,” Velasquez said. “So I decided to commit to UC Merced athletics since it's a growing program and I'm still finding my full potential in running.”

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Porterville High School’s Brandon Rose is continuing his football career with Montana State University-Northern after signing with the NAIA Lights in mid-April.

Stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic prevented Rose from actually getting to visit the campus in Havre, Mon., let alone have a signing ceremony, but the senior said being offered a nearly full-ride athletic scholarship and a new experience helped him make his decision.

“I talked to the coach for a while, we had a lot of long talks and stuff,” Rose said. “And he always talked about how nice the weather is up there and how they get snow and stuff like that. And I thought it would just be like a really cool, new experience.”

Rose, who has a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in biology en route to a career in dentistry or nursing, was also thankful for an opportunity to continue playing football. 

In a breakout season with the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds, junior goalkeeper Camryn Berra earned All-American honorable mention from the Association of College Water Polo Coaches, as well as All-Conference honorable mention by the Western Water Polo Association. 

“It’s cool from going to like not getting to play a lot, to getting all the play time and getting recognized for that,” Berra said over the phone Wednesday.

The Monache High School graduate played in just 10 games over the past two years but proved she was deserving of a starting spot with the NCAA Division II Sunbirds when she took over for a sick teammate early in the season.

FPU head coach Bryan Suhovy, another MHS alum and former Marauder head coach, said Berra worked hard to put herself into a position where she could become a starter.

“This past summer she took it upon herself to train all summer long at the collegiate club level with some high-level athletes,” Suhovy said in an email Thursday. “That really helped build her confidence, gaining experience, giving her the edge she needed to excel in the goal for us this season. Every game she set goals for herself striving to improve at every opportunity."

Wrestling in college was always the goal for Tyler Avila, but the Porterville High School senior accomplished his dream of signing with NCAA Division I California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, Tuesday afternoon at Porterville High.

The signing was a long time coming after Avila verbally committed to the Mustangs in early March. Avila received an athletic and academic scholarship to attend Cal Poly, turning down scholarships and offers from several schools including Div. I CSU Bakersfield, Cal Baptist and a President’s Honors Scholarship from Fresno State’s Smittcamp Family Honors College. 

“Feels good,” Avila said. “They put a hold on (the paperwork) for the NCAA cause of the whole coronavirus thing, so I was really just anxious waiting for it. It’s really nice to have it done.”

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Embodying the true meaning of being a student-athlete, Porterville College outfielder Sayra Sanchez was named to the Academic All-State Team by the California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association (3CFCA) last week.

Sanchez, a liberal arts major, was one of just six softball players from the Central Valley Conference to earn the honor by meeting the requirements of having a 3.5 overall GPA and passing a minimum of 24 total units after her initial season of competition. 

A first-generation college student with a 3.7 GPA, Sanchez saw the hard work her parents put in working the fields as a reason why she wanted to make sure she made the most of her education. 

“It all starts at home, you know, watching my parents wake up at four in the morning, having to go to the fields to work. And me as well,” Sanchez, who also works the field, said. “That’s not what I want to do, and my only way out is to do good in school. The unfortunate reality is that if you don’t do well in school this is where you’ll end up at.”

Lei, Henderson and Sidhu also receive All-CVC honors

Four Porterville College men's basketball players received All-Central Valley Conference honors for the 2019-20 season.

Sophomore Tayshawun Bradford was an All-CVC, first-team selection. A starting guard for the Pirates (14-14, 7-7 CVC), Bradford led the conference in free throw percentage with 84.6%. He also averaged 16 points per game and was tied for fifth as one of the CVC's top scorers. His 42.9 3-point percentage was also sixth-best in the CVC. On the overall season, Bradford averaged 14.9 PPG and 4.9 rebounds per game.

PHS alum joins sister at Fresno Pacific University

After making a splash for Cuesta Community College men’s water polo, Porterville High School alumnus Steven Chapman is headed to Fresno Pacific University this fall to continue his athletic career.

The 6-foot-3 driver signed with the FPU Sunbirds on a partial scholarship in February. Chapman, a 2017 PHS graduate, joins younger sister Rosemary at the Pacific Western Conference, NCAA Division II university. Rosemary is a freshman on the Sunbirds’ women’s water polo team.

On Thursday, the California Community College Athletic Association posted a press release on its website stating the board of directors voted “to immediately postpone practices outside of regularly scheduled classes, and competition for all spring sports, as well as any and all nontraditional sports seasons, indefinitely.”

In a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) post on its website Friday, CCCAA said the sports impacted are: baseball, women's badminton, women's beach volleyball, men's golf, softball, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and men's volleyball regular seasons.

PUSD cancels through weekend, PC indefinitely

Porterville Unified School District was the first area school to announce the suspension of athletic events due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) early Thursday morning.

On the heels of Tulare County issuing an emergency declaration after an individual tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday evening, PUSD posted on Facebook, “All PUSD athletic events are cancelled for today, tomorrow, and Saturday (March 12, 13 and 14). Practices will continue as scheduled.”

Throughout the day, Central Section high schools and school districts announced the suspension of athletic events with all beginning immediately. Summit Charter Collegiate Academy did not announce any cancellations as of press time but Lindsay Unified School District released a statement that said, “No travel outside of Tulare County for athletics, field trips, and other competitive events, unless pre-approved” through April 3.

It could've been Porterville College's fourth win of the season.

Instead Tuesday's Central Valley Conference home game against the Fresno City Rams turned into a disappointing 18-3 loss, the sixth-straight for Pirates' baseball.

After giving up two runs in the second inning, Porterville kept things close with the state's No. 6 ranked team and even got back on level ground with Fresno when PC's Isaiah Gomez (Porterville High) hit a two-run, RBI-single in the fifth to even the score.

But from then on, Fresno City controlled the game. The Pirates' struggles on the mound intensified and the Rams scored seven runs in the sixth and seventh inning to take a 16-2 lead.

Porterville College women's tennis fell 9-0 to Modesto in Friday's Big 8 South Conference match at home. Modesto (11-1, 7-0 B8S) currently sits atop conference standings with an undefeated record.

“We're competing in every set, every match but they're just a little more, as far as their game, just a little bit stronger all the way through their game,” PC head coach Kurt Nielsen said. “Modesto girls are first place in the conference. They're probably on their way to winning. So we still battled. We did our best, they just have a lot of game. We're just trying to get better every game.

Starting with doubles, PC's Claire Nuno and Eileen Rooney lost the No. 1 match 8-1 while No. 3 Autumn True and Annabelle Rivera lost 8-0. No. 2 Raquel Calo and Zoe Vasquez had one of the closer matches of the day, with Vasquez playing very well up front, but lost 8-4.

PC beats Taft, improves to 2-0 in CVC

Porterville College softball picked up their second win of Central Valley Conference play with a 5-2 victory over the Taft College Cougars at home Thursday.

The teams were scoreless headed into the bottom of the third when PC's Veronica Bosquez got the Pirates (6-11, 2-0 CVC) on the scoreboard with an RBI-double that brought in teammate Sayra Sanchez for the first run of the day.

Two at-bats later, Kuea Angilau's shot to left field allowed Bosquez to score while Julie Rocha, who reached on error the previous at-bat, was tagged out at home as Angilau went to third. Angilau led the team at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a double and two runs scored.

Eleventh-seeded Porterville High School girls basketball lost 79-48 to sixth-seeded Eisenhower on the road in the first round of the CIF State Southern Region Championship playoffs.

Jewelia Maniss led the Panthers with 21 point and Jazlynne Medrano had eight points. Jada Ortega, Madison Johnson and Cienna Enriquez had three points each. Mariyah Avila-Peterson, Bailee Cook, Zeila Rivera, Allison Martinez and Trintiy Soliz had two points apiece.

Porterville trailed 15-9 at the end of the first quarter and 44-25 at halftime. Eisenhower stretched their lead to 66-35 by the end of the third.

The Panthers (31-3, 10-0 EYL) finish the season as the Central Section Division III and East Yosemite League champions.

After Thursday and Friday's CIF State Championship competition, Monache High's Charlotte Kouyoumtjian and Porterville's Tyler Avila are the only wrestlers still alive in their respective tournaments.

In the 116-pound girls competition, second-seeded Kouyoumtjian pinned seventh-seed Berlin Kiddoo of Ramona in 5 minutes, 42 seconds to advance to the semifinals.

Semifinal rounds begin at 11 p.m. today and Kouyoumtjian will wrestle third-seeded Elena Ivaldi of Del Oro for a place in the championship match.

In the 182-pound boys quarterfinals, fourth-seeded Avila lost in a 9-2 decision to fifth-seeded Jadon Martin of Buchanan. Avila will wrestle seventh-seed Travis Wuerth in the fifth round of consolation. Matches begin at 10 a.m.

Fourth-seeded Lindsay High School boys basketball defeated 13th-seeded Wonderful College Prep 52-50 in Tuesday's CIF Central Section Division V opening-round game at home.

Issac Munoz scored five points in the last 1 minute, 10 seconds of the game and led the team with 23 points. Julian Avalos also finished with 16 points.

On Thursday, Lindsay hosts fifth-seeded Corcoran at home. The two split their East Sequoia League matchups this season.

Monache’s Charlotte Kouyoumtjian and Ramona Ortega each placed first at the CIF Central Section Southeast Area Championship tournament Saturday at Mission Oak High School.

Their wins helped the girls wrestling team to a seventh-place finish with 131.5 points, putting them one place ahead of eighth-place Porterville (101).

In the semifinals, Kouyoumtjian defeated Redwood’s Melody Hernandez by a 6-1 decision then Foothill’s Ariana Juarez in a 15-0 technical fall for another Area title. In her semifinal match, Ortega pinned Kennedy’s Dezirae Alejandro in 3 minutes, 45 seconds. For the title, Ortega won by a 3:11 fall against Centennial’s Gracie Lane.

Lindsay High School’s Matthew Morales is the lone Cardinal still competing in the championship rounds of the CIF Central Section Division V Championships after Friday’s first day.

Morales (122 pounds) earned a bye for the first round and then pinned his next opponent in 59 seconds in a quarterfinal match. He’ll face West Bakersfield’s Curtis Crofton in today’s semifinal match. Crofton won his first two matches by pin.

At 115 pounds, Miguel Estrella lost his quarterfinal match by an 11-2 major decision. He’ll take on St. Joseph’s Brody Lorenez in the consolation quarterfinals.

Marcos Ventura (147) lost his first match by a 16-0 technical fall and his second by an 11-6 decision. Alexis Olea (154) was pinned in his first match but pinned Bishop Union’s Jacob Lomantewa in 5:52 to advance to the consolation quarterfinals against Hanford West’s Marteveon Young Roddy. 

Lindsay High School boys soccer is into the next round of playoffs after shutting out the 11th-seeded Kingsburg Vikings 5-0 in Tuesday's CIF Central Section Division IV opening round game at home.

Emiliano Corona led the team in scoring with two goals. Also scoring for the Cardinals was Bryan Pena, Adan Ibarra and Jorge Quintero with a goal apiece.

Defensively, Lee Andrade played 50 minutes at goalkeeper for Lindsay while Lino Manzo played goalkeeper for 30 minutes.

With the win over Kingsburg (11-16-1), sixth-seeded Lindsay (13-7-3) travels to third-seed Shafter (13-1-2) for a quarterfinal game Thursday.

Porterville College men's basketball team defeated West Hills Lemoore 99-77 in a Central Valley Conference game at home Saturday.

Tayshawun Bradford and Dominic King led the Pirates with 18 points. Chirrag Sidhu finished with 16 points and a team-high six assists and two blocks. Kenton Lei had 11 points and a team-high six rebounds.

Porterville (13-11, 6-4 CVC) are fourth in CVC standings and host first-place, No. 4 Fresno (21-3, 10-0 CVC) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Porterville College men's basketball defeated Merced 80-76 in a Central Valley Conference game Saturday on the road.

Tayshawun Bradford led the team with 16 points, Kenton Lei had 13 and Kaleb Roy scored 11. Dominic King had 15 points off the bench.

PC scores 27 runs on 27 hits in wins against Victor Valley

Vickie Dugan said her team could hit and that they did.

Porterville College’s softball team opened the season with two five-inning, mercy-ruled wins over Victor Valley in Friday’s non-conference doubleheader at home. The Lady Pirates (2-0) won the first game 10-0 and the second 17-6.

Dugan, PC’s head coach, said earlier in the week that one of the team’s strengths was their ability to score runs. Her team proved her right with every batter getting at least one hit and one run scored.

“I liked the way our bats performed,” Dugan said. “And that’s what I told you when we talked before, we’re going to produce some runs. And they were solid hits.”

Porterville College women’s tennis started the season off with a 5-4 win at Rio Hondo College Friday afternoon. PC’s next match is today at Fullerton at 10 a.m.

In singles, No. 2 Eileen Rooney won 6-1, 7-6; No. 5 Zoe Vasquez 6-2, 6-1; and No. 6 Annabelle Rivera won by default since Rio Hondo only had five players. Also for the Lady Pirates, No. 1 Claire Nuno lost 6-4, 6-4 and No. 4 Autumn True lost 6-0, 6-0. No. 3 Raquel Calo won her first set 6-4 but lost the next two 6-4, 10-5.

In doubles Nuno and Rooney were tied 5-all in the No. 1 match but won by default after one of their opponents had to go to work. Calo and True won the No. 2 match 8-4 while No. 3 Vasquez and Rivera won by default. 

Back for the Pirates are their top three players Claire Nuno (Porterville High), Eileen Rooney (Tehachapi) and Raquel Calo (Monache), as well as Strathmore alums Annabelle Rivera and Zoe Vasquez. New to the team is Autumn True (Porterville), Reyna Leal (Monache), Marisa Rios (Corcoran) and Paola Villanueva (Porterville).

“The numbers are solid,” Nielsen said. “Nice additions with Autumn, the top three are back. Zoe’s playing better, Annabelle (too). Everybody’s improved. All the girls have some new shots they’ve been working on in the fall.”

PC brought tennis back after a 15-year hiatus last season and the team did well in their debut. They finished 7-7 overall and 6-5 in the Big 8 South Conference for fourth. Nuno also qualified for singles, and doubles with Rooney, in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Tennis State Championships. She was also selected a PC Freshmen of the Year.

Granite Hills High School boys soccer defeated Lindsay for the first time in seven years in Thursday's East Sequoia League game on the road. It was Granite's first victory since a 1-0 win at Lindsay in 2013.

Salud Magana and Jonathan Carranza each scored for the Grizzlies.

“We played real good,” GHHS head coach Pedro Gonzalez said. “Same as we played at Granite.”

Gonzalez said it was anyone's game but the Grizzlies capitalized on their chances and didn't give up a goal until the final 10 minutes of the game.

Scoring for the Cardinals was Junior Martinez.

In the team's first meeting of the season, the game ended in a 4-4 tie.

Porterville College baseball picked up their first wins of the season in Wednesday's doubleheader at home against College of the Siskiyous. The Pirates won the first game 6-2 and the second 2-1.

Aaron Hernandez pitched a complete game for his first collegiate win in the first game. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk while retiring four over seven innings.

Colin King went 2-for-3 at the plate with two home runs and a walk. JT Edmonds, Santiago Sanchez and Brent Vasquez each had an RBI. Edmonds also hit a triple and Matthew Cloyd had a double.

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Local RSB coaches reflect on Kobe loss

If there were any lessons learned Sunday morning when news broke of NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death, it was to cherish those around you.

Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, 13, died in a helicopter crash along with seven other individuals on their way to the Mamba Cup Tournament Series at the Mamba Sports Academy in Southern California. Excited to see the Bryants that day was the local Rising Stars Basketball 11U team.

We were on our way to the Mamba Academy for the 12 o’clock game to go watch him and his daughter play that afternoon,” assistant coach Jose Miranda said. “That’s when we started getting all the news about what happened. We got to the sports complex, and even the guys up front, the security guys up front that were escorting the traffic...We knew it was true once we saw them in tears.”

PC softball hosts Victor Valley in season-opening doubleheader Friday

The softball season is just around the corner for Porterville College.

On Friday the Lady Pirates host Victor Valley in a season-opening doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. PC also hosts West Valley in another doubleheader Saturday.

With four games in just two days, the Pirates will quickly learn about themselves. One thing they already know is they're young with just four players back from last year's team.

“What we're going to be lacking in is experience,” PC head coach Vickie Dugan said. “The pitchers are freshmen, where last year we had two seasoned sophomores as pitchers. So they're going to have a feet to the fire season.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – In one of the major tournaments of his college career, Cal State Bakersfield freshman Mark Cardwell brought home a California Collegiate Open title at 197-pounds.

Cardwell won four matches in the tournament, taking out Simpson’s College Jacob Gonsalves by a fall in the semifinals and blanking out Cal Baptist athlete Arick Lopez 6-0 in the finals.

Cardwell earned takedowns in the first and second period of the finals and earn riding time to win 6-0. In the four matches Cardwell competed, he recorded two falls and a major decision to outscore the competition 26-0.

Porterville now .500 in conference, overall

After battling to overcome an early double-digit deficit in the first half, a lackluster performance in the second sealed Porterville's fate in Saturday's 84-65 loss at home to the state-ranked No. 10 Giants of the College of the Sequoias.

The 2020 baseball season got off to a rough start for the Porterville College Pirates. Hosting Lassen Community College in a three-game series to begin the season, PC dropped a doubleheader to the Cougars on Friday and lost the series finale on Saturday.

The season-opener saw the Pirates get edged 3-2 before a 5-1 loss in the second game. On Saturday, Lassen cruised to a 12-0 win.

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Pirates host Lassen in season-opening doubleheader Friday

Last season’s 1-38 finish was likely one of the worst in the history of Porterville College baseball. But with plenty of experience, young talent and a culture change; things should go a lot differently for the Pirates this season.

PC gets its first look at their revamped defense and disciplined offense Friday when they host Lassen in a doubleheader at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. They close out the season-opening series Saturday with a 12 p.m. game.

“The thing about it is we’ve got nine games in seven days, so we’ll know right away if we’re ready to go or not,” PC head coach Rich Sorenson said. “I feel real comfortable ... offensively and defensively this might be the best we’ve been here in years.”

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PHS swimmer signs with Fresno Pacific University

A Panther became a Sunbird Thursday morning when Trevor Riley signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his swimming career at Fresno Pacific University next year.

The Porterville High School senior was joined by family and teammate, Tyler Avila, at the school to celebrate the start of a new beginning.

“It’s cool, like I’m really happy that I’m able to go and swim at college,” Riley said.

“It’s gratifying seeing all of his hard work pay off,” said, Trevor’s dad, Mike Riley. “And I’m excited for him in his next adventure, it’s going to be a lot of fun for him. I hope he continues to have fun.”

Win one, lose one is once again the case for Porterville College men’s basketball team after the Pirates lost Saturday’s Central Valley Conference game 90-72 to the visiting Claim Jumpers of Columbia.

Porterville College women's basketball lost their 10th-straight game Wednesday in a 100-31 loss to Merced in the Central Valley Conference season-opener at home.

Trinity Ramirez led the team with nine points.

Merced (12-5, 1-0 CVC) is currently ranked No. 10 in the state and No. 4 in the Northern California Region.

The Lady Pirates (2-15, 0-1 CVC) are back to action next Wednesday, Jan. 15, when they travel to West Hills-Lemoore (4-12) for a 5 p.m. game.

MERCED, Calif. - University of California, Merced men's soccer players Marcos Ceballos, Marco Sobrevilla and Agustin Guerrero were named to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Team.

This marks the program's third straight year with three All-West Region selections, good for the longest active streak in the NAIA.

All three players also earned All-California Pacific Conference First Team honors prior to the Bobcats run to the NAIA National Championship Final Site.

Ceballos, the California Pacific Conference Player of the Year and a NAIA honorable mention All-American, led the Bobcats with 16 goals (one shy of a program-high) and 1.77 shots on goal per game. Ceballos also had three assists and is one of just two underclassmen on the West Coast to tally at least 35 points this year.

Porterville College interim Dean of Instruction Joe Cascio has announced the hiring of former Moorpark College men’s basketball head coach Gerred Link as PC’s new interim athletic director. Link replaces Cascio who formerly held the position.

Morgan Hunter scores 21 to lead Monache

Driving to the basket, drawing the foul and knocking down her free throws Tuesday evening was Morgan Hunter in Monache High School's 64-34 win at home over the Sunnyside Wildcats.

The freshman center scored a game-high 21 points and went 5-of-5 from the free throw line to lead the Central Section Division II Marauders (9-2).

Div. III Sunnyside's Briajanae Wheeler led her team with 19 points and played a major role in the Wildcats (5-6) leading 16-14 after the first quarter but Hunter had nine of the team's 18 points in the second quarter to give the Marauders a 32-23 lead at the half.

Porterville College interim Dean of Instruction Joe Cascio has announced the hiring of former Moorpark College men's basketball head coach, Gerred Link, as PC's new interim athletic director. Link replaces Cascio who formerly held the position.

Link comes to Porterville after serving as head coach of the men's basketball program at Moorpark College for the past six years (2014-19).

They fought for it, and with a little extra time, Porterville College men’s basketball team pulled out the 110-101 overtime victory over De Anza Saturday in their second game of the Milt Stowe Classic at home.