Granite Hills soccer players sign NLI to Westcliff University

School may be out but that doesn’t mean signings aren’t still happening.

Two weeks after graduating, Granite Hills High School’s Destiny Rodriguez and Guadalupe Venegas came back to school to sign National Letters of Intent to play women’s soccer at Westcliff University in Irvine Thursday.

The Warriors are a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) program entering their inaugural season next fall. Rodriguez and Venegas will receive partial scholarships after Westcliff’s probationary, first season.

“It’s cool because you’re going to be the one that starts history in that school and everyone’s going to go back and look at us who started this new program,” Venegas said. “It’s going to be exciting.

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After winning their first West Coast region men’s rodeo team title in more than 30 years, seven members of the Bulldoggers rodeo club team arrived in Casper, Wyoming to compete in the College National Finals Rodeo  June 9 through 15.

The College National Finals Rodeo will be broadcast live June 12 through 15 on ESPN3, a live digital network available on the WatchESPN website or app.

GHHS Colton Painter, SHS Jeeven Larson place at Area

Tension was high as the final scorecards were tallied and high school golfers awaited their fate at the CIF Central Section Central Area Championship meet Tuesday at River Island Country Club.

To advance to the Central Section (Valley) Championship meet back at River Island on Monday, May 13, golfers needed to shoot an 85 or better.

Two local golfers, seniors Colton Painter of Granite Hills and Jeeven Larson of Strathmore, both shot a 76 that qualified them for Valley, but it wasn’t until they were placed in the top 10 overall individual scores that either golfer finally looked at ease.

Lindsay goalkeeper, Alberto Gutierrez, signs to UC Merced

It was an emotional signing day at Lindsay High School as senior goalkeeper, Alberto Gutierrez, made his commitment to join the University of California, Merced men’s soccer program official by signing a National Letter of Intent Friday in front of family and friends.

With the signing, Gutierrez becomes the third Cardinals men’s soccer player to join the Bobcats — an NAIA program playing in the California Pacific Conference. Both Lindsay graduates, Marcos Ceballos and Agustin Valdovinos, currently play for Merced as midfielders. 

“It’s going to be fun, that’s all I have to say,” Gutierrez said. “Agustin and Marcos, I love those guys. You know they told me everyday, ‘Keep working hard, keep working hard and you’re going to make it.’ They’re going to be my teammates and I know it’s just going to be fun playing with them.”

Angilau hits walk-off home run for PC 4-3 Sophomore Day win

Kuea Angilau was in a slump and things weren’t looking pretty for the Porterville College freshman.

The best hitter on the softball team with a .475 batting average and .600 on-base percentage was 0-for-4 through six innings and the Pirates (24-15, 12-9 CVC) were in need of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday’s Central Valley Conference game against West Hills Coalinga at home.

Playing the final game of the regular season for Sophomore Day, the Pirates needed runs to either extend the game into extra innings or win it all right then and there. 

Four former Monache High School athletes, a coach and a girls water polo team once again inked their names into the Marauders records books as the third class to be inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame Saturday evening

The six — Todd Hill, Ryan Todd, Mike Fusco, Valerie Cowan Townsend, coach Drew Williams and the 1996 MHS girls water polo team — were recognized for their success as Marauders in front of friends and family at the Porterville Veterans Memorial Building. 

MHS athletic director, A.J. Watts, introduced the inductees and a visual presentation of each inductee’s accomplishment throughout the years was shown before they received a plaque and delivered their acceptance speeches.

PC’s Annisa Gomez hits grand slam, 9 RBIs in sweep of Cerro Coso

The depth of Porterville College softball’s lineup continues to show with the Lady Pirates sweeping Cerro Coso 14-1 and 9-3 in Friday’s Central Valley Conference doubleheader at home.

Down three starters, Porterville (23-13, 9-7 CVC) didn’t miss a step and powered through the lineup to bring in the victories and improve to third in the conference.

PC’s Annisa Gomez’s stayed hot in both games with the freshman 3-for-3 with a grand slam, seven RBIs and two runs scored in the first game. She finished the day with nine RBIs to bring her weekly total to 14 RBIs and three home runs. The team is also second in the state in home runs with 30, one behind San Mateo’s 31.

Three Lindsay High School singles players and two Strathmore doubles and one Granite Hills doubles team qualified for the second day of the East Sequoia League championships after advancing to the quarterfinals Wednesday at Granite Hills High School.

In doubles, Granite Hills’ No. 5 Jose Atrisco and Victor Reyes defeated No. 12 Matthew Nanlangka and Salvador Campos of SHS 8-0 but lost 8-1 to No. 4 Joshua Wilkinson and Kristan Losenara of Sierra Pacific. From Strathmore, No. 10 Jorge Prado and Jose Lara beat Woodlake’s No. 7 Gerardo Perez and Miguel Rios 8-6 but lost 8-2 to No. 2 Jackie Gang and Bradley C. of SPHS. Also from Strathmore No. 6 Romulo Campos and Heriberto Vasquez beat Granite Hills No. 11 Luis Atrisco and Jair Ramirez but lost 8-2 to Corcoran’s No. 3 Kevin Alvarez and Luis Leyva.

Strathmore High School baseball picked up a solid win Friday with a 15-0 shutout of Laton in their non-league game at home.

On the bump, William Reece allowed no hits through five innings and struck out 10 hitters. Offensively, Reece also had two hits, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Josue “Jackie” Topete had a great day at the plate and launched the team’s first home run of the season. He also had three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs. Angel Topete, Josue’s younger brother, also had a big day with three hits and three RBIs.

Matt Brown & Taylor Lollis finished with two hits.

The Spartans play Kennedy on Tuesday at Strathmore.

Monache High School boys tennis swept Mission Oak 9-0 in Monday’s East Yosemite League match on the road.

In singles, No. 1 Sage Martinez won 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 Josue Orozco 7-6, 6-2; No. 3 Jake Buckley 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 Johnny Hu 6-1, 6-0; No. 5 Angel Chavez 6-0, 6-1; and No. 6 Nick Nuno 6-2, 6-0.

The Marauders took all three doubles matches with No. 1 Orozco and Buckley winning 8-2, No. 2 Hu and Nuno winning 8-2, and No. 3 Gabriel Burns and Mikey Cha winning 8-4.

Monache also defeated Tulare Union 8-1 last Wednesday.

Strathmore High School boys and girls swim teams swept Granite Hills in Friday’s East Sequoia League meet on the road. The Spartan boys won 114-51 while their girls won 119-45.

Strathmore dominated the meet and claimed first in all but two races. Tommy Ensaldo’s 26.65-second and 1:05.77 finish in the 50 and 100-yard freestyle, respectively, were the only first-place finishes on the day for Granite Hills.

Strathmore High School’s bats were hot against Farmersville in a 13-0 rout of the Aztecs in Tuesday’s East Sequoia League at home.

The Spartans (6-3-1, 3-1 ESL) finished with 15 hits, 11 RBIs and four extra base hits. Strathmore opened the game up with a six-run second inning and then poured on seven more runs in the fourth. 

Jacob Flores and Jaylen Oats were two of the team’s big hitters with Flores going 1-for-2 with a triple, three RBIs, two runs scored and two walks. Oats went 2-for-4 with a triple, four RBIs and one run scored. 

Monache grad, Diego Casillas, signed with Fresno on March 6

The dream — the goal — was to one day play soccer at the professional level.

However with such a lofty ambition, hardships and reality can sometimes deter one to a point where what seemed attainable, becomes impossible.

But not in the case of Diego Casillas.

Monache’s Marilou Ruiz will run cross country and track for the Hornets

California State University, Sacramento added a local to their roster Friday when Monache High School senior, Marilou Ruiz, signed a National Letter of Intent to join the NCAA Division I Hornets’ track and cross country programs in the fall.

The Hornets, who compete in the Big Sky Conference, provided Ruiz with a partial scholarship and if she can run a 5-minute mile or an 11-minute two mile, she will get another $2,000 on top of the partial scholarship, according to MHS head coach Seth Ishida.

The Porterville College women’s tennis team defeated Reedley 7-2 at home in Friday’s Big 8 South Conference match.

In singles, No. 2 Eileen Counihan-Rooney won 6-4, 6-1; No. 2 Raquel Calo won 7-6, 6-4; No. 4 Viviana Meza won 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 Neelam Aziz won 6-3, 6-4; and No. 6 Vanessa Chavez won 6-0, 6-0.

For doubles, No. 2 Calo and Aziz won 8-4 while No. 3 Meza and Chavez won 8-0.

Porterville travels to Bakersfield College tomorrow for another Big 8 South Conference match.

On Thursday, the Pirates lost 8-1 to undefeated, conference leader Fresno City.

After losing her first set 6-3, No. 3 Meza came back to get the team’s lone win. Meza won the second set 6-0 and the tiebreaker 10-8.

Gomez homers for win as PC splits doubleheader vs. FCC

Home runs aren’t new to Porterville College’s Annisa Gomez but Tuesday’s three-run blast over the left field fence for a 3-0 walk-off win against visiting Fresno City left the freshman at a loss for words.

With both teams scoreless heading into the eighth inning of the first game of a doubleheader against Central Valley Conference opponent, the Rams of Fresno (7-8, 3-2 CVC), Fresno loaded the bases but PC (10-5, 2-1 CVC) came away unscathed by stranding runners at third with a flyout to PC’s Raquel Gonzalez in left field for the final out.

With one out and two runners on, Gomez fouled off two hits. But on a 3-2 count she homered for the win.

Strathmore High School baseball lost their East Sequoia League opener 5-0 to Corcoran on the road Friday.

William Reece finished with two hits and a stolen base while Angel Topete had the Spartans only other hit for the day.

Reece pitched into the sixth inning, striking out four and giving up three earned runs.

Strathmore hosts Summit Charter today in a non-league doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for 12 p.m.

The Porterville College women’s tennis team picked swept Sacramento City 9-0 in both matches of a Big 8 South Conference doubleheader Thursday at home.

In the first match No. 1 Claire Nuno won 8-3 in singles, No. 2 Eileen Counihan-Rooney won 8-1, No. 3 Raquel Calo won 8-0 and No. 4 Neelam Aziz won 8-0. For doubles, No. 1 Nuno and Counihan-Rooney won 8-2 while No. 2 Calo and Zoe Vasquez won 8-2.

 

PC bests COS 5-2 for victory

Women’s tennis is back at Porterville College and the Lady Pirates picked up their first conference win with a 5-2 victory over the College of Sequoias in Friday’s Big 8 South Conference match at home.

The Giants (2-8, 1-4 B8SC) defaulted on both the No. 3 double’s and No. 6 single’s matches due to a lack of players, giving the Pirates (2-3, 1-2 B8SC) an automatic 2-0 lead. But Porterville defeated COS in three of five matches that were completed.

Pirates received 8 All-CVC honors in total

Porterville College freshman, Dominic King, ruled the All-Central Valley Conference postseason awards. 

The Las Vegas native racked up the honors on Sunday, being named the CVC Freshman of the Year while also being selected to the All-CVC first team, All-Defensive team and All-Freshman team.

Porterville College women’s basketball player, Kathy Rodriguez, was named to the All-Central Valley Conference second team this weekend.

As a sophomore, Rodriguez finished first in the conference with 2.5 blocks per game, fifth in rebounds with eight per game and 17th in scoring with nine points a game. She was also ninth in the state in blocks per game.

“She’s an amazing kid that can accomplish great things,” PC head coach Jeremy Parker. “I’m really proud of the fact that she’s a local talent that stayed close to home and gave me the opportunity to help her. She is proving that Porterville College is a great way to start your college education and she’s laid a great foundation for herself moving forward in her life. I’m honored to say I coached this wonderful young lady.”

Rodriguez was also one of 85 student-athletes in California to receive academic all-state honors with a 3.52 GPA. 

The Pirates finished 4-22 this season.

Strathmore High School football standout Jadon Guire, a Porterville resident, made quite an impression Saturday at the statewide California Showcase prep combine in Southern California.

The one-day free event, held at a 688-acre sports complex on the former site of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, is for high school seniors passed over by Division I schools. There were 56 lower division four-year colleges from throughout the nation represented at Saturday’s combine, which drew 367 high school seniors hoping to continue their football careers at the next level.

There is no doubt Guire will have his pick of opportunities, as he drew praise from all quarters.

Lindsay’s McKaylie Caesar signs to CSU-Fullerton

“The greatest Cardinal that we know.”

Joe Dixon’s words about his star athlete, McKaylie Caesar, were followed by applause from Caesar’s friends and family at the senior’s signing ceremony at Lindsay High School Wednesday. 

In front of friends and family, put ink to paper and signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Titans of California State University, Fullerton’s NCAA Division I cross country and track and field programs in the fall on a full-ride scholarship. The Titans are also part of the Big West Conference.

Granite Hills High School baseball defeated Tranquility 5-1 in their season opener at home Tuesday afternoon.

Alonso Bedolla pitched a complete five-inning game. He had 11 strikeouts and gave up no earned runs. In the first inning, the Grizzlies walked three and gave up an unearned run with two defensive errors. 

 

The 10th-seeded Granite Hills High School girls soccer team lost 2-1 to seventh-seeded Orange Cove on the road in Tuesday’s CIF Central Section Division VI game.

The teams were tied 1-1 at the half but the Grizzlies were unable to score in the second half. 

Granite Hills finished the overall season with a 5-14-1 record and went 2-9-1 in the East Sequoia League.

Monache’s Ivan Mendez signs with UC Davis

With his name plastered all over the Monache High School distance records placard that hangs in the school gym, senior Ivan Mendez signed his National Letter of Intent to run cross country for the University of California, Davis Friday afternoon.

Throughout his career with the Marauders, Mendez was a star for both the cross country and track teams where he set three of eight of the Monache boys’ distance records — the most of any Marauders.

Nielsen-led Pirates back after 15 years

For the first time in 15 years, women’s tennis is back at Porterville College, and there’s plenty of familiar faces to go around.

In as head coach is former PC and Porterville High School tennis coach Kurt Nielsen, who led both the men’s and women’s tennis programs from 1999-2004 before they were cut in 2005. Nielsen thanked PC Director of Student Programs and Athletics Joe Cascio for the return of the tennis program.

Season-opening double header at San Jose Friday

Last season Porterville College softball fielded a team of nearly all freshmen and had their best season in three years. 

Now with eight players returning and more vying for starting positions, the Lady Pirates are shaping up for another strong season under longtime head coach and 2019 PC Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Vickie Dugan.

Porterville went 18-19 on the overall 2018 season and finished fifth in the Central Valley Conference with a 10-11 record. The Pirates were nothing short of impressive by opening the season on a 10-game win streak and outscoring opponents 134-14 over those first games. 

 

PC goes 0-2 in doubleheader

The first win of the season once again eluded Porterville College as the team dropped both games of a season-opening doubleheader to Lassen College Friday at Pirates Stadium.

Porterville lost the first game 13-3 and the second 10-2 but the win was there for PC’s taking in the first game. However the Pirates began unraveling in the top of the fifth inning and quickly lost the two-run lead they had earned in the bottom of the third.

Begin three-game series vs. Lassen today at 11 a.m.

The crack of the bat and the pop of the glove are once again welcoming sounds around Porterville College as the Pirates open the baseball season with a three-game series against the Cougars of Lassen today at Pirates Stadium.

Today’s doubleheader features games at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., with Porterville wrapping up the series Saturday with an 11 a.m. game.

The Pirates don’t begin Central Valley Conference play until March 5, when PC travels to Reedley but players are already geared up and ready to get the season started.

Strathmore High School boys basketball defeated rival Lindsay 71-26 in an East Sequoia League game at home Thursday evening. 

The Spartans were led by Josue Topete with 13 points while William Reece and Miguel Samano had nine points apiece. Kyle Oliveira also chipped in seven points.

“We had a great third quarter outscoring them 28-5,” SHS head coach Justin St. Clair said. “I’m happy for our seniors to be able to win their last home [game] against Lindsay [tonight]. We played with great energy tonight and we did a great job keeping our composure. Third quarter was pretty intense. Guys off the bench played well tonight.”

Lindsay High School boys soccer defeated crosstown rival Strathmore 4-2 in Tuesday’s East Sequoia League game at Spartan Stadium. It was the Cardinals first ESL win at Spartan Stadium since the 2015-16 season.

Ulysses Lopez led Lindsay (9-6-3, 3-2 ESL) in scoring with two goals while Emiliano Corona and Moises Betancourt each scored a goal.

Jose Pena and Enrique Gomez had a goal apiece for Strathmore (3-5-1, 1-2 ESL). The Spartans played with 10 players for nearly the entire game after one of their players received a red card in the first 15 minutes of the game.

The Porterville College and College of Sequoias men’s basketball games are usually one of the most anticipated and best games of the Pirates season.

Granite Hills High School boys basketball remain at the top of the East Sequoia League standings after downing Lindsay 53-24 in Friday’s ESL game on the road.

Two local players from West Hills College Coalinga, as well as three from Porterville College, were named to the All-Central Valley Conference volleyball team Wednesday.

West Hills’ freshman Andrea Lopez, a Monache High School graduate, was a first-team selection with a team-high 308 kills and was ranked third in the CVC with 3.80 kills per set. The outside hitter was also one of only four CVC players to register more than 300 kills and 200 digs (243). 

Seven different Porterville College men’s basketball players finished in double digits after the Pirates defeated West Hills Lemoore 111-50 in a Central Valley Conference game Wednesday on the road.

Freshman Treager Wallace led the team with 20 points while sophomore Elijah Cardenas finished with 17, sophomore Da’Morea Green had 14, freshman Dominic King had 13, sophomores DJ Wilson and Germaine Caldwell had 12 each and freshman Tayshawun Bradford tallied 11.

The Pirates host their first home CVC game Saturday at 6 p.m. where they’ll take on College of the Sequoias.

Monache High School girls soccer defeated Tulare Union 3-2 at home in their East Yosemite League opener Friday evening.

The Marauders were the first on the board with a goal from freshman Alexa Baez before the Tribe got a goal of their own in before the end of the first half to level the match at 1-1.

Strathmore High School boys basketball won their fourth straight game with a 77-69 victory over Wonderful College Prep Academy in the second day of their Milt Stowe Holiday Classic Tuesday in Strathmore.

James Anderson led the team with 16 points, followed by Andrew Gonzalez with 14, Josue Topete with 12 and Owen Patterson with eight. The Spartans bench also combined for 27 points and were difference makers.

“This was a hard fought game by both teams tonight,” SHS head coach Justin St. Clair said. “The difference was our bench tonight. Several guys in our second and third rotations hit shots. We still need to improve our ball movement and contain better on the perimeter with our defense. Great team effort.” 

Tonight, the Spartans take on Woodlake for the third game of the tournament. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

MHS senior signs with university water polo program after heart surgery

Signing days are special for every athlete and their family, but on Monday afternoon, a signing at Monache High School felt just a bit more momentous than most.

In 2016, Nick Taylor was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and had to have surgery to cauterize an extra electrical pathway in his heart that was making his heart race after hard exercise. 


The inaugural two-day Milt Stowe Basketball Classic kicked off at Porterville College Friday and brought the Pirates their first home basketball tournament in 17 years.

First men’s hoops tourney at PC in 17 years

For the first time in 17 years, Porterville College is set to host a men’s basketball tournament. 

The Milt Stowe Classic will take place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, in the PC gym. The tournament will feature four teams: PC, Bakersfield College, El Camino College and West Hills College Lemoore. 

The tournament will tip off at 5 p.m. Friday when El Camino takes on West Hills. PC and Bakersfield will square off in the second game at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Bakersfield will play West Hills at 1 p.m. and PC will look for a win against El Camino at 3 p.m.

Green records double-double in PC win

They needed a bit of a comeback to do it, but in the end, Porterville College men’s basketball team provided a lively home crowd with a thrilling 87-85 win over De Anza in the Pirates season home-opener Tuesday evening.

“That right there was a tough win, I thought that was all grit,” PC head coach Rob Haynes said. “Especially when you’re playing against a team as hot as De Anza. They’re leading the state in scoring. And they was making 16 (3-pointers) a game, and they were shooting about 32. Tonight they only got off 22 and only made nine. So we did a good job of matching up.”

Porterville plays tonight at Victor Valley, 5 p.m.

College basketball all around the nation tipped off earlier this week, and getting to action tonight is the Porterville College men’s basketball team.

After a rough, disappointing end to the 2017-18 season where the Pirates went 2-12 in the Central Valley Conference and 7-18 on the overall season, PC has left the past in the past, and are focused on making this go-around one of their best seasons in years.

First All-American in recent PC history

“I’m so nervous, I don’t know what to say,” Chelsea Ramos declared early Thursday morning.

One of the most fearsome hitters in not only the Valley, but the state of California, Ramos was borderline anxious preparing to talk about herself. But that’s alright, because Ramos’ play speaks for itself.

In her freshman season alone, the Porterville College third baseman earned All-Northern California honors, first-team All-Central Valley Conference and recently was named a first-team All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Ramos is the first Pirate All-American in recent history according to PC athletic director Joseph Cascio.

Pirates drop to 1-2 in CVC play

Porterville College volleyball team hit another rough patch Wednesday with a 3-0 loss to Cerro Coso in a Central Valley Conference match at home.

The Pirates (3-5, 1-2 CVC) dropped the sets in order, 25-9, 25-17 and 25-16, to the Coyotes (7-2, 3-0 CVC). Cerro Coso is in a three-way tie for first place in the CVC with Merced (6-0, 3-0 CVC) and Fresno City (8-3, 3-0 CVC). Last Friday, Porterville lost 3-0 at Fresno City.

Pirates host Cerro Coso Wednesday at 5 p.m.

When fans turn out for the first home game of the Porterville College volleyball season Wednesday evening they’ll notice one major thing about this year’s team — the Pirates are short.

For some sports height isn’t that big of an issue, but when it comes to volleyball height is a significant advantage most teams use in their front row to block, get strong hits for kills or easy touches for tips. And for PC, the lack of height on the team is something second-year head coach Pete Rasmussen is well aware of. 

Both Monache High School’s boys and girls water polo teams returned from Visalia with wins Thursday evening after taking down the Trailblazers of Golden West in non-league victories.

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Monache standout to stay local, attend CSUB

One of the most stressful parts of senior year for any high school student is figuring out what college they’ll attend next year. But for Monache High School star wrestler Mark Cardwell, that decision’s already been made.

In late August, Cardwell announced that he had verbally committed to California State University, Bakersfield and will suit up for the Roadrunners on a full-ride scholarship. He’ll wrestle in the 174-pound weight class while pursuing a degree in kinesiology. CSU Bakersfield is an NCAA Division I school that wrestles in the Pac 12 Conference.

Porterville native is the MLS team’s youngest outside academy signing

The Central Valley has always been know for producing talented players on the pitch but one local player shined so bright that he drew interest from not just one Major League Soccer team, but two. 

Since the age of five, Porterville native AedanMerrill “AM” Beebe has played and developed a love for soccer but over the last couple of months the 11-year-old South Valley Chivas goalkeeper got the chance to take things to the next level and tried out for both the Los Angeles Football Club and San Jose Earthquakes. 

Pirates taking their talents beyond Porterville

Four Porterville College basketball players who graduated from PC in May are taking their talents to the next level.

Carlos Angel signed his Letter of Intent on Aug. 9 to play at Walla Walla University in Washington. Angel was a do-it-all guard who scored 352 points, sank 56 three-pointers, shot 75 percent from the free-throw line and snagged 97 rebounds for the Pirates last season. He was also named to the All-Central Valley Conference Second Team and nominated for the All-Defensive Team. The Wolves, members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, could use a do-everything player like Angel as they went 6-24 a season ago.