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Four players from Strathmore High School girls water polo made All-East Sequoia League.

On the first team was team captain Paulina Cemo. The sophomore scored 46 goals and was also voted the team’s Most Valuable Player. Strathmore head coach Monty Newkirk described Cemo as “a great player and teammate”.

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Strathmore at Hilmar, 6 p.m., in Div. 6-AA state final

Revenge and rematch — those are the main words highlighting Saturday’s second meeting in as many years between the Hilmar and Strathmore High School football teams.

That’s because the last year when the two met, the Spartans “stole” a win from the Yellowjackets in a 53-52 double-overtime victory in the play-in game for the CIF State Division 6-AA playoffs. 

With their fifth-straight win and a 4-0 record in the East Sequoia League, Granite Hills High School boys soccer is emerging as one of the top team’s in the ESL and the CIF Central Section Division VI. The Grizzlies are the No. 1 team in Div. VI with 10-1 overall record.

On Thursday, Granite Hills remained perfect in the ESL with a 6-1 win over Sierra Pacific.

Salud Magaña scored a hat trick with three goals, Ivan Ayon had two goals and Erick Rincon had one.

The team’s only loss this season was a 1-0 fall to Div. I’s Central (8-1-1) at a tournament last week.

Strathmore High School girls soccer defeated Granite Hills at Jacob Rankin Stadium Wednesday in an East Sequoia League game for their first ESL win of the season.

For the Spartans (2-3, 1-1 ESL), Izabella Baez scored two goals and Isabella Duerin scored one goal.

Destiny Rodriguez scored the lone goal for the Grizzlies (3-4, 1-2 ESL).

ESL play continues for both teams today with Strathmore hosting Woodlake (1-5, 0-2 ESL) while Granite Hills is at Sierra Pacific. 

Nine other locals make All-ESL list

Not only did Moses Bower easily put himself into the record books of Strathmore High School’s boys water polo program, he also topped the All-East Sequoia League as the league’s Most Valuable Player. 

A total of seven Spartans made the All-ESL team after Strathmore finished second in the ESL with a 6-2 record. The Spartans were seeded sixth in the CIF Central Section Division III playoffs but lost to eventual Valley champion Hanford in the semifinals.

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. 

Monache High School’s Charlotte Kouyoumtjian was back on top this weekend with a first-place finish at the 25-team, third annual R.M. Parks Ladies Invitational at Monache.

Wrestling at 121 pounds, Kouyoumtjian went went 3-0 to win her bracket made up of 14 girls with a second round pin of No. 2 seed Valeree Ornelas of Clovis. Kouyoumtjian was also voted the Outstanding Lower Weight Wrestler by coaches.

Presale tickets available at SHS

Everything is set for Strathmore High School football’s second-straight trip to the CIF State Division 6-AA championship game as the Spartans take on the Yellowjackets of Hilmar in a rematch of last year’s state play-in game.

The state final takes place Saturday at Hilmar High School located at 7807 Lander Ave in Hilmar. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. and gates open at 4 p.m.

Presale tickets area available at Strathmore’s main office between 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets for adults are $12 while tickets for students with ID and senior citizens are $8.

Porterville High School girls basketball went back-to-back to as champions with a 58-38 victory over host Strathmore in the 36th Annual George Glover Memorial basketball tournament Saturday. 

Lindsay, Porterville and Granite Hills are top group teams

The last time Porterville and Lindsay High School boys soccer teams faced off, the Cardinals came out on top, twice. 

But in their first meeting of the Lindsay Annual Cup, last year’s finalist couldn’t get the better of each other and the two finished with a 1-1 draw Friday at Frank Skadan Stadium in Lindsay.

Porterville High School girls basketball stretched their undefeated streak to six games with a 61-31 win over Granite Hills in the semifinal game of 36th Annual George Glover Memorial tournament hosted by Strathmore High School Friday.

GHHS, PHS and SHS play today in tourney semis

Both Granite Hills and Porterville High School girls basketball teams opened with big wins in the first day of the 36th Annual George Glover Memorial girls basketball tournament Thursday at Strathmore High School.

Granite Hills (5-1) quickly got by Orosi for a 62-37 win in the first game while Porterville (5-0) dominated Lindsay (1-4) in a 66-18 victory. The Panthers and Grizzlies face off today in 5:15 p.m. semifinal game while the two Cardinals teams play in the consolation bracket at 3:45 p.m.

Due to scheduling, Foothill could not make it down Thursday and forfeited their first game of the tournament against Strathmore. The Spartans begin their tournament at 8 p.m. tonight in the semifinals against Tulare Western after Wasco was a no-show against the Mustangs for Thursday’s opener.

Lindsay High School girls soccer shut out Woodlake 4-0 in Thursday’s East Sequoia League opener on the road.

Karyssa Perez had her first hat trick of the season and Jimena Magaña scored on a free kick.

Strathmore downs Monache 2-1 with late goals

In the preseason Strathmore High School’s Enrique Gomez said he doesn’t score, but in the final minute of a tied boys soccer game at Monache, it was the senior’s free kick from 40 yards out that gave the Spartans a 2-1 comeback victory. 

The 6-foot-2 senior defender was due for a goal after several of his free kicks were on target but didn’t get past Monache’s defense for one reason or another. But once his game-winner went into the back left corner of the net, Gomez lifted his arms up in celebration. 

Monache falls 1-0 to El Diamante

It’s early, but by their record alone Monache High School girls soccer is starting off better than they did last season. 

The 2017-18 season started off rough for the Marauders with the team going 0-5-2 through their first seven games. But this season with another half underclassmen team, Monache is 3-3-1 after suffering a 1-0 loss to fellow CIF Central Section Division II team, the Miners of El Diamante, Tuesday at home.

Porterville High School girls basketball defeated El Diamante 65-27 at home Tuesday for their fourth-straight win of the season. 

Sophomore Cienna Enriquez led the team with 17 points followed by freshman Nseije Ortiz with 14 and junior Mariyah Avila-Peterson with 10.

The 11th Annual East – West All Star Water Polo boys and girls games is hosted by the Visalia Downtown Kiwanis Club and will be played this Saturday at El Diamante High School in Visalia.

Each game will pit the East Yosemite League’s best senior players against the West Yosemite League’s finest. Game time for the girls contest is 12 p.m. while the boys game play at 1:20 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students. Children three and under are free.

Strathmore 3-peats as regional champs to head back to the state championships

Say what you will about Strathmore High School football but when it comes down to business, the Spartans will make you eat every single word of disrespect and then some.

Coming off a state-title championship season and their third-straight Valley title, there were still some naysayers doubting Strathmore’s chances against the Southern Section Div. XIII Saints of Adelanto (13-2) but when the clock winded down to zero, it was the Spartans (13-1) who remained standing with a 28-7 win in the CIF Southern California Regional Division 6-AA Championship game at Spartan Stadium Friday evening.

Strathmore hosts Adelanto tonight at 7:30 p.m. for state playoffs

When Strathmore High School football started the season back in August with two 40-point blowouts, their finals scores made them look mighty similar to the program’s last two teams that went 40-1 with back-to-back trips to the state finals. But fast-forward through this year’s season and you’ll see that while Strathmore made it back to the state playoffs, they’re a much different team than before.

“We’re younger, we’re less experienced [but] we’re a whole lot faster than we’ve ever been,” SHS head coach Jeromy Blackwell said. “And this is a team that’s been waiting for their time to shine and they’ve finally hit their stride, probably about week 12. So I think this is their opportunity to put it out there and show what they’ve got. They’re a special group and they have a lot to show still. And there’s still more to come.”

Forced into the spotlight early because of last season’s CIF State Division 6-AA state championship title, this season’s Spartans (12-1, 5-1 ESL) are in position to create and extend their own legacy when they take on the Saints of Adelanto (13-1) in tonight’s CIF Southern California Regional Div. 6-AA championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.

Once Monache High School girls basketball gave themselves a chance to breathe and come together as a team, there was no stopping the Marauders’ fight in Wednesday’s 53-50 comeback win over the Patriots of Liberty.

After a slow start with numerous turnovers and sloppy fouls, Monache started to get things figured out late in the second quarter after successfully beating Liberty’s full-court press with Madisyn Baxter scoring off a pass from Danielle Garcia. From there the Marauders’ began feverishly chipping away at what once had been a Patriots’ 10-point lead, and with less than two-minutes to play in the first half, Baxter and Danielle Margosian knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to take Monache’s first lead of the game. A finish and a fast break from Mia Penguilly carried the team into halftime with a 29-25 lead.

Lindsay High School girls soccer went 1-1 in their first day at the Fowler High School tournament Wednesday.

The Cardinals lost the first game 4-2 to Fowler. Aryana Gomez and Belen Ferreira scored for Lindsay. 

Lindsay holds off Mt. Whitney for win

It was the game-winning goal, sailing into the left side of the net from over 20-yards out with less than 10 minutes left to play off the foot of Lindsay High School’s Moises Betencourt, but as the Cardinals fans and boys soccer players cheered the senior barely reacted. 

Maybe it was because he’d scored a hat trick last week, or maybe it was because he was frustrated in not scoring earlier in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Mt. Whitney (0-1) in Lindsay’s home-opener or maybe he just wasn’t one to celebrate but regardless of the reason, Betencourt’s calm demeanor and ability to produce when his team needed it the most will be something to watch for this season.

Sophomore Ruby Fiori recorded a hat trick in the Monache High School girls soccer team’s 12-0 blanking of Granite Hills Tuesday at home in a non-league match. 

Every time McKaylie Caesar takes to a course it seems as if something historical is going to happen, and on Saturday morning something did.

The postseason continues for Strathmore High School, with the Spartans hosting Adelanto in the CIF SoCal Regional Division 6-AA Championship Bowl game Friday at 7:30 p.m. 

Caesar among top runners in division

For the first time in program history, the boys and girls cross country teams of Lindsay High School are headed to the CIF State Cross Country Championships together on Saturday, Nov. 24 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Lindsay’s girls team went to the state meet last season for the first time, and will be joined by Monache’s girls team, who is also making a back-to-back return to the championships. Both Cardinals teams are running in the Division IV race, with the girls race at 11 a.m. and the boys at 12:30 p.m. The Marauders’ girls are in the 10 a.m. Div. II race.

Strathmore High School boys basketball defeated Wonderful College Preparatory Academy 79-62 Tuesday in their non-league season home-opener.

Josue Topete led the team with a game-high 23 points. Strathmore head coach, Justin St. Clair said Topete scored the team’s first eight points. He added, “ [He] came out with great energy. Did a great job attacking the rim.”

James Anderson had 14 points. St. Clair said it was definitely Anderson’s best all-around performance.

Lindsay High School’s McKaylie Caesar is the local runner favored to finish highest at the CIF State Cross Championships this Saturday at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Rainey, Chapman sign NLIs to play collegiate water polo

Together, seniors Shyanne Rainey and Rosemary Chapman have been two of the brightest stars in the Porterville High School water polo program, and now they have a chance to do more at the collegiate level. 

At Porterville on Tuesday, both Rainey and Chapman sat down to sign National Letters of Intent to play water polo at NCAA Division II programs next season. Rainey is joining the Cougars of Azusa Pacific University in southern California, while Chapman is becoming a Sunbird of Fresno Pacific University. Both universities are private Christian institutions.

Marauder joining Aggies equestrian team

It wasn’t the ordinary signing for the Porterville community, but Monache High School senior Stacey Newkirk signed her National Letter of Intent to ride for the University of California, Davis (UCD) equestrian team on a full-ride athletic scholarship. 

Family, friends and former teachers were present Tuesday morning at the school for Newkirk’s official signing. 

She was named the first recruit for the UCD equestrian team under a full-ride scholarship. The Aggies are an NCAA Division I program with Jessie Weisinger as their head coach.

Last season, Moises Betencourt led Lindsay High School boys soccer with 21 assists but it looks like he’ll be taking over in the scoring department this season after kicking off his senior year with a hat trick against Monache in a 4-2 non-league victory on the road.

“He’s going to have an incredible year,” LHS head coach Tony Godoy said. “His game has gone up so much.”

The Cardinals were leading the Marauders 2-1 at the half and then scored another two to Monache’s one in the second half. Angel Camargo also scored a goal alongside, Betencourt’s three. Betencourt was the team’s second-high scorer last season with 15 goals.

Monache’s top wrestler signs with CSU Bakersfield

Since he was a kid, Mark Cardwell Jr.’s plan was to one day wrestle in college. 

And on Monday at Monache High School, the Valley’s No. 2 wrestler made his goal official by signing his National Letter of Intent to wrestle at California State University, Bakersfield on a full-ride scholarship with his family and friends there for support.

Monache tennis star signs with Dominican University 

For the past four years, Madison “Maddie” Giannetto has dominated the tennis courts of Monache High School. Now she’ll look to do the same in college after signing her National Letter of Intent to play at Dominican University of California, Monday, in the Marauders’ gym.

From family to former teachers, everyone closest to Giannetto turned out for the senior’s special day.

Lindsay High School’s McKaylie Caesar claimed her second-straight CIF Central Section Division IV individual championship title in Thursday’s section final meet at Fresno’s Woodward Park.

With their bellies full and their pockets emptied -— all in the name of giving for the kids — attendees at the first Porterville High School boys and girls basketball “Meet the Panthers” night settled into their seats as a progam that would prove both inspiring and full of pride began.

Strathmore wins third consecutive Valley title

Strathmore High School football, in a rebuilding year?

You better believe the Spartans are in rebuild mode. They have to build a brand new trophy case to make space for yet another championship plaque.

“Back to back to back,” Strathmore coach Jeromy Blackwell said with the CIF Central Section Division VI title plaque firmly in his grip after Friday’s 42-12 victory over sixth-seed Sierra Pacific (7-6) in the section final at Spartans Stadium.

“Valley champions!”

Potent offense and physical defense of CVC on display

VISALIA – Whoa.

That’s what Monache High School football players, coaches and fans must’ve been thinking as Friday night’s CIF Central Section Division IV semifinal game against Central Valley Christian unfolded.

At a chilly CVC stadium, the second-seeded Cavaliers were red-hot from the get-go, rolling to a 61-14 win and spoiling the No. 3 Marauders’ first appearance in a Valley playoff semifinal game in more than a decade.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced early Friday morning the cancellation of the CIF NorCal Regional Water Polo Championships that were scheduled to be held within the Clovis Unified School District on Friday and Saturday.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the CIF said, “Due to unsettled air quality throughout Northern California the NORCAL Water Polo tournament has been canceled.”

No. 1 Strathmore going for Valley title 3-peat tonight, 7 p.m.

Playing in historical, unfamiliar territory has become the M.O. of Strathmore High School football over the last two seasons after going to the area’s first state championship in 2016 and then winning Tulare County’s first-ever football state championship last year.

This season the territory is more known to the Spartans (11-1, 5-1 ESL) but the team is still set to make more history.

With a 41-2 record dating back to 2016, Strathmore is playing in their third straight CIF Central Section Division VI championship game. The Spartans host fellow East Sequoia League opponent, the sixth-seeded Golden Bears of Sierra Pacific (7-5, 3-3 ESL) Friday at 7 p.m.

Kickoff is tonight at 7 p.m. in Visalia

When the Monache High School football team takes the field tonight, it will be the first time in over 10 years that the Marauders are making an appearance in a CIF Central Section semifinal game.

Boasting their first winning record since 2012, third-seeded Monache (7-4, 2-3 East Yosemite League) travels to Visalia to take on the second-seeded Cavaliers of Central Valley Christian (9-2, 4-1 Central Sequoia League) in a Division IV semifinal game. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. 

No. 7 Porterville faces No. 2 Arroyo Grande at Clovis North, 2:20 p.m.

Unlike previous seasons when all California high school water polo seasons came to an end in the section finals, the introduction of CIF Northern and Southern Regional playoffs in 2017 have provided teams a shot at one more championship.

Last season the Orange Belt sent two teams to the NorCal Division II Regionals and this year the Central Section Div. II champion Panthers of Porterville High School’s girls water polo team is making their first appearance. 

Top-seeded Strathmore High School football is headed to their third straight Valley final after defeating fifth-seeded California City 27-6 in a CIF Central Section Division VI semifinal game last Friday at home.

No. 1 Porterville falls 20-7 in quarterfinals

Four interceptions, two fumbled kickoff returns, players running into each other and a defense unable to stop the run spelled disaster for top-seeded Porterville High School as they were upset 20-7 by eighth-seeded Wasco in Friday’s CIF Central Section Division IV quarterfinal game at Jacob Rankin Stadium.

Everything that could go wrong for the Panthers (8-3), did go wrong.

No. 3 Monache holds off No. 6 North in OT

From the start of the season third-seeded Monache High School (7-4, 2-3 EYL) has given their all, and once again they were rewarded with a 48-45 overtime victory over the sixth-seeded Stars of Bakersfield’s North (7-5) in Thursday’s CIF Central Section Division IV quarterfinal game at Jacob Rankin Stadium. 

On the backs of their young offensive line, their junior wide receiving corp and junior running back Aidan Galvan — while being led by senior quarterback Antonio Andrade — the Marauders fought their way back from what was once a 12-point deficit.

Monache boys wins 8th EYL title, girls 7th straight

For years, cross country in the East Yosemite League was dominated by Monache High School, and unsurprisingly, that still remains the case.

Both the boys and girls cross country teams defended their EYL titles at the EYL championship meet Wednesday at Porterville Sports Complex. It was the Marauders boys eighth straight title and the girls seventh straight.

Taking home the individual EYL titles in the 5,000-kilometer race were Monache’s No. 1 runners: Ivan Mendez with 16 minutes, 11 seconds for the boys and Marilou Ruiz with 19:28 for the girls.

Valley championship game is Saturday at Fresno State

After a semifinal exit last season, Porterville High School girls water polo is into this weekend’s CIF Central Section Division II championship showdown after downing fifth-seeded Garces Memorial in Wednesday’s playoff game at home.

Despite advancing to their first Valley final as a second-year Div. II program, the top-seeded Panthers’ biggest cheer of the evening came when Ahna Davis — who wears cap No. 16 — came in off the bench and scored a shot-clock buzzer beater off an assist from senior Shyanne Rainey for the final score of the game with 9 seconds left to play.

Now the three-time, back-to-back East Yosemite League champion Panthers (24-5, 8-0 EYL) are looking to add another title to their season with a Valley final win on Saturday. Playing at the Fresno State Aquatics Center at 1:15 p.m., Porterville faces sixth-seeded, defending Valley champion Redwood (21-11). The Rangers upset second-seeded Madera (22-6) 10-8 on the road in a semifinal game Wednesday.

Div. IV's No. 3 Monache host No. 6 North tonight

Last season only two of the four Orange Belt high school teams made it past the first round of their respective CIF Central Section divisional playoffs. This year, all four have advanced.

Whether it was done on wins — Div. VI’s top-seeded Strathmore and Div. V’s 13th-seeded Lindsay won last Friday — or by seeding high enough to earn a bye — like Div. IV’s top-seeded Porterville and third-seeded Monache — everyone moved on. 

For the first time this season, Strathmore High School boys water polo got the best of East Sequoia League champion Bakersfield Christian in a 12-11 overtime win in a quarterfinal round game of the CIF Central Section Division III championship tournament on Saturday.

Monache falls 12-11 to Redwood

For the second year in a row, Monache High School girls water polo’s chance at a Valley title died at the hands of Visalia’s Redwood after the sixth-seeded Rangers upset the third-seeded Marauders 12-11 in double overtime of a CIF Central Section Division II quarterfinal game Friday at Monache.

It was a rematch of last year’s Div. II Valley title game — that Redwood (20-11, 10-0 West Yosemite League) had also won 8-7 in double overtime — and it nearly felt like another Valley title game with neither team able to hold off the other and late goals for leads from both teams.

Monache (18-13, 5-3 East Yosemite League) had a chance to put the game away in the fourth quarter after senior Emily Adame lobbed the ball in to tie the score at 8-all and then junior Nevaeh Castillo scored on an assist from sophomore Ava Lobue to give the Marauders a one-goal lead with a minute, 19 seconds left in the game.