They might be small in numbers but the way Granite Hills High School’s football team played in Friday’s four-team scrimmage was a positive indication of what the Grizzlies could do this season.

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In their lone trial run before the season starts, Monache High School football learned they still have some things to work on before next Friday’s first season-opener.

Neptunite head coach headed to the Air Force

If you’ve ever been to a swim meet or water polo game in Porterville, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ve seen Mikayla Balangue somewhere in the crowd. 

She’s hard to miss with vibrant red curls and an engaging smile. You see her everywhere, going from team to team, saying hi to coaches and players before a wave to the officials as well.

PHS keeps midnight practice tradition alive

Nothing showed summer was over quite like running back Javier Benevidez scaling a fence at 11:58 p.m. Sunday night to rush and get ready for Porterville High School’s midnight practice.

Fall sports practice started Monday, and as they have done in the previous seasons under three-year head coach Michael Machado, the Panthers took full advantage of the special day with another midnight practice.

“You want to be the first team on the field and you want to be the last team off,” Machado said about the tradition. “The goal is to play into December and to play as long as they’ll let us play. We want to make sure that we seize every minute of the season and that’s why we want to get them out here as quickly as we can in the fall camp, which is midnight.”

Girls, ages 12-16, are invited to try out for the Tulare County Sheriff's Office first traveling basketball team on Friday, July 26, at Pixley Middle School. Deputy Kendra Snowden will be the coach. 

I'm going to keep the girls focused on basketball and off the streets,” she said. “Basketball was my way out.”

Deputy Snowden played basketball for El Diamante High School in Visalia. After graduation, she played college basketball at Sacramento City College in California and Park University in Missouri.  

She said she had to maintain good grades to play basketball and that helped her earn her college degree which led to her career in law enforcement. 

There is no cost to participate in the program. For more information, call Corporal Monse Meza, (559) 804-7284.

Porterville All-Stars only needed one inning to put themselves comfortably ahead of Delano and cruise their way to a 15-4 victory in Friday’s Little League 12s California Section 7 semifinal game at Burton Ballfield.

Colton Isom pitched a strong five innings with nine strikeouts but it wasn’t enough for the Porterville All-Stars in the team’s 3-2 loss to Madera National Thursday at Burton Ballfields.

The Porterville Hurricanes defeated the Porterville Neptunites 551-506 in Tuesday’s swim meet at Granite Hills High School. 

East falls 34-28 to West but players enjoys final high school game

Fourteen local graduates strapped on pads and helmets for one last high school game under the lights Saturday for the 52nd annual Tulare/Kings East vs. West All-Star Football Game at Groppetti Community Stadium in Visalia.

All five area football programs were represented on the East with Porterville head coach, Michael Machado, and his coaching staff leading the East All-Star team.

The two-day Central Section All-Star Soccer Games kicked off Friday with the East vs. West girls matchup at Lindsay High School.

A total of nine local girls from Porterville, Monache, Lindsay, Strathmore and Granite Hills High School played for the East side led by Exeter head coach, Darren Lasky.

The East lost 6-0 to the West but many of the girls, all of whom were playing for the first time, said it was a “great experience”.

Against all odds: Monache's Ivan Mendez went back-to-back as Valley runner-up and state qualifier

In the case of Ivan Mendez, the old adage “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” is right on the nose for the Monache High School runner.

Mendez dominated the track this season, winning Area, taking second at the Central Section Championship meet then becoming one of just two area athletes to make it to the CIF State Championship meet.

His success this season made him The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Track and Field Athlete of the Year, but it was his perseverance to get back to state in the face of adversity that makes him stand out.

Banner career: Lindsay’s McKaylie Caesar is the greatest runner in Cardinal history

McKaylie Caesar deserves a banner.

High school gyms across the state and the country have banners hanging from their walls and rafters, detailing the success of their athletic programs. But when it comes to the greatest runner in Lindsay High School history, the senior deserves one all to herself.

In this track season alone, she broke the Cardinals’ and the East Sequoia League’s records in three different events, won Area in two then medalled in both at Valley. She then ended her season by being one of only two area runners to qualify and compete at the CIF State Championship meet.

Her season, and her career, made her a no-brainer for The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Dedicated and exceptional: Porterville’s Trevor Riley claimed four medals at Valley

To create a backdrop for a discussion on how talented an athlete is, or how meaningful a meet or game was, one first needs pressure and competition.

Pressure conveys what’s at stake while competition outlines the difficulty. And when it comes to Trevor Riley, he had both on hand to frame how special his breakout season was.

The Porterville High School junior qualified for four events in the CIF Central Section Championship meet, but was the only local swimmer to make it to the final rounds in all four.

En route to being named The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Boys Swimmer of the Year, Riley medaled in all four -— two individual and two relay events — for the area’s best boys finish at Valley.

‘A class of her own’: Porterville’s Rosemary Chapman won a Valley title and broke the PHS girls 100 butterfly record 

The senior has dominated aquatic sports at Porterville High School for the past three years and this season was no different.

Chapman broke the girls program’s oldest record in the 100-yard butterfly, was the only individual girls swimmer to advance to the CIF Central Section final rounds from the area and also helped the Panthers win the Division II Valley 400 freestyle relay title.

For the third, and final, year in a row, Chapman is The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Girls Swimmer of the Year.

More than numbers: Porterville’s Daniel Perez was one of the division’s best hitters and key in the infield

His stats speak volumes but there’s much more to Daniel Perez than what someone can glean from a scorebook.

The Porterville High School senior had an infectious energy that translated throughout the Panthers’ dugout. His willingness to better himself not only for his personal development, but as a contributor to the team, is to be admired just as much as his numbers.

And those numbers are impressive. One of the top hitters in Central Section Division II, Perez was the area’s best all-around hitter. His athleticism and smarts also made him a staple at shortstop for a All-EYL decorated infield.

For that and more, Perez is The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Baseball Player of the Year.

Big hitter Castle: Monache’s Kailyn Castle was the area’s top hitter and more

A three-sport varsity athlete in only her second year at Monache High School, Kailyn Castle is undeniably special.

Castle shined as a freshman and her superior play continued this season as she led not only the area and the East Yosemite League, but the division, in both batting average (.603) and on-base percentage (.678).

Throw in her perfect fielding percentage along with stepping in as a closer for the Marauders and it’s easy to see why she is The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Softball Player of the Year.

Area players wrapped up their high school baseball careers with one final hurrah in the Exeter Lions Club’s 59th annual High School All-Star Baseball Game Saturday at Rawhide Stadium.

The East team, led by Monache High School's A.J. Watts and his coaching staff, took the 5-4 loss to the West but players still enjoyed the game.

“It was fun, exciting,” Monache grad Matthew Cloyd said. “Cool experience playing against the best of the best in the WYL. It was fun.”

No time for second: Granite Hills’ Colton Painter was a two-time Valley qualifier and ESL champion

Colton Painter wanted to play basketball when he came to high school.

But with encouragement from his dad, Painter made a switch to golf and is now one of the top golfers in the Valley.

The Granite Hills senior was the best golfer in the East Sequoia League this season, winning the ESL individual title and leading the league in scoring averages while helping his team to a second-place ESL finish.

On the way to becoming The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Boys Golfer of the Year, Painter also shot the lowest round of nine in the area and was one of only three local golfers to qualify for the CIF Central Section Championship tournament.

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.

‘Meteoric rise’ to the top: Porterville’s Juan Cerros went from newcomer to No. 1 and a two-time EYL champ

Soft-spoken and straight-faced, Juan Cerros is as serious as they come.

The No. 1 for Porterville High School and The Recorder’s 2018-19 Orange Belt Boys Tennis Player of the Year, Cerros doesn’t say much but his play does the talking for him.

In doubles this season, the junior went 11-2 in the regular season before hitting the East Yosemite League championship tournament and winning a back-to-back EYL title with his teammate, junior Joseph Catalina.

Cerros’ wins come abundantly in doubles but singles, where he went 6-7 in all dual singles’ matches, is what he likes the most.

A total of six players made the All-East Sequoia League first and second teams from Lindsay, Strathmore and Granite Hills High Schools.

From Lindsay (7-15, 4-8 ESL), sophomore third baseman, Isabelle Sanchez, made the first team while sophomore shortstop, Leah Natera, is on the second team. Lindsay head coach Roger Gonzales didn't have season stats available for the two but said both are “solid core players to build around.”

On Sanchez, Gonzales said, “Solid defensive player [with] quick hands and strong arm at the third base position. She has speed and hits for power — three home runs. Very athletic.”

SHS Jimmy Madrigal coaching East boys

Twenty-three local soccer players are on the roster for the 11th annual boys and girls Central Section All-Star game June 21-22 at Lindsay High School.

Playing first and representing the East in the East versus West girls game are Lindsay seniors Evelyn Martinez, Teresita Magana, LHS junior Jimena Magana; Granite Hills senior Veronica Buckman and GHHS sophomore Brianna Rodriguez; Porterville seniors Valeria Baca and Stefany Tadeo; Monache senior Mikayli Moore and MHS junior Zoe Rios; and Strathmore junior Izabella Baez.

The East girls team is coached by Exeter’s Darren Lasky. Lasky led Exeter (12-7-2) to the CIF Central Section Division IV championship game but the third-seeded Monarchs lost 2-1 to top-seed Kingsburg (22-5-1).

PC’s Sierra Perez signs to SDCC

Jake Hernandez helped lead Porterville High School baseball to back-to-back trips to the Valley finals and a CIF Central Section Division III title in 2016. Now after two strong years at College of the Sequoias, the sophomore pitcher is set to become a Spartan with NCAA Division I San Jose State University.

“My dreams always been to play Division I baseball,” Hernandez said about choosing San Jose. “I really am focused on getting an education but you know I figured I can play D1 baseball and get an education at the same time. They gave me a pretty good scholarship and it was something that I felt like I couldn’t turn it down.”

Hernandez committed to SJSU in mid-May after the Giants (23-6-1,16-5 CVC) finished third in the CVC for the second year and made their ninth-straight playoff appearance.

Monache's Watts coaching the East

The Exeter Lions Club’s 59th annual High School All-Star Baseball Game is Saturday, June 15, and features 11 local seniors, along with Monache head coach A.J. Watts as the East team’s head coach. The game is at Rawhide Stadium in Visalia and begins at 7 p.m.

Playing from Monache is first baseman Aaron Hernandez, pitcher and second baseman Ricky Alba, catcher Troy Nieto and shortstop Matthew Cloyd. Porterville players are shortstop Daniel Perez, catcher Santiago Sanchez and pitcher and first baseman John Herrera. Also playing is Lindsay pitcher and outfielder, Julio Godoy, Granite Hills pitcher and catcher, Randy Leon, and Strathmore shortstop and outfielder, Josue Topete. All 10 players are playing for the East while Summit Charter pitcher and infielder, Dustin Bear, is playing for the West.

Nine local seniors from Porterville and Monache High School joined together Saturday and played in the second annual Senior High School All-Star Baseball Challenge at Bakersfield College’s Gerry Collis Field.

The nine-inning game pitted top Central Valley seniors against the top ones from eight different Bakersfield schools. The Central Valley was made up of local players, as well as those from Tulare Western, Tulare Union, Redwood, My. Whitney, El Diamante and Hanford.

Six named to All-ESL 1st, 2nd teams

A total of six local baseball players made the All-East Sequoia League first and second teams, with Strathmore, Granite Hills and Lindsay High School getting two selections each.

All-ESL selections for the Spartans (16-10-1, 8-4 ESL) are junior pitcher, William Reece, on the first team and senior infielder, Josue Topete, on the second team. Head coach, Thad Reece, was also named the Coach of the Year.

Nine seniors from Porterville and Monache High School baseball teams, along with members of the Panthers coaching staff, will gather today for the annual Senior High School All-Star Challenge at Bakersfield College’s Gerry Collis Field. Game time is 7:15 p.m.

The all-star game pits Bakersfield seniors against Central Valley players from Porterville, Tulare, Visalia and Hanford.

Five Monache and Porterville High School softball players were awarded with All-East Yosemite League first and second team honors for their exceptional play this season.

The Marauders (10-13, 7-3 EYL) had three selections with sophomore center fielder Kailyn Castle and senior shortstop Evette Mendoza making the first team while sophomore third baseman Jaleen Villareal made the second team.

In the leadoff spot, Castle led the league in batting average (.686), on-base percentage (.761) and slugging percentage (.943)). She also had 10 RBIs and was second in the EYL with 20 runs scored. Castle also had three doubles, three triples, drew 11 walks and never struck out.

12 other PHS, MHS players make All-EYL list

The East Yosemite League coaches made their picks and Porterville High School shortstop, Daniel Perez, is the All-EYL’s MVP.

Twelve other Porterville (22-6, 12-3 EYL) and Monache (18-13, 7-8 EYL) players made the All-EYL first and second team, but Perez is the second-straight league MVP for the Panthers.

Perez led the league in batting average (.460), hits (23), on-base percentage (.565) and doubles (6). He was also tied for third in runs scored with 12 and was 4 of 4 in stolen bases.

“Daniel is just a baseball player,” PHS head coach Mike Hill said. “Above average defensively and an excellent lead-off hitter. I truly believe the coaches got it right. He was the best player in the league this year.”

Also making the first team for the Panthers is junior pitcher Noah Munoz, senior catcher Santiago Sanchez and senior center fielder Ricky Carranza.

The spring sports season came to an end for area athletes Saturday at the CIF State Track and Field Championships at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Clovis.

Back-to-back state qualifiers, Lindsay High School’s McKaylie Caesar and Monache’s Ivan Mendez, were part of the final events with the seniors running in the girls and boys’ 3,200-meter run, respectively.

The CIF State Track and Field Championship finishes today at Clovis’ Veteran’s Memorial Stadium with two local athletes competing in the final events of the evening.

Both Monache High School’s Ivan Mendez and Lindsay’s McKaylie Caesar placed second and third, respectively, in the boys’ and girls’ 3,200-meter run at last week's Central Section Masters Championships to advance to the state meet. The girls’ run is at 9:40 p.m. and the boys at 9:55 p.m.

Monache drops title game 4-1 to Chowchilla

The whirlwind 2019 baseball season came to a close for Monache High School in heartbreaking fashion, with a 4-1 loss to Chowchilla in the CIF Central Section Division IV Championship game at Fresno State’s Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennet Stadium Saturday morning.

Playing from behind, like in Wednesday’s 7-6 win walk-off victory over No. 9 Bakersfield Christian, the Marauders (18-13) fell short of winning the program’s second Valley title since 1991 after loading the bases but not scoring in the sixth and then giving up two more runs in the seventh.

Three athletes medal at Valley

Pouring rain couldn’t stop Monache High School’s Ivan Mendez and Lindsay’s McKaylie Caesar from running their best times.

The area’s top two runners earned their way back to the CIF State Championship meet by finishing top three in their events with personal records at the Central Section Masters Track and Field Championships Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Clovis.

Meet begins at 3:30 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Stadium

Twelve local athletes are set to compete in the CIF Central Section Track and Field Championship meet Saturday at Buchanan High School’s Veteran's Memorial Stadium.

Due to expected rain, the Central Section office said the meet will begin at 3:30 p.m. rather than 4 p.m with field events then track events at 4:30 p.m. Cost of admission is $8 per adult, $6 for high school students with ID and $7 for seniors. Parking also costs $5.

Athletes qualified for the Valley meet by either placing top three at the Central East Area meet last week or by having one of the next six top marks combined from all the four Area meets.

Third-seeded Strathmore High School baseball had two runners thrown out in a nail-biter 4-3 loss to seventh-seed Foothill in a CIF Central Section Division VI semifinal game Wednesday at home.

The Spartans Aidan Jackson had a tough second inning, giving up all four runs on three walks and three hits. He finished the day giving up only four hits with four strikeouts and never walked another hitter.

“He was lights out after the hiccup in the second,” SHS head coach Thad Reece.

Marauders staying focused heading into Saturday’s Valley championship game

On Saturday morning, the Monache High School baseball team has a chance to do something special — win the school’s first baseball Valley title in nearly three decades. 

The stage is set with the fifth-seeded Marauders (18-12) facing the seventh-seeded Tribe of Chowchilla (16-11-1) Saturday in the 9:30 a.m. CIF Central Section Division IV championship game at Fresno State’s Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium.

Monache downs BCHS for trip to Valley championships

Legendary New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra, said it best, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

The fifth-seeded Monache High School baseball team showed the wisdom and truth of Berra’s words with a 6-5 walk-off semifinal win Wednesday at home against ninth-seed Bakersfield to punch their ticket to Saturday’s CIF Central Section Division IV Championship game against seventh-seed Chowchilla.

Players and coaches alike had their stomachs in knots with the Marauders (18-12) down 5-4 to the Eagles (16-15) in the middle of the seventh inning. Coming out of the top of the inning unscathed, Monache was in a good position to pull off a miracle with their 3-4-5 hitters up to bat.

PHS 5K fundraiser for Rally Wagon and scholarships is Sunday

Sitting amongst dozens of other beautifully restored vintage cars, the Porterville High School Rally Wagon easily stood out at the Rollin’ Relics Car Show Saturday.

The tricolored 1928 Dodge Victory 6 pops with a vibrant orange covering the hood and extending to the back of the car. A darker green anchors the bottom of the car while the white in the middle allows for the Porterville Panther logo to stand out and give life to an image of a growling panther.

“It’s a symbol of the school spirit,” PHS Alumni president Todd Pixler said. “It’s like Porterville High School on wheels.”

But just like it’s a symbol of school spirit, it’s also a symbol of a community coming together to keep memories alive and reestablish tradition. 

A lot of people and work went into getting the Rally Wagon up and running last year, and to honor its restoration, the PHS Alumni Association is holding its first Rally Wagon 5K Fun Run and Walk at Porterville Sports Complex this Sunday (May 15). All funds will be directed towards the maintenance of the Rally Wagon and a scholarship for seniors. 

The race starts at 7:30 a.m. with race day registration beginning at 6:30 a.m. Individuals can sign up prior to race day online at or in person at the school. The price is $20 for runners and walkers, $10 for students and veterans, and a $5 increase for those signing up on the day of the event. Payment is accepted in cash or money order only. 

Four teams playing semifinal games today

The last week of the baseball season is wrapping up and four teams remain in the hunt for a Valley championship.

Porterville, Monache, Strathmore and Lindsay High School all made it through the first two rounds of the CIF Central Section Division playoffs and have just one more game to win to make it to the Valley finals.

Both the Div. II Panthers and Div. VI Cardinals are on the road in semifinal games today against the top team in their respective divisions. Hosting today’s semifinal games are the Div. IV Marauders and Div. VI Spartans.

All games are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. except for Porterville’s game at San Joaquin Memorial that starts at 4 p.m.

The Central Section stated yesterday that times and dates for the Valley championship games will be posted after all teams are done with semifinal games since some schools may have both softball and baseball teams playing championship games. All Valley championships are at Fresno State.

Three local golfers saw their seasons come to an end at the CIF Central Section Championship Monday at River Island Country Club.

Seniors Jeeven Larson and Colton Painter of Strathmore and Granite Hills High School, respectively, as well as GHHS freshman Bryce Painter, qualified for the meet by shooting under 85 at last week’s Area meet at River Island.

However, the Valley championship match only advanced the top 12 individuals and Larson’s 75, Colton Painter’s 76 and Bryce Painter’s 85 weren’t enough to make the cut for next week’s CIF Southern California Regional Championships.

No. 4 Porterville beats No. 5 Arroyo Grande, face No. 1 San Joaquin in semis

“When you pitch and play defense you have a chance.”

Porterville High School’s head baseball coach Mike Hill stresses this after every game — and probably every practice too.

But with the fourth-seeded Panthers’ bats taking some time to warm up in Saturday’s CIF Central Section Division II quarterfinal game at home against the fifth-seeded Eagles of Arroyo Grande (15-13), Porterville (22-5, 12-3 EYL) needed to play solid defense. And they did.

No. 3 Strathmore downs No. 10 Summit Charter 10-2 to move on

Strathmore High School’s dugout went crazy following the third-seeded Spartans’ 10-2 victory over 10th-seed Summit Charter Collegiate Academy Friday at home.

But the excitement was less about the quarterfinal win and more about the fact that seventh-seed Foothill (12-15) took down second-seed Fresno Christian (17-6) 8-4 to give the Spartans their first home semifinal game in school history for the next round of CIF Central Section Division VI playoffs.

Twelve local athletes advanced to next week’s CIF Central Section Championship track and field meet after qualifying for Valley Wednesday at the Central Section East Area Championship track and field meet at Bob Mathias Stadium in Tulare.

At Area, Monache’s Ivan Mendez focused on the 3,200-meter run and pulled away with a 2 minute,11 second last half mile to win with 9:36.44. Mendez is a three-time winner of this race. Jorge Sanchez (9:47.06) of PHS outkicked Joseph Macareno (9:47.18) of Tulare Union for second and is the only Panther to qualify for Valley. 

Isaiah Sotelo outkicked three surging runners to earn a third-place qualification with a time of 2:00.38 in the 800. 

MHS Ricky Alba throws a 2-hitter in win over Kingsburg

Calm, cool and collected on the mound, it’s hard to tell if Ricky Alba is pitching out of a 3-0 count or sitting ahead with an 0-2 about to record another strikeout.

The senior ace for fifth-seed Monache High School (16-12, 7-8 EYL) baseball looked composed and unfazed in the team’s 11-0 shutout of visiting 12th-seed Kingsburg (10-19) in Tuesday’s opening round game of the CIF Central Section Division IV playoffs.

And that was before and after the Marauders poured in nine runs for a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the third.

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.

Panthers win Div. II girls 400 free relay

After dropping nearly seven seconds off their 400-yard freestyle relay time Friday, Porterville High School girls dropped three more seconds to swim a time of 3 minutes, 49.07 seconds and place first in CIF Central Section Division II competition at the Valley swim meet Saturday at Clovis West High School in Fresno.

“Oh that came out of nowhere, that just blew me away,” PHS girls coach Richard Taylor said. “The girls got so excited. We dropped almost seven seconds yesterday and today they dropped another three seconds, which I was not expecting. They almost got the record. They’re a little over half a second off. Which was a super fast record we had with Matlyn Morris, who was a Valley Champion in the 100 free. So that was just tremendous swims by all of them. I’m just so excited for them.”

PHS, SHS baseball receive open round byes

Six local high school teams found out their playoff fate Saturday after the CIF Central Section office released the seedings and brackets for the Valley playoffs. 

Porterville, Monache, Strathmore, Lindsay and Summit Charter baseball play their playoff games on Wednesdays and Fridays while the Marauders, the only softball team to qualify, play on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

For baseball, the Panthers and Spartans both have opening round byes and don’t play until Friday.

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.”