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Monache High School senior Madyn Shaffer set the Monache High School record in pole vault with a vault of 9-feet, 8-inches at the Porterville Unified School District track and field scrimmage Wednesday. 

Shaffer had set the school record previously with a vault of  9-feet, 7-inches. 

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In a close match with two matches decided by tiebreakers, Strathmore High School boys tennis defeated Corcoran 5-4 in an East Sequoia League match Tuesday on the road.

At No. 1 Singles, Aden Ennis defeated Corcoran's J. Serrano 8-6, No. 2 Nathaniel Stevenson lost 8-3, while No. 3 Sutter Lautenschlager, No. 4 Samuel Kaufman and No. 6 Seth Hernandez defeated their opponents 8-2, 8-4, and 8-3, respectively. In a great comeback, down 6-1, Michael Kaufman lost a tough one 8-6.

In doubles, the No. 1 team of  Ennis and Lautenschlager sealed the win with a tiebreaker win of 8-1, while Stevenson and Samuel Kaufman lost a tiebreaker 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. The No. 3 doubles team of Michael Kaufman and Hernandez lost 8-2.

Strathmore is 2-0 for the season, and 1-0 in league. They will play at Woodlake on Thursday.

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Max Jimenez lost out on a football season this school year because of COVID-19, but he’ll get another one and more when he suits up for the University of La Verne.

The Granite Hills High School senior signed a letter of intent to play for the NCAA Division III Leopards next season in a small signing ceremony Monday at the high school. 

“It’s a little weird because I really wanted to play this year,” Jimenez said about signing without playing his senior year. “I felt like this was the year that I was going to do the best compared to my other years. Last year I felt like I did really good as a junior, but this year it was my last year, I had to do better than last year. But it still feels good. Still feels like nothing too different.”

During the 2019 season, Jimenez totaled seven touchdowns and had the second-most receiving yards in the Central Section Division VI with 937 yards. He also led the East Sequoia League with 516 yards in league play and was selected to the All-ESL first team.

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Strathmore begins season against Div. I programs

Basketball players are finally getting the chance to play again with area teams starting the season next week.

On the schedule first for Strathmore High School girls’ basketball is Division I Buchanan, away, on Friday, April 16. The Div. VI Spartans will open their season with three Div. I teams -- including last season’s Open Division Valley Champions, Clovis West (1-0), and Hanford -- and Div. II Selma, before starting East Sequoia League play with Sierra Pacific on April 29.

Porterville High School boys soccer shut out Strathmore 2-0 in a non-league game Friday on the road. 

Ivan Suarez scored the first goal on a nice cross from Kevin Gil while Jimmy Alvarado scored the second.

“It was a good game,” PHS head coach Eddie Gutierrez said in a text. “They made the second half tough for us but we were able to keep the shutout. The defense was solid today and Eli Guzman had some really good saves in goal! Very happy with the performance from the boys!”

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Lindsay tops Granite Hills 8-0, face Farmersville Tuesday

Tony Godoy wanted to make a statement and the Lindsay High School boys soccer team did just that. 

Hosting Granite Hills (3-1-1, 3-1 ESL) in an East Sequoia League game Wednesday, the Cardinals (6-4, 3-1 ESL) shut out the Grizzlies 8-0. It was Lindsay’s first shutout of Granite since Jan. 8, 2019.

Lindsay took an early 1-0 lead with a goal by Emiliano Corona in the 13th minute. But a red card given to Granite Hills’ top goal scorer, Salud Magana, for cursing three minutes later put the Grizzlies a man down for the rest of the match.

Even with the advantage and the lead, Godoy and the Cardinals refused to sit back and instead gave it their all.

Monache High School boys golf defeated Mt. Whitney 248-301 in a non-league game Wednesday at River Island Country Club.

For Monache, No. 1 Brayden Nicholson shot a 43, No. 2 Trayce Hornsby a 44, No. 3 Michael Hobbs a 54, No. 4 Domenic Cortez a 57, No. 5 Cameron Harness a 50, and No. 6 Cole Loflin a 53.

“The guys were hitting great shots all day,” MHS head coach Ben Irizarry said. “Brayden Nicholson, Trayce Hornsby, and Cameron Harness all scored a personal best at River Island. The guys are starting to recognize their tendencies and making serious improvements to their game.”

PHS falls 14-3 to Taft, host BCHS Thursday

Porterville High School softball lost 14-3 to Taft in a non-league game Tuesday at home.

The Panthers (0-2) struck first in the bottom of the second with Greenly Wilson scoring on an RBI from Cienna Enriquez for the game’s first run of the day. But it was nearly all Taft (2-1) after that thanks to costly errors.

In the top of the third, the Panthers were leading 1-0 with two outs but proceeded to give up eight runs on four hits and three errors. Two of the hits were a double and a 3-run home run.

“It all started on that two outs too,” PHS head coach Jennifer Schoonover said. “We had good memento going, we were doing good and it was -- our errors seemed to be catching up to us and unfortunately they’re contagious.”

High School boys soccer lost 3-2 to Sierra Pacific in an East Sequoia League game on the road Thursday.

Emiliano Corona and Chris Macias scored for the Cardinals.

Lindsay High School baseball went 2-2 at the 36th Annual Tulare/Visalia Pro-PT Invitational this week. The Cardinals are now 3-3 on the season with their next game at home against Hanford West at 3:30 p.m. The game is part of the Mills/Vogt Classic.

“Pleased with our growth and work ethic as a team,” LHS head coach Brett Kendig said. “(We have) five freshmen, three sophomores. (Starting catcher) Nick Dunning is out for at least a week or 10 days. Our guys are learning something new every day. It has been fun watching them grow and learn on the run.”

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It was close, but Strathmore High School boys tennis pulled out a 4-3 win over Monache in Wednesday’s season opener at home.

The Spartans were down 3-1 after singles but got the sweep in doubles to win the match.

In doubles, No. 3 Seth Hernandez and Michael Kaufman got things going with an 8-2 win while No. 2 Nathaniel Stevenson and Samuel Kaufman won 8-5. 

The No. 1 doubles between Strathmore’s Aidan Ennis and Sutter Lautenschlager, and Monache freshman twins Marriner and Zach Christenson, was the closest of the doubles match with the scores going back and forth. However, the Spartans duo came out ahead 8-6.

“Every one of them was close,” SHS head coach Jim Melching said. “They’re all similar, first-year players. I think they had two returning. We had one. Great team. They played good, good sports. Now what I loved about it is that they were good with calls...They worked it out. And they were very friendly. Good sportsmanship. I’m happiest about that.”

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Monache blows by San Joaquin Memorial 19-0

“Every one hits” is always a nice motivational saying before your team’s at-bat, but when it comes to Monache it’s not just a saying.

Not only did every Marauder in the starting lineup record a hit, but they also scored at least one run in Tuesday’s 19-0, five-inning rout of visiting San Joaquin Memorial. 

Monache (3-0) softball finished with a whopping 18 hits and it all started with small ball. 

“Everybody knows we can hit bombs but against good teams, we’re going to have to be able to execute small ball; against good pitchers,” MHS head coach Dave Koontz said. “And we’ve got good pitchers (in league)...We’re not going to be able to smoke the ball on every pitcher. When we go to that next level of teams, we’ve got to be willing and able to play small ball. (Memorial) gave us small ball. Their corners were back and they let us play small ball.”

In the team’s first three at-bats, Ana Rivas, Alexandria “Mia” Rivas, and Kailyn Castle all put down successful bunts with errors and a pickle situation during Castle’s resulting in the Rivas’ sisters scoring the first runs of the game. 

Strathmore High School girls soccer defeated Monache 4-0 in a non-league game Tuesday at home. 

Lia Charles scored three goals and Daisy Sierra had one.

“We had a good first half, and we struggled in the first 15 minutes of the second half,” SHS head coach Hector Gonzalez said. “The first half we had the ball and dominated to a 3-0 lead and the second half we brought some young players in, and struggled, but we were able to turnaround and score one more.”

Gonzalez added, “I am just glad that we are back on the field and back to competition. A simple thank you.”

Granite tops Corcoran, face Strathmore Thursday

The East Sequoia League season started well for Granite Hills High School girls soccer as the Grizzlies (2-1, 1-0 ESL) came away with a 3-1 win over visiting Corcoran, Monday afternoon.

The first half was all Kacey Hernandez, as the midfielder found the back of the net twice against the Panthers (0-3, 0-1 ESL). Hernandez’s first goal came off a chip on a corner kick in the 16th minute. Then in the 31st minute, it was Hernandez again scoring on a shot from the right side. 

Hernandez contributed to all three of the team’s goals with an assist in the second half. GHHS head coach Daniel Dominguez said it’s been great having his midfielder back after she missed parts of last season due to an ankle injury.

Monache High School’s Ana Rivas pitched a one-hit gem in the Marauders’ 13-0 shutout of Orange Cove in a non-league softball game Monday on the road.

Rivas finished with nine strikeouts and only gave up one walk. At the plate, Rivas also went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.

“Did an excellent job,” MHS head coach Dave Koontz said. “Just an excellent job pitching. She was hitting her spots. Just did an excellent, excellent job. Very proud of her.”

Rivas’ sister, Alexandria “Mia” Rivas, went 1-for-3 with a triple, sacrifice and three RBIs. Kailyn Castle was 3-for-4 and “crushed the ball”, according to Koontz.

“The girls really played well,” Koontz said. “Orange Cove was missing a couple of good players but basically our girls really played well, they just keep getting better. And I’m very, very pleased with them so far.”

Monache hosts San Joaquin Memorial today at 3:30 p.m.

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Best friends from MHS to play together in college

Alexandria “Mia” Rivas and Oriana Gutierrez are living the best friend dream.

Not only are the childhood best friends going to attend the same college next year, but they will do so as softball players after signing letters of intent to play for the University of Saint Katherine in San Marcos Friday. The Monache High School seniors held a joint signing ceremony at the Marauders softball field with family, friends, and teammates to commemorate the occasion.

The university ticked off a lot of boxes for the duo as they both wanted to attend a small college, stay close to home, and of course, play together.

“I like it because it’s a smaller school,” Rivas said. “It’s really, really small. And that’s what I like. My other choice before softball was UC Davis, which was a huge campus, so it’s something completely different. And not only that, I get to go with my best friend and two other softball teammates that are on our travel team. I feel like it’s where I’ll feel more at home and feel more comfortable at.”

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Lindsay High School football opened the season with a 19-12 win over Woodlake in a road game Friday.

Quarterback Randon Gomez threw two touchdowns to receiver Richard Diaz. Diaz finished with two receptions and 34 yards. Matthew Morales was the team's leading rusher with 55 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown. Gomez also had 22 yards on eight carries.

On defense, Diaz and Diego Salsas had two interceptions apiece while Francisco Lucio had seven. Salvador Perez, who was 1-for-2 on PATs, led the team in tackles with 12. Jonathan Garza and Elian Ibarra had 10 apiece.

Lindsay hosts Corcoran at 6 p.m. on Thursday for the Cardinals next game.

All stats provided by MaxPreps.com.

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PHS’ Brookelyn Gutierrez to play softball for PLU

When COVID-19 hit, Brookelyn Gutierrez didn’t miss a beat.

The Porterville High School softball player knew her junior season was lost, but instead of only mourning it, Gutierrez used all of her downtime to improve her skills and perfect her game.

Now with her senior season beginning, Gutierrez can go into it knowing she will also be playing somewhere else next year. 

In early March, the infielder signed to play softball at Pacific Lutheran University, in Tacoma, Washington. The Lutes are an NCAA Division III program that plays in the Northwest Conference. 

Lindsay High School boys soccer lost 5-2 to Tulare Union in a non-league game Thursday on the road. Emiliano Corona and Manuel Martinez scored for Lindsay.

The loss comes on the heels of the Cardinals’ 9-0 win over Mt. Whitney in a non-league game Thursday at home.

Against Mt. Whitney, Corona, Martinez, Jorge Quintero, and Carlos Navarez all scored two goals apiece. Iker Miguel also scored a goal.

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There will be a new face coaching boys varsity basketball at Strathmore High School.

The Spartans announced Israel Valdez as their new head coach for the boys’ program this week. 

“We're excited to welcome coach Israel Valdez to the Spartan family,” SHS athletic director Ryan Born said. “Coach Valdez's knowledge of the game is very evident as well as his passion for the game and building a successful basketball program sets him apart. I am confident that he will be a great role model to the student-athletes of Strathmore High School.” 

The Exeter Water Polo Club traveled to Florida last week to compete in the Spring in the Swamp Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. The team was made up of players from Porterville, Tulare, and Visalia.   

The team flew out Thursday together from Fresno to Dallas where they took a connecting flight to Gainesville, Fla. With the east coast time change, Thursday was a full travel day.  

The team began their trip with a tour of the University of Florida in Gainesville. They were able to go down to the field level of the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the University of Florida Football team. Then they traveled to Saint Augustine Beach which is the oldest settlement in the United States for a fun afternoon on the beach.  

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Porterville, Granite Hills start season scoreless

The season began without a goal for both Porterville and Granite Hills High School boys soccer teams, as the Grizzlies and Panthers finished with a scoreless tie Thursday.

Playing at Porterville, the teams played two overtime, 5-minute halves for a chance at a win but neither could find the back of the net.

However, after only two weeks of practice, neither coach was surprised by the outcome.  

“We’ve probably only practiced six, maybe eight times. Maybe,” said PHS head coach Eddie Gutierrez. “It’s been tough. But we’re just happy to be out here, to be honest with you. And I’m glad the kids get to come out here and at least do something. We don’t have very many games. Only 14 games. But we’re going to make the most of it. I’ve got six freshmen on the varsity and they all played today. It’s a young team. But I think it’s going to be a good group for a few years.”

Porterville High School boys golf shot a 219 in a non-league match Wednesday against Golden West at a golf course in Lemoore. The Trailblazers did not have a team score.

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Monache High School boys golf defeated Granite Hills 206-239 in a non-league match Tuesday at River Island Country Club. The Grizzlies only had four golfers, so team scores reflect only four golfers for each team.

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The game got canceled, but it didn’t stop Lindsay High School football from taking the field Friday night. 

On Thursday, Lindsay learned that their season opener against Farmersville would be canceled, and not rescheduled, due to COVID-19 related safety protocols on the Aztecs’ side. Rather than cancel all their plans for their long-awaited return to the field, the Cardinals held a Red vs. White intrasquad scrimmage for fans at Frank Skadan Stadium.

“We’ve been riding the same rollercoaster all year long with start and stop, start and stop. So we’re sort of used to it by now, to tell you the truth,” LHS head coach Casey Higginbotham said. “It was a little sad because you’re ready for the game and everything but (we) know it’s just one game. We’re still going forward and everything. When I talked to the kids about it, they were bummed off the start, then when I told them what we’re going to do tonight, with the red-white scrimmage, they just snapped in. They were ready to go again.”

Games will not be rescheduled

In an email Thursday, Farmersville canceled its games against Lindsay and Corcoran due to “COVID-19 related safety protocols”. The games will not be rescheduled. 

The Cardinals were supposed to host the Aztecs tonight but will instead play an intrasquad, Red vs. White game tonight at 6 p.m. They will have a Senior Night too.

Lindsay’s season opener is now scheduled for March 26, when the team travels to Woodlake for a 6 p.m. game.

Marauders top Trailblazers 6-3 in opener

Monache High School girls tennis opened the season with a 6-3 win over Golden West at home Wednesday.

Wearing green scrunchies for St. Patrick’s Day — the only appropriate time to ever wear green as a Marauder — Monache picked up the win in doubles with a clean sweep. 

No. 1 Alexis Baeza and Maria Hernandez won 8-3, No. 2 Azalea Gutierrez and Anayeli Ramirez won 8-6, and No. 3 Elvira Gamboa and Denise Fuentes won 8-1.

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For the past couple of weeks, Monache High School’s only focus has been on crosstown rival Porterville. 

The two boys’ cross country teams, along with Tulare Western, make up the East Yosemite League’s trio of top teams. But on Tuesday afternoon at Veterans Park, it was the Marauders who came out on top.

Monache swept their rivals, with the boys picking up a 23-36 win and the Marauders’ girls winning by default due to the Panthers only having four girls. 

The two teams will see each other again on Wednesday, March 24, at Mission Oak for the EYL championships. With this win, Monache boys moved to 3-1 on the season and strengthened their chances for at least a share of the title with undefeated Western. Porterville boys are now 2-2 on the season with a slim chance of sharing the EYL title.

Lindsay High School boys soccer came from behind to defeat Lemoore 6-3 in a non-league game at home Tuesday. 

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Lindsay’s season-opener is Friday vs. Farmersville

When Lindsay High School football takes the field Friday evening, it will be the first time in 483 days that the Cardinals suit up and play a game.

The COVID-19 pandemic nearly destroyed Lindsay’s chances to have a season. But with guidance from the state and county health officials and backing from the administration, the Cardinals are ready to go. 

“We’ve been putting in work for the go-ahead to start the season. We’re ready,” said junior receiver and cornerback Diego Salas.

On the schedule for Lindsay is Farmersville this Friday, Woodlake on March 26, and Corcoran on April 1. Friday’s game against Farmersville will be both team’s first game of the season and the Cardinals’ Senior Night. The Cardinals beat the winless Aztecs 64-6 last season.

Cardinals boys 1st, girls 2nd at Woodlake XC Invite

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League championship meet is March 18

There were a couple of sprinkles during the final race of the day, but the first East Sequoia League cross country meet hosted by Strathmore High School in several years was completed Thursday at the Porterville Sports Complex after being postponed the day before and moved.

“We were really excited to host for the first time,” SHS head coach Michael Martinez said. “And we thought, for what the world’s going through currently, we thought it was a wonderful turnout and participation from all the schools. The feedback we got from everyone, they were really excited and really happy to be here.”

Corcoran won the boys’ 5,000-meter race with 21 points, Lindsay (52) placed second, Strathmore (69) third, Granite Hills (77) fourth and Summit Charter (120) fifth. Due to some confusion, the girls ran a 2.9-mile course.  The Panthers won again with 18 points, the Cardinals in second with 46 and the Bears finishing third with 67.

Corcoran’s Paul Quintanilla (16:17.53) won the boys’ race while his teammate Paulina Guerro (17:55.77) won the girls.

Farmersville, Woodlake and Sierra Pacific also competed but did not have enough runners to score in either the boys or girls race. Strathmore and Granite Hills did not have enough girls to score either. 

Monache High School beat the rain by 20 minutes and won two races on the road Wednesday in an East Yosemite League meet against Tulare Union. The Marauders won the boys race 21-39 and the girls 22-33.

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It was definitely not your normal high school volleyball game. 

Instead of the normal hardwood floors of a gymnasium, Lindsay High School volleyball opened its season Tuesday on a makeshift court at Farmersville High with dirt, grass, wind and sun. A lot of sun. 

But it was a game, and the Cardinals and Aztecs got the opportunity to play volleyball in what many thought would be a lost season. And for that, everyone was happy and thankful. 

“It was really exciting,” LHS senior Alexis Leon said. “Really exciting to see my players again, play with them. Even though it’s not indoors, it’s something. It’s a season. And it’s really exciting to play against other schools.”