By Paul Meadors, Sports Editor
Well looky there at that calendar, the one that reads today is May 1, the year of our Lord 2017. Outside the birds are singing, my weather app is predicting 97 degrees soon, and cases of senioritis are being reported all over the Central Valley. Students are chomping at the bit to take that next step into a larger world, the big unknown that resides outside of those friendly confines we call home. For some, momma not doing their laundry anymore is going to be a rude awakening. But for most, well, they can’t wait to dive right into the pool of unlimited future and make a splash. Take a look at this page for a list of the most recent Clovis Unified kids taking their talents to the next level, accomplishments to be honored indeed.
Getting that college scholarship takes hard work and dedication, whether it be academic, music (that would be me!) or athletic. It’s been reported that only 1.9% of high school athletes receive Division 1 offers. Those scholarships don’t grow on trees.
And here in Clovis-land there are more than a few extremely talented underclassman who are receiving some big-time college offers. I mean big-time.
For instance, Buchanan freshman football player Kendall Milton was recently offered by UCLA and actually was offered his first scholarship from BYU when he was in the 8th grade. Not kidding – the eighth grade. What were you doing in 8th grade? Well, I can tell you I wasn’t getting football scholarships I was organizing my baseball card collection and playing Nintendo.
Sophomore two-sport stud Brock Jones of Clovis North has been offered baseball scholarships from San Jose State and Fresno State. Those football offers will be coming like a flood soon for the dude who ran a 4.45 40-yard recently. Then there’s sophomore basketball star Maddie Campbell of Clovis West – just last week USC came a callin’ and made their pitch, joining such Power-5 schools as Washington, Arizona, Utah and TCU in their quest to land the talented player. Softball pitchers Molly Millar of Buchanan is committed to Stanford and Clovis’ Danielle Lung to Fresno State. Both are juniors. And Clovis North catcher James Bell is committed to Oregon.
Clovis West 4-star quarterback Adrian Martinez is the biggest Central Valley prize right now – especially since he recently de-committed from Cal – and is being courted by the big boys like Tennessee, Arizona, Miami, Oregon and Alabama. Perhaps you’ve heard of those schools, they’ve been on T.V. before.
From Clovis to the big-time, right in front of our very own eyes.
Marquez, Rouff, Williams headline winter all-league lists
Basketball stars Danae Marquez of Clovis West and Cash Williams of Central were honored with Tri-River Athletic Conference MVP honors while soccer standouts Braedon Rouff and Stacia Williams of Clovis took home the top prizes as all-league honors were recently announced.
Marquez was a four year starting point guard leading Clovis West to a 34-2 record, a TRAC title, a Central Section title and the most coveted of all – a CIF State Open Division title. It was her leadership qualities, exquisite ball handling skills and clutch shooting that proved her invaluable in a most remarkable season.
“I feel blessed to be able to receive TRAC MVP,” said Marquez. “There were so many of my teammates that could’ve also been the MVP. Everybody had a truly incredible season, so in my eyes it wasn’t just me, but my teammates too. Without them, this wouldn’t even be possible.”
Marquez, who’s attending San Jose State next season on scholarship, credits God, her coaches, teammates, her trainer John Eagan and most importantly her family for her success.
Cash Williams, a junior point guard from Central, led the team to an 9-1 record and a TRAC title then guided the Grizzlies to their second consecutive Central Section D-1 championship. He averaged 20.1 points on the season.
Braedon Rouff was the boys’ soccer MVP after leading Clovis to a co-TRAC championship along with Buchanan. The senior scored 27 goals to go along with 10 assists, leading the Cougars to a Central Section D-I title.
Stacia Williams of Clovis was named TRAC MVP in girls’ soccer, scoring 8 goals with 3 assists in 10 games in leading the Cougars to a co-TRAC title with Buchanan.
A complete list is as follows:
MVP: Cash Williams, Central, Offensive Player of the Year: Cam’Ron Wilson, Central, Defensive Player of the Year: Elijah Straughter, Clovis North, Coach of the Year: Greg Streets, Central
First team: Adrian Antunez, Walter Graves III, Clovis West; Spencer Heimerdinger, Buchanan; Jaylen Johnson, Clovis East; Domenic Reyes, Clovis North.
MVP: Danae Marquez, Clovis West, Coach of the Year: Greg Clark, Clovis
First team: Sarah Bates, Madison Campbell, Bre’yanna Sanders, Clovis West; Rachel Berry, Clovis; Imani Lacy, Ramani Parker, Central; Taylor Pilot, Clovis North.
Player of the Year: Braedon Rouff, Clovis, Offensive Player of the Year: Michael Arrington, Central, Defensive Player of the Year: Hugo Mendoza, Clovis, Coach of the Year: Danny Amparano, Clovis.
First team: Jacob Rudolph, Stephan Morris, Jonathan Zepeda, Austin Roberts, Buchanan; Rubehn Martinez, Alex Martinez, Evan Ghimenti, Clovis; Tristyn Bailey, Raul Jazo, Clovis North; Anais Mayo, Ryan Soderholm, Clovis West; Enrique Gutierrez, Clovis East.
Player of the Year: Stacia Williams, Clovis, Offensive Player of the Year: Kylie Lucero, Clovis, Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Natalie Nurcanyan, Clovis North; Sydney Wallace, Buchanan, Co-Coaches of the Year: Kevin Botterill, Buchanan; Vanessa Black, Clovis.
First team: Cierra Corner, Clovis; Elyana Dittmann, Clovis; Logan Pattie, Clovis; Kyndel Borman, Buchanan; Alexa Marchini, Buchanan; Kristiana Pagani, Buchanan; Karlee Pottorff, Clovis North; Mia Castillo, Clovis East; Catalina Villegas, Clovis East; Maicee Espinoza, Central; Gia Jager, Clovis West.
Clovis still on top in TRAC softball, Clovis North surprising
Clovis continues to have a fine season, and still sits atop the standings at 6-1 as of May 1 with three league games left to play, despite taking its lumps at the Nor Cal Classic in Tracy during spring break.
The Cougars went an uncharacteristically 1-3 in that tournament, but we all know that back in the Valley is what truly matters. They regrouped quickly and put 10-0 five-inning poundings on both Clovis West and Clovis East behind star pitcher and Fresno State commit Danielle Lung.
Lung got both victories including seven and eight strikeouts, respectively. Against Clovis West Emily Puente hit two homers with four RBI and Elaine Caballero went 2-2 with two runs. In the Clovis East contest, the Cougars scored all 10 of their runs in the first inning led by Mackenzie Byrd’s bases-loaded triple.
The surprise team so far has been Clovis North in second place with a 4-2 record. The Broncos stunned Central and ace pitcher Gianna Mancha on April 21 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, the big blow being Alyssa Orr’s two-run double.
Clovis North wraps up second consecutive TRAC boys tennis title
The tennis boys of Clovis North are ready to rumble come playoff time after taking care of business in league play in dominating fashion – a perfect 10-0 season for the second year in a row.
Last year the Broncos won their first Division I Valley team title and are hungry for more. The Broncos are led by senior Daly Meinert, a four-year varsity standout who holds two Central Section individual singles titles and will be attending Cal Poly next season.
“I think it’s an unbelievable accomplishment, especially this year having a couple younger guys really stepping up and doing their best every match,” said Meinert, a powerful player standing at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. “The core of our lineup is underclassmen and for them to be performing at the level they are is the only reason we have gotten this far. [I’m] really proud of the team and hope to keep the streak going.”
Meinert is the team’s No. 1 singles player and is 98-4 in his career. The No. 1 singles team is formed by freshman Michael Fourchy and sophomore Billy Schulz.
Team chemistry, despite being a mix of upper and underclassmen, has actually been used to their advantage.
“Our team this year more than others has come together in a special way,” said Meinert. “We have a really strong team bond that I don’t see with other teams, which is amazing with the difference in ages on this team.
The Area tournament starts May 12 and the CIF Individual playoffs begin May 19.
Spring signing day for CUSD athletes
Twenty-three Clovis Unified student athletes signed National Letters of Intent on April 19 and 20 at their schools in front of family, friends, coaches and administrators. Listed below are those who will be playing their sports of choice at the next level.
Katie January, softball, Drexel University
Matt McGrady, baseball, Fresno Pacific University
Akash Dhothar, volleyball, Menlo College
Richard Trey Lake, volleyball, Menlo College
Keri Leake, volleyball, Boise State
P.J. McDonough, water polo, Cal Baptist University
Nathan Nickeson, cross country, Fresno Pacific University
Trystn Vuori, water polo, Fresno State
Nicholas Clausen, water polo, California Institute of Technology
Jaylen Johnson, basketball, William Jessup University
Jocelyn Rodriguez, volleyball, San Francisco State University
Addison Aguilar, cross country/track and field, Tusculum University
Tristyn Bailey, boys soccer, Cal Baptist University
Chris Deloza, wrestling, Fresno State
John Halajian, wrestling, Cal Baptist University
Mark Halajian, wrestling, Cal Baptist University
Jordan Hansen, boys soccer, Fresno Pacific University
Nathaniel Holloway, wrestling, U.S. Military Academy, West Point
Gabriel Logan, cross country and track and field, Savannah College of the Arts and Design
Elizabeth Schulz, girls tennis, Carnegie Mellon University
Tyler Cotton, swimming, Colorado Mesa University
Allyson Musser, golf, Sonoma State University.