Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Six Students Honored as Paloma Valley Athletes of the Week

Front row, from left: Jordan Hill, Dazhana Jackson, Cody McCoy. Back row, from left: Christopher Owens, Armando Fuentes, Karynne Johnston.
Six team leaders in their respective team sports have been recognized as Paloma Valley High School Athletes of the Week by Menifee 24/7.

Junior pitcher Karynne Johnston pitched a perfect game for the Wildcats softball team against Perris, striking out nine. She also pitched two innings in a win over Elsinore and struck out five of the six batters she faced. She was 2 for 2 at the plate against Perris as well. Paloma Valley is in first place in the Sunbelt League.

Senior outfielder Cody McCoy had a big week in two league games last week. He was 4 for 9 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored in wins over Lakeside and Temescal Canyon for the Wildcats, who are undefeated in the Sunbelt League. He also switched positions to take over at second base and made four outstanding defensive plays in one of those games.

Senior Christopher Owens posted victories in the high jump and triple jump and filled in on a leg of the 4x100 relay for the boys track team in the Inland Empire Championship meet.

Senior Dazhana Jackson broke the school record in the shot put by two feet with a throw of 39-5 in a girls track meet against Perris. According to coach Juan Merida, she is also a great mentor to the younger throwers on the team and has received some scholarship offers.

Junior Armando Fuentes made some big plays in wins over Tahquitz and Heritage for the boys volleyball team, which is undefeated in league play. He plays middle front and is also a defensive specialist for the Wildcats.

Junior Jordan Hill specializes in singles play but has moved over to doubles to help out the boys tennis team. Coach Alison King praises his willingness to help better the team and his work in the classroom.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stars of First-Place Teams Are Paloma Athletes of the Week

From left: Ryan Edinger, Justin Ramos, Samantha Flores. Not pictured: Abigail Callais.
The success of Paloma Valley High School's spring sports teams is evident in this week's Menifee 24/7 honorees as Athlete of the Week.

Senior first baseman Ryan Edinger had a big week recently for the Wildcats baseball team, which is 6-0 in league play. He was 3 for 4 with two doubles against Perris and 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs against Heritage, helping the team remain in first place.

Edinger said the players are confident in their ability to repeat as Sunbelt League champions this season. Last year, the Wildcats lost only one league game.

"I think it's just team chemistry," he said about the team's key to success. "We work well together. We take baseball seriously at Paloma."

Edinger, who is hitting .469 with 14 RBIs, plans to walk on at San Diego State and study mechanical engineering there.

Senior outside hitter Justin Ramos had a big week recently in league victories over West Valley and Hemet for the volleyball team, which also is in first place with a 7-0 record. He finished that week with 39 kills and 32 digs.

"We just need to keep it going and we've got it in the bag," Ramos said. "We need to make sure we beat West Valley and Hemet again. They're near the top of the league."

Ramos plans to attend Mt. San Jacinto College next year, then transfer to a four-year school and study petrochemical engineering.

Track standout Samantha Flores has battled back from a preseason knee injury and excelled in a recent league meet against Elsinore, winning the 3,200 meters and placing second in the 1,600. She has helped the Wildcats remain one of the dominant teams in the Sunbelt League.

Softball player Abigail Callais was 2 for 3 qith a double in a recent 2-1 victory over Lakeside.

"Abigail is a very reliable first baseman and has made some excellent plays this past week," said her coach, Briana Wells. "She works hard at practice and has been very consistent at the plate all season."

Friday, April 18, 2014

Velasquez, Heethuis Named Santa Rosa Athletes of the Month

Brooke Heethuis and Jordan Velasquez have been honored as Santa Rosa Athletes of the Month for March.
Baseball star Jordan Velasquez and softball standout Brooke Heethuis have been honored as the March Santa Rosa Academy Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Month, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Velasquez is hitting .469 to lead the Freelance Division for the Rangers, who are 6-4 in their second year playing a freelance schedule. The senior plays shortstop and pitcher.

"Our pitching has been improving and the team skill level has been getting better every single game," he said. "We could go to the playoffs, but being a freelance team, it's not easy."

Velasquez hopes to attend Mt. San Jacinto College and play baseball there next year.

Heethuis is just a freshman but is a team captain of the softball team, which is in its first season of existence. Only three players have previous softball experience so her experience in years of youth softball has proved to be valuable.

"We're doing OK," Heethuis said about the challenge of building a team in its first year of freelance play at the CIF level. "We're not going to the playoffs or anything, but we're improving.

"It's been pretty much a learning experience, but nobody's losing that drive we have," said Heethuis, who is a softball and pitcher. "I'd love to keep heading in the right direction and helping my team improve."

Velasquez and Heethuis received a certificate from Menifee 24/7 and a Target gift card from RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heritage High's Atkins, Sage Honored as Athletes of the Month

Cynthia Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty presents the Menifee 24/7 Athlete of the Month award to track and field standout Torrey Atkins. Also honored was softball player Jordan Sage (below).
Hurdler and relay runner Torrey Atkins and softball standout Jordan Sage of Heritage High School were honored this week with the Menifee 24/7 Athlete of the Month award, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Cynthia Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty presented the honorees with a Target gift card. They also received a certificate from Menifee 24/7 for their accomplishments in March.

Atkins was named Athlete of the Meet at the recent Mt. Carmel Invitational. He set the meet record in the 110-meter high hurdles with a personal best time of 14.15, then established a personal best in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 39.56.

"I didn't know if I had the record when I ran the race," Atkins said about his meet record time in the high hurdles. "I knew it was fast. Then my coach was on the phone and running toward me, and he told me.

"There's something about Mt. Carmel I just love. I like the hard tracks, not the bouncy ones. And the hurdles felt really short because I'm tall, so I basically just walk over them."

On Saturday, Atkins will compete in the invitational heat of the high hurdles at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational against some of the nation's top athletes.

Sage is one of the top players for the softball team, which is in first place in the Sunbelt League with a 7-0 record and 12-6 overall. She She has a 4-3 pitching record and is batting .390.

She originally committed to a college in Nebraska but has decided to play at Mt. San Jacinto College next year.

"Jordan has been doing a great job both offensively and defensively," said her coach, Angela Ramiro. "I don't know what we would do without her. She is truly an asset to our team."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Arvizu, Oyhenart Named Paloma Valley Athletes of Month

Holly Oyhenart and Josuha Arvizu received their Athlete of the Month awards from Cynthia Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty.
Baseball player Joshua Arvizu and softball player Holly Oyhenart of Paloma Valley High School have been honored as the Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Month, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty, for the accomplishments in March.

Arvizu is a defensive leader in center field for the Wildcats, who are tied for first place in the Sunbelt League standings at 4-0 and are 9-4 overall. He also is hitting .296 with 7 RBIs.

In addition to athletics, Arvizu is an outstanding student. He excels in his advanced placement classes and has been accepted to the U.S. Naval Academy.

"Josh is an outstanding student-athlete," said his coach, Chuck Kemp. "He challenges himself every day with a stringent academic schedule that includes multiple AP classes. On the field, no one works harder than Josh. He shows tremendous leadership anchoring our defense in center field."

Arvizu said he is confident of the team's ability to win the league title this year, based on its league championship last year and returning experienced players.

"We want to build off the team chemistry we have to get even better," said Arvizu, whose team was 14-1 in league play last year. "As far as the academics, it's easy with coach Kemp because he expects us to be students first and then athletes."

Oyhenart, also an outfielder, is one of the leaders of the Wildcats softball team, which is 4-1 and one game out of first place in the league standings. She is hitting .542 with 10 RBIs.

"Holly is a very smart, reliable and hard-working athlete," said her coach, Briana Wells. "She is one of our team captains and has done a wonderful job filling the role as a leader both on and off the field. She is a mature athlete who understands that she must continually work hard to improve her skills. Her batting average is proof of her hard work and dedication to the game."

"I've been playing since I was little, and it's something I don't take lightly," said Oyhenart, whose team's only league loss was to Heritage.

Oyhenart has accepted a scholarship to Christian Brothers University in Tennessee.

Arvizu and Oyhenart received a certificate from Menifee 24/7 and a Target gift card from Cynthia Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Heritage High Athletes of Week Honored by Menifee 24/7

Alexandria Blevins and Brett Pendleton were selected Heritage High Athletes of the Week, along with Alejandro Castellanos Becerra and J'men Aldrete (not pictured).
Menifee 24/7 has honored four Heritage High School student-athletes as the Athletes of the Week for their recent accomplishments.

Senior first baseman Brett Pendleton is hitting .333 for the Patriots baseball team, which is 7-6 overall and 1-2 in Sunbelt League play. He also has four doubles and two triples.

Senior pitcher Alexandria Blevins has a 3.25 ERA and is hitting .421 for the softball team, which is 3-0 in league play.

Alejandro Castellanos Becerra was honored for his accomplishments on the track and field team. Also honored was J'men Aldrete of the golf team.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Four Standouts Honored as Paloma Valley Athletes of Week

From left: David Hamilton, Jordan Allec, Kiana Broderson-Jones, Rebekkah Ouk.
Paloma Valley High School's Athletes of the Week include two talented boys and two talented girls who are being honored by Menifee 24/7.

Senior track and field star Rebekkah Ouk has the top marks in the Sunbelt League in the long jump (15-10) and triple jump (30-4). Her personal bests in those events are 16-8 and 32-0. She also participates in the 4x100 relay.

"Rebekkah is the hardest working athlete on the team," said her coach, Juan Merida, about Ouk, who is the team captain and who carries a 4.0 GPA. "She is constantly helping others on the team and is really like an assistnat coach. Her work ethic and care for others really set her apart."

Ouk, who plans to major in math in college, explained why she likes the long jump.

"When you jump, it just feels like you're flying in air," she said.

Sophomore Jordan Allec started the season on the JV tennis team but won a challenge match to move up to the varsity, where he has made the switch from singles to doubles.

"I was working with members of the varsity team," said Allec of his time on the JV squad. "They helped me and I decided to challenge.

"Doubles is a lot more strategic than singles. It was kind of a big change, but once you get used to it, it's fun."

Allec and his partner earned their first win in a league match against Lakeside last week.

Junior Kiana Broderson-Jones is in her third varsity season with the softball team. The center fielder went 2 for 3 against Elsinore last week and 2 for 3 against Perris, with a stolen base in each game.

She is hitting .425 for the Wildcats, who won two of their first three league games.

Junior right-side hitter David Hamilton had 17 kills and 8 digs in the volleyball team's win over Heritage last week. He leads the team with 113 kills.

I'm pretty confident we will win league," Hamilton said. "I think this year's team is better than last year's."