Friday, May 30, 2014

Paloma Valley Track Standout Nesbitt is Athlete of the Week

Sophomore track and field standout Jemena Nesbitt of Paloma Valley High School has been selected as the Menifee 24/7 Athlete of the Week for her recent efforts in the sport.

Nesbitt was Sunbelt League champion in the 100-meter hurdles and finished third in the 300 hurdles. She also qualified for the CIF prelims and set a personal record in the 100 hurdles there.

"Jemena did an amazing job this season, improving her times in the hurdles," said her coach, Juan Merida. "This was truly a gtreat accomplishment, considering she is only a sophomore and had never run track before."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Final Menifee AYSO Registration Set for May 31

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Menifee FC U12 Soccer Team Takes Second in Big Tourney

Standing: Coach Rios, Brianna, Catalina, Heather, Tayler, McKayla, Coach Gonzalez. Seated: Breanna, Aubrey, Aryana, Katie, Adrianna, Naveah, Danielle.
Menifee FC, the Menifee AYSO U12 Girls Spring Select soccer team, won second place in the Moreno Valley Thunderbird Classic Tournament over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a three-day tournament that drew competitive teams from all over Southern California.

Going into the championships on Monday, the team was undefeated and in first place in its pool. Menifee FC easily won the first game of the finals, beating the Moreno Valley U12 Extra team, 4-0. In the championship game against undefeated Beaumont a few hours later, they were outscored and awarded second place for the tournament.

In their first year together, the team has had great success. Coach Bernie Rios and Assistant Coach William Gonzalez have led this team to victory throughout the season. They finished the AYSO spring season tied for first place with the Corona Spring Select team. Next weekend they will head to Riverside for the playoffs.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Heritage High Softball Team to Host CIF Quarterfinal Game

The Heritage High School softball team will play a home game against Santa Monica High Saturday at 3:15 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs.

The Patriots advanced to the quarterfinals with a 14-5 victory over Garden Grove on Thursday. Heritage is 19-10 this season.

Seating for event is limited, so fans are advised to arrive early, according to athletic director David Drake. Parking will be available in the north parking lot by the AG facility or in the lot by the football stadium. No parking is allowed on the roads behind the field.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Paloma Valley High Standouts Honored as Athletes of the Week

Top performances by four spring sports athletes were recognized this week by Menifee 24/7 with Athletes of the Week awards from Paloma Valley High School.

Senior Michael Valencia (left) was one of the leaders of the boys volleyball team, which dropped out of the CIF playoffs in the third round May 17 with a five-game loss to top-seeded South Pasadena. The Wildcats stunned the Tigers by taking them to a fifth game and losing that decisive game by only two points, 15-13.

Paloma Valley won the Sunbelt League title because of the play of people like Valencia, who will go on to play at football the University of La Verne next fall.

"Michael has brought our team to another level," said Katie Bradley, Valencia's coach. "His intensity and determination to excel is contagious on the volleyball court. Michael played a major role in taking our team to the third round of the CIF playoffs, the furthest in school history for the program."

Savanna Ruiz (above) has been a steadying force for the Wildcats softball team, which is 21-7 overall after beating Oak Hills 4-2 Tuesday in the first round of the CIF playoffs. Paloma Valley will play at home against La Quinta today.

Ruiz is hitting .362 with 3 home runs and 21 RBIs.

Anthony Lee was one of the key players for the Wildcats baseball team, which wrapped up the Sunbelt League title and entered the CIF playoffs with a 19-6 overall record. He played a huge role in the team's league-clinching win over Temescal Canyon, making three big defensive plays and going 2 for 3 at the plate.

Samantha Flores won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter races in the Sunbelt League finals. She went on to compete in the CIF prelims.

Atkins, Eaton Named Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Week

Track standout Torrey Atkins and softball star Juliet Eaton were honored by Menifee 24/7 as Athletes of the Week for their postseason accomplishments at Heritage High School.

Atkins is the only representative of the Patriots' track program still competing this spring. He finished first in the 110-meter high hurdles (14.26) and in the 300 intermediate hurdles (38.93) at the CIF Southern Section prelims May 17 at Trabuco Hills High School. With those efforts, he qualified for the CIF Finals May 24 at Cerritos College.

Last year, Atkins' season ended at the CIF Finals. His goal this spring is to finish in the top nine, qualifying for the CIF Masters Meet the following week. Top qualifiers there advance to the state meet.

Atkins' speciality is the 110 high hurdles, where his personal best is 14.1. He's hoping to do even better than that to ensure he advances against top-notch competition on Saturday.

"I want to get into the 13s," Atkins said about his goal for a time this weekend. "I'm tired of running in the 14s. The 300 hurdles, I'm not serious about it until I get in the blocks. The 110 is my favorite. I know I'm going against the best athletes."

Eaton had a huge day Tuesday in the Patriots softball team's 10-0 victory at Arroyo High in the first round of the CIF playoffs. The senior first baseman hit three home runs on consecutive at-bats -- nearly doubling her season total.

"After the third one, my teammates didn't even walk out to greet me," Eaton said with a laugh. "They just bowed down and asked me to sign their bats."

Eaton said she and her teammates are confident about the team's ability to advance further in the playoffs. The Patriots are at home against Garden Grove today.

"We have a lot of momentum," Eaton said about the Patriots, whose overall record is 18-10 overall. "Our team chemistry is great."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Velivis, Gayk Named Santa Rosa Athletes of the Month

A pair of talented sophomores attending Santa Rosa Academy have been honored as the Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Month, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Softball player Madison Velivis and golfer Ray Gayk each received a certificate from Menifee 24/7 and a Target gift card from Larry Nemelka, representing RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Velivis plays first base for the Rangers softball team, which just completed the first year of the program. The team struggled to win games as new players came on board, but the leadership of a more experienced player such as Velivis helped build a foundation for future success.

"The girls had good character and we all kept our spirits up," Velivis said. "I've played softball since I was 7, but a lot of the girls were new to the sport. Me and another girl were kinda captains and tried to be team leaders. The girls were all really receptive to learning about the sport. Most of them will be back for next year."

Gayk continued to improve as a golfer in his second year of the program, and the team progressed as well. He shoots in the low 40s on Santa Rosa's home course at Menifee Lakes Country Club.

"As a team, we really progressed," he said. "Last year we had seven or eight players and this year we had around 16. Overall, we had a very good season. But we weren't in a league yet, so it's harder to get into postseason tournaments."

Gayk was introduced to the sport by his father when they played in the Santa Rosa Tournament when he was in the seventh grade. He joined the golf team as a freshman.

Heritage High's Briseno, DeMarco Are Athletes of Month

Michael DeMarco and Kristen Briseno receive their Athlete of the Month Awards from Larry Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty.
Track and field standout Kristen Briseno and baseball star Michael DeMarco were recently honored by Menifee 24/7 as the Heritage High School Athletes of the Month, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Briseno is a junior who vastly improved her performance in the distance races this spring, capitalizing on strength and endurance she gained as a cross country runner in the fall. She also played soccer this winter.

Her personal best in the 3,200 meters was established this year in the Inland Empire Championships -- a 12:25. She also has a personal record of 5:43 in the 1,600.

"I started training harder and calculating times more closely this year to see if I improved each time," she said. "I also practiced more on the weekends."

After playing one more year in high school, Briseno would like to study medicine in college.

Senior shortstop Michael DeMarco came on strong in the second half of the season for the Patriots baseball team. He hopes to carry that over to next year, when he will attend Chico State and try to walk on to the baseball team and study kinesiology.

"We had a bad beginning of the season, but we finally started to pick it up," said DeMarco. "We just lost a lot of close games."

Personally, DeMarco said his hitting began to improve when his coach pointed out a mechanical flaw.

"I was dropping my shoulder, so I was popping the ball up a lot," he said. "Got that fixed and did a lot better."

Briseno and DeMarco received a certificate from Menifee 24/7 and a Target gift card from Larry Nemelka of Diamond RE/MAX Realty.

Macy, Jackson Honored as Paloma Valley Athletes of Month

Baseball player Bryce Macy and track and field standout Dazhana Jackson of Paloma Valley High School were recently honored as the Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Month, sponsored by RE/MAX Diamond Realty.

Macy is hitting .352 for the Wildcats, who won the Sunbelt League title with a 13-2 record and open the CIF playoffs this week with a 19-6 overall record. He also is one of the team leaders in RBIs with 13 and provides valuable leadership from his catcher's position.

"Bryce has been our on-field general from behind the plate for the past three years," said his coach, Chuck Kemp. "This season his leadership and clutch play has been immeasurable.

"Bryce willed our team into a position at the top of the standings. As the season gets deeper, his play gets better."

Macy prefers to give the credit to the whole team, including the improved pitching staff he handles from behind the plate.

"I haven't played as well as I wanted to, but I still feel like I'm helping the team," he said. "Getting on base, sac flies, anything I can do. And as the catcher, I feel like I have to take a leadership role."

Macy plans to attend Cal Baptist next year and play baseball there.

Jackson (right) helped the girls track team win back-to-back Sunbelt League championships. She improved her personal record in the shot put by more than five feet with a best of 39-5. She also recently broke the school record in that event by more than two feet.

"Dazhana has been a great leader and mentor to our younger throwers," said her coach, Juan Merida. "I see her constantly talking to and helping the younger throwers improve their technique. In addition to being a great athlete, Dazhana excels in the classroom, where she holds above a 3.0 GPA."

According to Merida, Jackson has received scholarship offers from UC Irvine, Robert Morris and some other universities.

Macy and Jackson received certificates from Menifee 24/7 and a Target gift card from Larry Nemelka of RE/MAX Diamond Realty (presenting Macy his award in top photo).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Menifee 24/7 Honors Paloma Valley High Athletes of Week

From left: Chabris Kelly, Michael Sanchez, Daniel Stuart, Nicholas Salazar. Not pictured: Kaya Gladu.
Paloma Valley High School's Athletes of the Week for the week ending May 12 were honored recently for their accomplishments during the spring sports season.

Baseball player Nicholas Salazar had a big week recently in games against Rival Heritage, going 4 for 8 with a double, RBI and a stolen base. The Wildcats enter the CIF playoffs as the Sunbelt League champions.

"Nick's leadership and on-field play were crucial ingredients to a very successful week," said coach Chuck Kemp.

Michael Sanchez played a key role in two recent victories against West Valley for the boys volleyball team. He ranks second in digs on the team and has become a defensive specialist.

Sanchez plans to attend San Diego City College to play volleyball.

Senior softball player Chabris Kelly is in her first season with the Wildcats but her third varsity season of softball after moving to Menifee from Oceanside. She has provided stability on defense, making an outstanding play at third base in a recent game against Temescal Canyon.

"Chabris works hard and has a great attitude at practice every day," said her coach, Briana Wells. "She is the first to get equipment at the beginning of practice and the last to leave practice. Her support for her team does not change whether she is playing or sitting."

Senior tennis player Daniel Stuart led the team with 25 singles victories in league play. He went on to win his first three matches in the league tournament.

"Daniel has been a pivotal member of the team, helping to lead the team to many victories," said his coach, Alison King.

Senior Kaya Gladu qualified for the CIF individual tournament in golf.

"He is a solid student, dedicated golfer, and community servant," said his coach, Cory Page. He has helped the younger players on the team all year long."

Heritage High Spring Sports Standouts Are Athletes of Week

From left: Jena Chilson, Chris Nile, Justin Brady, J'men Aldrete.
Four outstanding spring sports athletes were honored recently as the Menifee 24/7 Athletes of the Week from Heritage High School for the week of May 12.

Senior softball player Jena Chilson is hitting .436 this season for the Patriots softball team, which is headed for the CIF playoffs this week. The first baseman has two home runs and nine RBIs. The team is 17-10 overall after going 12-3 in league play.

Chilson has excelled for Heritage since moving here from Colorado. She plans to play for Mt. San Antonio College next season.

Chris Nile has had a standout senior season for the boys track team. He broke the school record in the long jump with a leap of 21-9 in the recent Sunbelt League finals. He has competed in the 4x100-meter relay, 200, 400 and high jump in the past but focused on the long jump this season.

Also a football player, Nile plans to play both sports at MSJC.

Senior Justin Brady was another standout for the boys track team this season. His personal best in the high jump is 6-2 and he placed high enough in the league finals to advance to the CIF prelims. Last year, he advanced in both the long jump and high jump.

Brady plans to attend either Riverside City College or Mt. San Jacinto College next year. He wants to study criminal justice.

Sophomore J'men Alderete became the first Heritage High golfer ever to qualify for the CIF postseason tournament. A former baseball player who suffered a knee injury, Alderete has a personal best score of 37 for nine holes and 76 for 18 holes.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Paloma Valley Boys Track Team Does Well in League Finals

The Paloma Valley High School boys track team had a good showing Thursday at the Sunbelt League finals, winning the 400-meter relay, shot put and 200 meters.

The boys 4x100 team was made up of Jose Cruz, Chris Owens, Fred Lundy and Anthony Smith. They had a winning time of 43.32, which was just .08 seconds off their own school record, set earlier this season.

Smith won the 200-meter race with a time of 22.12. Brendan Grant saved his best for last as he unleashed a 50-foot toss to win the league championship in the shot put.

Owens had a great day as well in taking a leg of the 4x100 relay team as well as a second place in the high jump and triple jump. Zack Castor took third place in the 1600 after suffering a back spasm during the race, keeping him from winning his best event.

Josh Madrid took third in the triple jump as Owens bumped him from second on the final jump.

Paloma Valley Girls Track Team Dominates League Finals

Paloma Valley High's league champion 400-meter relay team, from left: Regina Sheffield, Christina Rodriguez, Damatria Willingham, Rebecca Ouk.
(Photo by George Rodriguez)
The Paloma Valley High School girls track team dominated the Sunbelt League finals Thursday, winning 10 of the 15 events. Outstanding performances were turned in by Samantha Flores, who won the 800, 1600 and 3200. Also, Regina Sheffield won the 100, 200, was part of the winning 400-meter relay team and took second in the high jump.

The following girls placed in their events:

League Champs
100 meters - Regina Sheffield
200 meters - Regina Sheffield
400 meters - Bailey Calhoun
800 meters - Samantha Flores
1600 meters - Samantha Flores
3200 meters - Samantha Flores
100 meter hurdles - Jemena Nesbitt
Long jump - Rebekka Ouk
400 meter relay - Regina Sheffied, Damatria Willingham, Rebekkah Ouk and Christina Rodriguez 1600 Meter relay - Chloe Atkins, Bailey Calhoun, Lauren Perez and Christina Rodriguez

Runner Up
200 meters - Christina Rodriguez
800 meters - Bailey Calhoun
High jump - Regina Sheffield
Triple jump - Rebekkah Ouk

Third place
300 meter hurdles - Jemena Nesbitt
Shot put - Dazhana Jackson
Discus - Dazhana Jackson

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Heritage High Boys Tennis Team Finishes League Undefeated

Congratulations to the Heritage High School boys tennis team, which finished Sunbelt League play undefeated with a 10-0 record after beating Elsinore 12-6 this week.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Paloma Valley Girls Track Team Wins League Title Again

Paloma Valley High School's girls track team wrapped up an undefeated championship season in the Sunbelt League Thursday with a 108-19 victory over Lakeside.

This is the second league title for Paloma Valley, which is the back-to-back league champion. According to coach Juan Merida, outstanding performances were turned in by:

-- Jemena Nesbitt, 100 Hurdles, 16.27
-- Bailey Calhoun, 400m, 62.27
-- Damatria Willingham, 100m, 12.86
-- Samantha Flores, 800m, 2:25.96
-- Damatria Willingham, 200m, 26.43
-- Rebekkah Ouk, Long Jump, 16' 01"
-- Rebekkah Ouk, Triple Jump, 31' 01"
-- Regina Sheffield, High Jump, 5'0