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Latest News in Caruthers, CA
Caruthers' Monster: The freshman playing four sports at once
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "My name is Gizelle Aguirre and I play volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer."Caruthers freshman Gizelle Aguirre is a four-sport athlete -- currently playing for three Blue Faider teams simultaneously."We recruited her over to basketball, as time went on she was a beast of a softball player," says basketball coach Anna Almeida. "Volleyball was something that we added recently."The freshman says she's grateful that Caruthers is allowing her to play in all four s...
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "My name is Gizelle Aguirre and I play volleyball, basketball, softball and soccer."
Caruthers freshman Gizelle Aguirre is a four-sport athlete -- currently playing for three Blue Faider teams simultaneously.
"We recruited her over to basketball, as time went on she was a beast of a softball player," says basketball coach Anna Almeida. "Volleyball was something that we added recently."
The freshman says she's grateful that Caruthers is allowing her to play in all four sports, a circumstance unique to the pandemic.
"It's been crazy," she said. "My coaches, we have a schedule of what practices and games I can go to. Sometimes, they'll schedule games earlier so I can go to the next game. It's crazy but I like it."
"I haven't seen her get tired, I haven't seen her complain, she just loves it so much," says soccer coach Jon Allen. "She's just having fun."
Last week, she scored eight goals in a single game - beating a Caruthers record set by her sister who scored seven.
"Once I got eight, I got taken out of the game because we were already winning but I was like, I don't care," she said. "I just wanted to beat my sister."
Through seven games - she's hitting .750 at the plate, and is one of seven softball players who also play basketball. Caruthers and the teams' parents pitched in to start a college-like program so that the girls stay injury-free.
"They've waited an entire year to play sports, we don't want them to have to wait another year," Almeida said. How can we protect their bodies? It's our responsibility as adults to make sure that they can continue to compete."
The Blue Raiders purchased a compression device to help with recovery and have even created meal plans. The girls eat anywhere from 3,700 to 5,000 calories a day and have to check in with Almeida on what they're eating for breakfast.
"For me, when I go from one game or practice to the next, she'll bring me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat so that I don't feel sick from going from all those sports, so she makes sure we're all healthy," Aguirre said.
Aguirre goes by the nickname 'Monster" but says it's not because of her talent.
"People think it's because I play all these sports, but it's because when I was little, my hair was huge and when I would wake up, I would look like a monster and still is to this day," she said.
These days -- "Monster" goes through three to four practices a day.
A rare breed and a player who has been a game changer for the Blue Raiders on the court and on the field.
Fresno-area prep softball: Big Top 25 matchups this week; back-to-back no-hitters
Big matchups loom for The Fresno Bee’s Top 25 high school softball teams this week.No. 2 Clovis faced No. 4 Central in a big Tri-River Athletic Conference contest on Tuesday. The Cougars won that matchup 3-0 behind Lauryn Carranco’s 12 strikeouts.Gracie Carpenter had two RBI.The Cougars improved to 13-2 overall and 1-0 in the TRAC. The Grizzlies fell to 11-3 and 0-1 in the TRAC.Clovis has won five straight after losing 8-0 to Oaks Christian on March 11. Following Central, the Cougars host No. 3 Buchana...
Big matchups loom for The Fresno Bee’s Top 25 high school softball teams this week.
No. 2 Clovis faced No. 4 Central in a big Tri-River Athletic Conference contest on Tuesday. The Cougars won that matchup 3-0 behind Lauryn Carranco’s 12 strikeouts.
Gracie Carpenter had two RBI.
The Cougars improved to 13-2 overall and 1-0 in the TRAC. The Grizzlies fell to 11-3 and 0-1 in the TRAC.
Clovis has won five straight after losing 8-0 to Oaks Christian on March 11. Following Central, the Cougars host No. 3 Buchanan.
The Grizzlies’ seven-game win streak came to an end.
The Bee’s top-ranked Clovis North defeated No. 22 Clovis West 1-0 behind Ryan Maddox’s 21 strikeouts and one-hitter (a bunt single). The Broncos will next face Clovis East on Thursday.
? Anahi Castillo hit two home runs and finished with six RBI to lead Orange Cove over Caruthers 15-7.
? Eliza Gamez of Redwood finished with a double and five RBI to lead the Rangers past Reedley 12-5.
? Megan Staton pitched her second straight (with 12 strikeouts) in Central Valley Christian’s 11-0 victory over Exeter.
? Mia Traylor struck out 13 and had a no-hitter and Jayden Ramos had a two-run home and four RBI to lead Central past Kingsburg 11-0.
? Esmeralda Zuniga of McLane had an inside-the-park home run that drove in three runs to lead the Highlanders to a 6-4 victory over Edison.
Easter tournaments will take place beginning Saturday with the Clovis East Tournament, Tulare Easter Classic and Fowler Easter Classic.
The Washington Union Spring Classic is Monday-Tuesday.
(Records through Monday)
1. Clovis North 10-0 (Pvs.1)
2. Clovis 12-2 (Pvs.2)
3. Buchanan 11-3 (Pvs.3)
4. Central 11-2 (Pvs.5)
5. Stockdale 9-4 (Pvs.6)
6. Liberty-Bakersfield 12-2 (Pvs.4)
7. Paso Robles 13-4 (Pvs.9)
8. Bullard 7-4 (Pvs.10)
9. Hanford 8-5 (Pvs.7)
10. Liberty-Madera Ranchos 11-3 (Pvs.11)
11. St. Joseph 12-6 (Pvs.8)
12. Independence 14-7 (Pvs.14)
13. Tulare Union 10-3-1 (Pvs.15)
14. Tulare Western 13-5-1 (Pvs. 16)
15. El Diamante 8-5 (Pvs.17)
16. Centennial 13-5-1 (Pvs.18)
17. Frontier 9-10 (Pvs.12)
18. Garces 10-9 (Pvs.13)
19. Monache 7-4-1 (Pvs. 20)
20. Dinuba 9-6 (Pvs.19)
21. Golden West 8-5 (Pvs.24)
22. Clovis West 8-7 (Pvs. 21)
23. Redwood 8-4-1 (Pvs. 25)
24. San Luis Obispo 9-5-1 (Pvs. 22)
25. Fowler 9-4 (Pvs. 23)
On the bubble: Mission Prep (11-3), Highland (14-5), Kingsburg (9-8), Mission Oak (7-4-1), Garces (10-9), Chowchilla (7-4) Wasco (12-3), North (9-10), Morro Bay (9-1-1), Immanuel (10-6), Mt. Whitney (8-5), San Joaquin Memorial (8-6-1), Arroyo Grande (9-8-1), Reedley (7-6-1), Sanger (8-6), Central Valley Christian (5-3), Caruthers (6-6).
This story was originally published April 6, 2022 11:18 AM.
Nipomo's Simonson and Slover, Orcutt Academy's Calderon lead All-Area team
MVP: Avary Cain, St. Joseph Offensive Player of the Year: Giselle Calderon, Orcutt Academy, SR., PG Defensive Player of the Year: Makennah Simonson, Nipomo, JR., G Sixth Woman of the Year: Kacie Slover, Nipomo, SR., G FIRST TEAM SECOND TEAM There was still plenty of hardware up for grabs after St. Joseph's Avary Cain took the top honor for the Santa Maria Times' All-Ar...
There was still plenty of hardware up for grabs after St. Joseph's Avary Cain took the top honor for the Santa Maria Times' All-Area Team.
Nipomo High's top stars have taken two of the three remaining individual honors.
Cain was named the Times' All-Area MVP last week.
This week, Nipomo junior Makennah Simonson has been named the All-Area Defensive Player of the Year. Teammate Kacie Slover is the Sixth Woman of the Year.
Simonson also had a case for the All-Area Offensive Player of the Year award. The 5-foot-9 junior led the Titans with 15.2 points per game. She added 5.3 rebounds and three assists. But she led Nipomo in another category with an eye-popping stat: She averaged 5.2 steals per game, leading a Nipomo defense that averaged nearly 16 steals as a team.
Simonson helped the Titans go 22-8 during the regular season and 8-2 in the Mountain League. She was named the Mountain League's Defensive Player of the Year.
Joining Simonson atop the All-Area honor list is Slover, a senior guard who's signed to play at Cal Poly Humboldt. Slover was named the All-Area offensive Player of the Year last season.
Though Slover was a starter for the Titans, she was chosen as the Sixth Woman of the Year for her ability and willingness to do whatever her team needed of her. Slover's game may be more suited for the shooting guard position, but she selflessly played point guard for the Titans while also filling any frontcourt position that was needed.
Last season, Slover averaged 16.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as Simonson missed the entire year. This year, with Simonson back, Slover's role changed. She averaged 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, one assist and two steals per game.
The Titans were one of the top four teams in the entire CIF Central Section, earning a spot in the Open Division playoffs. Slover helped the Titans earn back-to-back berths in the CIF State playoffs. Their 22 wins this season is a school record.
Offensive Player of the Year
Orcutt Academy senior point guard Giselle Calderon is the All-Area Offensive Player of the Year.
Calderon battled through her senior season, helping the Spartans go 23-9 overall and 6-4 in a tough Mountain League. The Spartans lost to Caruthers in the CIF Central Section Division 3 title game.
Calderon then helped the Spartans make a daring run to the CIF State Division 3 SoCal Regional semifinal as the No. 15 seed. Calderon averaged 12.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game on the year. She added 1.8 steals.
For her career, Calderon scored 1,322 points in 97 games with the Spartans. She averaged 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.6 steals per game for her career.
Though she missed a big chunk of the season due to transfer rules, Andrea Stajic had a tremendous impact on the floor for St. Joseph. Stajic, who played in 15 games after she transferred from Arroyo Grande last year, averaged 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. She was also in consideration for the Offensive Player of the Year award, though her only playing in about half her team's games was a detracting factor. Stajic is signed to play at Cal Poly.
Stajic's St. Joseph teammate Kai Oani is on the First Team. Oani is a sophomore. She averaged 9.8 points and a team-high 4.2 assists for the Knights.
St. Joseph center Candace Kpetikou is also on the First Team. She averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game.
Cabrillo guard Gabby Cordova is on the First Team. Playing against tough Channel League competition, Cordova led the Conqs with an average of 10.4 points per game. She added 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
Also on the First Team is Orcutt Academy forward Khaeli Robertson-Mack. She had a breakout season for the Spartans, averaging 11.7 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. She also added one assist, 2.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
Robertson-Mack got stronger as the season went along. She had double-doubles in seven of the final eight games against the season's top competition. She had 24 points and 10 rebounds in one state playoff game and had nine points and 18 rebounds in the regional semifinal game vs. Porterville. She had 22 points and 14 rebounds in a league game against Righetti. She had a season-high 19 rebounds in a non-league game against Bakersfield Mira Monte. She had 14 double-doubles on the season.
The All-Area Second Team features Cabrillo's Maiya McIntyre, Orcutt Academy's Chyanna Medina-Tell; Righetti's Maddie Cutliff; Lompoc's Mallory Branum and VCA's Lindsay Mikkelson.
Santa Maria's Luz Olea is on the Honorable Mention team. She's joined by Santa Ynez standouts Nayeli Torres and Giszelle Hrehor; Orcutt Academy's Devyn Kendrick; Lompoc's Cierra Bailey; and Valley Christian's Jenna Mason.
The All-Area Teams are formulated by the sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, using a number of factors, including in-game evaluations, statistics and the various All-League teams as a framework.
State OKs $33 million to fix Fresno County highway ‘death trap.’ When will work begin?
A notorious six-mile stretch of Highway 41 that’s been dubbed a “death trap” in southern Fresno County will be widened in coming years after state transportation leaders approved $33 million for the effort on Wednesday evening.At its meeting in San Diego, the California Transportation Commission gave a green light to almost 40 transportation and highway projects in its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, including money for the “Excels...
A notorious six-mile stretch of Highway 41 that’s been dubbed a “death trap” in southern Fresno County will be widened in coming years after state transportation leaders approved $33 million for the effort on Wednesday evening.
At its meeting in San Diego, the California Transportation Commission gave a green light to almost 40 transportation and highway projects in its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, including money for the “Excelsior Expressway,” a segment of Highway 41 north between Elkhorn and Excelsior avenues with one lane for northbound traffic and one lane for southbound traffic, until recently separated by a painted line at the center of the pavement.
It’s a section that has languished as a dangerous two-lane road for years – one of the deadliest in Fresno County – after stretches of the highway to the north and south were widened into an expressway with two lanes in each direction, separated by a broad median strip.
In a three-year span from 2018 through 2020, that portion of the highway has experienced seven fatal crashes that claimed nine lives and left eight other people injured.
State Assembly Member Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, called that area of Highway 41 a “death trap” as he threw his support behind efforts by residents in the rural communities of Riverdale and Caruthers to convince the state to pony up the funds to finish the widening that was planned, but never completed.
While the vote formally adopted the 2022 transportation improvement program, the money to widen Highway 41 isn’t scheduled for spending until the 2024-25 fiscal year. At that time, the money will be combined with about $13 million from Fresno County Measure C, a local half-cent sales tax for transportation needs, and with about $17.3 million in other state highway money.
Patterson’s office said construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2025. In the meantime, Caltrans designated the area a no-passing zone and last year installed concrete dividers to separate the northbound and southbound lanes.
Despite a three-year wait for construction to start, getting the money budgeted is a victory for advocates of the project.
“This has been a very long and emotional process,” said Lorna Roush, a local resident who is among the administrators of a Widen 41 group on Facebook. “On behalf of the surviving families, community members, and the public who travels this stretch, I want to thank everyone involved. Without this group effort, we would not have achieved this life-saving goal.”
Roush’s efforts on the Widen 41 project, after losing a family member to a crash on the road in September 2020, led Patterson to name her as the 2021 Woman of the Year for his 23rd Assembly District.
Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes of Caruthers, whose District 4 encompasses southwestern Fresno County, said he was excited when he learned that the money was approved. “This incomplete section of highway has been dangerous for drivers and too many lives have been lost,” Mendes said.
Patterson was also pleased with the state commission’s long-awaited vote approving the money. “What a lot of people said we couldn’t do, we did,” he said Wednesday. “It took a lot of people to get where we are today – leaders in our community who wouldn’t take no for an answer. I’m grateful to have been a part of it.”
This story was originally published March 16, 2022 6:22 PM.
Good Sports: New Caruthers basketball surface is a part of NBA history
CARUTHERS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The last hardwood floor Hall of Famer Charles Barkley played on as a member of the Phoenix Suns now sits in the tiny farming community of Caruthers.Over the last decade or so, the Fresno County town has built a reputation as a basketball hotbed thanks to its perennial power high school girls program and subsequent travel teams.But now it's the surface they play on that has opposing teams taking notice."You're talking Steve Nash was on that court, Danny Ainge was the coach at the time,&quo...
CARUTHERS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The last hardwood floor Hall of Famer Charles Barkley played on as a member of the Phoenix Suns now sits in the tiny farming community of Caruthers.
Over the last decade or so, the Fresno County town has built a reputation as a basketball hotbed thanks to its perennial power high school girls program and subsequent travel teams.
But now it's the surface they play on that has opposing teams taking notice.
"You're talking Steve Nash was on that court, Danny Ainge was the coach at the time," says Clovis East boys basketball coach Adrian Wiggins.
Rancher Larry Trigueiro led a team of investors to purchase the very same court once owned and used by the Phoenix Suns.
Trigueiro says they bought it from a youth center in Oregon who got it from the NBA team when they were done using it a number of years ago.
"A floor like this new is about $175k, we didn't get to six figures but it was a high five-figure count. Part of it is the events we put on are going to help pay for it. We had a group of generous people who donated a lot more than just me, a lot of people have a part in this and working their butts off to make it happen. Ultimately our kids and our community are going to benefit from it all," Trigueiro says.
But before the floor could be purchased, Trigueiro, who also coaches one of Caruthers' elite AAU teams, needed an indoor facility large enough to house the 94 feet of court.
He found it inside the commercial building at the fairgrounds.
"People are amazed that the kids get to play on an NBA floor, it's got first-class baskets, shot clocks, got digital clocks here, we have a PA system the fairgrounds let us use, we got music piped in and it's kind of got an old school feel and so it's been very positive," Trigueiro says.
Surrounded by American flags, the cozy confines inside the barn-like building only adds to the nostalgia of this unique basketball setting now used by the high school and area youth teams.
"You worry about if the ceiling will be high enough, is it going to be safe, are they going to have some issue where the walls are too close. They didn't, it was spaced out perfectly. The fans could see, they weren't too close, the benches were fine, the floor was kept in great shape. Honestly it's great idea," says Clovis East coach Wiggins.
From hotly contested NBA games to then 12th ranked Fresno State's showdown vs Arkansas in '97, this court has hosted its share of great players. Now the next generation of talent is using it to foster their own success.
"There's a lot of history on this floor so we want to keep some of that and the fact that our college down the street played on it, so NBA legends played on it. I think it was NBA Finals court at one time, there's a lot of cool stuff here."
Right now the court is used for practice and exhibition games but the goal is to begin hosting tournaments and there's even talk to build an outdoor streetball surface adjacent to the pavilion.