Joseph "J.D." Thompson is the new head football coach for Delano High School. He met with current players and coaching staff March 13 after school. The prior night his employment was approved by the school board.

Most recently he was head coach and social science teacher at Yucca Valley High School. In 2017 he was head coach and assistant director of admissions at Vacaville Christian School, in 2015 the offensive coordinator and QB coach at St. Monica Catholic High School and in 2012 head football coach at San Gabriel High School.

Before that, he was offensive coordinator at Woodrow Wilson High in 2011, defensive coordinator and running backs coach at Sage Hill School in 2009-10, offensive coordinator and QB coach at Bellflower High School in 2008, defensive coordinator at Norte Vista High in 2007, and had multiple roles at all levels at Corona Centennial High School 1994-98 and 2000-06.

He has a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology and master of science degree in Counseling/MFT, both from Cal State Fullerton.

Thompson said the Tigers will run a no huddle offense with a spread formation and run a play every 11 seconds in the run, pass option offense. He prefers a 4-2-5 defense.

It will be late in the school year or the start of summer before Thompson will be able to be on the Delano High campus full-time, said athletic director Albino Duran.

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With the April 13 Delano Relay for Life just a couple of weeks away, as of March 11, teams had raised nearly $40,000. Event chairperson Glenda Muldrow said, “We expect that total to go up tremendously after teams deposit monies from the City Walk food sales, Relay Paint Night, and the March 16 yard sale.”

As of early March the North Kern State Prison team captained by Octavio Magana had raised $11,843, Family Matters led by captain Corina Mojarra had earned $5,254, Albany Park, Fremont and Pioneer captained by Rossy Regaldo had raised $3,520, Team Tackle Cancer led by Virginia Gutierrez had raised $2,498, and Clemente Crusaders captained by Rita Figueroa had earned $2,313.

Top individual fund-raisers were Rosa Lugo, $2,241; Claribel Gutierrez, $1,200; Tracy Shultz, $1,008, Cyndie Navarro-Davila, $871; and Laura Mojarra, $720.

People still may contact Glenda Muldrow at Delano High School or other Relay leaders to learn how to participate in Delano’s 19th annual Relay for Life.

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Delano High’s 1948-49-50 class reunion to which any Delano High graduate is welcomed, will take place Saturday, May 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Delano Elks Lodge.

Reservations and a questionnaire must be returned by April 25 to Don Hiett, 33648 Hart Ave., Delano, CA 93215, or call Hiett at 661-809-2951, or Nolan Shaffer at 661-345-1503.

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Delano’s 25th annual Distinguished Young Women event is scheduled Saturday, April 27, at the Delano High School auditorium. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the event starting at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance from candidates or at the Chamber of Commerce office. At the door the cost will be $12.

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Delano High cheerleaders by this date should have raised funds to cover the cost of uniforms. Now they need nearly $7,000 more by the end of May to pay off their three-day instructional camp fee for the camp on the DHS campus.

The 23-member cheer squad has a few remaining fund-raisers for the spring, including distribution of flyers urging people to take the flyer and present it on Thursday, March 28, at Delano’s Panda Express which will give a percentage of its proceeds for that day related to the number of flyers turned in. The flyers are now available from DHS cheerleaders and at the Chamber of Commerce office, which closes at 3 p.m. Fridays. People may call Gary Girard, assistant fund-raiser, 725-8803, to arrange for a flyer.

The squad is also selling Little Cesar’s frozen pizzas and cookie dough on order for delivery April 24. The cheerleaders will also be in charge of a bingo booth at Memorial Park on Cinco de Mayo weekend and selling water at Delano High’s June 7 graduation.

April 10 is the final date for the public to purchase advertisements in the cheerleader 15-month calendar that is to be distributed in early June and to buy birthday “listings” for $1 each.

Starting immediately through next February, the captains for the DHS cheer squad are Benjamin Bulseco and Brianna Lopez and the co-captains are Arlette Montano and Yarikza Quiroz. Bulseco is from Delano and the three girls are from Earlimart.

On Saturday, May 4, Delano High cheerleaders will be hosts for the United Spirit Association one-day instructional clinic. Individuals or squads wishing to take part may call Delano High cheer coach Carmina Reyes, 661-720-4282, during the school day or USA at 800-886-4USA.

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I’m always proud when my U.S. flag appears in my yard for a special flag day during the year. For just $40 per flag, anyone can arrange with Delano’s only scout troop, Troop 924, to have the same flag put up. Just call Mike Gutierrez, Scoutmaster, at DADD to make your arrangements.

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The Robert F. Kennedy cheer squad coached by Natalie Fragoso, competed in the United Spirit Association Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center. The group, competing against 16 schools in their division, placed third in Band Chant and sixth in Fight Song.

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Gabriel Nobleza, an eighth grader at Delano’s Pioneer School, has reached the ultimate goal in the Scripps Spelling Bee. He has won the Kern County selection and will represent his school, his community, and Kern County in the Nationals in May in Maryland.

Nobleza placed second in Kern County during his fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grade years and now is the Kern County first-place winner.

What a sensational honor for the local youth!

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Delano High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame committee for the first time is honoring athletes in all sports. In addition, “Charter” members in all sports from the 1940s through 1969 have been selected and automatically enter the Hall of Fame.

The organizing committee has decided that any Charter member and spouse may attend the Saturday, June 15, event at the Delano High cafeteria for free, but only for this year and only if Hall of Fame chairman Monte Marshall, 725-7541, is notified by May 15.

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The winter formal for the Delano Joint Union High School District was held at Delano High and drew a large crowd from the three high schools.

At least equally successful with another large crowd was the March 16 “Noche de Gala” that took place outdoors in perfect weather.

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The city elementary school track and field meet is planned for Friday; Delano High’s United Filipino Organization with some Robert F. Kennedy students taking part will present the annual PCN on Friday, May 3, at DHS; and the Cinco de Mayo parade will take place Saturday, May 4.

A carnival at Memorial Park will highlight the Cinco de Mayo weekend with carnival grounds open Thursday, May 2, from 5 to 9 p.m., on Friday open from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 11 p.m.

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Cesar E. Chavez High School band members Eric Berber and Fernando Sanchez represent Delano in the Kern County Honor Band.

Anthony Lopez and Zhakeila Cabico of Chavez were selected to the Kern County Honor Orchestra.

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Renz Cabrera has been elected president and Nereyda Rojas the vice-president of the Delano High School student body for the coming year.

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Delano High winter sports athletes have been honored with special awards.

In wrestling, Allen Sandoval was Most Valuable and earned the Coaches Award while Pablo Alonso received the Captain Award. For JV wrestling, Irvin Ayon was Most Valuable and Matthew Rafanan the Most Improved.

For varsity boys basketball, Juan Nunez was Most Valuable, Sergio Gonzales recipient of the Heart and Desire Award, and Thomas Perez the Mojo Award. JV’s were Sebastian Espinoza, Offensive Player of the Year, and Dominique Lallave, Defensive Specialist. Efrain Arredondo gained Most Improved for frosh basketball and Anthony Mojarro the Mojo Award.

For girls’ basketball, Alexandra Hernandez received the Tiger Leadership Award, Karissa Jones the Most Outstanding Contributor, and Kaitlyn Grijalva the Most Improved.

Co-champion frosh-soph girls earned patches while Renee Lucio-Hernandez won the Tiger Offense Award and Zeline Mayubay the Tiger Defense Award.

For boys soccer, varsity Most Valuable Player was Joel Meza with Angel Talavera, Defensive Player of the Year, and Steven Cervantes, Student Athlete Leadership Award. For JV’s, Andrew Carrasco was Offensive Player of the Year and Jesse Gutierreye Defensive Player of the Year.

For girls’ soccer, Yamilex Correa was Most Valuable for varsity, Ismoni Valencia the Best Rookie, and Lisbet Carranza Most Dependable. For JV’s, Daniela Gonzalez was Most Valuable, Alex Santiago the Beast Mode winner and Jackie Aguilar the Super Goalie.

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In Delano High’s dual track meet against Monache High, Delano’s Pablo Alonso won the shot put and discus and Joel Meza the 200 for DHS varsity boys while freshman Ismoni Valencia won the 200 and Ivette Tobon the shot put and discus for the girls.

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Delano High’s boys’ tennis team two years ago was outright East Yosemite League champion and last year was co-champion. This year’s team is off to a 4-0 start in the EYL, led by senior singles ace Xavier Duran.

Gary Girard is a longtime resident of Delano. He can be reached at 661-725-8803.

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