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DELANO RAMBLINGS: Kennedy cheer squad headed for Nationals next week

DELANO — For the seventh consecutive year, the Robert F. Kennedy High School cheerleading squad has qualified for the USA Spirit Nationals competition scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Coach/adviser Natalie Fragoso and coach Celeste Carcha have been together directing the program for nine years.

Fragoso reported the RFK girls placed fourth in the fight song category, third in the varsity show cheer non-tumbling category, and first in band chant to qualify for all three divisions in the Nationals.

Senior squad members are Sadie Baldone, Alexis Balles, Kassandra Hernandez, Julianna Huerta, Angelina Maduena, Delilah Martinez, Arianna Miranda, Nayeli Rios and Esmeraldo Rodriguez.

Juniors on the squad are Aliyah Abundis, Priscila Arambula, Anahi Carrillo, Nicole Jaurez, Aiyana Machado, Laila Montemayor and Silvia Vega.

Sophomores are Alexa Huerta, Adela Ledezma and Kassandra Lopez. Freshmen are Jackeline Astorga, Alexa Gonzalez and Reyna Lara.

At the time I was active at Delano High School, Fragoso was a freshman English student of mine, a four-year cheerleader and head cheerleader for Delano High and later the coach. As a coach, she even recruited Carcha to become the only freshman on the squad who went on to complete four years on the squad. Now they are reunited, guiding the RFK program, which not only supports fall and winter athletic teams but also competes and is active in fundraising throughout the year.


At its first February meeting, the Delano City Council was to award the 2023 urgent purchase of WWTP aerator with gearboxes to Laron Co. for $224,000.

The council also was to approve a resolution of the final map and subdivision agreement for Tract 7379 for a subdivision located adjacent to and south of County Line Road between Hiett Avenue and Melcher Road.

The council was also to award a contract for the 2023 17th and Randolph curb-and-gutter project to MAC General Engineering Inc. in the amount of $447,280.55.

A resolution of the city and the City Council declared various vehicles as surplus and donated them to the city of McFarland.

The council also held a public hearing on a development agreement and tentative tract map to subdivide a 40-acre parcel into single family residential lots.


Grace Elliott, a senior and FFA leader at Delano High School, placed among the top six students at the sectional job interview competition. She was also the sectional winner with equine proficiency, reported adviser Kara Langley.

Also representing Delano FFA in the sectional speaking competition were Nathaniel Carrillo and Ruth Elizabeth Peralta.


Amadeo Paniagua is coach of the Delano High School varsity girls soccer team, which has become the winningest in the sport in school history.

Since the inception of the school program, teams have struggled to win matches and score goals. It is believed that this year’s team’s wins and goals scored have surpassed the wins and goals total of all past teams.

This year’s team reached the peak of the season with a 3-0 shutout of South Sequoia League leader Wasco in the next-to-last-week of the regular season.

Mayra Gonzalez, Melissa Cabrera and Maria Rosiles all scored Delano goals. Gonzalez, a sophomore, and Cabrera, a freshman, rank first and fourth in SSL scoring this season.

JV girls tied Wasco 1-1, so there is also hope for future assistance from that program as well.


Monday is Presidents Day, and so the city reports that refuse services usually collected on Monday will instead be Tuesday.

The city has also announced that in observance of Cesar Chavez Day, the city will be closed on Thursday, March 30. The rest of the week will remain on regular schedule.


Delano Elks Lodge bingo continues Feb. 23 with bingo always set for the second and fourth Thursdays of each month starting at 6 p.m. and open to the public at the Delano Elks Club.


Musical talent in Delano and the area will be on display Thursday, Feb. 23, with the Music Memorial concert at the Delano High School auditorium, starting at 6:30 p.m. Donation will be $5 at the door.

Winners of adjudication in piano, vocal and instrumental categories will be featured at the 1½-hour concert along with other musical groups and individuals.


Person(s) of the Year named by the Greater Delano Area Youth Foundation will be recognized at the Delano Sports Dinner on Saturday, March 11, at the Delano Elks Club.

Tickets at $35 each are available from directors of the Delano Youth Foundation. There is limited capacity at the Elks Club, and ticket sales are to be completed by March 4.

David Grace, an assistant men’s basketball coach at Vanderbilt University, with past hitches at UCLA, Oregon State, UC Berkeley, the University of San Francisco and Sacramento State as an assistant, will be the speaker.

Because the Sports Dinner did not take place in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic, this year’s event will include introductions of winners of Person of the Year for 2021, 2022, and 2023.


Shondra Walker, principal of Delano High School, has reported a busy spring of activities including the following: spring break, April 3-10; prom, May 13; senior awards, May 16; FFA banquet, May 18; grad night trip, May 19; Senior Sunset, May 24; choir spring concert, May 25; senior picnic, May 30; and graduation, June 2.


Girls who are high school juniors and interested in taking part in this spring’s Distinguished Young Women contest should check online for information on the event.

I hope soon to get information to pass on from Liz Velasco-Ramirez and/or Nicole Villaruz Ramirez.

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