Gary Girard

Gary Girard.

Outstanding staff and students at the schools of the Delano Union School District are being honored for the 2017-18 school year. Each of the schools honored an outstanding student, classified employee and certificated employee.

Recognized at Albany Park School were Jasmine Joaquin, student; Alexsis Briseno, classified; and Aimee Vergara, certificated or teacher.

Almond Tree honored Janelle Ramos, student; Mary Ann Redmond, teacher; and Lisett Elisondo, classified. At Cecil Avenue Math and Science Academy, Zsaby Diana was the student honored along with Christine Hess, teacher and Miguel Garza, classified.

Recognized at Del Vista Math and Science Academy were Jodi Sayon, student; Everardo Nuno, teacher and Heidi Delay, classified. Mark Pabalate was the student, Dina Enriquez the teacher, and Jennifer DeLaCruz the classified employee at Fremont.

For Harvest, Carter Beardsley was the student, Blas Toscano the teacher, and Michael Felisican the classified employee. For La Vina Middle School, Juan Carlos Centeno was the student, Jose Molina the teacher, and Brandie Gutierrez the classified.

Morningside School honored Aubrey Baldoz, student; Joseph Bono, teacher; and Daniel Cruz, classified while Nueva Vista Language Academy honored Alyssa Isabel Sanchez, student; Vanessa Mairim Ayala, certificated; and Alma Perigo, classified.

Pioneer School honored Madyson Herrera, fifth grader, and Esteban Lopez, eighth grader, as students, Andrea Rivera as the teacher, and Elizabeth Ontiveros, classified. Brandon Aquinde was the student, Cynthia Oropeza the teacher and Krista Gutierrez the classified at Princeton Street School. Yazmin Sanchez was the Terrace School student with Casey Rivas the teacher and Josefina Cabrera the classified.

Others recognized were classified, Felix Espinoza in food services, Martin Lopez for M.O.T., and Lonie Bautista for district office. Chevelle Madrigal was recognized for management.


Only over about the past 10 years have I really known of and spoken to Max Souder, a 1960 Delano High graduate. In that time I have learned to respect him and admire him for his ability to find and inform classmates and other citizens of the Delano and Earlimart areas. Those were reasons that I was so saddened when I learned of his death at his Bakersfield home. I had heard from several people of his passing, but I was surprised when his widow called me one evening and expressed that Max had respect for me and we agreed that he was a person loved by many.

In my Delano Ramblings column that has run for about 16 years in the past Delano Record, Max was a big reason that I could fill the column with news of interest to local people. He emailed me several times a week information on the deaths of past graduates of Delano High and of the area. He delved into the past of the Earlimart and Delano areas and passed along informative information that he had discovered in yearbooks and other old records, all items of interest to many of the people who have lived in this area.

Max was a true historian for the Delano and Earlimart areas, and I do not see anyone on the horizon who is willing and able to fill the void. I do recall in high school — his main achievements were in baseball (I was in the military during his last two years in school). He was a pitcher for the Delano baseball team. Then he enrolled at College of the Sequoias in Visalia and went out for the track team, scaling something like 6-4 or 6-5 in the high jump, an amazing accomplishment considering he had not competed in that sport in high school.

To build his collection of memories, Max attended many local events to gather information, from reunions of many of Delano High’s classes as well as such events as the Delano High Football Hall of Fame. He attended just so that he could collect information and pass it on to area residents who would be interested. He was a true public servant who was important in keeping locals connected with their pasts. He will be sorely missed.


Suggestions for the Grand Marshal and the theme of the October 2018 Delano Harvest Holidays are being sought. Forms for one or both are available at the Chamber of Commerce office and must be returned by no later than the end of June to be considered by the Harvest Holidays committee.


In the spring of 2016, Marah (Caubat) Pinquian was East Yosemite League tennis singles champion for Delano High’s girls’ tennis team coached by Marc Gomez.

Just recently she was lauded in an article in the Visalia Times Delta for her accomplishments at Visalia’s College of the Sequoias.

After her high school graduation, she enlisted in the Navy but was medically discharged.

To make ends meet, she worked in the fields to earn money during the summer. When the school year came around, she connected with the COS coach whom she had been directed to by her high school coach at the end of her senior year.

It was about a year since she had picked up a tennis racquet, but soon she worked her way up the ladder of the COS team to become the No. 1 singles player.

Recently she was selected the Big 8 Conference singles titlist and Most Valuable Player as a freshman in the conference southern division and qualified for the state championship. She was entered in singles and also in doubles with her partner from Exeter.

Pinquian, who stands just 4-11 and who credits her farm worker parents with her strong work ethic, said her teammates have been amazing, giving her support in many areas, including her personal life, school life, and many other aspects. “It’s amazing — it’s like a real family with everyone caring about everyone else.”


Delano Tiger baseball after a 3-1 home loss April 20 to Tulare Union stood 2-7 in the East Yosemite League and 13-9 on the season. DHS won a makeup game over Union, 4-0, behind the shutout pitching of Angel Jasso and two days later won, 5-0, as combined pitching of Nate Cardenas, Alex Carrillo, Gabe Ulloa, and Daniel Loera shut out Union again.

In the April 20 night contest, Cardenas doubled and raced home on the catcher’s overthrow to third base and DHS nursed a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning. Two DHS errors in that frame and another in the seventh allowed three runs total for Union and a 3-1 victory. Jesse Perigo laced two DHS hits in the Friday game.


Delano High tracksters in varsity boys outscored Porterville, 78-47, in an East Yosemite League meet run at Robert F. Kennedy. Porterville girls outscored DHS, 80-40, and won boys’ frosh-sophs, 105.5 to 15.5.

Standouts for DHS boys were Pablo Alonso who won in the shot put and discus, Javier Negrete in the 110 high hurdles and 300 hurdles and a tie for first in the high jump, and Junior Molina in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. Javier Casillas ran second and JC Segura third in the 800 and 1600 and Segura led a 3200 sweep with Pedro Rodriguez and Matthew Rafanan following. Arturo Villa won the 400 and DHS won the 1600 meter relay.

For DHS girls, Natalie Chocoteco won the 3200 with Mirtha Vidal second, Nicole Bonifacio won the high jump and was third in the long jump, Ana Meza won the shot put and discus with Ivette Tobon third in both, Jennifer Gutierrez won the 800 with Chocoteco third and was second in the 1600 with Vidal third. Mya Garcia and Mia Madrigal also scored points for DHS which won the 1600 meter relay.


Delano High tennis boys through April 20 stood 7-1 in the East Yosemite League in wins and losses with remaining matches against Porterville and Mission Oak.

DHS was league champion last year when it lost to Tulare Western in the EYL opener and then won nine in a row. DHS this season lost the opener to TW and has since won, but DHS needs to close with two wins to assure of at least a tie for the title. Before last season the last Tiger net crown was in 1947.

In a makeup match vs. Tulare Union, DHS won, 5-1, and followed that with a regularly scheduled match and beat Union again, 5-1. It was a close 5-4 squeaker over Monache as Jaime Alvarez, Xavier Duran, Hector Cisneros, Quinton Cacal, and Justin Salon won singles with one singles bout and the three doubles losses for DHS.


The Cesar Chavez Titan baseball team through the South Sequoia League’s first round stood 4-2 and overall were 11-6.

The Titans gained a 9-3 win over Robert F. Kennedy, lost 10-9 to Arvin, beat Shafter 6-5 and then Kennedy 8-1 in extra innings, fell to Taft, 12-6, and downed Wasco, 7-3.


Cesar Chavez softball girls stood 2-4 in the South Sequoia League after the league’s first round and 5-12 on the season.

The Lady Tigers lost 12-3 to Wasco, fell 12-4 to Shafter, bested Arvin, 13-4, and Robert F. Kennedy, 19-1, and lost 12-3 to Taft and 8-1 to Wasco.


In a South Sequoia League “power meet” held at Robert F. Kennedy, the Kennedy varsity boys outscored the field, 191.75 points to 152 for Shafter. Cesar Chavez was fourth. In frosh-soph boys, Chavez placed third and Kennedy sixth.

In varsity girls, Chavez placed fourth as a team and Kennedy fifth. Kennedy frosh-soph girls were first and Chavez fifth.

Yoncanni Sandoval of RFK ran 11.3 to win the 100 meters with mate Jonathan Carrillo 8th. RFK’s Jose Mendez ran 4th and CC’s Jesus Lopez 5th in the 200. Mendez for RFK was 2nd in the 400 in 51.71 with CC’s Jesus Lopez 4th and Jesse Ortega 5th.

Kennedy’s Patrick Espinoza won the 800 in 2:05.44 with mate Rafael Gutierrez 4th. Gutierrez won the 1600 in 4:40.54 with Espinoza 3rd and Gutierrez won the 3200 in 10:19.53 with Oscar Batista of RFK placing 7th. Ponce ran 2nd, Renanto Ortiz 4th, Angkahan 6th, Gil Rivas 7th and Cervera 8th for the strong RFK 300 hurdles team. Ponce timed 16.02 to win the 110 high sticks with Cervera 3rd and Angkahan 5th.

In the weights, RFK’s Roman Prieto was 2nd in the shot (44-1), CC’s Blasé Mata 3rd, and RFK’s Fabian Gonzalez 5th and Fernando Herrera 6th. Gonzalez won the discus (121-3) with Prieto 5th. RFK’s Ponce was second in the high jump (5-8) and won the long jump (21-1.25) with CC’s Paul Sangha 2nd, and RFK’s Denmark Cu 4th and Aaron Ruiz 7th. Cu 2nd and Rios 3rd paced RFK in the triple jump.

CC’s Luis Santillano scaled a school record 12-6 in the pole vault with mate Samir Espinoza 2nd and RFK’s Gil Rivas 4th. CCHS ran 3rd in the 400 relay and RFK 4th. Kennedy was 2nd in the 1600 relay.

In the girls’ sprints, CC’s Elvia Ramirez ran 3rd, Yanely Rodriguez 4th,and Sherry Riley 7th in the 100 and Rodriguez 3rd and Ramirez 5th in the 200. RFK’s Victoria Lennon was 5th in the 400 and 800. CC’s Viridiana Rodriguez ran 6th in the 100 hurdles and MaryJoe Rodriguez 7th in the 300 hurdles. CC’s 400 relay of Juniva Rodriguez, Ramirez, Rodriguez, and Riley were winners in 53.34. RFK’s Christen Castulo won the shot put (32-7) and was 4th in the discus. Jocelyn Enriquez was 4th and V. Rodriguez 6th in the pole vault for CCHS.


The 105th graduating class of Delano High School will celebrate commencement on Friday, June 1, at 7 p.m. in Gene Beck Stadium.

Gates open at 5 p.m. for early bird ticket buyers with general admission entering at 5:30. A choir and band pre-show starts at 6 p.m. Each graduate will receive five free tickets at the morning graduation practices.

Additional tickets will be sold by athletic director Albino Duran the week of graduation.

Persons attending graduation will not be allowed to enter the stadium with balloons, signs, horns, air horns, noise makers or other obstructing objects.

Graduation practice will start at 6:30 a.m. with seniors advised to wear hats and sunscreen and to bring water bottles to practice. For practice the seniors are required to report to the stadium at 6:15. The graduation breakfast, for which tickets will be sold through the student body office, will start about 10 a.m.


Several special events close the school year for Delano High School.

Student body teams took part in the April 14 all-day Relay for Life. Several DHS junior girls were entered in the April 28 Distinguished Young Women pageant in the DHS cafeteria.

The Delano High band and percussion section will present a concert Friday, May 4, in the school’s north gym. The Delano High Prom is slated Saturday, May 12, at the Visalia Convention Center.

The Future Farmers of America awards banquet is slated Wednesday, May 16, in the school cafeteria. Senior awards will be presented Thursday, May 17, starting at 6 p.m. in the school cafeteria. The senior banquet and senior sunset event will take place Friday, May 18.

Senior athletic awards will be presented May 23 and the choir spring concert and awards will take place Thursday, May 24, in the DHS auditorium.

The senior picnic is planned Thursday, May 31, at Mooney Grove. Final exams will take place May 30 through June 1.

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

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