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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Generals prepare for SSL season's 2nd half


January 17, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Serina Ortiz goes up for a jump shot.

The Shafter High Generals have completed the first half of SSL play in basketball and soccer, with the basketball teams in the middle of the pack with records of 2-3 on the boys side and 3-2 for the Lady Generals.

The Shafter High Boys team started South Sequoia League play with a 69-67 win against Cesar Chavez. They then played Taft at Taft and dropped the game by a score of 65-54. This was a revenge game for the Wildcats, because the Generals had beaten them three days before in tournament play.

The Generals continued with a loss to the McFarland Cougars, 84-81. Shafter then evened their record in the SSL at 2-2 with a big win against Arvin, 78-61. The Generals then went 2-2 in their own tournament over the holiday break. They won 62-31 against Lindsay and beat Highland 57-37 before dropping their next two games, 63-54 to Lompoc and 71-42 against Mira Monte. The Generals then dropped to 2-3 in league play with a 58-54 overtime loss to Kennedy High.

The Lady Generals basketball team, defending SSL champs, have a 3-2 SSL record through the first round of league games. Shafter's two losses were to SSL newcomers McFarland, by a score of 62-32, and a nail-biter 41-37 loss to Cesar Chavez.

The Lady Generals beat Taft High, 47-34, and also has SSL wins against Arvin, 44-29, and 52-40 to Kennedy.

The Lady Generals had a challenge this year replacing the core of their championship team from last season,but have had key players from last year step up and perform. Alyssa Perez, the captain of the squad, has had an outstanding season so far, leading the team in scoring. They also have had contributions by seniors Felicia Chacon and Serina Ortiz, and junior Monica Birrueta. Their overall record is 11-5, and they are looking to get into good position when it comes to playoff time.

On the soccer field, the Generals have struggled in the first half of the SSL, holding a 1-3-1 record. Their win was against Kennedy, 2-1. They also have a tie against McFarland, 1-1, and a double overtime heartbreaker against Taft, dropping the match 2-1.

On the girls side, the Lady Generals are 3-1-1 in SSL play. They opened with a 2-0 win against Cesar Chavez, followed by a 3-0 shutout win against the Taft Wildcats. Shafter then trounced the Cougars of McFarland, 6-0, before suffering their lone loss in league play to Arvin, 5-1. Their latest SSL match saw the Lady Generals play to a 2-2 draw against Kennedy.

The Boys and Girls Wrestling programs have saw success in tournaments, preparing them for a tough SSL campaign. With the addition of McFarland in the SSL, there are five teams that will be vying for the league title, with each of them having wrestlers ranked in the section.

The Generals have had medalists in three of the four tournaments that they have entered. Florentino Olivas has a fourth place in the BASH tournament in Santa Maria, and Keith Vasquez, who captured fifth place at the same tourney.

In their tournament this past weekend, the Kern County Invitational, the Generals had two second-place finishers, a fourth place, and two sixth-place medalists. Nick Garza, wrestling in the 113 lb. division, placed sixth. Also placing sixth was Fernando Carreno. Rafael Zamudio made it to the semifinals before capturing fourth place in the 170 lb. division.

Jamie Stewart | the Shafter Press

Senior Alyssa Perez goes up for the ball.

Florentino Olivas and Keith Vasquez continued their outstanding seasons with second-place medals. Olivas competed in the 113 lb. division. He had a pin in his first match after receiving a bye in the first round. In the semifinals, Olivas beat Daniel Omalez of North High, 9-0, before dropping the title match to Shane Corona of Foothill by a 9-6 score. Vasquez opened the tourney with a pin of Arvin's James Reyes, followed by a pin of Morgan Emacalde of Highland High. Vasquez then made it three pins in a row, stopping Felix Vargas of Garces in 1:09. Vasquez lost the title match to highly ranked Luke Combs of Frontier, getting the silver medal. The girls team has had success in tournaments, with 131 lb. wrestler Esmeralda Torres having won three tournaments this season.

The Shafter High Generals continue their SSL seasons this next week as they prepare for the post season.


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