The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

2 Generals standouts graduate


Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Alex Aguilar was the first General to win the PEAAK award for best male athlete.

Two Shafter High Generals closed out their high school careers with outstanding performances to end the school year.

Alex Aguilar, who was the county leader in several categories as the quarterback of the Shafter Generals, won the Male Athlete of the Year award at the PEAAK Awards held in Bakersfield. This is the first time in school history that this award has gone to a Shafter student.

Aguilar broke numerous records along the way, including career yardage total, touchdown total, as well as rushing for a quarterback. Aguilar led the Generals to an undefeated regular season, including a thriller against their rivals, the Wasco Tigers. The Generals made it to the Valley Championship game for the first time in over a decade. Aguilar beat out other standout student athletes in the category from all of Kern County.

Aguilar recently received substantial scholarship funds, which he will use when he starts at San Diego State University. Alex will not be playing football there, hanging up his cleats in exchange for a mechanical pencil and engineering pursuits. Aguilar plans on becoming a mechanical engineer and he said that San Diego State felt like the right fit for him. "They have an excellent engineering program. I visited the campus and I really liked the teachers, students and the school." Aguilar said that there were a few schools pursuing him for his on-field talents, but he decided that he wanted to concentrate on his future and go to the best school for what he ultimately wants to do.

Tom Richardson, bound for Cal State Bakersfield next year, completed his high school career on a high note. Richardson, who had captured five different meets during the season, placed seventh at the CIF State Track and Field Championships held last weekend in Clovis.

It was surprising that Richardson was able to complete this feat, considering that this time last year, he could barely raise his arm over his head. Richardson had to have surgery on his shoulder, which sidelined him for his entire junior season. After months of rehab and hard work, Richardson stepped back into the circle and threw again.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Tom Richardson will be throwing for Cal State Bakersfield next year.

Richardson had a second place in the Kern Invitational at the start of the season and following that with three victories in the South Sequoia League Power Meets. Richardson was peaking at the right time and had his personal best mark at the South Area Meet, the qualifier for the Valley Championships. Richardson three the shot a total 59 feet, 8 inches, the second-best mark in the competition and the seventh best distance in the state. Richardson then competed in the State Track and Field Championships. He ended up with the fourth-best mark in the preliminary round with a toss of 57-feet, 6 inches. Richardson ended the state meet with a seventh place, which was just one place, and one foot away, from the medal stand.

Richardson said that it is amazing to think of his accomplishments, considering what he had been through the past year and a half. "It was a pretty dark place and time, but I had great family, friends and coaches to help me through it. Now, this is awesome," said Richardson. Richardson visited several schools but thought that CSUB was close enough that he could still eat his mom's cooking and concentrate more on his studies and his throwing. Richardson said that he will be competing in the shot put and discus at CSUB. He might even try the hammer throw, which is not offered at the high school level.

Richardson plans on majoring in biology and pursue a career in sports therapy or maybe sports medicine.


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