Fall, Winter and Spring passed us by with the blink of an eye. With that, seniors must come and leave high school behind. For some athletes, it also means leaving their sport behind; a sad ending to a new beginning. I’d like to recognize some seniors at our school who have dedicated themselves to their sport.
Jaaziel Madero is a track and field star. He ran this track all four years of high school and plans on playing in college. Madero claims that “being with the seniors and making friends with the other schools” made his year. His season went well as Madero continued to break personal records. Madero expressed gratitude and was happy others would continue on with the sport. He’s proud to see how “others share the love of the sport”. Madero said he felt pretty good about leaving. He added on by saying, “I hope the track team continues to improve and that they make it to CIF as a whole team”. Hopeful wishes from one of the many seniors who love track and field.
After 13 years of playing, Tania Hernandez is ready to put away the cleats. Hernandez played Varsity soccer all four years of high school. Extremely impressive, but no surprise from such a talented defensive player. Hernandez doesn’t plan on pursuing the sport after high school. She revealed feelings of sadness as she missed playing. However she claimed, “I’m ready for a new chapter in my life that will come after I graduate”. Hernandez received all league recognition her sophomore year and will always remember “making all these new friends and being able to play with them, which was really amazing”. According to Hernandez their season went pretty well. She added on and said, “I feel that we did really well while playing in CIF”. “I definitely feel that we could have gone further”. Hernadez’s last words were “I’m really proud about what we contributed this year”. It’s evident that the closing of this season meant a lot to Hernandez and that she’s happy with the outcome.
A star in the court, Camielle Collins has dazzled many onlookers with her talent. Basketball has followed Collins throughout her life as she’s dribbled across the courts for 13 years. With four of these years spent playing on Varsity at Montclair. Being such a gifted player, Collins had the opportunity to play in the inland valley all star game. There she won a 500 dollar scholarship and even received 1st team all league recognition. Collins states, “I’m most proud of my team adapting to our new team this year after losing two key components”. Their season was great as they “broke the record for the most wins in the season”, says Collins. Many hope to see Collins playing on the big screen as she wishes to pursue basketball in college. “However”, Collins remarked, “depending on the college I go to will decide if I play or not”. Collins stated that “after this year, I feel like I’ve done everything that I wanted to do and I feel comfortable leaving”. She’s claimed many victories, but her favorite was “hitting the last two free throws to win the entire web tournament and winning tournament MVP”.
With a love for swimming Quentin Holden has played water polo all four years at Montclair. At first, Quentin was new to the game, but quickly adapted. He expressed pride in the skills he attained over these past four years. Holden doesn’t plan on staying in the waters as the college he will attend does not offer the sport. Thinking back on this season, Holden came off downcast as he said, “The season went pretty bad”. “It’s sad, but you always have to move forward”, he added. At one point Holden caught himself reminiscing. Holden described the invigorating feeling he got from scoring all the goals on Ontario. Without any doubt in his mind, Holden said “I’m going to miss it”.
Walking around the halls of Montclair, Allan Tran always had a racket glued to his side. It was a key component of his look. His love for the sport started here at Montclair. “The first year after we came back from COVID, my partner and I won prelims”, said Tran. An astonishing accomplishment as this had only been Tran’s second year playing. Tran played at Montclair all four years and plans to continue playing after high school. However, collegiate tennis is out of the question for Tran. Winning prelims was a pivotal moment for Tran because it was his first year on Varsity. Upon leaving, Tran said “It sucks because it was a big part of my life, but playing this sport opened the door to the idea of being competitive”. “It allowed me to take on a lot of other things”, exclaimed Tran. Now he plans on pursuing Jiu Jitsu, where Tran channels his competitive side.
Anthony Solis moved to Montclair high school with no clue of the experience awaiting him. Football has been a big part of his life and he will forever be grateful for the memories. “Getting to hangout with Damari Holliman and Eric Harrison everyday during practice was the best”, says Solis. Unfortunately, Solis explained that he would not play football after high school. He regretted having only played for two years, but had enjoyed every second. He continued on by saying, “The season did not go that good, but I had fun while it lasted”.
Strength is seen in a variety of forms, but here at Montclair Emily Ramirez shows us just how it’s done. Ramirez first started wrestling her freshman year on Varsity with a clear talent for the sport. She played all four years and will most likely continue on at a community college. Ramirez made it to CIF semi finals and describes being with the whole team as her favorite memory. “We’ve come to be a little family here at Montclair as I’ve known most of these girls since our freshman year”, explained Ramirez. The connections they build on the wrestling team is priceless as seen through her sweet words. Ramirez voiced the resilience wrestling enabled as she had previously suffered from a shoulder injury. Upon recovery from surgery, Ramirez returned with a burning fire to succeed. This passion had pushed Ramirez to make it far in the season. “I was CIF runner up this year and was one match away from going to state”, exclaimed Ramirez. The season had gone well for our Montclair wrestlers as they were CIF semi finalists. Even so, Ramirez articulated her feelings of sadness as the impending last days of wrestling fall in line with graduation.
The Montclair Golf team has been doing amazing with an undefeated season, thus far. With only two matches to go Ian Venegas is confident in his team. Venegas recalled the events of the season, more specifically the time he made a chip in shot from far. He describes the moment as “crazy”. He has been playing for three years, but only two at Montclair. “You have to have a strong mentality in golf”. “It will throw you off if you’re not keeping up”, says Venegas. He expressed a sense of pride in his ability to work through any difficulties regarding the sport. The team plays against Chaffey, Ontario, Chino and Don Lugo. “There’s five of us”. “We add up all of our scores at the end and whoever has the lowest score wins”, explains Venegas. He revealed feelings of disappointment as he leaves Montclair golf behind. Venegas added, “These two years have been really fun, hopefully the undergrads keep it up”.
A menace on the field, Rayne Chavez has dedicated 13 years on the pitch. It came as no surprise to find out she’s been playing all four years on Varsity. She claimed the team has become “like a home” for her. As the season comes to an end, so does her time here at Montclair. “I feel very sad that it’s over because I made a lot of good friends on the team”. “I’m grateful for the sport, but it’s time for new beginnings in regards to college”, says Chavez. Her future lies within the fields of Cal State Fullerton, where she plans to pursue softball. Chavez mentioned that at the beginning of the year it was rough for the softball team. She said, “We didn’t have a lot of players, but throughout the year we got more players”. “We started feeling more confident in ourselves and we are doing a lot better”, she added. She will always remember the time they made it to the first round of CIF. Chavez explained, “It was very exciting and thrilling because it had never been done before”.
With his cleats tied to his backpack, JC Alarcon’s dedication is unquestionable. He’s one of those players you see staying after school until the sun sets and showing up early on the weekends. Alarcon has been playing soccer for 8 years, with two being at Montclair. Having such a strong love for the sport has pushed Alarcon to continue playing even after high school. He said, “Our season went good in the beginning, but we had a couple downs going into the off season and CIF”. Alarcon revealed how proud his family was of his accomplishments. He holds these past two years close to his heart and will always look back with joy. Traveling to Indiana, winning nationals and becoming number one in the U.S. are three of many memorable moments for Alarcon. He says, “I feel sad that I won’t see some players that are close to me anymore”. The bond is strong between the players of the team. He has no doubt they will continue to be exceptional.
Aaliyah Hernandez has spent her days in the waters of Montclair. She’s been a part of the water polo team for two years. “During practice, when we get free time we get to mess around”. “We throw the ball at each other and drown each other”, she confessed. Hernandez described the season in all its glory. They made it to the playoffs and had won most of their games. Being a new athlete, Hernandez was proud of playing as she had never been into sports. “The first day of practice was one of the hardest because we did up and outs”. “I was so tired and exhausted, but I was able to do it”, she explained. Hernandez proved her commitment as she pushed through to the end. In regards to graduation, Hernandez stated, “I’m sad because I made so many good memories that I will Cherish forever”. “Especially with everyone in this sport as we all became very close friends”, she added. These are the last days in the pool for Hernandez as she will leave water polo behind at Montclair.
The stadium is like a second home to this player. Mr. Montclair as they call him has been a star on the Varsity football team since his freshman year. Zack Evans has spent 7 years playing the game he loves. Evans plans on playing football at the Citrus Community College. “I’m going to miss the high school environment; the Friday night lights and having my friends in all the games“, said Evans. The season didn’t go too well for the team according to Evans as they had missed the playoffs. Even so, Evans had the most tackles on the team and was defensive MVP. Not only that but he was also 1st team all league as a linebacker. Such outstanding accomplishments from one of our very own. The moment he’ll never forget was going to CIF finals last year. Evans claimed they were the first team in history to do it at Montclair. Evans remained resilient after overcoming much adversity. “I’m most proud of being able to come back from when I had cancer and coming back my junior year to be first team all CIF“, explained Evans. An inspiring story that shows strength and exhibits much of Evans’ character. “Shout out to Coach Bacon, Coach Chavo and Coach Tandy“, exclaimed Evans.
From diving to spiking, our very own Ahtziry Quintero has done it all. As Captain of the Montclair girls Varsity volleyball team, Quintero has proven an aptitude for the sport. She has played all four years at Montclair. Unfortunately, Quintero does not plan on playing this sport after high school. She finds that beating Ontario and working hard with the team has made the years unforgettable. “Our season went pretty good but at the end we slacked off a little bit”. “We had a record of 18-8”, says Quintero. She was proud of the team for making it to CIF and emphasized the importance of working together. Quintero displayed the connections volleyball enabled. “I loved playing with every girl on the team and building a bond with each one”, exclaimed Quintero. She continued on by saying, “I wish I could play with them one more time”. “It was such a blessing playing with every single one of them”, says Quintero. Such kind words from the captain. It is seen how significant being a part of the team was for Quintero. Her words show much value to the team and the strong partnership they each hold.
– Yours Truly