Photos by Michael Ramirez
Above, special team award winners for the Soledad High varsity girls basketball team were (from left) Jackie Saldana (Best Offensive Player, All-League); Xenia Suarez (Most Valuable Player, All-League); Emily Tinajero (Aztec Award); Theresa Chavez (Best Defensive Player); and Coach Tatiana Rodriguez (MTAL Coach of the Year). Below, Soledad JV girls basketball awards winners were (from left) Shelby Sitko, Deztiny Ochoa and Gyrallene Degracia.
SOLEDAD — A season of accomplishment ended with a tasty dinner, dessert, and applause on Friday night for the newly crowned Mission Trail Athletic League champion Lady Aztec basketball team. The team, coaches, friends and family gathered at Cheezer’s Pizza in Soledad for a fun night with slide shoes, awards and a barbecue dinner with all the fixings and plenty of goodies.
“We accomplished lots this season because of all the hard work from our players, especially our seniors,” said Soledad head coach Tatiana Rodriguez. “On the court we gave ourselves a chance to win because we played awesome team defense and usually had a point in our games where our defense would just take over and come up with turnovers and layups. Every player has good defensive instincts and good hands. With the defense leading the way our offensive game improved and that led to more wins, a winning record, and a league title.”
The awards presentation began with junior varsity head coach Cruz Almanza introducing his team and handing out athletic achievement certificates. Almanza then presented special team awards to Deztiny Ochoa (Most Valuable Player); Gyrallene Degracia (Most Improved); and Shelby Sitko (Offensive Player of the Year).
Rodriguez and her assistant Mikie Rubio then took the stage to present the varsity team.
After introducing her team the coaches gave athletic achievement certificates. Rodriguez and Rubio then presented special team awards to Theresa Chavez (Defensive Player of the Year); Aztec Award (Emily Tinajero); Jackie Saldana (Offensive Player of the Year); and Xenia Suarez (Most Valuable Player).
After the team awards each varsity player was presented with an “S” for Soledad championship block to commemorate the MTAL league title. First-team All-League medals and certificates were given to Xenia Suarez and Jackie Saldana.
Members of the Soledad championship team were: Saldana, Suarez, Chavez, Tinajero, Jovanna Estrada, Paola Diaz, Olivia Fale, Daisy Bugarin, Iris Mexicano, Denise Virgen, Allyah Gonzales, Celeste Villarruel, and Desiree Mexicano.