All-Star Lineup Series: Concord's Class of 2020 Top Athletes Week 3
This Week Visit Concord Looks At The Stars Of Track & Field and Cheer & Stunt
Track & Field
Whether flying through the air or tearing across fields, student athletes in Track and Field sweat and train all year to compete in any number of events that take not only skill but coordination.
Carondelet Track & Field
Aryel Coats is an immensely talented Track Sprinter and her team’s captain.
In her last meet at the Clayton Valley Ugly Eagles Relay Invitational, Coats’s relay teams all finished first.
Concord High Track & Field
Diego Huerta started running cross country his junior year. He initially joined to get to know a specific girl, but it turned into much more. By the end of the cross country season, he was one of the team’s fastest runners. Throughout the winter off season, Huerta dedicated himself to getting in shape for track season. Daily runs, pre-season conditioning, and leading the other athletes allowed him to prepare for the upcoming season.
When spring finally arrived, he started strong before ulcerative colitis ended his season early when he lost too much blood and became anemic. After taking the summer to recover, he came back to the Fall Cross Country season strong. His goal? To make it to the California State Cross Country Championships. State was the goal all year-- through workouts and training, Huerta never complained or second guessed the training. At NCS, Huerta ran the second-fastest time in school history in a 3 mile at NCS and qualified for the State Meet. At the state meet, he ran the fastest 5K time in school history.
Huerta has shown that he not only has athletic ability but determination way beyond his years. He started a sport halfway through high school and has overcome illness and setbacks with a positive attitude.
Now faced with a society living through a set back, Huerta is undeterred-- his eye staying on the prize. Huerta is currently in talks with coaches at NCAA Division I college Saint Mary's of California, and they are very interested. He is working on determining if it is feasible financially, but his coach is hopeful that he will be running on a Division I team next fall.
This driven student athlete is not only a talented runner, but a stellar student in addition to being a two sport athlete. School is not the only place Huerta extends his positivity: He has attended 5th-grade camp as a volunteer and he also works with special needs adults through the City of Walnut Creek specialized recreation program. He helps these special needs adults with activities and classes. Most recently, he has put his show choir dancing skills to good use by teaching them to dance.
“It is easy to see that Diego is a special person and I am looking forward to seeing all of his accomplishments after high school,” said his coach.
Cheer & Stunt
Though it may be true that what comes up, must come down… these cheerleading and stunt Seniors have spent their high school careers doing what they could to defy gravity and put on a show.
Ygnacio Valley Cheer & Stun
Bianca Franco started on the Varsity cheer team as a Freshman, and she’s been on the Varsity Competitive cheer team “STUNT” for the past two. Franco’s cheer story started as a shy Eighth grader with what her coach described as “the best smile.” The Concord local has been a friend and leader to her teammates all four years of high school.
“When you had a down day, you could count on Bianca to be your friend and listen,” said her coach. Franco has been the Varsity Cheerleading Team Captain for two years and STUNT Team Captain for two years.
This leader spreads cheer on and off the field. Franco has been very involved in school leadership, advanced dance, 8th grade day, and Special Olympics. She volunteers at her church, on campus and in her community. She will be the first in her family to attend college in the Fall.
Franco is already planning to get ahead this summer taking phlebotomy classes so that she can work while getting her degree in radiology during the school year.. Franco says would love to continue to cheer or teach others the sport that she loves.
Juliana Silva had been playing soccer for years, but when she came to Ygnacio Valley High School as a freshman, she was ready to shake things up. After trying out for the school’s cheerleading team, she was selected for their varsity squad. She has cheered for varsity all four years and competed with STUNT for two years.
As a Sophomore, Silva was selected as a team captain for varsity cheer. The following year, she was also made captain for STUNT. Her coach says she was selected for this responsibility because “She had the skills to be a great leader and her team looked to her for help. Not only has Juliana been a leader for her team, she has also led in the classroom.
Silva not only excelled as a cheerleader, but she did so as a student as well. Ygnacio Valley Cheer coaches have a saying--“We are student-athletes…students first,” and Silva lived by that saying. Maintaining good grades were a priority for the student to both be an example for her peers and to make her loved ones proud.
School isn’t the only place this senior athlete spreads cheer, volunteering and having a positive impact on our community has always been important to her as well. Some of her favorite service opportunities include campus clean up, Special Olympics, youth cheer clinics, volunteering at her church and working with the Concord Rotary. Juliana was one of few accepted into a special bridging program for those wanting to attend college in the Fall. She attends college classes once a week to help her prepare for the rigor of college work. She is looking forward to attending a four-year college to study English.
College Park High School Cheer & Stunt
College Park Team Manager Alexis Minnis has been cheering since third grade. In that time she has progressed immensely as an athlete. She has been on the school’s STUNT team for the last three years.
Minnis explained that her favorite STUNT memory was during her first year playing against a really good team. While they only scored one point thanks to Tumbling Routine 1, the team cheered as if they had won the whole game.
After high school, Minnis plans to become a Neonatal Nurse. She will complete prerequisites at DVC then transferring to Cal State, East Bay.
Fellow Senior STUNT team manager Allison Azevedo has done STUNT the past two years. Azevedo explained her favorite memories are always when they can finally hit a hard stunt.
Renée Speer has done STUNT for the past 3 years and has done cheerleading for over 10 years. Renée is a secondary base and her favorite CP STUNT memories include: being on the sidelines beside her best friends screaming for her teammates on the mat; laughing until her stomach hurts during practice; bus rides home after winning with her speaker blasting music!
After high school, Speer plans to attend a 4 year University in Southern California and enter into a pediatric medical program, hopefully advancing into medical school and/or residency.
Mari Shields has been cheering for 7 years. She is a base/ back and has been part of STUNT for the last two years. The Senior’s favorite CP STUNT memories are when her teammate, Liv, gives motivational speeches.
Shields plans to enlist in the Marines and attend Los Positas Community College after.
Although Hannah Price entered the cheer world, that didn’t stop her from growing with her team. PRice has done both cheer and STUNT for three years as a main base. Price says her favorite STUNT memory is when CPHS was new to STUNT and the entire team was excited to score a point against their more experienced opponent, Clayton Valley. .
Hannah’s plan after high school is to one day become a pediatrician.
Senior Chloe Ormerod has cheered for all four of her years at College Park High School This is her first year doing STUNT as a base. Her favorite STUNT memory is the first game CP played.
Chloe’s plan after Senior year of high school is to attend college.
Join Us Next Week for Another All-Star Lineup Feature.