SPORTS BRIEFS: Downey alumnus up for Player of the Year

DOWNEY – Former Downey High School standout softball player Katie Medina currently attends the University of Florida on a softball scholarship and is their starting shortstop. Katie graduated from Downey High in 2011 and will be graduating this year from the U of F. She played softball, tennis and volleyball as a Viking, and also found time in her busy schedule to play in the band.

Katie was recently nominated for the Senior Class Award, a national player of the year award, and is seeking votes. Katie Medina would like to spread the word about her receiving this award. Voting ends on May 11 and the link to the site is

There are 10 candidates competing for this coveted award. They are: Callie Alford from Georgia State University, Farish Beard from the University of South Alabama, Ally Carda from UCLA, Cheyenne Cordes from the University of California, Griffin Joiner from the University of Kentucky, Kathlyn (Katie) Medina from the University of Florida, Shelby Pendley from the University of Oklahoma, Kaitlyn Richardson from the University of Minnesota, Kaitlyn Thumann from Baylor University and Lacey Waldrop from Florida State University.

Apparently, you can vote once a day. So Downey alumni, administration, faculty, staff, current students and anyone else who has access to the internet can vote. So get your vote on and vote for Katie Medina for the Senior Class Award.

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Warren High School welcomed two very distinguished athletes last Saturday to share their life stories with Bear students.

Jon Rankin and Tito Ortiz spoke at the Warren Gymnasium in front of a standing room only crowd. Rankin spoke from 9:20 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and Ortiz spoke from 10:20 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Jon Rankin qualified for the United States Track and Field Team in 2008 in the 1500 meters. Rankin ran a personal best time of 3:52 in the mile. Rankin attended UCLA and became a UCLA record holder without being on scholarship. Rankin has held the record at UCLA in the 1500 meter and mile runs since 2005.

In 2008, Rankin was diagnosed with FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis) and was told he would need a new kidney. In 2011, Rankin was introduced to a world renowned nephrologist and became eligible for a cutting-edge stem-cell surgery that saved his kidney and his life. Rankin was the third person in the world to have undergone that surgery. Rankin concluded his message by challenging those in attedance to “Go Be More-Become What the World is Chasing.”

Tito Ortiz became the face of MMA in the late 1990’s. Ortiz won his first UFC fight in 1997 as an amateur in 31 seconds. Tito Ortiz won his first light heavyweight championship by defeating Wanderlei Silva in UFC 25 in Japan. Ortiz defended his title six times in three years. Tito has fought some of the most high profile fights in UFC history against such opponents as Ken Shamrock and Chuck Lidell.

Tito Ortiz coached the third and 11th seasons of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Ortiz was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2012 and currently owns and runs two successful businesses: Punishment Athletics and Punishment Training Center. Ortiz regularly travels abroad and on USO missions to support our troops and is the author of a best-selling autobiography “This is Gonna Hurt” about his life and career.

The Warren High School faculty and athletic department were extremely pleased to welcome such high profile, successful athletes to speak to their student body about life, perseverance and success.

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The Downey High School softball team currently has an overall record of 9-11 and are 1-2 in S.G.V.L. play.

The Lady Vikings defeated Lynwood at Lynwood 10-0 last Tuesday and were defeated by cross-town rival Warren at Downey 4-2 last Thursday.

The Lady Vikings were defeated by Gahr (13-6, 2-1) 5-2 on Tuesday and traveled to Paramount (3-14, 2-1) to face the Lady Pirates yesterday (score unavailable at press time). Downey will host Dominguez (2-8, 0-3) next Tuesday and will then host Lynwood (3-6, 1-2) on Thursday. The rematch against cross-town rival Warren at Warren will be on Tuesday, May 5th.

The Lady Vikings have been led this season by a handful of underclassmen. Junior Helaina Gallardo, sophomore Melena Gebur, sophomore Alena De La Torre and freshman Miranda Padilla have led the Lady Viking offense. Gallardo is hitting .412 with three home runs, nine RBI and 21 hits. Gebur is hitting .349 with 15 hits, four RBI, eight runs scored and four stolen bases. De La Torre is hitting .345 with 20 hits, 12 runs scored, four RBI and five doubles. Padilla is hitting .345 with 20 hits, 12 runs scored, nine RBI and 15 stolen bases in 16 attempts.

The pitching duties have been shared by senior Anissa Hamilton and sophomore Danielle Garcia. Hamilton is 4-7, has pitched 75.2 innings, holds an ERA of 2.31 and has completed eight games. Garcia is 5-3, has pitched 38 innings, holds an ERA of 1.84 and has completed three games.

As a team, Downey has a batting average of .292 and an on base percentage of .385. The Lady Vikings have hit eight home runs, stolen 40 bases, have a team ERA of 2.31 and a fielding percentage of .926. The Lady Vikings are currently ranked 146th in the Southern Section and 29th in Division 3.

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The Warren High School boys’ volleyball team defeated Gahr on Tuesday 22-25, 25-21, 28-26 and 25-14 to pull even in the S.G.V.L. standings.

With the win, the Bears are now 16-7 overall and 4-1 in league play. With the loss, Gahr fell to 15-7 overall and 4-1 in league play.

Warren is currently ranked sixth in Division 3 and Gahr is ranked fifth. Tuesday’s match at Gahr was a showdown between two of the area’s best teams. If both teams win their remaining games, Warren will earn the S.G.V.L.’s number one seed by virtue of their second round win over Gahr. Gahr has not won a league title outright or share of a league title since 2001.

Warren closed out league play Thursday against cross-town rival Downey and Gahr played Paramount (scores unavailable at press time). Bear head coach Scott Lane is excited about how well his team is playing right now entering the playoffs. Lane sees Warren winning a S.G.V.L. title but wants to see if the Bears can win a C.I.F. title.

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The Warren High School baseball team improved to 16-7 overall and 2-1 in S.G.V.L. play with their 4-0 win over cross-town rival Downey at Downey on Tuesday.

Warren and Downey (10-12, 2-1) are currently tied in league play. Downey will play at Warren later today to complete the home and away series.

Paramount (12-12, 2-0) is the early leader in S.G.V.L. play after defeating Gahr 4-2 on Tuesday.

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The Warren High School softball team improved to 13-3 overall and 3-0 in S.G.V.L. play after they defeated Dominguez at Warren on Tuesday.

Jissel Caballero and Brooklyn Sepulveda combined for a one-hit shutout in the winning effort.

Warren traveled to Lynwood (3-6, 1-2) yesterday (score unavailable at press time).

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The Downey High School boys’ swim team continues to swim well. Downey defeated cross-town rival Warren last Thursday 112-58.

The Vikings were led by seniors Mike Kim, Nick Apodaca, Preston Medina and Danny Benitez.

Mike Kim won the 200 IM and 100 breastroke. Nick Apodaca won the 100 yard free (51.9) and the 50 yard free (22.2).

All three relays placed first as well. Junior Tadeo Marquez won the 100 yard butterfly in a time of 56.6.

Coach Delhousay was very pleased with his team’s effort in the meet. Downey swimmers continue to drop time which is extremely important as they head into league prelims and finals as well as C.I.F.



Published: April 23, 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 02