San Ysidro High School is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the Cougars appear to have much to celebrate in 2011-12, specifically during the current winter sports season.
The school’s wrestling team captured championship titles in both South bay League dual meet competition as well as the season-ending Metro Conference tournament. The San Ysidro boys basketball team entered the final week of regular season play ranked sixth in the San Diego Section en route to claiming a South Bay League co-championship (with Sweetwater).
The Cougars girls soccer team became the latest sports team on campus to make waves after defeating host Sweetwater, 4-1, on Thursday to finish with sole possession of the 2011-12 South Bay League championship title.
Amazing junior Sammy Arellano scored three of San Ysidro’s four goals to give her 52 goals and 11 assists in 23 games this season.
The totals are not a misprint.
Neither is the team’s record.
The Cougars improved to 9-1-2 in league play after defeating the Red Devils on Thursday, 15-6-2 overall. Both marks are easily school records.
Last season, San Ysidro finished 6-6-1 in league play, 7-13-2 overall. Both were school records at the time.
The team is coached by Kristina Hernandez, who played on the school’s first varsity team in 2004-05. She graduated from SYHS in 2007 and returned to coach the team in 2008-09 and has been with the program in that capacity ever since.
As a player, she felt she had unfinished business. She’s now taking care of that as a coach.
“What I was unable to accomplish as a player, my goal is to accomplish as a coach and that is win a banner and advance to CIF,” she said. “Both would be a first in school history.”
Well, it’s now mission accomplished on both counts.
As the 2011-12 South Bay League champion, the Cougars will compete in the upcoming San Diego Section Division I playoffs.
First-round action kicks off Feb. 22, followed by quarterfinal-round matches on Feb. 25.
As for Arellano and the Cougars, the best could be in the making.
Arellano continues to break her own school record for scoring.
She scored 11 goals as a freshman and upped that total to 24 goals and three assists as a sophomore co-captain. She has been the team’s Most Valuable Player each season.
“Sammy improves every year,” Hernandez said. “Her goal is to score 100 goals in all four seasons.”
Hernandez said Arellano has “contributed tremendously” to the SYHS program.
“As an alumni of San Ysidro High School and girls soccer team, unfortunately, during my years we never had the chance to win a banner or advance to CIF,” Hernandez said. “But now as a coach, I see something in Sammy that is not in a lot of athletes. She eats, breathes and lives for soccer. I have not seen many girls with her leadership and drive. She not only views high school soccer as an extra curricular activity, but she plans to make soccer her career.”
The SYHS coach noted that Arellano has overcome many obstacles to succeed.
“Aside from the help of her mother, Sammy does a lot for herself,” Hernandez said. “Her mother speaks only Spanish and no English, and her father has been absent the majority of her life. Living in low socio-economic status, Sammy stays positive and works hard to succeed academically and athletically for not only herself but to help her family in return someday.”
How does one say positive role model?
Natalie Morales scored San Ysidro’s other goal in Thursday’s win at Sweetwater while Georgina Herrera was credited with two assists an d Jocelin Camacho was awarded one assist. Goalkeeper Dahlia Sandoval made 15 saves to record the victory.
Sweetwater faced a must-win scenario on Thursday. A win by the Red Devils would have propelled them ahead of the Cougars into sole possession of first place on the last day of regular season play.
Abril Valencia scored SuHi’s lone goal in the match, assisted by Angelica Jalate. Netminder Beatriz Mateo was credited with eight saves.
Sweetwater finishes regular season play 8-3-1 in league play, 9-7-1 overall.