2017-2018 Valencia Year in Review

Valencia cheerleaders use smartphones to take photos and record as football players eat a giant burrito as fast as they can at the 8th annual Burrito Bowl by the WiSH Education Foundation at Westfield Valencia Town Center on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Setting some pretty lofty goals, the Valencia high school sports programs set the bar pretty high for the incoming class of student-athletes year after year.

“Our goal is always to win league and then a CIF title,” said boys volleyball head coach Kevin Kornegay. “That’s the kind of goals and banners that we have in our gym.”

Going to 25-12 on the season only losing two league games, the Vikings boys volleyball team was the last Foothill League team standing, reaching the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 semifinals, where they fell to eventual champions Orange Lutheran.

The football team had success, too, winning the Foothill League title after going a perfect 5-0 in league play. The Vikings made it to the CIF-SS Division 2 Championship game where the fell by one point to Oaks Christian.

The boys basketball team made also went deep into the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, ultimately losing in the semifinals to Poly 67-62. They played one game in the CIF Division II state tournament, where they fell to Cajon on the road.

The girls basketball team finished second in Foothill League play and bowed out in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs against Orangewood Academy.

The softball team, led by pitcher Shea O’Leary and Ally Shipman finished undefeated in league play and captured their third straight Foothill League title. Slipping up against Huntington Beach and losing in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 tournament, the Vikings finished the season 25-8.

“Number one, it comes down to hard work and we have always had pitching,” said Valencia softball coach Donna Lee. “The fortunate thing for us is that they both came in together and they knew each other inside and out.”

Reloading as they do every year, baseball made it into the playoffs in the last game of the regular season with a win against Hart. They then beat Oaks Christian in a controversial wild-card game that was ruled in favor of Valencia.

The Vikes continued the postseason and upset No. 1 seed Harvard Westlake in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. They fell in the following round, 3-0, to Bishop Amat.

“These kids grow up watching Valencia sports, so they have always dreamed of playing in the purple and gold,” Lee said.

Female Athlete of the Year (As selected by the school)

Ally Shipman

The University of Tennessee commit ended her senior campaign with a .356 batting average. She logged 31 hits and 21 RBIs and although she was walked 34 times, it didn’t stop her from launching seven home runs. Shipman and the Vikings went undefeated en route to a Foothill League title.

Male Athlete of the Year (As selected by the school)

Chance Rich

Rich went to the CIF state wrestling tournament for the third consecutive year. He reached the podium, finishing eighth in the 126 weight class. Rich was also a key part of a Vikings wrestling team the won its first CIF-Southern Section title. He’ll continue his wrestling career at California State Bakersfield as the first Valencia student-athlete to accept a college scholarship for wrestling.

Five most memorable male athletes

Dexter Akanno

Making it to the Final Four of the CIF-SS Division 2A playoffs, Akanno averaged 15 points, four rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in the Vikings’ run to the semis.

Moises Haynes

Undoubtedly the Vikings workhorse on the year, Haynes led a potent Valencia offense in rushing with 1,644 yards on 195 carries to finish the year with 19 touchdowns in his senior year. Haynes scored three or more touchdowns on three occasions this year with four coming against Calabasas.

JaCore Johnson

Moving from New Jersey to California would seem difficult for most, but not for Johnson. Earning the title of All-SCV Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Johnson won Foothill League titles in the 200- and 400-meter races as well as a title with the 4×400 relay team. Breaking the league record in the CIF state meet in the 400 two times, Johnson finished fifth at state with a time of 47.62.

Lukas White

Going 7-3 on the year and finishing with a 2.51 ERA, the righty pitcher recorded 71 strikeouts in 12 pitching appearances. Equally as effective on offense, White finished top three of almost every batting category with a batting average of .378, an on-base percentage of .483 and a .642 slugging percentage on 37 hits to go along with 28 RBIs and five home runs in his senior season.

Mykael Wright

The Oregon University commit finished his junior year with 1,845 all-purpose yards. Wright caught 55 passes for 1,137 yards and rushed 22 times on the year for 341 yards scoring a combined team-leading 22 touchdowns to help the football team to the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 title game. Wright also intercepted four passes and caused two fumbles on the defensive side of the ball for the Vikings.


Five most memorable female athletes

Izabella Adame

Winning the Foothill League Girl Swimmer of the Year award, the freshman phenom excelled in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard breaststroke, rarely losing a race in league play. Placing ninth and fifth in the events at CIF-SS Division 1 finals, Adame earned All-American Consideration in the 100-yard breaststroke finishing with a time of 1:03.76. Adame also competed as part of the 200-yard medley relay team and 200-yard freestyle relay team.

Shea O’Leary

The University of Texas commit finished her Valencia career capturing another Foothill League title. She recorded a 1.30 ERA while striking out 288 batters to win a share of the All-SCV Co-Player of the Year award.

Chyanne Pagkalinawan

Ranking first on the team in points per game with 10.5, the point guard took command of the Vikings offense game after game, leading the Vikings to an 8-2 Foothill League record while dishing out 4.7 assists per contest.

Lauryn Shockley

As the Foothill League co-Player of the Year, Shockley was first on the team in kills and digs with over 300 and 350, respectively. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs commit led the Vikings to a share of the Foothill League crown and into the CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinals.

Amanda Tabanera and Carlotta Nonnis-Marzano

Being paired together at the beginning of the year, two of the most dynamic Foothill League doubles players advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Individual Championship semifinals, marking it the longest playoff run in Valencia girls tennis history to date.

Five most memorable teams

Boys Basketball

Finishing the season in third place behind Hart and Saugus, the boys basketball team made the deepest run into the playoffs out of all Foothill League teams, reaching the CIF-SS Division 2A semifinals and losing to Poly by five points. Being rewarded for their deep playoff run, the Vikings qualified to the Division II state playoffs as a No. 14 seed, but lost in the first round to Cajon 67-56.


Winning their ninth straight Foothill League title, the Vikings finished their season 12-2 overall and reached the Division 2 title game where they fell to Oaks Christian 20-19. Averaging 49.4 points per game, the Vikings offense was unstoppable at times, equaling or surpassing the 50-point mark nine times on the year.


Going undefeated in Foothill League play and capturing their third straight title, the Vikings dominated throughout the year, only losing eight games on the way to a 25-win season before bowing out in the second round of the Division 1 playoffs to Huntington Beach.

Boys Volleyball

The Vikings finished second in the Foothill League with an overall record of 25-12. Going on two winning streaks of eight games or more on the season, the Vikings made it all the way to the CIF-SS Division 2 semifinals losing to eventual champions Orange Lutheran.


The Vikings won a CIF-Southern Section title for the first time in program history after taking second in the tournament the year prior. Additionally, America Lopez placed fifth and Priscilla Ramirez placed eighth at the CIF state girls wrestling championships and Chance Rich came in eighth at the CIF state boys wrestling championships.


Playoff Teams

Baseball – Finishing third in Foothill League play with a record of 9-6, the Vikings took down a top seed in Harvard-Westlake before falling in the second round to Bishop Amat.

Boys Basketball – Reaching the CIF-SS Division 2A semifinals, the boys basketball team fell in the semis to Poly 67-62 and made it to the CIF Division 2 state tournament. They lost in the first round to Cajon 67-56.

Girls Basketball – Losing only two Foothill League games, the Vikings pushed Orangewood Academy to the brink of elimination, but ultimately fell 39-38 in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs.

Boys Cross Country – Punching their ticket to the CIF-SS finals, the Vikings made their second straight appearance at the event in the school’s history.

Football – Making it to the title game by rolling through Great Oak, Norfolk and Heritage in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs, the Vikings captured their ninth straight league title before falling in the championship game to Oaks Christian.

Boys Lacrosse – Making it to the LA Postseason Invitational, the Vikings defeated Redondo Union 10-2 in the first round, but fell to St. John Bosco 12-7 in the semifinals.

Girls Lacrosse – Finishing the season 9-9 after a senior night 17-6 win against St. Monica, the girls lacrosse team made it into playoffs where they lost to the Lancers of Thousand Oaks 16-6.

Girls Soccer – Ending the Foothill League season 4-4-2, the girls soccer team defeated Flintridge Sacred Heart before falling to Sunny Hills in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs.

Softball – Sitting atop the Foothill League at a perfect 10-0, the softball team defeated Great Oak and Foothill with identical 2-0 scores, losing to Orange Lutheran in the CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinals.

Boys Tennis – Facing off against a deep Mira Costa team, the boys tennis team fell 15-3 with doubles team Jackson Boxall and Stephen Thay picking up the only three points for the Vikings.

Girls Tennis – Reaching the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs, the Vikings fell to San Marino 12-6.

Boys Volleyball – Second in the Foothill League, the Vikings only lost two league games on the year and were the last team standing in the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs, losing in the semifinals to Orange Lutheran.

Girls Volleyball – Winning a share of the Foothill League title, the Vikings took down Yucaipa in straight sets in the first round of CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs before falling to Esperanza 3-2 in the quarterfinals.

Wrestling – Winning a CIF-SS title for the first time in program history after taking second in the tournament the year prior, the wrestling team set the bar for future teams to come.

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