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Athletic Director


Photo Courtesy of Coach Cu Cu Bonnett

It has been a hectic last two weeks for the CLA Sports program as the CLA Flag Football team won its first ever playoff game, the CLA Volleyball finished its final 2 matches and the CLA Elementary Boys and Girls Basketball Teams played in the OMSD Elementary Basketball Tournament at Oaks Middle School.  

Although the CLA football team battled against incredible odds and they finished with the best overall record in the league,  they fell short of their tournament championship  goals.  The CLA volleyball team greatly improved throughout the year but middle school competition proved to be  much to strong for them and they weren't able to make the playoffs.

  That left the the CLA Elementary basketball teams vying for respectability in OMSD Sports League.  Unfortunately the boys basketball team fell in three straight games and would not be invited to the championship tournament on October 24.  It was quite a different story for the Girl's CLA Basketball Tigers.  Coming off a record 3-0 season last year, the Lady Tigers had their eyes set on the prize.  This year the OMSD Sports League would bring back it's tournament champion format, something that had been absent since the power house Bon View Elementary Girl's Basketball teams, led by perennial coach of the year stand out, Wayne Bradley, had a stranglehold on the championship. This year the league would crown a boys and girl's champion. 

After winning their first 3 games on October 10, the  Lady Tigers looked poised as they focused their attention on becoming the first CLA Sports Team to win an OMSD Championship!!  This task would be made a bit more difficult because Xoe Ulloa, Tiger post player,  would not be able to play due to a fractured ankle suffered while playing softball.    Although the task before them seemed difficult, it surely wasn't impossible.  The Tigers had a little over a week to prepare for the championship tournament and head coach Jaramillo and volunteer coach Mr. Bonnett went to work implementing a new offense and a new inbound play called "Cu Cu (the name reflecting the attitude the Tigers displayed playing basketball throughout the tournament) that would prove to be game changers in the tournament.  

The Tigers first opponent was their nemesis, the Ramona Elementary Girls Basketball team, which they had previously defeated in order to get to the championship tournament.  This game proved to be no different as the Tigers escaped with a 6-4 victory, with baskets coming from all star point guard, Bella Bonnet, 4 points, and rookie guard sensation, Alyssa Gutierrez, chipping in with 2 points of her own. The Tigers next game proved to be as tightly contested as their first game as they needed every point they could muster as they were able to squeak out a win defeating the valiant girls team from Sultana Elementary, 8 to 6.  Once again the Tigers were led by guards, Bella and Alyssa, with a basket each, and the high scorer was returning all-star post player, Madison Nafarrate, converting on 2 big baskets for a total of four points!  

As the Tigers headed into the championship game against the girls basketball team from Haynes Elementary, legs weary and a touch of mental fatigue setting in, they didn't know what to expect. The previous two games had been the most difficult they had played all year and now they were going to face a formidable opponent in Haynes Elementary who's boys team had also reached the finals.  As the  Tigers took their places for the beginning of their final act, they hoped that their performance would be worthy of a curtail call at game's end!  From the start of the game, it was very clear that in their final battle, the Tigers would be fighting a bigger opponent than the ones they were playing against, FATIGUE!!  As both teams ran up and down the court, the players struggled to make the easiest of baskets.  As the game headed into half time, with the Tigers leading,  6 to 4, it was very apparent to the record setting crown in attendance at Oaks Middle School, that the final half of the game and the championship itself, would be a battle of  mental toughness and physical determination.  After refueling with  CLA parent donated water, and a rousing, emotional half time pep talk by Coach Jaramillo and Coach Bonnett, the Tigers headed onto the court looking to bring back a championship to CLA.  As the five Tiger starters, Bella and Gianna Bonnett, Mia Rodriguez, Alyssa Gutierrez and Madison Nafarrate, took the court, you could see a renewed sense of determination in their eyes and it was reflected in their stifling defense, as they held the Haynes team to scoring one basket in the second half of the game!!  As the Tigers entered the final minute of the game it was evident that they would bring home The Central Language Academy's first OMSD Championship trophy!! Coach Jaramillo received a technical foul but she would not be denied an opportunity to also include her most valuable reserve players in the celebration.  As the Haynes team shot their 2 technical foul free throws,  CLA crowd cheered as Melanie and Leslie Cepeda and Mia Rojas all checked into play.  The cheers gave way to a roar from the crowd as the final seconds ticked off the clock. CLA used a balanced scoring attack as guards Bella Bonnett and Alyssa Gutierrez contributed 2 points each as did Madison Nafarrate and Gianna Bonnett saved her best game for last as she sank two  buckets for a total of 4 points.    

Final score, Haynes Elementary School, 6 points and the new OMSD Sports League Elementary Girls Basketball Champions, CLA, 10 points!!! 

The CLA fans, friends, families and players all went "CU CU!!!!" As they hugged each other and posed for pictures with the championship trophy!!  Congratulations to our 2015-16 CLA Elementary Girls Basketball Champions and all the families and friends that played an important role in  this extraordinary achievement!!!