Seven Denair High Students Honored for Language Skills

Submitted by Denair High School

Seven students at Denair High School have earned prestigious recognition for their bilingual speaking and writing abilities.

Seniors Natalie Soto, Oscar Garcia, Alex Flores, Litzy de la Cruz and Daisy Lopez; junior Analdo Moreno; and sophomore Elvis Silva were awarded the coveted Seal of Multilingual Proficiency in a ceremony Nov. 1 at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto. The designation will be specially noted on their high school diplomas, certifying that they are fluent in English as well as Spanish.

This important recognition helps graduates when they apply to colleges, compete for scholarships or submit job applications.

“This is a verification of their skills,” said Maria Olivas, a Spanish teacher and coordinator of the English Language Development programs in the Denair district. She also serves on the language committee run by the Stanislaus County Office of Education.

This year, about 1,000 students from more than a dozen Stanislaus County high schools applied for the Seal of Multilingual Proficiency. Of that group, 260 were certified as meeting the bilingual standards, according to the County Office of Education. More than 20 different languages were represented.

All students must submit an autobiography in English, followed by a 300-word essay in their other language on a designated topic. Those who pass the first step then went to the county office for face-to-face interviews in both languages. The scores from the autobiography, the essay and the interviews are combined to determine which students qualify for the seal.

“Being proficient in multiple languages enhances a student’s education and value in the marketplace,” said Tom Changnon, the county superintendent of schools. “Our economy is tied to that of other nations, and Californians who participate across international borders bring strength and potential to this state’s global enterprises.”

In the five years of the Multi-Lingual Seal recognition program, 23 Denair students have been awarded certificates.

Denair Still Learning, Despite Fourth Loss in a Row

Submitted by Denair High School

There is nothing like the stark reality of a scoreboard on a Friday night to underscore the importance of the lessons taught at practice the previous four days.

“Mariposa 26, Denair 0” stared at the Coyotes as they walked off the field at halftime last week at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Coach Anthony Armas’ young squad has had a difficult year. One of his mantras week after week is that Denair must learn to play with more “physicality.” Often, the Coyotes have been unable to consistently stand up to the strength and dominance of the opposition.

It happened again Friday. Mariposa was the stronger team – and it showed in the first half. The Grizzlies’ bigger linemen mauled the Coyotes on both sides of the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage and the tempo of the game.

Denair had little margin for error, such as a fumble inside the 10-yard line in the first quarter when the Coyotes had a chance to score.

“They’re pretty physical,” Armas said of Mariposa. “I think some of our kids were a little surprised; I’m not sure why. It’s been like this almost every week. … It’s like it took us a half to wake up.”

To their credit, the Coyotes played much better in the second half.

Steffin Winston returned the opening kickoff for Denair’s first touchdown. Later, he ripped off a 42-yard TD run, followed by a 29-yard scoring dash by Hunter Musgrave in the fourth quarter.

That narrowed the gap to 33-23 Mariposa, but it was as close as Denair got. Mariposa returned an interception for a touchdown late in the game to seal its 40-23 Southern League victory.

The loss was the fourth in a row for Denair (2-7 overall, 1-5 in the SL). There is one game left and nothing approaching the excitement of last year’s improbable playoff run that Coyotes fans won’t soon forget.

And even as the five senior football players – plus the seniors in the band and on the cheerleading squad – were honored before their final home game Friday, Armas has tried to keep the season in perspective. Continue reading “Denair Still Learning, Despite Fourth Loss in a Row” »

Alex Flores Runs Personal Best as Denair Finishes 4th at SL Meet

Submitted by Denair High School

The Denair High School cross country team finished fourth at the Southern League championship meet Thursday at Tuolumne River Regional Park in Modesto.

Senior Alex Flores ran his best time of the season – 20 minutes, 57 seconds over 5,000 meters – to lead the Coyotes. He finished 15th in the individual standings.

The other Denair runners in the race were freshman Pablo Flores (21:55), junior Uriel Gonzalez (22:24); sophomore Johnny Ibarra (22:28), freshman Julian Zavala (22:53) and sophomore Brigg Westrand (23:45). Ibarra and Zavala also recorded their fastest times of the season.

Delhi and Waterford tied for the team title with 31 points each (the total of the placement of each team’s top five runners). Delhi was awarded the championship based on the tiebreaker (finish of the sixth runner). Orestimba was next at 71 points, followed by Denair at 104.

Next up for the Coyotes is the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section Meet on Nov. 4 on the Frogtown course at the Calaveras County Fairground in Angels Camp. Denair will compete in Division V against schools with similar enrollments (less than 600 students).

Coach Matthew Groom is proud of his team and said two things have stood out about the 2017 season.

“First is the willingness of our underclassmen to step up and run varsity during the league meets,” he said. “The second is the performance of our freshmen. They did really well this year. In addition, Pablo Flores became a leader of the team when our captain was not available.”

Denair ‘Shoots Itself in The Foot’ in 28-14 Loss to Delhi

Submitted by Denair High School

Self-inflicted wounds sometimes hurt the worst. Just ask the Denair Coyotes football team.

Denair ripped off three long touchdown runs against rival Delhi on Friday night, only to have one of them wiped out by a penalty. The Coyotes also self-destructed with a couple of costly turnovers deep in their own territory and a slew of ill-timed penalties.

The result was a disappointing 28-14 Southern League loss to the Hawks.

After back-to-back losses against better and more physical teams (Ripon Christian and Orestimba), Denair Coach Anthony Armas anticipated a more even matchup against Delhi. What he didn’t expect was his team to lose its focus.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot at the wrong times,” he said. “We dropped some balls we should have caught. We threw some balls into the ground we should have completed. And the penalties just killed us.

“It was just mistakes all across the board.”

Armas recognizes he has a young team, with just five seniors among his 23 players. But he also knows that eight games into a 10-game season, it’s not simply a lack of experience holding his team back. Understanding how to control their emotions and play with poise is part of learning how to win.

“Our goal is to make this program better by doing it the right way,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure guys are dialed in and learning. That’s the big emphasis. To fix it.”

The Coyotes (2-6 overall, 1-4 in SL) started well against Delhi (3-5, 1-4).

With about 7 minutes left in the first quarter and back up on their own 3-yard line, Steffin Winston took advantage of the aggressive Hawks defense, which was crowding the line of scrimmage hoping for a safety. Instead, Winston took a handoff from Drew Pritchard on a trap play, hit the hole hard and found himself in the clear for a 97-yard sprint to the end zone.

Denair had little time to enjoy its lead.

Two plays after the kickoff, Delhi answered with a long run of its own to tie the score.

The Hawks added another TD on a 4-yard pass in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Continue reading “Denair ‘Shoots Itself in The Foot’ in 28-14 Loss to Delhi” »

Denair Campuses Have Big Plans to Mark Red Ribbon Week

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Next week is Red Ribbon Week at schools across the country. Red Ribbon Week began in 1980 as a way to discourage drug use among children while promoting healthy behaviors. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan was one of the original proponents.

The campuses in the Denair Unified School District have a number events planned starting Monday. All are being coordinated by staff as well as student members of the PHAST (Protecting Health and Slamming Tobacco) Clubs.

Denair High School

  • Monday: Crash scene. There will be a wrecked car on the grass near the student store unveiled about 8:40 a.m. The car will be an example of what can happen if people drink and drive, text and drive or are under the influence of drugs and drive. The car will be there all week as a reminder to students. A video was shared with students Friday to prepare them for what they will see Monday. During lunch, we will have games, music and prizes.
  • Tuesday: Drug dog demonstration, games, music and prizes.
  • Wednesday: California Highway Patrol presentation, games, music and prizes.
  • Thursday: Hollywood-themed photo booth, games, music and prizes.
  • Friday: Denair Fire Department presentation, games, music and prizes.

Denair Middle School

  • Monday: PJ Day. Students can wear pajamas to school. The theme is “Reach for Your Dreams, Don’t Let Drugs Get in Your Way.”
  • Tuesday: Celebrity Day. Students can dress up as their favorite celebrity. The theme is “Be Famous for Making the Right Choices.”
  • Wednesday: Twin/Pink Day. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness and Red Ribbon Week, we will join together as twins and wear pink as much pink as possible. The theme is “Join Together Against Drugs.”
  • Thursday: Character Day. Students can dress up as their favorite character — sports hero, Disney character or cartoon character. “Show Your Character, Stand Up Against Drugs!”
  • Friday: Harvest Festival. Students in each grade will wear different colored clothes – sixth (orange), seventh (yellow) and eighth (white). The theme is “Harvest Your Best Qualities, Don’t Fall for Drugs.”

Denair Elementary Charter Academy

  • Monday: Students will show their Coyote spirit by wearing purple or any kind of DECA clothing. The theme is “These Paws Don’t Touch Drugs!”
  • TuesdayStudents will wear sports-related clothing. The theme is “Let’s Team Up Against Drugs!”
  • WednesdayYoungsters are encouraged to dress up to match a friend. The theme is “Friends Don’t Let Friends do Drugs!”
  • Thursday: Students will wear crazy, mismatched socks and wild hair-dos. The theme is “We Are Crazy About Being Drug-Free!”
  • Friday: Students can wear pajamas to school. The theme is “Put Drugs to Sleep!”