The Maranatha Minutemen are Coming!

The Athletic Department would like to welcome you to the 2014-15 school year and thank all who came out to Friday night’s football victory over Bassett 42-20.  The junior varsity started the year right with a 33-18 victory over Bassett and the varsity continued the great play during the night cap.  The crowd was incredible for an opening holiday weekend and the show of school spirit was an encouragement to athletes, coaches, and all of us in the Athletic Department.  This week our other three fall sports will join football in competition as girls’ tennis opens today at Glendale, girls’ volleyball opens Saturday at the Pasadena Poly tournament, and cross country opens on Saturday when they will run at the 14th annual Running Brave meet to be held at Santa Fe Dam.  Go Minutemen!!

Girls Tennis

The girls’ tennis program entered the summer with very high hopes of fielding the best Maranatha girls tennis team in recent memory; with the potential of winning an unprecedented third straight Olympic League championship as well as going deep in the CIF playoffs for the first time in many years.  The program planned to have nearly the entire team return from last year’s squad as well as adding two talented freshmen with tremendous potential, Angela Hsieh and Natalie Orphali.

Those hopes are still intact, but it will take a much stronger and more cohesive effort than originally thought as the top player and All-Area First Teamer, junior and captain, Hailey McNall, suffered an injury to her arm that has kept her out of tennis for months.  Though unable to play for us in her usual spot as our #1 singles player she has vowed to do anything to help our team… even play left-handed!  She is a team player whose team-first attitude and grit is inspiring to her teammates.  The other setback came when two of our starting doubles players decided not to return this season to focus on their academics.

The leadership of the singles corps will now rest on the shoulders of senior captain and Olympic League Singles First Teamer, Lauren Garcia, who has already been taking the newer girls under her wing.  Along with Garcia, fellow senior Sage Polanco has set the tone for  team spirit and work ethic, with a lot of positive energy and encouragement.

Returning starters, 4-year varsity player Samantha Lin, 3-year starter Natalie Yee, and 2nd year starter Belen Retana will all be counted on for their experience and veteran leadership for the doubles teams, along with Sage (all were Olympic League Doubles First-Teamers last season)

Returners Maddie Marona and Sarah Rutzen will be joined by newcomers Marissa Dickey and Reagan Attalah who will all see action in trying to give the team that one crucial extra point that often turns a match.

This team has agreed that the most important victories will be fought for off the court – in the fight for personal integrity, holiness, relational attitudes, and authenticity on the court and off.  The coaches believe that those are the harder battles to win and success in those arenas will spill onto the court with the results will showing accordingly.  As Head Coach Arthur Hsieh put it, “We look forward to giving our all this season … from the  inside out!  Soli Deo Gloria!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Prov. 3:5-6

Girls Volleyball

The 2014 Girls Varsity Volleyball will be the first season for Head Coach Eli Cuenca. This season the Lady Minutemen have a 13 player roster, captained by the senior leadership group of: Taylor Chamberlin (DS/Libero), Caroline Sommers (OH, OPP) and Samantha Weiner.

Heading into the 2014 season there is a notable change to the roster as 2013 varsity standout Leilia To’omalatai (OH) and teammates Jenna Harper and Michelle Palfrey transferred to Monrovia High School at the end of last season. Despite these changes Coach Eli is excited about the competitive roster which boasts talented seniors Sam Wiener and Caroline Sommers along with a junior to watch, Kendall Schmedes. The experienced defensive group of junior Nicole Rodriguez and senior Taylor Chamberlin along with the blocking prowess of Kaitlyn Holstein and the additions of sophomores Grace Crawford and Tehya Topalian will make it difficult for teams to score points. The Lady Minutemen are looking forward to the 2014 season and expect to be making a splash in the highly competitive Olympic League which has 2-time defending CIF Champions Whittier Christian and highly touted Village Christian. Despite the challenges ahead, the Lady Minutemen are confident in their chances to compete for an Olympic League Title and a deep playoff run in the always tough Division 2 pool.  GO MINUTEMEN!


The football season started slow but ended with a bang as the varsity team scored 35 unanswered points after going down 12-0 in the first quarter of Friday night’s game.  The JV team opened the season with a 33-18 win over Bassett as freshman signal caller Sumner Ortlund led the Minutemen and their high powered offense to a 27-0 halftime lead.  The varsity team was led by senior Caleb Devine who rushed for 162 yards and 3 touchdowns, 3 catches for 9 yards, and he added a team high 13 tackles on defense.  Senior quarterback Eli Snyder found his favorite target early and often as Xavius Boone ended the night with 8 catches for 80 yards.  There were many standouts throughout the night and the below articles capture the game highlights well.  The Minutemen return to action this Friday when they host Firebaugh.  JV is scheduled to start at 3:30pm and varsity will follow at 7:00pm.  The Boosters are hosting their annual tailgate party before the game on the South Lawn and we hope to see everyone there to join in the pregame festivities.

Cross Country

The Maranatha Cross Country team started the 2014 season revitalized and ready for the season to start.  Starting the summer program with new faces and ending the summer with a cross country camp in Big Bear. The week long camp’s focus was embracing our relationship with GOD, family values and running in His name. With the addition of three new coaches, Amy Archuleta, Angus Leung and Tebe Wammack, the team will be well coached and ready to regain league dominance. The team lost two fine runners in Helio Higley and 2013 Olympic League MVP Hannah Rae Finchamp, but all is not lost.

Senior Amanda Shankwiler is healthy again and ready to battle the Valley Christian girls.  She is poised to run a respectful low 19’s this season. She will not be alone, Olivia Baer, Andrea Chau, Allie Raff, Tiffany Teguh and Isabela Rivera are all returners and they are ready to back up the senior leaders’ running.  In addition to those varsity returners the ladies team has a number of new runners with great potential, all battling for varsity spots. Daniela Flores, Emily Mar, Elizabeth Lai, Andrea Gamaz, Gina Cronkhite, and Delilah Martin combine to make this 2014 ladies team the most talented since 2011.

Not to be outshined, the boys’ team looks very good and poised for success. Although the program graduated Kyle Bueckart in 2012 and Helio Higley in 2013, 2014 will be led by the Funches Brothers, Joseph and Ezekiel. The boys’ team is young but deep with talent. The Funches brothers will be backed by returning varsity runners, Aaron Trujillo, Dilan Wijesinghe and Adam Escobar. The boys’ varsity team should be very strong this year as continued growth is expected.  Newcomers Aaron Coates, Nick Hernandez, Chris Morales, Eli Rodarte and Cade Vanneman are looking to make their presence known in the Olympic League.

Last year both teams went to CIF Prelims and our ladies team was represented by Hannah Rae Finchamp in the CIF Finals. Each year a team looks to get to the State Championship and that is certainly the goal in 2014.  This team is young and success takes dedication and maturity, both being exemplified daily. This year our goal is to finish 1st place in league and another appearance at CIF Finals.  Getting ready for league will take hard work and dedication but the athletes continue to steadily progress to a championship level. Adding new invites to the schedule will get us ready for league competition and expose the young team to great racers.

The cross country program starts their run to the top on September 6th at the Running Brave Invite at the Santa Fe Dam followed by September 13 at The Dog Days of Summer Invite at Cajon H.S. in San Bernardino and September 27th at Bell Jeff in Griffith Park.  Check out our race schedule on the Maranatha website and come out to support your team.  GO MINUTEMEN

September 3, 2014

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