Lemoore High senior Nick Sierra is headed to Mexico at the end of May.
But this won't be a vacation for the Tigers' 152-pound state wrestling champion.
Sierra is set to arrive May 30 in Guadalajara to begin competing for a spot on the Mexican Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling team. He'll be there until June 1, returning home in time for Lemoore's graduation ceremonies June 3.
"The people who called me said I had a really good chance of making it," Sierra said. "I always have confidence in myself. I'm just going to go and wrestle my heart out."
Sierra said he doesn't know much about the competition he'll face or how Olympic team berths for the 2012 London Games will be awarded.
It doesn't matter, either.
"I just know I'm flying in May 30 and I'm going to be ready to compete," Sierra said. "I'm there to wrestle. That's what I'm going to do. I'll try my hardest to make the team."
Sierra caught the attention of Mexico's Olympic wrestling officials by going 42-1 during his senior season, culminated by his 6-4 victory over Del Oro's Jesse Stafford for the 152-pound state title. Sierra was named the state tournament's Champion of Champions by his peers. It was Sierra's second state medal after placing sixth at 140 pounds as a junior.
He will attend Grand Canyon University in the fall, where he hopes to eventually become an NCAA champion and have a chance to wrestle for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
"For a lot of wrestlers, it's their dream to be in the Olympics," Sierra said. "Once the opportunity came up, it was something I couldn't pass by. Of course, it's not representing the USA, but it's still a big thing."
In order for a citizen from another country to be eligible for a spot on the Mexican Olympic team, one of the athlete's parents must have been born in Mexico. Nick's mother, Alicia Sierra, was born in Tijuana before moving to the U.S. and becoming a citizen.
Three other wrestlers from Lemoore -- Isaiah Martinez, Silverio Esparza and Alex Perez -- were invited to compete for spots on the Mexican Cadet and Junior National teams.
Martinez placed third in the state at 125 pounds to cap off a stellar freshman season. Esparza (112) and Perez (119) were each state qualifiers who did not medal.
Eagles soaring in volleyball
A year after finishing 5-5 in the Tri-River Athletic Conference, Clovis West's boys volleyball team is riding the return of outside hitter Kyle Peterson to a 25-1 overall record and No. 25 national record by ESPN RISE Fab 50.
"He's playing like a guy pretty hungry to get that year back," Golden Eagles coach Bob McCarthy said of the 6-1 senior who lost all of his junior season because of a knee injury.
Peterson was named Most Valuable Player of the 53-team Las Vegas Easter Classic, which Clovis West won with a 9-0 record.
"This year's team is night and day from last year's, and he's a big part of it," McCarthy said. "He's definitely the heart and soul of the team."
The Eagles had won a school-record 23 straight matches -- all without losing a set -- before dropping a three-set match to nationally second-ranked Mira Costa last weekend at the Karch Kiraly-Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions.
Clovis West, seeking its third section title under McCarthy -- the Eagles also won in 2002 and '07 -- appear to be stocked with the section's best talent at outside hitter with Peterson; as a middle-blocking tandem with Jacob Schmidt and Corey Mills; and at setter with Chris Wong.
Clovis West will take a 4-0 TRAC record into a 7 p.m. match today at Clovis.
Central Section champions Bullard (Division I), Edison (D-II) and Kingsburg (D-IV) will be represented by a total of 19 players in the City-County All-Star Football Game at 7:30 p.m. June 18 at Deran Koligian Stadium.
City: Shelton Autry, Caleb Justice, Daniel Snelling, Kyle Staples, Kerr Taubler, Chris Kelly, Bullard; Connor Buss, Kevin Grossman, Tanner Lareau, Roman Garcia, Steven McCray, Dot Olubeko, Clovis West; Kenny Corona, Fowler; Devonte Martin, Nicholas Castillo, Fresno; Justin Seabron, Fernando Hernandez, Jordell Howard, Dylan McClusky, Hoover; David Garcia, Christian Garcia; Eric Pietrowski; Matt Cardoso, Erik Rocha, Grant Stanley, Wesley Miller, Memorial; Lejon Mason, Byron Mancia, Jacob Holloway, Sunnyside; Kenneth Hortizuela, Dustin Jackson, Justin Shortnacy, Central; Tevin McDonald, Rakeem Yates, Wesley Flowers, Dasheon Frierson, Vante Johnson, Max Schuh, Edison; Leodies Buchanan, McLane; Julio Ibarra, Tim Miller, Fresno Christian; Mark Fields, Ivan Huarte, Eric Herrera, Santos Juarez, Roosevelt; Erik Herrera, Selma; Adam McCurley, Jacobi Ford, Washington.
County: Kelvin Cain, Jake East, Lance Orender, Kyle Papendorf, Nigel Simmons, Lucas Gingold, Buchanan; Sean Johnson-Bey, Willy Irwin, Clovis East; Andrew Vargas, Dos Palos; Kyler Boucher, Luke Taylor, Immanuel; London Lacy, Dylan Newbill, Trenton Davis, Christopher Thiessen, Tyler Grandal, Michael Torres, Dylan George, Kingsburg; David Allen, Ivan Torres, Madera; Jorge Hernandez, Tim Porras, Mendota; Ricky Casteel, Juan Garcia, Marco Alvarez, Brice Trueblood, Reedley; Garrett Slate, Nick Sanchez, Chowchilla; Carlos Hernandez, Cameron Sills, Coalinga; Quinton Parker, Firebaugh; Kenneth Buchnoff, Kerman; Ben Cowger, Dylan Ferreira, Edgar Sandoval, Josh Garza, Liberty-Madera Ranchos; Chance Nevarez, Madera South; Jose Ochoa, Orange Cove; Joseph Albertson, Riverdale.
Junior League honors 21
Junior League of Fresno honored 21 area athletes Monday at its 29th annual Senior Girl Athletes awards banquet. The girls were selected by their schools.
The list: Kacey Held, Buchanan; Mariah Riddlesprigger, Bullard; Halee Clevenger, Central; Nicole Chapple, Clovis; Meaghan O'Meara, Clovis East; Asia Adell, Clovis West; Juliana Bremer, Edison; Mara Curry, Fresno; Jessika Searles, Fresno Christian; Nancy Fang, Hoover; Chelsea Weber, Kerman; Victoria Burnell, Liberty-Madera Ranchos; Brianna Reyes, Madera; Alisha Brown, Madera South; Monica Duarte, McLane; Michelle Clark, Reedley; Janette Anaya, Roosevelt; Kathryn Olivero, Memorial; Leslie Gray, Sanger; Zaida Munoz, Sunnyside; Victoria Rich, Washington.
Searby headed to Biola
Jordan Searby, a four-year varsity basketball player at Tulare, has given a verbal commitment to NAIA school Biola of the Golden State Athletic Conference.
Searby averaged more than 15 points per game over his final three seasons and played for Redskins' teams that went 72-36 with two East Yosemite League titles during his career.