Cambrian: Sports

Coast Union High baseball sophomore phenom picks up Coast Valley League honor

Coast Union High School sophomore first baseman Cristian Castillo, seen here at bat during the 2019 season, has been named to the All-League First-Team in the Coast Valley League.
Coast Union High School sophomore first baseman Cristian Castillo, seen here at bat during the 2019 season, has been named to the All-League First-Team in the Coast Valley League.

Sophomore multi-sport star Cristian Castillo continues to collect awards this school year for his exceptional contributions to Coast Union HIgh School football, soccer and now baseball.

Tall and talented, Castillo — already named Offensive Player of the Year for the Coast Union baseball team — has made the All-League First-Team for the Coast Valley League (CVL).

Coast sophomore catcher Zack Stephenson (named Broncos Defensive Player of the Year) has also earned CVL All-League First-Team; juniors Emany Plasencia and Spencer Magnuson were honored on the All-League Second-Team.

Castillo — who won the Coach’s Award for his effort as a goalkeeper on the Bronco soccer team and made the All-League Second-Team in football — is a “natural first baseman,” according to baseball coaches Gary Stephenson and Brian Machado.

“He’s got long arms and he makes a big target,” the coaches wrote in an email interview. “He makes other players look good by doing a great job digging throws out of the dirt,” and offensively, Castillo — “who finds ways to get on base a lot” — has yet to be caught stealing a base, the coaches report.

He stole two bases in an exhibition tilt against a team from Atascadero High School at the end of the season. As a second-year wide receiver on the 2018 football team (Coast Union was 2-1 in the CVL) Castillo “impressed his teammates, coaches and peers with his amazing catches,” according to head football coach Andrew Crosby.

“Cristian is an important part of our offense and defense,” Crosby added. “He was a mentor to inexperienced players, showing teammates how to be mentally tough and fight through challenges.”

Castillo made near impossible catches game after game. Though he was often double-teamed, and struggled part of the season with an injured ankle, Castillo was able to leap higher than his opponents, making remarkable off-balance grabs and hanging on when pounded by the defense.

“We’re really excited to have him back for two more years,” Crosby said in an email interview.

Softball players honored in CVL

Coast Union senior softball player Ailyn Casas — the team’s MVP who is gifted with hand-eye coordination, “as good as I have ever seen,” according to coach Steve Kniffen — has made the All-League First-Team for the CVL.

She is “as good a female athlete as our school has seen in a long time,” Kniffen said in an earlier email interview.

CVL coaches, who nominate their own players and vote for the best student athletes they have seen during the season, selected four other Coast Union players for the All-League First-Team: sophomores Makayla Fordyce and Angelique Gutierrez, freshman Lizette Mireles and junior Riley Volz.

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Coast Union senior infielder Ailyn Casas hit two home runs and drove in 11 runs in the Lady Broncos’ back to back wins March 15 and 16. Debbie Markham Courtesy photo

Boys volleyball hands out team awards

Coast Union coach Pam Kenyon — who has mentored girl’s volleyball at Coast Union for 28 years — stepped in to coach the first-year boy’s volleyball team for 2019.

Kenyon awarded the team MVP award to senior Cesar Hernandez, who also made the CVL’s All-League First-Team, the only Bronco to receive postseason league honors. Senior Anthony Mendoza and freshman Tony Ramirez both received Most Improved awards from Kenyon.

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