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Selma athletes of the year

Selma High School named its athletes of the year of 2018. From left: William Pallesi (basketball), Brianna Colado (swimming), Selma athletic director Randy Esraelian, Gracie Figueroa (wrestling), Alleida Martinez (wrestling) and Junior Ramirez (football, basketball). 

SELMA — Selma High School named its athletes of the year of 2018 – five seniors with many accomplishments in their respective sports. 

The five athletes that earned the yearly honors were Gracie Figueroa, Alleida Martinez, Brianna Colado, William Pallesi and Junior Ramirez.

Figueroa and Martinez both finished successful wrestling careers at Selma with a title in their respective weight classes at the CIF State tournament in February. Both girls are four-time undefeated state champions and they are the first female wrestlers with that accomplishment. Figueroa and Martinez will wrestle at Menlo College next year on a scholarship.

Other achievements for Figueroa and Martinez include winning a Valley title four-straight times and being members of the USA World Team.

“Both of these student athletes may be the most colorful in achievements in the history of Selma High School,” Bears athletic director Randy Esraelian wrote via email. “They have set the bar for girls wrestling not only at Selma High School, but in the Valley, state and nationwide.

“Every section in the state of California has reached out to find secrets of developing a girls wrestling program. I can honestly say, these two individuals' desire and commitment to the sport, along with our coaches and community embracing girls wrestling have the secret.”

As for Colado, Esraelian considered her as one of the top swimmers in the Valley. She was part of a Selma girls swimming team that won its first league championship since 1977. Colado was a four-year varsity swimmer and will be attending the University of California, Berkeley in the fall. 

Pallesi was another athlete at Selma High School with many achievements. The UC San Diego-bound basketball player set school career records in total points and most three point shots made. He posted great numbers throughout the season including being ranked second in the state and 11th in the nation with 127 three pointers made. For his prep career, Pallesi made 335 three pointers and scored more than 1,000 points.

He averaged 19.9 points per game for the Bears and has played in three consecutive Valley title games. Pallesi didn’t win in his sophomore and senior seasons, but was victorious as a junior. Pallesi was also the most valuable player of the year of the Central Sequoia League for the 2017-18 season.

He will play for the UC San Diego Tritons, who was accepted into the Big West Conference as an NCAA Division I program in 2019-20.

As for his teammate Ramirez, he posted some solid numbers on the floor this season. Ramirez averaged 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Not only did he put up numbers in basketball, Ramirez was quite the athlete on the gridiron.

For the Selma football team, Ramirez was the Bears’ quarterback in an 8-3 season that went as far as the CIF Central Section Division IV quarterfinals. He was named most valuable player of the CSL. In basketball, he was an All-CSL first-teamer for the 2017-18 season.

Ramirez made an impact as both a rusher and passer accounting for 1,850 (1,024 pass, 761 rush) with 26 total touchdowns (nine pass, 16 rush, one receiving). His 761 yards on the ground led all Selma rushers.

He also played defense for Selma, making 42 tackles (second on the team) as a safety and leading the Bears in total takeaways (six interceptions and five fumble recoveries). He was also the team’s starting punter.

For his four years combined, Ramirez was part of three league championship teams and two Valley title squads in both football and basketball. Last year, he was also named Selma male athlete of the year.

“Maybe the most colorful two sport athlete in Selma High School history,” Esraelian wrote via email. “[Ramirez] achieved section championships in football and basketball in the same school year…Junior was the CIF Central Sequoia Male scholarship recipient this year.”

Esraelian said Ramirez will continue to play either football, basketball or both at the junior college level.

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or

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