Sports

Sanger High School’s Andrew Azua extends win streak for Apaches in County/Metro Athletic Conference

Sanger High School’s Andrew Azua rushes in the 28-18 win over Edison at McLane High (Fresno) on Oct. 21, 2016. Sanger Apaches continue unbeaten improving to 8-0 (3-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference).
Sanger High School’s Andrew Azua rushes in the 28-18 win over Edison at McLane High (Fresno) on Oct. 21, 2016. Sanger Apaches continue unbeaten improving to 8-0 (3-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference). dcasarez@vidaenelvalle.com

Andrew Azua was both cheerful and modest after the 28-18 CMAC victory last Friday night against Edison.

Azua’s 175 yards against the Tigers led the Apaches to a perfect record that has stretched to an overall 8-0 perfect record in the Central Section.

The 17-year-old senior notched a pair of touchdowns against the Tigers in the Division II game played at McLane High School.

Edison (2-6, 2-1) seemed confused in several plays against the relentless Sanger squad, who is also perfect at 3-0 in the County/Metro Athletic Conference.

“Anything can happen at any time. We just got to be prepared, but we got to be the team that wants to win,” said Azua surrounded by family and friends after the game.

“It’s just discipline. We all play fast. We all play hard.”

That “discipline,” mentioned by Azua, has helped head coach Chuck Shidan to an impressive 198 victories. Shidan has been with Sanger 27 years and, as things appear, 200 wins with two games remaining before playoffs is realistic.

“It’s my senior year; this is all I have. And this is all we’re going to get. We told ourselves we’re going to go all out in every play this year,” added Azua, “but it’s coming to an end. It’s a grind, but we want it.”

His teammates believe the overall record is crucial just as the conference record, but without the victories in league play, obtaining a good seed in the postseason, which begins in under two weeks, doesn’t amount to much.

Azua is already mulling over his final high school season. A 3.0 grade point average student, he’s hoping to tryout for the men’s football program at Cal-Poly, but admits no offers for scholarships have surfaced.

Parents Alicia and Alberto Azua screamed from the stands. Alberto is a Sanger High School alumni and competed in soccer and football for the Apaches. Alicia graduated from nearby Parlier High School.

Andrew is a triathlete and suits up for the Apaches in wrestling and track. The 100- and 200-meter races are his specialties in track.

First-string quarterback Jacob Tijerina, age 17, shouted his praise for the offensive line and defenders.

“They’ve put up a great fight tonight. Like me and Andrew, we’re just brothers. That’s how our whole team is: brothers. We know that every week is going to be a tough game,” said Tijerina.

Tijerina wants to attend college, but is undecided where thus far. He would like a career in counseling student athletes.

Two regular season games remain this season as Sanger hosts Madera this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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