By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
CHS grad Estremera stays close to home
Placeholder Image
In high school, Omaira Estremera dedicated most of her time to softball. She did just enough to get by in the classroom.

"I was lazy," Estremera said.

These days, the 2003 Ceres High grad is committed to the pursuit of excellence in academics and athletics.

"I woke up finally. And told myself I needed to get it together," Estremera said. "I want to get my degree."

Estremera, 20, signed a national letter of intent to attend school and play softball at Cal State Stanislaus.

Warrior coach Jan Schefkowitz made the announcement on June 3.

"Omaira is a dominant pitcher and a wonderful teammate and person who will improve our pitching staff," Schefkowitz said in a sports information department release. "We have again gotten a dominant local pitcher who can follow in the footsteps of All-Americans Jenny Barkhousen (Brown), Stacy Duncan and Jamie Harkins."

Estremera compiled a 17-5 record en route to earning all-state and CVC Pitcher of the Year honors at Modesto Junior College this past season. She led the Pirates to their first league championship and into the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Estremera, a business major, also successfully completed 21 units of course work.

"She's determined," said Modesto JC coach Jessica Leveroos.

Estremera committed to Stanislaus on May 30. She signed the papers at her Ceres home.

"I've been waiting for this my whole life," she said. "I'll work as hard as I can. And we'll see where it goes."

Estremera picked Stanislaus over Western New Mexico University.

"I made the right choice," she said. "Everyone was telling me to leave Ceres. I want to stay close to my family. I'm not ready to move away."

Parents Ozzie and Judith won't have to travel far to watch their daughter play.

"I don't know what I'd to without them," Omaira said. "They do everything for me. When I'm down and have a bad game, they cheer me up.

"They're so proud of me."

Added Judith: "We're real excited. She's going to be close to home. We'll try to go to all of her games when she plays local."

Ozzie has been overwhelmed with emotion the last few weeks. He wept when he visited the Stanislaus State softball webpage. The article stated that three players, including his daughter, signed with the Warriors.

"He read the press release today and cried," Omaira said. "He's happy."

Ozzie coached Omaira for seven years, including six with the Ceres Sizzle. He's been a fan the last few years.

"It's good to hear his voice behind the dugout telling me what to do," Omaira said.

Estremera learned how to pitch at the Rainbow Fields Academy. She worked with Jimmy Dyson for 10 years.

"He's the reason why I'm a good pitcher," she said. "He's the one that taught me my pitches. And how I stand on the mound. He taught me everything."

Estremera, who is expected to be Stanislaus No. 1 pitcher, will start working with Warrior assistant coach Stacy Duncan in Turlock this week.

In July, she'll start weight training with her teammates.

"I'm already going to start pitching," Estremera said. "I haven't even had a month to rest. I'm ready for it. I just can't wait to step on that mound for the first time with a whole new group of girls."

Added Leveroos: "I think she will be extremely successful at the next level. She has a great work ethic and great attitude. I think that will serve her really well." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier