Janessa Godinez has been named the Courier’s Newcomer Athlete of the Year for the spring sports season.
Godinez performed like a veteran while starring on Central Valley High School’s varsity softball team as a freshman.
“I expected that because of what I know of her,” coach Brandy Cordova stated. “Her older brother (Raul) and sister (Yescenia) played sports at Central Valley. Janessa is the type of player you want coming into your program. She works hard, listens to what you say and makes adjustments, and loves the game. She also plays softball year-round.”
“My teammates made the transition smoother,” Godinez added. “We had a great connection. They always had my back.”
Godinez’s main position was second base.
She also logged playing time at pitcher.
She batted .620 (18-for-29) from the plate with one double, eight RBIs, 18 runs and six walks.
She had an on-base percentage of .729.
Godinez ranked first on the team in batting average, hits, runs, walks and on-base percentage.
“I didn’t think I’d do this well. I exceeded my expectations. Having experience with my travel team helped. I was exposed to high-level softball. I have confidence in myself. That’s how you have to be.”Janessa Godinez
“I’m satisfied,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d do this well. I exceeded my expectations. Having experience with my travel team helped. I was exposed to high-level softball. I have confidence in myself. That’s how you have to be.”
Godinez will keep building on her family’s sports legacy at Central Valley.
Yescenia (class of 2016) was a member of the varsity softball team for four seasons. She earned Western Athletic Conference honorable-mention recognition as a senior.
Raul (class of 2014) played varsity baseball and football. He also wrestled.
He earned first-team all-league honors in baseball as both a senior and junior.
He was an honorable-mention pick during his final season of football.
“They were always grinding,” said Janessa, who started playing travel softball at the age of eight. “They never stopped. That motivated me.”
Godinez has a bright future with Central Valley’s softball program.
“I would rank her aside Scarett Lloyd, Nayeli Pelayo, Brianna Quiroz and Sarah McElroy,” Cordova said. “They came out as freshmen and stole the show. I definitely see her developing into an MVP candidate.”
“I’m going to continue to work hard and keep getting better,” Godinez stated.
Godinez would like to follow in the footsteps of other talented softball players from the Stanislaus District that earned college scholarships.
“I’ve always looked up to the local girls like Sis Bates (Ceres High/University of Washington) and Bubba Nickles (Merced/UCLA),” she said. “It’s motivation to play at a high level and be the best I can be.”