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Hard work pays off for Kumar, Maines
• Central Valley student-athletes garner CCC recognition for all-around success
Kylie Maines honor
Kylie Maines was named Central Valley High School’s CCC Female Scholar-Athlete Award recipient. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Central Valley seniors Yoshi Kumar and Kylie Maines have been named Central California Conference Male and Female Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, respectively, for the 2021-22 academic year.

Hawk Athletic Director Greg Magni shared the news with Kumar and Maines.

“I got called up to his office and was unsure of what was happening,” Maines said. “I was really surprised. To represent all of Central Valley is a pretty cool opportunity. All my hard work has paid off.”

“I’m not surprised,” said Regina Selfridge, who coached Maines for a combined four seasons at Central Valley. “She works hard. She’s a great leader. She’s super intelligent. She has all of the characteristics of a scholar-athlete.”

“Getting this award shows others being an athlete and focusing on your studies is possible,” Kumar said. “I always made sure my academics came first. It was very challenging.”

Maines, a co-salutatorian, had a cumulative grade-point average of 4.1.

She took six Advanced-Placement classes, including four senior year and two as a junior.

She’s been a straight-A student since seventh grade.

“It has a lot to do with my parents,” Maines said. “They always made sure I focused on school before sports and other activities.”

Maines will continue her education at Cal Poly.

She will major in Biological Sciences.

“I didn’t have a dream school,” Maines said. “I wanted to get into a school that is prestigious. I worked really hard to make it happen. I’m pretty proud of everything I accomplished. But I have more that I’ll be doing. I plan on going to medical school after I finish my general education.”

Maines earned six varsity letters, including two in softball, two in volleyball and two in wrestling, during her prep athletic career.

“There was a lot of growth from my freshman to senior year,” she said.

Maines helped lead Central Valley’s girls wrestling program to a perfect 12-0 dual-meet record and the Central California Conference’s overall title this past winter. The Hawks won all six of their CCC duals and finished first while hosting the CCC Championships.

Maines claimed a silver medal in the 113-pound weight bracket at the league finals.

She placed second at the Bristow Brawl, third at the Lady Eagle Invitational and fourth at the Castro Valley Classic.

“I struggled junior year,” Maines said. “Senior season, I grew a lot more. I felt more fit, disciplined and confident. There’s a lot of pressure because everything is on you. You have to learn how to lose sometimes because it happens. You have to work harder.  You have to have confidence in yourself and what you do.” 

Maines was a setter for Central Valley’s volleyball team, which finished 3-21 overall and last in the CCC (0-12) this past fall.

“I’ve played volleyball since sixth grade,” Maines said. “I really fell in love with the sport. That’s why I kept doing it.”

A utility player in softball, Maines collected three singles, three runs, two stolen bases and three walks for the 7-16 and fourth-place Hawks this spring. Central Valley had a 5-7 record versus league competition.

“I enjoyed the season because we didn’t have COVID regulations and I had a good bond with my teammates,” she said.

Maines posted a GPA of 4.2 while playing three sports simultaneously during the 2020-21 academic year. Athletic seasons overlapped as the California Interscholastic Federation modified its competition calendar due to safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I somehow managed to balance my time well,” Maines said. “A lot of caffeine and late nights.”

Kumar had a cumulative GPA of 3.6 at Central Valley.

He’ll continue his education and volleyball career at Benedictine University-Mesa.

“I’m very fortunate to have parents that care,” Kumar said. “They expected me and my siblings to put education first in our household.”

Kumar earned five varsity letters, including three in basketball and two in volleyball, during his prep athletic career with the Hawks.

“Time management was very difficult,” he said while talking about balancing athletics and academics. “I didn’t get a lot of time to relax. It’s a cycle you get used to but it’s very tiring.”

“He’s one of the hardest-working athletes that I’ve ever coached,” Central Valley boys hoops head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “He’s so unselfish. He tries to get others involved. He’s a good role model for the younger kids. That’s the type of person he is.”

Kumar was selected to the CCC Sportsmanship Team in basketball this past winter.

He averaged 7.0 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals per game while contributing at point guard for the first time for the Hawks, who finished 8-20 and last in the CCC standings.

Kumar participated in the First Annual 209 Students With Aspiring Goals Senior Showcase All-Star Basketball Game on May 14 at Atwater High School.

“Basketball has always been my favorite sport,” he said. “I learned how much time and effort it takes to become a better player. I was really fun.”

An outside hitter in volleyball, Kumar garnered first-team all-CCC recognition as a senior and freshman. Central Valley didn’t field teams his junior and sophomore years due to a lack of interest.

Kumar totaled 288 kills, 170 digs, 31 aces, 18 assists and 11 blocks as the Hawks posted a program-best 10-10 overall record and placed sixth in the 2022 CCC standings.

“It was a pleasure to get to coach him,” Central Valley leader Donald Dudley said. “He was always trying to figure out how to get himself and team better.”

“Sports made me the person I am today,” Kumar said. “I’m really grateful. I wanted to build up our programs. I met my friends through sports. My coaches were life teachers for me.”

Yoshi Kumar
Yoshi Kumar earned five varsity letters at Central Valley, including two in boys volleyball. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo