Isaiah Hidalgo and Isabella Pelayo have been named Central Valley High School’s Male and Female Golden Hawk award recipients, respectively, from the class of 2021.
A point system taking into account athletic and academic achievement, and community involvement determined the winners.
Their names will be displayed on a banner inside Central Valley’s gymnasium, along with Thomas Carrillo (2020), Aryanna Jimenez (2020), Ryan Palecek (2019), Brianna Quiroz (2019), Estevan Barragan (2018), Nayeli Pelayo (2018), Oso Fregoso (2017), Blanca Espinoza (2017), Moses Ghiorso (2016), Mikayla Mabie (2016), Jaron Dickson (2015), Heaven Simon (2015), Ja’Quan Gardner (2014), Lexy Cordova (2014), Abraham Navarro (2013), Malynda Lomeli (2013), Daniel Ochoa (2012), Drucella Miranda (2012), Tyree Jones (2011), Alyssa Long (2011), Vince Lopez (2010), Amanda Lopez (2010), (Trevor Mew (2009), Julie Calderon (2009), Mike Tubera (2008) and Latrisha Jordan (2008).
“As soon as I heard my name called for the award, I felt the tears fall from my eyes,” Pelayo said. “I was so happy, but mostly proud of myself. Sports never came easy to me. I was always discouraged when it came to sports. I was told that I was not capable of winning the award, nor would I be as good as my sister. So knowing my hard work finally paid off and knowing I proved those who have doubted me wrong felt so good.”
“It took a lot to get that (award),” Hidalgo said. “I couldn’t even estimate the hours. If I wasn’t at school or home, I was working out. One of my main goals was to be put on that list with great athletes I look up to like Ja’Quan and Stevie (Estevan Barragan). It’s definitely a blessing.”
Pelayo is the second person from her family to win the award. Older sister Nayeli was recognized during Isabella’s freshman year.
“I think it’s cool that both me and my sister were able to win the Golden Hawk Award,” Isabella said. “It’s nice to know we are the first siblings to both win the award. We both started sports at a young age and have always been competitive growing up. To me, it’s a privilege to be able to have my sister as a role model. I know so many people that look up to her, so I am glad that I followed in her footsteps.”
“My sister has had a major impact on my development as an athlete,” she added. “She is the reason why I never give up. There has been numerous times when all I thought about was quitting sports but she was always there to tell me that I am not a quitter and remind me that she believed in me.”
Pelayo earned nine varsity letters during her prep athletic career, including four in both wrestling and softball and one in cross country.
She claimed second-place medals while competing in the 126-pound weight class at the Central California Conference Championships as a junior and sophomore.
Central Valley won a share of the CCC’s overall championship during Pelayo’s sophomore year.
She took fourth in the 131-pound bracket at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament her freshman year. The Hawks claimed WAC overall, tournament and dual titles.
Central Valley’s 2020-21 campaign consisted of dual scrimmages due to COVID-19 safety and transportation reasons.
Pelayo played second base and batted seventh during her final season of softball.
She collected four singles, one RBI, three runs and one walk as Central Valley made history in 2021 by compiling a winning record in league play for the first time.
The Hawks placed third in the WAC South standings with an 8-7 mark.
“I’m proud Bella got it (the Golden Hawk Award),” Central Valley softball coach Regina Selfridge said. “I was not surprised. It was well-earned. She’s very intelligent. She’s super kind-hearted. She puts everything she has into whatever sport she’s playing.”
Pelayo will attend Stanislaus State and major in nursing.
She had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 at Central Valley.
“I attribute my academic and athletic success to my parents,” Pelayo said. “They have always been there to support me in everything I do. My mom would work long hours and have hard days at work but she always made time to help me with my school work, clean the house and make dinner for the family. My dad would come home from the Bay Area every day and help me with my softball and wrestling drills. Some days, he would work out with me when I had to cut weight for wrestling and we would both be there working hard until I lost the weight I needed to cut. It feels good to know that I have them on my side as well as providing so much for me and my siblings. I learned how to be confident, independent, and to never give up because of them.”
Hidalgo earned six varsity letters, including three in both football and baseball.
“I’m pretty satisfied with how I did in both sports,” he said. “I enjoyed bonding with my teammates on and off the field.”
Hidalgo contributed at quarterback during his final season of football.
He starred at running back as a junior and sophomore.
Hidalgo was voted the WAC South Division’s Most Valuable Player this past season. He earned first-team all-league honors as well.
He ran for 1,005 yards and 12 touchdowns on 134 carries as the Hawks won all five of their games and compiled a perfect 4-0 record en route to first-place finish in the conference standings.
He passed for 189 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
He caught two passes for 52 yards.
“Every team knew he was going to get the ball,” Central Valley head coach Derrick Goblirsch. “He still found ways to get yards and score touchdowns. The consistency was outstanding on his part. He led by example. He had a great understanding of what we were trying to do. Isaiah has always been a smart player. He’s a student of the game.”
Hidalgo rushed for 2,551 yards and scored 32 touchdowns in 25 career games.
He totaled 515 yards and three TDs on 25 receptions.
He amassed 4,525 all-purpose yards and 38 touchdowns.
Hidalgo was Central Valley’s starting centerfielder in baseball for three seasons.
He totaled 26 hits, one home run, two triples, two doubles, 21 RBIs, 25 runs and 13 stolen bases in 50 career games.
The Hawks made history this spring by winning their first-ever conference championship.
Central Valley won eight of nine games against WAC South Division competition.
The Hawks posted a 14-4 overall record.
Hidalgo and Central Valley won league titles in both football and baseball during the 2020-21 academic year.
“We did amazing things for the school,” he said.
Hidalgo plans to play football at Modesto Junior College.
He’ll major in kinesiology.
Hidalgo had a 3.5 GPA during his senior year at Central Valley.
“I had some good mentors,” he said. They (Brian LaFountain, Derrick Goblirsch, Scott Edwards, Junior Johnson, Les Bonsu, Chris Quirarte and Ja’Quan Gardner) motivated me. They were always in my corner.”