Freddi Lopez and Harmen Bahia attended the Western Athletic Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year banquet as Ceres High School’s award winners this past month at the Turlock Golf & Country Club.
“Academics and athletics have been instrumental parts of my life,” Bahia said. “Being recognized for both is a huge honor. All of my hard work paid off.”
“I didn’t expect to get it. I was surprised. There are a lot of other students at our school that deserved it, too.”Freddi Lopez
“I didn’t expect to get it,” Lopez added. “I was surprised. There are a lot of other students at our school that deserved it, too.”
Bahia posted a cumulative GPA of 4.357 on her way to being named class valedictorian.
She took nine Advanced Placement (AP) classes, including Biology, U.S. Government and Politics, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language, Statistics, Calculus BC, English Language and Composition, Psychology and Physics.
Harmen was a member of the school’s Academic Decathlon team for two years and participated in the Science Olympiad once.
She co-founded Ceres High’s Speech & Debate Club.
Bahia volunteered at Doctor’s Medical Center for three-and-a-half years.
She never received a grade lower than an A in high school, junior high and elementary school.
"There were times when it was difficult, especially during finals. I pushed myself and kept myself motivated.”Harmen Bahia
“My family expected me to do well in school,” said Bahia, who was also valedictorian at Mae Hensley Jr. High. “I had the same expectations for myself. There were times when it was difficult, especially during finals. I pushed myself and kept myself motivated.”
Harmen has three younger siblings, including one sister and two brothers.
“When my parents are at work, I’m keeping an eye on them,” Bahia said. “I definitely have to set a good example and show them the right path.”
Lopez posted a cumulative GPA of 4.2 during his high-school career.
Freddi took four Advanced Placement (AP) classes: Psychology, Statistics, Spanish Literature and Spanish Language.
“Academics are really important to me,” Lopez said. “It was challenging. You spend half your time doing sports and the other doing homework assignments. My parents were very supportive.”
Freddi earned four varsity letters, including two in both boys soccer and volleyball.
“I enjoyed playing with my teammates,” he said. “It was fun.”
Ceres High’s volleyball team compiled a 20-10 overall record, qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time in program history and tied for second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (10-5) during Lopez’s junior year.
“I’m pretty satisfied with what we did,” he said.
Harmen earned four varsity letters as well, including two in both girls basketball and tennis.
“Sports were the fun part of my life,” she said. “It’s a way to take a break from academics.”
Bahia earned second-team all-WAC honors in tennis her senior year.
She played No. 2 singles for the Bulldogs.
Harmen helped lead Ceres High to a postseason berth and third-place finish in the conference standings (8-7) as a junior.
Bahia and Camille Vega won their No. 1 doubles matches during the Bulldogs’ 7-2 loss to the River Valley Falcons in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.
Harmen had no previous experience playing tennis prior to high school.
“It was something completely new,” she said. “I definitely surprised myself by acquiring the skills as fast as I did.”
Bahia was team captain in basketball during the 2017-18 campaign.
Harmen will attend UC Berkeley.
She’ll major in biology with hopes of attending medical school.
Bahia’s mother is a nurse.
Her father is an entrepreneur. He used to be a dentist.
“They worked so hard to make my life easier,” she said. “I want to help others. My goal is to become a specialty doctor.”
Freddi will attend Stanislaus State. He has yet to decide on a major.
“It feels pretty special being the first one from my family to go to college,” Lopez said. “I want to be successful so I can help my parents.”