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McCaig, Pata add to their greatness
Nolan McCaig amassed a 100-4 overall record while starring on Ceres Highs varsity boys tennis team for four seasons. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Courier file photo

Recent Ceres High grads Nolan McCaig and Julia Pata have been named the Courier's Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, for the spring sports season.

McCaig and Pata both added to their greatness at the prep level in 2017 by dominating their respective sports.

Julia will be remembered as Ceres High's best-ever swimmer.

She qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships every season.

Julia won eight individual Western Athletic Conference titles.

She took first in the 100 free and 50 free as a senior, sophomore and freshman.

Pata swept the 200 free and 100 breast in 2016.

"She changed the direction of our program," said Sue Garcia, Julia's coach. "There hasn't been anyone else that has been able to complete what she has. It goes beyond what she does in the pool. She leaves behind a great example of how you treat your teammates. She wants the best for others, not just for herself."

Julia placed first in the shot put (33-2) and discus (90-4) at the 2017 WAC Track & Field Championships.

She qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet in the shot put her junior year. Pata uncorked a throw of 39 feet, two inches to win the event at the Modesto Junior College Invitational. She obliterated the old meet record of 35-7, which was set in 2011.

Julia will try to continue her throwing her career as a walk-on athlete at Cal State East Bay in Hayward.

Nolan tops Ceres High's list of greatest tennis players.

Seeded first, McCaig dominated all three of his opponents on his way to capturing the title at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II Individual Singles Championships.

McCaig defeated River Valley's Luvdeep Bal 6-3, 6-2 in the finals.

He also collected victories against Oakmont's Marshall Comia (6-1, 6-1) and Laguna Creek's Henry Huang (6-2, 6-2).

The experience of finishing in the top four three times-including second twice-at the section tournament fueled Nolan's desire to reach the pinnacle of his sport.

McCaig won all 23 of his matches in 2017.

He claimed his fourth consecutive WAC singles crown.

Nolan was voted conference MVP for the fourth consecutive year.

McCaig's career record while starring at No. 1 singles was 100-4.

He had a perfect 63-0 mark against WAC opponents.

McCaig led Ceres High to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III crown in 2015.

The Bulldogs also claimed three WAC titles and participated in the playoffs four times.

Ceres High (14-1) placed first in conference play with a near-perfect record in 2017.

"I'm just pretty proud of everything I was able to accomplish individually and as a team," McCaig said. "It's been really special to be a part of the Ceres High tennis program. Going in as a freshman, I didn't know what to expect. I really didn't have any goals. Every year, I learned something new. I always maintained my focus. My mindset and intensity remained the same. My intelligence on the court grew. Overall, it was an amazing experience."

Nolan earned a scholarship to Midwestern State University in Texas.