Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2017-’18 campus activities in review

Over the course of the school year, The Feather Online covers campus news and events within the community. The journalism team publishes articles, photos, podcasts and videos on various platforms, including Instagram, Twitter and Soundcloud. The Feather staff reflects on the achievements and notable events of the 2017-’18 school year at Fresno Christian High.


Terry Richards continued to lead the program Brother to Brother, where a junior high boy is paired with a high school boy in a mentoring relationship. Brothers meet together twice a month for on and off-campus lunches. Last year boasted the most students in the program ever, 43 pairs of brothers. 

Katie Reneau led the twin campus mentorship program, Sister to Sister. High school girls mentor a junior higher and meet twice a month for lunch. Hope Villines will run Sister to Sister during the 2018-19 school year.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

CSF advisor Andrea Donaghe (not pictured) honors Cathryn Vander Kooi (left), Mariana Fikse (center), and Trisha Cui at the end of the year CSF awards ceremony.

The campus California Scholarship Federation (CSF) chapter experienced its largest membership year with 70 student participants. The club holds monthly meetings to discuss various service opportunities and offers upperclassmen scholarship opportunities. Advisor Andrea Donaghe honored 15 senior CSF members at graduation. Academic adviser Evangelina Tello plans to oversee the club this year.

Campus alumna Brooke Stobbe, ‘12, entered a new campus position, AmeriStudent coordinator, and led the International Club. Stobbe worked to integrate international students by coordinating their homestays with host families, teaching ESL (English as a second language) classes, tutoring and organizing any events or trips.

Alumnus Matthew Sue, ‘18, initiated the first ever FC campus Fishing Club. Members practiced basic techniques in class then journeyed to nearby fishing hotspots to practice their skills. Aubri Foster served as the advisor for the fishing club.

Performing arts

Choral director Susan recounts the highlights of last year’s choir experiences, including their trip to NYC.

“Fresno Christian choral groups enjoyed a successful year of growth in numbers and ability,” Ainley said. “The high school mixed choir, Cantiamo, with 40 members, sang at festivals, concerts and community events. Women’s ensemble, Bellezza, joined with the full choir at concerts and festivals, as well as singing at churches and other community events.

Blake Deffenbacher | The Feather Online

Choral director Susan Ainley explores New York City with 45 choir and ensemble students.

“Of course, the highlight of the year was the combined choir trip to New York City,” Ainley continued. “After three days of jam-packed sightseeing, 45 choir and ensemble members rehearsed with other students from all over America to form the National Youth Choir, directed by Dr. Rollo Dilworth. After the rehearsals, the 350 voice choir performed 6 songs at the famed Carnegie Hall.”

Drama teacher Kyle Dodson and the drama class had A Night of One Acts and director Leslie Bannister band and percussion groups and winter guard performed in spring to round out the performance classes.


Returning to New York, Feather staffers competed for a Gold Crown award from the CSPA. After a week of experiencing the city and attending the CSPA journalism convention on the Columbia campus, judges awarded The Feather Online a Gold Crown, March 16. This is the eightth Gold Crown in the last nine years and sixth in a row.

The team shifted focus and began working towards the NSPA Pacemaker and attended the convention in San Francisco. The Feather placed fourth in the onsite judging of the Best of Show competition, but was unable to achieve the Pacemaker award, April 14, instead it earned a finalist nomination. The Feather has won six NSPA Pacemakers since 2006 with advisers Greg Stobbe and Kori Friesen.

Sam Cross | The Feather Online


Campus has long been known for its worship and speaker chapels over the years. Organized by Robert Foshee, speakers range from community leaders, pastors to teachers. Worship directed by Daniel Garrison but student-led on a regular basis.

Leadership activities/events

Fresno Christian’s formal event, NOTS, returned to Wolf Lakes to showcase student-produced movies with the events theme, Rewrite the Stars. Students enjoyed a catered dinner, conversation and complimentary boat rides around the lakefront.

After asking their dates to Sadies, couples and groups spent a day at Magic Mountain.

Student leadership and members of the Feather Online lined the street corners of Fresno to hawk newspapers to passing motorists and pedestrians for Kid’s Day. Funds raised by the newspapers went to benefit Valley Children’s Hospital and it’s patients. The school sold over 900 newspapers and raised $2,526, passing their previous record of $2,500, March 6.

Feather Staff | The Feather Online

Homecoming freshmen princess nominees, Hannah Villines (left), Brynlee Schmidt (center) and Caleigh Alday arrive to the homecoming halftime crowning ceremony. 

With shovels, rakes and gloves in hand, junior high and high school students scooped, dug and lifted their way to impacting the community in various locations around Fresno during Serve Day, March 1.

This year’s theme, ‘Homecoming for Humanity,’ raised money for a variety of non-profit organizations, Oct. 6. The freshmen came out victorious in the float building competition. The float, which represented Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center, received the most votes from the judges. The Eagles defeated the Riverdale Christian Christ Ambassadors, 61-12.

Freshman princess: Caleigh Alday

Sophomore princess: Serena Zhao

Junior princess: Kamryn Schultz

Senior princess: Maicy Luginbill

Senior queen: Mariana Fikse

Senior prince: Wyatt Koop

Senior king: Tyler Villines




During the cheer season, the varsity girls squad struggled with timing of injuries and forfeited competitions. With next season in mind, Coach Hope Villines invested in the team during the summer, preparing them with workouts and routines in anticipation for a more successful 2018 cheer season. Villines shares the accomplishments of the girls during their summer of preparation.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

The campus student section cheers on players during a home football game.

“They (the junior high and high school squads) both attended Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders Cheer Camp at Hope Int’l Univ. in July,” Villines said. “Both teams came home Camp Champs! Together they received the Spirit Award and we had 7 total All Star Cheerleaders. They brought home a Spirit Stick and received a bid to nationals!”

During the school year, both junior high and high school cheer won competitions.


Head coach Russ Counts returned to coach the football team, leading them to their third consecutive D-VI valley championship in a victory against the the Trona Tornadoes, 28-0. The Eagles finished undefeated in league play with a 5-0 record and 9-4 overall.


Although the team lost some valuable players, returning coach Kit Maddox led the 2017 girls volleyball team to Central Section CIF Girls Volleyball Championships quarter finals against Selma, where they were defeated 3-0. Nonetheless, the girls ended league 8-2 and 21-11-1 overall, improving on previous years.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Seniors Tyler Villines and Cayla Rivas are awarded “Male Athlete of the year” and “Female Athlete of the Year” for their dedication on the campus sports teams.

Girls Tennis

Girls tennis took a leap forward in the 2017 season. Improving from their 2016 0-11 record, the girls went 7-6-1 under first-year head coach Daniel Jessing.


Boys Basketball

With 11 seniors graduating, new faces stepped up, joining the program. Head coach Jon Penberthy began working with the new talent, but struggled during games with his inexperienced squad. The team went 3-7 in league play and 12-16 overall.

Girls Basketball

Girls basketball ended with a winning season, finishing 16-6 overall and 7-3 in league play. Despite losing senior guards Juliet Davila and Julie Gosset, the team continued the positive trend in their win/loss record from previous seasons.

Girls Soccer

Transitioning from boys to girls soccer, coach Matt Markarian led the girls soccer team to the D-VI valley championship game, where the Rosamond Roadrunners defeated the Eagles, 1-0. Seniors Cayla Rivas, Jenna Bynum, Carlee Whipple, Elizabeth Herren, Maicy Luginbill and Lauryn Tucker filled defensive positions during the season. With their graduation, underclassmen have many spots to compete for. The girls went 7-3 in league and 16-5 in their overall season.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Goalie Reese Brown, ’19, passes the ball to a teammate.

Boys Soccer

As long time head coach Matt Markarian transitioned to girls soccer, Frank Brunneman took over coaching duties along with Garrett Markarian. A young boys team experienced early success, however, finished league play without a win.



David Davila and Steve Villines took over coaching roles and led the team to 9-10 overall and 4-6 in league play. The girls made a playoff run but fell short of the championship.


After winning the first baseball valley championship in school history, coach Noah Heinz and players returned to the diamond seeking another deep run in playoffs. The Eagles baseball team competed with higher division opponents in close games, but fell short in playoffs losing to the Roosevelt Rough Riders 6-4 in the first round. The Eagles finished their season 12-9 overall and 4-6 in league.


In the West Sequoia League, Jacob Hyatt, ‘22, and Bethany Pouliot, ‘19, won the individual league championships in triple jump, with Hyatt also placing first in high jump and Lillian Fuller, ‘21,  taking 2nd in girls long jump. Runner Jonah Lozano, ‘19, won a league championship in the 100 meter dash and took second in the 200 meter race. The 4×1 boys and girls relay both placed second in their respective races.

Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Jonah Lozano, ’19, (right) competes with other runners in a meet.


Under new head coach Brent Deffenbacher, the golf team took the D-II West Sequoia League title despite many golfers lacking experience.

Boys Tennis

Boys tennis continued the tradition of winning seasons, but failed to take the WSL title. They did take a step further towards a valley championship. After falling in the semifinals the last two years, the team made it to the finals but lost to Madera Liberty Ranchos. Jaden Ventura, ‘18, and Alexander Rurik, ‘19, won the league individuals doubles tournament.

The following juxtaposition compares the graduating classes of 2018 and 2017. Use the slider to compare the celebratory pictures captured during both ceremonies. 

This past year, two longtime FCS employees retired: Groundskeeper Val Rivera (10 years) and secretary Brenda Warkentin (34) each contributed to the spirit and excellence of the Fresno Christian community.

The Feather staff looks to continue sharing campus and community news. The staff thanks all who supported the publication last year and looks forward to connecting with new and old readers in the coming school year. 

For last year’s recap, read Reminiscing the 2016-17 school year.

For more articles, check out Join the Discussion: FCS graduation 2018.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.

Your voice is important to us. Share your opinion in the comment box located beneath the Related Posts section.