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Escalon Honors Inspirational, Outstanding Senior Athletes
Contributions to their sports and outstanding leadership and dedication have netted five Escalon High School seniors year-end honors, two selected for the Hall-Loureiro Most Inspirational Athlete and three tapped as the Lloyd C. Engel Most Outstanding Athletes.

Ian Fitzgerald and Sabrina Luque were honored with the Hall-Loureiro awards, while Gino Franceschetti, Josh Miguel and Shaylynn Beam received the Lloyd C. Engel honors. The seniors winning the top athletic awards were recognized for contributions on the playing field as well as their solid, consistent work in the classroom.

Escalon's top female athlete, earning the Lloyd C. Engel Award, Shaylynn Beam was a crucial performer for the volleyball team and tennis team during her years at EHS.

"A tremendous role model for our young athletes, she understands time management between academics and sports," Athletic Director Mark Loureiro explained. "This year she led our volleyball team and tennis team to TVL titles and deep into the Section playoffs."

Beam said she likes both her sports equally and sees a lot of similarities between them, picking your spots in tennis and volleyball to place the ball where your opponent will have the hardest time getting to it for the return. Both require discipline, power and skill, qualities that Beam has in abundance.

"This young lady has blended many activities at Escalon High in her four years," Loureiro added. "Don't let her smile fool you, because she loves to compete."

Looking ahead to higher education, Beam will attend Delta College in Stockton to start, and will pursue a career as a second grade teacher.'

"That was my favorite grade," she said.

And as far as the award presentation, she was honored and pleased.

"This means a lot to my family," Beam said.

Co-winners for the boys were tops on a long list of possible honorees, said Loureiro.

"Probably the most stacked group of top male athletes in 20 years," he admitted. "It's probably why the senior class boys dominated the TVL and CIF the last four years.

"It is very hard to separate them (Franceschetti and Miguel) because they both have had fabulous careers at Escalon High. Every team they play on wins ... and they win championships."

Gino Franceschetti played three sports for four years at EHS while still maintaining solid academic standing. He was an All-League performer in football, basketball and baseball, leading baseball and football to TVL, Section and State titles.

"He has been called the greatest competitor to play at Escalon High," Loureiro said, adding that he can do almost anything, even teach you "how to do flips on a trampoline."

Franceschetti said the support of his family and the community were keys to his success.

"It has been great," he said of the high school experience and being part of such a successful group of sports teams. "Just being a part of Escalon, the coaching, the community support, I couldn't have done it without that."

He plans to first attend Modesto Junior College and will likely play basketball for the Pirates, with the ultimate goal of transferring to Sacramento City College to study air traffic control.

Co-honoree Josh Miguel is the last of three Miguel brothers, four total Miguel siblings, to attend Escalon and excel in sports.

"I can remember both his brothers, both very good athletes themselves, telling me 'wait 'til my little brother gets here' and they were right," Loureiro told the crowd in presenting the award. "He has set virtually every football record and many baseball records at Escalon High. He has been an All-TVL athlete in every one of his sports. He has been honored at the section and state levels for high performances."

Miguel said there are a lot of great memories from his years at EHS, but even better are the friendships he developed.

"I would say it was an amazing experience, all the people I got to play with, and the coaches, they're like second dads, it's just a great feeling of family," Miguel said.

He will head to Merced Junior College in the fall, planning to pursue a career as a physical education teacher.

Sabrina Luque played golf in the fall and soccer in the spring for Escalon, contributing on both fronts.

"Inspiration can be defined in many ways," said Loureiro in announcing Luque's selection. "This young lady led by example, played with passion and determination, her personality and values made people better around her.

"She helped lead our golf team to the TVL title and captained the girls soccer team into playoffs."

For her part, Luque said she enjoyed playing both sports at Escalon High and always sought to be a mentor to the younger players.

"I try to help the underclassmen improve their game," she said, adding that it was a great achievement for the soccer team to get back to the playoffs this season and she also has enjoyed great success with her fellow Lady Cougars on the golf course.

She will start her next phase of education at Modesto Junior College and plans to suit up for the Pirates to play soccer.

Ian Fitzgerald played football and tennis at Escalon High, excelling on both the gridiron and the court, helping the football team to a Section and State title in the 2010-2011 school year and taking the league title in tennis.

Loureiro described Fitzgerald as "one who is highly visible on our campus and athletic fields" and garners "tremendous respect" from his teammates, coaches and others around the league. A student and athlete who gets the most out of his challenges, Fitzgerald was a perfect fit for the 'inspirational' award.

"In my 26 years of coaching, his intensity, honesty and sense of fair play is unmatched," said Loureiro. "He is one person I would like to keep as a senior forever because he makes everyone better every day you are around him."

Fitzgerald said he was honored by the selection.

"I just enjoy sports in general and the lessons you learn from teamwork, the self-confidence you can gain are unmatched," he said. "I try to just be a role model by my actions."

Headed for the University of Arizona, Fitzgerald is looking to study physiology.

The outstanding senior athlete awards were presented at the school's Spring Sports Awards Night, with Loureiro also noting that throughout the school year, there were 318 student athletes who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or above. A total of 10 athletes were selected as Trans-Valley League Scholar-Athletes for spring, achieving a 3.5 or better GPA.