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Teachers' kids excel in DI sports

UPDATE Nov. 16: Earlier this week, both girls participated in their CIF Central Section Division I finals. On Tuesday, Megan and her Buchanan Bears tennis team fell short, losing, 7-0, in the first round of the playoffs to Arcadia High School. Meanwhile, Taylor Oren’s Clovis West Eagles, beat Liberty High School of Bakersfield in five games to win their fourth DI championship in five years. They will continue to play for a State championship, beginning Nov. 17.

Athletics, as most of you know, are not just limited to our school. Throughout Fresno and the rest of the Valley, student-athletes are becoming more and more competitive across the nation.

Two of FC’s teachers, new science teacher Jennifer Oren and math teacher David Lee both have student athletes in their senior year, competing for a championship in their respective sports. Both athletes have played their sports over a course of several years and now their hard work is finally paying off.

Megan Lee and Taylor Oren are amongst the best in the valley in their sports. Lee has been a three sport athlete throughout her high school career at Buchanan High School. Meanwhile, volleyball player Oren, is one of the top players in the valley and team captain on her Division I Clovis West varsity volleyball team.

Though softball is her primary sport, Lee has found great success on the tennis court. Last year as a junior, she was the number two player in the valley, making it all the way to the finals of the central section in singles by winning the league conference champoinship and the area singles championship. However, she lost to Gracie Jacobs of Garces in the central section finals.

Megan’s sucess has not just been this last year alone; she has been manufacturing wins from the time she first stepped out on the court. Playing competitively on a team since seventh grade, Megan was a success early on.

She has been on the varsity tennis team at Buchanan for all four years of her high school and has been a league champ for three straight years. During her sophomore and junior years, she was a league champion in doubles and went all the way to the central section finals. This year as a senior, Megan was a league champion and is pursuing a central section championship.

Lee is very proud of his daughter. He played tennis in high school and college and started working with Megan at a young age, which lead to her success.

“Softball is her primary sport,” Lee said, “So we are very proud that she has also excelled in tennis. I played tennis at Fresno State, so I worked with her when she was young to get her started.”

Tennis Coach Robert Foshee knows all the hard work that has to take place in order to be a great tennis player.

“You have to be mentally strong,” Foshee said. “Since it’s an individual sport you don’t have teammates surrounding you; you must strategically stay one step ahead of your opponent and stay focused. Physically, you need good stamina and know when to be aggressive and when to have more of a defensive game plan.”

Lee also said that he could not be more proud of his daughter. Seeing her succeed and watching her hard work pay off has bought him joy.

“I’ve really been blessed to watch her through the years,” Lee said. “To see all her hard work and have her be rewarded has been really special. And despite all her success, she has stayed humble and shown a Christ-like character on and off the court, which has made me proud.”

Over at Clovis West, Taylor and her volleyball team push for another D1 valley championship. Taylor is currently the varsity team captain and plays outside hitter. But her success did not come instantly. She has been playing volleyball since fourth grade, and started travel ball in sixth grade. Over the course of her career, she has been team captain six times, has been to junior nationals twice (2010 & 2012), and has received three concussions throughout the years.

Her success has not only been out on the court but also in the classroom and in the community. Her current GPA is a 4.2, she is a part of student leadership and Inter School Council at Clovis West, and is a youth leader at New Cov JH Youth Group.

Taylor has also taken time out of her schedule to devote time to others. This past summer she went on a mission trip to Haiti to work at an orphanage. She said it was the “highlight of my life” even though when she returned to the States she had to play in a five day tournament at Junior Nationals.

Taylor’s mom Jennifer Oren, the new Fresno Christian science teacher, says that Taylor has been a fantastic Christian role model, both on and off the court.

“She went to Fresno Christian, so while she was here she grew spiritually,” Oren said. “She went into the world and, as weird as it sounds, she found her mission field in athletics. She is the team captain and prays for the team before games and prays with the team as well. She loves helping and caring for others.”

FC volleyball player
Ivette Ibarra, ’15, says that being great at this sport is not an easy task.

“Being a good volleyball player takes determination and selflessness,” Ibarra said. “You have to put the team on your back and you can’t get angry or get yourself down. Volleyball takes a lot of determination and team camaraderie.”

After graduating the two plan on attending college. Megan hopes to attend Cal Poly San Louis Obispo and possibly play either softball or tennis, following in her older brother’s foosteps. Taylor on the other hand is looking towards Point Loma and plans to further her relationship with Christ as she receives an education.

For more features, read the Nov. 9 article, Musical groups host annual dessert festival.

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