Coachella Valley stars earn CIF honors

Nine Coachella Valley high school standouts have been selected to the all-CIF first team for the winter season.

CIF-SS Division V water polo champion Palm Desert leads the list with four players chosen, including CIF player of the year Addi Halligan.

Other Aztecs named to the first team are senior Emily Garczynski and Kelley Burke, along with sophomore Elise Stein.

Palm Desert coach Michelle Valovic was selected Division V coach of the year in leading the Aztecs to their first title game appearance and a first CIF championship.

“Addi has had an impressive run at PDHS,” said Valovic. “As a four-year varsity player she has always had an important role on the team and as one of our captains, she always set the standard and led by example. We will all truly miss Addi next year but we can’t wait to see what amazing things she accomplishes in college.”

In basketball, three area boys’ players were honored as all-CIF-Southern Section selections.

Daniel McCown of Palm Desert, a senior who led the Aztecs to an undefeated Desert Valley League record and was named league MVP, was selected to the all-CIF team in Division III-AAA.

McCown finished the season with 18 points per game.

In Division VI, two seniors from Majestic League champion Desert Chapel were honored: Taner Alvarez and Roman Pellum were named all-CIF after leading the Eagles into the CIF title game.

Both players averaged more than 21 points per game.

Desert Valley League girls’ soccer MVP Brielle Leon was also selected to the first team for Division V soccer. The La Quinta senior is the school’s all-time scoring leader and will play for Michigan State next season.

Another soccer standout out of the De Anza League, Desert Mirage senior defenseman Alex Valdovinos was selected to the Division V all-CIF team. He sparked the Rams to a share of the league title.

Latest polls

More CIF news this week has three teams listed in the latest polls for baseball and softball.

In Division III, Palm Desert baseball is ranked 5th overall, the only area team to earn a spot.

In softball, La Quinta is ranked No. 4 in Divison IV, the only DVL team to earn a spot while Shadow Hills is No. 5 in Division VI.

The Knights are the only area De Anza team to get a nod.

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