Victim of crash on Highway 119 was member of 2016 varsity team that went 12-0

Taft High’s varsity boys’ tennis team dedicated its final league matches Thursday to former player, Alejandro (Alex) Arguello, who was killed Tuesday night in an automobile accident on Taft Highway.

Arguello was a member of the 2016 varsity team that went 12-0 to win the school’s only South Sequoia League title in boys’ tennis.

The 2018 team, at the suggestion of player Jose Ramirez, wore wristbands with Alex’s name inscribed and had a minute of silence before the games.

“Alex was quick with that beautiful smile of his and always seemed happy,” Taft High coach Jim Carnal said. “On his way back from Taft College, he would often stop to talk to coach Bill Friend and myself. He matured a lot in college. He will be sorely missed by tennis players and Taft High students and staff.”

Taft shut out Shafter twice, 9-0, in a doubleheader to make up a rained-out match. In games, Taft won the first match, 96-12. Carnal played lower players in the second match but it still ended 96- 10 in games.

Taft improved to 19-6 overall; including 13 shutouts. Taft was 12-2 in the SSL behind undefeated Bakersfield Christian. Wasco finished 10-4. Shafter, with wins over Robert F. Kennedy and Cesar Chavez finished 2-12.

Taft will host the South Sequoia League individual championships Tuesday and Wednesday.
The eight SSL teams will each bring their top six players. Each team will field two singles players and two doubles teams. The top six singles players and top six doubles teams will advance to the area (Kern County) individual tournament May 11 and 12. Team playoffs begin May 3 with seedings announced April 30.

Taft’s JV team, under first-year coach Leroy Day, finished 18-7 overall and 2-1 in league to tie for the championship with BCHS.