Booth multitasked for Titan football, while Caitlin captained the girls volleyball team
■ By Corey Evan / Reporter
A losing season can be tough, but being a tough athlete in your own way can often be the only win you really need. It’s a tough winning attitude which saw Tahquitz High School athletes Travis Booth and Caitlin Cunningham nominated to our MVP Spotlight for the fall.
Cunningham, a senior, was nominated by volleyball head coach Janette Placencia: “When I first met her she was so full of energy and positivity it was contagious! This season was her whole best moment; She played sick, injured, and tired. She did anything and everything because she knew her team depended on her. She is a real true leader.”
Cunningham got into volleyball thanks to her mother: “My mom played volleyball in high school and then in college. She coached in college too, and she actually coached here a couple of years ago. I’ve been playing her since I was little.”
According to Cunningham, the most rewarding part of this season was getting to know her teammates. “We did have a freshman and no-one really knew her, so involving her in our group and getting to know everyone else… Just bonding with them in general was really fun.”
While Cunningham kept the energy up, she says it wasn’t without its struggles: “It was very difficult sometimes; When everyone else was down I always tried to cheer for every point, if it was good or bad, if it was our mistake, their mistake…”
She put what she could into cheering up teammates and not letting them stay down, she said.
After high school, Cunningham is deciding between playing volleyball for the Mt. San Jacinto College Eagles or going starchy to a four-year university. But it depends on the money: “I have been talking to the MSJC coach, so I may play there and then go to a four-year. But if I do get really good scholarships, I plan on going straight to a four-year.”
Anyone looking to sponsor a spirited, cheerful athlete need not look further!
Cunningham wishes to thank her parents, her best friend Majesta, Coach Placencia and Coach Scripps for all their help throughout her time at Tahquitz.
Booth, a junior, was nominated by Football head coach Stephon Pace: “Travis is a tremendous young man on and off the field. Academically he carries a 3.64 GPA and is a well rounded young person. Travis was asked to play numerous positions throughout the season and never once questioned why, he was there for his team. Travis was recognized by the coaches as 2nd Team All League in the Mountain Pass League.”
Booth multitasked for the Titans this season, playing running back, fullback and receiver on offense, while on defense he was a middle linebacker.
He says both of his parents’ athletic histories led to him starting his own: “My parents are very athletic; They played sports in college, my dad went to UCR and Cal Baptist. He played baseball at both. He was a very good football player in his high school years.”
According to Booth, the mood on the gridiron experienced its sharpest drop after Citrus Hill came to town: “It was just a mental thing that we had; They would score… our mental state would (deteriorate)… I thought we should do better. I feel bad for the seniors, because they should have gone to the playoffs this year.”
Booth will have one more chance to jolt the Titans into postseason in the 2019-20 school year. But in the meantime, Booth will step up to the plate to bat for the Titans’ baseball club this spring. As far as his post-secondary plans go, nothing is set in stone yet.
Do you have a student athlete to nominate for our MVP Spotlight? If so, Corey Evan can be reached at (760) 270-5625 or email@example.com