Lindsay High School athletics awards ceremony honors Title IX

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Every year, Lindsay honors their past, present and future athletes of the year with an awards ceremony called the CESPYS.

"'Automatically no. No." Lindsay High School's Isabella Duran recalls the moments she asked her parents to play football.

Eventually, they let her play and last year, she made history in the CIF Central Section.

She was the first female to score a 31-yard field goal.

"In a world where girls can't play sports, I just can't see it," says Isabella.

The CESPY'S, or the Cardinal Excellence in Sports Yearly Awards, aims to honor athletes just like Isabella.

It started in 2021. The banquet includes all sports at Lindsay High School.

Junior and three-sport athlete Gabriela Leon helps lead the event.

"I feel empowered here. For example, there are many other athletes that are probably in the same position I am where I am looking up to older athletes that have moved up to higher levels," says Gabriela.

This year's theme celebrates 50 years of Title IX, the law that protects from gender discrimination.

It helped pave the way for equal opportunities in sports for females.

Lindsay High School graduate, Carol Bradford, was the third female Athlete of the Year in 1983.

"Whenever I was in high school, I didn't realize that it was brand new for the females to get Cardinal of the Year. My volleyball coach, Carol Jones, she was instrumental in working with Jon Porales in getting it started," recalls Carol.

Both Isabella and Gabriela thank women pioneers for changing the game.

The CESPYS kicks off this Friday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 at Lindsay High School.

The annual event welcomes anyone who is a past, present or future Cardinal athlete. Parents and supporters are also welcomed. For details click here.
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