Canyon Crest celebrates Lady Raven seniors

Canyon Crest Academy Lady Ravens tennis team held its senior send-off for four special players on Oct. 20. Coach Larry Belinsky said that seniors Juliann Li, Emma Burton, Amanda Schiffman and Lily Richard leave behind a legacy of success, noted by the banners hanging on the school’s tennis court from the school’s first CIF Division 1 Championship in 2014 and CIF finalists in 2013.

The varsity squad had a very strong season at 12-3 and will head into CIF Championship play this week hoping to bring home another banner.

CCA Athletic Director Brian Baum, senior tennis players Juliann Li, Lily Richard Emma Burton and Amanda Schiffman and Coach Larry Belinksy. (Karen Billing)

At the send-off, Belinsky took time to personally acknowledge each player.

He said he admired and respected Co-Captain Emma’s ability to stay calm and focused even under the most stressful moments.

“You have such a sweet and kind demeanor and never seem to let things get you down,” he said.

Belinsky said fellow team Co-Captain Juliann was always striving to improve, a quality he thinks holds true in everything she does, not just tennis.

“Your dedication to hard work and discipline will undoubtedly take you far in life,” Belinsky said to Juliann.

He said Lily, the team’s fashionista, was a great team leader with a “bubbly, positive and tenacious attitude” and he was always impressed with her manner on and off the court.

“On one hand you are loyal, caring, sensitive, respectful and charming,” he said. “On the other, you are a fierce competitior, a force to be reckoned with who I have never seen back away from a challenge.”

To Amanda, the coach said he was proud that she had accomplished so much on the varsity squad over the last four years, including the championship and serving as co-captain in 2015.

“I feel very honored to have been associated with you as well as your loving family,” Belinsky said, wishing her luck in college.

Athletic Brian Baum said the banners speak for what the tennis seniors have done during their time at CCA.

“I expect a lot of our student athletes and I think these four have demonstrated that over their four years here, being great role models for the individuals behind you (the JV team), showing them how to behave, how to act and how to be a leader. That’s what’s more important for me than the banners hanging out there,” Baum said.

CCA looks to continue its strength in tennis as the aforementioned JV team went 14-0 this season and recently won the Avocado West League Championship.