Student: Destiny Cuellar
Year in School: Senior
Plans After High School: After high school, Destiny wants to become a certified pharmacy technician or go to college and major in radiology to become a MRI or ultrasound technician.
GPS Focus: PRIDE
What Makes Destiny #BulldogSTRONG: One of the major milestones for a high school athlete is when they have finally reached the pinnacle of being selected to play on the Varsity level of their sport. For most high school athletes, achieving this benchmark in their sports career happens during their junior year, however, there are those that started playing Varsity athletics as early as their sophomore year. On the rarest of occasions, there are those athletes who have the ability to compete as a Varsity level athlete as a freshman - such is the case for Golden Valley High School senior, Destiny Cuellar for the Lady Bulldogs Softball program. For Destiny, softball has been part of her life as she has played since she was 3 years old and throughout elementary and middle school, she competed in various travel softball teams throughout Bakersfield. As a freshman entering Golden Valley, coaches quickly took notice of her talent as a catcher and realized that she had the ability to compete at the Varsity level. “One of my most memorable moments for me was from my freshman year,” comments Destiny, “When I first made the varsity team, I was nicknamed ‘Freshman’. To this day, there are some people that still call me ‘Freshman.’” However, as a member of the Varsity Lady Bulldogs Softball team, Destiny has hardly played like a freshman. In her first year, Destiny had a batting average that hovered around the .400 mark mainly batting from the leadoff spot. In her sophomore year, Destiny led the Lady Bulldogs with a .373 batting average, 25 hits, 12 doubles, and 11 RBIs. As a junior this past Spring, Destiny got off to a hot start before Covid-19 shut down the season. In just 4 games, Destiny had an astounding .667 batting average with 8 hits, 11 RBIs, 4 doubles, and 1 triple. Behind the plate as a catcher, Destiny has been a force as balls rarely get by her and runners rarely run against her as she has thrown out about 60% of base stealers, which is impressive in softball. “I fell in love with being a catcher,” comments Destiny, “Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals is my favorite player because is an incredible catcher that will be in the Hall of Fame one day - I’ve always looked up to him.”
#20 Destiny Cuellar has left an incredible legacy as a 4 year Varsity catcher on the Lady Bulldogs Softball team.
Beyond her success on the diamond, Destiny has also flourished in a sport she picked up during sophomore year, tennis. With the hand eye coordination and athleticism that she acquired from her years in playing softball, Destiny was able to make Varsity as a sophomore as she shifted between the #5 and #6 positions in singles. As a junior, Destiny improved tremendously as she was elevated to #3 singles and was on the #2 doubles team. Destiny fell in love with tennis at Golden Valley because of the peer support she received from her teammates, in particular Brianna and Brittany Martinez, who were captains of the Lady Bulldogs tennis and formerly featured in the #BulldogSTRONG Student Spotlight. “Brianna and Brittany welcomed me to the team with arms wide open and helped me learn and grow to be a better player,” graciously states Destiny. “They were also great influences and I don’t think I would be the player I am today without them.”
Destiny Cuellar has been a solid player for the Lady Bulldogs Tennis program as many of the skills she learned in softball have helped her in tennis.
Academically, Destiny has also seen her fair share of success as she has close to 3.5 cumulative GPA while being enrolled in College Prep and Honors classes respectively. Additionally, Destiny comes from a family lineage of Golden Valley graduates - a fact that gives her a lot of PRIDE. “Something that makes this school special to me is the fact that both of my brothers, Sergio Cuellar Jr. and Anthony Cuellar, both graduated from Golden Valley High School,” proudly states Destiny, “At first, I was known as Anthony’s little sister, but I feel that throughout my time here, I have made my own mark.” For the legacy she has created in four years as the starting catcher on the Varsity Lady Bulldogs Softball team and in the PRIDE she has in being at Golden Valley High School, Destiny Cuellar is #BulldogSTRONG.
During her sophomore year, #20 Destiny Cuellar was featured by the Kern High Network with her older brother and Golden Valley High School graduate, Anthony Cuellar.
What #BulldogSTRONG Means to Destiny: "Being #BulldogSTRONG to me means being the best possible version of yourself that you can be - whether in the classroom or out in the real world. ”
What Teachers and Staff Think of Destiny:
“Destiny Cuellar is a relentless competitor who holds high expectations of herself as well as her teammates. Destiny puts in work at practice, but she also puts in work on her own time to chase her dream of success. Regardless of the score or current outcome, Destiny competes and fights until the very last out has been recorded, and that and everything else is what makes Destiny Cuellar #BulldogSTRONG.” Kaitlin Toerner, Head Softball Coach, Golden Valley High School
“Destiny has been a member of the Golden Valley Lady Bulldogs Tennis Team for the past two years. Even though she had never played competitive tennis before joining the team, Destiny was able to step onto the court and immediately make her presence felt. Her natural athletic ability and her fierce determination allowed Destiny to play at #3 Singles during her junior year. She is a tremendous competitor, a great teammate, and she possesses a positive attitude towards others. Destiny exemplifies #BulldogSTRONG PRIDE as a member of the Lady Bulldogs Varsity Tennis Team!” Ed Crosby, Head Girls Tennis Coach and Social Studies Teacher, Golden Valley High School
"Always engaging in conversation, even in Distance Learning."" Aaron Wright, Social Studies Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Destiny is such a #BulldogSTRONG force on campus she has positively impacted the school and been a pleasure to watch grow the past few years at Golden Valley. It would be easy for her to become lost in the shadows of former GV star and big brother, Anthony, but her quick wit and gregarious personality has helped her to create authentic and genuine relationships among staff and students alike. It is impossible to have a bad day when Destiny is in it. ” Jennifer Webb, Dean of Instruction and Administration, Golden Valley High School
“Destiny is a very outgoing girl. She is extremely funny and everyone's friend. She is competitive beyond belief and strives for perfection in all that she does. Destiny loves playing sports and brings her competitive edge to the courts. All in all, Destiny is a great student, a great friend, and a great athlete.” Lori Ambros, English Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Miss Cuellar is AWESOME!!! She has an infectious personality, not the bad kind of infectious lol. Destiny was in my Honors Chemistry class, everyday she brought an amazing attitude and smile to class. Destiny pushes herself to be accomplished in academics and athletics. I was very much looking forward to watching her play on the softball field and seeing her excel in her studies. Destiny is one of my students that I will definitely look forward to seeing in the future, hopefully not too distant in the future. Girl is # BULLDOG Strong!!!!!!!!!!!!” Raelin Villalobos, Science Teacher, Golden Valley High School
“Destiny is a great student athlete and beyond that she is a great human being to be around. I don’t think I have ever seen her without a smile on her face. She is the biggest cheerleader for her teammates and is always willing to go the extra mile to make her teams better. Destiny is a great two sport athlete and excels at both of them. This being the crazy year that it is they will both be going on at the same time but I know Destiny has it in her to do her best to accomplish her goals in both of those sports.” Robert Haskell, Athletic Director, Golden Valley High School