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Rushing to the finish

Macormic Stark, 8, of Twain Harte, (102) and Margaret Grolle, of Sonora, (133) finish strong.
Photos by Jesse Jones, The Union Democrat

The Sonora Lions Club hosted its 3rd annual Pride Stride on Saturday at Columbia College. Sonora High 2014 grad Steven Grolle ran away from the pack to win the 5k. The event, which also boasts a 1-mile race, is a fundraiser for the Sonora High cross country program.

Dambacher making impression at Nevada

The first time Nolan Dambacher officially stepped on the field as a Nevada Wolf Pack football player in 2013, he recorded a tackle against eventual BCS national champion Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.

Nevada lost 62-7, but that was an experience Dambacher will never forget, and it marked the beginning of his Division I college career.

Dambacher earned a spot on the Nevada Wolf Pack traveling roster last season, which can be viewed as an accomplishment, considering the 2012 Sonora High graduate is a walk-on and not under scholarship. 

Evans set for senior year at Utah Valley

Courtesy photo / Utah Valley Athletics Sonora High graduate and Utah Valley senior Brenden Evans looks to pass last year during the Wolverines run to the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship.
For former Sonora High hoops standout Brenden Evans, 2014 has been a year to remember.

The 2009 Wildcat graduate wrapped up his first year on the hardwood for the Division I Utah Valley men’s basketball program in Orem, Utah.

As a junior, the Modesto Junior College transfer helped lead the Wolverines to the 2013-14 regular season Western Athletic Conference championship and a runner-up finish at the league’s postseason tournament.

Utah Valley ended the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the Wolverines’ first year in the conference.

Wildcats excited to play home games – at home

Wildcat Senior football players Bryce Sanguinetti, Lane Mierop and Colm Allan got up and walked out of Tuesday night’s Sonora Union High School District Board meeting in the library after two hours. 

The meeting, and discussion, continued for much longer, but they heard everything they needed to hear. 

Sonora High student body representative Sam McKinnie asked Measure J project manager Jeff Miller what turned out to be the most important question for Wildcat football fans — when the earliest construction could begin on Dunlavy Field.   

“Mid-to-late October,” Miller responded.

Westside Little League to host state finals

The Westside Little League and Jerry Whitehead Sr. Field in Tuolumne will be home to the Northern California State Baseball Tournament Finals.

The week-long event, which starts on Saturday with opening ceremonies set for 11 a.m., is trademarked with Little League Baseball, Inc. in Williamsport, Pa., and is the last stop for the 9- to 10-year-old division. 

This will mark the first time in Westside Little League history that it will host the state finals.

“We’re very excited because we been trying for so long to have this tournament in Tuolumne,” said Westside Little League President Donnie Wright. “It took a lot of work from our board. It was very difficult.”

Wildcat girls SOAKing up Junior Olympic experience

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Sonora water polo stars (above, from left) Katie Ferris, 16, Josie Personius, 14, and Sammie Slater, 15, will compete in the USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics from July 31 to Aug. 3 in Stanford.
Traditionally, Sonora and Oakdale high schools are competitive rivals in all sports.

But four years ago, the Sonora and Oakdale water polo clubs merged in the summer to form a higher-level squad to allow its teams to compete on bigger stages.

Allegiances were put aside and a dynamic club team was established.

“SOAK is obviously a word that combines Sonora and Oakdale into one word,” Wildcats head coach and SOAK assistant Matt Personius said. “The idea was to let our players play together in the summer. It does several things. No. 1, it allows our players to get a broader base of experience and more competition by players from elsewhere other than our own program. No. 2, it increases our numbers. It allows us to more easily fill teams for tournaments, sometimes, multiple teams. The third thing it does is that it allows us to put together the best players from the two teams and to create a club that maybe is better than the individual clubs might have been on their own.”

Polo kickoff

Sawyer Alford, 13, of Arnold and the Bone Frog Water Polo Club (above), loads for a shot on Friday at the Bret Harte Aquatic Center in Angels Camp.
Calaveras County got its first taste of youth water polo on Friday at the Bret Harte Aquatic Center in Angels Camp.

The Bone Frog Water Polo Club, a newly-formed youth club in the county, sponsored the first water polo match at the facility since its opening in 2012.

Bone Frog coach Mark Garrett, a former collegiate All-American at Fresno State, kicked off the event with a ceremonial first toss.

“It is exciting to be part of introducing a new sport to kids in Calaveras County,” Garrett said in a release. “Water polo is a great sport that is growing in popularity and offers opportunities for advancement to college and international competition.”

Angels champ: Hundreds gather to meet UFC title-belt holder

Vongni Yang / Union Democrat Isaac Hudson, 6, of Sonora, waits anxiously as UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw signs his poster and picture on Sunday at the Bret Harte High School multi-purpose room in Angels Camp. Dillashaw’s UFC bantamweight championship belt was on display (below) at the event. The former Bullfrog standout (bottom) holds his proclamation during Angels Camp mayor Elaine Morris’ speech at the Bret Harte theater.
About an hour before TJ Dillashaw was scheduled to be honored by the city of Angels Camp at Bret Harte High School, the UFC bantamweight titleholder was out on the family compound squeezing in a workout.

The former Bret Harte wrestling standout takes no days off, even when his hometown holds a community celebration for his achievements in the Octagon.

And it’s that type of commitment and work ethic that makes Dillashaw a champion.

 “Dedication, hard work, (he’s) always had them,” said former Bullfrog wrestling coach Jan Schulz. “Running the hills, coming into early morning practices, if you’re any young guys out there, if you’re going to be a wrestler, you’ve got to dedicate yourself and TJ has always done that.”

Dillashaw, Barao both confident ahead of rematch

The rematch is set.

TJ Dillashaw will defend his UFC bantamweight title against former champion Renan Barao on Saturday, Aug. 30 at UFC 177: Dillashaw vs. Barao II at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

“I’m very happy that I did get the rematch so quickly, but I think I’ve earned the right,” Barao said by phone through a translator on Wednesday. “I have been the champion for a long time. I’m completely focused and ready to win the title and belt back. This is what I’m coming for.”

Spotted bass confirmed as world record


For the Union Democrat

Word out of Glory Hole Sports is that the 10.48-pound spotted bass caught at New Melones Reservoir in February by Keith Bryan, of Novato, has been confirmed as the world record for its species.

Bryan was fishing in a tournament and there was some controversy at first on the weight which had different readings on two scales, but the tournament scale was later confirmed as correct.

Fishing guide John Liechty said, “Records are made to be broken and I expect to see a new record turn up eventually at Melones.”

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Sat, 20 Dec 2014 04:22:52 -0800