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Bret Harte grad TJ Dillashaw fights Saturday for world title

Photo by Amber Pappé, The Union Democrat

LAS VEGAS—UFC fighter TJ Dillashaw meets with members of the media during Thursday’s pre-fight press conference for UFC 173: Barao vs. Dillashaw. An Angels Camp native, the 28-year-old Dillashaw will challenge Brazil’s Renan Barao Saturday night in Las Vegas for the world bantamweight title. Dillashaw, who holds the record for highest striking rate in UFC/WEC history, will have his hands full against the champion. Barao has gone undefeated in 35 consecutive bouts, the longest winning streak in mixed martial arts history. “I have nothing but respect for Barao,” said Dillashaw. “He’s on a phenomenal win streak, but all reigns come to an end.”


Taking aim: Groveland’s Maddalena to shoot for US

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esse Jones / Union Democrat Groveland’s Sagen Maddalena is deadly accurate once she puts her right eye to the site. Maddalena will represent USA Shooting in world cup matches this summer in Germany, Slovenia and Spain.
Sagen Maddalena started air rifle training less than a year ago.

And in that time, the Groveland resident has developed into one of the nation’s premier shooters.

Maddalena, making her first official appearance in an individual event against a veteran field, finished second and recorded the two highest qualifying scores in the 10-meter air rifle — 415.7 and 417 — on May 11-14 at the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Spring Selection Match in Fort Benning, Ga.

For her outstanding marksmanship during the three-day event, the 20-year-old will represent USA Shooting.

“It was somewhat surprising, but I put a lot of hard work into it,” Maddalena said. “I knew something like this was down the road for me. I was always working hard. It’s pretty cool.”


Wildcat baseball trio earn VOL honorable mention

Three Sonora Wildcat baseball players earned All-Valley Oak League honorable mentions for their play in 2014.

Senior shortstop Tyler Helm and juniors Joseph Kish and Carter Denton all earned praise during the Wildcats’ final season in the VOL.


Bears and Bullfrogs named top MLL athletes

Two players each from the Bret Harte and Summerville girls’ soccer team earned All-Mother Lode League Most Valuable Player awards for their outstanding efforts during the 2014 season as voted by league coaches.

Bullfrogs Lauren Redding and Jessica Stohlman each received MVP honors. Redding was the league’s Defender of the Year and Stohlman garnered the top goalie award.

Summerville junior Mali PetersonWood was tabbed the Midfielder of the Year and sophomore forward Darian Skellenger was selected as the league’s top offensive weapon.

“It’s definitely a big honor because there were a lot of great competitors this year,” Skellenger said. “Even though we didn’t make it to playoffs, we still fought. The whole season was very close. It’s just a big honor and there were a lot of other girls who were deserving.”


Calaveras softball comes up short vs. Hughson in section final

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Jason Buck / Union Democrat. Calaveras Redskins Grace Carr swings at a pitch during the Division V Sac-Joaquin Section Championships at Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton.
STOCKTON — Calaveras’ sensational season came to an end Saturday with consecutive losses against Hughson in the final of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Championships at Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton.

Calaveras was trying to wrestle away the title from the 3-time defending champions, but the experienced Huskies were able to hold off the ambitious Redskins in the double elimination tournament, 4-1 and 16-5, the latter in six innings.

“That’s a good team over there, a real experienced team at this level, in this situation,” said Redskins head coach Mike Koepp. “We kind of unraveled a little bit at the end there. But what I told the girls was, ‘You can’t teach experience. They have it. They understand what needs to happen in order to be successful right here (title game).’ We’re gonna be better for it in the long run, for the girls that are coming back. Being in these pressure-packed games, it’s hard, you can’t teach that.”


Sonora’s Lehnert to be enshrined into East Bay State Hall of Fame

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Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Mark Lehnert, at left, poses with a game ball from the American Professional Soccer League and gloves that he used during his time in Germany’s Bundesliga. Lehnert, above, makes a save.
A Sonora man will be inducted into the Cal State East Bay Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday in Hayward.

Mark Lehnert, a standout goalkeeper and four-year starter, protected the goal for the Pioneers soccer program from 1985-89.

“It’s pretty cool,” Lehnert said. “Not many people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. It’s kind of like an honor.”


Sports briefs: Hound trials to be held in Coulterville

The Modesto Houndsmen Club will host the 2014 Memorial Weekend Field Trials onMay 24 and 25 in Coulterville.

Entry fee for the swim and drag races is $10. There will be a qualifying race for the swimming event, but not the drag race.

Cash prize for the swim and drag finals is $600 each. 

A raffle will be held on Sunday.

For more information, visit the club’s website at https://modestohoundsmen.com/.


Frogs finish season with Final Four loss to Capital Christian

Bret Harte’s memorable girls’ soccer season came to an end on Wednesday in Sacramento.

No. 3 Capital Christian scored the match’s first goal two minutes into regulation and pulled away in a 3-0 win over No. 7 Bret Harte in the semifinals of the Division VI Sac-Joaquin Section Championships.

“It was a tight game,” said Bullfrogs first-year head coach Miguel Santos. “We gave all our effort. We have to learn from this game, but this game will make us a little stronger and will change the way we practice now. Everybody was so happy. Like I told you in our game against Sonora in the preseason, our goal this year was to have fun and we did.”


Redskins softball win first 2 playoff games

The Calaveras Redskins softball team is one win away from playing in the Division V Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game.

Calaveras defeated Lindhurst 4-2 its first match and topped Ripon 8-4 in its second contest on Wednesday at the Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton.

“It’s nice to be able to win those two games,” said Calaveras head coach Mike Koepp. “The second one was more impressive. It was a good team win for us. Everyone contributed. It was nice.”


World title shot: Drive, hard work lead TJ Dillashaw to championship bout

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Jason Buck / Union Democrat Angels Camp native TJ Dillashaw (above) briefly stopped training for a quick photograph earlier this month at Urijah Faber’s Ultimate Fitness in Sacramento. Dillashaw (below) was training there six days a week in preparation for his world championship fight against belt holder Renan Barao on May 24.
W
hen Tyler Jeffrey Dillashaw steps into the Octagon at UFC 173 in Las Vegas, two decades of hard work, grit and determination will pay off with a chance to win a world championship. 

TJ will headline the May 24 pay-per-view main event with bantamweight title holder Renan Barao. It will be the first championship fight for the former Bret Harte wrestling standout.

“I got goosebumps when I heard about the fight,” TJ said. “I was crazy excited. I was supposed to fight someone else, but it just worked out. I was next in line. I knew that if I put in the hard work, my time would come.”

But for the 28-year-old Angels Camp native, his journey to this world championship opportunity was achieved through heart and the drive and fire to outwork everybody else.

It was 20 years in the making.


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