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S’ville grad Dunlap to lead volley squad at CConn St.

Rachel Dunlap, a 2011 Summerville graduate, wrapped up her junior year at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn., this spring.

In 2013, the 6-foot middle blocker enjoyed a breakout volleyball season. Dunlap earned second-team All-Northeast Conference honors after leading the league in blocks. Her 1.54 blocks per set was the fourth best in the nation for all of Division I.

Dunlap also broke the single-season school record for most blocks with 163, and was named NEC Defensive Player of the Week five times. She helped the Blue Devils reach the NEC Championship match, but the team fell short to LIU Brooklyn.

Central Connecticut finished its season with a 21-9 record.

The 21-year-old, back home for a month vacation, assisted with on-court instruction during last week’s Sonora Wildcat youth volleyball camp at Bud Castle Gym.

Dunlap spoke with Union Democrat sports reporter Vongni Yang after the camp last Thursday to share her volleyball experience, and what her goals are for her final season at Central Connecticut, where she will serve as a senior team captain in 2014.

6 from Sonora headed to volleyball nationals

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Six Sonora Wildcats (above, from left), freshman Riley Patterson, seniors Leah Dambacher, Bailey Henington, Shannon Friend and juniors Kiana Pisula and Kelsie Evans will compete later this month at the 35th annual USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships in Minneapolis.
Six Sonora Wildcats will compete with their respective club teams at the 35th annual USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships on June 24 to July 3 in Minneapolis.

“It’s pretty uncommon for a school of our size to have this many of its volleyball players attending the national championships,” said Sonora Wildcat head coach Kim Evans.  “It’s something that the program has never had before. It puts us at a very high level of play, which is exciting for Sonora High and Tuolumne County, and makes our fall look very inviting.”

Former NFL top boss speaks in Angels

Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat. Super Bowl winning coach Mike Holmgren was the Grace Hills Covenant Church's guest speaker Saturday during a men's breakfast at Bret Harte in Angels Camp.
When Mike Holmgren was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth round of the 1970 NFL draft out of USC, he thought he was going to have a long and storied career.

But that dream was unfortunately cut short.

Holmgren was let go by the Cardinals and then picked up by the New York Jets.

A knee injury ended his time with the Jets, and it was at that moment that the then 22-year-old rookie quarterback was at a cross road.

“I hurt my knee and that was it,” said Holmgren, who was the guest speakerSaturday at a men’s breakfast sponsored by Grace Hills Covenant Church at Bret Harte High School’s multiple-purpose room in Angels Camp. “Here I was at 22-years-old, what I thought I was going to be able to be doing was over. I thought I was going to be a professional football player, play 10 years, make a lot of money and it ended. What do I do now?”

Holmgren enjoys time in Calaveras County, talks football

Former Calaveras head football coach and Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools Bob Bach, 74, invited Super Bowl winning head coach Mike Holmgren to share his life experiences at a men’s breakfast sponsored by Grace Hills Covenant Church on Saturday at Bret Harte High School’s multi-purpose room in Angels Camp. Holmgren spoke with Union Democrat sports reporter Vongni Yang after the breakfast about life and football.

UD: Did you enjoy your time here in Angels Camp and Calaveras County?

MH: It’s been great. First of all, it’s a beautiful place and it was good to see Bob and Marlene (Bach). We’ve known them forever. The turnout today and being able to talk to these fellas that have lived here, a lot of them their whole lives, was great. It’s a privilege.

UD: How’s life out of football?

MH: I’m busy. I’m doing a radio show up in Seattle. I have the freedom to do a lot of things. We’re more involved in our church. We’re involved with a group called Medical Teams International. We get to spend a lot of time with our grandkids. It’s good.

Lawrence, Seawell help North tie in Lions All-Star Game


For The Union Democrat

TRACY — There were looks of dissatisfaction on the faces of former Sonora linebacker Steve Lawrence and Calaveras receiver Mike Seawell as they walked off Wayne Schneider Stadium Field following a 21-21 tie in the 41st annual Lions High School Central California All-Star football game Saturday night.  

It is only the second time in the games’ history, and the first time since 1982, that it ended in a tie.  

Not having a distinct winner or loser was not exactly the way North players Lawrence and Seawell wanted to end their high school football careers.  

“Ending in a tie sucks, but I guess it’s better than losing,” Seawell said. “You want to win, that’s why you play any game, but at least we didn’t lose.”  

Cats forced to embrace home on road

The Sonora Wildcats football and soccer teams will be more like the Sonora Stray Cats when the fall high school sports season begins in August.

Due to delays in construction on the $23 million Measure J bond multi-phase project, that voters passed in Nov., 2012, the Cat football team will be without a home in 2014. The soccer Cats won’t be complete strays and have found limited shelter at Standard Park.

“We wrapped everything into one bundle and it’s a four-to-six month application process which puts us right in the middle of June,” said Sonora High School Superintendent Mike McCoy. “What slowed everything down was the age of the buildings. These are old buildings and there were a lot of engineering and architectural concerns.”

Lawrence, Seawell ready for Lions All-Star grid game


For The Union Democrat

STOCKTON — In week three of the 2013 football season, the Sonora Wildcats and the Calaveras Redskins faced each other in a tough defensive battle.  

Sonora linebacker Steve Lawrence and the Wildcat defense did their best to contain speedy Calaveras running back Mike Seawell.

However, it was Seawell’s Redskins who had the upper hand over the Lawrence-led Wildcats as they won 13-7.  

Now, nearly nine months later, Lawrence and Seawell are teammates. They both play for the North squad in the 2014 Lions All-Star football game Saturday in Tracy.

Lawrence and Seawell were no strangers to each other before joining forces. They had faced each other plenty of times over the past eight years, although they do not discuss their last meeting at Frank Meyer Field.

“Mike is really a good guy and I’m glad I’ve got to know him, but we don’t talk about the Sonora-Calaveras game,” Lawrence said after practice Wednesday night. “I think he knows I’m a little sensitive to it, so we want to continue to be friends. So yeah, we don’t talk about it.”

Martial arts camp

Jesse Jones/ Union Democrat Mountain Storm Jiu Jitsu’s Jose Ortiz (above, at right) instructs Kaedan Schrader, 6, of Tuolumne, how to do a head stand on Wednesday.
The Tuolumne County Recreation Department is holding its annual martial arts camp this week at Mountain Storm Jiu Jitsu.

Hunter safety class set for June 29

A one-day course in hunter safety is scheduled for Sunday, June 29 at the Senior Center on Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas.

Check-in is at 7:30 a.m. The class follows at 8 and runs to 4:30 p.m.

Interested participants must register in advance, at least five days before the class, and a $16 donation is asked to cover cost of materials and includes lunch. Minors will need a guardian’s signature to enroll in the class. Others are welcome to attend, but there is a $6 charge to cover lunch.

New device uses scent to attract fish


For The Union Democrat

 Glory Hole Sports has announced a new device to use scent to attract trout or kokanee while trolling. 

Called a scent chamber, it will serve two purposes. It will replace a bead chain swivel or can be used in tandem with other swivels. 

As most anglers know, swivels are important in preventing line twist.  The device will hold scent for a long period of time. Simply fill the scent chamber with scent gel, and it will slowly leak the gel and create a slick to attract fish. 

The best location for the device is above the dodger with a short leader between them.  

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