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Leers sinks 1st hole in one at SC

With just more than two years of golf experience, Sonora resident Ed Leers accomplished a feat of which all golfers dream.

The 52-year old Leers walked up to Saddle Creek’s Hole 11, a 115-yard par 3, and let it fly with a pitching wedge.

Leers’ brother-in-law, Kevin Otto, 53, of Clovis, thought the ball had no chance and said it was too far.

Within seconds Leers proved Otto wrong and he sank the first hole-in-one in his short career.

“It pretty much cleared it,” Leers said. “It went way up in the air and it landed about a foot and a half in front of the hole. It took a little hop right and the spin stopped the ball and rolled left and disappeared. It was cool. It’s pretty much a rarity.”


Section-champ Cats featured on milk cartons

The Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section champion Sonora Wildcat volleyball team is being featured on Crystal Creamery milk cartons at local retailers.

The Wildcats won their first section title in early December in dramatic fashion, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Hilmar in five games.


29th Orient Express set for Saturday

The 29th Orient Express Run is set for Saturday, Feb. 1 in Chinese Camp.

The 1-mile family fun run begins at 9 a.m., and the 4-mile run follows at 10. 

The cost for adults is $40 for one race and includes a long sleeved poly tech shirt, if available. For both races, it’s $50. Children under 13, one race is $20 and $30 to race in two events. For Special Olympians, it’s $10 for two.


Sonora MMA fighters win two, lose one

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat. Mike Thurman (left), of Sonora MMA Academy’s Last Stand Fight Team, defends his title against Tanner Marlow.
By JACKSON HEATH

For The Union Democrat 

Sonora MMA Academy’s competitive fight team entered the cage on Saturday at the Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown.

 

Local fighter Luke “The Nuke” Nunes took on tough boxer James Mulder in a back-and-forth bout. Nunes was able to take control in the second round, finishing the fight by Technical Knockout with punches from the mounted position. 

Even after his victory, Nunes saw room for improvement. 

“Honestly, I felt sloppy,” Nunes said. “I really did. I mean, I worked hard and I think I let the adrenaline get to me. But, a win’s a win.”  


Sonora hoopsters fall to WR

Sonora Wildcats Will Collamer and Kahale Warring both dropped 15 points each, but it wasn’t enough as Sonora fell 57-56 to Weston Ranch on Saturday at Bud Castle Gym.

The Wildcats and Cougars were tied at 14 after the first quarter, but then Sonora, who defeated Weston Ranch 68-62 earlier this year, settled down.

Sonora’s defensive pressure held Weston Ranch to just three points in the second period, and the Wildcats took a 21-17 lead into the break.


Wildcat girls earn 2nd road win

Sonora Wildcats girls’ basketball coach Amy Santos knows that winning on the road is key to capturing a Valley Oak League title.

With a 50-40 victory over Sierra on Friday in Manteca, the Wildcats, who also knocked off Manteca on Wednesday, are one step closer to their goal.

“This was a huge week to go on the road and get two wins,” Santos said. “Sierra beat Kimball and East Union, and they are pretty good teams. To go down there and get a win at their place was huge.”



Columbia ends two-game skid against Merced

After back-to-back Central Valley Conference losses, first-year Columbia College men’s basketball coach Rob Hoyt knew he had to make some changes, especially on the offensive side.

Instead of trotting out his usual starting lineup, Hoyt inserted Robert Orantes and Mike Williams into the rotation in place of Marcus Junior and Jordan Gomez to provide a spark.

And it paid off.

Columbia defeated Merced College 63-50 on Saturday night in Merced.

“It was good,” said Columbia forward Tige Wingo. “I think we would have liked to score a little more points, but we held them under 60, which was our goal. We went in expecting to win and we’re able to get a win.”


Roundup: Cat girls hoopsters defeat Manteca

If the Sonora girls’ basketball team is going to contend for a Valley Oak League Championship, the Wildcats need to take care of business away from Bud Castle Gym.

With a 50-44 road win over Manteca on Wednesday, they did exactly just that.

“It was a great game and a huge win,” said Sonora head coach Amy Santos. “To go on the road, with their band playing and to take away a win was big.”


Dillashaw beats Easton by unanimous decision

By AMBER PAPPE

For The Union Democrat

ATLANTA — UFC bantamweight T.J. Dillashaw kicked off the new year with a huge unanimous win over Mike Easton at UFC Fight Night 35 Wednesday night at Gwinnett Center.

The 27-year-old mixed martial artist, a member of Team Alpha Male, dominated Easton with a complete game, landing 117 strikes to Easton’s 46 and nailing two takedowns to win all three rounds 30-27. 

“I came in with respect for Mike; he’s tough. I expected it would be a tough fight, and I knew it would go the full three rounds,” Dillashaw said. “He’s ranked in the Top 10 for a reason, but I was the better athlete tonight.”


Bear hoopsters bounce Buffs

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Summerville’s Braden Anderson (32) attempts a layup on Wednesday against Amador at Tuolumne.
The Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team slowed the pace and earned their first Mother Lode League win on Wednesday, a 43-35 victory over Amador in Tuolumne.

“The last couple of games we figured we better slow down things,” said Bears head coach Ben Watson. “And it’s been good for us.”

Eli Mclaurin scored a game-high 13 points for the Bears and Bryce Farrell added six points and a season-best 13 rebounds.

“That was Bryce’s best rebounding effort of the season,” Watson said.


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