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Jokers Wild Walker rolls blistering 801 series

By Ruth Abreo

For The Union Democrat

This column covers June 17 through June 26.

Even though the temperatures had not yet risen to hot and hotter, Warren Walker of Jokers Wild was burning up the lanes at Black Oak.

Walker bowled a rare 800 series, an 801, his first ever. In his high series for this report, he also rolled the highest men’s score, a 280.

Cat grad Bates enjoyed first year at Puget Sound

Ben Bates didn’t play much as a true freshman at Puget Sound, but his experience on the bench as a role player will serve him well as he enters his sophomore season at the Division III college in Tacoma, Wash.

Bates, a 2013 Sonora High graduate, helped the Puget Sound men’s basketball program to an overall 15-12 record and a 10-6 mark in Northwest Conference play during the 2013-14 season.

The Loggers lost 71-68 in the NWC Tournament finals, and was just one game away from advancing to the Division III NCAA Tournament.

Bates, a key member of the scout team, appeared in 11 games, averaging 1.2 points and one rebound per game in 43 minutes.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward scored a career-high six points in an 80-57 win over St. Mary’s (Minn.) in late November, and finished the season shooting 75 percent from the field on 6 of 8 shooting.

Bates, who is back home on summer break and splitting his time between Sonora and Sacramento, spoke with Union Democrat sports reporter Vongni Yang on Tuesday about his freshman experience at Puget Sound.

Cat grad McLaughlin to seek birdies at Simpson

Courtesy photo. Former Sonora Wildcat Barrett McLaughlin will be playing college golf at Simpson University next season.
Former Sonora Wildcat star Barrett McLaughlin is extending his golf career next season with Simpson University, a private four-year college, in Redding on a partial scholarship.

McLaughlin, 20, played two years at Sierra College in Rocklin under the coaching and direction of PGA Golf Professional Walter Hix III after graduating from Sonora High School in 2012.

As a sophomore this past year, McLaughlin finished second individually in the Big 8 Conference, and also helped the Sierra College men’s golf team earn another second place overall finish in conference play.

“It’s really exciting that I get to go on from a junior college and be able to play at the next level,” McLaughlin said. “Since I was a little kid — basically since I could walk — that’s been the plan. Since I really started playing the game more, I wanted to keep playing in college. I just wanted to see how far I can take it.”

Triumphant tug

John Davis (top, at left), the anchor for the Tuolumne Lumberjacks, celebrates with the crowd while teammate Justin Correa sits up after winning the tug-of-war contest on Sunday.
Photos by Jesse Jones, The Union Democrat

After an approximately 40-minute struggle on Sunday, the Tuolumne Lumberjacks won the tug-of-war contest which wrapped up the 65th annual Tuolumne Lumber Jubilee that began on Thursday

All-Area MVP Durham delivers for Skins

Jesse Jones / Union Democrat. Calaveras senior pitcher Wyatt Durham is The Union Democrat's 2014 All-Area Baseball Most Valuable Player.
yatt Durham may not be a power pitcher, but his ability to throw quality strikes made him highly effective. 

Durham, the Calaveras ace, was one big reason why the Redskins finished third in the Mother Lode League and made two appearances in the 2014 Division V Sac-Joaquin Section Baseball Championships.

“I think they know what I bring, but I don’t think anyone comes and says, ‘Wow,’ ” Durham said of his pitches. “I always have to go out there and earn my respect.”

Cats, Bears hold 7-on-7 scrimmage

Summerville’s Humphrey Quirie (above) reaches to haul in a reception on Wednesday during a seven-on-seven scrimmage against Sonora at Dunlavy Field.
The Sonora Wildcats and the Summerville Bears football team got an early glimpse of each other during a seven-on-seven scrimmage on Wednesday at Dunlavy Field.

Both teams played on a shortened 40-yard field with two 15-yard first downs. Each squad was given three plays to move the ball at least 15 yards for a fresh set of downs. If a team failed to do so, it had to start over at the 40-yard line.

After 12 plays, Sonora and Summerville rotated on offense.

Sonora topped Summerville by an unofficial score of 48-24. The Wildcats rotated quarterbacks Zach Atwood and Sammy Page. Combined, the duo threw for 424 yards on 22 of 66 passing and eight touchdowns.

“I think both teams competed really well and got along great out there,” said Wildcat head coach Bryan Craig. “The weather was great for it, and I look forward to doing some more with them.”

Summer gridders

Bret Harte senior Logan Lowe runs a route on offense.
Photos by Jesse Jones, The Union Democrat

The Bret Harte Bullfrogs varsity football team hosted Ripon Christian Tuesday night for a seven-on-seven scrimmage at Dorroh Field in Angels Camp. “It was a great learning opportunity for us,” said Bullfrog defensive coordinator Eli Dufloth. “They learned a lot and started to make some adjustments. Things could only grow from here.” One Bret Harte player who did stand out was middle linebacker and running back Logan Lowe. The incoming senior was a first-team All-Mother Lode League selection at linebacker in 2013. “He’s a kid that’s been working and welding all summer,” Dufloth said. “He came in tonight, picked it up and did his job really well. And again, it’s because of his physical play.”

Hansten, Slater compete at prestigious Summer Sanders Inv.

Tuolumne County Aquatic swimmers Sam Slater and Dalton Hansten achieved a new level in competitive swimming by competing at the Summer Sanders Invitational on June 13-15 at the Roseville Aquatic Center.   

The junior/senior meet was open only to swimmers who had achieved the qualifying time standards.  

More than 1,400 swimmers competed at the three-day meet, ranging in ages from 11 to 28. 

Cat grad Keefe gearing for senior season at Chico

Kelli Keefe, a 2011 Sonora Wildcat grad, recently completed her junior year as a valuable member of the Division II Chico State softball team.

Keefe, a 5-foot-3 second baseman, set a career-high at the plate with a .303 batting average. The Columbia resident and former Wildcat three-sport star scored 20 runs, recorded 36 hits and generated 10 RBI in 46 appearances that included 45 starts. Her .376 on base percentage was the fourth-best on the team.

The 21-year-old tied for second on the squad with 16 stolen bases and had a .946 fielding percentage.

Chico State went 24-26 overall with a strong 12-6 showing on the Wildcats’ home diamond.

Chico State finished sixth in California Collegiate Athletic Association play with a 17-19 mark.

Keefe, who is back home on summer vacation and is working as a camp coach at Sonora Sports and Fitness, spoke with Union Democrat sports reporter Vongni Yang on Monday about softball and what she has in store for her final year at Chico State.

Hicks leads shooters at state meet


For The Union Democrat

For the third straight year Mother Lode Gun Club Nugget Dylan Hicks claimed first place in the Intermediate Advanced division of the California Youth Shooting Sports Association’s state championship meet on June 13-14 at the Stockton Gun and Bocce Ball Club.

The 15-year old won the title by shooting a 195 out of 200 over the two-day event.

However, it wasn’t easy for the fifth-year shooter. It took a three-round shoot-off between Hicks and two others before he was able to call himself champion.

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