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Van Noord named top goalkeeper

File Photos / Union Democrat Sonora goalkepper Robby Van Noordwas named VOL goakleeper of the year.
The Sonora Wildcats water polo program had nine members from its boys’ and girls’ team named to the 2015 Valley Oak League All-League team. 

“It’s gratifying for the kids to get recognition for the effort they put in over the season,” said Sonora head coach Matt Personius. “It’s important that the kids understand that other people see the fruits of their effort. Not just that they worked hard, but that they are above the average and above the fray.”

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III boys second-place team had two first-team players and two second-team members. Junior Robby Van Noord was awarded as the Goalie of the Year.



Yet another near-missed 800 series

This column covers Nov. 13 through Nov. 19.

This report it is Dave Rossi (SIRS) that just missed an 800 series. His high game was a 279 and the series was 791. This, like Feola last report, is his highest series for this 2015-16 winter season and is 161 pins over average for the series. His scores gave him the men’s high game and series.

The women’s high game honors is owned by a sole bowler who also rolled the women’s high series in this report and that would be Amanda Klaahsen (Umchu Full House).


Colder weather helps duck hunters

This week’s weather change could be a boon to duck hunters, as a freeze up north should drive some new birds down into the Grasslands. 

Last Saturday, my son Bill and a friend had a pretty good shoot at the Santa Cruz Club south of Los Banos. They had a good early morning flight, mostly Greenwing Teal and Northern shovelers. They ended up with 11 ducks, including one Canvasback, before the flight ended about 10:30 a.m. 

To make it more challenging, they were both shooting 20 gauge shotguns. My son is still shooting the same Remington Model 58 that I gave him in 1970, when he was 13 years old. 

The public shooting areas showed some increase in averages last Saturday in the Sacramento Valley with Delevan and Sacramento Refuges being the best. 

In the Los Banos Complex, Merced and Los Banos units picked up to around two birds per hunter.  


Wildcats play for section championship Saturday

Guy Dossi / Union Democrat The Sonora Wildcats practice Thursday morning at Dunlavy Field with temperatures in the low 30s.
 Sonora head football coach Bryan Craig is in his seventh year as head coach for the Wildcats. He has helped guide the Wildcats to the playoffs in five of those seven seasons, including back-to-back section title game appearances this year and in 2014. He has won consecutive Mother Lode League titles since entering the league two years ago. Craig spoke with

Union Democrat sports editor Bill Rozak on a chilly Wednesday night during practice at Dunlavy Field.

UD: Second straight section final appearance, are you doing anything different in preparation for this years final than you did for last year?

BC: Exactly the same. Exactly what we did last year. We’re always happy to be practicing on Thanksgiving week.

UD: Anything you learned not to do last year?

BC: We didn’t come out with a victory but we played well so everything we did was good.


Sonora rolls Sutter in first round

Robert Winters / Union Democrat Sonora sophomore Riley Patterson smashes a kill Tuesday past the block attempt of Sutter’s Rebakkah McLaughlin in the first round of the CIF State Girls’ Volleyball Championships at Bud Castle Gym. The Wildcats won 3-0.
Even the champs can have an off night. And the Sonora Wildcats most definitely did not play their best volleyball Tuesday night.

But the three-time Sac-Joaquin Section division IV and defending state champs had plenty in their tank to take care of Sutter at Bud Castle Gym.

The No. 3 Wildcats swept the No. 6 Huskies 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-9) in the first round of the CIF State Girls’ Volleyball Championships and will play the No. 2 Marin Catholic Wildcats, a private school from Kentfield, near San Rafael, at 7 p.m. Saturday. 


Sonora football to play for title Saturday

The top seed Sonora Wildcats will play Saturday to try and earn the school’s second football section title.

The Wildcats will meet the No. 6 Bear River Bruins at 1 p.m. at Elk Grove High School in the final of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Championships.

Last season, The Wildcats reached the division IV final and were defeated 42-35 by Central Catholic, who is in the division III semifinals this year.


Volley 'Cats win 3rd consecutive crown

Robert Winters / Union Democrat The 2015 Sonora Wildcats pose with their Sac-Joaquin Section championship blue and white banner Saturday after defeating the Hilmar Yellowjackets at Tokay High School in Lodi for their third straight crown.
 In front of a loud, boisterous crowd, the Sonora Wildcats claimed their third straight volleyball championship Saturday in Lodi.

A large Sonora contingent chanted and taunted the larger Hilmar crowd and helped push the top seed Wildcats past the No. 2 Yellowjackets 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-21) in the final of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Championships at Tokay High School.


Claim Jumpers win 2nd straight

Guy Dossi / Union Democrat Columbia’s Michael Meserole shoots in traffic Saturday vs. Gavilan.
Jumper Nation was in full force Saturday night at the Oak Pavilion to support the Columbia Claim Jumpers against the Gavilan Rams. Behind 45 combined points from DeAndre Stallings and Bostan Van Der Veur, the Jumpers easily took care of the Rams 90-53. 

“I was feeling great tonight,” said Stallings, who finished the night with a game-high 25 points. “It was a team game tonight. Franny (assistant coach Rick Francis) helped me a lot and made me get into the gym and worked on my shot. He changed some things on my shot and it worked.”


’Skins battle Sierra in semifinals

Guy Dossi / Union Democrat Calaveras senior quarterback Dylan Byrd (left) and head coach Jason Weatherby discuss strategy Wednesday at practice on Frank Meyer Field.
 The Calaveras Redskins are four quarters, 48-minutes away from playing in the final of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division IV Championships. The only thing that stands in front of the Redskins and their first trip back to the section title game since 2010 is the Sierra Timberwolves of the Valley Oak League. 

The No. 3 Timberwolves enter tonight’s game with a 6-5 overall record, but defeated Union Mine last Friday 24-21 to reach tonight’ssemifinal. Sierra finished fifth in the competitive VOL with all four teams ahead of it earning playoff spots. But for Calaveras head coach Jason Weatherby, he doesn’t take lightly any team finishing fifth in the VOL.


’Cats build title hopes without their ‘Hammer’

Sonora senior linebacker/ guard and co-captain Blake Graham (above) breaks through the scout team defense Thursday during practice at Dunlavy Field. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat
 The Sonora Wildcats will have to build their section championship football dreams without their hammer.

Junior star linebacker/fullback and co-captain Bradley Canepa was sidelined with injury for the last two games, including Sonora’s first round playoff victory last Friday over the Marysville Indians, and won’t play another down this season as the Wildcats play their Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Championships semifinal at 7 tonight against the undefeated Orestimba Warriors at Dunlavy Field.


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