By AMBER PAPP´E
Amber Pappé / Union Democrat UFC bantamweight TJ Dillashaw controls Brazil’s Renan Barao (above) Saturday during their championship bout at UFC 173: Barao vs Dillashaw. A fighter with a powerful wrestling background, the former Bret Harte and Cal State Fullerton wrestling standout, used a sharp striking game to defeat Barao and claim the UFC bantamweight title in Las Vegas.
For The Union Democrat
LAS VEGAS—TJ Dillashaw’s dream came true Saturday night here in the Octagon at the MGM Grand.
The bantamweight became the newest UFC champion, dominating Brazil’s Renan Barao from start to TKO finish.
Almost a 9-1 underdog coming into the bout, Dillashaw, who fights out of Sacramento with Team Alpha Male, took on the heavily-favored Barao with confidence in his preparation and a clear understanding of what he was facing in Barao’s unmatched decade-long streak of 34 consecutive wins.
“I didn’t feel any pressure. He’s the champion and he’s the one who has a huge winning streak,” Dillashaw said pre-fight. “He’s supposedly unbeatable. I think all the pressure is on him. Nobody has expectations for me which make me free to fight my fight.”
Sonora Wildcats Steven Grolle won two events Thursday and Bryce Sanguinetti won the pole vault to lead a large foothills contingent that qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships Masters track and field meet later this week in Elk Grove.
Overall, 11 athletes, five from Calaveras, four from Sonora and two from Bret Harte, finished in the top five or better in their respective events at Thursday’s Divional IV/V meet at Modesto Junior College.
A combined 39 schools in the two divisions participated.
Former Sonora Wildcat standout Karson Canaday has been told in the past that he was too small to play college baseball.
At a listed 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds, Karson’s stature doesn’t match the ideal size of a prototypical Division I college baseball player.
But what scouts can’t measure is the size of his heart and his love for the game.
He’s also never allowed all that undersized jargon to derail his aspirations of suiting up for a collegiate program.
“Growing up, that was the biggest thing I ever heard,” Karson said. “People always asked me what I wanted to do and I would tell them, ‘I want to play baseball and go to the next level.’ ”
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.”
Sagen Maddalena started air rifle training less than a year ago.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
A Sonora man will be inducted into the Cal State East Bay Sports Hall of Fame on Sunday in Hayward.
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.
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.”
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/.
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