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Frog gridders enter year 2 under Byrnes

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Jesse Jones / Union Democrat Bret Harte varsity head football coach Jon Brynes speaks to his players during the Bullfrogs’ first padded practice of the season Wednesday in Angels Camp.
It is year two of the Jon Byrnes era at Bret Harte High School.

After a tough 1-9 season in 2013, the Bullfrogs football team is hungry for success.

“We’ve had great practices so far this week without having any equipment on,” Byrnes said. “We’ve had complete focus at all levels. They’re a little bit more hungry for a win.”


Craig on cutting edge to help prevent concussions

It’s no secret the Sonora Wildcats like to play a hard-nosed, physical brand of football. That style won’t change this season under sixth-year head coach Bryan Craig.

What will change, is that Craig will know exactly what kind of helmet impact some of his Wildcats are delivering, or taking, and can take steps accordingly to protect them. When it comes to concussions and his players well-being, Craig wants to stay ahead of the curve. 

“We know for this game to continue, to be what it is, we have to get that head out of the game and we have to protect the players better,” Craig said. “We have to get concussions out of the game or we won’t have football. So we’re trying to get out front and lead that charge.”


Wildcat volleyers gear to defend crown

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Maggie Beck / Union Democrat (From left to right) Riley Patterson, Kelsie Evans, MaKenzee Hope and the Sonora Wildcats volleyball team practice Monday at Bud Castle Gym.
Sonora Wildcat volleyers playing against each other in practice is perhaps the best volleyball nobody sees.

The Sac-Joaquin Section defending Division 4 champion, and CIF North State finalist, Wildcats went head-to-head during Tuesday’s 20-minute, practice-ending scrimmage and it featured seven of the nine returning players that brought home the precious blue section title banner that’s hanging proudly in the Bud Castle Gym foyer.

One player, senior Savannah Lawrence, was off scouting colleges, a pretty good excuse, and another was on the sideline sick, but cheering on every good move made by her teammates. And there was a lot of cheering.


Bears to play 2 home grid games at Sonora

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Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Summerville Bears linemen Raul Dominguez (above, left) and Chris Caldera (right) work on conditioning Monday during the first practice of the fall season.
With renovations to the Summerville High School Stadium expected to be under construction until October, the Bears football team will play its first two home games of the 2014 season at a different location.

Summerville will host Bradshaw Christian and Hughson at Sonora High’s Dunlavy Field.

The Bradshaw Christian tilt will be on Friday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m., and the Hughson clash is set for Saturday evening on Sept. 20 because Sonora also has a home game the day before.

“It’s better than traveling to Hughson or Sacramento,” said Summerville head coach Ben Watson. “So, going down to Sonora is better than going to the valley. That’s the one positive thing.”


On the pitch

Tyler Davidson, 9, of Angels Camp, practices headers during the Ebbetts Pass Soccer League’s soccer camp on Thursday at Feeney Park in Murphys.
Photos by Maggie Beck, The Union Democrat

 

The Ebbetts Pass Youth Soccer League hosted the Challenger Sports Soccer Camp, a free preseason clinic, on Thursday at Feeney Park in Murphys. Two coaches from England and another three from Brazil got the opportunity to share their knowledge of the beautiful game with youth from Calaveras County and the surrounding areas. Nearly 200 kids participated in the week-long camp. The league’s official season kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 16.


New at the helm: Ex-Columbia boss Osterhout to lead S’ville

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Maggie Beck / Union Democrat Jennifer Osterhout is the Summerville Bears new head voleyball coach.
When the Summerville Bears varsity volleyball head coaching position opened in the spring, it was a no-brainer for Jennifer Osterhout to throw her name into the pool of candidates.

Osterhout was a highly qualified coach, and already had head coaching experience at the junior college level.

So in May, the 32-year-old applied for the position, and was hired later that month to direct the Bears program.

“She’s doing a fabulous job,” said Summerville Athletic Director Debbie Mager. “The girls are just excited. She’s working them hard, but they’re excited about the upcoming season. I feel like we are very blessed to be able to put that volleyball position attached to a full-time teaching position. We’re all very excited about it. We had other people apply, but she came in as a real broad experienced-based, not only for coaching, but for teaching.”


Rushing to the finish

Macormic Stark, 8, of Twain Harte, (102) and Margaret Grolle, of Sonora, (133) finish strong.
Photos by Jesse Jones, The Union Democrat

The Sonora Lions Club hosted its 3rd annual Pride Stride on Saturday at Columbia College. Sonora High 2014 grad Steven Grolle ran away from the pack to win the 5k. The event, which also boasts a 1-mile race, is a fundraiser for the Sonora High cross country program.


Dambacher making impression at Nevada

The first time Nolan Dambacher officially stepped on the field as a Nevada Wolf Pack football player in 2013, he recorded a tackle against eventual BCS national champion Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla.

Nevada lost 62-7, but that was an experience Dambacher will never forget, and it marked the beginning of his Division I college career.

Dambacher earned a spot on the Nevada Wolf Pack traveling roster last season, which can be viewed as an accomplishment, considering the 2012 Sonora High graduate is a walk-on and not under scholarship. 


Evans set for senior year at Utah Valley

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Courtesy photo / Utah Valley Athletics Sonora High graduate and Utah Valley senior Brenden Evans looks to pass last year during the Wolverines run to the Western Athletic Conference regular season championship.
For former Sonora High hoops standout Brenden Evans, 2014 has been a year to remember.

The 2009 Wildcat graduate wrapped up his first year on the hardwood for the Division I Utah Valley men’s basketball program in Orem, Utah.

As a junior, the Modesto Junior College transfer helped lead the Wolverines to the 2013-14 regular season Western Athletic Conference championship and a runner-up finish at the league’s postseason tournament.

Utah Valley ended the regular season with a 19-10 overall record and a 13-3 mark in the Wolverines’ first year in the conference.


Wildcats excited to play home games – at home

Wildcat Senior football players Bryce Sanguinetti, Lane Mierop and Colm Allan got up and walked out of Tuesday night’s Sonora Union High School District Board meeting in the library after two hours. 

The meeting, and discussion, continued for much longer, but they heard everything they needed to hear. 

Sonora High student body representative Sam McKinnie asked Measure J project manager Jeff Miller what turned out to be the most important question for Wildcat football fans — when the earliest construction could begin on Dunlavy Field.   

“Mid-to-late October,” Miller responded.


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