Wildcats win Section, reach State semifinals
It’s still fresh in our memories, but “Sonora’s Sweethearts” captured the community’s attention and re-wrote history for Wildcat volleyball.
Spurred on by record-sized crowds for volleyball at Bud Castle Gym, the Wildcats won the Valley Oak League and the Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section title. Reaching that title game against Hilmar and winning it in five thrilling games, after being down 2-0, were both firsts for Sonora High School.
The historic ride didn’t end there.
The Wildcats earned the No. 2 seed in the CIF State Volleyball Championships and hosted two games where the crowd helped Sonora smother both opponents.
Soquel’s head coach Melissa Stoll authored the compliment of the year for the community when the Cats beat her team to reach the Final Four.
“With this crowd, it’s a much more hostile environment than my girls have faced at any time this season. The big plays they got, multiplied by the crowd … they had more big plays than we did and in my opinion that was the difference in the match ... Their program, their school spirit, it was just tough for us to handle tonight.”
In the NorCal Final, the Wildcats lost in five games on the road to private school powerhouse Menlo School on Dec. 3. In a show of community pride, the Wildcats had more fans in the stands than their host.
Sonora went farther than any D4 public school in the state.
Bear hoopsters win S’ville’s first basketball section championship
Backed by a rabid fan base nicknamed the “Bear Cave”, the Summerville Bears boys’ basketball team hit 2013 and didn’t lose a game for two months.
When the Bears finally lost on Mar. 4, they had trampled through the Mother Lode League undefeated for the title, earned the No. 2 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships, then won four straight playoff games to claim Summerville’s first basketball section title.
Th Bear Cave, community and fans helped put every opponent that came into the Tuolumne gym into hibernation.
Summerville hosted two playoff games and official’s whistles could barely be heard on court by the players due to the decibel level in the gym.
The Bears, and their fans, traveled to Lodi where Summerville buried top seed Riverbank to reach the championship game at Sleep Train Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings.
Once again, the fans followed and the Bears rewarded them with an historic victory over Liberty Ranch.