The Union Democrat Sports Department

The Sonora Wildcats soccer team opened its Valley Oak League schedule on Tuesday with a 2-0 defeat against East Union at Dunlavy Field.

The Wildcats put the Lancers on the defensive throughout the game but couldn't finish their scoring chances.

"East Union is always a stout program, but we just couldn't take advantage of the chances we created tonight," said Wildcat head coach Lloyd Longeway. "Grant Armas had a real good game at right wing and Damien Carabello was real active in the midfield. Matt Howard created a ton of chances for us and Gardner Davis ran the defense real well."

East Union scored its first goal with 20 minutes left in the game and then added the clincher in the final two minutes on a counterattack after the Wildcats dedicated high numbers to offense.

Sonora will jump back into action today in Tracy vs. Kimball at 6:30 p.m.

Bullfrog golfers edge Ripon, tiedfor second in VFL

Senior Jaymie Heryford carded a 39 to lead the Bret Harte Bullfrog girls golfers to a narrow 165-168 victory over Ripon on Tuesday at Jack Tone Golf Course (Par 31).

Fellow senior Rilee Hillman added a 40, freshman Nicole Ayala shot a 42 and senior Keryn Thompson carded a 44 to round out the Bullfrogs' scoring.

"Heryford continues to shoot low scores for us," said Bret Harte head coach Rich Cathcart. "And freshman Nicole Ayala shot her low round of the year."

The Bullfrogs (2-1 Valley Foothill League) win puts them in a tie with Ripon for second place in the VFL, one game behind Escalon (3-0). Calaveras and Linden are two games back (1-2) and Riverbank (0-3) is three games back.

The Bullfrogs next will host Linden at 3:30 at Greenhorn Creek.

Wildcat JV gridders win 14-7 thriller in Paradise

The Sonora Wildcat junior varsity football team got its first victory of the season Friday beating host Paradise 14-7.

Wildcat quarterback Sammy Page scored both Sonora touchdowns, including the game-winner with nine seconds left.

Trailing the Bobcats 7-6, and facing fourth-and-goal from the Paradise 2 yardline, Wildcat head coach Jeremy MacDonald made the call to go for it and was rewarded.

Page faked the dive handoff, followed his fullback and plunged just over the goal line. Nate Gookin ran in the 2-point conversion for the final score.

The final score was set up by a 24-yard run by slotback Jayden Estrada. Estrada went in motion to the left and grabbed a quick pitch from Page. There was nothing but Paradise defenders in his sights so Estrada reversed his field, received a crushing block from his quarterback, and, 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, outran Bobcat defenders around the corner for a 23-yard gain to set up 1st-and-goal.

"Getting that win was real big for us," MacDonald said. "These guys played real hard in a very physical JV game. I was real impressed with how our defense played. We got great linebacker play from Bradley Canepa and Blake Graham and our secondary (Page, Gookin, Estrada, Jesus Rodriguez) did a real good job coming up on the run."

Page put the Cats up 6-0 in the opening quarter with his first touchdown.

Sonora had the ball just three times in the second half, but controlled possession with long drives and finally converted with nine seconds left.

"We made a few mistakes on offense we need to work on this week, but we were still able to control the game and time of possession, said MacDonald, who only suited 20 players due to injuries and illness. "Our fullbacks Shane Petrey and Bradley ran real hard. We wore Paradise down in the second half with our long drives. We don't have a lot of guys, but the boys we have are real scrappy."

Wildcat polo girls cruise to victoryover host Turlock

Balanced scoring and a strong counterattack led to a Sonora Wildcat girls' water polo victory Tuesday at Turlock.

Katie Ferris, freshman Samantha Slater and Josie Personius scored three goals apiece, Tess Houghton added two and Julieanne Wright, Hailey Carson-Hull and Ruby Personius each scored once to lift the Wildcats to a 14-7 victory.

Sonora jumped out to a 5-0 first-period lead and never looked back.

"Turlock had no answer for our counterattack," said Wildcat head coach Matt Personius. "Our defense has improved considerably but still needs additional work as does our front-court offense and effectiveness at center."

The Wildcats last weekend went 2-3 at the Sierra Shootout and finished 20th out of 32 teams.

The Wildcat boys suffered a tough 8-7 defeat to the Bulldogs.

The Cats were tied 2-2 after one period, 4-4 after two and trailed 7-5 after three. Sonora rallied to tie the game at 7 with five minutes left, but Turlock scored the game winner late.

"Turlock is a strong, aggressive team," Personius said. "Our defense continues to be porous and lacking the consistency necessary to stay competitive at a higher level. We need to continue to work on our front-court offense. Although we made plenty of scoring opportunities today, we were unable to capitalize."

Scoring goals for Sonora were Spencer Lyons (2), Gabe Runte (2), Riley Richey (1), Mike Proper (1), and Ian Burkhart (1).

The Wildcats next will compete in the California Captial Challenge on Friday and Saturday in Woodland.

Frosh/soph boys-The Wildcats lost 18-2.

Frosh/soph girls-TheWildcats lost 12-2.