South Lake Tahoe wrestlers heading to state championship |

South Lake Tahoe wrestlers heading to state championship

A couple of South Tahoe wrestlers will find themselves in familiar territory Friday and Saturday. After taking regional championships in their respective weight classes this past weekend in Truckee, senior Andrew Herrera and sophomore Jose Leon will head to Spanish Springs High School in Sparks to compete in the state championship. Herrera, the lone senior this season for the South Tahoe Vikings, will look to defend his state title in the 195-pound class. He has made it to the state championships all four years at South Tahoe High. "Andrew is the school's first two-time regional champion and he's the first South Tahoe wrestler who has a chance to repeat [as state champion]," said Sean Griffis, Vikings coach. Leon also competed in the state championship in 2016. Unlike last year, however, he enters this year as the No. 1 seed in his class. Leon is competing in the 170-pound weight class. "Jose … had a really good season, Griffis said. "He dominated everyone in our northern league throughout the year." Both athletes are healthy and feeling good coming out of the regional competition in Truckee, Griffis added. Herrera and Leon were not the only two South Tahoe wrestlers who competed in the regional finals this past weekend. Joshua Brackett (106 pounds), Nate Singelyn (113 pounds) and Josiah Brackett (152 pounds) all placed fifth in their weight classes. Kody Griffis (126 pounds) and James Knudson (132 pounds) placed sixth in their classes. As a team, Griffis said he is optimistic given the overall strong performance and the relative inexperience of the young Vikings. "Next year we're looking really strong."

Silver Stage experiencing number issues like the Warriors used to

Not long ago, the Whittell High School football program was saddled with the problem of low numbers. Now, other schools, including this week’s opponent – are dealing with that issue. Silver Stage, which will host the Warriors on Saturday at noon, forfeited its Northern 2A game with North Tahoe last week because of a lack of players. Due to the forfeit, Whittell coach David Atherton called the Silver Stage coach to verify that the game was still a go. Apparently it is. In fact, the game will serve as the Nighthawks’ homecoming game. A slew of injuries reportedly led to the Nighthawks’ forfeit against North Tahoe. Silver Stage (0-4) had 18 or 19 players when it scrimmaged Whittell before the season, according to Atherton. Whittell faced a more drastic numbers crunch in 2003 when the Warriors were forced to cancel their season. But Atherton has the program’s numbers on the rise as Whittell has been suiting up 29 players this season. Despite the Nighthawks’ thin roster, Atherton isn’t taking anything for granted in this league encounter. Silver Stage scored 28 points against Rite of Passage two weeks ago and lost to Yerington 19-6. “Every game this season is a must-win situation to get to the playoffs,” Atherton said. “Even though we played better than them in our preseason scrimmage, it doesn’t guarantee a win. “We enjoyed (our win over Incline) on Friday night and Saturday, and now it’s time to focus on Silver Stage.” Whittell throttled Incline 47-0 – its first victory over the Highlanders in six years – last Friday to even its league and overall records at 2-2. One of the goals for Atherton and the Warriors this week is to diversify their passing attack. “I don’t want to go away from Rio (DeLucia), but we really need to get Jordan Morgan, Ian Allen and our tight end Cody Reed going,” he said. Whittell may be without sophomore Austin Norton, who injured his collarbone in practice earlier this week. “Last year, he was the smallest guy on our sideline, and the guy is all guts,” Atherton said. “He caught a slant against Incline, and it took four or five guys to bring him down.” After the Warriors’ first shutout in years, Atherton said he would like his team to continue to flex their muscles on defense. “Right now, we’re taking a lot of pride in our defense. We’re trying to shut out every team,” Atherton said. “We’re taking pride in being a good defense and good tacklers. I make fun of them in the film room if they miss a tackle. “I like the attitude of the players like Nick Warner, who goes a mile a minute. It’s a kid like him that gets the defense fired up.” It’s homecoming for South Tahoe, and the stakes couldn’t be any higher on Saturday for the Vikings. After losing their Sierra League opener to Carson last week, the Vikings (0-4 overall, 0-1 league) would like to pick up their first league victory before upcoming road games at Bishop Manogue and Galena. South Tahoe will welcome back three key players to its starting lineup – Chris Klug, Chris Eidam and Garrett Tinlin missed last week’s game, causing coach Chris Morgan and his staff to move players to different positions. The return of Klug should open up Vikings’ offense and provide additional balance. Last week, quarterback Willy Ervin was 6 of 20 passing for 113 yards, with 67 coming on a scoring toss to Mike Burns. Jayvon Rich, Eric Taylor and Tyler Lastiri combined for 145 yards on the ground. Wooster (1-3 overall) lost its division opener last week to Manogue 49-14. The opening kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

Warriors earn soccer wins vs. Portola

Three different Warriors scored goals in Whittell’s 3-0 nonleague girls’ soccer victory against Portola on Monday in Zephyr Cove. Sammy Brumbach, Sierra Forvilly and Jenny Shepack each chipped in goals as Whittell improved its overall record to 9-3-2. Shepack and Forvilly also assisted on goals. “It was a good team win,” said Whittell coach Patrick Kelly. “We played a lot of different players and played some players in different positions.” Whittell (0-3-2) will resume 3A Sierra League play at Sparks on Thursday. Kolesnik, Fairbank lead WHS to win T.J. Kolesnik and Trevor Fairbank each scored twice as the Whittell High boys’ soccer team defeated Portola 5-1 on Monday night in Zephyr Cove. The nonleague win raised Whittell’s overall record to 11-5-2. Blake Heldt-Werle also scored for the Warriors, while Mark Waite led the team with two assists. Fairbank and Alex Vogt contributed assists as well. “It was 4-0 at the half (and) cleared the bench and gave all the younger guys a chance to play,” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase. Whittell (2-2-1) continues its 3A Sierra League season Thursday at Sparks. Lions sweep Warriors Yerington swept a three-game volleyball match from Whittell on Saturday in Zephyr Cove. The Lions (22-1), who only have a loss to Palo Alto, Calif., in 23 matches this season, beat Whittell for the second time in a month. Whittell welcomes another of Nevada’s top teams to Zephyr Cove on Friday when the Truckee Wolverines visit for a 6 p.m. match. Myers, Smith lead Vikings at Stanford Invitational The South Tahoe boys placed 24th as a team in the Stanford Invitational’s Division IV on Saturday in Palo Alto. Don Bosco Tech won the meet, with Matt Neev of Laguna Beach posting the fastest 5K time at 15:24. Sophomore Tyler Myers was the first Viking to cross the finish line in 64th place at 17:21. Myers was followed by Brady Hiob, 113th, 18:05; Dylan Maxwell, 117th, 18:11; Connor Henderson, 168th, 19:08; Justin Dalton, 179th, 19:21; Narturi Narciso, 200th, 20:00; and Harley Norton, 220th, 20:45. In the girls’ division IV meet, South Tahoe placed 13th out of 29 schools with complete teams. Kira Smith led the Vikings with a 63rd-place finish in 21:05, Julianne Brackett placed 79th in 21:25, Sarah Benedict finished 83rd in 21:28, Ali Messina was 88th in 21:32, Karly Arroues was 97th in 21:57 and Maddie Dant took 102nd in 22:08. The Vikings have two runners injured. Benedict ran in Shelby McIntyre’s place, and Dant took Kaelyn Dion’s spot. The Vikings will host the annual Optimist Club’s Retro Relays on Friday at 3:30 p.m. on the football field. Norton reaches end zone vs. Yerington Sophomore Hughston Norton scored the Whittell High football team’s only touchdown in a 37-6 Northern 2A League defeat at Yerington on Friday. Norton’s two-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter was Whittell’s second of the season. Whittell (0-4 overall record) stayed within striking range of the Lions until late in the first half. Trailing 14-0, Yerington (4-1) picked off a Whittell pass and returned it for a touchdown. “That was a back breaker because we had some good momentum and real good defensive stops,” said Whittell assistant coach Craig Shacklett, noting that the Warriors’ defensive forced Yerington to surrender possession eight times on downs. Norton totaled 60 offensive yards and Jake Williams led the Warriors in tackles, Shacklett said. The Warriors will travel to Battle Mountain (4-1) on Friday night for a 2A league game.

STHS swim team sets two school records

The South Tahoe High School swim team started off its season with a weekend meet in Carson City, and despite a loss to the Senators, the Vikings managed to set some good times and even break a couple of school records. The boys team broke the STHS record in the 200 medley and the 400 free relays and 11 swimmers set regional qualifying times, according to Vikings coach Dale Bogard. The record-setting 200 and 400 medley relay team is made up of Timmy Powers, Zack Powers, Ansel Robinson and Andrew Contreras. Overall, the Vikings didn’t fare as well as a team, with the girls dropping their division to the Senators 157-118 and the boys losing 137-113. South Tahoe swimmers of the meet were Josh Staff in the 50 freestyle with a time of 31.20 seconds in his first competition; Andrew Contreras, who qualified for regionals in the 500 freestyle and 100 breaststroke; and Bailey Flood with regional qualifying times in the 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke. “Jessica Godsey had a fantastic team effort in her first meet,” Bogard added.

Youth hockey playoffs start this Saturday

The youth ice hockey playoffs at South Lake Tahoe Ice arena start this Saturday with the No. 2 seeds in each division battling the No. 3 seed to determine who will take on the league leader in the finals. In the 11-and-under division, the Rink Rats will host the Ice Hogs on Saturday at 9:45 a.m. The Rats finished regular season play at 2-4-2, while the Ice Hogs went 1-6-1. The Rats will likely rely heavily on Payton Guttry, their leading scorer with 11 goals and three assists. He’s also the third leading scorer in the league. Teammate Chris Rogesky isn’t far behind with eight goals and three assists. The Hogs have an ace in the hole with the league’s second-leading scorer Devyn Hotho, who’s racked up 16 goals and four assists. The Whalers won league play at 7-0-1 behind the strong skills of Cooper Stanley, who leads the league with 20 goals and five assists. The Rats, however, are knocking on the door, having lost to the Whalers 4-3 last weekend. In the 13-and-under division, the Sharks (4-2-1) will play the Avalanche (0-8-0) on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. The Sharks have two scorers in the top three, including league scoring leader Ross Kelly with 14 goals. Teammate Mason Stanley has nine goals and five assists. The Avs have Hotho, who plays in older league as well, where she has seven goals. Also coming on for the Avs is Jared Arnold with three goals and as many assists. The league champion Kings (6-1-1) boast No. 1 point leader Jacob Echeverria with 10 goals and eight assists and Spencer Trapp with two goals and six assists. The Kings and the Sharks also have the two best goalies in the league. The Kings’ Christopher Marchant has allowed only 12 goals in 185 shots. The Sharks’ Ty O’Neill has allowed 16 goals out of 113 shots. In the finals, the Kings will likely face the Sharks, who they defeated in the last game of the regular season in an overtime shootout, 2-1. In the 17-and-under division, the Capitals (4-4-0) host the Penguins (0-8-0) at 6:45 a.m. and will likely move on to face the undefeated Rangers (8-0-0). The Rangers have the top five leading scorers in the league with the Zastre brothers, the Wear brothers and Mark Sassi. The Capitals are closing in with the next three point leaders: Brandon Lewis, Michael Trute and Evan Sarosik. The Penguins’ Charlie Donnatin has scored three times, with as many assists, but the Penguins are the definite underdogs. They’ve struggled on defense, allowing 75 goals.

Sharks prepare for Blackhawks in conference finals

SAN JOSE – On a team filled with Olympians, All-Stars and Stanley Cup winners, it was a rookie who spent more time on planes flying back and forth from the minors than he did on the ice who gave the San Jose Sharks the final point of the season that earned them home-ice advantage. Logan Couture’s shootout goal in the season finale against Phoenix gave San Jose 113 points for the season – one more than Chicago had at the end of the season. With the Blackhawks holding the tiebreaker, that point proved to be very crucial as the teams meet in the Western Conference final that will begin in San Jose. “There were plenty of other shootout goals like that in the regular season, but it just happened to be the last game so everybody thinks it’s that,” Couture said Wednesday. “But it’s pretty cool.” The Sharks held their first practice Wednesday since finding out their opponent in the conference final and talked about how impressed they were with Chicago’s speed. The Blackhawks took the day off after clinching their second-round series with a 5-1 win in Vancouver in Game 6. After spending the night in Vancouver, the team flew to the Bay Area and will resume practice on Thursday. As of now, the teams do not know when they will begin their series. The league is waiting until after the Eastern Conference matchup is set to release the schedule, although most signs point to the Western Conference final starting Friday or Sunday because of a concert at HP Pavilion on Saturday night. “It’s all right,” forward Patrick Kane said after Tuesday night’s win. “We’ve been on long road trips this year. It almost just seems like another one. We get a couple days (off) here and then we’ll get going again. But we’ve been pretty good all year on the road.” That’s been especially true in the playoffs, meaning home-ice advantage might not end up being a big factor in this series. Chicago won 23 of 41 road games in the regular season and has been even better in the playoffs, The Blackhawks won two of three games in Nashville in the first round and all three games in Vancouver in the second round, clinching both series with road wins in Game 6. “We come to these road games with the right mentality,” captain Jonathan Toews said. The Sharks have been just as strong at home in the playoffs, winning five straight since losing Game 1 in the first round to Colorado. They look forward to the extra time in their own beds and the support from a loud crowd that helps make the Shark Tank the most difficult arena in the league, according to a recent survey of NHL players by Sports Illustrated. “Our fans have been very loud but I think our team has been able to feed off it in a positive way,” captain Rob Blake said. “When you can use that to your advantage, the home ice is an advantage. When you start running around and you’re in the penalty box because you’re so up, that’s when it can hurt you.” Couture played a key role in keeping San Jose at home this week despite spending much of the season on the Worcester shuttle, taking numerous cross-country flights as he bounced between the NHL and San Jose’s American Hockey League affiliate. Couture was called up eight times during the season, including once for just a day to play a game against Chicago. “I flew in the night before and flew out right after the game,” he said. “It does get tiring. It takes a toll on your body going coast to coast.” The Sharks made the frequent moves with Couture and other rookies like Jamie McGinn and Jason Demers as they tried to manage the salary cap while also making sure they had enough healthy players. Couture had five goals and four assists in 25 games with the Sharks, while also being picked for the AHL all-rookie team after recording 20 goals and 33 assists in 42 games at Worcester. He was called up for good on March 16 and had four goals and three assists in the final 13 games. His biggest regular season contribution came in the final game of the season when his shootout goal gave the Sharks 113 points for the season – two more than Chicago at that point. When the Blackhawks lost to Detroit in overtime the following day, the Sharks earned the top seed by one point and home-ice advantage in this round. Couture has since played an even bigger role with three goals in the playoffs, including the game-tying score at Detroit in Game 3 that gave San Jose a stranglehold on the series. While Couture is fitting in well in the NHL, he still has those moments where he can’t believe he’s playing at the sport’s highest level “You try not to think about it, but it creeps into your mind that you’re sharing the ice with some of the best players in the world,” he said. – AP freelance writer Kevin Woodley in Vancouver, British Columbia, contributed to this report.

Whittell football bounces back, blanks Smith Valley 66-0 on the road

SMITH, Nev. — The Whittell football team bounced back from its first setback of the season in a big way on the road Saturday, Oct. 1. The Warriors beat Smith Valley 66-0 in 1A West League action, notching their second shutout of the season in a decisive victory. "It was nice to get back on track," Warriors coach Phil Bryant said. Whittell (4-1, 2-1 1A West) needed only three offensive plays to run up a 20-point lead Saturday, and rolled from there. The Warriors emphasized their passing game against Smith Valley (2-4, 0-4), and it paid off right away — senior Dismas Womack completed touchdown passes to three different receivers on the team's first three plays. Womack completed 10-of-12 passes for 246 yards and four scores Saturday, throwing touchdown passes to juniors Corey Huber, Nic Buchholz and Troy Libert along with sophomore Dalton Warswick. The Warriors did all their scoring on 17 offensive snaps against Smith Valley. "We are focusing on improving our offensive balance for the remainder of the year to make us more capable of moving the ball against run-stacked defenses," Bryant said. On the ground, Womack led all rushers with 113 yards and two touchdowns on five carries. Junior Genaro Mena ran for a 53-yard score while Warswick had 45 yards rushing and Huber added 42. Whittell totaled more than 500 yards of offense Saturday, and did so behind a stout offensive line. The Warriors' line anchored by junior center Alex Byer, senior guard Kai Mangiaracina and junior guard Connor Huber did the dirty work against Smith Valley — as it has all season long. Defensively, the Warriors pitched their second shutout of the season in the 66-point win over the Bulldogs. The unit coached by defensive coordinator Doug Patton ran a variety of fronts, stunts and blitzes, and it added up to zero points for the opposition. Whittell's defense features Mangiaracina, senior Pierce Manchester and junior Bastion Elkins rotating up front with Womack, Buchholz, Warswick, Connor Huber and senior Kaven Peck at linebacker. The secondary includes Mena and Corey Huber on the outside — Bryant said the standout running back is becoming an adept cornerback this season. "Corey has taken his skill set and developed in to the best defensive back in the league," Bryant said. "His offensive numbers are not what they could be if he was our feature back, but with Dismas and Dalton back there the yardage is spread out." Whittell returns to action Thursday, Oct. 6, with a league game at Pyramid Lake. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Whittell hosts zone playoffs this weekend

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. – The first step toward getting back to the Class 2A state baseball championships will begin in South Lake Tahoe for Starbuck Teevan and his Whittell Warriors. Rich Barna and the Lady Warriors softball team will also start their playoff run at home in Zephyr Cove this weekend as pairings and locations of first round zone match-ups broke Tuesday night. The South Lake Tahoe middle school field, which Whittell will get accustomed to tonight in their regular season finale with South Tahoe, will serve as home diamond for the Whittell baseball team Friday. They’ll play a best-of-three series versus West Wendover High School. The Wolverines come into zones with a record of 7-20 overall. They struggled in league play this season going just 2-12 overall in Ruby Mountain play. The first game of the series is set for Friday and will begin at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. Saturday the site moves from South Lake to Douglas High School where a double-header is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The third game, if neccesary, is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. If Whittell moves on from zones they take part in the NIAA 2A Northern League Tournament which will be hosted by Pershing County High School in Lovelock, Nev. The top two finishers from that four-team tourney will earn berths to the NIAA State Tourney. First round games in Lovelock begin a week from Friday. Softball match-ups Over on the girls side, Zephyr Cove Park will serve as the home site for the Lady Warriors. They’ll get Silver Stage High School who comes out of the Lahontan league. They too struggled mightly in league play this season, going 0-10 inside the conference and posting an overall mark of 10-16-1. Whittell, who plays their final regular season game of the season tonight in Reno versus North Valleys, is 18-10 overall and 6-3 inside the Mount Rose league. Their first game Friday will start at 1 p.m. at Zephyr Cove Park. They’ll play the second game of the double-header Friday at 4 p.m. and if needed play game three Saturday at 11 a.m. in Zephyr Cove. If Whittell is able to move through their first round zone match-up they to will head to Pershing County High School where their NIAA 2A Northern League playoffs also begin a week from Friday. More information on the playoffs may be found at the NIAA website.

STHS rifle team hits national mark

The varsity marksmanship rifle team of South Tahoe High School recently placed eighth in the country out of more than 700 teams in the Secretary of the Navy National Air Rifle Shooting Championships. This is the highest that the team has ever finished in its seventh year of competition, placing in the top 20 twice before. The team finished first in the precision air rifle division in Area Eleven, which consists of high schools in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii. In the sporter air rifle division, South Tahoe placed second and ninth of 81 teams in Area Eleven. “We had several shooters on the “A” team who have been shooting for several years for us, and because of that experience they have become very acccomplished,” said Matt Williams, a retired lieutenant commander who coaches the team with senior chief Darwin Sharpe. Top shooters on the South Tahoe “A” team in the national championships included Luis Gomez with a score of 258 out of a maximum of 300, placing him 13th in the United States out of nearly 3,000 shooters. “This year, I got to the level I wanted,” Gomez said. “But I think I have a better chance of getting a better score by next year.” Not bad for someone who has less than pefect eyesight. “I’m supposed to wear reading glasses, but they get in the way,” Gomez said. Additional Vikings finding the national mark were Chad Cason, 252 (31st place); Matt Hock, 249 (47th place); and Mary Griffin, 237 (113th place). Other noteworthy performances included cadets Ben Yang (230) and Jordan Sharpe (229). “It was really an exciting culmination of my shooting career,” Yang said. “I never expected to do this well when I started four years ago.” South Tahoe varsity shooters also included Nate Buffa, Aaron Dartt, Alejandra Loyola, Nicole Rider, Stephanie VanBuskirk and Diana Zepeda. During its season, which starts in November and ends in February, South Tahoe shooters captured the Northern Nevada League championship by winning seven matches and losing only one in a closely contested match against Churchill County. The Northern Nevada League consists of Carson, Churchill County, Incline, Reed and South Tahoe high schools. In five years of league competition, South Tahoe has won the league three times and has taken the second-place league trophy twice. “We have an exceptional coach and we really help each out,” Yang said. “Usually we get a couple of members who are extraordinary and they help the ones who aren’t as good and help them become better.” During the season, South Tahoe marksmen fared well in several national matches, winning a second-place trophy in Bayside, Fla., and two third-place trophies in the Ray, Texas and Aransas Pass, Texas. In the Midland Valley, S.C., South Tahoe placed fourth out of 154 teams. The sport of air rifle marksmanship requires athletes to shoot at bull’s-eyes one inch in diameter on 30 targets at a distance of 10 meters (about 33 feet). Athletes shoot from the prone, standing and kneeling positions for a possible score of 300. In order to score a 10 on any bulls-eye, the shooter must hit a target the size of the period at the end of this sentence. College scholarships in rifle marksmanship are available at over 40 universities in the nation, including the University of Nevada at Reno, which has one of the best shooting programs in the United States.

All League-All States teams named

The Tahoe Basin Ski League has announced their All League-All States team. The teams are made up of the top athletes from the entire league with the overall most consistent results during the regular season. The eight-team league had six regular season race days with the first on Dec. 13 and the last on Feb. 11. Each racer earned points based on their race day finishes. South Tahoe's Chad Kaassamani finished the season with the most points for boys earning him league MVP. South Tahoe boys Tristan Deatherage and Grant Fagan were also named. Danika Bunnett from Whittell was name league MVP on the girls side and Madison Idso and Michael Gardener from Whittell were also named. South Tahoe girls Natalie Allen, Sierra Bedwell, Rose McDonough and Maia Bickert each earned a spot.