Former Vikings thriving with Chico State |

Former Vikings thriving with Chico State

Staff reports

Past and present South Tahoe High basketball fans don’t have to travel far to see some of the school’s former stars.

Three Viking alums are on Chico State University’s roster and all three give the Wildcats significant college experience.

Senior guard Andy Butcher has played for Wildcats’ coach Puck Smith the past three years and is off to a fast start. Butcher scored all 15 of his points from three-point range in the Wildcats’ 84-80 defeat to host Seattle Pacific University last Saturday. Butcher also contributed three assists and three steals.

A night earlier in the team’s season opener, Butcher had 13 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists in the Wildcats’ 91-89 victory over Northwest Nazarene.

Former STHS power forward Travis McCollum, also a senior, has come off the bench in the Wildcats’ first two games. McCollum had two rebounds and a blocked shot against Seattle Pacific and collected three rebounds, two points and a steal vs. Northwest Nazarene.

Former STHS point guard John Giannoni III hasn’t played in the Wildcats’ first two games.

The Wildcats (1-1) play their home opener tonight against Grand Canyon. Game time is 7 p.m.

Abravanel caps freshman season

South Tahoe High graduate Leon Abravanel recently completed his freshman season on the University of San Diego men’s soccer team. Abravanel, who led the Vikings to the 2003 4A state championship, helped the Toreros to a 7-10-3 overall and 4-6-2 West Coast Conference record.

After missing the first four games of the season due to injury, Abravanel, who played both midfielder and defender for San Diego, went on to play in 14 games with 10 starts.

A difficult schedule and a young team contributed to the Toreros not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Of the 15 teams they played this season, eight qualified for the postseason, including four from the WCC.

San Diego ended its season with a 1-0 loss to Santa Clara on Nov. 14. Despite the strong freshman campaign, Abravanel was not selected to the WCC’s all freshman team that was announced last week.

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