The year in sports: Top 10 South Shore sports stories of 2015
The last 12 months on the South Shore have produced a number of memorable moments along with team and individual successes. A look at the Tribune’s top 10 sports stories from 2015:
10. BROSCH DELIVERS STATE TITLE IN HURDLES
South Tahoe track standout Maya Brosch produced a first state title in an already decorated career in Las Vegas last May. The sophomore won the Div. I-A state championship in the 300 hurdles, running the event in a season-best 45.18 to win the title by a second and a half.
“I knew I won and I was really happy — it was epic,” Brosch said.
9. A NEW LOOK AT EGDEWOOD TAHOE
After nearly a half-century nestled on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course entered a new era last spring. Edgewood began renovations to its seventh, eighth and ninth holes as the first step toward building a new lodge slated for completion in 2017 — the course’s new ninth hole now has a lakeside finish.
“It’s an exciting time — it’s the next step for this place,” said Bryan Davis, Edgewood Tahoe’s Director of Marketing.
8. FRANKLIN ERA BEGINS FOR VIKINGS
Louis Franklin was hired as the 14th head coach in the history of the South Tahoe football program last April, and the team went 4-6 his debut season. After dropping four straight to start the season, the Vikings hit their stride down the stretch — including pitching their first shutout in a decade to notch their first win under Franklin.
“It would have been easy to give up early,” Franklin said following South Tahoe’s season ending loss to Truckee. “I think they’re definitely building something for the future.”
7. TURNAROUND SEASON ENDS AT STATE FOR WHITTELL BASEBALL
During the spring, the Whittell baseball team bounced back from a three-win campaign and exceeded all expectations en route to finishing as Div. IV state runner-up with a 26-9 record. The Warriors won 15 straight games to start the season, and ended it with a defeat in the state championship — they came through the loser’s bracket at both regionals and state.
“All in all, it was pretty amazing,” Whittell coach Devin Ruby said.
6. COYOTES MAKE HISTORY WITH FINAL FOUR APPEARANCE
In its second year, the Lake Tahoe Community College men’s soccer team made history by advancing to the CCCAA state final four. A semifinal loss to eventual champion Oxnard College did little to dim a stellar season for the Coyotes, who made it to the final four even after the resignation of head coach Ben Wade late in the regular season.
“It puts us on the map and lets people know that we do have a community college up here,” Coyotes head coach Nick Arbelaez said.
5. BIJOU BIKE PARK OPENS IN SOUTH LAKE TAHOE AFTER LONG WAIT
Years in the making, the Bijou Bike Park opened in South Lake Tahoe last September. The 4.75-acre, $200,000 collaborative project between the city, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association and South Lake Tahoe BMX Association was originally proposed in 2011 and its long-awaited opening coincided with the city’s 50th anniversary celebration.
“There’s everything in here,” TAMBA president Ben Fish said. “It’s going to be a huge asset to healthy lifestyle and peaking interest in mountain biking.”
4. SOUTH SHORE TRIO CAPTURES SKI AND SNOWBOARDING GOLDS
A trio of South Lake Tahoe locals dominated the hill and the halfpipe on the biggest stages last year en route to gold medals. The best of those feats was a record-setting performance by Maddie Bowman at the 2015 Winter X Games last January — she won the ski superpipe for the third consecutive year with a stellar performance.
Fellow Olympic gold medalist Jamie Anderson captured gold at the Burton U.S. Open women’s slopestyle event in March, her first in that competition. And on the men’s side, Kyle Smaine took gold at his debut FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships last January in Austria.
3. WARRIORS’ HISTORIC RUN STOPPED IN STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Whittell football team capped a historic 2015 season and stellar two-year run playing for the Div. IV state championship last November. On the biggest stage, the Warriors ultimately couldn’t slow a powerhouse that made history of its own — Pahranagat Valley’s win over Whittell marked its eighth state title in a row while tying national eight-man record with their 93rd straight victory.
“We’re proud of where we got and we’re happy to be here — we played our hearts out and that’s all that matters in the end,” Warriors senior Quinn Kixmiller said.
2. SOUTH TAHOE CAPTURES BABE RUTH STATE TITLE
South Lake Tahoe’s boys of summer were tops in Nevada after winning the Babe Ruth 13-15 State All-Star championship last July. South Tahoe beat South Reno 5-1 at Todd Fields Park to deliver the title, the first for a local team at that level in more than two decades.
“The kids worked so hard to get ready, and I felt like we won every stage of the tournament,” South Tahoe manager Ryan Schouten said.
1. HEADLINED BY TIMBERLAKE, AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP SETS ATTENDANCE MARK
The 26th annual American Century Championship last July produced a first-time winner in former MLB All-Star Mark Mulder. It was another first-time participant, however, that grabbed most of the attention at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Justin Timberlake had large galleries during each of the five days, and the entertainment superstar was a hit with fans throughout the tournament. Timberlake’s debut was the biggest reason why the ACC drew a record crowd of 40,901 — the most since 2012.