These locals know no boundaries |

These locals know no boundaries

More and more Lake Tahoe trout are finding their way into larger lakes on the West Coast.

Before fish and game officers start an investigation, I’m actually talking about former Whittell and South Tahoe High School athletes. They’re not only making teams at Washington State, Fresno State and UC Davis, but they are becoming big-time contributors for those schools.

Obviously, it’s uncommon for an area with a population of 20,000. But some people in the community think that when athletes go on, we should stop reporting about them. It would mean less work, but these student athletes serve as role models and an inspiration to our young athletes.

Look at what will transpire later this week and before the end of December.

Senior outside hitter Adrian Hankoff, the leader of three statistical categories for the 11th-ranked WSU Cougars, will be playing in the NCAA East Regional on Friday in Manhattan, Kan.

If Hankoff and the Cougars can get by Oral Roberts on Friday and either Michigan or Kansas State on Saturday, then Hankoff will advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in her celebrated volleyball career.

But as sensational as Hankoff’s senior season has been, she has shared the Tribune spotlight with rising Fresno State defensive lineman Garrett McIntyre.

McIntyre, the 2001 Sierra Division Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at South Tahoe, was on the field for nearly half of Fresno State’s defensive plays before he tore the MCL in his right knee during a game with Nevada last month.

“Some athletes that come through our area don’t get looked at, but I think it’s only going to get better. They may look at our athletes differently during the recruiting process because some have now gone on,” McIntyre said.

As a true freshman, McIntyre has produced a pair of two-sack performances while seeing most of his playing time as a third-down pass rusher.

Last month, Fresno State rewarded the walk-on with a full scholarship. His nonsurgical injury will keep him out of Thursday’s regular-season finale at Louisiana Tech, but McIntyre hopes to play in the Silicon Valley Bowl on Dec. 31 in San Jose.

“It’s getting better by the day. I figure it’ll be another week or two before I begin running and get back into practice,” McIntyre said.

The Bulldogs will reportedly meet either UCLA or Oregon in their New Year’s Eve bowl game.

“Those are big-time programs,” McIntyre said.

On the same campus, Kristi Collins, one several STHS swimmers to press on to compete in college, is developing into the Bulldogs’ most reliable performer. Collins leads the Bulldogs with eight top-3 results, including second place in the 200 butterfly in a recent dual meet with New Mexico State and Northern Arizona.

In recent weeks, former Viking defensive stopper Alex Romagnolo and his San Diego Toreros lost in the first round of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament and 1998 Nevada 3A Division II MVP Dusty Apocotos, a Whittell High grad, kicked three field goals during UC-Davis’ two-game football playoff run that ended Saturday in Kingsville, Texas.

“Good for him,” said McIntyre when informed of Apocotos’ latest accomplishment.

Good for all of them. The South Shore sports world is reaching out farther than ever.

— Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling can be reached at (530) 542-8010 or

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