Top 10 South Shore sports stories of the year
The past year featured a number of memorable moments and successes while local teams and individuals added to their trophy cases. Here are the Tribune’s top 10 sports stories from 2014:
10. Giants win third World Series in five seasons
The San Francisco Giants continued their every-other-October pattern, winning the World Series in seven games for a third title since 2010. The Giants beat the Kansas City Royals in the World Series — San Francisco qualified for the playoffs as the second Wild Card team in the National League.
9. Phil Bryant notches 700th career victory
Whittell boys basketball coach Phil Bryant won his 700th career game, reaching the milestone in November when the Warriors beat Bishop. Bryant has coached basketball for four decades throughout California and Nevada — 47 of his now 705 wins have come in three seasons on the Warriors’ sidelines.
8. Vikings baseball ends postseason drought
The South Tahoe baseball team advanced to the postseason for the first time in two decades in May, securing a playoff berth with a win in its last game. The Vikings went 1-2 in the Div. I-A state tournament, beating Chaparral (Las Vegas) before being eliminated by state runner-up and league rival Fallon.
7. Whittell football enjoys turnaround season
A year removed from a one-win campaign, the Whittell football team finished 9-2 and had a breakthrough season under first-year head coach Phil Bryant. The Warriors won their first nine games of the season, finished second in the Div. IV West League and suffered a four-point loss in the first round of the Div. IV state playoffs.
6. Soccer kicks off at Lake Tahoe Community College
Lake Tahoe Community College began a new chapter in the athletics by launching men’s and women’s soccer programs, which kicked off in August. Both teams kicked off in the fall — the Coyotes’ men won the Golden Valley Conference and advanced to the second round of the regional playoffs, and the LTCC women finished runner-up in conference play.
5. Warriors girls soccer exacts revenge, wins state championship
The Whittell girls soccer team won the Div. III state championship in November by beating Incline, avenging losses to the Highlanders in the previous two state title games. The Warriors’ 3-1 victory on their home field clinched the second state title in school history.
4. Whittell boys basketball delivers first state title
For the first time in history, the Whittell boys basketball team lifted a state championship trophy. The Warriors beat Virginia City for the championship, avenging a loss to the Muckers in the regional title game — it came in the team’s third season under head coach Phil Bryant.
3. South Tahoe girls soccer wins back-to-back state championships
A dramatic overtime victory in the Div. I-A state championship game lifted the South Tahoe girls soccer team to a second straight state title and fourth in five seasons.
The Vikings lost star striker Jordyn Dion to injury just before the northern regional tournament, and regrouped to win the second title in a row under head coach Jeremy Evans.
2. Pfeifer steals the show at American Century Championship
In the midst of a field full of celebrities and pro athletes, Army Cpl. Chad Pfeifer was the story of the 24th annual American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in July. A single-leg amputee and three-time Warrior Open winner, Pfeifer was in second headed into the last day of the tournament before finishing fifth — former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien won the title by 11-stroke margin.
1. Anderson, Bowman claim gold at Sochi Olympics
South Lake Tahoe was well represented at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February — in the events and on the podium. Snowboarder Jamie Anderson and skier Hannah Teter were part of a local gold rush at the games — Anderson won gold at the first Olympic slopestyle competition, and Bowman took home gold in the ski halfpipe event.
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