Yosemite wins seven North Sequoia League championships in 2012

Mountain Area can also celebrate state free throw title, section swim champ, section volleyball champs and YHS Athletes of the Year

January 2, 2013 

Here's a look at sporting news and accomplishments that made Sierra Star headlines in 2012:


Yosemite High School's 113-pound wrestler Clint Kelley placed third at the Atascadero Tournament, upping his season record to 13-5. Nine months earlier, it looked like Kelley would never wrestle again after a serious rock climbing accident in Yosemite Lakes Park. At the time of the accident, doctors said he lost so much blood from his injured right leg, he came close to death. the accident occurred two miles from the closest road and Kelley was carried to the road by his friend Clayton Holcomb.

Former Yosemite High basketball player Katie Menton made the ESPN highlight reel Jan. 7, after making a 3-point shot for Pepperdine University with 32 seconds left in the game to bring her team to within one of Portland and another 3-pointer with three seconds in the game to tie the score at 63-63. Pepperdine won the game as Menton's teammate Shay Cooney-Williams stole the Portland inbounds pass near half-court and sank the long-distance shot to win the game.

Both the Yosemite High boys and girls basketball teams beat rival Sierra in their first home league game of the season. The boys won 80-66 and the girls won 44-39.


Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Ted Lilly (1994 Yosemite High graduate), came to Oakhurst and helped raise $50,000 at the Feb. 4 alumni baseball game and the Feb. 5 golf tournament named for him. Lilly said he was happy to be a part of both events. "Baseball has provided me the opportunity of a lifetime and I feel privileged to be able to give back," Lilly said.

Yosemite High wrestlers winning titles at the Feb. 11 North Sequoia League meet were Clint Kelley (113 pounds), PJ Reyna (126 pounds) and Kyle Lincoln (195 pounds). Badger wrestlers placing second at the league meet were Michael Waybright (120 pounds) and Mark Mabutos (138 pounds).

The Yosemite High girls basketball team (16-11, 9-1) clinched its 10th consecutive North Sequoia League title (shared with Sierra) with a lopsided 40-18 win over Chowchilla Feb. 15 and a 49-13 dismantling of Kerman Feb. 13. Yosemite's junior Dahlia Lopez scored 10 against Chowchilla and sophomore Sierra Dominici led all scorers with 22 in the Kerman game.

Kylee Slocum, 10, Samuel Burnheimer, 11, Madison Stretch, 11, and Tristan Eames, 13, advanced to the state finals of the Knights of Columbus basketball free throw contest by winning at the regional level. Also competing in the regional contest were Ellery Meade, Natalie Chamberlain, Jessica Fine, Connor Wallac and Tanner Stretch.

Yosemite High wrestler Kyle Lincoln (195 pounds) placed first at the Feb. 18 Sierra-Sequoia Championship tournament, winning all four of his matches by pins Feb. 18.

Finishing fifth in the tournament were Badger's Clint Kelley (113 pounds) and PJ Reyna (126 pounds).

Lincoln took his 28-2 season record and No. 4 state ranking to the Central Section Masters Tournament in Bakersfield Feb. 25, finishing second to qualify for the CIF State Championship Tournament and upping his season record to 32-3. He was defeated in the championship by Clovis High's Dakota Gordon, currently ranked No. 3 in the state.

The undefeated Spring Valley Elementary School girls basketball team, for the first time in school history, won the Mountain Area Basketball Tournament Feb. 19.

The Minarets basketball team is defeated by Riverdale Christian 52-50 in the first round of the Central Section Division 5 play-offs.


Yosemite wrestler Kyle Lincoln went 2-2 at the March 2 and 3 CIF State Championship Tournament in Bakersfield. He finished his senior year with a 34-5 record and a four-year varsity career record of 178-45. Coached by his father Kent, his efforts placed him in the top 12 wrestlers in the state in his weight class (195 pounds).

Yosemite graduate Katie Menton (YHS all time scoring leader) played her last college basketball game for Pepperdine University Waves March 2, scoring 14 points and getting three steals in a 67-63 loss to St. Marys in the quarterfinals game of the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Menton ended her collegiate career at Pepperdine with 1,163 points (212 three-pointers), 86 assists, 302 rebounds and 135 steals. Her 212 three-pointers ranks her No. 2 in the history of the university and her total points ranks her No. 17.

Yosemite senior Cory Skerce was named to the North Sequoia League basketball first team on offense and defense. Senior Justin McMillen was named to the all league second team on offense.

Yosemite head football coach Aaron Eames steps down from his duties after 16 years. He had an overall 110-77 record and guided the Badgers to two CIF Division III titles.

Samuel Burnheimer, 11, a sixth grader at North Fork Elementary School, is crowned the state champion in his age division at the Knights of Columbus basketball free throw contest March 17 in Sanger. Other Mountain Area players placing at the state meet were Madison Stretch, 11 (sixth place), Kylee Slocum, 10 (eighth) and Tristan Eames, 12 (tenth). Burnheimer joins Alyssa Sayre (2002) and Katie Menton (2003) as Mountain Area state champs.

Three Yosemite football players, Kyle Lincoln, Robin Pedranti and Bobby Woolsey have been selected to play for the North in the June 29 North-South Rotary All-Star football game at Golden Valley High School in Merced.

The Yosemite Tornados under 12 travel soccer team wins the championship at the Clovis Spring Soccer Tournament March 24.

Yosemite senior swimmer Karley LeQuia enters her first triathlon in Santa Barbara March 31, and wins the girl's high school division, beating more than 30 competitors. Through pledges, she raised $700 for the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst.


Yosemite pitcher Tyler Clayton throws a four hit shut-out against Bakersfield High at the Fresno High Easter Classic Tournament April 3, and leads the Central Section with a .037 ERA.

Emmerson Action, 9, of Ahwahnee, wins a gold medal in her age division in the giant slalom at the Central Series Far West Championships April 6 at Lake Tahoe. Her brother Blake, 11, placed fifth in his division.

Kent Lincoln and Stephen Lopez have been named the new varsity football and varsity basketball coaches at Yosemite High.


In the span of three days (May 2-4), Yosemite High teams won four North Sequoia League titles including boys and girls swimming, boys track and field and boys golf.

On May 2, at home, coach Brandon Brokaw's boys and girls swimming teams continued their dominance of the league by winning their eighth and seventh consecutive titles.

On the same day, the boys 11-member track team, led by sophomore distance runner Alek Simpson's three-event victories, won the NSL title at home. It was Walker Vaughn's eighth boys league title in his 15 years of coaching.

On May 4, the YHS boys golf team won the league title. Sophomore Kevin Lauterback's shot a 79 and won the league's MVP award. Yosemite's Hunter Lassos finished the season ranked No. 2 in the league and Chris Wick finished at No. 5.

North Fork fourth grader Anthony Castaneda Jr., 10, finishes third in his division on his 65 cc Kawasaki at the May 5 American Motorcycle Association's Arena National Finales in Las Vegas. He had previously won the title in he 2012 Pacific Coast Pro-Am Championship series.

Danyn Terry placed fourth in the 12 and up girls scratch division and Michaela Brost placed fifth in the 12 and up girls handicap division at the May 6 Pepsi Junior State Bowling Tournament in Fountain Valley. Both girls are sophomore's at Minarets High.

The Minarets baseball team defeated Farmersville 6-4 May 15 in the first round of the Division VI play-offs. The team lost to Mendota 9-4 in the second round.

Yosemite's Wes Kudela won the 200 meter freestyle and took second in the 100 meter freestyle, while Ian Whalley placed third in the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke at the May 19 CIF Central Section Division II swim meet in Porterville. All four finishes set school records. Both swimmers were part of two relay teams (200 freestyle and 200 medley) that also set school records. The team placed fifth at the meet. Three girls broke school records at the meet: Molly Casey with her third place finish in the 100 backstroke, Eleanor Cummings with a fifth place finish in the 100 butterfly and Becky Kramer, placing eighth in 500 freestyle.

Three Yosemite baseball players, second-baseman Grady Eaton (.407 batting average in league play), pitcher Cory Skerce (.333 batting average) and catcher Harley Glines (.397 batting average) have been named first team North Sequoia All League. Named to the second team were Justin McMillen, McKay Glines and Tyler Clayton.

Sophomore catcher Keenan Reardon was named the Minarets baseball team's (13-14) MVP with a .311 batting average.

Yosemite High graduate (1999) Brad Larson, chief mechanic for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, wins the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award after the May 25 Indianapolis 500.


Yosemite's Kyle Lincoln (four year varsity wrestler) and Riley Cooks (four year varsity volleyball and soccer player) were named the Sierra Star's Scholar-Athletes of the Year as well as Athletes of the Year as voted on by YHS varsity coaches. Lincoln was a star in football (NSL Co-Lineman of the Year) and wrestling (35-3 record with 27 pins -- top 12 195 pound wrestlers in the state) with a 3.6 GPA. He was also named to the Fresno Bee's All Star second team in wrestling.

Cooks ended her senior year as NSL Most Valuable Player in both volleyball (168 digs, 75 kills, 57 assists, 47 blocked shots and 38 serve aces) and soccer (26 goals). She was the only YHS athlete to be named to Fresno Bee All Star second team in two sports. She had a 4.13 GPA.

Thomas Taylor, 36, of Brentwood won the Bass Lake Classic Triathlon June 2 (2:15.11) and Andrea Samansky of Fresno won the women's division (2:35.11). Karley LeQuia, who graduated from Yosemite High the night before, placed third in her division.

Yosemite's Cory Skerce will play baseball on a partial academic scholarship for NAIA Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan., a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. He led the Badgers in runs scored (20), RBIs (15) and triples (four). As a pitcher, her was 3-3 on the season with a 3.85 ERA.

Yosemite High student Zach Upshaw-Mattox, 14, received a United States Bowling Congress ring he earned by shooting an 811 three-game series at Sierra Lanes June 11.

Manager Bobby Woolsey and his major league Reds, representing Yosemite Little League, defeats Turlock American 7-4 June 16 to win the District 73 Major League Tournament of Champions. The team completed its regular season 18-0, outscoring its opponents 225-30.


Yosemite High senior-to-be golfer Jordan Keyser and her Champions Tour professional partner Mark Calcavecchia finished tied for sixth in the 81-team First Tee Open at Pebble Beach July 10. The team was in second place after the first round.

Yosemite High distance runner Alek Simpson, 16, won the July 21 15K trail race in Fish Camp in 47:15. Amanda Whitten won the women's division.


The Minarets Youth Football program opened its inaugural season Aug. 19 with the Junior Mustangs losing to Fowler 14-0 and the Senior team losing 38-35. Mustang running back Luke Tovar rushed for more than 150 yards and four touchdowns in the game.

Emerson Action, 9, is the new Central Valley go kart champ in the 7-10 Rookie class and brother Blake, 11, placed second in the 8-11 June 1 class Aug. 19 in Atwater.

The 2012-2013 Yosemite High Badger football team, under first year head coach Kent Lincoln, opened the season on the road Aug. 31, losing to Calaveras 54-20.

The 2012-2013 Minarets High Mustang football team opened the season on the road Aug. 31, losing to Sierra 45-9.


In what was called the best match of the year by coach Stan Lawrence, Yosemite High's No 1 and No. 2 girls tennis players, juniors Natalya Choin and Angie Du and No. 5 player, sophomore Ally Alm, along with Choin and Du winning their doubles match, gave the Badgers a 5-4 win over Sierra Sept. 20.

The field at Yosemite's Badger Stadium was named Raupp Field Sept. 21 during half-time ceremonies of the Yosemite-Mendota football game. Raupp recently retired as the Yosemite Unified School District superintendent after a 34-year career in the district. As an 11-year football coach at YHS, Raupp won the school's first league championship in 1983, upsetting then No. 1 state ranked small school Dos Palos. In 1984, Raupp's 19-member team set a school record that still stands today -- seven shutouts, giving up just 33 points on the season, least in the state. As the school's track and field coach between 1982 and 1990, he won six league titles.

Yosemite graduate Dana Day had nine kill shots and 11 digs Sept. 31 to help her team, Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., defeat Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in the team's conference opener. Day is a freshman on the team and after 10 games, leads the Lions in kills (72) and digs (114).

Jesus Campos, 29, of Fresno and Maria River, 24 of Visalia won the men's (33:14.98) and women's (36:39.65) divisions in the 10K race at the 25th Annual Smokey Bear Run/Walk Sept. 23 at Bass Lake. More than 500 children and adults participated in six different events with 73 divisions, raising about $8,000 for fire prevention, sheriff's office search and rescue and Explorer Post 104 and Yosemite High cross country.


Minarets High's volleyball team (10-4) are ranked No. 1 in the Central Section Division IV by the Fresno Bee.

Yosemite's volleyball team opens league play with wins over Kerman Oct. 2 and Liberty Oct. 4. Against Liberty, senior Dahlia Lopez had 19 kill shots, four ace serves and two blocked shots.

Yosemite's girls golf team wins the North Sequoia League Championship for the seventh consecutive year at Sierra Meadows Country Club Oct. 10. Yosemite golfers placed first through fourth in the tournament, led by senior Jordan Keyser's first place 74 and teammates Kelsie Stieler, Jessica Rudd and Hannah McMechan placing second, third and fourth.

After the tournament, Keyser, who will play at University of Nevada next season, was named the league's MVP for the fourth consecutive year, a feat never attained in the history of the league or the school.

The Minarets football team (1-6) won their first Division VI varsity game in the school's short history Oct. 12 with a 57-0 thumping of Riverdale (0-7).

Yosemite High junior tennis player Natalya Choin won the NSL singles championship Oct. 17, upsetting the league's No. 1 player, Liberty's Anne Erikson, 6-0, 6-1. Yosemite's Angie Du placed fourth at the league tournament.


Yosemite High Athletic Director Tammy Thacker steps down from her position after six years of service, while continuing to teach at the school.

Yosemite golfer Jordan Keyser placed third out of the field of 50 at the Oct. 29 CIF Central Section Golf Tournament in Hanford with a four over-par 76, qualifying her for the CIF Southern Regional Tournament.

Yosemite's Alek Simpson, Chris Grant and Liam Womack finished one, two, three in the Nov. 8 North Sequoia League Cross Country Championship meet at Fresno's Woodward Park to clinch the league championship for the Badgers. Other team members finishing in the top nine were Issac Soliz, Alek Statkus, Carson Burton, Brian Tenorio, Tristan Webb and Ben Williams. The girls team placed third in the meet, while the boys frosh-soph team, led by Greg Royse, took first place.

Both Minarets Youth Football League teams lost their bids to win Central Valley Youth Football League Super Bowl games in their inaugural season. The Senior team (10-3) lost to Fowler 28-14 and the Junior team (8-5) lost to Riverdale 44-6 Nov. 10.

Yosemite's boys cross country team placed third at the Nov. 17 CIF Central Section Division III meet at Woodward Park. Badger junior Alek Simpson placed second in the 5K (3.1 miles) race, 6.2 seconds behind Roosevelt High's Victor Maldonado. Senior Chris Grant finished 25th with juniors Issac Solis and Liam Womack placing 28th and 30th.

The Minarets High volleyball team (21-10), coached by Karra Zamora, culminates its 21-10 season by winning the CIF Central Section Division V title at home Nov. 15 defeating Kings Christian High School 25-6, 25-17, 25-12. Breanna Cairns had 14 digs, five kills and three blocked shots in the game and setter Taylor Meyer had 26 assists. Jordan Smith had 14 digs, Katie Grant seven kills and four blocked shots and Tara True contributed nine kills. The team lost to St. Monica Academy-Pasadena in the first round of the state play-offs.

San Reyes, Minarets (1-9) receiver/safety, was named to the West Sequoia All League first team. He had 542 receiving yards on the season, had 38 tackles and led the division in safeties (six). Kyle Reed, Keenan Reardon, Matt Niblett, Copper Manley and Vince Domingo were selected for the second team.

Yosemite High junior Alek Simpson places 32nd out of nearly 200 runners at the Nov. 25 CIF State Cross Country meet at Woodward Park. He had a personal best time of 16:14 in the 5K (3.1 miles) race.

Yosemite soccer player Alex Mello scored three goals in the Badgers Nov. 30 6-0 win over Fresno Christian


Michelle Chenowith, a 1983 Yosemite High graduate, and 19-year YHS math teach, has been named the school's new athletic director.

Yosemite (0-10) senior wide receiver Dillon Moran has been named to the North Sequoia All League first team. He finished the season ranked No. 2 in receiving yards (840 yards) in Division IV of the Central Section. Named to the second team were defensive back Joey Woolsey, lineman Chris Kanaley and linebacker Cameron Simonson.

All League honorable mentions were Luke Blate for place kicking and receiver, linebacker Bobby McGee and Woolsey at quarterback.

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