Sports Briefs 1/31/13 Edition

February 1, 2013 

Alumni baseball game is Saturday

The 9th Annual Yosemite High Alumni Baseball Game will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at YHS. The game, along with a 10 a.m. "Old Timer's" softball game, are sponsored by the Yosemite Baseball Boosters. General admission is $5 and funds raised are used for youth baseball in the Mountain Area.

Details: Kristi Bohna, (559) 676-2793,

Bee names Simpson cross crountry all-star

Yosemite High School distance runner Alek Simpson has been named honorable mention on the Fresno Bee's crountry country All-Star team.

Simpson, a junior, placed 32nd at the CIF State Cross Country meet Nov. 24 at Fresno's Woodward park with a time of 16:14. The week prior, Simpson placed second in a field of 160 runners in the CIF Central Section Division III with a time of 16:21 over the 3.1 mile course.

The Bee named Jose Herrera of Madera South as the Valley's Runner of the Year. Herrera won the Central Section Division I title with a time of 15:37.

Madison Samora plays soccer for Cuesta

Madison Samora, another 2012 Yosemite High graduate, played soccer for Cuesta this past season.

Although Samora did not finish the season due to a knee injury that will require off-season surgery, she had two goals -- one in a 2-1 Cuesta win over West Hills College of Lemoore and one in a 2-0 win over Monterey Peninsula Junior College.

The team had high hopes for the season, but injuries and inconsistency hurt the Cougars who finished at the bottom of the Western State Conference.

Cuesta won four of their first seven games of the season, but after tying Taft, the team lost its 12 last games of the season, ending the season with an overall 4-14-2 win/loss record -- 0-10 in conference play.

"Madison was a great forward for us and one of our best shooters," said coach Bob Wilson. "Unfortunately, she had a nagging knee injury and was unable to play the last half of the season. She also was the one that made creative effective runs. Her loss this year really hampered our offensive productivity."

Samora plans on finishing the school year at Cuesta, play on a travel team over the summer after recuperating from surgery and may play for Fresno City College next fall.

Sikora runs cross country

Yosemite High graduate Ty Sikora ran crosscountry this past season as a freshman at Cuesta, earning All Western State Conference Honorable Mention.

Sikora finished 44th in the conference meet and also scored points for the Cougars at the state community college meet.

The team finished third in conference meet, 21st in the community college state meet. Cuesta's Gordon Sturgess of Paso Robles was named the conference Runner of the Year.

Smoljan steps down from Minarets coaching position

After three and a half years, Jay Smoljan, Minartes High School's head varsity football coach, has stepped down from his position for personel reasons.

Smoljan, who also served as the school's athletic director for a year and a half, will continue to teach physical education at the school.

According to Michael Niehoff, Minarets principal, the school is in the process of searching for Smoljan's replacement.

Smoljan was the school's first varsity football coach and also helped form the Minarets Youth football League, that had its inaugural year this past season with two of the program's teams, Seniors and Juniors, advancing to the Central Valley Super Bowl games.

"After opening Minarets more than four years ago, I am beginning the process of trying to get closer to my home in Kingsburg as either a vice principal or athletic director," Smoljan said. "It's been a very challenging yet rewarding endeavor in establishing the football program at Minarets. I was blessed and surrounded with a great group of players, coaches and parents."

Smoljan said he has no doubt the Minarets football program will continue to move forward and will be successful for years to come.

Babe Ruth baseball clinics start Feb. 9

Yosemite Gateway Babe Ruth will be holding spring training clinics beginning noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Minarets High School.

Clinics are free and open to all ball players between the ages of 12 to 15. The clinics will focus on fundamentals of baseball.

The first clinic will include fielding, hitting and base running, with later clinics to feature pitching and catching instruction.

The league will feature teams from Oakhurst, Coaresgold and Mariposa, with the season getting underway when the high school season concludes. The clinics will rotate from field to field.

Cost to play in the league is $85.

Details: Pete Reardon, (559) 683-0706.

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