Yosemite cross country rolls on. The Badger varsity boy's team is ranked No. 24 in Fresno Bee's Central Section rankings and No. 7 in D- III.
Senior Alek Simpson is the No. 12 ranked men's runner in the Central Section according to Athletic.net. Simpson's two-mile time of 9:54.9 at the Dinuba Invitational is the top mark for any North Sequoia League runner this season. Yosemite is poised to return to championship form in the NSL this season.
Senior Brittney Hughey is ranked No. 65 in the Central Section. Hughey's two-mile time of 13:01, also at Dinuba, leads all NSL women's runners. Sophomore Jessica Fine is ranked No. 92 with a best time of 13:31. The Yosemite girls are ranked No. 10 in D-III.
Simpson recently placed fifth and Hughey ninth in the prestigious Golden West Invitational, each competing against more than 200 competitors.
The Minarets High cross country boys team is ranked No. 2 in D-V according to the Fresno Bee.
Yosemite sophomore Jason Lee leads the team in all-purpose yards (679) and offensive touchdowns (five). Lee is second in both receiving yards (203) and rushing yards (167). He has battled through injuries the last two games but should play Friday against Liberty.
The Minarets Mustangs (1-4) ran over Orosi 41-6 last Friday. It was the first win for head coach Bob Kelly and Minarets this season. The Mustangs have their run game humming averaging 200 yards per game. Senior Zak Clayton has accounted for a team-high 261 yards rushing, 189 yards on kick-off returns, and 469 all-purpose yards. Clayton averages nearly 100 yards per game in all-purpose yardage.
Cole Popovich began a new coaching stint this season at Utah State. The 2002 YHS grad landed a graduate assistant position this season with the Aggies. Utah State is an up and coming program in the NCAA.
Former head coach Gary Anderson is now the head coach at Wisconsin. Former Aggie players, running back Robert Turbin and linebacker Bobby Wagner are integral pieces of the Seattle Seahawks. Former Anderson assistant Matt Wells now leads Utah State. The Aggies, who play in the Mountain West Conference, are 3-3 overall this season and 2-0 in the Mountain West.
Popovich is a 2008 graduate of Fresno State where he played on the offensive line. He would have had an NFL career, if not for numerous injuries.
Officially, he is the graduate assistant coach for the offense. This is Popovich's fourth season as a college coach. Previously, he spent the last two seasons with the Fresno City College Rams as their offensive line coach. He also coached at LA Valley College in his first college coaching season.
Best of luck to Cole and the Utah State Aggies this season.