What a thrill for former Yosemite High School hoops star Sydnee Fipps (class of 2011). On Dec. 5 during an East Coast road trip, Fipps led the UC Davis Aggies with 15 points and pulled down six rebounds against the top ranked University of Connecticut Huskies. The Huskies (10-0), defeated the Aggies (3-6) 97-37 in Hartford, Conn.
The junior is averaging a team leading 15.1 points per game and 5.5 rebounds this season.
The UConn women's program is one of the most storied programs, mens or women's, in college basketball history. The Huskies are led by legendary coach Geno Auriemma. In 28 years Auriemma has won eight national titles, been to 14 final fours, coached four perfect seasons and has won 849 games. When Auriemma is finished he will pass Pat Summit (Tennessee) in wins and should surpass UCLA's John Wooden's 10 national titles.
The Minarets volleyball team had a great season. A loss to La Jolla Country Day ended the Mustangs state title hopes.
The team ran into a buzz saw. La Jolla didn't lose a single game as they steamrolled through the state playoffs. Ultimately La Jolla won the state title, beating Branson High. Both are private schools.
Overall, of the ten teams in the five volleyball divisions state championship games, six were private schools. Private schools won three of the five titles. Still, Minarets volleyball can lay claim as one of the top four D-V programs in the state. SoCal high school volleyball is the best in the nation with the highest caliber of competition. Usually Central Section teams do not fare well against the SoCal section. Not the Mustangs. Coach Karra Zamora has built an elite program in O'Neals with two straight section titles. But watch out, success brings scrutiny from the Central Section commish Jim Chrichlow. When you win you get moved up. In my view, schools that win are punished for their success. In a quest for equity, Central Section schools are reviewed and re-seeded every couple of years. Never mind the school's enrollment. This is virtually unique to the Central Section. Until the Minarets student enrollment grows significantly, let the Mustangs stay at D-V.
Cunnings back coaching
Former Badger football star (1987) and current Madera High School football coach Bonner Cunnings is back to his winning ways. This year Cunnings coached at Madera High and led the Coyotes to a 4-8 record that included a 73-35 D-III playoff win against Hanford.
Prior to Madera, Cunnings took over the Lemoore program in 2011-2012. In his first season at Lemoore Cunnings went 8-4, led the Tigers to the Central Section D-II playoffs and won a playoff game. Not easy to do.
When Cunnings coached at Yosemite with head coach Aaron Eames, most players considered him a cornerstone of the program. Cunnings was the strength and conditioning coach and coached the JV program. His players remember him as a great motivator who made them better men. He is a man who leads by example and puts his faith and family first.
Cunnings took a year off coaching to care for his wife Hannah who was in an auto accident in 2012. It is great to see him back coaching. The Coyote football program just became legit.
Back-to-back for Liberty
Kudo's to head coach Mike Nolte and the Liberty Hawks. The 12-1 Hawks defeated the Mendota Aztecs 31-19 on Dec. 5 to win their second straight CIF Central Section D-V title.
The Hawks of the North Sequoia League and the Aztecs (11-2) are familiar foes for the Badger football program. Badger fans were treated to some amazing programs as well as players this season. One of the greatest was running back Edgar Segura of Mendota. The senior finished his high school career as the Central Section's all-time leader in rushing (8,029 yards) and touchdowns scored (137). Segura had 3,460 yards this season (370 against Yosemite) to break Ryan Matthew''s (East High Bakersfield/Fresno State/San Diego Chargers) state single-season mark.