Before the start of the Yosemite-Sierra girls JV basketball game Friday afternoon, team leader Shania Costella, who lost her life in a Jan. 7 auto accident on Crane Valley Road (426), was honored by her teammates and coaches before an emotional crowd.
In her memory, a chair on the Badger’s bench was draped with her jersey and roses, with her tennis shoes placed under the chair as the team warmed-up wearing T-shirts with Costella and No. 30 printed on the back.
JV Head Coach James Andersen and the team presented a basketball with heartfelt comments by team members and coaches to Costella’s family including her mother, father and grandparents before the start of the game.
“This was a tough night,” said an emotional Andersen. “Shania was our leader and an inspiration to us all.”
In a show of support, members of the Sierra JV team presented roses and gave hugs to Yosemite team members at mid-court.
Costella was also a member of the Yosemite High Cadet Corps. During a Jan. 11 private ceremony with Costella’s family, she was posthumously promoted to Cadet Master Sergeant and awarded the Distinguished Service Ribbon. Selected members of the unit will give Costella a military honors burial.
The Lady Badger’s JV team lost 52-29, while the girls varsity team beat Sierra 48-33.
500th win for Coach Blate
It was YHS girls varsity Coach Gary Blate’s 500th career win over his coaching career that has spanned 31 years. He will be recognized for his milestone before the girls varsity game against Washing Union at home Jan. 20.
Both the Badger boys JV and varsity teams won, defeating the Chieftains 53-43 and 59-41 respectively.
Friday’s games were the opening of North Sequoia League play for the Badgers and the Chieftains.
For details, see the Jan. 12 edition of the Sierra Star.