For the second year in a row the Yosemite High Boys basketball program was selected to participate in the Central Section D-IV playoffs. The Badgers were given the No. 15 seed and will play No. 2 seed Madera South in Madera at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22.
The selection was bittersweet as second-year Head Coach Aaron Eames announced his resignation, for personal reasons, on Friday.
The Badgers will play Wednesday with Assistant Coach Erik Peterson and JV coaches Charlie and Andy Medley guiding the Badgers at Madera South. Peterson is an experienced basketball and football coach and long-time assistant both with the YHS girls under Gary Blate and Eames.
The Badgers face a tough opponent in Madera South. The Stallions (17-10, 4-6) placed fourth in the tough County/Metro League that includes San Joaquin Memorial, Sanger, Edison and Bullard. Certainly strength of schedule was a key determination for the No. 2 seeding for the Stallions.
Despite a student population of 3,000, Madera South High School still participates in D-IV. Yosemite’s enrollment is under 700.
Coached by Jody Sharp, the Stallions played two teams that defeated YHS: Madera South defeated NSL champ Kerman 68-62 and Kingsburg 70-47.
Coach Eames leaves the program with a solid foundation. Taking over mid-season in 2014-2015, Eames has guided the Badgers to two straight playoff appearances, and a 54-44 record overall. Eames also coached the boys for the 2011-2012 season where he also guided YHS to a playoff berth.
Eames departs from the basketball program as one of the most successful coaches in Yosemite High history where he has had success in multiple sports. Eames owns a section title for the YHS girls in 1997-1998 season. He guided YHS football to its greatest success winning section titles in 2002 and 2004 with deep playoff runs almost every year. Eames has also won two league titles in boy’s tennis where he will continue to coach.
Last season, Eames first full-season since his return as head coach, YHS was 19-10 overall and 7-3 in the NSL. The Badgers are 35-20 in the last two seasons under Eames. This success has not been seen in the boy’s basketball program since the 2005-06 (20-5) and 2006-07 (18-9) seasons.
Eames hired both Andy and Charlie Medley to head the JV program. This season, the JV Badgers won the North Sequoia League title outright with an 9-1 league record and 20-5 overall. Eames decided to bring up four JV starters to varsity and they were instrumental in the 66-61 defeat of Washington Union on Feb. 15. Ultimately, it would be Eames’s last game as head coach.
Kerman earned the No. 3 seed in D-IV and will open against No. 14 Granite Hills. Other NSL schools in playoffs include Sierra (6-15, 3-7) a No. 9 seed and Liberty-Madera Ranchos (13-15, 3-7), the No. 8 seed, both in D-V.