Sports Year in Review

A variety of Mountain Area sporting events headlined the news during 2014, including six North Sequoia League Championships for Yosemite High School, and CIF Central Section titles for the Yosemite High girls golf team, and the Minarets baseball team. Other 2014 sports highlights included:

*  Jan. 1, Yosemite High School wrestler Isaac Soliz (138-pounds) takes second place at the California Classic Tournament in Fresno on Jan. 1. The tournament, held at McLane High School, featured more than 12 teams from all over the Central Valley from as far north as Yosemite and as far south as McFarland.


*  Yosemite High School's 2011 graduate Sydnee Fipps, scores her 1,000 career point for UC Davis Feb. 1, in the Aggies 82-70 win over UC Santa Barbara. Fipps now has 1,018 for her career, just nine points back of Kendall Greene (1992-96) for 15th place on the school's all time scoring list.

*  Eight swimmers from the 40-member Yosemite Marlins Swim Club make their first appearance at the Central California Section Junior Olympics meet Feb. 14 in Bakersfield. Claire Tuggle places first in the 100 meter freestyle (59.92), and second in six events - 200 meter freestyle (2:11.78), 100 individual medley (1:11.97), 50 freestyle (28.07), 100 backstroke (1:13.26), 200 IM (2:30.11), and 50 butterfly (31.54). Tuggle's time in the 100 freestyle earns her the No. 1 ranking in the country for a nine-year-old. Her time in the 200 freestyle places her at No. 2 in the country for that event, and she is ranked No. 4 nationally in the 200 IM.

*  On Feb. 28, the Yosemite High School girls basketball team opens round one of the CIF Central Section D-II playoffs with a convincing 46-28 win over the Ridgeview Wolf Pack in Bakersfield. The Badgers went on to lose to Garcias High 60- 37 on March 5, in the semi-final round.


*  Kristen Brimage, a 2009 Yosemite High School graduate, completes her college diving career March 7, winning both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) 1-and 3-meter diving titles. Brimage duplicated what she did last year - giving her a total of four national diving championships.

*  On March 9, former Yosemite High School graduate and current University of Michigan center fielder Jackson Glines is named Big Ten Player of the Week (March 3-9). Glines batted .529 (9-17) with six runs, five doubles, a triple and eight RBIs propelling the Wolverines to a 4-2 conference record. In six games Glines posted a .667 on-base percentage and a .941 slugging percentage including a game on March 4, against Florida Gulf Coast where Glines drove in a career high five runs.

*  On May 11, Sierra Dominici is named MVP of North Sequoia League with Veronica Miller garnering first team honors and both Mattaya Brown and Taylor Burrall being named to the All League defensive team.


*  Yosemite High School boys golf team wins their second straight North Sequoia League tournament April 2, at Lemoore. Ben Avena placed first in the tournament with three birdies and the most points (42) under the Stableford scoring format.

*  Brian Woolsey strikes out four and walks one on his way to a complete game no hitter against Sierra April 8. The Badgers defeated the Chieftains 5-2.

*  The Minarets Mustangs baseball team won its first West Sequoia League title in a 12-10 slugfest against the Caruthers Blue Raiders. The two teams entered the April 17 game tied for first in league play at 7-1.

*  On April 24, the Minarets baseball team went 5-0 to win their 16-team division at the 64th Annual San Diego Lions Invitational Baseball Tournament. The team opened the tournament with a 28-0 win against King-Chavez after scoring 18 runs in the first inning. The tournament was made up of 128 teams in eight divisions.

*  Kevin Lauterbach leads the Yosemite High Badgers golf team to their third straight North Sequoia League championship April 30, at Sierra Meadows and then on May 5, won the North Area Championship held at Riverside Golf Course in Fresno. Lauterbach was later named MVP of the NSL for the third consecutive year.


*  Yosemite High School Cross Country sends qualifying athletes to the CIF Central Section Sierra/Sequoia Small School Championship meet May 1, in Kingsburg, to compete against 43 other schools. Yosemite senior distance runner Alek Simpson places third in the 1600 meter race with a time of 4:22.63, advancing him to the May 21, CIF Masters Meet at Fresno's Buchanan Stadium. The time ranks Simpson No. 3 in the school's history. Teammate Liam Womack ran a personal best of 2:02.24 for sixth place in the 800, the fourth best time in the school's history. Sophomore Jonathan Mulkey cleared a personal best 12-feet-3 (No. 2 on the school's record list) in the pole vault for fourth place.

*  On May 5, for the second year in a row, a special-tagged trout worth $10,000 is caught the last day of the 31st Annual Bass Lake Fishing Derby. Jerry Vang of Fresno caught one of the two $10, 000. Vang, 21, was fly fishing at Brown’s Ditch at the east end of the lake near the dam, when he caught fish No. 14447.

*  For the third consecutive year, the Yosemite High boys track team wins the North Sequoia League championship May 7, at Washington Union in Easton.

*  The Yosemite High School boys swim team captured the North Sequoia League championship May 9, for the ninth consecutive year. The girls team, who lost four school record-holders off last year's team to graduation, is this year's NSL co-champs with Kerman. It is the eighth consecutive year the girls team has won outright or shared the league title, giving the two teams a total of 17 league titles.

*  Yosemite High sends 15 swimmers from its North Sequoia League championship boys and girls teams to the CIF Central Section D-II Championship meet May 16 and 17 at Bakersfield College. The highest finish by a Yosemite swimmer at the meet is junior Phillip Kudela, placing second in the 500 yard freestyle in a school record time of 4:54.11. His time broke the previous school record of 4:58.48, set by his brother Wes in 2011. Kudela, a junior, also placed fourth in the 200 IM in 2:08.60.

*  Yosemite High 2012 graduate Riley Cooks earns the title of top junior college woman athlete in the state after winning the seven-event heptathlon at the State Junior College Track & Field Championship May 16-17 at Mt. San Antonio College in Southern California.Cooks, a sophomore at Cuesta Community College who placed second in the heptathlon at last year's state meet, broke her own heptathlon school record with 5,110 points. On her way to the title, she won the 200 meter dash, and placed second in the remaining five events (high jump, shot put, long jump, javelin, and 800 meters).

*  No. 1 seed Minarets High Mustangs (28-5) wins its first D-VI CIF Central Section title with a 3-2 win over No. 2 seed Farmersville May 24, at Rawhide Park in Visalia.

*  XXX Reid of Exeter and Corrie Lyle of Venice are the 2014 man and woman champions of the Bass Lake Classic Triathlon held May 31.


*  Junior Joey Woolsey and freshman Tristan Eames are named to the NSL’s All-League first team in baseball. Woolsey is named Pitcher of the Year in the NSL posting a 5-3 record with a 1.16 ERA in league play. He struck out 56 batters and walked only eight in 54 1/3 innings. Eames has a .391 batting average with a .414 on base percentage with six RBIs, and eight runs scored.

*  The Yosemite Colts under 14 baseball team takes first place in the Central Cal Grizzlies Memorial Day Mayhem Tournament June 3, winning four games without a loss. The colts won two tournaments in a row with nine consecutive victories.

*  Hometown favorite, former Yosemite High wrestler and Cal Fire firefighter Anthony Ruiz wins his 34th mixed martial arts fight June 19, with a unanimous decision over Leonard Smith during Up and Comers fights at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino.


*  Fresno Bee names Yosemite High’s Kevin Lauterbach Central Valley Golfer of the Year July 1. According to Bee sports writer Andy Boogaard, it is the first time since the Bee started naming golf all-stars in 2009, that a small school player was selected as the Player of the Year. Lauterbach was also named the NSL’s Most Valuable Player of the Year for the third consecutive season.

*  Nathan Hodges notches his fifth straight and seventh overall “All-Around Logger” title at North Fork’s 55th Annual Loggers Jamboree.

*  On July 27, the Yosemite girls travel basketball team finishes fourth in the 15-team Sacramento Summer Jam Tournament. With only six players, the Badgers go 4-2 in three days.


*  The Yosemite High School boys and girls water polo teams joins the County/Metro Athletic Conference (CMAC), after the North Sequoia League dropped the sport. Yosemite, with 720 students, will face Madera South (2,700), Sanger (2,700), Bullard (2,550), Madera (2,100), Edison (2,400), and San Joaquin Memorial (600) in league play. In addition to the new league, the boy's varsity and JV teams have a new coach - Bill Di Fiore. Di Fiore steps in as varsity coach after last year’s team (17-8, 12-3 NSL - second place), coached by Brandon Brokaw, behind seniors Jared Wood, Kevin Lauterbach, Alex Mears, and Brett Stanfield, advanced to the CIF Central Section D-II quarter-finals after beating Fresno High 10-7 in the first round. The Badgers lost to No. 1 seed, Tulare Union in the quarter-final game.


*  For the second straight year, more than 100 kids particpated in the Sept. 7 the My-Tri Triathlon at Bass Lake. The triathlon expands its divisions adding a third and more challenging "Ace" division consisting of a 200 yard swim, four mile bike ride, and one mile run. Other divisions included the Sprint and Dash division which were slightly less lengthy.

*  John McMillen, Yosemite High School head varsity baseball coach, resigns on Sept. 16, after coaching the Badgers for 11 seasons. McMillen first joined the YHS baseball program in 2004 as head JV coach. He was named varsity co-head coach with George McWherter in 2006 and took over the head coaching job the following year.


*  Led by four strong seniors and a freshman, the Yosemite High School girls golf team clinches the North Sequoia League championship Oct. 1 - the 10th consecutive title for the lady Badgers. The title comes at Dragonfly Golf Course (formerly River Bend), where Yosemite finished first for the fifth consecutive time this season at a league tournament, giving the team the title two weeks ahead of the NSL Championship Tournament (Oct. 14) at Dragonfly.

*  On Oct. 1, Yosemite High’s Alek Simpson won the 2.8 mile Madera Invitational at Eastman Lake in a time of 14.57. Simpson entered the final 400 meters 30 feet off the lead. With a 200 meter hill and an equal distance of downhill remaining, Simpson overtakes and passes the leader on the uphill, completing the race with a 50 foot lead.

*  The Yosemite High School boys and girls JV cross country teams take first place in the Oct. 7, small school division at the 40-team Golden West Invitational at Cutler Park in Visalia, as the temperature hits 100 degrees. Te Badger's frosh/soph boys, and the boys and girls varsity teams place second in the small school division.

*  Yosemite High senior golfer Jessica Rudd is named the North Sequoia League’s Most Valuable Player Oct. 21, after the Badgers win the North Sequoia League Tournament for the 10th consecutive year. Rudd wins this year's tournament with a 77. Teammate Kelsi Stieler placed second shooting a 78, and freshman Claire Oetinger placed third with an 88. On Oct. 27, the team won the CIF D-II Section Championship at the Madera Municipal Golf Course. Yosemite’s Rudd, Stieler, and Oetinger lead the Badgers to the title with scores of 86, 89, and 95 respectfully.


*  First year Minarets High coach Jessica Carter guides the Mustangs volleyball team on Nov. 12, to their third West Sequoia League Championship in as many years.

*  The 18-hole Sierra Meadows Golf Course in Ahwahnee announces its closure on Dec. 15, for financial reason. The popular golf course has been the site of hundreds of fundraising golf tournaments, weddings, anniversaries, awards banquets, and other special events for more than 27 years. Just days before the planned closure, owner Robert H. Bard, Jr., makes a proposal to keep the club open through at least through Oct. 31. The agreement includes member cart fees of $20 per round of golf per person, capping at $100 per month per person. The added cart fees is in addition to member’s monthly dues, which will not increase.

The cart fees apply to members and public players. For players using their own carts, there will be a $50 a monthly fee. The new fee structure is designed to raise enough revenue to keep Sierra Meadow financially viable until spring when individual and tournament play substantially picks-up, along with additional food and beverage sales from weddings and other events

The course is for sale and Bard and club members expect the course to sell in the near future.


*  On Dec. 2 Bob Siebenberg is named the new Yosemite High School varsity baseball coach for the 2014-15 spring season. Siebenberg was previously part of the YHS baseball program during its heyday. During his previous experience at YHS, the JV program won five league championships in seven years while Siebenberg coached the team and the varsity team won nine league titles and four CIF Central Section titles.