Gregg Dodderidge

Badger teams enjoy success

It has been an exciting fall season for Yosemite High sports with Badger volleyball, girls golf, and girls water polo all took home league titles and then some. The Badger football program while independent made it to the D-V semi-finals.

Badger Volleyball

It was another great season for the flagship sports program at Yosemite High School. The Badger volleyball program wrapped up a 34-6 season taking second place in the Central Section D-III tournament losing to eventual champ Mission Oak 3 games to 1. YHS moved on to play in the California state tournament. In state, the Badgers defeated Buhach Colony 3-0 before running into a Sonora buzz saw.

The Lady Badgers won another North Sequoia League title with a 9-1 record. program. FYI, Badger volleyball has 8 CIF titles in the school’s history and Head Coach Michele Chenowith has three of those back in the early 2000s. She came so close to No. 4 this season. No other sport has more than 5 section titles (baseball and girls basketball).

There were some great individual performances on this team. Sayda Taylor (287), Karee Smith (234), and Rachel Loveland (205) were ranked 1-2-3 in the section in blocks. Taylor was No. 25 (284) and Smith was No. 34 (256) in kills. Siena Oswald (330) was No. 35 in the section in digs and Tiffany Cacy was No. 32 in assists (427).

YHS defeated schools much larger than their enrollment. Most D-III schools are close to 1,500 in enrollment. Over recent years the Badgers despite being just-under 700 students constantly face larger schools yet they advance deep into playoffs every season.

Girls Water Polo

Head coach Michelle Burton’s girl’s water polo team won an NSL title with a perfect 12-0 season. The team received the No. 3 in the CIF D-III tournament, and went on to defeat No. 6 Chowchilla 10-7 before losing to eventual second place finisher Sierra Pacific 15-6.

Junior Sophie McGoldrick had a historic season. According to she ended the 2017 regular season as the No. 4 scorer in the state of California with 115.

McGoldrick was also named NSL MVP and set a new YHS single season scoring record with 122 goals. The old record was 102 set by current boys water polo coach Patricia O’Neill.She was also No. 8 in the section in assists.

But it wasn’t just McGoldrick. Other Badgers were ranked in the Central Section Top 50. Junior Abby Williams was ranked 39th in the Central Section with 52 points. Junior Grace Fries was tied for 44th with 49 points. Juniors Randi Johnson (47) and Carina Lusk (46) were ranked 48th and 50th respectively.

Fries was named all-NSL first team. Johnson and Lusk were named all-NSL second team and Williams was named honorable mention.

As a team, YHS was 7th in the section in goals and points scored. Coach Burton only loses two players to graduation.

Girl’s Golf

The Yosemite girl’s golf program is simply a juggernaut. The 2017 version coached by Rusty Oetinger won its 13th straight North Sequoia League title.

Besides a league title the Badgers won the Central Section D-II North Area Tournament and came within just two strokes of winning the D-II section title losing to Lemoore High.

Senior Claire Oetinger will leave YHS as one of the greatest golfers in school history, boys or girls. Oetinger will take her talents to UC Santa Cruz. The Banana Slugs will get a golfer who was the NSL MVP for three straight years. This year Oetinger won the North Area Tournament and competed in the state Southern Region Golf Championship.

Trinity Curtis and Sarah Meeks both had personal bests at the NSL Championships where the Badgers posted a team score of 457. Chowchilla was a distant second at 516 strokes. Curtis and Meeks were both named all-NSL. Freshman Taylor Oetinger was named the most outstanding underclassman in the league.

Badger Football

JD Burnett’s Badgers went 9-1 and will go down as one of the better teams in school history. After going 0-10 in his first season, Burnett has gone 18-5 in his last two seasons with the team playing as an ‘independent’ against schools with comparable enrollments.

Burnett and staff have reinvigorated the youth programs and re-instilled a winning attitude.

The Badgers advanced to the D-V semifinals in 2016 and 2017. The 39-24 loss to Caruthers last week is to a team that should make noise in the upcoming state playoff picture.

After just two seasons, this is the last time YHS will play as an independent. The Badgers will re-join the North Sequoia League next season but will still retain their D-V status.

There were many coaching challenges Burnett and staff overcame this season. YHS lost two home games due to fires. The numbers were few, just over 20 players, and key starter Ben Negley was lost early in the season to an injury.

Underclassmen were huge to the team’s success, including sophomores Caleb Burke (lineman), Kevin Cruz (WR/DB), Nicholas Harper (RB/LB), and Ernie Jimenez (RB/CB), along with freshman Noah Burns (lineman) were critical pieces. All were in their first year of varsity competition. It was the first year of varsity competition for junior QB Tyson Mansfield.

Congratulations to players, coaches, and parents. It was a banner fall in YHS sports.