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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher


We’ve gotten used to this race starting phrase by hearing it over and over at the Olympics which just concluded Sunday in Rio. And what an Olympics it was. Medals galore for the good ol’ US of A, and mind boggling performances right and left (or left and right... your choice).

Like any good Olympics, we saw more than a few events that were less than stellar - with the Ryan Lochte controversy coming quickly to mind. Naturally the media swarmed all over this sad story, but no matter how controversial it is/was, it will never take away from the performances of our athletes. Michael Phelps... Simone Biles... and yes, Ryan Lochte. An entertaining two weeks of showmanship and outstanding athletic prowess.

So now we morph into local athletics and the start of volleyball and football in the northstate. Yep, future Olympian’s in action. Well, maybe not all, but you never know.

Will one of our own soccer players make the Olympics? Can a local volleyball star be the next Olympic Gold medal winner? Chances are extremely slim, but not unheard of by any means.

While our local youngsters may not play up to Olympic calibre, their team play is still exciting and well worth the time to venture out of your home and into a local gym or stadium to watch our kids play ball.

Because our school’s are small in number (not small in stature, however) kids play multiple sports during any given year - unlike city big school athletes who concentrate on just one lone sport to excel at. This is the advantage of small school living - ya get to play lots of different games. A much more well rounded athletic life is the way I look at it.

However, even though the school’s are small, and teams aren’t necessarily overflowing with bodies in uniform’s, not everyone will be a starter. Not everyone on a team will be a star with their picture and name in the paper over and over again. Not everyone will put up statistics that boggle the mind and interest college coaches.

However (there’s that transitional word again), everyone on the team is an integral cog in the gears that make up a team. There are players ready, willing and able to get in every game, warming the bench and anxious to get, “out there!” The important thing to remember is that these athletes have to be on the READY at all times - as you never know when the coach will point at you and say, “Go!” Even on Olympic Gold winning teams, there are players relegated to be on the sidelines. The camera’s showed them often, gnawing at the bit to get in the action, and watching intently to make sure they would be ready when (and if) called upon. That’s the important life of a ‘substitute’.... like a good boy scout - ‘Being Prepared!’

So here’s to all those would-be Olympian’s and Sub’s that take to the courts and fields this Fall. We’re cheering you on, and hope you have a ball.

Area Volleyball Teams to
Step Up to the Net
McARTHUR - The Fall River Lady Bulldogs won the NSCIF Section D-VI championship last year, and aim to do that again this season.

If it’s any indication of how strong the Bulldogs are, consider that two years ago when this team played together as JV’s, they won the Shasta-Cascade League in undefeated fashion with 12 wins.

A strong history doesn’t necessarily predict current success, however, and coach Kelly Freeland-Sloat sure isn’t going to let her team sit back and rest on their laurel’s of the past.

“Two years ago, this team won the league, but a couple of current players were on the varsity at that time,” she noted, “so we’re still getting used to playing with a little different line-up now.”

Seven seniors lead this year’s edition of Bulldog volleyball.

However, lost to graduation is Megan Gallion, the 4-year Bulldog setter and conference MVP last year.

The plan is to use Grace Lommen to set up the ball, “and she has a little different style that we’re adjusting too,” said Freeland-Sloat.
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Burney Set to Begin Stint in
New 5-Star Conference
BURNEY - A trio of senior returning veterans will lead this year’s rendition of Raider volleyball into the 5-Star league, as Burney said good bye to the Shasta- Cascade League last year.

Megan Arseneau, Maddie Luntey and Summer Schottell have the experience at the varsity level to push the Raiders to a good net season.

Joining the senior threesome are five juniors from last year’s JV team along with a pair of freshman.

“The girls are looking good. I think they are building cohession already in the season,” summed up returning coach Loni Kolek.

She continued, “Our seniors are stepping up to lead... and we are learning to be vulnerable and gaining trust with each other.”

“I look for good things coming from this team,” she concluded.

In looking at their new league, Kolek feels Liberty, Redding Christian and Los Molinos will be good competition, “and the girls and I are all excited to be going into a new league, although we’ll miss the SCL.”

Burney is in Central Valley today (Tuesday) and home to host Weed on Thursday at 4pm.
Archery Deer Season is Open
Adam Kennedy of Burney nailed this nice Buck Saturday with his bow and arrow. He was hunting in C-1 zone.

Football Kicks Off Friday Night

Bulldogs Return as Three Time Defending SCL Champions
McARTHUR - The Fall River Bulldogs have been the champions of the Shasta-Cascade League for the past three seasons, and take aim to make it four in a row when the new season starts Friday night here.

It won’t be easy, however, as the Bulldogs lost 11 from last year’s squad to graduation, and another trio from 2015 won’t be suiting up this year - two electing to concentrate on basketball and another sitting out due to a nagging injury.

It’s definitely a re-loading year for the ‘Dawgs of Fall River.

Despite this changing of the guard, there are some talented players suiting up for 2016, including last season’s leading rusher, Jonathan Iniguez, who galloped for 794 yards and six TD’s.

He also caught passes for an additional 464 yards and five more 6-pointers. Also back is Stevie Collins with 191 yards rushing in ‘15.
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Raiders Open On the Road in Adin

BURNEY - Putting last season’s problems behind them is the key for the Burney Raiders heading into the new schedule.

The team folded the varsity program with two games left on the schedule when injuries and other contributing factors left them unable to field the necessary players to move forward.

Coach Clint McClurg is looking forward to this season - although still low in numbers (at 19) but, “a quality group of young players,” he noted. “I’ll gladly take quality over quantity.”

He went on to note, “these kids enjoy the game of football... I picture an exciting year.”

It’s definitely going to be different for the Raiders, as new opponents are in the line-up as they move to the Mountain Valley League and leave the old familiar haunts of the Shasta- Cascade conference.

The Raiders open on the road in Etna - a former SCL foe - Friday with JV set to kick-off at 5:30 and varsity to follow.

McClurg is also excited about his up-front lineman, anchored by seniors Michael Avelar and Matthew Elmore and will start out with a sophomore calling signals.
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Muckers Coming to BV Friday Night

BIEBER - The Mucker’s are coming to Big Valley Friday night. Yep, the Virginia City, Nevada, football team will make their debut against the Cardinals in opening night action here Friday starting at 6pm.

The Cards are aiming to recover from their section championship loss to Redding Christian and overcome their second place finish in league the past two seasons.

“We have one of the youngest teams I’ve coached in my three years here,” summed up Bryan Gerig, “and we have one of the toughest travelling schedules I’ve seen.”
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Intermountain Squad Wins the Title

CEDARVILLE - The Intermountain Ghost Peppers won the championship of the Modoc District Fair Bale Bash softball tournament here over the weekend.

They breezed through the competition with five wins and no losses - winning all by 10 runs or more, going 3-1 Saturday.

They won the championship game, 12-1.

Vance Bidwell was named the Outstanding Pitcher of the event, while Joe DiSalvo was selected the tournament MVP. Ben Torres and Carlos Escalante were named to the All- Tournament team.
Sports of the Inter-Mountain Fair
McARTHUR - Plans are underway for the 2016 Inter-Mountain Fair Ranch Branding. Ten teams have already signed up with room for six more teams.

The Branding i open and you do not have to have cattle in the Pen Show to enter. There will be added money this year for the winning team - so sign up your crew today.

For information, or to enter the Branding or Pen Show, call Stacie or Heidi at the Fair office (336-5695).

The Branding starts at 1 o’clock Sunday of the Fair in the small covered arena. Entries are still open for the Ranch Branding, and if you are a Fall River-Big Valley Cattlemen’s association member you an still enter the Pen Show.

This is great family fun and is becoming one of the favorite events of the Fair. The Branding is managed by the Fall River-Big Valley Cattlemen’s Association and the profit goes back into the communities through educational scholarships and financial assistance for various community causes.

This year’s sponsors are: Event Sponsor, Circle 7 Guest Ranch and Spinner Fall Restaurant; cattle sponsor, Zoetis, Kurt Urricelqui; Added Money, Carpenter’s Trucking, C &H Enterprises, Sandy Kaul; Awards, Red Barn, Jerry & Lynda McDaniel, Millie and Harry Turiello, Randy Harr, Art and Caroline Whitney and Larry Plog.

So here’s to Cheers, Steers and Volunteers at the Fair.