Winter high school sports are quickly wrapping up - and frankly I’m not ready for them to end. With Mother Nature playing havoc with the NorthState weather, none of us are quite ready to brave the elements for softball, baseball, track & field events... as much as we all enjoy watching young athletes excel at these Springtime sports.

Although it could be entertaining to watch baseball players hit the diamond with waders and rubber duckies tied to their belts. However, never in the past has the talent of knowing how to swim been a prerequisite for playing baseball - or softball, for that matter. Would kinda be interesting to see how many pitcher’s could swim to their positions using either the backstroke or butterfly stroke. Ahhhh, memories of Olympics past just invaded dreams of baseball/softball. High schools would be looking to transform Water Polo athletes into baseball players rather quickly.


• Congratulations to our three local league champion teams. Not every close-knit area can boast of that many titles in the same year. It’s been fun to watch you - and all our local team - play hoops this winter, and wish the five local squads the best of luck in the win-or-go-home post season tournament starting this week. Just for everyone’s information, the top two teams finishing in our local Division 6 playoff brackets will go on to the Nor-Cal Regional State Tournament following the section event. For the newly minted D-7 teams, the season end’s with the championship section game.

• The Burney Raider boys varsity team may not have won many games this year, but they won my heart for their perseverance and stamina. They played every game on their schedule with determination - never giving up as they battled through tournaments, pre-season games and conference contests. It’s easy to show up for tedious practices when you’re winning, but quite another task to run through drills week after week when you’ve been on the losing end of tilts.

So Here’s a tip-of-the-hat to the Raider B-Ball team - you’ve shown true grit and character throghout a tough year.

• You never want to see a prep athletes relegated to the sidelines with an injury - but it unfortunately happens. Take the case of a couple local prep youngsters who had an injury keep them sidelined.

For Burney senior Kaden Tiran, the season was a bust for him to start, following a broken ankle suffered halfway through the football season. The mishap kept him sidelined from the start of basketball season up until the final week, when he was finally able to don the Raider uniform and race up and down the court for the final two games of the year. It was a long, disappointing wait for someone who loves the game, but he got his shot and actually led Burney in scoring in their final game last Friday - 15 points against the league champion Chester Volcanoes.

The story of Fall River senior Cameron ‘Cam’ Cunningham is a mirror image of Tiran’s tale of woe. Cam sailed through more than half the basketball season for the Fall River Bulldogs, helping them to amass an undefeated year until he went down with a knee injury. The same thing happened last year as a junior. He underwent surgery and fought his way back to start this season on the hardwood. This year’s injury is to his other knee, and he knows from experience just what he faces in the near future.

But here’s what ties these two young athletes together in this injury saga.... both didn’t give up, nor did they abandon their team. Tiran spent the entire time he was sidelined showing up game after game, keeping stat’s for his coach and encouraging his team right up until he was able to come back into action. Cunningham can also be seen at every Bulldog game, giving what he can to promote his team and encourage his teammates.

If nothing else, these two who were hit with such disappointment this winter, they didn’t slack off from being part of the team.

Congrats on your loyalty!

Return to Mt. Echo Home
Bulldogs Bulldogs Put an Exclamation Point on their 24-1 Year
WEAVERVILLE - The Fall River Bulldogs faced rival Trinity here Friday night, marking the fifth time the two teams have faced off against each other this season. The Bulldogs put an exclamation point on their year with a win to wrap up the Shasta-Cascade League championship and posting a remarkable 24-1 overall mark. Now the Big Blue Machine heads into the second season and the annual post season tournament as the top Dog in Division 6 and will play at home throughout the playoffs.

In racking up the 81- 76 win, Cade Rainwater and Justin Vigil each posted triple-double statistics. Vigil hit 21 points, 12 boards and 10 blocks, while Rainwater contributed 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to go with six steals. It was Rainwater’s second triple-double of the year and Vigil’s first to go with 22 double-double performances. Robee Knoch tied Vigil for the point lead with 21, while Jonathan Iniguez hit 11. Kaleb Hamilton and Fabian Alvarez had six.

Fall River began the week on the road in Etna where they handed the host Lions an 81-41 loss to clinch the crown.

Fall River posted a 52- 17 lead in the first half to send the Lions a message that they weren’t kidding.

Vigil led the charge with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Rainwater and Zach Thompson each scored 13 and Knoch 10. Hamilton put up eight, Alvarez six and Junior Felix five.The Bulldogs have a Bye in the opening round set for tonight (Tuesday) and are scheduled to host the winner of the Etna (10-13) versus American Christian Academy (19-6) on Thursday at 7 o’clock. However, the game may be moved to Friday to make it a double-header as the Lady Bulldogs are set to host their first playoff game on Friday. Best to check with the school Wednesday to see what the schedule is,

Seniors: Jonathan Iniguez, Cade Rainwater, Kaleb Hamilton, Justin Vigil, Fabian Alvarez, Cam Cunningham.

• Juniors: Zach Thompson, Junior Felix, Paul Winter, Robee Knoch.

• Sophomores: Gavin Dobson.

Four Local Wrestlers Punch Tickets to Masters

DURHAM - Four Intermountain Area prep wrestler’s earned berths at the Northern Section CIF (NSCIF) Master’s Championship Wrestling Tournament after garnering medals at the Divisional Championships here last Saturday.

Fall River senior’s Lucas Warnock and Gunnar Ronquist finished second in their weight classes here and Big Valley’s Reagan Dahle took third and Garrett Schmitt fourth. The top four from the Divisional Finals move on to the Masters in each weight class.

Warnock, competing in the 172 pound division, won his first two matches by pins over a Trinity grappler and Big Valley’s Reagan Dahle. He lost in the championship match to a wrestler from Hamilton City. Warnock was leading 3-0 in the title match before being pinned.

Ronquist, finished 1-1 on the day for his Silver medal. He won his first match by a 16-12 decision, and was defeated in the championship bout by a Trinity grappler, 2-12.

Meanwhile, Dahle - a sophomore - finished 2-1 for his third place while Schmitt finished fourth at 182 pounds.

Other Fall River grappler’s at the Divisional Tournament included Chase Parker (122) who finished 1-2. He defeated Burney’s Elliot Santamaria in his opening bout, but lost his next two. Kyle Klein at 126 went 12 on the day defeating a wrestler from Hamilton in a pin for his win. Pan Saingram and John Dombrowski both finished with a 0-2 record.

Two Burney wreslter’s competed at the Divisional, with Santamaria and Samson George both going 0-2 on the day.

The Masters Tournament is set for this Friday and Saturday at the Redding Civic Auditorium with action beginning Friday at 12 noon.