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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher



As we enter the home stretch for Fall high school sports, let’s take a second or two to breathe... yep, it’s going to be a hectic week.

We have three local teams still in the hunt to bring home divisional championships - the Big Valley Cards and Fall River Bulldogs in football and the Lady Bulldogs of Fall River in volleyball. All coming to a sudden end between now and Thanksgiving Eve - hopefully with three championships... not to jinx anyone!

Here are some interesting highlights:

• Three of the four remaining teams in D-5 football are from the Shasta-Cascade League. The other team (Maxwell) is the defending D-5 champions.

• Fall River football has defeated all three other teams still in the hunt this year - there’s that jinx thing again, drats!

• Five of the eight teams remaining in the D-6 volleyball shoot-out are private christian schools. • Big Valley football is in the title game for the first time since switching over to 8-man football.

• Greenville might have lost the opening round of football to Big Valley, but they got revenge on the volleyball court by downing the Lady Cards in the opening round of volleyball playoffs - darn it!

I cannot say enough about the Intermountain Area prep fans... you ROCK!

One of the largest crowds in recent memory turned out for the FR v. Modoc football game two weeks ago, and Big Valley fans are showing they are really behind their team on the road. I’d term the Cardinal fans as “Have team will travel.”

A huge contingent of Cardinal loyal’s ventured to Willows last Friday, and a few weeks ago when the Cards played at Redding Christian it was a literal toss up as to which team had the most fans in attendance... and you can bet the house that this Friday’s championship game in Palo Cedro will see a huge flock of Cardinal fans making the journey to the valley once again.

Just a note of caution to those with sinister ideas... just because nearly the entire Big Valley population will be in the out of town Friday night... it’s not a good idea to thing of doing bad things in the valley. Almost every home has a large dog or two to guard the premises while the owner’s are away... just to quell any bad idea’s you might stupidly entertain.

For those interested in watching sports from the warm confines of a gym - we’ve got you covered. Fall River hosts Redding Christian tonight (Tuesday) in the D-6 quarter-finals of volleyball. Come on out and watch a great group of youngsters who play well together as a team. It’s well worth the cost of admission. All it takes will be three wins between tonight and Saturday to grab the division title, as it ends Saturday in Red Bluff starting at 11am. Go Lady Bulldogs!... I love Red Bluff in November :).

Then there’s basketball season on the horizon... with the annual Block ‘F’ Tournament set for the first week of December - as well as some individual school games earlier that week. Watch for the Hoop Preview issue of Mountain Echo the Tuesday before. I’ll go out on a limb and say that if you think football and volleyball have been exciting in the area... you won’t want to miss basketball season.

While we’re wrapping up Fall sports, a big Thank You to both April Thompson and Jennifer Leighton for your photographic ability and willingness to share your photo’s. I’ve tried desperately over the years to figure out how to be in two or three places at once - and I have to say I’ve failed. You and others have filled in the gap’s nicely.

If you think the Burney Raiders have been left out of the paper recently... Don’t fret! It just means that coaches Tara Jones and Kevin Bower are getting a jump start on basketball practice. Really looking forward to Raider Hoops this season... Go Raiders!

So we’re down to the wire... best of luck to the three local teams. GO GET ‘EM...!

Greenville Ends Cards Year
GREENVILLE - The Lady Cards of Big Valley saw their volleyball season come to an end in the opening round of D-6 playoffs here last Wednesday.

The hosts won in three, 25-15, 25-20 and 25- 10. The Cards entered the game ranked 11th, while Greenville was in the sixth slot.

Two Cardinal seniors played their final volleyball game for Big Valley - Erica Stevenson and Amanda Bricker.

No other information was provided to Mountain Echo.

Cards Play for Championship Friday

WILLOWS - The Big Valley Cardinals will get another shot at Redding Christian when the two meet in the D-6 football championship in Palo Cedro Friday night.

The Cards earned their run at the title with a 24-14 win over host Princeton at the Willows High School football field here last Friday.

With a large contingent of Cardinal fans in attendance here Friday night, the Big Valley squad once again started slowly - a trait coach Bryan Gerig worries about weekly. True to form, the hosting Eagles jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first period, but Big Valley countered with 3:39 left in the quarter on a Michael Bertelsen 38-yard run to pull within two at 6-8.

Early in the second stanza, Kellen Gerig (pictured above) pulled off a 50-yard touchdown run to put the Cards on top for the first time at 12-8 - and that's where the game remained until the second half
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Fall River to Host Etna in Division 5 Semi-Finals
McARTHUR - After a week off, the Fall River Bulldogs will get back to football Friday night, when they host fellow Shasta-Cascade League foe Etna in the D-5 semifinal match-up.

The winner will take on the victor between Modoc and Maxwell on Thanksgiving Eve.

Don’t let it fool you that the Bulldogs have already defeated this Etna Lions team. The Lions have improved as the season has progressed. Take, as an example, their early loss to Chester (7-20), with Etna battling back last week to down this same Chester team, 19-14 to punch their ticket to McArthur for this Friday’s match-up.

“They are a very athletic team,” summed up Fall River coach Rick Neugebauer, “they have some size and are well coached.”
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Lady Bulldogs Set to Start quest for the Title

Lady Bulldogs at the net... (l) Cassidy Sarbacher and Sara Westlund on defense.
McARTHUR - Everything they’ve done to date is put on the back burner, as it’s playoff time for the Lady Bulldogs of Fall River volleyball squad.

“I cannot wait,” said rookie coach Maggie Torres, “We are ready to play.”

After a Bye week in round one, Fall River (ranked number one in D-6) will host Redding Christian tonight (Tuesday) in the first of what they hope will be three games this week in their quest of the division title. Tip off is set for 7 o’clock.

“We’re excited to be ranked first,” the coach continued, “but the bad part about that is that we had a huge gap getting a Bye.”

During that idle week, Fall River and Mt. Shasta - who also had a Bye in Division 5 action - met for a scrimmage to keep both teams sharp.

Fall River enters playoff action with a 24-12 mark and a second place finish to Mt. Shasta in the Shasta-Cascade League. Redding Christian comes to town sporting a 9- 12-1 record, “and we’re not really sure what to expect from Redding Christian,” noted coach Torres.
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For Cards it’s First Time in  Title Game Since 2003
By Ron Mosher Sports Editor What began way back on September 6 on the road in Loyalton will come to an end this Friday in Palo Cedro. Eleven weeks of battling on the gridiron will all come down to one game - Big Valley against Redding Christian for the Northern Section CIF Division VI championship.

The game will mark the first time Big Valley has made it to the championship game since switching to 8-man football, and the first title game for the school since 2003 - when they wrapped up the title to bring down the curtain on the Matt Hunsaker era.

First year coach Bryan Gerig will be looking to start his own ‘era’ at the school and bring back the top honor come Friday night.

The two teams battling it out for the championship met earlier this year, with the Lions of Redding Christian squeaking out a 30-26 win - after Big Valley spotted them 22 points to start the game.

“We’ve gotta come up with something different against Redding Christian this time,” remarked coach Gerig.

The two teams have put powerful numbers up on offense, with Big Valley scoring 457 points (45.7/game) to the Lions 560 (46.6/game). On defense, the Cards have allowed 121 points (12.1/game) to Redding Christians 228 (19.0/game).

Does either team have an edge? Probably not. But one thing for sure - it will be a heck of a game and great finish to the season.