A TOUGH POSITION TO BE IN...
A high school coach automatically puts himself in a tough position when
it comes to playing his/her offspring in a starring role. You’re bound
to get flack at some point in time.
This is especially true if the coaches kid isn’t really a top notch
player. A coach who continues to play his child over other talented
players who are on the sidelines, will eventually cause nothing but
problems. Bad enough if you dare play some other player that’s not your
kid ahead of what fans perceive to be a better player on the bench...
but your own kid - that can get you into scalding hot water with parents
and fans alike.
This type of problem is averted, however, when the coaches youngster
turns out to be really, really good.
Let’s look at some local examples.
Over a decade ago when Matt Hunsaker headed the Big Valley football
program, he started his son, J.C. Hunsaker at quarterback as a freshman.
At the time, I thought, “What the hey?”
But J.C. turned out to be an excellent quarterback who led the Cardinals
to four straight section championships. He went on to play in college
and is currently an assistant football coach at Shasta High School in
Then in 2007, Fall River head coach Todd Sloat inserted his son Taylor
into the QB slot his sophomore year.
Again, I thought, “What the hey?”
But Taylor also turned out to be a great choice to do the signal calling
for Fall River, with three section titles during his days behind center.
Taylor also went on to play four years at U.C. Davis and signed a NFL
pro practice squad contract recently.
When Rick Neugebauer named his son Jace to start at quarterback for Fall
River his freshman year, it was somewhat shocking.
Yet, once again I thought, “What the hey!”
My original thought was that eventually one of these parent/coaches was
going to screw up big time.
But as you can see by the story at the top of this page - it too has
worked out really well... and Jace Neugebauer has a lot of games ahead
of him to continue to show the section that he is for real.
There are other local father/kid situations that have taken place in the
past... these are just three that this ol’ guy remembers with fondness.
However, coaching your own child can be a nightmare - even when they’re
very good athletes - and being the child of a coach can also present
problems not associated with other players.
An athlete playing under his father puts a ton of pressure on the kid.
First, you want to make your dad proud. You want to have your teammates
look at you with pride, rather than looking down their nose at the
‘coaches kid.’ You have to prove your worth more than the other players,
and that’s a tough position to put a child.
But, the problems aren’t just faced by the offspring... dad, the coach,
faces hurdles too.
A father/coach worries about whether he’s made the right decision.
Worries about when to pull his kid... or when to keep playing him. The
father/coach has to remember to treat his youngster like the other
players - a fine line to walk, no doubt. The father/coach must remember
to live what he preaches - leave it on the field. It would be very easy
to harp all week at home about what his kid did or didn’t do on the
field of play - but that isn’t fair to the student/athlete living under
None of the coaches mentioned above have said it was easy coaching their
own son. All admit that if J.C., Taylor or Jace weren’t mature for their
age it probably wouldn’t have worked out so well. Did all three coaches
receive some flack for starting their youngsters at QB at a young age -
you bet. Do they have any regrets - not so far.
Coaching high school sports is always a tricky situation, but coaching
your own offspring brings with it a whole new set of problems. Problems
that can make you a ‘goat’ or a ‘hero.’
Either way, it’s been a privilege to write about these parents/kids -
and all the other parent/kid situations we’ve seen over the years.
Fall River Stuns Cougars, 52-12
Justin Vigil heading for the house in SCL play. Fall River had
more problems with gusty winds than they did with host Weed
Friday night, breezing to a 52-12 SCl win. Fall River is
now 2-1 in league and 7-1 overall.
D-IV Football Playoff Points
The CIF announced the first round of football playoff
points over the weekend. In D-4, Fall River (8-0) is in
the number one slot with 24.30 points, followed by Modoc
(7-1) second with 23.05. The two will meet in Fall River
November 7. Third shows Maxwell at 5-2 and 22.48 points,
fourth is Biggs at 4- 4 and 16.30 points. Sixth is Etna
(3-5) with 12.82, and Portola seventh (3-5) and 11.95.
Seeding for the gridiron playoffs is set for Saturday,
November 8 at Corning High School.
Cougars Sweep Raiders
WEED - The Lady Cougars swept visiting Burney here last
week, 25-18, 25-11 and 25-16. Lauren Schneider had seven
assists and five service aces to go with six digs.
Jessica Thompson had 10 digs and Tymber Wells three
kills to go with the same number of digs on defense.
Fall River Starts Playoffs in Quincy
- The Fall River Bulldogs wrapped up the regular soccer
season here last Thursday with a 3-3 tie with the host
Trinity Wolves. This followed a 9-2 win over Modoc two
days earlier in their final home game of the year.
Against Modoc, Elias Tourtouras kicked four goals with
three assists, while senior Gilberto Aceves notched four
goals and one assist. Robert Betz added the other goal
for the winners, and Chris Pires had an assist to go
with nine saves as goalie.
Fall River and Trinity played to a 3-3 tie in the
For Complete Story and
Bulldogs Blow Away Cougars to Move to 8-0|
Cards Rebound to Electrify Honkers, 40-0
- The Fall River Bulldogs blew past the hosting Weed Cougars
here Friday night in a windy SCL match-up, 49-12, to keep their
2014 record perfect at 8-0.
Jace Neugebauer continued his quest for the record books with
seven completions for 261 yards in passing and four touchdowns
(See story on page B-3). That total gives him 2,028 yards in the
air on the season with two regular season games to go.
Tanner Gallion was on the receiving end of three passes for 120
yards and one TD, while Thomas Markham hauled in one for 81
yards at a touchdown, Johnny Westlund caught one 30 yard TD pass
with Juan-Carlos Venegas catching a 21 yard scoring pass.
Jonathan Iniguez (pictured left) caught one for nine yards.
In rushing, Neugebauer led the winners with 98 yards on eight
carries, while Westlund carried eight times for 78, Iniguez four
times for 40, Rudy Garcia five times for eight and Markham twice
For Complete Story and more photos Subscribe
Modoc Overpowers BHS Raiders
BIEBER - The game here Friday night may have been delayed 45
minutes due to lightening in the area, but the delay didn’t stop
the host Cardinals from electrifying visiting Tulelake, 40-0. It
marked a rebound for the Cards from their lone loss of the
season the week before to Redding Christian, and was their first
shutout of the year.
Big Valley came out firing on all cylinders, scoring four
touchdowns on four touches of the ball on offense - with one
nullified by a penalty.
You can see where this is going. On their first play from
scrimmage, Michael Bertelsen exploded for 80 yards and six
points and also ran in the conversion to give the Cards a quick
8- zip lead. After getting the ball back, Kellen Gerig ran it in
from 80-yards out, and BV moved up 14-0.
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ALTURAS - After spotting the powerful Modoc Braves to a 21-point
lead, the Burney Raiders made a valiant effort to get back into
the game, scoring two unanswered touchdowns before being
overpowered by the Braves, 61-12. Modoc led 7-0 with just over
two minutes left in the opening stanza, but a fumble inside the
Burney five set up a quick touchdown, followed by yet another
Modoc TD before the quarter ended and Burney found themselves
trailing 21-zip. The start of quarter two saw things looking up
for the Raiders, with Ray Guerrero taking an option pitch from
quarterback Jason Searl to score Burney’s first TD of the night.
Then Jordan Estes caused Modoc to fumble, with Jared Hovis
recovering the loose ball. Shortly after that, Searl scored in
an option keeper and Burney had cut the deficit to 12-21.
“Here’s where we fell apart,” lamented Raider coach Clint
McClurg. Modoc answered with 20 straight points in the period to
go into the locker room at halftime up, 41-12. The hosts blanked
Burney 20-0 in the third to ice the SCL win. Alejandro Jimenez
topped Burney’s rushing game with 106 yards on 20 carries, while
Guerrero finished with six rushes for 22 yards and a TD, and
Searl carried seven times for 20 yards and a TD. Gustavo
Villarruel picked up two on two rushes.|
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|Lady Bulldogs Split in
- The Fall River Lady Bulldogs downed Modoc to start the
week, but the long and winding road trip here proved to
be a disappointment two nights later as Fall River
finished with a split for the week. |
The good news first.
Fall River out gunned visiting Modoc in four, 29-27,
21-25, 25-20 and 25- 14.
“Modoc came out ready to play,” said FR coach Maggie
Torres, “I am proud of the girls for minimizing our
unforced errors, especially our serving.”
Sarah Westlund dominated the net with 12 kills and
picked up a double-double in garnering 15 digs on
defense. Katie Policastro (shown left) and Taylor Corder
each slammed six kills on offense.
Megan Gallion had 22 digs from the back row and dished
up 26 assists. Kellie Sims had four assists.
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Maintain One Game Lead in Evergreen League
BIEBER - Hayfork turned the tables on the Lady
Cardinals of Big Valley last Tuesday, winning in
four sets after losing the the Cardinals earlier
in the season. Hayfork came out on top this tie,
29-27, 25-20, 23-25 and 29-27, in a nail biting
After rebounding two nights later with a sweep
of Dunsmuir on the road, the Cardinals
maintained their lead in the Evergreen League by
one game over Hayfork with two weeks to go in
the regular season.
Erica Stevenson and Kayla McCrary led the
Cardinal attack at the net against Hayfork, each
with eight kills. Stevenson also had five blocks
In serving, McCrary had seven aces, while
Stevenson, Amanda Bricker and Alexia Miller each
added four aces.
Paige James added six assists with Bricker
dishing up five assists.
Big Valley got back on the winning track on
Thursday, sweeping host Dunsmuir, 25-11, 25-15
Stevenson again had eight kills, while Bricker
served up eight aces and added seven assists in
the setter position. James had five assists.
For Complete Story
Fall River goes 2-0 for the week
Laci Denny in action against Modoc. Fall
River won in two.
WEAVERVILLE - The Fall River JV
volleyball squad had a good week,
sweeping a pair of SCL foes. |
They began at home on Tuesday with wins
of 25-12 and 25-21 over Modoc, then
finished it with wins of 25-22 and 25-17
on the road here against Trinity on
“We came out super strong in the first
game against Modoc,” noted coach Megan
Albaugh, “the second game was closer but
we played really well.”
In talking about the Trinity sweep, “we
started out kind of slow and stayed neck
and neck with them the whole game,
pushing at the end to get the win.”
Fall River continues SCL play in Burney
today (Tuesday) before returning home on
Thursday to host Mt. Shasta.
By Ron Mosher
The Chase is On for Jace
Fall River junior quarterback
Jace Neugebauer (pictured above)
has already surpassed the
schools career passing yardage
mark, and is fast approaching
the single season passing mark
set in 2005 by then senior Alex
Neugebauer, in his third year at
the signal calling slot for the
Bulldogs, has already amassed a
stunning total of 5,063 yards
passing in his two-plus seasons
for Fall RIver. That total
surpasses the stats set up by
3-year quarterback Taylor Sloat
of 3,823 yards set in 2007-09.
Vigil’s single season record of
2,066 yards is barely ahead of
Neugebauer’s mark of 2,028 he
currently has with two regular
season games (Burney and Modoc)
plus the playoffs still ahead.
Neugebauer’s current yardage is
tops in the CIF’s Northern
Section, more than 700 yards in
aerial’s ahead of the second
Neugebauer has completed 75 of
116 passes attempted averaging
251.5 yards per game. His number
one target, senior Tanner
Gallion, is approaching the
1,000 yard reception mark -
sitting at 928 yards for the