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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher


With Little League season officially underway in the Burney Area (and Fall River and Big Valley to follow starting May 7) here’s my suggestion... Play Nice!

This isn’t necessarily directed at the young players - but more towards parents and adults who will be attending these many games over the Spring season.

Just a reminder to Ma and Pa... these are young kids, not professional athletes. They don the uniform to go out and have fun - and hopefully learn a little about the rules of the game. The older players who’ve been around a couple of years stand at the plate in front of the crowd with an accelerated heart rate and nervous tension. They don’t need hearing negative responses from those sitting in the Peanut Gallery munching on candy and slurping a soda.

The T-Ball newbies are the youngest of the athletes, who are still learning that running the bases is kinda like being a NASCAR driver - always turn to the left from base-to-base-to-baseto homeplate. No stopping to pick up that good looking pebble along the way. These youngest of the players learn there are Lady Bugs, Dandelions and blades of grass to play with while in the outfield waiting to get back to the dugout and continue that story with their buddy who’s standing way over there on first base (whatever that is).

The coaches are volunteers. They are not managing a major league franchise, but guiding youngsters in the game they have loved since they too put on a little league uniform. They sacrifice time away from their own families to guide your youngster. They forego cooking dinner for their own brood in order to keep an assemblance of order amongst your kids. They forego mowing their lawns in order to keep the little league fields looking good - and the grass short enough so your little one doesn’t get lost in the outfield. They forego time at work in order to spend time with your kids. They are volunteers - not paid professionals.

The umpires are also volunteers. Yes, they’ll miss a call here and there, and might even alter the outcome of a game by missing something. That’s just human nature - none of us are perfect. I learned the embarrasing way to lay off the Ump’s. As a teenager sitting in the stands watching an adult softball game in Burney, I kept making loud snide remarks about the umpire’s ball and strike calls (in jest, but unappropriate). Edwin Hawkins was behind the plate, and after several of these taunts, turned to me, removed his mask and pointed it at yours truly and uttered loud enough for everyone to hear, “you think you can do a better job come on out here.” Since he was older and bigger than I was, I shut up. I learned that day that audible criticism of someone volunteering their time and doing the best they can is something to applaud, rather than shower with catcalls.

It takes a lot of adults to put on a successful little league season, all volunteering their time to benefit your kid(s). Your neighbors are stepping up to the plate to not only mentor your offspring and umpire games, but to man the concession stand so you don’t go hungry. Someone to keep score and run the scoreboard so you can stay informed about the game you’re watching. Someone to mow the grass and rake the infield. Someone to handle the money and pay the bills. Someone volunteering to serve on committee’s from player selection to getting uniforms ordered, to serving on the board itself. No payment is received. No awards are presented to these adults. No one is immune from criticism from parents (unfortunately).

So, Ma and Pa, remember that the chances of your T-ball, Major Boy or Minor Girl player making it to the Big League is doubtful at best. Don’t pressure your child into that ‘win at all costs’ mentality. Sit back, enjoy the game and give these youngsters all your support and encouragement. Thank any and every volunteer working these games at every opportunity.

And finally (whew), here’s to the Area’s young baseball players going out and having a ball... yes, the pun is intended (grin).

Lady Raiders Host Dunsmuir Today
BURNEY - The Burney Raiders softball squad will host the Dunsmuir Tigers in a non-conference double header today (Tuesday) starting at 2pm. The games were originally cancelled earlier in the season due to weather conditions.

The Raiders also lost their double header with Mt. Shasta scheduled for last Friday due to rain. No make-up date as yet been announced.

Burney Basin LL Kicks off Season
with a Flourish

BURNEY - The Burney Basin Little League kicked off their 2016 season with their annual Opening Day Ceremony at Loren Miller Field here.

Parents and family members swamped the area to witness this annual Rite of Spring.

Each of the 13 teams took the field, with the Burney VFW and American Legion presenting the Colors, board members were introduced, and a bike was awarded through a drawing of all those who sold candy in the fund raising effort, along with the top three money earner’s presented with cash cards.

Games were played at both Loren Miller Field and Washburn-Bue Park throughout the day.

The Intermountain Little League of Fall River and Big Valley will have their Ceremony on May 7.
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Walk-a-thon Raises $$ for
Diabetes Research

BURNEY - A large turnout aided Paige Smith’s senior project here Saturday - a Walk-A-Thon raising money for Diabetes Awareness and Research. The Burney Jr/Sr High School senior raised $950 on the day, with more money yet to be counted. Besides pledged walking, there were games such as Bean Bag Toss and Twister along with food sales that did the trick.
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FR Defeats Trinity JV in Scrimmage
McARTHUR - Fall River got a chance to play their younger players in a scrimmage against the Trinity JV squad here last week, winning 14-1.

“Our pitchers did a good job,” noted coach Leo Estes in talking about Stevie Collins, Kyle Klein, Gavin Dobson and Cody Jorgenson who all had a stint on the mound.

He also noted freshman Bailey Small got a hit every time he came to the plate.

FR Softball Now at 19 Straight... & Counting
WEED - The surprising Lady Bulldogs of Fall River continued to sweep away opposing teams this past week, as they moved their unbeaten record to an impressive 19-0 last week.

The Big Blue Machine mowed down Weed in the opener of their double header on the road last week, 16-5, then pulled off a nail-biting 6-5 victory in the nightcap. They boast a 9-0 league leading record with three games remaining. Fall River will host second place Mt. Shasta (3-1, 5-5) Friday in their final home match-up of the regular season (2pm double header start) and wrap it up in Burney for a single game May 3.

The Bulldogs blasted 25 hits in their opening win over Weed, led by Katie Policastro with two home runs and two doubles in going 5-for-5 with six runbatted- in and scored three.

Rachel Wellemeyer, Tori Policastro, Megan Gallion and Hallee Olsen all ripped three hits each, with Olsen snaring two doubles, and Wellemeyer and Gallion a double each. Alicia Reynoso, Laci Denny, Trinity Markham and Saydee Peevenouse each added two hits in the win, with Denny roping a triple and two RBI’s, Peevehouse also with two RBI’s and Markham with two stolen bases.

Denny was once again the winning pitcher, striking out eight and walking one.

In the nightcap, the story was a bit different - but with the same outcome... a Fall River’s 19th victory.

Fall River held a slim 2-1 lead in the third, when the Cougars knotted it up in the bottom of the inning.
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Bears Keep Slim Hold on First with Sweep of Raiders Saturday

BURNEY - The Burney Raiders held their ground in a double header against visiting Mt. Shasta here Saturday, but in the end the Bears proved too much for the hosts as they prevailed, 10-7 and 6-4.

Mt. Shasta opened a 4-1 lead, but the Raiders cut it in half with a run of their own in both the third and fourth inning. Mt. Shasta struck for four more i the fifth, and Burney again hung in there with a matching four runs in their half of the frame.

Jason Searl was handed the loss, hurling 4.1 innings and giving up six hits with five strike outs. Kaden Tiran (shown above) followed for the final 2.2 innings, allowing five hits with two strikeouts.

Tiran had a double and single and scored one run, while teammate Chris Semer finished 2-for-4 and scored a pair of runs. Searl had a single and walked twice in scoring two, while Ray Guerrero was 1-for-4 with one scored. Brandon McFarlane and Wyatt Hibbeln each had a hit.

The Raiders found it tough going at the plate as Mt. Shasta’s hurler struck out 14 Raider batters.

In the nightcap, Burney took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Bears exploded for five runs in the third and one more in the fourth. Burney plated a pair of runners in the fourth, but could not overcome the Mt. Shasta lead.
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Burney Senior Ray Guerrero Receives Award
BURNEY - Burney Jr/Sr High School senior Ray Guerrero was named the Western Region ‘Player of the Week’ by MaxPreps and USA Baseball. The honor was for the week of April 4th, and Guerrero received a certificate from the national organizations.

During the week, Guerrero and the Raiders torpedoed Trinity on the road, winning conference games in lopsided fashion, 13-3 and 21-7.

Guerrero was 8-for-8 batting in the double header, driving in 10 runs and scoring eight. He also stole a base. One of his hits was a home run - and he also reached first when hit by a pitch.

Guerrero was also the winning pitcher in the nightcap, hurling all five innings, giving up four hits , two earned runs, walked five and struck out nine.

Guerrero is the son of Ray and Liz Guerrero. The elder Ray is the Principal of Burney Jr/Sr High School.
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Bulldogs Thump Cougars in DH

WEED - The Fall River Bulldogs remained in the hunt in the Shasta-Cascade League with a twin win over the host Cougars here last week.

Fall River trounced Weed in the opening game, 14-0 then smoked them in the nightcap, 16-1. Fall River (7-2) stands one loss behind the Mt. Shasta Bears (5-1) atop the conference with the two teams meeting head-to-head this Friday in McArthur at 2 o’clock.

“We hold our own destiny in our hands,” noted coach Leo Estes, “it’s all right in front of us.”

In game one against the Cougars, Thomas Markham and Sergio Jimenez teamed up to pitch a 2-hit shutout victory for Fall River. Markham got the win hurling the first thee innings allowing one hit, walking one and striking out two. Jimenez finished the final two innings with one hit, no walks and fanning three.

T.J. Markham, Kaleb Hamilton, Bailey Small and Brian Smith all had two hits and drove in two runs in the win.

Jace Neugebauer was 2-for-3 and scored three, while Steel Humphry, Chad Lee and Thomas Markham each finished with one hit. Humphry had one RBI, walked once and scored both times he got on base. Thomas Markham’s hit was a double.

Fall River capped the 16-1 win in game two by scoring six runs in the top of the seventh.

A foursome of hurler’s hit the mound for the Bulldogs, with starter Dylan Rainwater getting the win in two innings of play, giving up one hit, walking one and striking out one. reliever's Robee Knoch (no hits), Gavin Dobson (two strikeouts) and Jace Neugebauer (four K’s) wrapped up the win.
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Local AAUW Girls Win Tournament

REDDING - A team comprised of fifth grade girls from Fall River and Big Valley took first place in the Silver Bracket at the Battle of the Northstate here over the weekend. Pictured left to right back row, Gisele Rodriguez Sanchez, Kayton Davies, Ryleigh Kern, Lindsay knock and Ellie Jacobson. Front row kneeling (l to r) two of the players younger sisters, Sydney Cassity and Kala Maier
Burney Thinclads Rack Up 17 PR's
KLAMATH FALLS, Or. - The Burney Raider track team travelled here last Friday, competing against 29 other schools from Oregon, California and Nevada.

Seventeen new Personal Record best's were recorded as follows:
• Peyton Bonsey, discus (64-1.00).
• Noah Cassel, Discus (93.1.00).
• Nicholas Glazzard, long jump (16- 4.50).
• Favian Jimenez, 400m (47.49).
• Alex Madera, 400m (53.64).
• Dante Mendoza, 400m (65.77).
• Elliot Santamaria, 100m (12.59).
• Parker Steeves, 200m (27.10).
• Juan Carlos Vega, 800m (2:12.48).
• Gerrado Villarruel, 100m (12.45).
• Logan Young, discus (79-3.00).
• Gabbi Banos, 200m (31.47).
• Gabriiela Chacon Barrera, 100m (16.82) and shot put (18-5.50).
• Kayla Henderson, discus (51- 04.00).
• Sierra Outcalt, 100m (15.34).

All three area school track teams will be at the Yreka Lions Invitational this Friday.