New League but Same Division for CHS Athletics

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-22

Come summer 2018, the Cordova High School athletic program will experience changes.

That is when the Lancers say good-bye to their home of Sierra Valley Conference of the last four years, and hello to a new league that requires less traveling.

During the fifth and final meeting of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment held at The Reserve at the Spanos Park in Stockton, the section’s league realignment committee voted in favor of changes for the next four-year cycle that runs from summer 2018 through spring 2022.

Part of that change includes Cordova moving to a new Division IV league, which its name has yet to be determined. Joining Cordova as part of the new six school league are Florin, Valley, Johnson and West Campus, all of Sacramento, and Natomas. Currently, Florin, Valley and Johnson are part of the Metro Conference, D-II, and West Campus and Natomas in the Golden Empire League, D-IV.

“Cordova welcomes the opportunity to compete with schools in the new league,” said Cordova Athletic Director Tom Pena. “While we will miss the tradition of competing in the SVC, we are excited to play closer to home and reduce the travel time our students must sometimes endure during league play.”

Cordova and the current SVC, which is currently D-IV will under the new league realignment proposal will drop to D-V, includes El Dorado, Galt, Liberty Ranch, Rosemont and Union Mine. El Dorado is in Placerville and Union Mine is in El Dorado, just outside of Placerville.

Taking Cordova’s place in the SVC is Bradshaw Christian of Elk Grove, which is currently in Sierra Delta League, D-VI.

According to Will De Board, director of communications for the section, ballots have been sent out to all 192 schools in the section to vote on the changes that range from high schools in Yuba City to the Merced areas.

The section’s Board of Managers and league officials will cast their votes of the changes at the next BOM meeting, which is scheduled to meet Wednesday, April 5th, also at The Reserve. Time for the meeting has not been determined, according to the section’s website,

Cordova Softball Improving as Season Continues

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-16

Cordova softball player Alexis Wygand puts down a bunt against Galt in an SVC game on the Lancers’ field on Tuesday. Wygand is one of two fresh-men on the varsity squad this season. 
--Photo by Rick Sloan

A mixture of returning and new players is taking the field for the Cordova High School softball team.

Those Lancers are also playing under new head coach Kimberly Little, who takes over for Tracy Cole, who didn’t return after one season because of a recent promotion at his employer. Little has coached high school softball before taking the Cordova job earlier this year.

Back this year are five players, all of whom were on last year’s team that earned a Sierra Valley Conference playoff berth that produced an 11-14 overall record that included a 7-8 mark in conference play. Heading the list is centerfielder Leila Cooper, who batted .412 last spring; second baseman/shortstop Sierra Reyes and Julia Rosales, all seniors. Rosales batted .400 last spring, and Reyes .306.

Returning for Cordova is sophomore catcher Mason Pittaro, who also had one of the big bats for the Lady Lancers last spring with a .453 batting average and 23 RBIs. Pittaro also had six doubles, five triples and four home runs. Cassandra Rucker rounds out the list of returning players, now a sophomore after being moved to the varsity team as a freshman last spring. Rucker had a .269 batting average last spring.

Newcomers to this year’s squad are Lizzy Cariveau and Samantha Lee, both juniors who were on the school’s frosh-soph softball team last spring. Other players are sophomores Vivi Luque, Hunter Norton and Agnus Budge. Two freshmen move up to this year’s varsity squad is Jasmine Hull and Alexis Wygand.

“We are young, but a very talented team,” said Little of this year’s team. “We are improving each and every game. This is an amazing group of hunger, eager to compete.”

This season, Cordova is off to an 0-6 start, which includes an 0-2 mark in the SVC. But the Lady Lancers and the rest of the conference play 15 games.

As for the SVC, the teams to beat this season, Little feels Liberty Ranch, which has an 8-0-1 record, and Rosemont are those teams. Union Mine, behind University of the Pacific bound pitcher Bethany Hammer, won the SVC title last spring. The Diamondbacks, who lost to Liberty Ranch in an SVC game, 8-1, on Tuesday, are 1-1 in conference and 4-2 overall.

Yesterday, Thursday, Cordova played at Liberty Ranch. Next Monday, the Lancers play at Capital Christian in a non-league game at 5:30 p.m. Then on Tuesday, Cordova welcomes Hammer and Union Mine in an SVC game that is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.

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Lancers Baseball Too Much for Titans

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-15

Lots of hits was the theme for the Cordova High School baseball team last week.

The Lancers banged out 16 hits, which led to a 24-2 win over Burbank on the Titans’ field in a non-league contest on March 10th. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Leading the way for Cordova (1-3) was Spencer Gudgel, who went 3-for-4 that included two doubles. Lancer players who had two hits in the game were Ryan Tipton, Trevor Ready, Zack Guererro and Jeremy Buck. Tipton also smacked a double, along with teammates Nick Ravareau, Colby McDonald and Jordan Meyers.

The Lancers’ Logan Appino, one of six seniors on this year’s Cordova squad, walked four times in the game. That led to stealing three bases. Guererro and Buck had two stolen bases each.

On the mound, Cordova used three pitchers against the Titans’ bats. Appino started the game for the Lancers, going two innings and allowed only one hit. Closing the game was Austin Smith. Burbank had only three hits.

The Lancers started Sierra Valley Conference action on Wednesday, hosting Rosemont. Today, Friday, Cordova plays at Union Mine to continue SVC action.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Cordova plays another non-league game at Sheldon of Sacramento. That game is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Next Monday, the Lancers return to SVC action at El Dorado. On Tuesday, Cordova host Florin in non-league game, and play at Galt in SVC game next Wednesday. All games start at 4 p.m.

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New Season Underway for Cordova Baseball

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-09

One of the returning players for the Cordova baseball team this season is senior catcher Logan Appino, seen here catching a ball in a game last spring. 
--Photo by Rick Sloan

In his first season as the Cordova High School baseball head coach last spring, Doug Hughes had no junior varsity team.

Now in his second season, there are 13 players for the varsity team. Plus, there are enough underclassmen to field a Lancer JV team. The last time that the Cordova baseball program fielded a JV squad was in 2014.

“It’s exactly what we needed to turn the baseball program around,” Hughes said.

Hughes and the Cordova varsity baseball squad are looking to turn their fortunes around this season. In 2016, the Lancers posted a 5-10 record in the Sierra Valley Conference and 6-15-1 overall.

This season, the Lancers have started the season with an 0-2 mark. Those defeats came at the hands of McClatchy, 10-0, on March 1st and an 8-0 setback to Winters on February 25th.

Despite the losses, Hughes is beyond optimistic about this year’s team. That is because the Lancers have experienced back on the field.

“We are fortunate enough to have the majority of our players back,” Hughes said.

Returning this season for the Lancers are four seniors in catcher/pitcher/shortstop Logan Appino, pitcher/first baseman/catcher Spencer Gudgel, second baseman/pitcher Jordan Meyers, pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Austin Smith and infielder Zack Guererro. Another senior this year’s team who didn’t play last spring is outfielder Elias Acevedo.

The juniors on this year’s squad are outfielder/utility Jeremy Buck, leftfielder and pitcher Colby McDonald, a transfer from Pleasant Grove High School of Elk Grove, outfielder/pitcher Trevor Ready and outfielder Benito Soto.

Two sophomores are on this year’s team. Ryan Tipton, who started as a freshman last spring, returns as a sophomore at the third base spot. He’s also projected to see some time on the mound for the Lancers. The other is shortstop/catcher/pitcher Nick Ravareau.

Another newcomer to the Lancers is Jesse Ortiz, a transfer from Grant High School. According to Hughes, McDonald is eligible to play immediately because he didn’t play baseball at Pleasant Grove. But Ortiz played in the Lancers’ program before transferring to Cordova. He’s going through the Sac-Joaquin Section’s mandatory 30-day sit-out period for transfers, and is eligible to play on April 3rd.

The teams to beat in the Sierra Valley Conference action this spring, according to Hughes, are everyone. Last spring, Liberty Ranch, Union Mine and El Dorado were the conference’s tri-champs.

“I think the SVC will be just like last year,” Hughes said. “I don’t think there will be one team that runs away from the pack.”

On Wednesday, Cordova played at El Camino.

Today, Friday, the Lancers have another road game in Sacramento, this time at Burbank High. Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

“I try to schedule good teams,” said Hughes of the Lancers’ pre-season schedule. “I want our kids competing at high level every game. It’s just going to make us better in the long run.”

Then on Wednesday, March 15th, Cordova opens SVC action, which will also be the first home game of the season. That’s when the Lancers host Rosemont. Game time for the first pitch is 4 p.m.

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Gridders Volunteer Help in Clean-Up Drive

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-09

Last fall, the Cordova High School football team did its part on the field by winning a share of the Sierra Valley Conference and earning a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff berth.

Now the Lancers are doing their part off the field.

Tomorrow, Saturday, the football players are volunteering with the Republic Services and the City of Rancho Cordova to clean up neighborhoods. The clean-up drive is scheduled to start at Cordova Villa Elementary School. They are expected to help out in the clean-up from 9 a.m. until noon.

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Baseball Loses at Sierra, 8-6; Men’s Tennis Defeats Shasta; Softball Falls to CRC, 6-4; Golfers Take Second in Big 8 Tournament #4

Source: Ronald Richardson, Folsom Lake College  |  2017-03-09

Catcher Gaby Friuciano had four hits on Saturday.

Men’s Baseball

The Falcons hoped to conclude their three-games series against Sacramento City with a win on Friday afternoon, but those hopes were dashed early as the Panthers piled up 10 runs in the first four innings on their way to an 11-6 victory at Falcon Field. Falcon starter Cody Lindsey escaped a bases loaded jam in the first inning, but wasn't so lucky in the second as the Panthers tallied six runs on five hits in the inning. The Panthers tacked on four more runs in the fourth -all with two outs - by virtue of a Falcon error to take a commanding 10-2 lead. The Falcons managed to put four runs on the board over the final four innings, but it was a case of too little, too late. FLC freshman outfielder Aidan Malm continued his hot hitting with two more hits, including his first collegiate home run in the seventh inning.

After opening their Big 8 schedule with three losses to Sac City last week, the Falcons looked to get untracked against Sierra College yesterday in Rocklin. The Wolverines, however, were just as desperate for a win after losing three to Santa Rosa. Sierra jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but FLC freshman Carson McCusker erased that with his seventh home run of the season, a three-run blast that put the Falcons on top 3-2. That lead didn’t last long as Sierra tallied four in the third and added another in the fourth to go up 7-3. The Falcons closed the gap in the fifth with two runs on Greg Vaughn’s RBI double and McCusker’s sacrifice fly. A Jack Rotteveel solo home run in the sixth - his second of the season - pulled the Falcons within one, but that was as close as they would get. Sierra added a run in the seventh for the final 8-6 score.

With four RBI in the game, McCusker is now fourth in the state in that category and second in home runs.

The Falcons host College of Marin today at 2:00 pm in a non-conference rain make-up. They’ll face Sierra College at Falcon Field tomorrow at 2:30 pm.

Men’s Tennis

The Falcon men hosted Shasta College on Tuesday afternoon for their final Big 8 dual match of the season and improved their conference record to 4-1 with a 9-0 victory over the Knights. The only close match of the day was at #1 doubles, where Shawn Morgan and Josh Harder paired for the first time this season and pulled off a 9-8 victory. With the Big 8 round robin now concluded, the Falcons have secured the #2 seed in the Big 8 playoffs, meaning they will host a second-round Big 8 playoff match here at FLC on March 21. The Falcons make their annual road trip to southern California, with a day of spectating at the BNP Pro Tournament at Indian Wells and a match at Reedley College on Saturday as they return.

Women’s Softball

The FLC softball team had a case of ‘too little, too late’ yesterday at Cosumnes River College, where they lost 6-4 in a Big 8 Conference game. The Falcons spent the first six innings mostly spectating as they fell behind 6-0 before their bats finally came to life in the seventh. With the hits now falling in and the Hawks contributing with an error, the Falcons scored four and had the potential tying run at the plate when the final out was made. The loss drops the Falcons’ overall record to 3-10, and they’re now 1-4 in the Big 8. They’ll play a non-conference game at Falcon Diamond today against Lassen College at 1:00 pm.

Men's Golf

After winning their first two Big 8 tournaments of 2017, the FLC men’s golf team took second place on Monday for the second straight tournament, this time at Chardonnay Golf Club in Napa. The Falcons again finished four strokes behind Sierra and now cling to a narrow two point lead over the Wolverines in the Big 8 standings after four tournaments. Sophomore Mason Troike disregarded the sloppy course as he again led the Falcons with his low-medalist score of 71 on a cold and blustery day. With a chance to play on their home course on Wednesday, coach Barry Zarecky is hoping his team can snap out of their funk. “We’ve got to get everybody playing well at the same time. We’re just lacking consistency at this point,” noted Zarecky. Big 8 Tournament #5 begins at 11:00 am Wednesday at Rancho Murieta. Spectators are welcome to walk the course.

Upcoming Sports Schedule

Sat March 11     M/W Tennis at Reedley
                Softball at Diablo Valley (Pleasant Hill), 12:00 & 2:00 pm
                Baseball at Sierra, 1:00 pm

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Cordova Basketball Season Ends in Playoffs

By Mike Bush  |  2017-03-02

Cordova guard Calvin Augusta drives the lane past a Capital Christian player in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener last week. 
--Photo by Rick Sloan

In the first half of its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener last week, the Cordova High School boys basketball team played solid with one of the top teams in the division and section.

That lasted only one half.

Cordova, the No. 15th seed, stayed toe-to-toe with No. 2 seed Capital Christian in the first half. But in the second half, the host Cougars sped up to post an 85-38 victory over the Lancers at the Cougars’ gym on Feb. 22nd.

The loss ends the Lancers’ season at 15-12 that includes an 8-2 mark in the Sierra Valley Conference for second place.

The first half had Cordova stay within four and three points in the first and second quarters respectively with Capital Christian (21-7). By the end of each quarter, the Cougars led 13-9 and 18-15.

“It wasn’t too fast of a start,” said Cordova head coach Fletcher Johnson of Capital Christian, which won the Golden Empire League title. “Offensively, we just wanted to make sure that we didn’t turn the ball over, hold the ball and get some movement.”

Cordova followed its game plan for the first half, which led to staying within reach of Capital Christian at 31-24.

But in the second half, the Cougars’ defense came and dominated the Lancers. Capital Christian forced Cordova into turnovers, and slowed down their offense that led to Cordova scoring a combined 14 points in the final 16 minutes of the game. The Lancers had only four points in the fourth quarter. The Cougars led 58-34 after three quarters.

“Coming out of the second half, whatever we had been doing in the first, we stopped (in the second half),” Johnson said.

Leading scorers for the Lancers were guard Joe Danielyan with 10 points. Guard Calvin Augusta followed with nine points, guard Markell Briggs five, forwards Mike Brown and Caleb Clark four points each, and guards Jason Novik and Najee Clark three points each.

The Cougars’ leading scorer was Kendall Munson with 19 points. Conor Jeffery and Austin Alexander followed with 14 points each, and Micah Filer 13.

Throughout the regular season, the Lancers were dealt with many injuries. But depth played a factor for Cordova, which took second place in the SVC behind champion Liberty Ranch.

“It’s been great,” said Johnson of the season. “As a young team, we had only three seniors.”

Those seniors are Brown, Najee Clark and Novik, who was the team’s second leading scorer with 14.2 points per game. Briggs was first in scoring at 14.9, and Augusta 13.6. Briggs and Augusta are two juniors, and nine total on the team.

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