Monday, January 24, 2022


2021 Colusa County sports year in review

With the early part of 2021 still impacted by COVID, high school sports resumed in modified formats beginning in mid-January, which given the protocols was an accomplishment in itself.

Athletic events were limited in terms of spectators and the number of contests while additionally overlapping, but the resulting competitions highlighted the importance of sporting events to both students-athletes and the community.

As the new school year dawned this past August even more regularity ensued as full slates of games and fans in the stands returned. 

The following is a look back at some of the events featured in the hectic 2021 athletic campaign.

Let Them Play Rally (Jan 2021):

Over 100 people including student-athletes, their families, coaches, teachers, and school administrators gathered at LaVanche Hursch Park in Arbuckle to participate in a “Let Them Play” Rally designed to send a message to government officials, the California Interscholastic Federation and others about the significance of high school sports.

Putting aside county rivalries, representatives from four of the five county high schools delivered heart-felt appeals and clearly articulated reasons for allowing them to return to the field of play, joining more than 135 other schools across the state for a coordinated expression of solidarity.

It proved successful because within the span of 11 days, cross country and golf teams were competing while others had resumed practicing.

RedHawk XC Claims SVL Boys & Girls Titles (Mar. 2021)

In a season that saw the elimination of JV races and the implementation of a dual race format, the resilient RedHawks used a mix of experience and youth to overcome both injury as well as the loss of runners to the start of other sports to finish on top in both the boy’s and girls’ divisions amid the confusion caused by COVID-19 modifications.

Pierce Kicks off with win over Williams in Rice Bowl (Mar. 2021)

While it was unusual for there not to be a standing room only crowd at the Rice Bowl, there was somehow a sense of normality when the Williams Yellowjackets and Pierce Bears took the field under the lights at McCarl Field in the 90th meeting between the long standing rivals. 

And although the game was not flawlessly executed by either side, and ended in a 36-0 shutout in favor of the Bears, for the first time in 16 months high school football was being played, and that in itself was a victory for both sides.

Pierce volleyball marks the end of an era (Apr. 2021)

While most are familiar with the adage, “All good things must come to an end,” the sentiment became a reality for the Pierce Bears volleyball program when it concluded its season with matches against Sutter, Chico and Pleasant Valley.

Although the Bears went 2-1, the contests are significant in a different way, marking an end of an era as they were the last for the Bears under the direction of Kim Travis, who stepped down after 11 seasons at the helm.

Colusa baseball named CalHi Sports D5 team of the year (Jul./Aug. 2021)

California’s preeminent high school sports source, CalHi Sports, released its list of top-rated baseball teams for the 2021 season, and selected the Colusa RedHawks as the best Division V squad in the state.

Concluding the season 27-1 and 12-0 in the Sacramento Valley League, Colusa outscored its opponents 287-43, which is indicative of both its potent lineup and exceptional pitching.

At the plate, the RedHawks maintained a .341 batting average on the year and struck for 53 extra base hits, which included 14 home runs.

Sporting a 1.03 team ERA, the RedHawk staff combined for 10 shutouts while holding their opponents to a .162 cumulative batting average.

Colusa’s only loss came on May 6 at the hands of Woodland Christian when the Cardinals rallied to overtake the RedHawks in the late innings.

Coach Eric Lay, was selected the baseball Small School Coach of the Year, while Emanuel Frias, Ethan Lay and Drew Bradbury were named to the 39th All-State Team making the RedHawks the only small or medium-sized school to land three on the roster.

Pierce runs by Williams for fifth straight Rice Bowl win (Sept. 2021)

For the second time in six months the Pierce Bears and Williams Yellowjackets met in the Rice Bowl, and while the outcome was the same, unlike the earlier meeting, the 91st rendition featured a packed house at Gregg LeMaster Field in Arbuckle.

Despite expectations for a close game, the final result favored the Bears in a 34-6 triumph and extended their win streak to five straight.

Big day for Colusa at MVL championship meet (Nov. 2021)

Conditions were perfect for the 11 cross country teams that participated in the Mid-Valley League Championships at the Colusa-Sacramento State Recreation Area.

And while there were some outstanding individual performances among the 95 athletes in attendance, the day belonged to the host Colusa RedHawks who swept the varsity team competitions.

Colusa’s Kevin Sarabia was second overall in the varsity boys’ race and ultimately was able to qualify for the CIF State Championships after finishing in the top five at the NSCIF Championships later that month.

Queens of the court:  Maxwell crowned D7 volleyball champs (Nov. 2021)

After an eight year hiatus from the section championships, No. 2 seeded Maxwell made its return this season and claimed the Northern Section CIF Division VII title with a straight set 25-19, 25-23, 25-16 win over its Five-Star League rival No. 8 Chester on Nov. 6, at Red Bluff High School.

Although the Volcanoes had handed the Panthers a loss in a close match on Oct. 14, Maxwell exacted its revenge when it mattered most to win the biggest game of the season.

While it was a competitive contest throughout, the Panthers had a clear advantage from the service line where they delivered 11 aces and otherwise kept Chester out of system and scrambling to mount any kind of effective return on the ball.

Pierce’s Medina breaks section scoring mark (Dec. 2021)

Pierce junior Jocelyn Medina broke a 16-year old Northern Section record when she dropped 61 points in the Bears’ 71-61 win over Valley High School (Sacramento).

On the night, Medina made 13 field goals, drained nine threes and went eight for 10 from the free throw line to shatter the previous mark of 52 points.

Medina, who has averaged 40.1 points per game over her first nine contests this season, got warmed up when she went for 47 and 48 points respectively in losses to Capital Christian (Sacramento) on Dec. 6 and Central Valley (Shasta Lake) on Dec. 7.

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