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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Sports'N'Such column: A fall to remember in local sports

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  • It has been quite the memorable season for fall sports here in Siskiyou County.
    A number of teams have earned playoff berths and are still alive in their respective sports, while in cross country, a number of local schools are about to take part in the state competition in Fresno later this month.
    In volleyball, as of today, three local schools are still alive in the Northern Section playoffs. In football, Dunsmuir is about to play for the Division 6 title.
     And in junior college football, the College of the Siskiyous is one game away from making history,
    Starting on the gridiron, the Yreka Miners varsity football squad just concluded one of its best seasons since 2007, the last time they made the playoffs.
    The Miners improved on its five win total from a year ago by going 7-4 overall, while competing in one of the toughest divisions in the section, the NAL. The Miners faced a huge challenge this past Friday when they faced undefeated and top seeded Sutter on the road in the first round of the NSCIF Division 2 playoffs. While they lost 49-7, the team and the community should be proud of how these Miners played this year.
    Winning seven games is no easy task. And, it was made more difficult for the Miners by the number of injuries suffered by key players. The entire team and the coaching staff should be commended for the season they had on the gridiron.
    Down the road in Weed, something special is truly brewing at COS. The Eagles are flying high at 9-1 and have just earned a berth in a bowl game. To top it off they are hosting a bowl for the first time since 1985. COS faces Chabot in Weed at noon on Saturday in the NCFA Central Division Bowl.
    The Eagles are truly a complete team with outstanding players on both sides of the ball. To name just a few, there's running back Christian Reyes, who has already set the school single season rushing record. The defense has been very tough to score against. Sophomore linebacker Myke Tavarres has been heavily recruited by a number of Divisions 1 schools including Arkansas, Boise State and Texas A&M.
    Currently, Tavarres has given a verbal commitment to Arkansas. A feature story on Tavarres is tentatively set to run in the Daily News on Wednesday.
    This season, I have been very impressed with the passion and high level of football this team has played. Head coach, Charlie Roche and his staff are to be commended for how they have got this team playing at such a high level. With a win this Saturday this year's team would earn 10 wins, the most in school history.
    I would highly recommend that if you have a chance, to try to make the game on Saturday. This is a terrific team that deserves a huge crowd cheering them on.
    Page 2 of 3 - Down in Dunsmuir in 8-man football, the Tigers have been putting up unreal rushing numbers while going 11-1 for the season. This Friday they will be on the road in the Redding area to face Redding Christian in the Northern Section Division 6 title game. Redding Christian is the school that gave the Tigers its lone loss this season. This promises to be another memorable game. Dunsmuir made the title game last season but lost to fellow Siskiyou County team Butte Valley. I think this could be the year the  Tigers come away with a title.
    In cross country, Yreka High has made it yet again to state in both the boys and girls divisions in Division 4. The boys team is the defending Division 4 state champs, which is obviously a huge accomplishment. While the Miners lost a number of key runners from last season, this year's crew has stepped it up again this season and look for another high finish in state, which is being held in Fresno on Saturday, Nov. 24.
    In the Northern Section Championships last Thursday at West Valley High in Cottonwood, the Yreka boys placed second overall and first in Division 4, while the girls came in second in Division 4.
    And, the Miners displayed dominance in the NAL by winning all four divisions in the NAL finals in Susanville for the first time in school history. Also, Mount Shasta has had a terrific cross country season with both the boys and girls squad qualifying for state. The boys took first in Division 5 in the Northern Section Championships last week ,while the girls took second in Divisions 5.
    And, Etna has the top runner in the Northern Section in John Whelan. Whelan has dominated cross country in the area for awhile and finished seventh in state in Division 5 last season.
    He has had a very strong senior year and is considered one of the top runners in the state and a contender for the Divisions 5 state crown. In Cottonwood last week he took first overall against all divisions to win the Northern Section boys title.
    Whelan already is looking at continuing his running career in college and has made the community of Etna very proud.
    In volleyball, Yreka has had another top notch year and are in the Northern Section Divisions 4 semifinals after downing Lassen in a five-set battle on the road last Thursday. Now, they will face either top seeded Sutter or No. 9 seed Orland on Thursday.
    And, the Miners earned the school's first share of the NAL volleyball league title since 1989 by being in a tie with Lassen at 7-1 in league. In 2011 the Miners shocked longtime section power and former NAL opponent West Valley in the semifinals and made it to the Northern Section title game. And, with a win on Thursday the Miners would make a return trip to the title game.
    Page 3 of 3 - This year, the Miners have been a true team, with a number of girls stepping up as they have played together as a cohesive unit. They have had another memorable season regardless of what happens the rest of the way.
    In Divisions 5 Mount Shasta earned its first ever Shasta-Cascade League title with a three-way tie and have also had a season to remember.
    The Bears had a first round bye and are on the road tonight against Durham. Weed is still alive in the Division 5 playoff despite losing a number of key players to injuries. The Cougars downed Portola in three sets at home last Tuesday. Tonight they are on the road and are set to face Los Molinos.
    And, in soccer, Weed and Tulelake are still alive in the playoffs after winning in the first round. Weed is set to face the top seeded Tulelake squad today. Mount Shasta also earned a berth in the playoffs.
    As you can see, a lot of local team achieved at a high level this fall.
    It has been a lot of fun covering sports here in Siskiyou County. Since I arrived in February to work at the Daily News, the sports teams in Siskiyou County have been performing at a high level. Now, very shortly, it will be on to winter sports.
    I am certainly looking forward to it.

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