High school fall sports season is worth one more look

From prayers to players and playoffs, it was a rewarding three months for Roseville teams, athletes
By: Bill Poindexter
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The fall sports season began with Granite Bay and Woodcreek high schools playing football games in Week Zero, the last Friday of August.

It ended with Granite Bay losing to Monterey Trail 22-17 last Friday night in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinals.

As much a highlight as the Grizzlies’ season was what occurred at midfield after each game, be it a win or loss and whether it was at Granite Bay or out of town.

It’s one of several items worth noting as the fall sports season ends:

Granite Bay’s postgame prayer – “I don’t want to be just another senior that went through the school. I wanted to leave something,” said Grizzlies senior linebacker Andrew Wright, the co-defensive MVP of the Sierra Foothill League.

He took his idea for a postgame prayer to defensive end Scott Shaull, his best friend and teammate.

“We like to show our Christian faith,” Shaull said. “This is how we thought we could do it with football. We wanted to do this to show people it’s more than just football. It’s using the talent God’s given us to do something with it.”

The total was two, three, maybe four people in the beginning. They were joined by a player from Nevada Union and one from Del Oro along the way.

After last Friday night’s loss, the group included Wright, Shaull, Grizzlies teammates Grant Gunderson, Drake Smalley, Josh Calton, JR Calton, Will Valentine, Jordan Annis, Chris Campbell, William Anderson and Max Wilson, painted students, a couple of kids and a grown man.

“Exactly what we wanted to happen – fellowship with our brothers after a game,” Wright said.

Sister Acts, Parts I-IV – It’s not uncommon for a high school sports team to include siblings.

Granite Bay’s girls water polo team took it a step further – well, four steps further.

There were four sets of sisters on the team that finished as runner-up in the Division II section playoffs: Alison and Jessica Hamby, Jessica and Sara Northam, Jerra and Jalee Hagans, and Emily and Jolie Rogers.

Who could forget …

  • Roseville senior defensive lineman Jeff Minasian overcoming cancer to become the strongest player on the team, a co-captain, bearer of the Tiger flag and an All-SFL second-team choice.
  • Michael Garrison, one of Oakmont’s best all-round football players, competing through Crohn’s disease and earning honorable-mention All-Capital Valley Conference status.
  • Woodcreek’s Dylan Zuverink scoring four touchdowns in a win at Nevada Union on a reception, kick return, punt return and, his specialty, an interception return.
  • Granite Bay senior Brooke Holt winning her fourth SFL cross country title.
  • Brandon Biando winning the SFL varsity boys race and leading Woodcreek to the team championship.
  • Granite Bay’s Paige Lee winning the Division II section golf title for the second year in a row.
  • Oakmont golfer Maddie Gedeon earning the MVP award in the CVC.
  • Sophomore twins Chloe and Lily Forlini winning their second consecutive Division II section doubles championship in tennis.
  • Roseville junior Ada Ukeagbo winning the SFL singles tennis title and finishing as runner-up in the Division II section tournament.
  • Roseville senior volleyball player Hilary Coy organizing a Dig Pink fundraiser.
  • Granite Bay senior Kyle Howarth coordinating a Youth Soccer Night.
  • The nationally ranked Granite Bay soccer team rolling to the Division II section banner.
  • Valley Christian’s volleyball team winning the Sacramento Metro Athletic League championship – the first volleyball title for the school and coach Maria Hill – and coming within one match of going undefeated for the season.

Bill Poindexter can be reached at