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It's a spring cleaning for Woodcreek, Granite Bay sports

Timberwolves, Grizzlies dominate Division II section playoffs
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Woodcreek and Granite Bay high schools pitched, hit, ran, kicked, splashed and swung their way to six Sac-Joaquin Section championships as the spring sports season finished the 2011-12 school year.

Granite Bay’s golf team added the cherry on top of a flavorful spring fling by winning its first CIF State Championship. The Grizzlies, dipping into the 360s three times, worked their way through the regular and postseasons, winning Sierra Foothill League and Division II titles and claiming the third and final state berth at the NorCal tournament.

Granite Bay then outshot such powers as Torrey Pines, Santa Margarita, Pleasanton-Foothill and Pebble Beach-Robert Louis Stevenson on June 6 at San Gabriel Country Club to win the state title by two strokes.

On the diamonds, Woodcreek claimed Division II baseball and softball titles, and the Timberwolves collected their first section banner in girls soccer.

The baseball team had an ace arm in junior Stephen Nogosek and bats throughout the lineup to grind out the crown. Nogosek shut out Bella Vista in Woodcreek’s playoff opener, blanked Rocklin in a must-win game two of their best-of-three semifinal series and then struck out the final batter to save the Timberwolves’ victory over the Thunder in the deciding game.

On Memorial Day, Nogosek pitched a two-hitter as Woodcreek (24-7) beat Granite Bay 9-2 in an all-SFL title game at Sacramento City College.

Woodcreek’s softball team began the season ranked No. 1 in the state and immediately beat current section power Sheldon 7-1.

“The kids are taking it in stride,” coach Art Banks said then. “We tell the girls they still have to go out and play.”

And that they did. The Timberwolves (26-4) finished second to Del Oro in the SFL and were unblemished in the playoffs. Down to their last out in the title game, they scored three runs to beat Del Campo 3-2.

In soccer, college-bound players Rachel Dortch, Kristin Womack, Emily Chalfant and Lauren Hayano led Woodcreek (13-2-7) to a 4-0 thumping of Del Oro in the final following two ties with the Golden Eagles in the regular season.

On the volleyball courts, the Grizzlies (31-7) swept SFL nemesis Rocklin 3-0 in the Division I title match at Monterey Trail in Elk Grove.

“We knew coming out that it was going to be a battle,” Granite Bay senior Matt Austin said. “We just knew that we were going to have to play a little bit harder. Swing really hard, and swing high.”

Like father, like son

Catching Nogosek this season was junior George Corp. His dad, Neil Corp, was a junior starting catcher for Oakmont’s section-championship team in 1988.

For father, from son

On the way to winning its fourth Division VII baseball crown in five years, Valley Christian Academy coach Brad Gunter Jr. earned career win No. 300.

And when the Lions (23-6) blanked Tracy-Millennium 6-0 on Memorial Day, Gunter was quick to point out that his dad, Brad Gunter Sr., had to miss the 2011 title game and celebration because of a blood infection that nearly killed him.

But Gunter Sr. didn’t miss this one. Healthy again, he embraced the section banner as tightly as he embraced his son and each Valley Christian player, including grandson Micah Gunter.

Still streaking

Granite Bay’s girls and boys still haven’t lost in league since 1997. The Grizzlies girls won their 16th consecutive league championship and the boys their 15th in a row.

The Grizzlies boys went on to beat Jesuit by two points and Davis by five in the closest finish on record at the section championships in Lodi.

Several Granite Bay swimmers earned All-America status: Max Vigeant, Hunter Christian, Kevin Wylder and Will Lewis for the boys and Sophie Weber, Ashley Taylor, Hannah Calton, Lauren Fitzgerald, Summer Spradley and Alexis Martinez for the girls.

Weber, an All-American in five events, and Fitzgerald will swim in the U.S. Olympic Trials this month.

Birthdays and bombs

* Mark Reece’s mom, Debra, asked for a no-hitter on her birthday and got it.
The Roseville senior pitched a no-hitter against Pioneer in a 2-0 victory March 7.

The Raley Field stat crew actually reported the story as a double no-hitter, though Roseville senior — and recent Oakland A’s draft pick — Dalton Blaser hit what coach Hank DeMello described as a rocket that ricocheted off the glove of the Pioneer second baseman. Blaser received a hit in the Tigers’ scorebook.

* Making the most of his one at-bat, sophomore Carson Farnworth punctuated Woodcreek’s championship in the JV portion of the Gina Montes/SureWest Easter Invitational with a home run.

Fresh off a plane from a vacation to Hawaii, Farnworth’s bomb hit the new scoreboard in right field at Woodcreek.

Growing, growing

Lacrosse and rugby grew significantly this season — in numbers and stature.
Granite Bay finished third in the Northern California Invitational Tournament and rose to No. 5 in the national club rankings at www.rugbymag.com.

Helping the Grizzlies were a few notable players from last fall’s the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I-champion football team, including running back Arik Bird, offensive linemen Koki Arai and Colton Sviba, and Grant Caraway.

Woodcreek qualified for the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association playoffs, and Granite Bay won its third consecutive Sacramento Valley Lacrosse Conference title.

Off the beaten path …

* Travis Bounds, who will be a senior at Woodcreek, took on the pros in the FLW EverStart Series bass tournament in Clear Lake and won the co-angler division and a $24,000 Ranger boat. Bounds’ 15 fish totaled 61 pounds, 7 ounces. It was his fifth career event. Bounds placed second in the previous Clear Lake tournament eight months ago.

* Tyler Bounds, Travis’ sophomore-to-be brother, teamed with Andrew Loberg to capture the high school state championship tournament in the Delta, which included beating Travis Bounds and partner Kasey Levine.

* Woodcreek junior Nick Franze helped the Skatetown-based Capital Thunder win the California Amateur Hockey Association Midget 18U A state championship.

Notable achievements

* Oakmont track and field coach Ryan Nugent long wanted to gather all five Roseville Joint Union High School District squads, and it happened.

Woodcreek captured the inaugural Roseville District Cup, hosted by Oakmont, behind triple wins by Mitchell Layton and Destiny Standifer.

* Oakmont’s Edixon Puglisi (800) and Karlie Garcia (3,200) and Granite Bay freshman Brian Graber (high jump) won Division II section titles and advanced to the state meet.

* Granite Bay’s Wade Graves repeated as SFL doubles champ but with a new partner in Matt Thompson.

* Oakmont won Capital Valley Conference championships in boys track and volleyball.

SPRING SPORTS SECTION CHAMPS

Granite Bay: Boys golf (Division II, Masters), boys swimming, boys volleyball.

Woodcreek: Baseball, softball, girls soccer (all Division II).

Valley Christian: Baseball (Division VII).

STATE CHAMP

Granite Bay: Boys golf.