Oakmont High grad Watkins now a starter for Sierra football
Hunter Watkins, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound freshman from Oakmont High School, will replace Casey O’Connor at offensive left tackle when Sierra College plays host to Delta at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, in Rocklin.
“We’re going to give (Watkins) every snap we can to prepare him for next year,” Wolverines coach Jeff Tisdel said.
Watkins started earlier this season before being replaced when Tisdel moved O’Connor from center to tackle. O’Connor, formerly of Lincoln High School, sustained a torn ligament in his left ankle during Sierra’s 24-14 loss to Fresno City last Saturday. He won’t need surgery.
The Wolverines are 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the Valley Conference, so hopes of a fourth consecutive championship are shrinking.
The William Jessup University men’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the California Pacific Conference preseason coaches’ poll, and the Lady Warriors were voted to finish second.
The men received 44 total points and four of seven first-place votes. Jessup has four starters returning from last season’s team, which went 17-14 and qualified for the NAIA Tournament. Cal State Maritime was second in the voting with 42 points and two first-place votes. Holy Names received the other first-place vote.
The Jessup women earned 34 points and one first-place vote, second to defending-champion Holy Names, which earned six first-place votes and 48 points.
Senior Morgan Saunders of William Jessup was named the CalPac Player of the Week for Oct. 19-25. She had 107 assists and 21 digs as the Lady Warriors went 2-1.
Saunders had 63 assists and 16 digs as Jessup came from two games down to beat Simpson 24-26, 23-25, 30-28, 25-22, 15-11. The Lady Warriors trailed 19-11 in the third game before beginning the comeback and moving into second place in the CalPac.
Jessup 4, Simpson 1 – CalPac Offensive Player of the Week Ricky Ward stayed hot with one of three goals scored in a 16-minute span late in the second half as the Warriors blew open the game. Ward also assisted on a goal by Jay Weislogel. David Ayvazyan and Jose Ramirez also scored for Jessup. Ward earned the award with three goals and an assist for Jessup in a 5-3 victory over Pacific Union last week.
Jessup 1, Simpson 0 – Melissa Plinski assisted on a goal by Hekla Goodman in the 45th minute that lifted the Lady Warriors over Simpson. CalPac Defensive Player of the Week Katie Rappazzo made seven saves against Simpson. She also had seven saves in a 0-0 tie against Academy of Art.
Sierra 3, Modesto 2 – The Wolverines (8-3-4, 4-2-3 Big 8) lost a two-goal lead in 15 minutes late in the match before Tyler Silvia beat three defenders for the winning goal against the visiting Pirates (7-9, 4-5 Big 8). Lauren Brain and Kristina Stammer also scored for Sierra.
Gold Country News Service contributed to this report.