Lassen High School girls' basketball celebrates a great season
The Lassen high School girls’ basketball teams held an awards ceremony in the student center Thursday, March 14 to celebrate the end of a great season. Award winners and their coaches pose together after the ceremony. Photos by Maddie Musante
March 15 — The Lassen High School girls’ basketball teams hosted a night of awards and celebration in the student center Thursday, March 14.
Before celebrating a successful season and receiving awards, the girls’ basketball teams passed out cake and punch to attendees who were excited for an evening of reliving memories and remembering the highlights of the season. Varsity coach Jessica Larson thanked her fellow coaches, the boosters and everyone who helped support the teams throughout the season.
Freshman girls’ coaches Tony Amero and Dorinda Shaffer kicked off the evening by calling the freshman team to the front of the room, introducing individual players and discussing the season. The freshman girls’ team went undefeated in league play.
“Dorinda and I both had fun,” Amero said, speaking about his experience coaching the girls.
Players voted on the awards for Most Improved, Best Offensive Player, Best Defensive Player and MVP. Tatum Uburu won Most Improved. As she stepped up to receive her award, Amero discussed her fun personality and recalled memories of her singing Whitney Houston songs while traveling to away games. Colby Sherman was voted Best Offensive Player. The award for Best Defensive Player went to both Garyn Harlan and Carissa Shaffer. Taylor Knecht won MVP. The Coaches’ Award, which was renamed the Ultimate Grizzly Award, went to Jenae Larson. The freshman team also received custom T-shirts with “undefeated” printed across the front.
Next up was the junior varsity team. Prior to handing out awards, coach Mark Zaengle gave a speech outlining the team’s impressive stats for the season and how close-knit they were as a team. He described the team as, “a great bunch of young ladies,” and said, “it was really fun with you guys.”
Taylor Speers was voted Most Improved by her teammates. Julisa Rodriguez won Best Defensive Player. Sandra Radey won Best Offensive Player. The MVP and Ultimate Grizzly awards went to Miranda Langenhorst, who had a double-double in every game she played this season. The JV team also gave the coaches a thank you gift to show their appreciation for an incredible season.
Larson introduced the varsity team, showing the crowd a necklace the players got her as a thank you gift and handing out memory books to each player as she introduced them.
Senior Gracie Radey and Jacqui Smith won awards for having 4.0 GPAs. The team voted Danica Guillen Most Improved. The award for Best Offensive Player went to Mikailia McClure-Bustamante. Smith won Best Defensive Player. Emily Terwilliger was awarded MVP. Laken Cagle took home the Ultimate Grizzly Award. Sara Carson got All-League Honorable Mention. Terwilliger and McClure-Bustamante each won All-League.
The evening was full of laughter and emotion, as both players and coaches recalled the season behind them and looked forward to next year.
Lady Cougar softball slugger signs scholarship
Lady Cougar first base player Becky McConnell signs a scholarship to attend and play for William Jessup University Thursday, March 7. Photo by Maddie Musante
March 13 — Lassen Community College softball star Becky McConnell is not only looking forward to this year’s softball season with the Lady Cougars, she is thrilled to have just signed a scholarship to play for William Jessup University next year.
McConnell is a Susanville native and alumna of Richmond Middle School and Lassen High School. According to McConnell, she has played softball since she was able to, starting with tee ball and beginning softball at the age of 5. This will be her second year playing first base for the Lady Cougars under head coach Glen Yonan. Last year she was awarded second team all-conference. Currently, she has a batting average in the high 300s and has scored two home runs for the Lady Cougars in their pre-season games.
William Jessup University is a private, liberal arts college in Rocklin, Calif. The William Jessup University Lady Warrior’s softball team is currently ranked number one in the California Pacific Conference.
McConnell said she was both excited and nervous about next year’s season as a Lady Cougar. “Nervous because I haven’t been anywhere but here, but excited to be away and play,” she said in Yonan’s office before practice Thursday, March 7. McConnell also said she thinks her greatest challenge next year will not be on the softball field, but in the social arena, as she tends to be shy, which can make it harder for her to meet new people.
After growing up in Lassen County and playing softball for so many coaches, McConnell was full of thanks for those who have coached and supported her throughout the years. “I would like to thank all of my coaches that I’ve played for, especially coach Yonan because he got me this offer. I’d like to thank my family for always supporting me and being there as often as possible,” she said.
Lady Cougars looking forward to season
Lassen Community College head softball coach Glen Yonan discusses strategy with the team before practice Thursday, March 8. Photo by Maddie Musante
March 12 — The Lassen Community College Lady Cougars fast pitch softball team is gearing up for the season and raring to go. According to head coach Glen Yonan, the team gets better every week. While they have lost some pre-season games, the team has played competitively, beating several tough teams while continuing to hone their skills.
Unfortunately, the Lady Cougars haven’t been able to perform for their home crowd, as their first scheduled home game against the College of the Redwoods was cancelled due to snow. Prior to that, the Lady Cougars had played 19 non-conference away games and had a record of 7-12. Yonan stressed that the team is constantly improving, saying they are much better now than they were a month ago and emphasizing how on point they are with hitting.
He believes the Lady Cougars can make it to league playoffs this year, as long as they play well and continue to improve. After researching the other teams in the Golden Valley Conference, Yonan is convinced each team is beatable. That being said, he does see Shasta College as one of the big challenges in the conference, based on their pre-season record.
When asked about team captains and star players, Yonan said everyone on the team pitches in at the same level. However, the team does have some new and returning talent. Sophomore Siera Barton was an All Northern California selection last year and was ranked fourth in the state in hitting. Barton’s current batting average is in the low 400s. Becky McConnell, who was second team All Conference last year and just signed a scholarship offer from William Jessup University, has a batting average in the high 300s and has hit two home runs for the Lady Cougars. Newcomer Lauren Knorzer is also batting in the 400s and has scored two home runs in the pre-season.
As far as his strategy for the remainder of the season, Yonan said, “We need to pitch well, we need to play good defense and we need to have timely hitting. Those are the three main ingredients we have to have. If we get those three things, we’ll be okay.”
The Lady Cougars’ next home game is against Feather River College at 12 p.m. Friday, March 22.
Lassen High School freshman wrestler goes to state championships
Lassen High School freshman Kenny Jones approaches the head table prior to his first match in the CIF State Boys Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield, Calif. March 1. Photo submitted
March 11 — As the wrestling season comes to a close, Lassen High School’s Kenny Jones has a lot to be proud of. Jones, along with Lassen High School wrestling coach Errin Montgomery, traveled to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Boys Wrestling Championships in Bakersfield, Calif. Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2. Jones finished his freshman season in the top 24 in the state in the 113-pound weight division.
In order to qualify for the CIF State tournament, wrestlers had to place within the top three in their weight class at the Master’s tournament in their section. Jones won third place in the 113-pound weight class during the North Section Masters Tournament, making him the only LHS wrestler and only freshman in the North Section to qualify for the state tournament.
Forty wrestlers from each of the 10 sections in California participated in each weight division at the CIF tournament, meaning 560 wrestlers in California, spread between the 14 CIF weight classes, qualified.
The CIF State Wrestling tournament began in 1973 at Cal State University, Hayward and was approved on a one-year trial basis. It is now considered one of the best high school state tournaments in the nation.
Looking back on the wrestling season and the state championship tournament, Jones was happy, yet humble. “I was happy to make it there … I was two matches away from placing, so I did good, but I think I could’ve done better,” he said. Jones reflected on his coaches and teammates, saying that they did well, better than previous years. He is looking forward to the next wrestling season and hopes to get another shot at the state championship tournament.
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