Football players with local ties compete in Lion's all-star game
David Vicondoa, a 2013 graduate of Lassen High School, was chosen to play in the Lion’s All-Star Football Game. Vicondoa will be attending and playing football for Feather River College beginning in August.
Keefer “Zane” Fulton, a former Lassen Youth Football and Lassen High School football player, gives a double thumbs up after playing in the 36th annual Lion’s All-Star Football Game Saturday, July 13. Fulton and his teammates shaved their heads into Mohawks together as a show of support for their team. Photos submitted
July 23 — Two young men with local ties were chosen to play in the 36th annual Lion’s All-Star Football Game that took place in Oroville Saturday, July 13.
David Vicondoa, a 2013 Lassen High School graduate, was chosen to represent the North team and Keefer Fulton (also known as Zane Fulton), a former Lassen High School and Lassen Youth Football player, was chosen to play for the South.
The game is for high school graduates from schools between the Oregon border and Yuba City, Calif. Top players from schools in the area are chosen to play for either the North or South team, depending on the location of the player’s high school. All proceeds from the game go to a camp for diabetic children.
The North won the game, 32-7, which was played at Harrison Stadium in front of approximately 2,500 fans. This is the fifth year in a row the North has won the match-up.
Vicondoa has been playing football in Lassen County since he was old enough, beginning with Lassen Youth Football, then playing all four years at Lassen High School. He played defense for the Grizzlies in his senior year and, according to maxpreps.com, wracked up 77 solo tackles, 127 total tackles, two fumble recoveries and scored six points. During his time as a Lassen High football player, Vicondoa was awarded NAL All-League, division II All-Section and best defensive player for the Grizzlies. He also took first place in weightlifting, bench press max and bench press repetitions at last year’s Gold Beach Football Camp.
Fulton, a 2013 graduate of Paradise High School, is the grandson of Lassen County residents Lloyd and Carol Keefer and played football for Lassen High School until he transferred to Paradise during his sophomore year. Fulton was a starter for Paradise High School in his senior year and was awarded division I All-League noseguard. According to maxpreps.com, Fulton had 29 solo tackles, 77 total tackles, three sacks and three fumble recoveries while playing defense for the Paradise Bobcats in the 2012-2013 season. In the all-star game, Fulton succeeded in sacking the North’s quarterback, Zack Trueblood, in the first quarter for a loss of nine yards.
Fulton and Vicondoa previously played together on the Lassen High School football team. Prior to the game, Fulton’s mother, Kelly Keefer, said, “It should be a fun and interesting game — two players that used to play on the same team playing against each other. It is a huge honor to be nominated and finally chosen for this game. I am so proud of both of them. They will forever remember this final football experience that pits the best against the best and pushes them to their ultimate limits.”
According to Vicondoa’s mother, Lisa Maez, the game was a great experience for the boys. “David made life-long friends with previous rivals. They lived together for six days in the Shasta College dorms and practice three times a day.”
Vicondoa will be attending and playing football for Feather River College beginning in August, where he will play with and against many of the players who competed in the all-star game.
Bull riding brings in a big crowd
The California Smackdown Bull Riding Series helped kick off fair week with a show of guts and glory on Tuesday, July 16. The show had approximately 1,000 people in attendance. Photo by Maddie Musante
July 19 — The California Smackdown Bull Riding Series helped kick off fair week with a show of guts and glory that wowed more than 1,000 people at the Lassen County Fairgrounds Tuesday, July 16.
The evening of entertainment warmed up the crowd with a show of mutton busting. Lassen County children played mini bull riders as they were placed on sheep, released into the arena and tried to hold on for as long as they could. The event was such a hit that several more children signed up at the last minute, after the mutton busting had already begun.
After a display of American pride, the singing of the national anthem, and a short prayer for the bull riders and participants, the main event was on. Twenty professional bull riders, some of them with local ties, gave it their all with the hope of achieving a successful, eight-second ride. The feat was not easily achieved, as none of the riders had a qualified ride during the first half of the show.
The bull riding was broken up into two portions with barrel racing taking place between them. Several local ladies competed in barrel racing, wowing the crowd with their speed and horse mastery. One of the crowd’s favorite participants was young Paige Azevedo, who was too young to participate in barrel racing on her own and, thus, was led around the barrels on her horse as she waved to the cheering crowd.
When the bull riding resumed, the crowd was pleased to finally see a bull rider get a qualified ride. Devin Espin, who took first place in the event with 88 points, was the only rider to get a qualified ride in the short round. The accomplishment won Espin $1,500.
After the show at the Lassen County Fair, the California Smackdown Bull Riding Series now boasts a finals pot of $7,400. According to event organizer, Manuel Souza, the pot could get as big as $15,000 by the end of this year’s series.
Souza was pleased with how the event went and was overwhelmed with gratitude for those who sponsored bulls, donated and helped with the event. “It was a very successful show … all of my family and crew would love to thank the folks in Lassen County for the big crowd. See you next year,” Souza said.
Bull riding kicks off Lassen County Fair
The Lassen County Fair kicked off last night with the California Smackdown Bull Riding Series. Paige Azevedo, of Susanville, delighted the crowd when she participated in barrel racing. Azevedo was the youngest child to participate. Her horse was led around the barrels as she waved to the cheering crowd. Photo by Maddie Musante
Lassen SWAT softball finishes first
The Lassen SWAT U-10 softball team competed in the Carson City Classic Fast Pitch Tournament Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23 and came back with the championship trophy. Coach Casey Williams, back left, coach Danny Mena, coach Vera Campa, coach Ryan Chedwick, Chelsea Williams, middle left, Hailey Mena, Anjanette Miles, Megan Gower, Brooke Mullen, Mila Knezevich, Taylor Nethery, Jewel Kerby, Hailey Gregor, bottom left, Taryn Giacomelli, Kelsea Chedwick and Christa Williams pose together with their championship trophy. Photo submitted
July 16 — The Lassen SWAT U-10 softball team traveled to Carson City Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, 23to compete in the Carson City Classic Fast Pitch Tournament and came back with the championship trophy.
The team started off the tournament Saturday with a decisive 16-4 victory over the Elko Inferno. Mila Knezevich was the winning pitcher, pitching three hitless innings before the game was called due to the mercy rule. Knezevich faced 21 batters and had 11 strikeouts. She also had a strong performance at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homerun and three RBIs. Joining Knezevich at the plate was Jewel Kerby who went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Anjanette Miles who was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Taryn Giacomelli who had a hit, run scored and an RBI.
Next, the girls faced the Gold Rush, of Winnemucca, Nev., and again came away with a large win, defeating the Gold Rush 16-1. Brooke Mullen was the winning pitcher, facing 11 batters in three innings with seven strikeouts and no hits allowed. The game was also called short due to the mercy rule. Leading the SWAT team at the plate was Taylor Nethery with a 2-for-2 performance, two RBIs and two runs scored. Hailey Mena and Knezevich each hit a double with Mena adding two RBIs. Kelsea Chedwick had a hit and two RBIs.
The team faced off against the Carson Valley Hot Shots in their last game of the day. Lassen didn’t disappoint, coming away with their third win of the day, defeating the Hot Shots, 14-4. It was another strong pitching day as Chelsea Williams faced 23 batters, giving up only one hit with 10 strikeouts in four innings. Knezevich led the SWAT offense, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored. Right behind her was Nethery with a triple. Williams and Mena each got a hit and an RBI. With the three victories on Saturday, Lassen was seeded first going into the single elimination round on Sunday.
In Sunday’s first game, the SWAT girls went up against the Fallon Force. Lassen handed the Force a 6-1 defeat in only four innings. Williams was the winning pitcher again, throwing a no hitter and striking out eight. Kerby and Knezevich led the offense, each hitting a double with an RBI. Nethery and Hailey Gregor each contributed a base hit and an RBI. With this win, Lassen moved on to the semi-final game against a fierce competitor, the Nevada Kats.
Lassen battled with the Kats for five strong, exciting innings and came away with a hard fought, 5-0, victory. Kerby took the mound for the SWAT team and pitched a three-hit shutout. She faced 18 batters in four innings, while striking out nine and only walking two. Lassen was led at the plate by Kenezevich and Megan Gower. Knezevich went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Gower went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. The win advanced Lassen to the final game of the tournament against the undefeated Bloodline of Reno.
In the championship game, Lassen battled to a 9-4 victory with a display of strong hitting from the SWAT team. Knezevich, Gower, Mena and Miles each had two hits, while Kerby helped the cause by hitting a crucial go ahead double in the sixth inning. Lassen had a total of nine hits in the game. Kerby pitched the final game after just pitching four innings prior. She pitched all six innings, facing 29 batters. She gave up six hits and struck out three, while only walking one. Lassen was led defensively by second baseman Chedwick, who had six put outs at secondbase.
Lassen has participated in four tournaments with finishes at second, fourth, third and now first. The team holds an overall record of 20-5-1. Lassen’s team is comprised of girls ages 7 through 11.
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