Although the goal of making the Sac-Joaquin Section fell just short this season, honors came in for three members of the Cordova High School baseball team.
Two players were recently named to the all-Sierra Valley Conference first team, both seniors. Logan Appino heads the list, as the four-year starter had a batting average of .548. He also had 14 RBIs. On defense, he has a .928 fielding percentage.
Appino will represent Cordova baseball one more time. According to Cordova head coach Doug Hughes, Appino has been selected for the annual Optimist All-Star Baseball Game. The contest will be played at McAuliffe Field on the Sacramento State campus on Saturday, June 10th.
Joining Appino on the all-SVC team is Austin Smith. Playing first base and outfield this season, Smith had a .985 fielding percentage. At the plate, Smith batted .286 and 14 RBIs. On the mound, he went 2-5 with a 2.47 ERA. He led the team in strikeouts with 32.
Hughes, in his second season as the Cordova baseball head coach after Guy Anderson ran the program for 45 years, was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. He led Cordova to a 7-8 record in the SVC for a fourth place finish, just missing the playoffs by one game, and 10-13 overall.
One more Sierra Valley Conference win was all that was needed.
But that would not come to pass for the Cordova High School baseball team and its aspirations to earn a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoff berth. Hosting Liberty Ranch in the SVC finale on May 5th, the visiting Hawks swoop past the Lancers 6-0.
The loss put Cordova (7-8 in the SVC, 10-13) in fourth place behind Union Mine (8-7 in the SVC, 16-10), which beat Rosemont 12-7 also on May 5th to grab the final playoff berth. Liberty Ranch (14-1 in the SVC, 20-6) won the conference title and El Dorado (11-4 in the SVC, 19-7) second place. The conference sends the top three schools into the D-IV playoffs, which starts on Monday.
“Plain and simple, we got beat by an outstanding pitcher,” said Cordova head coach Doug Hughes of the Hawks’ Corey Potthoff, who went the distance in the game. “He located the ball well and kept our hitters off balance.”
The Lancers had four hits in the game; Logan Appino, along with Trevor Ready, Zack Guererro and Jeremy Buck, had a hit each. But Cordova was unable to generate runs.
“We had a couple of chances to score but just didn’t get the hit we needed,” Hughes said.
Liberty Ranch’s hits were limited to six in the game. Potthoff struck out one in his quest in shutting out the Lancers.
“The boys were upset about the loss and not making the playoffs,” said Hughes, “but all they wanted was a chance to get into the playoffs, and that’s what we had. Last year, we still had a shot at the playoffs with two weeks left and this year we came within a game. I’m proud of all the kids and the progress we’ve made.”
Going back to the Lancers’ first practice in February, Hughes reflected back on the team’s progress from that point to battling Union Mine for the conference’s final playoff berth.
“At the beginning of our first practice I asked the kids what their goals were for the season,” recalled Hughes. “In past experiences, the answers I would get would be ‘I want to hit .350, I want to have an 8-0 record as a pitcher, I want to hit 10 home runs or I want to have 40 hits.’ With these kids it’s not I, it was we. We want to win one game, we want to play as a team, we want to win league and we want to make the playoffs. These kids aren’t about themselves, they are about the team.”
Cordova 5, Liberty Ranch 0
The Lancers put themselves into the SVC finale with a win over the Hawks at Galt Community Park on May 4th.
Cordova outhit Liberty Ranch 6-3. Appino and Buck had two hits each for the Lancers, and Colby McDonald had the other. Appino and Buck, along with Spencer Gudgel, had an RBI each.
On the mound, Ryan Tipton went the distance for the Lancers. He struck out three and walked three,.
On Tuesday, the Cordova High School track and field program had strong showings at the Sierra Valley Conference trials at Rosemont High School.
Entering the conference’s finals, which were held yesterday, Thursday, the Lancers’ varsity boys were led by Andrew Roberts, who won the 400 meters with a time of 53.05 seconds. He also took first place in the long jump at 21 feet, 4.25 inches.
Other top finishers for the Lancers were Elijah Morgera, Bryan Estrada and Adam Holman. Morgera took second in the 200 meters at 23.83 seconds and third in the 100 meters at 11.61. Estrada was fifth in the 100 meters at 11.73. Holman competed in the 110 hurdles, taking second place as he was clocked at 17.09.
For the Lady Lancers, Faaulga Toele was second in the shot put at 36 feet, 2 inches. Ambiance Jackson was sixth in the same event at 29 feet, 10.50 inches.
Advancing to the conference’s finals were Carla Donis in the 100 meters. On Tuesday, she took seventh at 13.76. She also took seventh in the 200 meters at 28.71, and sixth place in the high jump at 4 feet, 2 inches. Bri Anna Samuel was eighth in the latter event at 28.86.
The top eight in each event advanced to Thursday’s finals, except for all field events and the frosh-soph boys and girls’ 3200 meter races.
The top four in each varsity boys and girls’ events advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V meet, which will be held at California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock next Tuesday with the trials and next Thursday with the finals.
There is a difference between this season’s Cordova High School boys volleyball team and the 2016 inaugural squad.
This year’s squad is playing Sierra Valley Conference matches. Although Cordova has been a member of the conference since the start of the 2014-15 school year, last year’s team was formed late to the point Lancers couldn’t play conference matches.
“The first half of the season, the first time we played everyone, I had no idea what to expect from the other teams,” said Cordova head coach Mark Reuter, who also teaches at the campus.
Now the Lancers have found themselves preparing for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Entering its final SVC game at Lincoln of Lincoln on Wednesday, Cordova is 5-4 in conference and 5-4-2 overall. The ties came at the Davis High School Tournament last month.
One of the Lancers’ conference opponents in Union Mine is 5-5 in the SVC. But the Lancers hold the advantage over the Diamondbacks by winning both matches earlier this season that included a 3-1 win at Cordova on April 27th; the final scores were 25-16, 25-18, 21-25, 25-18. Win or lose to Lincoln, Cordova is in the driver’s seat for the conference’s No. 3 playoff spot, as the section playoffs are scheduled to start next Tuesday.
Seven of the 10 players on the squad are seniors – Alex Kiosa, David Babin, Vitaliy Semenov, Jason Novik, who is one of the team captains. Mark Shcherbanyuk, Nik Trachuk and Daniel Yaikov. Juniors are Allan Volkov, Allen Rogalskiy and Eugene Khramtsov, who is the other team captain.
The process to start a boys volleyball program at Cordova started last year thanks to the persistency of Valeriy Babin, a senior who graduated last spring.
“Since I started (teaching) at Cordova High, many boys had been asking me to do something volleyball related, and my response was they needed to get it started up, and once they did, I would coach,” said Reuter, who has coached college volleyball. “We had 10 players last year, and all the juniors and sophomores from last year returned.”
Cordova, which went 1-8 in 2016, started 3-3 this season. The Lancers have won four of their last conference matches to earn one of the conference’s three playoff berths.
“The second half has allowed me to focus our practices to meet the demands of the other teams,” Reuter said. “All around, these guys have shown marked improvement throughout the year. You would not know that most of these players started playing competitive volleyball for the first time last year. Because of their hard work and competitive attitude, they have made this a winning season.”
When the season started in February, the Lancers had practices 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. Once the Cordova boys and girls basketball teams’ seasons were over – all use the current gym but the school’s new gym is scheduled to open the start of the next school year – the boys volleyball team held practices after school. Part of the hard work Reuter has seen his squad put in practices and matches is being rewarded with post-season action.
“They never complained about morning practices,” Reuter said. “They showed up and put in the work. We’re looking forward to playoffs. As long as we are able to perform consistently at our high level, we’ll be in the race. This group is very fun to coach.”
Entering the final week of Sierra Valley Conference action, the Cordova High School baseball team is trying to secure the conference’s final playoff spot.
But one of the Lancers’ opponents has thrown a wrench into their post-season plans.
Playing at Galt on April 28th, Cordova (6-7 in the SVC, 9-12 overall) lost to the Warriors 6-5. Going into Wednesday’s game at Liberty Ranch, the Lancers are now tied for third place with Union Mine (6-7 in the SVC). The top three SVC teams advance into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs that start May 15th.
Today, Friday, Cordova will host Liberty Ranch. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. Union Mine closes out its regular season against Rosemont; Union Mine hosted Rosemont on Wednesday and the Wolverines entertain the Diamondbacks today.
Cordova 11, Galt 1
In an SVC game at the Lancers’ field on April 26th, Cordova banged out 12 hits.
Five Cordova players had two hits in the game; Logan Appino, Ryan Tipton, Nick Ravareau, Spencer Gudgel and Austin Smith. Jeremy Buck and Zack Guererro had a hit each. One of Appino’s hits was a double, plus two stolen bases and three RBIs. Ravareau had two RBIs, and Guererro two stolen bases.
On the mound, Tipton went the distance in a game that was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. He allowed only four hits, walked none and struck out one.
More than a half-dozen members of the Cordova High School boys and girls track and field members competed against the best in the Sacramento region at the Bella Vista Broncos Invitational.
Leading the way for the Lancers at invitational, held at Bella Vista High School of Fair Oaks on April 22nd was Elijah Morgera. The senior took fifth place in the 100 meters with a time of 11.74 seconds. In the 200 meters, he also had a fifth place at 23.71.
Cordova head coach Shane Jackson was happy to see Morgera excel against some of the best short distance runners of whom he could be seeing at the Sac-Joaquin Section divisional and Masters’ meets next month. But the focus is performing well in Sierra Valley Conference dual meets and league championships in upcoming weeks.
“As for the SVC competition, he has some very strong competitors he will be going up against,” said Jackson of Morgera.
Morgera was also part of the varsity boys’ 4x400 and 4x100 relay teams. Running with Philip Cadena, Bryan Estrada and Andrew Roberts on the 4x400, Cordova raced to a second place finish in the finals at 3 minutes, 33.57 seconds. The 4x100 squad, with Morgera, Estrada, Tyreke Tate and Dante Pannell, took fourth at 45.29.
For the girls, Faauiga Toele took second place in the shot put at 34 feet, 5 inches. Her sister, Pele Toele, was third in the discus with a toss of 95 feet, 5 inches. According to Jackson, Toele’s mark is her new personal record this season.
The Cordova girls’ 4x400 relay team of Marisa Stark, Gabriella Maduri, Blessings Norwood and Bri Anna Samuel took fourth place at 4:30.60.
“We are going with the same relays teams for both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays at the SVC championship meet,” said Jackson of the boys relay teams. “As for the girls, we will be running them as the JV Girls for league championship.”
In the varsity boys’ 400 meters race, Roberts ran to sixth place at 52.96.
Union Mine at Cordova
The Lancers swept the Diamondbacks in an SVC dual meet on April 19th at Lancers Stadium. In the varsity boys, Cordova posted an 81-51.5 win over Union Mine. Varsity girls had Cordova pulling out a 68-64 win. The Lancer frosh-soph boys also won big over the D’backs, 70-1.
Morgera won the 100 and 200 meter races at 11.25 and 23.31 respectively. Roberts also took top honors in the long jump (19-3.75) and the triple jump (38-11.50). The 4x100 and 4x400 teams also won.
For the girls, Trinity Foster was a double winner in the 100 hurdles at 17.53 and the long jump at 15 feet, 3 inches. Ambiance Jackson leaped to a win in the 300 hurdles at 53.93. Faauiga Toele in the shot put at 37’6 and Pele Toele at discus at 94’. Norwood won the triple jump at 30 feet, 7.25 inches.
On Wednesday, Cordova closed out the SVC meet season with a home match against Galt. The SVC trials will be held May 9th and the finals on May 11th.
After winning five of its last six games, the Cordova High School baseball team suffered three losses last week.
Playing a Sierra Valley Conference game at El Dorado on April 21st, the Lancers’ offense was limited, which led to the host Cougars posting a 2-1 win. With the top three SVC teams advancing into the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, Cordova (5-6 in the SVC, 8-11 overall) is now in fourth place, just one game behind Union Mine (6-5) with four conference games remaining.
Jeremy Buck had two of the Lancers’ six hits against El Dorado. Other Cordova players who had a hit each in the game were Logan Appino, Ryan Tipton, Colby McDonald, Spencer Gudgel and Austin Smith. El Dorado had seven hits.
Union Mine 11, Cordova 0
In an SVC road game on April 20th, Appino and Nick Ravareau had a hit each for Cordova. The host Diamondbacks had seven hits in the game, and was issued two walks. The Lancers were guilty of six errors.
El Dorado 3, Cordova 0
The host Lancers had five hits in their April 19th home game against the Cougars. Appino and Zack Guererro had two hits each. Gudgel had the other hit. El Dorado had six hits.
On Wednesday, the Lancers hosted Galt in an SVC game. Today, Friday, Cordova plays at the Warriors’ diamond at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, Cordova is scheduled to play Enterprise of Redding, as part of the 47th annual Cordova Easter Tournament that was shortened two weeks ago because of rain and field conditions. Game time for Saturday’s issue was not available at press time.
Next Wednesday, Cordova returns to SVC action at Liberty Ranch. This contest will also start at 4 p.m.