R-C Sports Notebook: Rounding up weekend 1

The first weekend of the spring sports season offered few surprises for the Douglas High athletic teams. The Tiger baseball team advanced to its tournament championship, the softball team spent the week solving some spots in its lineup, the girls' track team is looking every bit the dark horse heading into the year and the swim team appears pretty solid.

After talking with most of the coaches at the school (we're getting to swimming later on this week), they are all deservedly optimistic. Hopes are always high heading into the year, but there are a number of teams and individuals that have legitimate shots at regional championships.

The first week is always nice, but with the second week, we start seeing where teams really stand. One notable series to watch this week will be the Douglas-Fallon softball matchups on Thursday and Saturday.

Fallon is a returning High Desert League playoff team and Douglas is the favorite to win the Sierra. This weekend will go a long way toward telling where each team will be standing this year.

- I'm going to wait for the Northern 4A teams to get their first league series out of the way this week before offering up my season predictions. Snap judgment after weekend one: Douglas, Damonte, Manogue and Galena are the Sierra League baseball playoffs teams while Reno, McQueen, Reed and Spanish Springs are the teams out of the High Desert. For Softball, Spanish Springs, Reed, McQueen and Elko are my picks to make it out of the High Desert while Carson, Douglas, Wooster and Fallon should go from the Sierra.

- After Tyler Hoelzen made his third highlight catch at first base Thursday evening, McQueen's first base coach leaned over and said "Hey, quit making such great plays, will ya?"

- If the Douglas baseball team can string their hits together on a consistent basis this season, they will be unstoppable. This batting order has the potential to be the deepest top-to-bottom that John Glover has had in his seven-year tenure.

After the first weekend of the track season, there are a number of athletes poised to make a run at various Douglas High track & field records this season. Jessica Waggoner, for one, is only a couple feet off her own shot put and discus records already.

When was the last time the Douglas baseball team won both of its opening-day games?

- Tyler May had a pair of spectacular efforts in left field on consecutive at-bats against Damonte Ranch Friday.

The first, he charged in on a shallow line drive and came up with the catch. The second, he went hard to his left and laid out parallel for the ball, only to have it pop out of his glove on impact.

Running into the dugout at the end of the inning, he could be heard saying the first play was harder than the second.

- South Tahoe Baseball. I know I didn't include them in my above playoff picks, but the Vikings are going to surprise a lot of people this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see them knock off each team in the league at least once. In going 3-1 over the weekend, they beat a talented Spanish Springs squad. This was without two of their best players.

- Carson softball. The Senators looked pretty good in their season-opening tournament and got a no-hitter out of pitcher Cassie Vondrak on Friday. Don't be surprised to see them make a run for the league title this year.

- Whittell baseball. Call it a banner weekend for the south shore, but the Warriors picked up a couple of impressive wins as well. The most notable was a 4-1 win over 3A Sparks.

- Douglas freshmen track runners. The Tigers got a big boost in numbers this year with a large crop of incoming freshman. It became apparent at the season-opener Saturday that a large number of that group will be making an immediate impression. The big highlight was freshman Katie Dry, who turned in a pair of times that weren't too far off from the school records in the 100 and 200. Not bad for her first time out.

- Not-so-much. Reno and Manogue baseball each managed to get through the opening weekend undefeated. These are the two defending league champs, the two defending regional championship competitors and perhaps the two strongest programs coming into the year. I'll be curious to see how Douglas stacks up when they can throw their front line pitching against the Huskies in April.

If I had a vote for overall player of the year in the Northern 4A Regional baseball and softball honors ballots (and I don't), this is what it would look like, based mostly on their respective performances over the last week:


1. Tom Jameson, Reno; 2. Tyler Hoelzen, Douglas; 3. Tyler May, Douglas; 4. Cody Stevens, Damonte Ranch; 5. Casey Yocum, Reed.


(Haven't seen any games yet)

The top athletes, regardless of sport, at Douglas High determined by production during competition, overall value to their team, ability to perform with consistency in routine situations, performance compared to others at the same position throughout the state/region, ability to come up big in clutch situations, versatility, attitude, sportsmanship, overall athletic ability, heart, potential at the next level, and a host of other intangibles (emotional leadership, role-playing value, work ethic, etc.) This is all, of course, just my opinion.

Spring Sports Preseason

1. Thomas Wicker, golf

2. Stephanie Harper, softball

3. Tyler Hoelzen, baseball

4. Tyler May, baseball

5. Tim Rudnick, baseball

6. Jessica Waggoner, track & field

7. Katrina Morgan, softball

8. Jessica Gorton, track & field

9. Emily Weaver, softball

10. Katie Dry, track & field

Watch list: Eddie Kollar (diving); Morgan Blomstrom (softball); Mia Townsell (softball), Kameron VanWinkle (baseball), Troy Torres (baseball), Tanner Thomas (baseball)

2008-09 School Year

1. Jessica Waggoner, volleyball/basketball/track & field

2. Tim Rudnick, football/basketball/baseball

3. Nico Barker, football/wrestling

4. Parker Robertson, football/basketball

5. Dany Heidt, soccer/basketball

6. Ally Freitas, soccer/basketball

7. James McLaughlin, basketball/football

8. Eddie Kollar, cross country/wrestling/diving

9. Katie Dry, soccer/basketball/track & field

10. Tyler Hoelzen, basketball/baseball

Since I've been here (2003)

1. Luke Rippee, football/basketball/baseball (2003)

2. Jessica Waggoner, volleyball/basketball/track (2005-present)

3. Brittany Puzey, basketball/softball (2003-04)

4. Tim Rudnick, football/basketball/baseball (2006-present)

5. Bridget Maestretti, volleyball/basketball/softball/track (2004-08)

6. Tyson Estes, football/basketball/baseball (2003-05)

7. Ryan Pruitt, football/wrestling/baseball (2005-07)

8. Mike Gransbery, soccer/basketball (2004-07)

9. James McLaughlin, football/basketball (2006-present)

10. Andy McIntosh, football/basketball/track/golf (2003)

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I'll be providing my NCAA Tournament picks for you here over the next couple of weeks. I'll fill out both available brackets on our Web site (the straight-up Pick 'Em and the round-by-round) and quickly regret every single pick I make.

It's simple really. I just have to keep telling myself Radford has no chance whatsoever, and never will, at beating a team like North Carolina. East Tennessee State on the other hand ...

If you're interested, go to recordcourier.com/MarchMayhem. Pick a perfect bracket and you win $1 million. Seriously. Win the local pool and we'll probably give you a gift certificate or something.

Couple of my personal principles: Always pick a 9 over an 8. 10 over 7 is a pretty good bet as well. 13 over 4 is your best shot for a mind-blowing upset but most likely you'll just end up looking foolish. Arizona goes through to round 3 regardless (this has never worked out that well for me). Never, ever pick a No. 1 seed to win it (this really hasn't worked out that well for me recently either). The team you probably spent the least amount of time thinking about is probably the team that is really going to break your heart, so go back and give them another look. If all else fails, pick the team with the better team name.

Here are my picks (just including the straight up full bracket here):

Round 1


Louisville over "We had to play our way into this blowout"

Siena over Ohio State

Arizona over Utah

Wake Forest over Cleveland State

Dayton over West Virginia

Kansas over North Dakota State

Boston College over USC

Michigan State over Robert Morris


UConn over Chattanooga

Texas A&M over BYU

Purdue over Northern Iowa

Mississippi State over Washington

Utah State over Marquette

Missouri over Cornell

Maryland over California

Memphis over Northridge


Pitt over ETSU

Tennessee over Oklahoma State

Wisconsin over Florida State

Xavier over Portland State


Villanova over American

Texas over Minnesota

Duke over Binghamton


North Carolina over Radford

Butler over LSU

Illinois over West Kentucky

Gonzaga over Akron

Temple over Arizona State

Syracuse over S.F. Austin

Clemson over Michigan

Oklahoma over Morgan State

Round 2


Louisville over Siena

Wake Forest over Arizona

Kansas over Dayton

Boston College over Michigan State


Memphis over Maryland

Missouri over Utah State

Purdue over Miss State

UConn over Texas A&M


Duke over Texas

Villanova over VCU

Xavier over Wisconsin

Tennessee over Pitt


North Carolina over Butler

Gonzaga over Illinois

Syracuse over Temple

Clemson over Oklahoma

Sweet 16


Wake Forest over Louisville

Kansas over Boston College


UConn over Purdue

Memphis over Missouri


Xavier over Tennessee

Duke over Villanova


North Carolina over Gonzaga

Syracuse over Clemson

Elite 8


Wake Forest over Kansas


Memphis over UConn


Duke over Xavier


North Carolina over Syracuse

Final 4

Wake Forest over Memphis

North Carolina over Duke


North Carolina over Wake Forest

2004. Douglas beat Lowry 12-2 and McQueen 15-1 at Reno High on the first day of the Mike Bearman Tournament. Every year since, Douglas has won one of its two Opening Day games. The strangest circumstance came in 2005 when the Tigers' season-opener at McQueen was called due to time constraints with the score tied at 12 in extra innings. Douglas had to bus quickly to Reno High, where they promptly thumped Lowry 24-1.


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