R-C Sports Notebook: Year in Review
As has become annual tradition at The Record-Courier, we are planning to review the year in pictures and the top sports stories in Carson Valley in Friday’s edition.
For this week’s online notebook, we’ll touch briefly on each of our favorite moments of the year.
The winter athletes produced Douglas’ first state champions in quite some time as Shane Miller captured the school’s first state wrestling title in more than 12 years in the 189-pound class after a season in which he lost just one match to an out-of-state opponent. He went on compete well in the national championships and wrestled for Lassen College this last fall.
Holden Sapp, the 2006 Record-Courier Male Athlete of the Year, won a share of the state skiing title in February with Wooster’s Matt Trabert. It was the first time that Douglas’ Tahoe Basin League was able to compete against the Nevada League for the state championships.
Perhaps the biggest story of the year started in late 2005 as Raymond Sidney, a retired Google software engineering and North Douglas County land developer, contacted Douglas High School about donating to the school’s all-weather track project.
Sidney ended up donating around $1.6 million toward not only installing a new track but also laying out artificial turf on the football field.
Ground broke in late March, but various construction delays pushed the completion of the field project to late October.
The Tiger football team was forced out on the road for every week of the 2006 season except for the last and completed a perfect 7-0 Sierra League slate along the way to claim just the second league title in coach Mike Rippee’s 22-year tenure. He also picked up his 100th career victory early in the year in a win over Carson High School.
Due to the winter weather setting in, installation of the all-weather track was delayed until spring. Once completed, however, Douglas is expected to have one of the finest track and field facilities in the state.
The 2006 season was a huge step forward for the track & field program as the 4×400 relay team of Skylar Young, Alicia Sturgess, Tina Dantin and Sarah Hartley brought home a regional title and high jumper Ryan Bertucci won the state title with a leap of 6-6 the following week. It was the school’s first state title in track since 2000.
The Douglas baseball team turned some heads, especially late in the season, with playoff upsets of Reno and Galena before bowing out in the semifinals.
Pitcher D.J. Brady tossed two no-hitters and struck out 50 batters in 35.2 innings. Slugger Ryan Laing hit eight home runs, four coming in a state record-breaking performance against Hug midway through the year, and had 28 RBIs. Laing later won the state’s home run derby at the Kelley Baseball Showcase, hitting seven home runs in front of scouts from 12 major league teams and more than 15 colleges and universities.
One of the most unexpected moments of the year came during the Fourth of July weekend as the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers dropped in at the Kahle Community Center at Stateline with their summer league team for a mini-camp before the summer season in Las Vegas.
Among the Blazers in attendance was former Nevada standout Kevinn Pinkney
Carson Valley’s Paul Basagoitia won the Red Bull District Mountain Bike Free Riding Series in Nuremburg, Germany in August, just days before Douglas grad Matt Buyten won a gold medal in the Step Up event at the X Games in Los Angeles.
Aside from the football team’s magnificent run, the fall also produced two record-breaking soccer standouts in Mike Gransbery and Morgan LeFever.
LeFever broke state records in career goals and goals in a season while being named the Sierra League girls’ soccer Midfielder of the Year.
Gransbery was named the boys’ soccer Sierra League Offensive Player of the Year while breaking the school record for goals in a career.
The winter got started with a bang as the boys’ basketball team rattled off six impressive victories to open the season before losing to nationally-ranked Arlington Country Day.
Douglas’ Keith Olson became the school’s first Division I boys’ basketball signee since the early 80s as he signed with Northern Arizona in the late fall.
In total, Douglas had three state champions, two regional champs, two Sierra League champions and a host of academic and athletic honorees in its 16 varsity sports in 2006.
Taryn Williams, soph., girls’ basketball and Jeff Nady, jr., boys’ basketball: Williams seemed to find her stride last week, scoring a career-high 18 points in a big win over Whittell, and putting up seven points in a loss to Damonte Ranch. She was also named to the All-Sierra Nevada Media Group volleyball team as an honorable mention.
Nady has come on strong in the last two weeks with improved defense and 17 points in a big win over Damonte Ranch Thursday.
Others considered this week were Jessica Waggoner (girls’ basketball); Joe Ramos (wrestling); Cody Spates (Wrestling); Devin Barker (wrestling) Keith Olson (boys’ basketball); Mike Gransbery (boys’ basketball) and Nate Whalin (boys’ basketball).