With the severity of the coronavirus sweeping over the globe, the majority of everyday life has been put on hold. And while many of those things on hold will eventually restart, the same cannot be said for the 2020 high school spring sports season.
Calaveras High School had to put an end to its spring sports season. As a result, 37 of its seniors will not get to finish their high school careers on the court, field, track or in the pool.
Some of those 37 athletes were giving a spring sport a try for the first time in their four years in high school, while others have been practicing and waiting years to show their skills in their final year at Calaveras.
Of the 37 Calaveras seniors who will not finish their spring season, 19 of them were on the track team, six played golf, five played tennis, three played softball, two were on the baseball team and two swam.
Calaveras had a young team on the diamond, with only two of its players being seniors. When the season ended, Calaveras was 4-6, but at one point had three straight victories, which included wins over Golden Valley, Pacheco and Alvarez.
Calaveras’ two senior players were Mikey Seely and Logan Herring. In five games, Seely was hitting .400 with one run scored, one walk and one stolen base. Seely also played football in the fall, but had his season cut short with a knee injury.
Herring only got into one game early in the season, but he scored one of Calaveras’ two runs in a 3-2 home loss to Dixon.
Calaveras was looking to make a run at a fourth straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game appearance. With a roster full of young talent, Calaveras was leaning heavily on its three seniors to lead the way. At the time the season was ended, Calaveras was 4-5, but had won three of its last four games.
Calaveras’ three seniors are Keelie Koepp, MacKenna Steele and Courtney Batterton. Koepp is a four-year varsity starter and was off to a hot start. In nine games, the slugger was hitting .500 with 12 hits, 14 RBIs, nine runs scored, had five doubles, two triples, walked three times and stole one base. Koepp finishes her Calaveras softball career with an average of .496, 141 hits, 147 RBIs, 115 runs scored, 37 doubles, 11 triples, four home runs, 34 walks and 36 stolen bases. Koepp will play softball next year at Azusa Pacific University.
Like Koepp, Steele is also a four-year varsity starter. The future Fresno State Bulldog was hitting .385 with 10 hits, scored eight runs, had four RBIs, three doubles, one triple and one home run. Steele ends her Calaveras career with an average of .406 with 119 hits, 73 RBIs, 128 runs scored, 36 doubles, 21 triples, six home runs, 49 walks, 26 stolen bases and a fielding percentage of .913.
Batterton found a home behind the dish for her senior season. And with a bat in her hands, the catcher was hitting .429 with nine hits, two RBIs, three runs scored, with two doubles and one triple. Her best game of the year came in a 24-4 win over Foothill, where she went 4 for 4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Calaveras’ tennis team included five seniors, who all played other sports throughout their time in high school. Gabriella Malamed, Simone Pasolli, Tim Van Damme, Alyssa Gossett and Jody McNair are all multi-sport athletes.
Malamed is best known for her work on the hardwood. As a three-year varsity starter, Malamed played in 80 basketball games, scored 383 points, made 68 3-point baskets, pulled down 240 rebounds, dished 65 assists, had 104 steals, recorded 39 blocks and was a Mother Lode League all-league player. Throughout her time at Calaveras, Malamed also played varsity volleyball.
Pasolli, a French foreign exchange student, only had one year at Calaveras, but he made the most out of it. In the fall, he was a member of Calaveras’ football team and wrestled in the winter. Pasolli was set to play tennis in the spring, but was unable to add that to his resume. Pasolli is now back in France.
Van Damme is another foreign exchange student. The Belgium native played basketball in the winter and was set to play tennis in the spring. On the hardwood, Van Damme was named as a first-team all-league player. Van Damme was able to score in the paint and pull down rebounds. He helped lead Calaveras to the second round of the CIF State playoffs.
McNair was one of those players who decided to try something new in her senior year. After playing three years on the softball diamond, she traded her bat for a tennis racket. McNair spent the majority of her softball career inside the pitching circle. In her junior year, she had an ERA of 3.86. In two years on the varsity level, McNair threw 51.2 innings and picked up two wins.
Gossett, like McNair, was once a softball player. She joined the tennis team and used the eye she got as a softball player and translated it to the tennis court. She played doubles while at Calaveras.
Calaveras’ two senior swimmers are Alex Browning and Jamie Smith. Smith swam multiple years at Calaveras and was also a member of its water polo team. More often than not, a goal that was scored typically came off the hand of Smith. Smith was also on the wrestling team.
Calaveras had six senior golfers and half of them joined the team for their senior year.
David Aceves, Alejandro Casillas and Isaiah Martinez had all played before, while Owen Murphy, Max Brant and Bradley Fuller were taking a swing at golf for the first time.
Martinez was making the most of his senior season, as he typically had one of the best scores on the team. Aceves and Casillas were reliable golfers who could pull in solid scores.
As for Fuller, Murphy and Brant, they were improving with each match. Murphy, Fuller and Brant all played water polo in the fall and wrestled in the winter.
TRACK AND FIELD
Calaveras had 19 student-athletes ready for their final run on the track and field team. Jacob Christopher, Sierra Dickey, Destiny Harper, Bennie Hesser, Jaeden Hufana, Haley Lindberg, Ashley Lock, Jeremy Milligan, Jesse Montanez, Devin Nisbet, Rafael Roldan, Nicholas Saliski, Andrew Celli, Annie McMahon, Ashley Macias, Carlos Avila, Benny Flores and Ryan Moyer won’t get to show their abilities this spring.
Jacob Christopher had a great junior track season and an outstanding senior cross country season. In his junior year on the track, the distance runner helped lead Calaveras to a Mother Lode League and CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship. Christopher advanced all the way to the masters meet. He ran the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter race, along with the 4x400 relay. He finished his junior year with a total of 15 first-place finishes.
In her junior year, Sierra Dickey ran the 800- and 1,600-meter race. Her personal record in the 800-meter race is 3:04.92, which was set in 2017, while her personal best in the 1,600-meter race is 6:44.32, which was also set in 2017.
Destiny Harper ran the 100- and 200-meter dash, along with participating in the long and triple jump and the 4x100 relay. During her junior year, she set a personal record in the triple jump, measuring 27 feet, 2 inches. Harper also ran cross country and played soccer in the winter.
Bennie Hesser was part of Calaveras’ section championship team in 2019. Hesser ran in the 800- and 1,600-meter race and also threw shot put and discus, as well as running in the 4x400 relay. During his junior year, Hesser set a personal record in the 800 meters (2:04.71), 1,600 meters (4:53.86) and the discus (91 feet, 3 inches). But running on the track and field team was not the only thing Hesser did while at Calaveras. He also played water polo, ran cross country for Calaveras’ 2019 section championship team, and was a key member of Calaveras’ soccer team.
Jaeden Hufana ran track for four years at Calaveras. He competed in the 100- and 200-meter dash, along with the pole vault and triple jump. During his junior year, he set a personal record in the 100 meters (12.76), pole vault (8 feet, 10 inches) and triple jump (34 feet, 9 inches).
Haley Lindberg ran on the track team all four years. She participated in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter race. At the 2019 Mother Lode League finals, she set a personal record in the 3,200 meters with her time of 13:38.67.
Ashley Lock enjoyed sprinting. She ran in the 100- and 200-meter dash and also the 4x100 relay. Her personal record in the 100-meter dash is 14:08 (set in 2018), while her 200-meter best time is 29.57, which was also set in 2018.
Jonny Lozano looked to set records in his senior season. As a junior, Lozano excelled in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dash and was also part of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay. During his junior season, Lozano set a personal record in the 100 meters (11.36), the 200 meters (22.23) and the 400 meters (49.41). Lozano also played football and was an all-league player.
Jeremy Milligan was part of Calaveras’ section championship cross country team in the fall and was looking to help Calaveras repeat as section champs on the track. As a member of the track team, Milligan ran the 1,600- and 3,200-meter race, as well as the 4x400 relay.
Jesse Montanez was part of Calaveras’ relay team and also ran in the 200-, 400- and 800-meter races. During his junior year, he set a personal record in the 400 meters (53.38) and the 800 meters (2:13.77). Montanez also helped Calaveras capture its blue banner in the spring of 2019.
During his junior year, Devin Nisbet ran the 100-, 200-meter dash, and competed in the 110-meter hurdles and the 4x100 relay. He set a personal record in the 110-meter hurdles with his 2019 time of 21.87.
Rafael Roldan is another member of both the cross country and track team. On the track, he ran the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter race, along with the 4x400 relay. During his junior season, Roldan set a personal record in the 800 meters (2:07.26), the 1,600 meters (4:57.91) and the 3,200 meters (11:19.88).
Nicholas Saliski also ran for both the cross country and track team. During his junior track season, Saliski raced in the 200 meters, 400 meters, and the 4x400 relay. In 2019, he set a personal record in both the 200 meters (25:45) and the 400 meters (55.27).
Andrew Celli was going to give track a try for the first time in his high school career. Typically, Celli would have been on the baseball field during the spring, but looked for something different in his final season of high school sports. Celli was a first-team kicker on Calaveras’ football team and was also the Most Outstanding Offensive Soccer Player in the Mother Lode League.
Annie McMahon ran the 100-, 200-meter dash, along with the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. At the Mother Lode League finals, McMahon set a personal record in the 100-meter dash (14.55) and the 100-meter hurdles (19.04). McMahon is set to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona to take part in its medical program to one day become a registered nurse.
Ashley Macias took part in the 100-, and 300-meter hurdles, along with the 4x400 relay. Her personal record in the 100-meter hurdles is 19:10, while her personal best in the 300-meter hurdles is 54:47.
Carlos Avila threw shot put and discus. His personal best in the shot put is 36 feet, 9 inches, while his best in the discus is 103 feet, 0.5 inches.
Benny Flores also threw shot put and discus. His personal best in the shot put is 34 feet, 10 inches and his best in the discus is 69 feet, 2 inches.
Ryan Moyer ran the 100-meter dash and took part in the triple jump during his junior season. His personal best in the 100 meters is 12.77, while his best in the triple jump is 37 feet, 5 inches.