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CALAVERAS COUNTY SPORTS THROUGH THE DECADES
Revisiting 1990

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

  • Updated
  • 12 min to read
30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

The ’80s were officially over and the ’90s were here. And how could 1990 have any better start than by the San Francisco 49ers thrashing the Denver Broncos 55-10 in the Super Bowl?

We learned a lot in 1990. We learned that Mrs. Fletcher had fallen and she couldn’t get up, or that George H.W. Bush doesn’t like broccoli. And while her husband wasn’t a fan of broccoli, Barbara Bush wasn’t a fan of “The Simpsons,” as she called it, “The dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.”

After four episodes of “Seinfeld” aired, 13 more were ordered and co-creator Larry David turned down the offer because he had no more stories to tell. Fortunately, Jerry Seinfeld didn’t listen and accepted the offer.

It would have been scary if there was no show about nothing, but perhaps even more scary was an anti-drug PSA that featured Bugs Bunny, Kermit the Frog, Slimer, Garfield, the Chipmunks, Michelangelo (from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), ALF and other cartoons scaring a 14-year-old marijuana addict.

In 1990, the world said farewell to Sammy Davis Jr., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Leonard Bernstein, Mary Martin, Bronko Nagurski, Jim Henson and Tom Fogerty, while saying howdy to Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, Klay Thompson and Bethany Hamilton.

Now, let’s take a look at all that happened in the Calaveras County sports world 30 years ago. 

                                                 Winter

Calaveras High School wrestling defeated Bret Harte and Summerville high schools to begin the 1990 league season. In a 50-15 win over Bret Harte, Calaveras got victories from Scott Guthrie, John DeMaster, Chip Moreno, Ed Angel, Travis Fama, Scott Kirk, Shaun Zahniser, Scott Davis, Bo Foulks and Rico Molina. In a 43-23 victory over Summerville, Molina, DeMaster, Angel, Kirk and Foulks all picked up pins.

Calaveras placed first at its own Gordon Hay Tournament by scoring 150.5 points, which was just ahead of Oak Ridge’s 146.5. Calaveras got firstplace finishes from DeMaster, Moreno and Kirk. Calaveras won its 27th straight MLL dual match with a 65-9 win over Linden to improve to 5-0. At the league championship, Calaveras placed first overall for its fifth-straight championship. Molina, Scott Guthrie, DeMaster, Moreno, Fama, Kirk, Zahniser and Foulks were individual champions.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' wrestling team captured a section championship.

At the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship, Calaveras beat Hughson in the finals to bring home its first blue banner. Calaveras knocked off Escalon and Patterson to reach the championship round. DeMasters, Moreno, Zahniser and Foulks all went undefeated. The section championship win was also the first for any Mother Lode League team.

The Bullfrog wrestling squad began the 1990 league season with a loss to Calaveras, but followed that with a 43-27 win over Argonaut. Winners for Bret Harte were John Castle, Marcus Phillips, Adam Perry, Mike Van Zandt, Mike Davis, Billy Sundlin, Bob Coy and Mike Wilson. Bret Harte improved to 3-1 with a 38-34 win over Linden, which featured wins from Castle, Tom Harrington, Van Zandt and Bob Caughey.

Things continued to go Bret Harte’s way by beating Amador to improve to 4-1. Castle, Phillips, Adam Perry, Tony Maconato, Davis and Bill Sundling all picked up victories. The Bullfrogs were unable to place first at the league tournament, but got an individual first-place finish from Phillips.

The Bret Harte boys’ basketball team began the 1990 Mother Lode League season with a 60-53 win over Argonaut. Roger Root led the Bullfrogs with 20 points, while Steve Davis added nine points. In a 71-63 loss to Calaveras, Root scored 17, Jason Quincy added 13 and Davis finished with 10.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte's Jason Quincy looks to pass.

The Bullfrogs had trouble stringing wins together and sat at 3-5 following a 92-85 loss to Calaveras. In the rivalry defeat, Root led all scorers with 30 points. The Bullfrogs ended the season by beating Linden 63-61 and losing to Amador 81-70. Bret Harte reached the playoffs, but had a quick exit, falling to Lincoln 84-68. Ken Vossler and Root were all-league players.

The 1990 basketball season couldn’t have had a better start for the Calaveras boys’ team. Calaveras placed first at the Mother Lode League Tournament by defeating Argonaut 65-60. John Schmidt led Calaveras with 25 points in the championship win and Kurt Gleason was named as the Tournament MVP.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte's Ken Salvi goes for a block as Calaveras' Kurt Gleason shoots.

Calaveras began the league season by defeating Summerville 79-54 in San Andreas. Schmidt led the way with 27 points, while Gleason and Nathaniel Allen both netted 14. Calaveras improved to 3-0 in league play after beating Linden 65-51 and Bret Harte 71-63. Calaveras stayed perfect until falling to Argonaut 101-76 and then 73-69 to Summerville, which brought its league record to 4-2. Calaveras went on to beat rival Bret Harte 92-85.

Calaveras was unable to win a league title but qualified for the playoffs. Things didn’t go Calaveras’ way in the postseason, as Ripon beat Calaveras 79-78 on the final shot of the game. Kurt Gleason scored 20 points, while Allen had 19 and Schmidt netted 16. Gleason and Schmidt were all-league players.

Even on a night where Bret Harte head girls’ basketball coach Jan Edwards wasn’t pleased with the win, the Bullfrogs still knocked off Argonaut 55-37 to start league play. There were a combined 58 fouls and 75 free throws in the contest. Nine of Bret Harte’s 12 players scored points, but it was Paula Silva’s 14 that led the way.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte's Deborah Segale plays defense.

Bret Harte fought back to a 4-4 record with wins over Summerville and Calaveras. In the 58-31 win over Calaveras, Katherine Kett scored 12 points, Sarah Oneto had 13 rebounds and Stacy Pack added a gamehigh 14 points to go with her nine rebounds.

The Bullfrogs ended the league season 5-5 and had to take on St. Patrick’s in the playoffs and lost to the tougher school from Vallejo. Sarah Oneto and Kett earned all-league honors.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' Bonnie Kelly defends Bret Harte's Sarah Oneto.

The Calaveras girls’ basketball team lost its first league contest of the 1990 season by falling to Summerville 62-52. Kris Gleason scored 26 and Kerri Willis added nine points in the loss. Calaveras lost to Linden 66-49 before picking up its first win in a 50-44 hardwood victory over Bret Harte.

Calaveras had a strong showing in a 74-54 win over Amador. Gleason scored 28 points, while Shireen Zahniser added 22. Calaveras finished the season strong and took on Justin Siena in the playoffs, but lost 51-35. Gleason scored 15 points and Zahniser added 14. Gleason was named as the Most Outstanding Player of the League, while Kerri Willis was named as an all-league player.

Spring

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte pitcher Jara Young throws from the circle.

After a 1-2 preseason, Bret Harte opened league play against Argonaut, which ended in defeat. Bret Harte had trouble picking up victories and that continued in a 12-7 loss to Calaveras. Pitcher Mark Strange had a good outing, but was tagged with the loss and the Bullfrogs were still winless.

Bret Harte picked up its first league victory in two years by beating Calaveras 10-9. Ryan Pryor went 4 for 5; Bubba Kratky went 3 for 5, and Mark Hobson went 3 for 4 and scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. The Bullfrogs ended their season with a 13-12 win over Calaveras to finish with a 2-13 league record. Pryor went 4 for 6 with three doubles and a home run. Pat Prest went 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Pryor and Ian Taerea were all-league players.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte baseball players, from left, are Ryan Pryor, Ian Taerea and Roger Root.

Bret Harte softball had a hard time getting in the win column during the 1990 season, but was able to beat Argonaut 11-9 for a much-needed victory. Shannon Siebert hit a home run and Jara Young had a triple and three RBIs to lead the Bullfrogs to a win. The Bullfrogs got another win, this time by beating Calaveras. Robin Mathis, Young, Jacque Biedenger and Jennifer Etheridge all ripped two hits in the victory. The Bullfrogs were 3-7 on the year.

In the final game of the season, Young pitched a no-hitter and struck out 14 to lead the Bullfrogs to a 7-5 win over Calaveras. Biedinger had two hits and Kendra Grover had an RBI in the win. Bret Harte finished 1990 with a 4-11 record. Silbert and Young were all-league selections.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte infield softball players are, from left, Shannon Siebert, Jacque Biedinger, Kendra Grover and Robin Mathis.

The Bret Harte tennis team hoped 1990 would be the first time since 1986 that a league championship would be captured, and Jennifer Stevens, Soren Bibow, Laura Wood, Anthony Armstrong, Heidi Wahlman, Jennifer Leedy, John Oliveria and Marcus Stricklin looked to make it happen. The Bullfrogs beat Calaveras 4-1 and got victories from Stevens, Wood and Armstrong, Wahlman and Leedy, and Oliveria and Marcus Stricklin.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bullfrog Marcus Stricklin protects the net on the tennis court.

Bret Harte golf finished Mother League play with a 15-3 record and finished first in the league tournament to win the 1990 MLL championship. Calaveras finished second at the league tournament. Filip Trulsson, Dean Engle, Bryan Lucas, Ken Salvi, Bryan Svendsen and J.B. Yarnell led Bret Harte to the tournament crown. Svendsen earned medalist honors by shooting an 86.

Bret Harte’s boys’ track and field team finished the season as league champions. At the league championship, the boys placed first in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races and the shot put. Bullfrog Brian Singleton, along with Amador’s Tom D’Agostini shared the coaches’ award for Outstanding Individual Performance. The girls’ team was led by Tanya Dooley, Sarah Oneto and Amy Davidson.

After the league championship, six Bret Harte athletes qualified for the section meet and Singleton and Davidson advanced to the state championship. Davidson qualified in the 1,600-meter race, while Singleton qualified in the 3,200-meter race.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' Mark Wisdom warms up before competing in the 300-meter hurdles.

Heading into the start of the 1990 Mother Lode League season, the Calaveras baseball team was leaning on Bryon Young and Louie Lombardi to lead the way on the mound and at the plate. Calaveras lost its first two league games, falling 6-1 to Argonaut and 12-10 to Summerville. Behind 12 strikeouts from Young, Calaveras bounced back for a 6-3 win over Linden.

In a 12-7 win over Bret Harte, Daniel Green went 3 for 5 with four RBIs. Mike Thornburg picked up the win on the hill to give Calaveras its second league victory. Calaveras ended the year 2-13, and in the final game, lost to the Bullfrogs 13-12. Dan Green had a three-run home run and Young had a two-run home run and a triple. Young and Thornburg were all-league selections.

In its final game before the start of league play, the Calaveras softball team beat Denair 10-6. Peggy Weikum struck out nine, while Shawnee Burch went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and Dori Wetzel had two hits in the win.

The league season was tough for Calaveras and in 10 games, the team only saw one victory, which was an 11-7 win over Bret Harte. No other wins came Calaveras’ way as its final league record was 1-14. Wendy Windstead and Shireen Zahniser were all-league players.

Fall

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' cross country team takes a lap at practice.

The Bret Harte girls’ cross country team entered 1990 as a two-time defending state championship team, while the boys were fresh off a third-place finish at state in 1989. The boys’ squad had all seven returners from the 1989 team and the girls were led by Amy Davidson and Gretchen Schmauder.

It didn’t come as a surprise when Bret Harte’s girls’ squad won its sixth straight league championship, while the boys’ team won its second straight title. Bret Harte then won a boys’ section championship to go back-to-back. At the CIF State Championship, Brian Singleton placed first with his time of 15:41. Jason Brown, Steve Davis, Tim Ellis, Dan Carll, Anthony Re, Josh O’Geen, Davidson, Liberty Davis, Schmauder, Christie Hicks, Sarah Beaudreau and Anna Schultz all competed at state.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte's varsity and JV cross country finished 1990 as league champions.

The 1990 Calaveras cross country team was a small one, with key returners being John Aguiar and Scott Williams, and Katie Landreth was the only female runner.

In 1989, the Bret Harte boys’ soccer team finished second in Mother Lode League competition and placed third in the playoffs. In 1990, head coach Bill Lauterbach felt the strength of his team was returning players Greg Stock, Anthony Armstrong, Ryan Lauterbach, Matt Pryor, Scott McFalland, Andy Head and Roger Root.

Bret Harte opened the league season with a 0-0 tie against the defending league champion Summerville Bears. The Bullfrogs were in many games during the 1990 season, but five of those ended with no winner, which prevented Bret Harte from returning to the playoffs. Bret Harte finished the season with a 4-0 win over Argonaut, which featured goals from Pryor, McFall and Lauterbach. Root was Bret Harte’s only all-league player.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' Mike Hamilton looks to shoot early in 1990.

Entering the 1990 soccer season, Calaveras had 18 returning players, which included Blaise Rosenthal, Shaul Hollows, Jon Stump, Guillermo Hernandez and Mike Hamilton. Calaveras began league play with a 1-1 tie to Linden. Calaveras got its goal from a header by Hollows with an assist from Stump.

Calaveras finally got a win and ran its record to 4-2-3, which included a 0-0 tie with Bret Harte. Calaveras ended the season tied for third place. In the final game of the year, Calaveras lost to Summerville 3-2 and got goals from Stump and Hollows. Charlie Hebrard was Calaveras’ lone all-league selection.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bullfrog Shawn Fuller runs against Le Grand.

Bret Harte began the 1990 football season as the 44th consecutive team to lose to Hilmar. The Bullfrogs had no answer to slowing down Hilmar and lost 44-0. Bret Harte was only able to gain 51 yards. Things didn’t improve the next week, as Bret Harte lost to Escalon 36-0. The Bullfrogs looked as if they’d be able to pick up a win the following week against Gustine, but couldn’t pull it off late and lost 9-7. Bret Harte broke out of its funk and thrashed Le Grand 52-0. Ian Taerea ran for 42 yards and threw for 77 yards, which included touchdown passes of 45 and 28 yards. Devin Smith and Matt Blodgett each had touchdown receptions. Shawn Fuller scored three rushing touchdowns of 89, 30 and 17 yards. Bret Harte ended the preseason 1-3.

The start of league play wasn’t a memorable one, as Bret Harte lost to Argonaut 21-7. Grover Inks scored the lone Bullfrog touchdown as he scored from one yard out. Bret Harte put up a good fight with Linden, but ended up on the losing end, 13-7. On homecoming night, Kristi Smith was crowned queen and Bret Harte lost to Calaveras 35-0. Amador handed the Bullfrogs a 6-0 defeat to keep Bret Harte searching for its first league victory. The season came to an end with a 20-0 loss to Summerville. The Bullfrogs finished 0-5 in league play. Jason Quadrato was a first-team defensive lineman.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' Eric Nordahl runs the ball homecoming night against Summerville.

Calaveras ran into a tough Hughson team to begin the 1990 season and lost late 22-18. Eric Nordahl and Travis Fama each ran for over 100 yards and Fama broke free for a 62-yard score. Calaveras couldn’t pick up a win the following week as Folsom was too much to handle in a 14-6 loss. Calaveras’ only score came on a touchdown pass from Nordahl to Bryan Porath. Fama rushed for 139 yards in the loss.

Calaveras collected its first win with a 13-12 win over Bishop. Nordahl scored both of Calaveras’ touchdowns. Calaveras then smacked McClymond 43-20. Paul Aguirre rushed for 115 yards on 14 carries and had touchdowns of 14, eight and four yards. Fama scored twice and Randy Stevens found the end zone once. Calaveras went on to spoil Bret Harte’s homecoming with a 35-0 pounding. Fama rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns, while Nordahl rushed for two scores and threw for 79 yards.

Fama rushed for 138 yards, which included a 46-yard score, and hauled in a 24-yard touchdown reception to lead Calaveras to a 25-0 win over Linden to start league play. The following week, Geneva Osborn was crowned homecoming queen and Calaveras beat Summerville 32-12. Fama scored on runs of 43, 2, 1 and 16, while Nordahl connected with Brian Young for an 8-yard score.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras won the Mother Lode League title with a perfect 5-0 record.

Calaveras stayed perfect in league play with a 28-6 Saturday afternoon win over Argonaut. Aguirre rushed for 114 yards, while Nordahl rushed for three scores and hit Tom Hess for a touchdown pass. The Mother Lode League title was officially won following a 32-7 Calaveras victory over Amador.

In the opening round of the playoffs, Calaveras beat Mariposa 34-7. Calaveras jumped out to a 21-0 lead with scores from 15, 14 and six yards out. In the second half, Fama scored on runs of 36 and seven yards. Calaveras advanced to take on Livingston, which ended in a 28-21 defeat. Nordahl and Fama were named as co-MVPs, while Jeremy Danner was the Defensive Player of the Year and Brian Middleton was the Lineman of the Year. Calaveras’ Gary Stepansky was the Coach of the Year. Jeff Howard, Troy Ohlrigh, Sean Duncan, Matt Newton, Robert Beard, Bryan Porath, Aguirre, Artie Jewell, Hess and Sean Newby were all-league players.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Bret Harte's Becky Lewis serves against Sonora.

Rebecca Waring, Heidi Wahlman, Paula Silva, Stacy Pack and Debbie Segale were returners for the Bret Harte volleyball squad and were joined by Jenny Leedy, Kendra Grover, Noelle Murphy, Lydia Scheller, Amy Pimintel, Candy Hill and Becky Lewis.

The Bullfrogs had a strong start to the season and pushed its record to 5-2. Bret Harte battled back from an 11-8 deficit in the fifth and final set to knock off Calaveras 15-11. For its quality season, Bret Harte reached the playoffs and took on Summerville. The Bullfrogs did not win a section title in 1990. Bret Harte’s Heidi Wahlman was named as the Most Outstanding Player, while Scheller was an all-league selection.

30 years ago may still feel like only yesterday

Calaveras' Kristy Flaherty serves in 1990.

Calaveras volleyball had seven returners and five new players to the 1990 roster. The senior group of Amy Weber, Geneva Osborn, Krissy Krantz and Merry Anderson looked to lead Calaveras to its first league title since 1985.

While winning a league title didn’t happen, Calaveras did advance to the playoffs and took on Manteca. Calaveras did not win a section championship. Osborn and Christy Flaherty were all-league players.

Up next

Coming up, we’ll go back to 1980.

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