It could not have been a better way to begin the year 2000. Everyone assumed that Y2K would be the end to all of humanity, and when Jan. 1 rolled around and nothing happened, well, unless you built a bunker and stocked up on canned goods, there wasn’t much to complain about.
In 2000, you could buy a Sony PlayStation for $299 and gas was just $1.56 per gallon. With all the money you saved on gas, going to the movies to watch “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “Cast Away” was a good option.
There was a good chance that in 2000, you were one of the people who purchased 943 million CDs. There were some scandals, such as Spain’s Paralympic basketball team being ordered to return their gold medals won in Sydney after nearly all of the players were found to have no disability. Almost just as embarrassing was Blockbuster turning down the chance to buy Netflix for $50 million.
Just like Blockbuster is now dead, 2000 saw the deaths of Walter Matthau, Charles Schulz, Tom Landry and Yokozuna. And if you were born in 2000, the top baby names were Emily, Hannah, Madison, Ashley, Sarah, Jacob, Michael, Matthew, Joshua, Chris and Topher.
Now, let’s go back 20 years and check out all that took place in the world of Calaveras County athletics.
Calaveras High School boys’ basketball team entered the 2000 season with a 3-10 record. If starting the league season off with a clash against Bret Harte High School wasn’t big enough, Calaveras was also retiring Fred Lavaroni’s No. 32 jersey. Lavaroni played for Calaveras in 1968-69. The celebration didn’t go as planned, as Calaveras lost to the Bullfrogs 56-47. In the loss, Kyle Duke had 15 points, while Kevin Wentworth had eight points and John Hypolite scored six.
Later in the league season, Calaveras again was defeated by Bret Harte, this time by a score of 81-50, which pushed Calaveras’ league record to 2-4. Duke scored 19 points and Hypolite added 11. Calaveras made some noise as it handed Summerville its first league loss of the year. Calaveras drained 12 3-point baskets in a 60-49 upset. Duke had 14 points and 10 boards, while Wentworth had 10 and Daniel Villegas scored nine.
Calaveras finished the season 6-9 and again missed the playoffs. Duke and Luna made the all-league team.
Bret Harte’s boys’ basketball team was on a quest to capture its first league title since 1994 and took its 8-2 record into the league opening game against Calaveras. Behind 17 points from Kelly Barnett, nine points from Josh Sherrow and five from Wes Bell, Bret Harte won 56-47. The Bullfrogs improved to 4-2 in league play with another win over Calaveras, this time 81-50. Eric Rucker led all players with 21 points and Barnett followed with 14 points.
The Bullfrogs beat Calaveras for a third straight time, this time 58-47 in San Andreas. With a 9-6 record, the Bullfrogs qualified for the playoffs and took on Encina in the opener and won 60-50 to set up a date with top-seed Justin Siena, which didn’t end well, as the Bullfrogs lost 74-66. Barnett, Rucker and Sherrow were placed on the all-league team.
A loss to begin the 2000 Mother Lode League season was not ideal, but for the Calaveras girls’ basketball team to fall to Bret Harte was a bitter pill to swallow. Calaveras lost on the road 55-48 and got 13 points from Sarah Busi. Calaveras didn’t get its first league win of the season until it beat Summerville 56-36 to stop its three-game skid. Busi had 16 points and five rebounds and Laura Seegar had 13 points.
But perhaps the win of the year came at home in a rematch with Bret Harte, as Calaveras beat the Bullfrogs for the first time since 1990 and snapped Bret Harte’s 53-game winning streak. Busi scored 17 points and Karly Raper had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Lindy Winkler added nine points, four assists and three steals in the 62-54 win.
Calaveras finished the season 10-5 and took on John Swett in the opening round of the playoffs. Calaveras picked up its first home playoff win since 1986 by beating John Swett 56-44. Laura Seeger scored 18 points and Busi had 11. Calaveras’ season came to an end in an 83-46 defeat to St. Mary’s. Raper and Busi made the Mother Lode League’s first team, while Seegar made the second team.
The Bret Harte girls’ basketball team entered the start of the 2000 Mother Lode League season with 48-straight league victories. That streak reached 49 following a 55-48 home win over Calaveras. Lindsay Sweetland led the way for Bret Harte with 13 points, while Renee Stribling had 12 and Becca Bales added 10. Bret Harte pushed its streak to 51 wins with an easy 89-29 win over Summerville.
Bret Harte hadn’t lost a league game since 1996, but that changed when it lost 62-54 on the road to Calaveras. In the loss, Sweetland scored 17 points, while Renee Stribling pulled down 11 rebounds and Bales had nine points. Behind 24 points from Sweetland, Bret Harte rebounded with a 61-46 win over Argonaut and improved to 6-1. The Bullfrogs avenged their loss to Calaveras by beating their rivals 59-36 late in the season. Bales led all scorers with 14 points and Stribling added 10 points and Brittany Skaff pulled down eight boards.
Bret Harte won its ninth-straight league championship with a 14-1 record and took on Denair to begin the postseason. Even after a slow start, Bret Harte beat Denair 61-46. The Bullfrogs then beat Christian Brothers 74-57 and then rolled to a 56-44 semifinal win over Lincoln to set up a championship clash with St. Mary’s. The championship dream ended in Sacramento’s Arco Arena in a 68-46 loss. The Bullfrogs lost in the NorCal playoffs 56-48 to Marin Catholic.
Bales was named the Most Valuable Player of the MLL and Sweetland was the Most Outstanding Player. Skaff made the first team, while Stribling and Courtney Shires made the second team.
Calaveras’ wrestling squad began 2000 with a victory at the Hatler Tournament in Sonora. 112-pounder Thomas Fragoza and 140-pounder Jason Copeland both won tournament championships for their respective weight classes. At its own Gordon Hay Invitational, Calaveras placed second overall and was led by Jeremiah Bersola and Copeland. Calaveras was on fire in league competition and improved to 4-0 after beating Summerville 55-17. With the league title on the line, Calaveras beat Bret Harte 46-21. Calaveras then went on to capture the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Dual Team Championship, to win its first section title since 1992.
As the postseason continued, Fragoza never stopped wrestling. He became just the second Calaveras wrestler to compete at the state level. Fragoza didn’t make it past the first day, as he lost both of his matches.
The Bullfrog wrestling team began 2000 in Nevada to take part in the Reed Round-Up. Bret Harte’s 119-pound junior Jimmy Justice went 4-0 over the two-day tournament and took first in his weight class. David Gassin, Joey Morris, Cory Fitzpatrick and Lance White all had second-place finishes.
In the league opener, Bret Harte beat Linden 49-15 and Dustin Alkema improved to 18-0 on the season. The Bullfrogs improved to 2-0 in league after beating Summerville 54-21, with pins from Morris and Dwayne Dominic. The Bullfrogs picked up their fourth league win with a 67-6 trouncing of Argonaut. Bret Harte had a chance to capture a league title, but fell on the road to Calaveras 46-21.
It took a little while, but after four league games into the 2000 season, the Calaveras girls’ soccer team was able to put one in the win column. Calaveras beat Argonaut 2-1 with goals from Alicia Mendoza and Danielle Yerman. Calaveras lost later in the season to Bret Harte 2-1, with its only goal coming from Celine Nattkemper. Yerman, Meaghan Beaudion and Sara Enwald were placed on the all-league team.
The expectations were high heading into the 2000 Bret Harte girls’ soccer season. In the opening game of league play, senior Jessica Bowman had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 victory over Linden. Ashley Hitchcock and Candi Lopes also scored in the win. Bowman scored twice in a 4-1 win over Argonaut and then scored the lone goal in a 1-0 road win over Summerville. That was the first victory over Summerville since the Bret Harte program began in 1997.
In a home clash with Calaveras, Bret Harte won 6-0 and got four goals and an assist from Crystal Bridges. Bret Harte had its second tie of the season in a 1-1 draw with Summerville, with the only goal coming from Lopes. Bret Harte improved to 7-0-2 with a 2-1 victory over Calaveras, which included goals from Bowman and Ashley Borelli.
Bret Harte ended the league season as champions and hosted Vanden in the opening round of the playoffs. The first ever playoff game did not go well for the Bullfrogs, as Vanden knocked off Bret Harte 5-0, which was a disappointing end for the senior group of Bowman, Allison Ramorini, Marie Casselberry, Mary Rose Axiak and Rebecca Larson. Ramorini was named as the Offensive Player of the Year and Casselberry, Crystal Bridges, Bowman, Ashley Borelli and Larson were all-league players.
Reaching the playoffs for the first time in over a decade was the goal for the Bret Harte softball team and early on in the season, it looked like that wasn’t going to be an issue. The Bullfrogs jumped out to a 5-0 preseason record, which included a no-hitter pitched by sophomore Jessica Self in a 3-2 win over Riverbank.
To begin league play, Bret Harte beat Linden 14-0. Self pitched a two-hit shutout with four strikeouts. After falling by one to Argonaut, the Bullfrogs beat Calaveras 5-1. Bri Bales went 2 for 3 with an RBI; Jessica Swanson had a double, run scored and an RBI; Kristy Morris went 2 for 3; and Lane Smith went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored.
Bret Harte won the rubber match with Calaveras and with a 6-1 victory, earned a spot in the playoffs. Smith went the distance in the circle, allowing just one run on two hits with five strikeouts.
The Bullfrogs finished the league season 8-7 and qualified to take on Escalon in the playoffs and scored five times in the seventh for the come-from-behind, 7-3 victory. Bales led the way, going 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Morris added two hits in the win. Bret Harte’s season came to an end with a 5-2 loss to Lincoln. Bales and Swanson earned all-league honors.
Calaveras entered 2000 as the defending Mother Lode League softball champions. To win another title, Calaveras would need big performances from Karly Raper, Christina Acierto, Sarah Pagett, Lindsay Gillick and Lindy Winkler.
Calaveras suffered an early league loss to Bret Harte, falling 5-1, but returned the favor later in the season by beating the Bullfrogs 9-4. Acierto had a double, triple and five RBIs in the win and Raper went 4 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Calaveras missed the playoffs, finishing with an 8-7 league record. Acierto, Winkler and Daniel Barrios earned allleague honors.
The Bullfrogs baseball team looked to make a name for itself in the 2000 season and a 7-6 win over Calaveras did just that. Sophomore Travis Molzen smacked a three-run home run and then closed out the game on the mound.
Things didn’t improve after the win over Calaveras, as Bret Harte had trouble capturing more league victories. The Bullfrogs lost to Calaveras 4-0 and then 7-1 to fall to 2-10. The Bullfrogs finished the year 2-12.
Calaveras baseball finished the preseason 6-2 and had momentum heading into league play. Calaveras was 1-3 in league play before picking up wins over Amador and Bret Harte. In a 4-0 win over the Bullfrogs, Steve Kubat struck out nine batters while going the distance for the win. Calaveras kept its playoff hopes alive with a 7-1 win over Bret Harte. Kubat threw a complete-game three-hitter and Calaveras improved to 6-7 in league play.
Calaveras finished the season 8-7 and qualified to take on Ripon in the playoffs. The bats came alive, which led to an 11-8 win. Calaveras followed that with a 3-0 shutout of Colfax, behind a one-hit effort on the mound by Kubat. In the section championship game, Calaveras lost to Justin Seinea 4-1.
Kubat was named as the Most Outstanding Player of the Mother Lode League and Duke, Dustin Johnson, Shane Dougherty, Chris Long and Andy Wathen were all-league players.
Bret Harte boys’ golf missed out on winning the 1999 Mother Lode League championship by just three strokes. Returning golfers Jamie Turner, Rick Lopes, Chad Brodi, Chris Hall and Allan Ramorini looked for redemption. Bret Harte improved to 4-0 after beating Calaveras 210-218 and Hall had a good day, shooting a 39. Bret Harte finished the first round of play with a perfect 5-0 record.
Bret Harte improved to 9-0, but it had to beat Calaveras by just one-stroke to stay undefeated. The Bullfrogs team beat Calaveras 193-194 and was helped out by a 34 from Jamie Turner. The Bullfrogs couldn’t stay perfect forever as Amador handed Bret Harte its first loss of the season. The 201-207 defeat gave the Bullfrogs a 10-1 record.
Bret Harte completed its three-match sweep of Calaveras with another one-stroke victory. Bret Harte beat Calaveras 211-212 and Hall hit par with a match-best round of 36. At the MLL tournament, Bret Harte clinched the championship with another one-stroke victory, scoring a 391 to Calaveras’ 392. Hall, Turner, Ramorini, Vera, Ballinger and Bunfill earned all-league honors.
Hall led Bret Harte to a second-place finish at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championships by shooting a 79 on the par-72 course. Hall shot an 81 at the section tournament and was only the second golfer in Bret Harte history to make it to the tournament.
Calaveras’ boys’ golf team hoped to repeat as league champions and had Kevin Wentworth, Jeremiah Ballinger, Chase Meyers and Chad Vera back on the roster. After winning its first three matches, Calaveras suffered its first defeat of the year in a 210-218 loss to Bret Harte.
Calaveras fell to 7-2 after a heartbreaking 193-194 home loss to Bret Harte. At the final tournament of the year, Calaveras placed second, only behind a one-stroke loss to Bret Harte. Wentworth was the low medalist at the tournament, as he shot par for the course with a 17-hole round of 67, five strokes better than the nearest competitor. Hall was named as a co-MVP of the league. Calaveras placed eighth at the Division III Championships, while Wentworth and Vera each carded an 83.
Bret Harte’s tennis squad got its first league win off the 2000 season by beating Calaveras 5-2. In the boys’ doubles match, Warren Jordan and Dusty Airola picked up 6-3, 6-4 victories. Allison Guyton and Victoria Stephens won 6-2, 6-3 in girls’ doubles. Bret Harte again beat Calaveras later in the season, this time 4-2. Bret Harte’s Jordan, Dustin Shinn and Lindsay Bowman were placed on the all-league team. Wins were hard to come by for the Calaveras, but it was still represented by Vince Bicocca, Emily Williams and Christina Martinez on the all-league team.
Bret Harte girls’ track was able to capture the Mother Lode League championship. Sophomore Seanna Martin won gold medals in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs and ran a leg on the winning 1,600-meter relay team.
Calaveras’ boys’ track team dominated the Mother Lode League championships, winning 10 of a possible 16 gold medals and its second-consecutive league title. Starring for Calaveras were Daniel Villegas and Jon Hypolite who were named co-MVPs of the meet.
Villegas had a personal best time in the 800-meter race at the Sac-Joaquin Section Finals, finishing in 1:55.36. Villegas’ third-place finish qualified him for a chance to run at the state championships. Villegas then ran a personal best at the CIF State Championship with his time of 1:54.42, but was unable to medal.
It was a solid beginning to the 2000 season for the Bret Harte girls’ golf team, as they picked up a 192-199 home victory over Calaveras. Lauren Miller led the way with a 58, while Meredith Christan shot a 69 and Alexis Henry carded a 71. Bret Harte improved to 4-0 following another victory over Calaveras, this time 179-189. Miller shot a 55 on the par-35 course.
Bret Harte was handed its first loss of the year six matches into the season. Linden defeated the Bullfrogs 179-191. Bret Harte advanced to the CIF subsections following a second-place finish at the Mother Lode League tournament. Lauren Miller earned all-league honors. Miller shot a 117 at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Subsection Tournament, followed by Christan’s 119 and Andrea Modrell with a 126.
Calaveras’ girls’ golf team lost its opening match of the season 192-199 to Bret Harte. Chante LaRue carded a 59, followed by Heather Nichols with a 66 and Tanya Dirks shot a 74. Three matches later, Calaveras was still without a win and suffered another defeat to Bret Harte. LaRue shot a 59 in the 179-198 loss.
Calaveras recorded its first win in a 162-164 victory over Amador. Nichols and LaRue led the way with a 53 and 54 respectively, and Chante Borba shot a 55. Calaveras placed third at the league tournament and Nichols earned all-league honors. LaRue shot a 109 at the CIF Sac-Joaquin Subsection Tournament, while Nichols carded a 112.
The 2000 season couldn’t have started any worse for the Bret Harte football squad. The Bullfrogs got smacked 47-0 to Livingston in Angels Camp. Junior Greg Sherrow rushed for 95 yards on 21 carries. Bret Harte bounced back and used a blocked field goal late in the game to knock off Gustine 24-22. The Bullfrogs came back from a 14-0 deficit for the win. Bret Harte couldn’t keep the wins coming, as the Bullfrogs lost to Riverbank 46-28. George Garcia scored three times and Sherrow rushed for 153 yards.
Bret Harte lost to Argonaut 28-6 in the first game of the league season. Brent Warner scored Bret Harte’s only touchdown with a four-yard run in the fourth quarter. Bret Harte then lost to Amador 55-8 on homecoming night. Hannah Fragurero was crowned as homecoming queen. The Bullfrogs fell to 0-3 in league play with a 41-6 loss to Linden. Billy Heinle scored for Bret Harte to erase a shutout.
Bret Harte lost to Summerville 42-20, but junior quarterback Tyler Mayo threw for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Warner led the way with 129 yards on three receptions. Bret Harte then fell to Le Grand 32-6. The losses continued, as Bret Harte fell to Brookside Christian 36-22. In the final game of the season, Bret Harte fell to Calaveras 56-0 to finish without a league victory.
Calaveras football looked to get back to the top of the Mother Lode League mountain and started the 2000 campaign off with a 34-10 home victory over Mariposa. The defense led the way, holding Mariposa to under 100 yards rushing and recovered two fumbles. On homecoming night, with Bernadette Rogers named as homecoming queen, Calaveras defeated Golden Sierra 37-20. Calaveras scored 25 unanswered points in the second half. Calaveras improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1991 with a 25-13 win over River City.
The league season began with a 29-0 shutout of Linden. Calaveras got touchdowns from Williams, Dan Hendrix, Brandon Alanzo and Chris Long. Quarterback Josh Thornburg threw for two scores in the win. Calaveras then won a Saturday afternoon matchup against Brookside Christian 35-0. Jeremy Ray rushed for 138 yards and a 45-yard touchdown. Calaveras had no issues beating Delhi 34-0 to improve to 6-0.
In what was perhaps the game of the year, Calaveras beat Amador 20-17 in double-overtime. On fourth down from the Amador one-yard line, Matt Kubat powered into the end zone to give Calaveras the victory. More good luck came Calaveras’ way, as it was able to hold off Summerville 2-0 to stay perfect in the 2000 season. Calaveras went to Jackson and beat Argonaut 21-14 to improve to 9-0.
Calaveras clinched a perfect regular season record with a 56-0 stomping of Bret Harte in the 72nd “Big Game.” In the playoffs, Calaveras beat Encina 42-6 on a cold San Andreas night. Calaveras suffered its only loss of the season at the worst time, falling to Hughson 34-14 in the D3 semifinal game. Matt Kubat was the MLL MVP, while Jeremy Ray was the Defensive Player of the Year and Lloyd Appling was the Lineman of the Year. Andy Trinkle, Matt Zahniser, Chris Long, Ryan Williams and Troy Baker earned all-league honors.
Wins were not easy to get for the Bret Harte volleyball team. After seven league matches, the Bullfrogs were 1-6. However, in a 3-1 loss to Calaveras, Jacey Bray had 11 kills, seven blocks and 22 digs and Haley McTague had 12 kills and five blocks. Also in the loss, Kate Wooster had eight kills, 17 assists and 19 digs and Steph Lovett had 19 assists. In the final high school game for Stephanie Warner, Aimee Pinell, Stephanie Lovett and Haley McTague, the Bullfrogs lost to Amador 3-0. Bret Harte ended the year 2-10. McTague earned all-league honors.
Calaveras volleyball made an early statement with a 3-0 sweep of Bret Harte to begin league play. Calaveras improved to 5-2 with another victory over Bret Harte, this time in four sets. Lindsay Gillick had 14 assists and Christine Rochford had a team-high seven kills.
Calaveras wrapped up the regular season with a 3-0 victory over Brookside and finished 8-4, which was good enough for a playoff spot. In the playoffs, Calaveras beat Vanden 3-0 (159, 15-6, 15-7), which set up a showdown with No. 2 Roseville. Unfortunately for Calaveras, the quarterfinal matchup didn’t go its way with a 3-0 defeat. Gillick was named as the Most Outstanding Player, while Andrea Beesinger and Winkler earned all-league honors.
Bret Harte began the 2000 soccer season with a 1-1 tie against Calaveras. Aaron Elevi scored Bret Harte’s lone goal. Bret Harte improved to 2-0-1 with a 3-0 shutout of Summerville. Bret Harte made up for its tie against Calaveras with a 2-1 victory. A late goal from Eric Elevi was what Bret Harte needed to clinch the victory and improve to 3-1-2. Bret Harte finished the season 3-5-2. Chad Hawkins was named the Most Valuable Defensive Player and Allan Ramorini, Ben Kardas and Scott Kifune were placed on the all-league team.
The start of the 2000 Calaveras boys’ soccer season was kind of bitter, as it began with a 1-1 tie with Bret Harte. Calaveras got its one goal off the foot of Matt Joyner with an assist from David Gonzalez. Calaveras finished its season with a 3-3 tie against Summerville and ended with a 0-7-3 record. Calaveras got goals from Ryan Rush, Jose Vargas and Chace Meyers. Vargas, Fidel Lambie and John Kohring earned all-league honors.
Bret Harte’s boys’ and girls’ cross country team won a league title in 2000. Byron Ficus finished the three-mile race in 16:59 to become a league champion. Bret Harte also got top finishes from Brian Morris, Ryan Hauschildt, Ryan Wilcox, Wes Bruce and Josh Rice. Bret Harte’s girls’ team continued to run all the way to another section championship and a date at the CIF State Meet. Martin blitzed the 65-runner field with a three-mile time of 19:11 to take first and Jill Semenza placed third (19:25). As a team, Bret Harte’s girls’ squad placed sixth at the CIF State Championships and individually, Martin placed 23rd overall.
Calaveras sophomore runner Natalie Karr was a Mother Lode League champion and placed ninth at the section meet, which was good enough to qualify her for a trip to the state finals. At the State Championships, Karr finished 50th overall with a time of 20:12.
Next year we’ll take a look at what happened 30 years ago in 1990.