Jesse Bethel High School football team expected to begin season this week – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

The fall football season for Jesse Bethel High hasn’t yet been determined by wins, losses or even ties.

The Jaguars’ biggest obstacle hasn’t been a lack of depth or beefy defensive linemen on the other side of the ball. It’s been uncertainty.

Bethel’s season opener against Fairfield last Friday was cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests. The players were tested again on Monday and the team was cleared to practice Wednesday afternoon.

Source: Jesse Bethel High School football team expected to begin season this week – Times-Herald

Jesse Bethel High football program on pause due to positive COVID tests – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

The Jesse Bethel High School football team, which played just one game in the spring, has had at least one game canceled in the fall.

Principal Kirsten Wollenwever announced on Tuesday that all football players — varsity and junior varsity — must not come to campus for instruction or practice for the remainder of the week due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Source: Jesse Bethel High football program on pause due to positive COVID tests – Times-Herald

Local high school football teams get back to work – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

For the first time in the history of the school, Jesse Bethel High football players were welcomed to official practice on Monday by a different voice.

It was no longer from the stern and wise-cracking Jeff Turner. Instead, the instructions and expectations came from cerebral new head coach Daniel Martinez.

Martinez was officially hired in June to replace Turner, the Jaguars’ first and only head coach since the school opened its doors in 1998. Turner stepped down after his team beat Vallejo 14-7 in the Mayor’s Cup on April 17.

Source: Local high school football teams get back to work – Times-Herald

Local high schools to begin practicing Monday with some COVID guidelines in place – Times-Herald

BY Matt O’Donnell

When coaches and athletes left fields and gyms in June, many figured that August would be different when it came to COVID-19 protocols.

However, for many school districts, it’s still a wait-and-see scenario. Schedules are not exactly written in pencil. But they’re not scrolled in permanent marker either.

With the Delta variant spreading across California, school districts are planning on in-person instruction and athletic events but moving forward with caution. That includes the Vallejo City Unified School District.

Source: Local high schools to begin practicing Monday with some COVID guidelines in place – Times-Herald

Solano, Rodriguez grad Lindsey McLaughlin signs to play for Humboldt State – Daily Republic

By Paul Farmer

Having suffered a torn ACL in 2017, Lindsey McLaughlin already knew what it was like to miss time in volleyball when the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

It wound up costing the Rodriguez High graduate her sophomore season with the Solano Community College volleyball team.

That sophomore season will now be played with Humboldt State University after McLaughlin recently signed a letter of intent to play for the Lumberjacks.

Source: Solano, Rodriguez grad Lindsey McLaughlin signs to play for Humboldt State

Benicia High graduate Olivia Mackey helps Southern Oregon go back-to-back – Times-Herald

By Thomas Gase

Benicia High School graduate Olivia Mackey says she felt great that she was able to recently end her college softball career with a bang. And by “bang” she means a clutch triple off her bat that helped lead Southern Oregon to another NAIA Softball World Series title.

Although it was the second time in three years (there was no winner in 2020), Southern Oregon won the second of its back-to-back titles last week with a pair of same-day wins over Oregon Tech. Southern Oregon won the first game 3-2 in Georgia to force a second game, which it took 7-5 behind Mackey’s two-out RBI triple for a valuable insurance run in the ninth inning.

“I was getting thrown outside pitches all game but I was still hitting the ball to left,” Mackey said. “That final at-bat, I kept looking for an outside pitch to drive to the opposite field and I finally got one that seemed like a gift. When I got to third base I was so juiced up because we needed to score that huge insurance run. Words can’t describe how super dramatic that was for me.”

Source: Benicia High graduate Olivia Mackey helps Southern Oregon go back-to-back – Times-Herald

Wood alum gets bird’s-eye view of St. Louis Cardinals – Daily Republic

By Matt Miller

Katie Woo might have trouble connecting on a major league curveball like most of us, but she has no problem connecting with baseball fans thanks to her quick Twitter thumbs and ability to pound out game stories and features in no time at all.

The 2014 Will C. Wood High School graduate joined the staff of The Athletic, the national sports writing website, just in time to become the new 2021 beat reporter for the St. Louis Cardinals. Her dream was to have a life following Major League Baseball and she was able to achieve it faster than most ballplayers toiling in the minor leagues.

Source: Wood alum gets bird’s-eye view of St. Louis Cardinals

Vallejo High wrestler Maylin Reyes signs with Elmira College – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

Like most of her fellow classmates, Vallejo High senior wrestler Maylin Reyes did not have the typical prep career due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Reyes, however, also did not have the quintessential four years due to a serious eye injury.

The 17-year-old put all those obstacles in the past on Saturday when she signed a letter of intent to wrestle at Elmira College in New York. She signed her letter in front of family, coaches and friends in an emotional ceremony in the Bottari Gym lobby.

Source: Vallejo High wrestler Maylin Reyes signs with Elmira College – Times-Herald

Will C. Wood honors athletes headed to college – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

Thirteen student-athletes from Will C. Wood High will be moving on to play their respective sports in college. In a couple of cases, they will be sticking together by attending the same school.

The athletes were honored in a ceremony in the Will C. Wood gym on Tuesday afternoon, with family and friends in attendance.

Athletic director and head baseball coach Nick Voight gave the opening address, noting that only seven percent of high school athletes go on to play in college, and only two percent latch on with a Division I school. He said that going to a Division I college is not the be-all and end-all, stating, “There are great experiences out there no matter what path they take that are going to help them grow.”

Source: Will C. Wood honors athletes headed to college – The Reporter

Will C. Wood hires new head football coach – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

If it feels like high school football season just ended, that’s because it did. Courtesy of COVID, local fans were treated to a five-game spring football season.

At Will C. Wood High, practice for the fall season begins on June 7. And it will have a new look, mainly because the Wildcats (2-3 record in the spring) have a new head coach, Jacob Wright.

Kirk Anderson, the head coach for the last two seasons, is moving to El Dorado County to coach at Union Mine High School. Wright, who served as Anderson’s offensive and defensive line coach, now steps up to the helm. He comes with a solid playing and coaching resume.

Source: Will C. Wood hires new head football coach – The Reporter

ELITE Public Charter to feature sports in 2021-22 – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

Since Hogan High School closed its doors in 2010, the city of Vallejo has featured four high schools with sports competition — Vallejo, Jesse Bethel, St. Patrick-St. Vincent and North Hills Christian.

A fifth — ELITE Public Charter School — will give local athletes another option starting in the fall.

The Whitney Avenue campus featured classes for the first time in 2020-21. ELITE has about 500 students.

The Eagles will feature competition in six sports — football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer and track and field. ELITE will be an independent program in the Sac-Joaquin Section, meaning the school will not be part of any conference.

Source: ELITE Public Charter to feature sports in 2021-22 – Times-Herald

Solano Community College about to launch late spring sports – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

When the Solano Community College baseball team throws its first pitch on Saturday, it will officially be the top of the first.

In more ways than one.

The Falcons will return to competition for the first time since last spring. The school “opted in” for late spring sports — baseball, softball, swimming and tennis — in February as athletes came back to campus the week of March 1.

Solano is testing athletes twice a week, even though California Community College Athletic Association has recommended testing once per week.

Source: Solano Community College about to launch late spring sports – Times-Herald

Vallejo High School football team rushing to get ready for season opener – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

Almost every student knows what it’s like to cram for a test.

For the Vallejo High School football team, that exam will come April 2 when the team travels to Rodriguez.

The Redhawks got off to a much later start than others in Solano County when football conditioning was delayed until March 22 by the Vallejo City Unified School District. Almost every other football program in the state began at least a month earlier.

Source: Vallejo High School football team rushing to get ready for season opener – Times-Herald

Vacaville High nabs boys golf crown – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

The formula for determining the golf team champion of the Monticello Empire League is a bit complicated.

Vacaville High, however, kept it simple and erased all doubt by not only going 10-0 in the regular season but also winning the league tournament on a sunny but windy Tuesday afternoon at Rancho Solano golf course.

The Bulldogs were led by Jack Mitchells’s 86 over 18 holes, followed by Ben Wilhite (89), Dylan Dzierman (97), Tyler Riley (100), and Evan Wilson (108), for the low team score of the day, 480.

Source: Vacaville High nabs boys golf crown – The Reporter

Fairfield High Sports Medicine Students Move on to State Competition – Daily Republic

By Kris Corey

Ten students represented Fairfield High School’s (FHS) Patient Care pathway at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Regional Competitive Event on February 24 and 26. Students competed in both the Sports Medicine event and the First Aid/CPR event. All six FHS students who competed in the Sports Medicine event earned highly competitive scores, which will enable them to represent the Fairfield High Falcons at the statewide HOSA competition on March 24.

This is the inaugural year of Fairfield High School’s HOSA chapter. The February competition marks the very first time that FHS Falcons have competed at a HOSA event. The Fairfield High HOSA team is now the third Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) from the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District to earn high honors at a CTSO competition this year. This team joins the Rodriguez High School chapter of the Future Farmers of America and the Armijo High School Virtual Enterprise team which were recognized earlier this year.

Source: Press Release: Fairfield High Sports Medicine Students Move on to State Competition

COVID shut down high school sports for a year – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

They used words and phrases like “unknowns,” “fluid and scary,” “unforeseeable challenges,” “uncharted territory” and “limbo.”

Sometimes the athletic directors of the local high schools were at a loss for words to describe their reaction and feelings to the suspension of spring sports on Friday, March 13, 2020, due to the threat of the coronavirus.

Will C. Wood Athletic Director Andrea Daniels noted, “It’s just the timing. It’s right when we are starting, so you’re in the flow, you’ve had your preseason and a lot of your practice sessions. But they (the student-athletes) all have a good attitude. It is what it is. We have to do what we have to do.”

Source: COVID shut down high school sports for a year

VCUSD allowing Vallejo, Bethel football teams to start conditioning – Times-Herald

BY Matt O’Donnell

They say that those who show up to a restaurant after others are “fashionably late.”

If that’s the case, the Vallejo and Jesse Bethel high school football teams may have missed some of the appetizers, but they’ll be around for part of the main course.

Both programs are expected to start conditioning on Monday after given clearance from the Vallejo City Unified School District. Most other schools in Solano County were conditioning in the fall and winter, but VCUSD did not given the green light until now. Actual practice with pads could begin about a week later.

Source: Vallejo City Unified School District allowing Vallejo, Bethel football teams to start conditioning – Times-Herald

Vacaville, Vanden, Wood football ready to kick off – The Reporter

By Matt Sieger

When the California Department of Public Health declared on February 19 that high school football could resume in counties with 14 or fewer COVID cases per 100,000 people, one could almost hear a collective whoop getting ready to emanate from the mouths of local high school football players.

When the Solano County COVID-19 rate, which had been at 18.4 cases per 100,000 that day, dipped to 12.4 by the following Tuesday, the football players in the Monticello Empire League let that whoop out full throttle in celebration and put on their cleats to get ready for official practice and for their first games on Friday, March 19.

Source: Vacaville, Vanden, Wood football ready to kick off – The Reporter

Benicia High releases completed football schedule – Times-Herald

On Monday, the Benicia High School football team released its five-game football schedule for the spring.

The Panthers will host a scrimmage against Northgate on Friday and then start the regular season March 19 at home against Campolindo.

Benicia will travel to Miramonte on March 26 and then host Acalanes and Will C. Wood on April 2 and 9, respectively. The Panthers will conclude the season April 16 at Las Lomas.

Except for the game against Wood, all of the games are against Diablo Athletic League opponents.

Source: Local Roundup: Benicia High releases completed football schedule – Times-Herald

Solano Community Colleges chooses to ‘opt in’ for late spring sports – Times-Herald

By Matt O’Donnell

In baseball or softball terms, Solano Community College made a final decision on late spring sports in its last at-bat.

The college officially announced Friday that it was “opting in” for baseball, softball, swimming/diving and tennis, confirmed by athletic director Erik Visser. Friday was the deadline for community colleges across California to make a final decision.

Source: Solano Community Colleges chooses to ‘opt in’ for late spring sports – Times-Herald