By Thomas Gase
Last year was the first season Scott Swartz wasn’t involved in football in some capacity since 1985.
He missed it.
After taking a year off from the sport while teaching at Benicia Middle School, Swartz is back on the gridiron again — this time as Benicia High’s head football coach. He is the Panthers’ first new head coach in about 20 years.
Swartz previously coached for the San Francisco 49ers, Oregon State University, San Jose State University, Northern Arizona University, and other high school programs, including the defense with Benicia. He graduated high school from Oak Grove in San Jose and attended De Anza and Cal State Northridge for college. Swartz played as a backup quarterback at Northridge before the school cut its football program.
Source: Benicia’s Swartz looks to turn football team around – Times Herald Online
The Fairfield High School Hall of Fame induction class for 2023 will feature one of the best hurdlers ever to come out of Solano County and a baseball team that shocked the Sac-Joaquin Section with a championship run.
Daje Pugh earned the state track and field championship in the 300-meter hurdles in 2012, was a six-time state placer and a seven-time Section Masters champion. Pugh went on to compete collegiately at Washington and Kentucky.
The 1999 Fairfield baseball team won the section title despite entering the postseason tournament as the third seed out of the Monticello Empire League. The Falcons went undefeated in the playoffs and defeated Woodland, with future Boston Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia, in the title game.
Source: Fairfield High names its upcoming Hall of Fame class for 2023
By Matt Miller
Ever since running with the boys in kindergarten, Armijo High School senior Cierra Kinsey knew she was fast.
The track and field standout signed a national letter-of-intent Saturday afternoon with UC Davis in the Armijo cafeteria before family, friends, coaches and teammates. Kinsey will made the short trek up Interstate 80 to become an Aggie in athletics and in the classroom, eventually working toward medical school and a what she hopes is a future as a heart surgeon.
But the speed? Very noticeable throughout the Royals ‘season, it took her all the way to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championship (at UC Davis, no less), a season to remember and an athletic scholarship.
Source: Armijo track star Cierra Kinsey ready to make tracks for UC Davis
Will C. Wood High School recently announced that eight student-athletes have received athletic scholarships to four-year colleges.
Darrius Hickinbottom and Raymond Lane from the football team are moving on to the next level. Hickinbottom will play at Western Oregon. Lane is headed for Adams State in Colorado.
Baseball players Mason Sayre and Jarren Ford are both headed to Hawaii Pacific. Softball standout Kaitlyn Martinez will go to North Dakota State.
Source: Will C. Wood announces eight student-athletes earn scholarships
By Matt Miller
Eleven student-athletes headed to four-year colleges on scholarships were honored Tuesday night at Vanden High School in what athletic director Sean Murphy called “the most decorated class in school history.”
Murphy said that this group of Vikings has been a part of eight Sac-Joaquin Section championships during their careers and “numerous league championships.”
“It says a lot about what they put into their four years,” Murphy told the assembled athletes, coaches, family, friends and teammates. “I truly feel our staff has gotten them prepared for college. We’re very proud of all of them.”
Source: 11 Vanden student-athletes celebrated for college scholarships
By Matt Miller
Four area athletes were named all-conference last week for their universities, while others have begun or are getting ready for postseason competition.
Senior third baseman Lewa Day (Armijo) was named first-team, all-Big Sky Conference for the second straight season in softball. Day hit .328 this season and hit 10 of the Hornets’ 19 home runs this season.
Day is Sac State’s all-time leader in home runs with 46, and has another year of eligibility ahead to build on it. Day is also just 20 RBIs short of being the Hornets’ all-time leader in that department as well.
Source: Armijo grad named first-team, all-Big Sky in softball for second straight season
By Thomas Gase
For the first time in two decades, Benicia High School has a new head football coach.
The school announced on Friday the hiring of Scott Swartz to lead the program, just two weeks after the school said longtime coach and athletic director Craig Holden had “resigned.”
Swartz previously coached for the San Francisco 49ers, Oregon State University, San Jose State University, Northern Arizona University, and other high school programs.
The school announced the hiring in a Twitter post, adding that “Coach Swartz will offer spring ball for ninth through 11th-grade student-athletes planning to play football during the fall season starting on Monday. Students should meet at 3:45 p.m. at the stadium. Additional info about summer training and start of fall season coming soon.”
Source: Benicia High announces new head football coach – Times-Herald
Three Solano Community College programs are collaborating to celebrate the school’s past and present with a new class of alumni and inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
The awards will be presented at the SCC Athletic Hall of Fame Celebration on Saturday, May 20 at 6 p.m. at the SCC Performing Arts Center, located at 4000 Suisun Valley Road in Fairfield.
“We are thrilled to honor these outstanding athletes and distinguished alumni who have made a lasting impact on our college and in our community,” Solano College Athletics Director Erik Visser said. “Their commitment to excellence and leadership embodies the values of Solano Community College, and we are proud to recognize their contributions with these well-deserved honors.”
Source: Solano College to honor alumni, inductees into athletics hall of fame – The Vacaville Reporter
Armijo High School’s track and field team split up to attend different meets last weekend and came away with some amazing results. The sprint team attended the Eddie Hart Invitational at Pittsburgh High School, while the distance team attended the Dublin Distance Fiesta at Dublin High School.
At the Eddie Hart Invitational, the sprint team set a new school record in the 4×200-meter relay. The team consisted of Cierra Kinsey, Ani Kinsey, A’Jah Parks, and Sanai Wilson, who clocked an impressive 1:48.20, surpassing the previous record by 0.6 seconds. After their win, Cierra Kinsey was interviewed by MileSplit, a running website that reports on high school track and field.
Source: Good News: Armijo Track Team Shines with Impressive Results at Weekend Meets
By Matt Miller
Sacramento State senior third baseman Lewa Day had a very big week at the plate that earned her recognition as the Big Sky Conference’s Player of the Week.
The Armijo High School graduate helped the Hornets go 4-1 at the recent Silicon Valley Classic. Day hit .526 (10-of-19) with five runs, three doubles, a triple, a home run, nine RBIs, a .947 slugging percentage and a 1.497 OPS. She hit safely in all five games, collected multiple hits in four of them, and collected at least one RBI in each contest.
Source: Armijo grad Day has big week for Sac State softball, earns Big Sky honors
By Matt Miller
Jericho Johnson has a voice mail on his cellphone that sounds like a little kid pranking a caller.
“What if a college coach calls?” he is asked.
“I should change that,” he says.
“What if Deion Sanders calls?”
“I should really change that,” he adds.
Source: Armijo’s Jericho Johnson, a top NorCal prospect, has good head on his broad shoulders
By Nick Sestanovich
On Friday morning, the gym at Armijo High School was an inclusive place where all students could play a game of basketball, regardless of ability.
It is one of a few events Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, in conjunction with the Special Olympics of Northern California, puts on each year where both general education and special education students take part in the world of sports. The athletes were certainly competitive, but the goal was more about giving all students an even field to compete on.
The department also hosts soccer and track and field events, but Friday’s event was all about basketball. Special Olympians came in from four of FSUSD’s high schools — Armijo, Fairfield, Rodriguez and H. Glenn Richardson Education Complex — to shoot hoops with general education students, play other games and overall have a good time.
Source: Special Olympics brings players of all abilities onto Armijo court – The Vacaville Reporter
BY Thomas Gase
Athletic teams are coming to Griffin Academy High School and Mare Island Technology Academy High School.
Both schools were granted California Interscholastic Federation Associate Memberships in the Oakland Section of the Bay Area Charter School Athletic Conference (BACSAC) this week, starting the process for both schools to have teams for the winter and spring seasons. Founded in 1999, Griffin Technology Academy schools now serve 1,050 students (growing to 1,900 by 2023).
“We are grateful and excited to be accepted by BACSAC as a CIF Associate Member in the Oakland Section,” said Chris Owens, the athletic director for both schools, in a news release. “The BACSAC staff are quite familiar with the infrastructure of charter schools and have provided immediate guidance since we began building our program from scratch. Our student-athletes are eager to represent our schools in strong and healthy competition.”
Source: Griffin Technology academies granted CIF Associate membership for sports – Times-Herald
By Matt Miller
The Fairfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee recently announced the addition of 10 individuals and one team as 2022 inductees.
The group includes Coach Clyde Carpino (track and field), Jared Biggs (football and track and field), Chris Hammer (wrestling), Michael Morris (basketball), Jennifer Martinez Wright (softball), Paris Gravely (basketball and track and field), James Lake (basketball, football and track and field), Frank Lake (football and track and field) and Jordan Wallace Romero (softball, volleyball and baseball).
Source: Fairfield High set to honor new inductees into Athletic Hall of Fame
By Thomas Gase
A gofundme account has been set up for Joe Pastrana, the Vallejo High School football coach shot Tuesday afternoon outside the school after he helped break up a fight.
Pastrana has been released from a hospital and is in stable condition at home with his family. According to his sister, Jocilee Pastrana, “proceeds donated will go directly to Coach Joe, his wife, son Joey, as well as his daughter on the way to help support and cover all legal/medical expenses being occurred as we’re faced with the aftermath.”
The gofundme page has already received more than $3,000 of its $15,000 goal. As of 4 p.m. on Friday, 55 people had made donations to the page. The site is www.gofundme.com/f/wrongful-shooting-at-vhs-of-coach-joe.
Source: Fund-raising effort begins for Joe Pastrana, Vallejo High coach who was shot – Times-Herald
Luis Grijalva will be back on the big stage next week when he runs for Guatemala in the 5,000 meters at the World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
The Armijo High School graduate ran in the finals and finished 12th overall last year at the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. He is currently ranked 24th in the world in the 5,000. His best all-time mark came in Tokyo when he ran 13:10.09. His best time this year is the 13:18.13 he clocked last month in Oslo.
In order to run in the Olympics for his native Guatemala, Grijalva, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, needed an expedited permit to leave the country for Tokyo. That won’t be needed next week with the meet in Eugene at the new Hayward Field.
Source: Armijo grad Grijalva ready to run at world championships in Oregon
By Susan Hiland
Fairfield-Suisun School District trustees will vote Thursday on the California Interscholastic Federation multiple-school agreement that could allow students at private and charter schools to compete on public school athletic teams.
A CIF agreement such as this is between two schools and allows students from a school that does not have an athletic program to participate in their “resident school’s” athletic program. The governing board must approve these agreements.
The board currently has two agreements in place with Public Safety Academy with all of the district’s comprehensive high schools and between Fairfield Christian Academy and Rodriguez High School.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board set to vote on multiple-school sports agreements
By Susan Hiland
The Fairfield-Suisun school board will hear a presentation Thursday on the California Interscholastic Federation Multi-School Agreement that could allow students at private and charter schools to compete on public school athletic teams.
A CIF agreement such as this is between two schools and allows students from a school that does not have an athletic program to participate in their “resident school’s” athletic program.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun board to consider multiple-school sports agreement
By Corey Kirk
Sitting in NorthBay’s VacaValley Hospital Emergency Room with his parents, 16-year-old Tristin Castro waiting anxiously for doctors to enter.
On the cusp of joining his friends on the Vanden Vikings varsity baseball team, Tristin originally had his sights set on another high school baseball season. However, those plans were dashed after he heard the three-word phrase no one could prepare for.
Source: Vanden High’s Tristin Castro ready to fight back cancer diagnosis – The Vacaville Reporter
By Nick Sestanovich
Although the Winter Olympics and Paralympics have concluded for 2022, the time to honor athletes of all abilities never ceases.
Case in point: Thursday morning at Rodriguez High School, where the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District once again partnered with the Special Olympics of Northern California for its annual assortment of track and field activities that give special education students a chance to participate in athletics, build physical strength and socialize with others.
What made this event especially momentous is that it was the first of its kind in three years. The most recent track and field event was 2019, and adaptive PE specialist Matt Miller said it was scheduled again for 2020, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Source: FSUSD Special Olympics track and field event marks triumphant return – The Vacaville Reporter