Nevada Union has a proud tradition of winning when it comes to athletics and this year was no different — well a little different.
While some traditional powers, like football, struggled to gain footing in the 2013-14 school year, others sports carried NU athletics to levels never seen before. The Miners earned team league titles in girls basketball and individual league championships in track and field, wrestling, diving, mountain biking and boys golf.
While there are so many things to take from NU sports over the last school year, here are five things that stood out among the rest.
Not that this man could ever be forgotten, but it’s important to note that this year Nevada Union lost one of its great educators and coaches in Craig Zetterberg. The charismatic girls water polo coach died of a massive heart attack while helping out with the NU mountain bike team.
Zetterberg was an engaging, genuine man who had an ability to reach his students and players.
In 2013 he led the Lady Miners water polo team to the playoffs, but more importantly was a positive role model and mentor to all those he came in contact with.
Zetterberg was integral in the effort to change the negative culture at NU and was always looking for ways to improve the team he coached and the students he taught.
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And, that’s why NU football makes the top-five things to remember from 2013-14.
Under a new head coach for the first time in more than 20 years, the Miners floundered against a difficult schedule and closed out the season without a win for the first time ever.
Dennis Houlihan, a NU grad, took over when Dave Humphers retired after the 2012 season, only to lead the team to a 0-10 record.
The Miners were outscored 511-134 by their opponents and never were in a game past halftime. The Miners saving grace was found off the field as they logged countless hours helping out the community and were awarded for their efforts by the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Lady Miners are magic
The Lady Miners basketball team was the most dominant team NU had this year, going 23-5 overall and 10-0 in the SFL. The Lady Miners were led by four seniors and a junior who banded together to help NU win its second straight SFL title.
Led by Sydney Porter, the SFL MVP, and seniors Melanie O’Brien, Emma Peterson and Erin Selleck along with junior Sammy DeHart NU earned a No. 4 seed in the D-I playoffs and won a home playoff game. The Lady Miners were nearly unstoppable at home going 8-0 until their season was ended with a home loss to McClatchy in the playoffs.
Volleyball’s late season surge
The Miners may have finished third in the SFL, but that was good enough for a playoff berth and that’s where they would do their damage.
After finishing league play 6-4, the Miners opened the playoffs by blowing away a Grant team that had only one loss leading up to the playoffs. The Miners then topped defending section champ Granite Bay in the semifinals to earn a spot in the title game. NU would fall to Del Oro in the championship, but the late season run by NU was an exciting end to an up and down season.
Diving right in
The NU dive team impressed all year, led by Mikaela Lujan and Austin Foote the Miners claimed both the individual SFL titles. Lujan won her second league title in a row and went on to win her second section title as well. Foote, a senior, went on to finish third in the section competition. Both Lujan and Foote set Nevada Union school records during the season. Lujan, a 2013 All- American, and Foote have both applied to be 2014 high school All- Americans.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.