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‘It feels pretty special’: Pro pitcher Josh Roenicke back on the bump for UniLions

Since joining the UniLions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in 2018, Josh Roenicke shined on the bump. Through his first two seasons with the UniLions, the 6-foot, 3-inch hurler already has an ERA title, a Gold Glove and an All-Star appearance to his credit. He was back in the states for a bit to welcome his fourth child into the world, but is now back at work in Taiwan. I caught up with the 2001 Nevada Union grad to see how things are going as he enters his third season in the CPBL, which is one of the only professional sports leagues in the world currently playing games.

FORD: The CPBL is one of the only pro sports leagues playing games right now. How does it feel to be among the few pro athletes in the world currently competing?

ROENICKE: It feels pretty special. Myself and my two other American teammates have been getting a lot of interview requests, which allows this league to get a lot of recognition and noticed more. So we do our best to give information about the situation out here whenever we are asked. I am very blessed to not only be playing right now, but just to still be playing this game for a living and help provide for my family.

FORD: You’ve found quite a lot of success since joining the UniLions, what do you credit your success to?

ROENICKE: I think just finding out who I am as a starting pitcher has been the biggest difference. I was a reliever almost my entire career in the states with only a few starts in the minor leagues until 2015. Then in Mexico in 2017 it was my first full season as a starter and I have just made adjustments along the way to try and maximize my potential as a starter.

FORD: What are some of your favorite moments from playing in the CPBL?

ROENICKE: I threw my first and only complete game shutout here in 2018, winning the ERA title and Gold Glove that same year is up there. And then going to the postseason and the finals that year as well. Any time there is an elimination-type atmosphere, it’s always enjoyable.

FORD: What kind of goals have you set for the 2020 season?

ROENICKE: I don’t really jot down goals or even think about them much. With my career coming to an end sooner than later I just want to enjoy my time as a baseball player and really take it all in without getting too frustrated with things out of my control. But I think just pitching to the best of my abilities that the good Lord has given me is always a goal.

FORD: As you enter your third season in the CPBL, what has been your favorite thing about playing with the UniLions?

ROENICKE: Just being on the same team has allowed me to build relationships with some of the players, even with the language barrier. Being able to be comfortable around them and them allowing me to share some of my knowledge with both hitters and pitchers has been pretty cool.

FORD: You’ve been pitching professionally for about 15 years, how has your game changed/matured over time?

ROENICKE: I am very fortunate to have been able to become a starting pitcher late in my career which has allowed to keep playing and with success. As a right-handed reliever with my stuff and age I would just be a dime a dozen, could possibly be out of the game right now. I think just the maturity of not trying to do too much and being able to slow the game down has been a big advantage for me.

FORD: What are some key pieces of pitching advice you’ve received over the years?

ROENICKE: Throw what you want to throw, when you do that you’ll throw it with more conviction.

Control only what you can control.

Try to stay relaxed as much as possible, especially in a tough situation when the game seems to speed up. Relaxed muscles tend to work best for you.

Have a short memory. Don’t let your failures from the game affect your attitude away from the field.

FORD: Your uncle Ron Roenicke has been an MLB coach for years. Is coaching something you would want to do in the future?

ROENICKE: I go back and forth with that question. It’s hard for me to not want to give back all this knowledge of the game I’ve acquired literally since the day I was born, cause my dad was playing at that time. But also it’s hard to see myself away from my family on the road all the time.

FORD: When you returned to Taiwan from paternity leave, I understand you had to do a 14-day quarantine. What was that like?

ROENICKE: That was miserable. Couldn’t leave my hotel room at all, could only open my door to grab food they set outside or to leave trash for them to pick up. Also, no laundry so I had to hand wash everything in the shower. Only one window that cracked a couple inches. Time stood still, it seemed like, and I watched way too much TV.

FORD: What did you watch to kill the time during quarantine?

ROENICKE: I watched all three seasons of “Ozark,” which was phenomenal, but that only took 4 days. I watched a few of the “Step Up” movies along with the show “Step Up: High Water,” both “Creed” movies, “Southpaw,” “Bloodshot,” the Harley Quinn movie, “Underwater” and a lot more.

FORD: What is the thing you miss the most about being in the states?

ROENICKE: My wife and kids, without a doubt. Just being able wake up each day with them is a blessing and I can’t wait to get back home. After that, just the ability to hop in my car and go do anything I want or go anywhere I want. Here we get around by only bus, train and cab.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Local alumni have season cut short due to COVID-19 pandemic

Several local alumni who compete at the collegiate level played their final games of the season last week.

It was an abrupt end to what was just the beginning of the spring season.

College sports across the nation have come to a grinding halt with widespread league and conference cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pac-12 conference announced Saturday it has canceled all of its spring sport competitions.

“At a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group and Athletic Directors earlier today, the Pac-12 made the decision to cancel all Pac-12 conference and non-conference sport competitions and Pac-12 championships through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year,” the Pac-12 said in a statement Saturday. “This decision follows both the Pac-12’s earlier decision to suspend all sports until further notice, and the decision by the NCAA to cancel the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 NCAA basketball tournaments as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. In addition, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to prohibit all organized team athletically-related activities until at least March 29, at which time it will revisit this decision.”

The announcement put an end to 2016 Bear River grad Nerissa Eason’s senior season with the Oregon State softball team and Matt Lopez’s (Bear River, 2016) junior season with the Washington State baseball team.

Eason, a relief pitcher for the Beavers, had appeared in two games, tossed four innings, allowed one earned run and struck out three this season.

During her career at Oregon State, Eason has appeared in 33 games with 19 starts. She was 9-13 overall with two saves. She pitched a total of 121.1 innings, allowed 67 earned runs and struck out 76.

Oregon State’s softball team was 17-9 overall when the season was cancelled.

While at Bear River, Eason dominated from the circle during her four-year varsity career. She was 70-21 overall with a 0.86 ERA and 1,002 strikeouts. During her senior year, she went 22-1 and boasted a 0.55 ERA. Eason also batted .482 and had nine home runs her senior year. She was named the Pioneer Valley League MVP three years in a row.

Lopez is just starting his career at Washington State after a stellar runs at Bear River and Sierra College.

After being a three-year varsity player and two-time All-PVL First Team selection for the Bruins, Lopez went to Sierra College where he was a two-time All-Big-8 Conference First Team selection and an All-NorCal selection after his sophomore season in which he batted .391 with 70 hits, 14 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 53 RBIs in 42 games.

Lopez, an infielder, has appeared in two games for the Cougars (9-7) this season.

The NCAA Division I Council Committee has recommended that eligibility relief be provided to all student-athletes who participate in spring sports.

“Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time,” the NCAA said Friday in a statement. “Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and week.”

Andrew Schnitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the rest of the Lyon College baseball team hung up their cleats Friday after the American Midwest Conference Council of Presidents voted unanimously Friday morning to cancel all remaining intercollegiate activities including Conference championships for the 2020 spring season.

Lyon is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member. Like NCAA athletes, NAIA athletes are not being charged a season of eligibility.

“In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition,” the NAIA said in a statement on its website. “Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.”

Schnitzius, a senior catcher at Lyon, is coming off a strong junior season in which he started 21 games, batted .315 and tallied 28 RBIs. He had started six games and played in nine this year before the season was cancelled.

The Scots had jumped out to a 20-6 overall record and were ranked No. 22 in the NAIA at the time of the season termination.

During Schnitzius’ time at NU, he was a standout in both football and baseball, earning all-league honors in both sports.

Junior college student-athletes like Luke Cornish (Nevada Union grad, 2018) and Cody Rueckert (Nevada Union grad, 2018) are also on hiatus after the California Community College Athletic Association announced that competition and practices for spring sports have been suspended indefinitely.

Cornish, a sophomore catcher, had played in 14 games for Yuba, batting .196 with five RBIs. Rueckert, a sophomore relief pitcher, appeared in nine games and tossed 12.1 innings before the season was called.

Like the NCAA and NAIA, the CCCAA is working to address eligibility issues for its student-athletes.

According to a statement by the CCCAA, student-athlete eligibility will be determined at a later time, but it is a central question facing the association.

“We will be working with the NCAA, NAIA and other governing bodies to determine the next steps while also taking internal steps to answer the many questions student-athletes, parents, coaches and others have and will have,” the statement said. “We will disseminate information and answers through the conferences and institutions as they become available.”

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Willis, Warriors fall in GSAC semis

Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup University women’s basketball team opened the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament with a come-from-behind win over Hope International University, but fell to No. 1 seed and eventual champ Westmont College in the semifinals.

Willis, a junior guard, scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds in the, 66-61, victory over Hope International. She then notched a game-high 21 points in the loss to Westmont.

The Warriors (20-11) have a slim chance at an at-large bid for the NAIA Tournament, but won’t know their fate until Sunday when the National Tournament field is announced.

For the season, Willis is averaging 11.7 points per game and 4.2 rebounds.

While at Nevada Union, Willis was an All-Sierra Foothill League selection as a sophomore.

She went on to be a standout at Sierra College where she was an All-Conference selection and helped the Wolverines make the playoffs in consecutive seasons before transferring to William Jessup.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Luke Cornish, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, and the Yuba City Community College 49ers went 1-2 last week, beating College of Marin and falling to Contra Costa College and Los Medanos College.

Cornish, a sophomore catcher, started all three games, going a combined 3-for-10 from the plate with a double and two RBIs.

For the season, Cornish has played in 13 games, is batting .209 with five RBIs.

During his senior season at Nevada Union, Cornish batted .333 and led the Miners in hits and runs. He was named to the 2018 All-Sierra Foothill League First Team.

Fellow Nevada Union graduate and Yuba relief pitcher Cody Rueckert appeared in two games, throwing an inning in each outing.

Yuba College (6-13) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Bay Valley Conference.

Andrew Schnitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the No. 21 ranked Lyon College Scots took two of three against Columbia College last week.

Schnitzius, a senior catcher, played the series opener, going 0-for-2 from the plate.

For the season, Schnitzius played in seven games and started six. He’s batting .182 with two RBIs.

During Schnitzius’ time at NU, he was a standout in both football and baseball, earning all-league honors in both sports.

Lyon (17-5) is a NAIA school which competes in the American Midwest Conference.

College Softball

Nerissa Eason, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Oregon State softball team went 3-2 at the ASU Invitational in Tempe, Arizona last week.

Eason, a senior pitcher, appeared in one game at the tourney, throwing an inning of relief in a loss to Ohio State. Eason allowed one hit and one run while striking out one.

While at Bear River, Eason dominated from the circle during her four-year varsity career. She was 70-21 overall with a 0.86 ERA and 1,002 strikeouts. During her senior year, she went 22-1 and boasted a 0.55 ERA. Eason also batted .482 and had nine home runs her senior year. She was named the Pioneer Valley League MVP three years in a row.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Menary, Redlands extend win streak to 8

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands Men’s basketball team continued their late season surge, topping a pair of conference foes and extending their win streak to eight straight last week.

Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, and the Bulldogs edged past Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 82-80, Wednesday and topped Whittier College, 105-90, Saturday to move into second place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with one game left before the conference tourney.

In the contest with Whittier, Menary scored 26 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and doled out six assists. He was 11-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in the contest.

Menary tallied eight points, five assists and three steals in the victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

For the season, Menary leads the Bulldogs in points per game (14.3), assists per game (3.4) and blocks per game (1.1). Since joining the Redlands basketball team, Menary has played in 96 games with 72 starts. He’s averaged 13.4 points per game, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists across his collegiate career so far.

Menary was a standout athlete while at Nevada Union, playing three-years of varsity basketball and helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. He earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in both basketball and volleyball his senior year.

Redlands (18-6, 11-4 SCIAC) has its regular season finale and senior night game tonight against the University of La Verne. The Bulldogs tipoff the SCIAC Tournament Friday.

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River Beavers closed the season with a pair of losses, falling to Sierra College and Santa Rosa Junior College.

O’Looney, a freshman forward, was in the starting lineup against Santa Rosa and scored 10 points to go with five rebounds.

For the season, O’Looney started 15 of the 26 games he played in. He averaged 8.2 points per game and 7.2 rebounds.

During his senior year at Nevada Union, O’Looney was an All-Foothill Valley League selection in both basketball and golf.

American River (12-14, 7-9) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.

Women’s College Basketball

Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup University Warriors split a pair of conference games last week, topping San Diego Christian College, 73-43, and falling to No. 6 ranked Vanguard University, 70-57.

Willis, a junior guard, scored 13 points in the win over San Diego Christian, and tallied nine points against Vanguard.

For the season, Willis is averaging 11.4 points per game and 4.2 rebounds.

During her time at Nevada Union, Willis was an All-Sierra Foothill League selection as a sophomore.

She went on to be a standout at Sierra College where she was an All-Conference selection and helped the Wolverines make the playoffs in consecutive seasons before transferring to William Jessup.

William Jessup (17-10, 10-6) is a NAIA school which competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Western Oregon University Wolves lost both their conference bouts last week, falling to Central Washington University, 70-46, and Northwest Nazarene University, 82-62.

Aragon, a freshman forward, was in the starting lineup for both contests, netting seven points against Northwest Nazarene and two points against Central Washington.

For the season, Aragon has played in all 25 of the Wolves’ games with nine starts. She’s averaging 4.3 points per game and 3.8 rebounds.

While at Nevada Union Aragon was a four-year varsity player, helping the Lady Miners reach the playoffs three times. She was an all-league selection as a sophomore and a junior, and was named the Foothill Valley League co-MVP her senior season.

Western Oregon (5-20, 2-16) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Luke Cornish, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, and the Yuba City Community College 49ers went 1-2 last week, beating College of Siskiyous and falling to Cosumnes River College and Sierra College.

Cornish, a sophomore catcher, started the games against Siskiyous and Cosumnes River, going a combined 2-for-6 from the plate with a double, an RBI, a run scored and two walks.

For the season, Cornish has played in nine games, is batting .207 with three runs scored and three RBIs.

During his senior season at Nevada Union, Cornish batted .333 and led the Miners in hits and runs. He was named to the 2018 All-Sierra Foothill League First Team.

Yuba College (4-11) competes in the CCCAA’s Bay Valley Conference.

Lacrosse

Danny Gratten, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, and the Montevallo University (Alabama) lacrosse team topped Lewis University, 11-9, in their conference opener last week.

Gratten, a sophomore long pole defender, caused a turnover in the win.

While in high school, Gratten was a key member of the Gold Country Stampede varsity team that went 17-1 and claimed the 2018 Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association championship.

Montevallo (3-1, 1-0) is an NCAA Division III school which competes in the Great Lakes Valley East Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Menary, Bulldogs hit stride in conference play

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands men’s basketball team have reeled off four straight wins and are charging up the conference standings.

With wins over conference contenders Occidental College, 85-60, and Pomona-Pitzer, 94-77, last week, the Redlands Bulldogs sit in a tie for third place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and are just 1 ½ games back of the leaders.

Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored 14 points, pulled down four assists and dished out two assists in Saturday’s win over Pomona-Pitzer. He scored five points in the blowout win over Occidental.

For the season, Menary leads the Bulldogs in points per game (13.9), assists per game (3.3) and blocks per game (1.1).

Menary was a standout athlete during his time at Nevada Union, playing three-years of varsity basketball and helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. He earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in both basketball and volleyball his senior year.

Redlands (14-6, 7-4) is currently tied with Occidental (13-5, 7-4) for third place in the SCIAC behind leaders Pomona-Pitzer (15-5, 9-3) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (17-4, 9-3). The Bulldogs have five games left on their schedule before the SCIAC Tournament Feb. 28.

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River Beavers dropped their only game last week, falling to Modesto Junior College, 94-79.

O’Looney, a 6-7 freshman forward, notched seven rebounds and three points in the game.

On the season, O’Looney is averaging 8.6 points per game and 7.3 rebounds.

O’Looney was an All-Foothill Valley League selection in both basketball and golf in his senior year at Nevada Union.

American River (12-10, 7-5) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.

Women’s College Basketball

Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup University women’s basketball team struggled against a pair of top-ranked teams last week.

The Warriors dropped games against No. 3 Master’s University, 75-45, and No. 4 Westmont College, 74-66.

Willis, a junior guard, scored 14 points and had two steals in the contest with Westmont. She finished with two points, six rebounds and three assists against Master’s.

For the season, Willis is averaging 11.3 points per game and 4.4 rebounds.

During her time at Nevada Union, Willis was an All-Sierra Foothill League selection as a sophomore.

She went on to be a standout at Sierra College where she was an All-Conference selection and helped the Wolverines make the playoffs in consecutive seasons before transferring to William Jessup.

William Jessup (15-9, 8-5) is a NAIA school which competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Western Oregon University Wolves lost both their conference bouts last week, falling to Concordia University, 83-73, and Montana State University, Billings, 87-75.

Aragon, a freshman forward, was in the starting lineup for both games. She notched four points and six rebounds against Concordia, and had six points and five rebounds against Montana State.

For the season, Aragon has played in all 21 of the Wolves’ games with five starts. She’s averaging 3.9 points per game and 3.7 rebounds.

While at Nevada Union Aragon was a four-year varsity player, helping the Lady Miners reach the playoffs three times. She was an all-league selection as a sophomore and a junior, and was named the Foothill Valley League co-MVP her senior season.

Western Oregon (5-16, 2-12) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Andrew Schnitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and Lyon College Scots earned a three-game sweep against University of St. Francis (Illinois) last week.

Schnitzius, a senior catcher, started the series opener, going 0-for-1 with a walk.

During his junior year at Lyon, Schnitzius played in 26 games with 21 starts. He batted .315 with 28 RBIs, eight doubles and a home run.

During Schnitzius’ time at NU, he was a standout in both football and baseball, earning all-league honors in both sports.

Lyon (6-0) is a NAIA school which competes in the American Midwest Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Nevada Union grad Aycee Willis helps William Jessup extend win streak

Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup University women’s basketball team earned a pair of conference wins last week, topping Life Pacific University, 74-53, and Hope International University, 77-60.

Willis, a junior guard, led the way in the victory over Life Pacific, scoring a season-high 23 points to go with 10 rebounds. Willis tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and three steals in the contest with Hope International.

Since returning from a thumb injury that sidelined her for several games, Willis is averaging 15.6 points per game and seven rebounds.

For the season, Willis is averaging 11.7 points per game and 4.5 rebounds. She’s scored 20 or more points three times.

During her time at Nevada Union, Willis was an All-Sierra Foothill League selection as a sophomore.

She went on to be a standout at Sierra College where she was an All-Conference selection and helped the Wolverines make the playoffs in consecutive seasons before transferring to William Jessup.

William Jessup (15-7, 8-3) has now won five straight in Golden State Athletic Conference play and sits in fourth place behind leaders The Master’s University (22-1, 10-1) and Westmont College (17-3, 10-1), and third place Vanguard University (16-3, 8-2).

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Western Oregon University Wolves suffered a pair of conference losses last week, coming up short against Simon Fraser University, 68-59, and Western Washington University, 61-57.

Aragon, a freshman forward, was in the starting lineup against Simon Fraser and led her team with 12 points and six rebounds. She notched seven points and five rebounds in the loss to Western Washington.

For the season, Aragon has played in all 19 of the Wolves’ games with three starts. She’s averaging 3.7 points per game and 3.5 rebounds.

While at Nevada Union Aragon was a four-year varsity player, helping the Lady Miners reach the playoffs three times. She was an all-league selection as a sophomore and a junior, and was named the Foothill Valley League co-MVP her senior season.

Western Oregon (5-14, 2-10) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

Men’s College Basketball

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands Bulldogs cruised to a 100-61 victory over California Lutheran University on Saturday.

Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored 13 points and grabbed three rebounds in the win.

For the season, Menary is averaging a team-high 14.4 points per game to go with 4.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Menary was a standout for the Miners, playing three-years of varsity basketball and helping NU reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. He earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in both basketball and volleyball his senior year.

Redlands (12-6, 5-4) is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River Beavers split a pair of conference games last week, topping Folsom Lake College, 70-67, and losing to Cosumnes River College, 75-64.

O’Looney, a 6-7 freshman forward, scored 10 points, grabbed nine rebounds, notched four blocks and doled out three assists in the win over Folsom Lake.

On the season, O’Looney is averaging 8.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.

O’Looney was an All-Foothill Valley League selection in both basketball and golf in his senior year at Nevada Union.

American River (12-9, 7-4) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Andrew Schnitzius, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the Lyon College Scots opened their season with a three-game sweep of No. 13 ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Schnitzius, a senior catcher, started the opener, going 0-and-3 at the plate with two RBIs and a walk.

During his junior year at Lyon, Schnitzius played in 26 games with 21 starts. He batted .315 with 28 RBIs, eight doubles and a home run.

During Schnitzius’ time at NU, he was a standout in both football and baseball, earning all-league honors in both sports.

No. 21 Lyon (3-0) is a NAIA school which competes in the American Midwest Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: O’Looney, American River top Big 8 leader Santa Rosa

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River College men’s basketball team faced off with the conference’s top teams last week and came away with split.

On Tuesday, the Beavers fell to Big 8 Conference contender Diablo Valley College, 58-57, but rebounded nicely on Friday by topping conference leader Santa Rosa Junior College, 64-63.

O’Looney, a freshman forward, tallied five points and pulled down seven rebounds in the win over Santa Rosa. He had 11 points and six rebounds against Diablo Valley.

For the season, O’Looney leads the Beavers in rebounding (7.1 per game) and is fourth on the team in scoring (8.9 points per game).

The 6-foot, 7-inch O’Looney was an All-Foothill Valley League selection in both basketball and golf in his senior year at Nevada Union.

American River (10-7, 5-2) concludes the first half of Big 8 Conference play on Tuesday against Sierra College. The Beavers are currently tied for second in conference play with Diablo Valley (12-7, 5-2). Santa Rosa (14-5, 6-1) sits atop the Big 8 standings.

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands Bulldogs went 1-1 in conference play last week, losing to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 77-60 on Wednesday and beating Cal Tech, 67-62, on Saturday.

Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored 14 points, hit a pair of 3-pointers, pulled down seven rebounds and doled out four assists in the win over Cal Tech. Menary was held to just two points in the loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

For the season, Menary leads the team in points per game (14.6), assists per game (3.5) and 3-point percentage (43.1%).

Menary was a standout for the Nevada Union hoops program, playing three-years at the varsity level and helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. He earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in both basketball and volleyball his senior year at NU.

Redlands (10-5, 3-3) is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Western Oregon University Wolves dropped a pair of conference games last week, losing to Saint Martin’s University, 71-64, and Seattle Pacific University, 73-51.

Aragon, a freshman forward, came off the bench against Saint Martin’s and scored two points and grabbed two rebounds. She tallied three points and three blocks against Seattle Pacific.

For the season, Aragon has played in all 13 of the Wolves’ games, averaging 3.1 points per game and 3.2 rebounds.

While at Nevada Union Aragon was a four-year varsity player, helping the Lady Miners reach the playoffs three times. She was an all-league selection as a sophomore and a junior, and was named the Foothill Valley League co-MVP her senior season.

Western Oregon (5-10, 2-6) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Nevada Union grad Meadow Aragon making an instant impact for Western Oregon

It didn’t take long for Meadow Aragon to work her way into the starting lineup for the Western Oregon University women’s basketball team.

The 2019 Nevada Union graduate had been coming off the bench for the first 12 games of her freshman season, but got the start in the Wolves’ home bout against Montana State University on Saturday. The 5-foot, 11-inch Aragon scored five points and pulled down five rebounds in 21 minutes of play to help Western Oregon earn a 64-56 victory.

For the season, Aragon has played in all 13 of the Wolves’ games, averaging 3.2 points per game and 3.5 rebounds. Her best game of the season, so far, came Jan. 2 when she scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 73-70, double overtime win over Western Washington University.

While at Nevada Union Aragon was a four-year varsity player, helping the Lady Miners reach the playoffs three times. She was an all-league selection as a sophomore and a junior, and was named the Foothill Valley League co-MVP her senior season. Aragon averaged 19.8 points per game to go with 12.1 rebounds, 2.3 steals and two blocks in her final season at NU. She was also an all-leaguer in volleyball for the Lady Miners.

Western Oregon (5-8, 2-4) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands Bulldogs split a pair of conference games last week, beating University of La Verne, 80-58, and falling to Pomona-Pitzer, 86-74.

Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored 17 points and had two blocks in the win over La Verne, and tallied 11 points and five rebounds against Pomona-Pitzer.

For the season, Menary leads the team in points per game (15.7), assists per game (3.8) and 3-point percentage (49.1%).

Menary was a standout for the Nevada Union hoops program, playing three-years at the varsity level and helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. He earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in both basketball and volleyball his senior year at NU.

Redlands (9-4, 2-2) is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River College men’s basketball team went 1-1 in conference play last week, topping San Joaquin Delta College, 82-77, and losing to Modesto Junior College, 89-65.

O’Looney, a freshman forward, scored 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the win over San Joaquin Delta. In the loss to Modesto, O’Looney accounted for 12 points and five rebounds.

For the season, O’Looney leads the Beavers in rebounding (7.2 per game) and is fourth on the team in scoring (nine points per game).

O’Looney was an All-Foothill Valley League selection in both basketball and golf in his senior year at Nevada Union.

American River (9-6, 4-1) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: O’Looney, American River off to hot start in Big 8

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River College men’s basketball team are off to a strong start in conference play.

The Beavers toppled Folsom Lake College, 86-66, on Christmas eve and bested Cosumnes River College, 71-64, last week to improve to 8-5 overall and 3-0 against Big 8 opponents.

O’Looney, a freshman forward, scored seven points and pulled down 12 rebounds, five of which were offensive, in the win over Folsom Lake. In the contest with Cosumnes River, the 6-foot, 7-inch O’Looney poured in 17 points and grabbed six rebounds.

For the season, O’Looney leads the Beavers in rebounding (7.4 per game) and is fourth on the team in scoring (8.7 points per game).

American River competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, and the University of Redlands Bulldogs won their final game of 2019, but opened the new year with a loss.

Redlands knocked off Bethesda University, 97-86, last Tuesday, and fell to Cal Lutheran University, 68-65, Saturday.

Menary, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored a team-high 19 points in the win over Bethesda. He also doled out six assists and grabbed five rebounds in the victory.

In the contest with Cal Lutheran, Menary tallied 15 points and pulled down five rebounds.

For the season, Menary leads the team in points per game (15.8), assists per game (4.1) and 3-point percentage (52.5%).

Gary Menary, a 2017 NU graduate and junior wing on the Redlands team, had his season come to an end due to an ACL injury. At the time of his injury, Gary led the Bulldogs in rebounds (6.6 per game) and steals (2.3 per game) and was third on the team in scoring (9.4 points per game).

David and Gary were both standouts for the Nevada Union hoops program, helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. Both earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in their respective senior seasons.

Redlands (8-3, 1-1) is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union grad, and the Western Oregon University Wolves split a pair of conference games last week, beating Western Washington University, 73-70, in double overtime and losing to Simon Fraser University, 64-57.

Aragon, a freshman, shined in the overtime win, scoring six of her 10 points in the extra frames. She also pulled down nine rebounds in the contest. It was a season-high in points and rebounds for the 5-foot, 11-inch forward. She tallied eight points and five rebounds in the loss to Simon Fraser.

Western Oregon (4-7, 1-3) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Menary brothers, Redlands off to strong start

The University of Redlands Men’s basketball team is off to a 7-2 start, and the Menary brothers are a big reason for the Bulldogs’ early season success.

David Menary, a 2016 Nevada Union graduate, leads the team in points per game (15.8), assists per game (4.1) and 3-point percentage (55.9%). Gary Menary, a 2017 NU graduate, leads the Bulldogs in rebounds per game (6.6), steals per game (2.3) and is third on the team in points per game (9.4).

This past week, the Bulldogs continued their winning ways and knocked off University of California, Santa Cruz, 61-49, and Simpson College, 87-75.

David, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior forward, scored six points, doled out six assists and had two blocks in the win over Santa Cruz. He tallied seven points and four assists in the contest with Simpson. Gary, a 6-foot, 3-inch junior wing, had seven points, six rebounds and four assists against Santa Cruz. He notched 11 points and nine rebounds in the victory over Simpson.

David and Gary were both standouts for the Nevada Union hoops program, helping the Miners reach the playoffs in the 2015-16 season. Both earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors in their respective senior seasons.

Redlands is NCAA Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

David O’Looney, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River College Beavers split a pair of games last week, topping Sacramento City College, 78-67, and falling to Columbia College, 84-66.

O’Looney, a freshman forward, scored 11 points and pulled down five rebounds in the win over Sacramento. He tallied two points and five rebounds in the loss to Columbia.

For the season, O’Looney is averaging 8.1 points and seven rebounds per game.

American River (6-5) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Big 8 Conference.

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Aycee Willis, a 2017 Nevada Union graduate, and the William Jessup Warriors won a pair of games last week, beating Simpson University, 76-62, and CSU Maritime Academy, 66-52.

Willis, a junior guard, scored eight points in the win over Maritime Academy, and tallied four points to go with four rebounds in the contest with Simpson.

For the season, Willis is averaging 11.6 points per game and 3.9 rebounds.

William Jessup (9-4) is a NAIA school which competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Meadow Aragon, a 2019 Nevada Union grad, and the Western Oregon University Wolves won their only official game last week, beating Corban College, 59-56.

Aragon, a freshman forward, came off the bench and scored five points and grabbed four rebounds in the win over Corban.

The Wolves also played Boise State in an exhibition game last week.

Western Oregon (3-6) is a Division II school which competes in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.