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Business Connections 2020

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Steve Cottrell: Let’s not forget the 15th Amendment

If circumstances allow for an outdoor public gathering on Aug. 20, a plaque will be dedicated at Calanan Park in Nevada City commemorating the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and the role Ellen Clark Sargent played in championing women’s rights.

The plaque will also recognize her husband, Aaron, who, as a United States Senator in 1878 introduced the exact words ratified in 1920.

To celebrate the 19th Amendment’s centennial in the town where its author once lived and worked will present a unique opportunity to promote Nevada City as it recovers from the economic impacts of COVID-19. But let’s not forget the recent sesquicentennial of the 15th Amendment and its connection to local history.

The 15th Amendment, ratified Feb. 3, 1870, was also written by a Nevada City pioneer: William Morris Stewart.

Aaron Sargent and Bill Stewart arrived in Nevada City within weeks of each other in the summer of 1850. Both began as pick-and-shovel miners, became attorneys, served as Nevada County district attorney, and both later ascended to the U. S. Senate.

How Stewart came to write the 15th Amendment is a particularly interesting story, beginning with his marriage to Annie Foote — daughter of Henry Foote, a former U. S. senator and governor from Mississippi. Foote was opposed to Mississippi’s early consideration to secede from the union, so in 1854 moved his family to San Francisco. A year later, he and Stewart formed a law partnership and soon thereafter Annie became Bill’s bride.

(The beautiful Southern Colonial house at 410 Zion St. was a wedding present from Bill to Annie — a replica of her childhood home in Clinton, Mississippi).

Although Aaron and Ellen Sargent maintained a home in Nevada City for most of 20 years, Bill and Annie Stewart settled in the Utah Territory in an area that later became the Nevada Territory. And when Nevada gained statehood in 1864, Stewart was chosen one of its first two senators.

As a freshman senator, the former Nevada City miner and lawyer was assigned to the powerful Judiciary Committee, and it was there, in the fall of 1868, that he was named by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lyman Trumbull from Illinois, to create language for a post-Civil War constitutional amendment granting suffrage to black males.

Stewart’s initial language was approved by the Judiciary Committee in January 1869: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote or hold office shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

In his memoirs, Stewart noted, “I had much difficulty in getting the resolution taken up for consideration (by the full Senate), but … after days and nights of struggle and debate, the resolution passed by a two-thirds majority.”

Next, it went to a six-member Senate-House conference committee, where it met with some stiff opposition. Two committee members from the House insisted that three words be removed from Stewart’s proposed constitutional amendment: “or hold office.”

“I was willing to strike the words,” Stewart later wrote, “because I thought the right to vote carried with it the right to hold office.”

Having secured support of the conference committee, Stewart’s proposal (absent those three words) was approved by both Houses of Congress and sent to the states for ratification — where it needed support from 28 of the 37 states.

Knowing it would be a challenge to get the amendment ratified, Stewart met with President-elect Ulysses Grant, who had earlier told Stewart he supported suffrage for blacks. Grant asked what he could do to help and Stewart suggested that if he urged support in his inaugural address, adoption would soon follow.

On March 4, 1869, when Grant took the oath of office, he called ratification of the 15th Amendment “a measure of grander importance than any one act of the kind from the foundation of our free government to the present day.”

With Grant’s strong endorsement, state Legislatures began backing the measure and 11 months later the words penned by Bill Stewart had secured the required three-fourths support from states. And 50 years later, Sargent’s 1878 words were ratified as the Nineteenth Amendment.

Yes, two constitutional amendments were written by pioneers of Nevada City. Can’t imagine any other small town — at least one west of the 13 colonies — able to make a similar claim.

Historian Steve Cottrell, a former Nevada City Council member and mayor, can be contacted at exnevadacitymayor@gmail.com.

Family of couple slain in Nevada County cite love, urge compassion

Robert Breedlove’s surviving child, Lynn, had words of compassion Friday for stepbrother Dennis Lee Wallace, who has been accused in the deaths of Robert and wife Patricia in their Greenhorn Road home late Wednesday night.

“I just want everybody to think good thoughts for the survivors of this family,” Lynn said. “They’re all suffering and in shock. Of course, we’re going to try to make sense of the nonsensical. But I think Bob and Pat would want us to (remember), it’s about love, it’s about forgiveness, and compassion. Dennis will have to live with this — and that’s a terrible thing to have to live with.”

Christopher Wallace, calling mother Patricia and stepfather Robert “wonderful and a constant force of good for my clan,” also had a message of love to share.

“My parents gave freely, they loved unconditionally, they hoped the best for us all, they were strong towers in a turbulent world (and) a refuge for the weak,” he wrote in a text message. “Broken, we will thrive, destitute, we will live on, and well, I trust, in no small part as the great benefactors of their endless and boundless love.”

Nevada County sheriff’s deputies had responded slightly before 11 p.m. Wednesday to the Breedlove residence after a 911 call from a man who did not identify himself and stated he needed the police to respond. Deputies were met outside by Dennis Wallace, who was detained before deputies found Robert and Patricia Breedlove dead inside the residence. The couple had died from what appeared to be blunt force trauma, sheriff’s spokesman Andrew Trygg said.

On Friday, Trygg declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Dennis Wallace, 60, remained in custody Friday without bond on two counts of murder in the deaths of Robert Breedlove, 87, and Patricia Breedlove, 80. He has not yet been charged, said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh, adding he expects to file a criminal complaint early next week.

Making Nevada County home

Lynn Breedlove said Robert and Patricia moved to Nevada County in the late 1980s after retiring from the San Leandro school district.

Robert made the Greenhorn Road property his “paradise on earth,” Lynn said. “That was his happy place.”

He was an avid outdoorsman from a young age and shared his love of nature with many, taking both family and his junior high school students on backcountry camping trips in Yosemite.

“He introduced a lot of people to the beauty of the Sierras,” Lynn said. “His spirituality was there. It was God’s backyard for him, the Sierras. … He had a poet’s heart.”

Robert was very interested in the history of indigenous people from around the world and particularly the First Nations people, Lynn said. His den was “wall to wall books” on the topic, Lynn added.

Robert Breedlove was a man of many talents, Lynn said. The longtime history and English teacher was also a handyman, an athlete, and an amazing carpenter who purchased a derelict Victorian-era house in Alameda in the 1960s, fixed it up and then resold it, sparking a side career in renovations. He began teaching in Oakland and also coached basketball at the junior high school there, Lynn said.

Many of Robert’s students from San Leandro took to an alumni group on Facebook to post their memories of a man many called their favorite teacher.

“I remember him being a good teacher and good person,” said Janet Welch, who took his classes both in junior high and high school. “He made learning fun. He was one of the cool teachers the kids were comfortable around, he was great at relating to and talking to young teens.”

Robert and Patricia met at San Leandro High School, where they both worked. In fact, Lynn met Pat first, after getting caught writing on some lockers with shoe polish.

“When they got together, it was great,” Lynn said. “She had three sons — and my dad always wanted a son. He was very happy to have these three teenage boys in his life.”

As grandchildren came along, Robert and Patricia enjoyed having the extended family around them, being “surrounded by activity and love,” Lynn said.

Dennis Wallace had been living in a trailer on the Breedloves’ property, Lynn said.

“They knew he had nowhere to go,” Lynn added. “Their idea of integrity was, they were doing their best to take care of him. They set boundaries, but they would not put him out on the street.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

‘These kids want to ball’: Youth sports organizations grapple with tough decisions regarding COVID-19 safety

Little League has been around since 1939, but it’s never endured a season like this one.

In a normal year, one in which a global pandemic hasn’t led to over 100,000 deaths in this country and incalculable economic damage, Little Leagues would be nearing the end of the regular season. In every corner of the United States, teams would be battling it out to earn a spot in their respective district’s Tournament of Champions. All-Star tournaments would then follow in late June with talented youngsters looking to win their way through district, area and regional tourneys in the hope of earning a spot at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

That won’t be the case this year.

Young ball players were stripped of their opportunity to play America’s favorite pastime on diamonds near and far this spring as Little Leagues across the world halted play due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Little League International announced the cancellation of its annual World Series Tournament for the first time ever on April 30, but is allowing individual leagues to determine their own path back to the field.

“As certain states and municipalities begin their phased approaches to reopening, it is highly encouraged that each league and district adheres to the guidelines set forth by their respective state and local government and health officials in terms of public gatherings, organized youth sports, and sporting events when determining when it is safe to return to Little League activities,” a statement on Little League International’s website reads.

Local youth sports organizations such as Nevada City Little League, Grass Valley Little League, Penn Valley Little League, Sierra Foothills Little League and Nevada County Girls Softball Association all postponed their seasons when the pandemic first hit, but have since canceled them outright and begun the process of refunding registration fees.

“We didn’t have facilities to use,” said Nevada City Little League President Josh Van Matre. “Schools were shut down so we couldn’t use them for practices and Pioneer Park was shut down so we couldn’t use it for practices … Until they lift the ban on large gatherings, we can’t play.”

Van Matre said the board thought it best to cancel the spring season, fully refund registration fees and, if things change regarding county guidelines on large gatherings over the summer, be ready to offer a “fall ball” season.

“Obviously, I’d love to get back out there and play, and I know my kids and all the other kids do, too,” said Van Matre, who also coaches a pair of teams. “But, I’m not going to do anything that’s going to put anybody in jeopardy.”

‘IN A HOLDING PATTERN’

There is one area Little League still holding out hope a season is still to be had.

Bear River Little League has postponed its season, but is planning to resume as soon as they get the green light from county officials.

“We are in a holding pattern,” said Bear River Little League President Jenn Lukenbill. “We haven’t canceled our season and we don’t plan to, but we can’t get started until we get the OK to do so. So, we’re just holding out.”

Lukenbill added that her league is offering refunds for those who want them. She also noted there are still lots of questions regarding social distancing at the fields, amount of spectators allowed, umpire positioning and how to minimize common use equipment that must be answered before they are able to return.

“We’re going to wait and see what the county will want us to do,” Lukenbill said. “We will adjust as needed so we can get the kids back on the field.”

Lukenbill said once they get the “OK” from the county, they will then evaluate how many players they have, how many other Placer and Sacramento area Little Leagues are fielding teams and develop a schedule from there.

Some league officials are looking forward to their “fall ball” seasons and hoping they will see an uptick in registration due to the absence of a spring season, but noted those numbers will be unknown until decisions are made regarding a safe return of their own sport as well as the standing of other fall youth sports like football and soccer.

“(Fall ball season) is very questionable right now,” said Nevada County Girls Softball Association President Matt Halvorson, noting there is still much uncertainty from league to league and county to county currently.

TRAVEL BALL

Over at Sierra Nevada Elite, a Grass Valley baseball academy which boasts several travel ball teams, Head of Baseball Operations Justin Deme said he wants to get started soon and expects an influx of players.

“I expect to have a pretty good (number of players) for summer and fall because Little League didn’t happen, most leagues have canceled for the year, and these kids want to ball,” he said. “When the parents give the OK, they will be out there.”

Deme said he’s spent the past few weeks sanitizing the Sierra Nevada Elite facility and developing processes for a safe return. He said he’d like to start holding small group practices by next week.

“I’ve talked to north of 30 parents and only two have expressed concern, but none have said their kid won’t play,” said Deme, who expects to field six to eight teams in the fall. “Basically whenever the parents say they’re ready to do this, that’s my key. They know what is best for their kids.”

HOPING TO DIVE BACK IN

Northern Sierra Swimming, a competitive swim program based in Nevada County, is looking to get back in the pool soon and has submitted a “Return to Pool Plan” to the Nevada County Health Department, Nevada Joint Union High School District, Grass Valley and Bear River Rec and Parks.

Northern Sierra Swimming uses pools at Bear River High School, Nevada Union High School and Memorial Park in Grass Valley. The Return to Pool Plan outlines several procedures coaches would take to ensure athlete safety and facility cleanliness.

“Sports are so important and these kids are itching to get back in the pool,” Northern Sierra Swimming coach Daryn Glasgow said. “But, it has given us an opportunity to work on mental and physical training that will make them better. That’s been a positive.”

Glasgow said when the sport is allowed to resume it will look quite different and believes virtual meets, in which swimmers compete at their team facilities and their times are then uploaded to a meet database, will be the preferred method in the coming months.

FALL SPORTS

Gold Country Soccer, which boasts around 1,300 participants each year, is still planning to start its fall season normally and registration is currently open.

The league usually starts practices in early August with games starting later in the month.

“It’s difficult to predict comfort levels of players and parents, and it’s still unknown what the environment will look like in three months,” said Gold Country Soccer board member Summer Bookout. “That’s a long time out to know how things are going to be, that’s why we’re planning with everything as normal with the hopes for a regular fall season.”

Bookout added that the league follows guidelines from the county as well as the sport’s governing bodies.

The Nevada Union Junior Miners football and cheer program is also going forward as normal, for now, with the hope their season will be unmarred by the pandemic.

“We’re anticipating that we will have a season,” said Junior Miners President Sarah Hooper. “We’re just waiting to hear what that will look like and if we can start on time. But, with everything we’re hearing, we are anticipating a normal season. We’ve opened up registration and basically waiting to see what the state says and CIF says as far as start dates.”

The California Interscholastic Federation is the governing body for high school sports in the state. The CIF has not yet made a decision on a possible postponement or cancellation of fall high school sports.

“We’re planning for the best and keeping our fingers crossed,” said Hooper.

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

Hamstrung: Nevada County summer sports scene hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

When it comes to Nevada County’s summer sports scene, there’s usually no shortage of inspiring and community-focused events.

Whether it’s a triathlon in Cascade Shores that celebrates life and empowers women, elite cyclists from all over the country converging on Nevada City for a storied and revered bicycle race, a group of sailors going for gold at Scotts Flat Lake, a fundraising 5K that supports a worthy cause in the community or the top Masters athletes in the nation showcasing their track and field skills at Hooper Stadium, there’s usually a full calendar of summer sports events that bring much needed revenue and positive exposure to Nevada County.

But, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s shelter-in-place mandate meant to slow the spread, some of the county’s biggest sporting events have been forced to cancel, postpone and/or come up with new approaches with social distancing in mind.

One of the county’s longest running sports events, the Nevada City Classic Bicycle Race, had to be moved from the month of June for the first time in its 60-year history. The second oldest continually running bicycle race was moved from its original date of June 14, and will now run the weekend of Sept. 5-6.

“It became obvious we needed to cancel or postpone,” said Race Director Duane Strawser, noting an urgency to find a later date before other postponed races filled them. “We knew we had to move quick.”

The annual race is highly regarded among racers and regularly brings in droves of spectators to Nevada City’s downtown area.

One of the more popular and inspiring sporting events is the Barbara Schmidt-Millar Triathlon, a women-only event which annually draws hundreds of participants and raises more than $30,000. The funds generated by the event go to the Barbara Schmidt-Millar Foundation, which provides college scholarships for local high school students and financial aid to those seeking a mammogram but may not be able to afford it.

“Our community has really embraced the event and breast cancer touches a lot of people,” said triathlon Executive Director Vanessa Hale.

This year’s BSM Triathlon is still more than three months away (Sept. 20) but event organizers are already brainstorming possible alternatives in case it is unable to run in its true form.

“We’re just kind of waiting to see,” said Hale, adding that a decision to proceed, cancel or postpone would likely need to be made by July. “We also want to make sure we give people enough time to train and that they feel comfortable training with someone else. That’s always been our safety push: to never train alone or swim alone — always go out with a buddy.”

Nevada County’s biggest sports gathering, the Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot 5K/10K which draws around 2,000 participants and raises between $50,000 and $60,000 each year for community causes, is still six months away. Race organizer Mike Bratton said he is committed to running the event, even if it has to be done virtually or in some other fashion.

“Our beneficiaries really count on that money, maybe now more than ever,” Bratton said.

The Turkey Trot is a major fundraiser for the MEB2 Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization funded by local community and business support. The foundation’s primary focus is to support local youth activities, Anew Day, and suicide and depression awareness and prevention in Nevada County.

CANCELED

The Sierra Gold Masters Track and Field Festival, which in the past has drawn around 250 Masters athletes from all over the United States to Nevada Union’s Hooper Stadium, was scheduled for late June but has been canceled.

“It would have been our fifth year doing it and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger,” said Sierra Gold track and field team coach Clyde Lehman. “People are really invested in it.”

Lehman said athlete safety is Sierra Gold’s first priority, and with the advanced age of most the competitors, the risk was too great to have the event go on this year.

The loss of competition is disappointing for Sierra Gold, but so is the loss of funds raised by the event, which supports the team throughout the year.

“That meet is our life blood,” said Lehman. “It finances a lot of things for us, including our philanthropic stuff. We’re hamstrung with that.”

Sierra Gold also hosts a fundraiser run which benefits the Nevada Union track and field team, but that was canceled as well.

On the water, the Go for the Gold Regatta, which annually draws dozens of sailors from all over the western states for its weekend of sailboat races, was originally scheduled to set sail June 6, but has been also canceled.

GOLD COUNTRY GRAND PRIX

The Turkey Trot is traditionally the last run on the Gold Country Grand Prix schedule, which has also suffered some pretty big hits this year. The annual running circuit has seen three races canceled and another postponed due to the pandemic.

The longest running 5K in the series, the Spring Run 5K/10K was set for April 25 but was called off. The Read, Write, Run 5K/10K and Sierra Gold 1M/5K were also canceled. The Joanie Bumpus Daffodil Run in Penn Valley has been moved from its original date in April to Nov. 1.

The Twin Cities Church Run for the Community 5K/10K was supposed to run this weekend, but race organizer and Gold County Grand Prix President John Fairchild restructured the race to be done virtually.

“It still gives you some feel of community, and some feel of doing something together even though we’re not actually together, and rallying around a common cause,” said Fairchild.

To register for the “Virtual Run for the Community 5K,” visit The Twin Cities Church website and click on the “events” tab.

“The response has been real positive. Within a few days we saw people registering and signing up,” said Fairchild, noting that funds raised by the run will go to COVID-19 relief in the community. “If this brings some warmth, some community and some cheer or positive feelings and encouragement to people — it’s a win.”

People can participate in the Virtual Run for the Community through June 14.

“Running for me has been a life saver,” said Fairchild. “… Just the chance to get out, breathe some fresh air, get some exercise, get the blood flowing, see others and wave — it’s been such a help and such a positive thing for me. And, the fact that I get to do a fair amount of that with my son has been an extra bonus.”

The next Gold Country Grand Prix race after the virtual 5K is the Kellerman Batwa 5K/10K Aug. 22.

REC LEAGUES

In addition to the big events, the county also boasts a dedicated set of recreational leagues chalked full of passionate participants, all of which are chomping at the bit to start play up as the state progresses into Stage 3 of its reopening.

The Western Nevada County Slo-pitch Softball Association, Nevada County Adult Sports Association, Nevada County Fastpitch Softball League and Gold County Senior Softball Association have all had their respective seasons interrupted or postponed by the pandemic and are waiting for approval from county officials to start up play again.

Slo-pitch association Commissioner Steve Loomis said he’s hoping to have his league up and going sometime in mid- to late June, but that all depends on if he gets the OK from city and county officials.

Same goes for senior softball and the men’s fastpitch league. They all are just waiting for the green light from local health officials.

For Rich Ramirez, who runs the Nevada County Adult Sports Association, he just wants to conclude the volleyball and basketball seasons that were already in progress when the shelter-in-place mandate went into effect. Ramirez said he’s hoping to be back playing in early July, but there is still no date set in stone as the Grass Valley Veterans Building, where NCASA basketball and volleyball games are played, is still being used as a COVID-19 testing site.

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

Transfer station recycling buyback center to reopen

Transfer station recycling buyback center to reopen

The recycling buyback center at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station will reopen Wednesday, a news release states.

Customers will be able to access the buyback center from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. However, they must sort their items beforehand, and wear a mask while on site.

Customers must sort CRV glass by color (brown, green and clear), plastics by number, along with aluminum and light tin. They should remove caps from all containers.

Additionally, customers must remain in their vehicles unless directed by staff, have their recycling in a pickup bed or unlocked trunk, and lower their car window by no more than 3 inches when talking with staff.

The transfer station is at 14741 Wolf Mountain Road, Grass Valley.

— The Union staff

Pet of the week: Carbon the cat

Carbon is a 13-year-old male neutered domestic short haired cat that is mellow, sweet, gentle and is an overall nice cat. He is easy to care for, is fully house trained and doesn’t scratch furniture. To adopt Carbon, contact Sammie’s Friends Animal Shelter, 14647 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley, at 530-274-1955.

For more pet adoptions:

— AnimalSave, 530-271-7071 or http://www.animalsave.org.

— Grass Valley Animal Shelter, Freeman Lane, Grass Valley, 530-477-4630.

— Cal Aussie Rescue Inc., 530-268-1600 or http://www.NorCalAussieRescue.com.

— Scooter’s Pals, 530-350-2099 or http://www.ScootersPals.org.

— Friends Forever, a Cat Sanctuary, 530-885-4228 or visit http://www.ffacs.org.

— Chow Chow Rescue of the Sierra Foothills, Mystery Mutts, 530-432-2778, 530-432-2294 or http://www.ChowChow Rescue.org.

— Chows Plus, 530-277-0476 or http://www.ChowsPlus.org.

— Northern California Border Collie Rescue & Adoptions, visit http://www.Norcalbcrescue.org.

— The Union staff

Nevada County Now: May 29, 2020 – Nevada County Relief Fund, green waste, car hop event and more!

Today’s episode of Nevada County Now covers the Nevada County Relief Fund, Green Waste, Car Hop Event and More!
— 

Recycling buyback center at transfer station to reopen

McCourtney Road Transfer Station’s recycling buyback center will reopen Wednesday, June 3, but customers must sort materials before arrival and must have a mask to gain entry to the facility.​

The buyback center will remain open under normal business hours Wednesday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Customers will be required to have materials sorted as follows before arriving at the buyback center:​

• CRV glass separated by color (brown, green and clear).​
• Plastics separated by number​
• Aluminum​
• Light tin​
• Please remove all caps from containers​

In addition to a facility-wide requirement to wear masks, customers utilizing the recycling buyback center must:​

• Always stay in vehicle unless directed otherwise by staff.​
• Have sorted recycling materials in pickup bed, unlocked trunk or hatchback for staff to easily access and remove materials. Staff will not remove materials from back seats.​
• Lower car window no more than three inches when conducting transaction.​

These rules have been put in place to minimize direct contact between employees and customers at McCourtney Road Transfer Station. ​

McCourtney Road Transfer Station continues to accept trash, green waste, comingled recycling, household hazardous waste and metals.​

Customers are encouraged to visit wm.com/alerts for detailed and up-to-date information about closures in their area. Customers are also encouraged to sign up for automatic alerts online at wm.com/mypreferences.​

SOARING TO A SECTION TITLE: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1990

With local sports on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Union has decided to look back at some of the highlights from years past. Here’s a glimpse into what The Union sports pages offered from May 23-30 in 1990.

NU pole vaulter soars to section title

Matt McCauley of Nevada Union High won the pole vault title at the Sac-Joaquin Section track and field championships at Hughes Stadium with a stunning leap of 15 feet, 9 inches.

McCauley shattered the previous school mark of 15-3 set last season by Dan Wheeler, and his personal best by 15 inches.

“It was a phenomenal performance,” NU coach Sig Ostrom said.

The junior advances to the state championships at Cerritos College in Norwalk. He was the only Miner to move on.

Ostrom said McCauley psyched his opponents by not jumping until the bar reached 13-9. Then he nailed each successive height on the first try.

“He was extremely confident and took the wind out of a lot of guys’ sails,” Ostrom explained.

PV Grays qualify for senior softball World Series

The Penn Valley Grays are headed to their first Senior Softball World Series.

The tournament team comprised of players from the Gold Country Senior Softball League earned the bid by reaching the finals of the recent Reno-Sparks Senior Softball World Series Qualifying Tournament for players 50-years-and-older.

“We have a quality team. We felt we could do it and we did,” said Penn Valley player-manager Pete Pappas.

The Grays advanced with a 28-21 semifinal victory over the defending world champion Redwood City Reds. Penn Valley pounded out 31 hits.

“It was one of those games where both teams hit super,” Pappas said. ”It was a team effort. Everybody hit the ball well.’

Penn Valley fell to the Pinole A’s in an anti-climactic final, 21-7.

Sixteen teams will vie for the World Series crown in Scottsdale.

The Penn Valley Grays are: George Calkins, Joel Guthrie, Bob Hannah, Jim Legate, Don McCage, Pappas, Moe Peloquin, Joe Pietramtonio, Ron Spooner, Jim Tetzlaff, Tom Vance, Jack Warren and Glenn Welz.

Miner football gets a lift from community

Shane Franssen founded the 400 club at Nevada Union High.

The Junior set a new school record by bench pressing 415 pounds at the annual “Lift-A-Thon” that benefits the program.

The 6-foot, 4-inch, 245 pounder, who will play tight end next fall — “that’s a heck of a big tight end,” coach Randy Blankenship said — opened at 300 pounds and methodically advanced 10 to 20 pounds at a time.

“He definitely got intense tonight,” Blankenship said.

Other standouts were Jason Thurn (300), James Molica (300), Gary Hunt (300), Jason Youngman (300), Ron Kennedy (315), Shane Golem (315), John White (315), Tim Trokey (320), Virgil Angove (330), Jake McDonald (365), Buck Ernest (365) and Ken Vaughn (365).

The event raised roughly $20,000.

“When the kids went out (seeking pledges) they told the coaches that people were really opening their wallets,” Blankenship explained. “This shows that nobody does it better than our community. They really backed us.”

Two Bruins make All-GEL baseball squad

Robb Tucker and Mike Sample of Bear River High were named to the All-Golden Empire League baseball team.

The seniors — Tucker played shortstop and pitched, Sample caught — had outstanding seasons as the Bruins (11-14 overall) fell one game shy of the playoffs.

Tucker hit .386, set a school record in hits (27) and ERA (1.64), and tied the BR mark in doubles (6) and triples (3). He was 3-3 with five saves on the mound and his defensive skills at shortstop are stunning.

“I’ll probably never get another kid like that,” said then Bear River coach Duane Zauner.

Tucker was second in the Most Valuable Player voting to Folsom pitcher Mike Cather.

Sample hit .280 and was a human red light behind the plate.

The strong-armed Sample — one of the area’s top quarterbacks the past two autumns — was primarily responsible for the Bruins stealing more bases than rivals (79-53) for the first time ever.

“That’s an important stat,” Zauner said. “Mike gave us the ability to throw out runners trying to steal. The other team had to get three guys on base to score instead of two.

Bruin softball pitcher voted all-GEL honors

Tina Rasmason of Bear River High was named to the All-Golden Empire League Softball team.

The sophomore pitcher/outfielder hit .339 and led the Bruins (5-13-1) with 17 hits.

“I think everybody respected Tina a great deal,” BR coach Manny Rodriguez said. “She’s a high-caliber softball pitcher.”

Three other Bear River sophomores — pitcher/catcher Ginger Rasmason, outfielder Cheryl Silvera and infielder Colleen Tribby — were honorable mention.

Sports Editor Walter Ford compiled the content for this article from The Union archives. To contact Ford, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232. Dennis Weber was The Union’s sports Editor in 1990.