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A banner year

One shining moment

Forest Lake Christian senior trio

sparks section triumph



The Union, March 1, 2008

SACRAMENTO – Skipping to halfcourt like they were giddy fifth graders all over again, Austin Maynard and Ben Sparling were the center of attention at Arco Arena for one shining moment.




Along with fellow senior Andrew Ritchart, the trio had just performed their best showing to date, helping beat Brookside Christian 77-58 for the school’s first ever Division V Sac-Joaquin Section boys basketball championship.

And there they were, at halfcourt accepting the championship banner, the celebratory net and game ball for Forest Lake Christian. It seemed only fitting that these guys accepted the artifacts of honor.

“These young men, the seniors, have been starters for three years,” said FLC coach David Thomas of Maynard, Sparling and Andrew Ritchart, all of whom played recreation ball in Auburn together since they were in the fifth grade. “The adversity has strengthened us. I’m just so proud of them. It just feels so great that they worked so hard to get here.”

The boys team has been living in the shadows of a very good girls program, which won three straight section titles between 2003 and 2005.

“Me and Austin talk about that all the time,” Sparling said with a bit of a satisfied smirk. “We were always talking about how our senior year we would bring it for the boys.”

– Zuri Berry, sports writer

Third time’s a charm

FLC wins section championship thriller

The Union, May 19, 2008

STOCKTON – They finally did it. After three years of trying and back-to-back disheartening defeats, Forest Lake Christian’s girls soccer team took a dramatic detour from the routine to break through the glass ceiling Saturday and win the Division VI Sac-Joaquin Section Championship, beating Bradshaw Christian 6-4 after two overtimes and a shootout.

The two teams were tied 2-2 through regulation before adding a goal each in the first overtime and then going scoreless in the second.

In the breakneck heat of Stockton’s weather, the girls were tired and ready to go to a shootout, even though Bradshaw Christian had just won a shootout in their playoff opener against Golden Sierra.

“I was mentally preparing for the last five minutes of the game because we knew we were going to kicks,” said Logan Burke, who scored the final goal of the shootout. “I was tired and my feet were hot.”

Falcons keeper Morghan Pomeroy energized her team by blocking the Pride’s first attempt – a shot by Jessica Gregory who scored two goals in the game including one in the first overtime – sending the rest of the Falcons and their fans into a frenzy over seemingly being ahead early.

Senior Katie Shore, taking the first shot in the shootout for FLC, found the back of the net easily against Pride goalie Jilzy Christensen.

The two events were equally demoralizing for Bradshaw Christian and uplifting for the Falcons.

“You never want to end up in penalty kicks,” said FLC coach Alane Burke. “I felt like every minute was just a cliffhanger. Knowing that they just beat Golden Sierra in penalty kicks, that they had just taken them. But I just felt good about the goals we took. Morghan’s save, that first save, was key to our mental composure and confidence. That just kept us going.”

Bradshaw Christian’s Megan Burg sailed the next kick over Pomeroy’s head and Katelyn Seitz followed with another goal for FLC.

The Pride missed their third straight attempt before the Falcons missed their first, with Burke finishing up the day for FLC by scoring the game’s last goal and giving the Falcons the championship after three hours of competition.

— Zuri Berry, sports writer

Falcons finish off fourth-straight title

The Union, Oct. 31, 2007

Had anyone asked back when Forest Lake Christian stood at 0-4-1 after five matches this season, Thad Kopec likely wouldn’t have predicted his Falcons would win another Central Valley Christian League championship.

After all, in addition to the slow start in non-league play, the Falcons had graduated nine starters from FLC’s 2006 Division V championship soccer squad.

But anyone who has watched what Kopec and his Falcons have done in their 26 years together could have told you FLC will be in contention by season’s end.

That was certainly the case Tuesday, when the Falcons found the net early and often in a 7-1 win over Vacaville Christian to close the regular season with a fourth-straight CVCL title.

“This one is pretty satisfying,” said Kopec, who will lead the defending section Falcons back into the playoffs next week. “We are not as strong as last year, but we have enough individual players who can get us there.”

– Brian Hamilton, sports editor

Co-champs

Falcons claim wins against Sac Waldorf

The Union, Feb. 9, 2008

Forest Lake Christian’s girls basketball team beat Sacramento Waldorf Friday 58-39, bringing the team to a tie with Central Valley Christian League leader Vacaville Christian for a share of the league title.

“We played real well and shot real well,” FLC coach Ken Holt said. “Ended the season on a good note.”

The Falcons now will be waiting on the result of coin toss to see who is the No.1 and No. 2 seed to play in the CVCL tournament next week.

Katie Fletcher led the Falcons with 18 points but it was Kayla Campora who went off for FLC.

Campora totaled 15 points, 19 rebounds, nine assists and four steals in the winning effort.

Kelsey Yates added 13 points in the game.

Forest Lake baseball playoff bound

The Union, May 10, 2008

The Falcons of Forest Lake Christian are poised for a playoff appearance in their second season since FLC returned the sport to its athletic program. Ron Phillips led his Falcons to second place in the Central Valley Christian League with a 7-3 mark and a 10-4 season record.

After winning their first six games of the season, the Falcons went through a dip where they dropped three of four. But before their playoff hopes were put into serious jeopardy, FLC with three straight wins down the stretch before falling to league champion Vacaville Christian in the regular season finale.

FLC’s playoff path was a short one, as the Falcons lost to Golden Sierra 12-6 in the first round.

– The Union staff


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