ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Baze’s pick-6 helps Sierra to 4th straight win | TheUnion.com

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: Baze’s pick-6 helps Sierra to 4th straight win

The Sierra College football team made it four straight wins with a blowout victory over previously unbeaten Shasta, 44-21, Saturday at Homer “Buzz” Ostrom Stadium in Rocklin.

Making a major impact in the game was 2018 Bear River graduate Austin Baze. The 6-foot, 2-inch, 240-pound, sophomore linebacker wrapped up six tackles and snagged an interception which he took back 45-yards for a touchdown. It was Baze’s second defensive touchdown of the season. He returned a fumble recovery for a score in the season opener.

Baze’s pick-six put the Wolverines up 20-7 in the second quarter.

For the season, Baze is second on the team with 42 tackles. He also has two sacks and four tackles for a loss.

During Baze’s time with the Bear River Bruins, he played at the varsity level all four seasons, notching 183 tackles and 11 sacks along the way. He helped the Bruins win two Section titles (2014, 2017) and was a force on both sides of the ball. As a fullback with the Bruins, Baze ran for 1,544 yards and 30 touchdowns on 251 carries.

Sierra teammate Hayden Fay, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, also saw action in Saturday’s win. The freshman receiver caught one pass for six yards and returned a kickoff.

On the year, Fay has seven catches for 210 yards and a touchdown from his receiver position. As a kick returner he’s averaging 21.5 yards per return with a long of 34. Fay is second on the team in all-purpose yards with 420.

Fay was a three-year varsity starter for the Miners, earning All-Sierra Foothill League honors as a receiver his junior season and as a defensive back his senior season. During his three varsity seasons, Fay pulled down 87 catches for 1,501 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Wolverines (4-2, 1-0) compete in the California Community College Athletic Association’s National-NorCal Conference.

Also on the college gridiron was Justin Houlihan, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, who helped the American River College Beavers beat College of the Siskiyous, 35-14, Saturday.

Houlihan, a 6-foot, 225-pound, sophomore linebacker, led the defensive effort with 10 tackles, including a sack and 3.5 tackles for a loss.

For the season, Houlihan is tied for the team lead in tackles with 50, and leads the team in tackles for a loss with 4.5.

While at Nevada Union, Houlihan was a three-year varsity starter at middle linebacker, racking up 340 tackles across 33 games. He was an All-SFL selection three times.

American River (4-2, 1-0) competes in the CCCAA’s National-NorCal Conference.

American River travels to face Sierra at 1 p.m. Saturday in Rocklin.

WOMEN’S Volleyball

Danica Minard, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River women’s volleyball team extended their win streak to eight matches last week with victories over Sierra College and Modesto Junior College.

Minard, a sophomore, tallied eight kills and three digs in the win over Sierra, and had three kills against Modesto.

For the season, Minard has played in 19 of American River’s 20 matches and is fifth on the team in kills with 86.

While at Nevada Union, Minard was a two-year varsity standout who helped the Lady Miners reach the playoffs in both her junior and senior seasons.

In her freshman season with American River, she played in 32 matches, tallied 129 kills and helped the Beavers win the California State Championship.

American River (14-6, 6-1) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

Bekah McGill, a 2019 Nevada Union graduate, and the Sierra Wolverines lost a pair of tightly contested matches last week, falling in five sets to both American River and San Joaquin Delta College.

McGill, a freshman setter, tallied 20 assists, four aces and eight digs against American River. She doled out 28 assists and had five digs in the loss to San Joaquin Delta.

For the season, McGill has played in all 19 of Sierra’s matches and leads the team in assists with 371. She’s also fifth on the team in digs with 95.

While at Nevada Union, McGill was a three-year varsity player and a team-captain in her junior and senior seasons.

Sierra (12-7, 5-2) competes in the CCCAA’s Big 8 Conference.

Kaely Rath, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Southern Virginia University Knights split a pair of matches last week, falling to Christopher Newport University, and topping York University.

Rath, a junior outside hitter, tallied 10 kills in the win over York, and notched eight in the match with Christopher Newport.

For the season, Rath leads the team in kills with 218.

While at Bear River, Rath was a four-year varsity player. She was a freshman on the Lady Bruins’ 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section championship team, and as a senior led the team to a Pioneer Valley League title. She was named the league MVP in 2015.

Southern Virginia (14-9) is a Division III school that competes in the Capital 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.


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