ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: NU grad Justin Houlihan helps American River take down defending champs |

ALUMNI NOTEBOOK: NU grad Justin Houlihan helps American River take down defending champs

Justin Houlihan
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Justin Houlihan, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, and the American River College football team earned a big win on Saturday, taking down defending state champ and preseason No. 1 Laney College (Oakland), 15-10.

The Beavers from American River trailed 10-6 at halftime, but hit three second half field goals and shutdown Laney’s offense down the stretch to pull out the victory.

Houlihan, a sophomore linebacker, and the Beavers defense held Laney to just 112 passing yards and 150 rushing yards.

The 6-foot, 225-pound Houlihan wrapped up nine tackles in the victory, which was second on the team. He now has 15 tackles through two games this season.

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-league selection three times.

American River (2-0) competes in the California Community College Athletic Association’s National-NorCal Conference.

Austin Baze, a 2018 Bear River graduate, and the Sierra College Wolverines fell to 0-2 on the season after a 50-20 loss to Modesto Junior College.

Sierra went toe-to-toe with Modesto early on, and was down just one, 21-20, in the second quarter, but Modesto scored 29-unanswered points to pull away.

Baze, a 6-2, 240-pound linebacker, tallied five tackles in the game. The sophomore now has 11 tackles through two games.

During Baze’s time at Bear River, he played at the varsity level all four seasons, notching 183 tackles and 11 sacks along the way. He helped the Bruins win two Sac-Joaquin Section Division V titles and was a force on both sides of the ball.

Sierra teammate Hayden Fay, a 2018 Nevada Union graduate, made his presence known in the game as well. The freshman receiver grabbed one pass for 40 yards, and returned four kickoffs for 102 yards, including a long of 34 yards.

Fay was a three-year varsity starter for the Miners, catching 87 balls for 1,501 yards and 10 touchdowns in 29 games. He was an all-league selection twice.

Sierra College (0-2) competes in the CCCAA’s National-NorCal Conference.


Kaely Rath, a 2016 Bear River graduate, and the Southern Virginia University Knights won both of their contests last week, topping Roenoke College and Randolph College.

Rath, a junior outside hitter, led the Knights with 15 kills in the victory over Roenoke. No stats were available for the win over Randolph.

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

Southern Virginia (7-3) 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 or call 530-477-4232.

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