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Brian Hamilton: Spare a tire iron, brother?

It was somewhere near the 44-minute mark of my supposed 45-minute wait along Highway 99 south, when I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the Forest Lake Christian baseball game Thursday night.

Growing up in Indiana, where any Hoosier worth his salt can change a flat in five minutes flat, I know a quality pit stop when I see one.

This one wasn’t going to cut it – especially without a tire iron. (Did I leave it in the other car?)



And so I wait in the sweltering sun, thinking about what wonderful weekend of sports still ahead.

Disappointed to have missed the Falcons’ return to the section playoffs against Golden Sierra, the sudden free time on my hands gave me a chance to catch my breath between trips to and from Stockton.




Speaking of such, there’s one more planned for today, as the Bear River Bruins make their bid for back-to-back softball section championships.

The Bruins will not only be looking for a repeat title, but also will be walking the exact same path to a championship as nearly one year ago to the day.

Bear River (28-3) is back in the title mix after falling for the first time in the playoffs this year on Friday night to East Union, whom the Bruins will play for the crown.

And just like last year, Bear River will need to beat the Lancers twice to take the title.

Two other western Nevada County prep teams will be in a playoff action today, including another girls squad with their sights set a section crown. Forest Lake Christian’s soccer team will kick off with Bradshaw Christian (14-7-1) at 10 a.m. today at UOP in Stockton.

It’s the third straight trip to the finals for the Falcons, whose seniors made it known loud and clear this week that they’re not looking to be bridesmaids again.

The Falcons (13-9-5) have been on a roll since late in the Central Valley Christian League season, emerging from head-to-head battles with Victory Christian and Vacaville Christian for the league championship. And on Thursday, FLC avenged their 2007 title game loss with a 2-1 verdict over previously unbeaten Capital Christian.

So championship banner or not, the Falcons have plenty to be proud of while driving back up Highway 99 this afternoon.

On the way, if they’re so inclined, they can catch another south county club in action at Dan McAuliffe Memorial Park in Sacramento.

That’s where Bear River’s baseball team, the Pioneer Valley League champ, opens its second-round series against Valley Oak League runner-up East Union – the very school the Bruins softball team will battle at the very same hour at Arnaiz Stadium in Stockton.

Or maybe you’ve had enough prep sports for one day and would rather head home to rest up for the Penn Valley Rodeo tonight and Sunday.

Me?

I’m going to be back out on the road, although thankfully off Hwy. 99, as The Union photographer John Hart and I travel to Laguna Seca Raceway Sunday to watch western Nevada County’s rising star of the race track, Alexander Rossi.

Rossi, a 16-year-old Nevada City driver, begins his second season in the Formula BMW Americas series today at Laguna Seca.

Rossi will also be in action Sunday, which John and I will try and bring back to you for Monday’s edition of The Union.

Maybe we can even get a good look at the pits, and perhaps pick up a spare tire iron … or two.

To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail bhamilton@theunion.com or call 477-4240.


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