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Bruin up some fun

Two years running

Bear River beats East Union for the section championship – again

The Union, May 19, 2008



STOCKTON – She was recruited by Sacramento State as an outfielder, but after another championship pitching performance the Hornets just might want to give Kelly Shepard a shot inside the pitcher’s circle.

Shepard, Bear River’s senior right-hander, shouldered the load for Bear River Saturday, throwing her third and fourth games in less than 24 hours, as the Bruins defeated East Union in a carbon copy of Bear River’s 2007 championship run.




The Bruins came out of the consolation bracket to beat East Union 4-0 at high noon Saturday, and then scored a 2-0 win over the Lancers for the title – repeating the exact path to the 2007 crown.

“I guess we like that formula,” said Bear River coach Duane Zauner, ” … 24 hours, two trips to Stockton, four games – two on Saturday, in the sun – yeah, I guess we like it that way.”

Shepard didn’t seem to mind much either, shrugging off the workload with a wide smile after winning another pitcher’s duel with East Union ace Erin Arevalo.

“I felt a lot of pressure out there,” said Shepard, who wrapped up her senior year with a 25-2 record, a 0.54 ERA and a second-straight section crown. “I was definitely tired, no doubt about that. And the heat was definitely a factor.

“But we battled through. We did awesome. My teammates are just amazing.”

– Brian Hamilton, sports editor

Bruins crowned champs

Bear River baseball clinches title

The Union, April 30, 2008

Drew Loftus whacked an inside-the-park home run and Brendan Casey hit a three-run homer to push the Bear River Bruins baseball team past Mesa Verde 8-5 Wednesday and clinch at least a co-championship in the Pioneer Valley League.

Vince Viola pitched a complete game, giving up his first five runs of the season, but threw seven strikeouts en route to the win.

The Bruins were down 4-0 after the third innings, but roared back scoring seven runs in the fourth. Loftus hit a deep ball to the left center gap. The ball was hit so hard and fast, it had Mesa Verde’s outfielder sprinting to the fence to catch it, but failed miserably, running into the wall and falling down, NU coach Mike Viola said.

“By the time the center fielder got around to the ball, (Loftus) was already on his way home,” Viola said.

Following a couple singles, Casey knocked out a three-run homer before the Bruins tagged on some more runs to go up 7-4.

Vince Viola finished batting 3-for-3 on the day while Loftus finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs to go along with his home run.

Stephen Hilton went 2-for-4 with two doubles. James McCririe, Austin French and Scott Runte each added a hit as the Bruins tallied 12 in the game.

– The Union staff

Bruin tennis duo second in section

The Union, May 10, 2008

Less than 24 hours after their singles season had come to an end at the Pioneer Valley League Tennis Championships, senior Marie Paquin and freshman Lindsey Harter were paired together for the league’s doubles competition.

Though the four-year difference in age might have seemed like somewhat of an odd pairing at the time, but the decision made by Bear River coach Jeff Carrow now looks like a smart move.

The duo doubled up to take the PVL championship last week and one week later finished second in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III tournament Friday.

“What a nice run, a great run,” Carrow said.

Indeed. Harter and Paquin put together quite a run in the PVL tourney, which was capped by victory over Placer’s previously unbeaten tandem of Farrah Dobbas and Marissa Rodriguez in the finals.

This week, though, it was the Placer pair who emerged with first place, as Dobbas and Rodriguez downed Paquin and Harter 7-6, 6-2 for the D-III crown Friday at Oak Park in Stockton.

With the PVL title, Bear River’s duo earned a first-round bye Thursday before beating Modesto Christian 6-1, 7-5 to earn a trip back for more action on Friday. Harter and Paquin pulled off a 6-7, 6-2, 6-1 victory over Central Catholic in the semifinals, before bowing out after the battle with Placer in the rematch.

– The Union staff

County kids storm sectional

Bear River runner advances to state

The Union, Nov. 12, 2007

Bear River’s Denise Julian, a freshmen cross country runner, will represent the Bruins in the CIF Division IV State meet, held in Fresno this upcoming Saturday.

Julian, 14, qualified for the state meet by placing 11th with a time of 21 minutes and 51 seconds at the 5-kilometer CIF Sac-Joaquin section meet, in which the Bruins placed fourth overall as a team.

“This is the first really big race I’ve done,” Julian said. ” I’m really excited. I tried really hard.”

If the Bruins team had placed third overall, they would’ve moved on as a team to the state meet. The Bruins were edged out of third place by rival Colfax.

– The Union staff

Zauner a ‘true Bruin’

Longtime JV coach steps away from sideline

The Union, Nov. 10, 2007

“Stability” was the first word out of the mouth of both Duwaine Ganksie and Terry Logue in describing Duane Zauner, their longtime teaching colleague and fellow coach at Bear River High School.

But, then again, how else would you describe someone who’s been heading up one of the school’s most successful programs for the past 22 years?

“I’m a true Bruin,” said a smiling Zauner, who called it a career Friday night after 220 consecutive games as the only junior varsity football coach in Bear River High School history.

“I’ve just gone year by year and before you know it, it’s been 22 years.”

And what a 22 years it’s been. Zauner led the Bruins junior varsity program to 161 wins, along with 57 losses and a pair of ties, during that span.

Bear River’s JV program has been a perennial contender for league championships throughout Zauner’s run.

But on Friday night, after his Bruins beat down rival Colfax 34-6 in his sideline swan song, Zauner’s final team had posted the best JV season in school history with a 10-0 record.

– Brian Hamilton, sports editor


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