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Gold Country Stampede gears up for season

Five Gold Country Lacrosse teams of girls and boys, from third to 12th grades will play 60 lacrosse games in the Spring of 2010, starting today and finishing up in early May for those teams that make the playoffs.

Last spring, all three high school level teams made the playoffs, and with a lot of experienced players returning this year they should all be able to reach that goal again.

There will be 20 games played at Nevada Union’s Hooper Stadium, including five Saturdays with multiple games, and five week night games. The home season starts with the “Stampede Stampede'” with three boys teams facing off against their counterparts from Chico Lacrosse Club.



The first game starts at 11:30 a.m. and features the Stampede U15 team, which is made up of boys from four Nevada County Middle Schools and have anywhere from one to three years experience. Plus, there are several first year players who got a head start in lacrosse at Stampede Skill Schools last summer, and this past January.

Coaches Mario Sorrentino and Chuck Hemmert are optimistic about the season because of the enthusiasm and hard work shown by the team in the pre-season practices. Their first game is at Red Bluff on Sunday.




At 1 p.m., the Stampede JV team takes the field, and coach Roland Holland expects to have a good season because of the depth of experience of his ninth and 10th grade players. He also sees promise in several new players who are good athletes and have adapted quickly to the “fastest game on two feet.”

Holland, whose eldest son is on his squad, and has two others on the U15 team, and assistant coach Kevin Brennen feel they have a large team of well conditioned and energetic players that will get them to the playoffs for the third consecutive year.

The Stampede Boys Varsity starts their season with a trip to Redding on Sunday. Expectations are high with a strong group of experience players returning this season.

Nick Talbot, Sean O’Brien and Goalie Alec Hamlin lead what should be a strong defense, and Ceildh Baxter and Nick Harris will provide scoring power on offense. Coaches Andy Shoop, the founder of the GCL Club, Greg Porter, Terry Baxter and Joel Heppting are confident that this season will show that the Stampede can contend with the strongest teams in their league.

Their first home game will be at 3 p.m. March 6, as part of the “Stampede Stampede” against Chico.

The Girls Varsity, a.k.a. “The Lady Stampede,” plays in a series of jamboree-style weekends where they play two games against two other teams on one day. Their first games are on March 14 at Rohnert Park, and their first home games are March 20, when they will host teams from Rancho and Chico.

The Lady Stampede’s second home jamboree will be on April 24, when three teams visit Hooper Stadium. Coach Michelle Dean led her team to the semifinals of the league playoffs in their second season in 2009, and with a strong cadre of returning players expects to do even better this year.

The newest GCLC team is the “Chumash” squad of third through fifth graders. They play a unique version of a Native American game that teaches the basic lacrosse skills without contact.

Girls and boys play an intramural schedule, and they will give exhibitions at the half-time breaks of the games of the Stampede games at Hooper Stadium. Coach Lex Matteini has more than twice as many players in his second season, and that bodes well for the future of lacrosse in Nevada County.

For more information on the schedules, or how to enroll new players at any time, call (530) 432-3261, or visit http://www.gcstampede.com.


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