INSIDE FORCE: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1997 |

INSIDE FORCE: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1997

The Union staff

With local sports on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Union has decided to look back at some of the highlights from years past. Here’s a glimpse into what The Union sports pages offered from April 25 to May 1 in 1997:


Being the tallest and most physical player on three Nevada Union basketball teams did little to prepare Brandon Lampe for the humbling experience of playing for Napa Valley College.

The three-time All-Capital Athletic League center had a see-saw season with the Superchiefs this past winter, but finished well enough to earn an All-Bay Valley Conference Honorable Mention.

“After the first couple of games, I thought ‘Wow, I really need to rededicate myself,’” said the 6-foot, 5-inch, 225-pound Lampe at the time. “When you’re 6-5 and playing against guys who are 6-9, 260, you realize how much footwork is involved. You can’t lean on guys anymore. You’ve got to have quick feet and be a lot tougher.”

In the ninth game, Lampe helped the team win the opener of its own Wine Country Classic with a season-high 20 points. The next night, he added 18 points in a win and earned the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.

Lampe led Napa Valley for the season with 62% shooting from the field, grabbed a third best 5.0 rebounds per game, and was the team’s fourth leading scorer with 8.7 points. He also made 70% of his free throws.

The Superchiefs finished the year 17-13 overall and qualified for the state playoffs that season.


The Nevada Union boys volleyball team defeated Jesuit, 15-8, 15-8 in the finals of the Jesuit Tournament.

The Miners’ win avenged an earlier loss to the Marauders during pool play and another loss in the Davis Tournament.

“We got a little bit of a monkey off our back by beating Jesuit,” said then NU head coach Tim Smith, “and I think this puts us in a good spot as far as preparing for Placer this Thursday.”

The Miners also defeated Elk Grove and Rio Americano to reach the title match. Jesuit defeated Bear River, 15-13, in the first round before advancing to the final.

Sol Henson led NU with eight kills against Jesuit, while Starbuck Fleet had seven kills, Cory Johnson had six and Justin Heilmann had four.

Smith said a key to the win was the excellent passing of Henson, Fleet and Jason Wood, and pinpoint setting by John DeArcos and Wood.

“The guys truly took their game to a new level today,” Smith said.


Doug Robbins earned second place in the discus with a toss of 155 feet, 4 inches to lead nine Bear River athletes competing in the 33-school Bella Vista Bronco Invitational at American River College.

Bear River’s Paul Litchfield notched sixth place in the high jump with a height of 5-6. Michelle Muniz finished fourth in the girls long jump competition at 15-3, and sixth in the high jump at 4-10.


The Nevada Union tennis team remained undefeated in the Capital Athletic League with an easy 7-2 victory over Oakmont, while No. 1 singles player Aubri Giguere — seeking his first-ever victory over Oakmont’s Nick Cunningham — fell in straight sets at No. 1 singles.

The Miners (13-3, 10-0 CAL) have wrapped up the league championship and have won all three matches against Oakmont this season by huge margins.


Addi Norman had two goals to lead the Nevada Union girls soccer team past Grant, 5-0, in a Capital Athletic League match.

Heather Christensen, Linsey Ettlin and Corinne Montgomery added one goal apiece for the Lady Miners. Erin Peacock’s corner kick set up Norman for the first goal.

“I gave them an assignment to, when they received the ball, take somebody on and allow the rest of the team to get around them for support, and they did a good job of that,” said then NU coach Matthew Crowe.


The Forest Lake Christian softball team’s improved defensive play didn’t make their Central Valley Christian League rematch with New Life Christian as exciting as the first meeting, pummeling the Crusaders, 24-3, in a game that was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.

In the earlier meeting, the Lady Falcons committed numerous errors and squeaked by New Life, 17-16. This time, they had only four errors, and took advantage of 14 walks and one hit batsman in the first inning alone to build a 15-0 lead.


Eight Nevada Union Freestyle Club wrestlers took home first place finishes from a Sacramento Area Wrestling Association Tournament held at held at Bear River.

Josh Cena (39 pounds), Cole Hill (53s) and Davin Chittock (70s) triumphed in the 6 and under age division. Also winning for NU were Dennis Grube (45s, 7-8), Jacob Cena (50s, 7-8), Kevin Szura (52s, 11-12), Kyle Wakefield (124s, 13-14) and TJ Hooper (103s, 15-16).

Sports Editor Walter Ford compiled the content for this article from The Union archives. To contact Ford, email or call 530-477-4232.

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