PARADE OF CHAMPIONS: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1990 |

PARADE OF CHAMPIONS: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1990

The Union staff

With local sports on hold for the time being due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Union has decided to look back at some of the highlights from year’s past. Here’s a glimpse into what the sports scene offered from March 21-28 in 1990:


Section champion athletes from Nevada Union and Bear River were celebrated at the Parade of Champions on Mill Street in Grass Valley. The Lady Miners and Lady Bruins basketball teams won Sac-Joaquin Section championships in their respective divisions. Led by then coach Craig Strohm, Nevada Union claimed its second straight Section championship. For Bear River, it was their first under then coach Duwaine Ganskie.

Nevada Union and Bear River’s alpine ski teams were also part of the celebration after finishing 1-2 at the state ski championships.

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March 23 was Kellie Cook Day in Nevada County. Cook, a star on the Nevada Union girls basketball team, was honored by local government representatives for her play. Cook, a junior at the time, received proclamations from the cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City as well as Nevada County. U.S. Rep. Norm Shumway also sent congratulations along with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol. Cook was a fourth-team All-American selection by Parade Magazine and voted the Girls High School Player of the Year by two Sacramento newspapers.


“The seventh inning horror story is over,” proclaimed then Bear River baseball coach Duane Zauner after his team beat Lincoln, 5-1.

Zauner was referring to the week prior when the Bruins dropped three games to rivals via last inning rallies.

Pitcher Mike Wright went the distance for Bear River, striking out seven and walking two. Cliff McCormick added a two-RBI double in the win.

“We were sure hoping our luck would change,” said Zauner. “We felt you could only have so much bad luck. The odds were in our favor.”


Nevada Union’s baseball team earned its first league win of the season behind the arm of Jeff Lathrop.

The senior right-hander tossed a four-hitter as the Miners edged Del Campo, 1-0.

“Jeff did a great job of keeping people off the bases,” said then NU baseball coach Hank Davidson. “We played a good game and it’s good to get back on the winning track.”


Bear River’s Becky Sagan shined for the Bruins at the Redskin Invitational in Angels Camp. Sagan won the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdle events and tied a then school record in high jump with a mark of 4-feet, 8-inches.

“She just had an amazing day,” said then Bear River coach Nick Vogt.


Kellie Cook, who led NU’s girls basketball team to their second straight D-I Section title, was named the state’s Junior Player of the Year and to the Division I All-State team by Cal-Hi Sports. Brandi Ashmore, who starred for Bear River’s D-IV Section title winning team, was named to the D-IV All-State Team.


The Bear River tennis team eked out a tennis victory, beating Golden Empire, 5-4, in Golden Empire League action. Leading the way for the Bruins was Mike Wilson and Katie Baird.

“The kids played their hearts out,” said then Bear River coach Betty Schwarz. “I’m proud of them.”


Nevada Union’s girls soccer team kicked off Capital Athletic League play with a 3-1 victory over San Juan. It was the first time the Lady Miners had ever beaten San Juan or even scored more than one goal, according to then coach Gene Crowe.

Carre Parker scored two goals, including the game winner. Karn Kofoid added the other goal for NU.

“It was one of those games where we knew we were in control, so the kids didn’t let down,” said Crowe.


The boys basketball team from Magnolia claimed both the Nevada County League regular season and tournament titles.


In adult softball news, the Grass Valley City Council claimed to be “preserving a bit of Grass Valley history” when it gave the fast-pitch softball league first dibs on the Memorial Park baseball fields.

Both leagues — the Western Nevada County Softball Slo-Pitch Softball Association and the Nevada County Softball Association (fast-pitch) — did not want to play on the weekends. Unable to come to a scheduling agreement, league representatives eventually took the issue to Grass Valley’s Public Works director at the time for arbitration.

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

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