SOARING TO A SECTION TITLE: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1990 |

SOARING TO A SECTION TITLE: A look back at this week in Nevada County sports history – 1990

The Union staff
Shane Franssen set a new Nevada Union High School record by bench pressing 415 pounds at the 1990 “Lift-A-Thon” that benefits the program.
The Union file photo by Chris Harada

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 May 23-30 in 1990.

NU pole vaulter soars to section title

Matt McCauley of Nevada Union High won the pole vault title at the Sac-Joaquin Section track and field championships at Hughes Stadium with a stunning leap of 15 feet, 9 inches.

McCauley shattered the previous school mark of 15-3 set last season by Dan Wheeler, and his personal best by 15 inches.

“It was a phenomenal performance,” NU coach Sig Ostrom said.

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The junior advances to the state championships at Cerritos College in Norwalk. He was the only Miner to move on.

Ostrom said McCauley psyched his opponents by not jumping until the bar reached 13-9. Then he nailed each successive height on the first try.

“He was extremely confident and took the wind out of a lot of guys’ sails,” Ostrom explained.

PV Grays qualify for senior softball World Series

The Penn Valley Grays are headed to their first Senior Softball World Series.

The tournament team comprised of players from the Gold Country Senior Softball League earned the bid by reaching the finals of the recent Reno-Sparks Senior Softball World Series Qualifying Tournament for players 50-years-and-older.

“We have a quality team. We felt we could do it and we did,” said Penn Valley player-manager Pete Pappas.

The Grays advanced with a 28-21 semifinal victory over the defending world champion Redwood City Reds. Penn Valley pounded out 31 hits.

“It was one of those games where both teams hit super,” Pappas said. ”It was a team effort. Everybody hit the ball well.’

Penn Valley fell to the Pinole A’s in an anti-climactic final, 21-7.

Sixteen teams will vie for the World Series crown in Scottsdale.

The Penn Valley Grays are: George Calkins, Joel Guthrie, Bob Hannah, Jim Legate, Don McCage, Pappas, Moe Peloquin, Joe Pietramtonio, Ron Spooner, Jim Tetzlaff, Tom Vance, Jack Warren and Glenn Welz.

Miner football gets a lift from community

Shane Franssen founded the 400 club at Nevada Union High.

The Junior set a new school record by bench pressing 415 pounds at the annual “Lift-A-Thon” that benefits the program.

The 6-foot, 4-inch, 245 pounder, who will play tight end next fall — “that’s a heck of a big tight end,” coach Randy Blankenship said — opened at 300 pounds and methodically advanced 10 to 20 pounds at a time.

“He definitely got intense tonight,” Blankenship said.

Other standouts were Jason Thurn (300), James Molica (300), Gary Hunt (300), Jason Youngman (300), Ron Kennedy (315), Shane Golem (315), John White (315), Tim Trokey (320), Virgil Angove (330), Jake McDonald (365), Buck Ernest (365) and Ken Vaughn (365).

The event raised roughly $20,000.

“When the kids went out (seeking pledges) they told the coaches that people were really opening their wallets,” Blankenship explained. “This shows that nobody does it better than our community. They really backed us.”

Two Bruins make All-GEL baseball squad

Robb Tucker and Mike Sample of Bear River High were named to the All-Golden Empire League baseball team.

The seniors — Tucker played shortstop and pitched, Sample caught — had outstanding seasons as the Bruins (11-14 overall) fell one game shy of the playoffs.

Tucker hit .386, set a school record in hits (27) and ERA (1.64), and tied the BR mark in doubles (6) and triples (3). He was 3-3 with five saves on the mound and his defensive skills at shortstop are stunning.

“I’ll probably never get another kid like that,” said then Bear River coach Duane Zauner.

Tucker was second in the Most Valuable Player voting to Folsom pitcher Mike Cather.

Sample hit .280 and was a human red light behind the plate.

The strong-armed Sample — one of the area’s top quarterbacks the past two autumns — was primarily responsible for the Bruins stealing more bases than rivals (79-53) for the first time ever.

“That’s an important stat,” Zauner said. “Mike gave us the ability to throw out runners trying to steal. The other team had to get three guys on base to score instead of two.

Bruin softball pitcher voted all-GEL honors

Tina Rasmason of Bear River High was named to the All-Golden Empire League Softball team.

The sophomore pitcher/outfielder hit .339 and led the Bruins (5-13-1) with 17 hits.

“I think everybody respected Tina a great deal,” BR coach Manny Rodriguez said. “She’s a high-caliber softball pitcher.”

Three other Bear River sophomores — pitcher/catcher Ginger Rasmason, outfielder Cheryl Silvera and infielder Colleen Tribby — were honorable mention.

Sports Editor Walter Ford compiled the content for this article from The Union archives. To contact Ford, email or call 530-477-4232. Dennis Weber was The Union’s sports Editor in 1990.

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