Around the TRAC: Finding the balance in all the good stuff in sports and life

The Buchanan girls cross country team is now the No. 1 ranked team in the nation according to Milesplit. The team is lead by sophomore Corie Smith (right) and junior Meagan Lowe (left), seen here in a meet last year at Veterans Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Nick Baker/Rawsportz Media)

As I sit here at a local Starbucks at 9:37 p.m. on Oct. 1 listening to some classic rock (John Fogerty actually) and finishing up my sports stories for the Clovis Roundup, my mind is swirling and going 27 different directions, which isn’t out of the ordinary for me. Family, faith, work, music, friends and sports are usually what dominates my thoughts, and all are obviously dear and precious to me, perhaps to you as well. OK, movies are too but those things listed above are the aspects in my life that fulfill me most, and how I like to channel my passion.

Important to realize, now being a 46-year-old grown-up with a multitude of grown-up responsibilities (by the way, I still feel like I’m 26 years old in my head), there’s a question of how to balance all of this stuff, the busyness of life at this stage. If you’re a high school kid reading this, I encourage you to enjoy and soak in every minute of this gift called adolescence. Nearly every senior I talk to speaks of how fast everything goes by and when I see a former high school student/athlete, they usually talk of how strong their bond was with their brother or sisterhood, and how much they miss it. True, college is another fabulous chapter in life, but there’s something special about the days of high school. It’s no wonder there’s a million great movies about the glory days of high school like American Graffiti, Dazed and Confused and, of course, Hoosiers.

And if you’re a parent reading this, especially one with kids playing sports, what a great time to be alive! This time, too, is a gift filled with the twists and turns of navigating through an uncharted road. I’m sure a lot of the time we feel like we’re teetering on the edge, but isn’t it worth it for our kids? Remember those Saturdays at youth soccer games, sitting in our fold-up chairs, cheering like crazy and running water bottles to their red faces on the sidelines? And oh, those parent-made tunnels after the game, the kids smiling with unbridled joy? Those were great times, they were at least for me and my three daughters.

For many of us, we are now fast-forwarded to watching our kids steer straight into high school, knowing all the sacrifices we made are totally worth it, and hopefully understanding that the fruits of our labor are right in front of our eyes. How precious is that? I am becoming more and more a believer that one of the many keys to a healthy life is balance, and also a community to share our experiences with, sports included.

And as I now sit here at 10:18 p.m. at a Starbucks on Oct. 1, my hope is that you embrace this journey – no matter what stage of life you’re in. After all, we’re all in this together.

The Buchanan girls volleyball team won the John Riding Classic by beating Clovis North 25-20, 25-16 to move to 25-4 on the season. Mikayla Weiss was named the tournament most valuable player. (Contributed photo)

Buchanan volleyball wins John Riding Classic

The John Riding Memorial Tournament is in its third year, an extremely competitive tournament held at Clovis North honoring the late coach who impacted so many in the volleyball community.

The tournament fielded 20 teams including Clovis North, Buchanan, Clovis East, Clovis and as far away as Santa Maria and Tracy.

And Buchanan (25-4) took home the championship by defeating Clovis North 25-20, 25-16 to finish a perfect 7-0 in the tournament. Buchanan’s Mikayla Weiss was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I am proud how this group continues to come together and support each other during challenges,” said Buchanan head coach Chantal White. “They all are pulling the rope the same direction and that’s the difference why we won those crucial points in those moments.”

Shaye Dubberke of Buchanan received a $1,000 grant from the Riding family, a tradition that begun in the tournament’s first year.

Buchanan is off to a fantastic start to the season and is 2-0 in league as of Oct. 2 with the strong play of hitters Kennedy Rice (275 kills), Ashley Dittmann, (203) and Lexi Pagani (173). Mikayla Weiss has 671 assists on the season.

Buchanan girls XC ranked No. 1 in nation

We all know that Buchanan girls cross country was going to have a great year, with a state title well within their sights and goals after returning their top runners for 2017. Now, after winning the Woodbridge Classic with a dominating score of 92, they were put on the national map, and now they’re ranked No. 1 in the nation by the Flo50 from Milesplit.

Sophomore Corie Smith (15:58.4) and junior Meagen Lowe (15.59.3) finished 1-2 at the Woodbridge Classic, besting defending state champs Great Oak from Temecula. Both girls are the only teammates in the nation to finishing a 3 mile under 16 minutes.
Smith also won the Douglas P. Rudolf Invitational this past weekend, running 17:09.40. With those times, she is now the fastest sophomore girl in the country for both the 3-mile and 5K. Milesplit has named Smith as one of the biggest names to follow this season.
The team finished third in last year’s CIF State Cross Country Championships and returned their top six runners.
Besides Smith and Lowe the team features an incredibly balanced and talented group as well with Sydney Fox, Katie Nili, Amanda Dolberg and Clare Hernandez.
The Clovis Invitational is set for Oct. 7 at Woodward Park, a meet that is in its 39th running.

The Clovis North boys water polo team is 13-1 with their only loss an 11-9 championship game defeat to Las Lomas in the Arroyo Grande Fall Classic. (Contributed photo)

Buchanan boys, Clovis girls lead in water polo, Clovis North programs ready to challenge

Last year the Buchanan water polo team didn’t lose to an in-section team on its way to a TRAC and Valley championship. This year looks more of the same, as the Bears are 11-1 on the season, their only loss St. Francis 9-8 at the St. Francis Invitational.

However, Clovis North is having an outstanding year as well at 13-1, and is playing strong despite coming off a championship game loss to Las Lomas at the Arroyo Grande Fall Classic on Sept. 30.

In fact, the Broncos have averaged 16 goals a game and are 4-0 in league beating Central 21-3, Clovis 12-9, Clovis East 15-5 and Clovis West 12-9. They are scheduled to play Buchanan Oct. 3.

On the girls side, the Clovis Cougars are off to a strong start this season, especially in league play where they are 4-0, beating Clovis East 7-3, Clovis North 8-7, Buchanan 5-4 and Central 14-4.

They have yet to play rival Clovis West (7-5, 2-2) – the two met in the Valley championship last year, a 9-7 win for the Golden Eagles – and are scheduled to play Oct. 3 at Clovis and Oct. 25 at Clovis West.

Despite losing a tight one 8-7 against Clovis, Clovis North is playing great at 3-1 in league and 9-6 overall. Leading goal scorers are senior Amy Zaninovich with 35 and Mattie Herzog 24.

TRAC girls golf results

Results from the Dragonfly Golf Club par 36:

Team scores: Clovis West, 189; Clovis East, 214; Clovis North, 218; Buchanan, 223; Clovis, 245; Central, 287.

Individuals: Marissa Martinez, Clovis West, 36; Morgan Polley, Clovis East, 37; Madison Nii, Clovis West, 37; Aya Enkoji, Clovis West, 37; Taylor Dufresne, Clovis West, 37.

Football roundup

Week 4

Clovis 35 Centennial 28
Down by scores of 14-0 in the first quarter and 28-13 with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter, the Cougars (4-1) roared back by scoring an amazing 22 unanswered points, highlighted by Matthew Sanchez’s 50-yard touchdown pass from Jake Sanders on a double move under a minute remaining to stun Centennial in Bakersfield.

Running quarterback Jason Hunt was responsible for two of those fourth quarter touchdowns with runs of 50 and 1 yards and Colton “Bubba” Byrd caught two touchdowns.

Foothill 27 Clovis East 24
Clovis East battled back after being down 14-3 to take a 24-14 lead in the second half before falling to Foothill 27-24 to remain winless this season.

Romello Knight had 120 rushing yards and one touchdown and Paiton Echols and Trevin Qualls also scored for the Timberwolves.

Paso Robles 27 Clovis North 7
Clovis North couldn’t climb out of a 14-0 deficit after the first quarter as the Broncos fell to 1-4 on the season with a 27-7 loss to Paso Robles at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Sophomore quarterback D.J. Frampton threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Trenton Holloway with 6:35 left in the second quarter for the Broncos only score. Holloway also had an interception in the game.

Week 5

Clovis West 49 Centennial 35
Clovis West made the long drive back to Bakersfield for a Thursday night makeup game against Centennial and put the pedal to the medal and didn’t let up, taking care of the Hawks 49-35 to move to 4-1 on the season.

Junior quarterback Dante Chachere continued his stellar beginning to his career by throwing for 310 yards before halftime and 343 for the game with four touchdown passes. Nick Coleman had a 99-yard touchdown where he ran the last 80 yards and Rodney Wright III scored on a 65-yard pass.

Chad Day and Gabe Solario caught the other two touchdown passes and Wright, Chachere and Tykee Woods had touchdowns on the ground.

Buchanan 48 Porterville 0
There was no doubt in this one as the Buchanan traveled to Porterville to take on the Panthers, a Division IV team, and pounded them in a fourth quarter running clock 48-0.

The Bears spread the ball around with senior quarterback Ty Hall throwing three touchdown passes, one each to Jordan Huddleston, Cornell Washington and Jack Wilkins. Carson Bailey threw one to Washington and Trevor Ervin, Kendall Milton and Levi Willems ran for scores.

Paul Meadors
Paul Meadors is a man of many talents. He is a elementary school teacher, Junior High athletic director, and basketball coach in Traver, CA, in addition to serving as the Sports Editor for the Clovis Roundup. He is also the author of the humorous book “Letters to eBay,” and he has recorded a piano album of his own compositions titled “Surviving the Storm.” He lives in Fresno with wife Lori and daughters Georgie, Alex and Ruthie.