‘Heart of the City’: youth & sports

DON SCHATZEL, News-Ledger Columnist

NEWS-LEDGER — NOV 2, 2011 –

By Don Schatzel

The pieces seem to be coming together at River City High School!

I don’t often comment on sports at River City because they are covered so well by the News-Ledger but I had an opportunity to attend football homecoming event this year and I was very impressed. Athletic Director Char Ghio needs to be recognized for her great work, and she seems to be everywhere at River City Sports!

The home stands were full – so full that some River City fans had to sit on the visitors’ side. We actually had a marching band with uniforms and they really marched and played music you could understand. The River City choir proudly sang the national anthem. The P.A. announcer could be heard and understood! The homecoming floats and honor court were terrific in their classic cars and trucks, plus there seemed to be as many people walking around from the community, catching up on the past weeks activities, as there were sitting in the stands! The booster club is doing  a great job on the snack bar.

I have attended RCHS soccer and volleyball games, and there is Char again.
Friday night River City football games are the social place to be in West Sac and a great place for the whole family to have some fun.

It is easy to see the impact of the Jr. Raiders youth football program on the River City High team, and as of this writing, the Raiders have concluded their great season for 2011.

Hey, sponsors!

If your business is in a position to sponsor a youth league in town – football, swimming,  soccer, baseball, softball – they sure need the help. Again, there are a lot of people attending River City football games, West Sac girls softball and youth soccer games each and every weekend. Sponsorships help keep the registration fees down and reduce the need for families to do fundraisers.

  I have never been supportive of having kids walk door to door selling candy, popcorn, etc. to pay for their program. Everyone I know involved with a sport league goes out of their way to shop at a sponsor’s place of business just because of the sponsorship.  I would guess each sponsor gets a double or triple return of their sponsor investment each season.

Each league has a website for you to contact it through, and they need the help!

It is already  time to be thinking about the Dolphins swim program and Little League softball and baseball leagues. Volunteer board members are planning registration dates, and now would be a good time to look up their info and be ready to register.

Soccer and fall ball baseball and softball continue as long as the  California  weather we enjoy doesn’t change.
Have you had a chance to go by Bryte Park on a Saturday?  The day-glo (often called “highlighter yellow” by our opponents) uniforms you see are on the West Sac soccer players! Hundreds of them, all day at Bryte! If we ever have a game in the fog, we will  always be able to spot our own players. That sounds odd, but having had the experience of playing soccer in Stockton in the fog, by sound instead of sight because the fog was so thick we could not see the other end of the field  the day-glo uniforms would have been helpful.

However, our opponents can say what they want about our uniforms as long as we beat them.

Congratulations to the under 12 girls team coached by Mike Lara, Adam Medina and Troy Hensley for winning their recent  Land Park Tournament.

Vanessa Hensley and Macie McCann: future River City stars? Maybe in a few years  — and we will be watching!

Fall Ball Little League Softball is wrapping up another successful season in District 6. Katie Saleeba, Charlotte Moore, and Alicia  Lopez have had great season for the juniors and Mikala and Sydney Gonzales, Shelby Haith, and Candace O’Neal for the Majors.

Also, another shout-out to Washington Unified after-school volleyball program. A couple of years ago, it was a struggle for the girls to get the ball over the net now it is not unusual to see 7-8 returns per rally and a real attempt – often successful – at the classic bump, set, spike approach!

On a personal note, I always enjoy watching the games and seeing all the great athletes that are playing volleyball for their school and then seeing the same athletes on the soccer and softball field.

Alicia Lopez, Jazlyn Hendrickson Unique Martinez, Ashlyn Dodd, Hannah Mccann, Gabrielle Mistler, Carlie Blevins, Jesse Olsen, Jasmine Anderson, Jordan Criswell, Kylee Hall: great athletes that represent their school and the community all year long in the many sports in West Sacramento!

The “Heart of the City” goes on beating all year long.

Copyright News-Ledger 2011


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