Category Archives: Sports

Little Leagues Merge in West Sacramento

By Michele Townsend

WSLL BoundariesLittle League came to West Sacramento in 1953. It was a much simpler time then, and it seemed the entire town was excited about bringing baseball to the children of our community. It was a common sight to see a team photo hanging on the wall of local businesses.

Its popularity took off like wildfire. West Sacramento’s Little League became official when it was chartered in 1954 by Williamsport, allowing for the children in our league to be eligible for advancement in competition beyond our town limits.

It wasn’t just West Sacramento that was organizing a local little league. Little leagues were popping up all over the Sacramento area. By 1954, California was being divided into 33 original districts.

West Sacramento fell within the boundaries of D6. Once the district offices were established, it became the responsibility of those offices to handle the chartering of new leagues. By then, baseball had become so popular in West Sacramento that it was decided a second league was needed. D6 chartered its first league, and Washington Little League was born in the Broderick/Bryte area.

Now, 60 years later, little league is still going strong in West Sacramento. It is still a common sight to go into businesses and see a team photo hanging on their wall to show the support that they have given our kids.

The town has grown a lot in 60 years, but the original little league boundaries within our town have remained the same. Washington Little League sits between the river and the freeway, leaving no room for expansion and creating a land-lock for that league. Many of the families within these boundaries are established, and still remain in their homes. This is a wonderful thing.

However, the children from that area of the community have now grown, and moved on to live their own lives with children of their own. There are of course still children on the north side of town, so though Washington Little League was small, it still managed to stay afloat.

All rule changes are made in Williamsport, and apply to all chartered little leagues. In 2014, the boundary rules changed. It would now be allowed to play little league in the area of where the child goes to school. When the new boundary rule was put into play, many children from Washington Little League moved over to West Sac Little League. There are more kids, more games, more variety. What’s not to love? With the numbers of players dwindling on the Washington side, it seems the league can no longer sustain itself. Washington Little League President, Teresa Blackmere stated, “It’s sad really. We’ve held on as long as we could, but the simple truth is we just don’t have the kids.” In 2015, Washington Little League had 75 registrants, allowing for only one junior and major teams, two Minor teams and four Tball teams.

However, do not fear. Baseball is still booming in West Sacramento. West Sac Little League is growing bigger and stronger by the year.

In 2015, West Sac Little League had 660 kids registered to play ball. West Sac’s President, Ron Yarbrough stated that “the merger between the two leagues in West Sacramento is not official yet, but it will be by next year. So, for this year, any kids that wanted to sign up, we did it by waiver.” When asked if they were already utilizing the fields in the Washington area, he stated “Oh yeah, with this many kids, we use the fields all around town. However, we have put money into improvements and repairs on those fields, and we just invested $45,000 to improve the fields at Memorial Park. You really should come and see them. They are beautiful. Major league quality.”

Opening Day is March 19th at Memorial Park. So, this spring, if you find yourself looking for a fun day, and something to do – head on over to one of the ball parks and catch a game. Support the kids, share in the excitement, and have a good time! Remember that everybody out there is a volunteer, so please be supportive.

Raiders Soccer Starts Strong

By Noemi Zavala
RCHS journalism student

soccer
The RCHS Girls’ soccer team won 1st place in last weekend’s tournament in Turlock. The tournament is hosted by Pitman High School and is a competitive tournament with schools based out of the Central Valley area.

The River City Girls Soccer team had 4 wins and 0 losses while scoring 10 goals and giving up only 2.
RCHS varsity soccer coach Kamal Singh was pleased with the team’s overall performance saying, “They have been working extremely hard during the offseason in preparation for this.”

During the tournament, players and coaches from River City were approached by other teams and parents praising their play and asking where River City was located.

Singh proudly said, “They definitely know we are from West Sacramento now.”

Sophomore Alejandra Pinedo, who was brought up from the jv team to play midfield for the tournament said, “The coaches are really supportive and my teammates are really hardworking and fun to play with.”

RCHS senior Jaylen Crim signs letter of intent to play soccer at St. Mary’s

By Monica Stark
editor@news-ledger.com

Out of a somewhat reserved River City High School senior, Jaylen Crim, come extreme talent and force on the soccer field. This week the varsity soccer forward signs off for St. Mary’s where she’s given a full ride scholarship to continue improving her game.
“She definitely will be missed when she’s gone. She helped the program take a turn,” head coach Kamal Singh said. “Since I’ve been here, she’s the first D1 scholar (the team has had).”
A member of the varsity team since she was a freshman, Jaylen has gotten the team to win more and more. “This is my 11th year at River City and the last five years started turning around once Jaylen and her crew came, her and four other girls, they definitely had a huge impact on the program.”
A very humble player with undeceiving speed, it’s as though Jaylen possesses an extra gear, Singh says. ”She can turn on that gear whenever she wants to … Over the years she scored some great goals. She’s won some games with her athletic ability for us. She’s a team player. She loves being a part of this team.”
One such game Jaylen describes as a highlight for her time thus far at River City was against Woodland High School last year when in the last three minutes she scored two goals, making the score 3-0. “They’re our biggest rivals,” she says.
In conditioning now for River City, Jaylen hopes to lead the team further than ever in the playoffs and she hopes to make the All City List. “I made it last year; to make it again would be good,” she said.
Having played club soccer for Sacramento United, which practices at Granite Park in Sacramento, since she was 8 years old, Jaylen has traveled all around California. “I played the majority of my games with them. I found a lot of coaches help me,” she said.
Excited to attend St. Mary’s and study kinesiology and eventually practice physical therapy, she said she likes the smaller feel of the college. “I went on my official visit in October and met all players coming in and with the ones that are there and we got to bond a little.”
At the sport since she was just 3 years old (4 years old on a team), Jaylen said her parents have been her primary inspiration. “They inspire me to do my best. When I was younger, they always wanted me to practice playing soccer.”

Let Them Eat Cake!

Raley Field hosted annual Beat the Blerch Run

By Bia Riaz
bia@news-ledger.com

Sara Sheller wanted to get off the couch. She needed to do something healthy and active that didn’t require joining a gym. When she learned about the Beat the Blerch Run being planned for Raley Field, she had to sign up.

Sara had always been a fan of the Oatmeal comic strip created by Matt Innman. His character the “Blerch” is an imaginary fat cherub that follows you around and encourages you to eat junk food, stay on the couch, sleep in late, and above all, indulge in cake!

The Oatmeal comic strip on running, recounts Matt’s own struggle with weight loss. Inspired by his journey, five years ago, Sara had joined a Couch to 5K program and gradually built up her stamina and strength as a runner; one minute at a time. It was really difficult at first but she didn’t give up. Within two years she had completed 12 races; including a 7-mile run.

A few years ago, she moved from Iowa to California and recently made West Sacramento her new home. Sara and her boyfriend, Noah Lesh, wanted to find a good neighborhood with a house and a yard, suitable for their dogs. The cross country move to a new place had left little time for running. When the opportunity to participate in the Beat the Blerch run presented itself, she knew she had to sign up to feel healthy again.

The Beat the Blerch Run was scheduled for Nov. 14. Participants could choose to sign up for either the full marathon, half, 10K or 5K runs. Sara, Noah and two of their friends signed up for the 5K. The course started and ended at Raley Field in West Sacramento and took runners through areas of West Sacramento, Sacramento, and river trails.

That morning was a sight to behold. There were runners dressed up in banana suits, strips of bacon, and other assorted Oatmeal-inspired costumes. As promised on the website, the course had rest stations with comfy couches and lots of cake. There were also several “Blerches” enticing runners with sugar laden goodies.

Amanda DiMarco, Race Manager for the event, said more than 4,000 people had signed up to participate. The participants spanned every level of fitness from professional marathon runners to first time runners. The logistics of planning the marathon involved coordinating with the cities of West Sacramento and Sacramento, Yolo and Sacramento counties. A portion of the proceeds from the race were to be donated to charity.

Sara and her friends encountered Blerches with tempting cake and Nutella sandwiches at rest stations. “No, we’re running, we can’t have cake!” said, Sara. “But we did have cake, and it was the best; incredibly awesome.” Sara completed her 5K at 49:37.

Afterward, they celebrated Beating the Blerch at the Jackrabbit Brewery in West Sacramento.

On the web:
http://beattheblerch.com/
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running