Wildfires take another step forward

Foresthill visited new territory with several programs this year
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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At a small high school nestled in the mountains above the American River Canyon, athletics are slowly gaining momentum. Each year, more and more teams are turning in winning records, competing for league titles and journeying to the postseason.
The 2009-10 school year was another step forward for Foresthill High.
Girls soccer:
After winning just two games in its first two years of existence, the Foresthill soccer team rallied to make the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs for the first time.
Seniors Brittany Salveson and Austin Fleming led the Wildfires. Emily Perez and Mariah Quintanilla provided offensive punch as Foresthill finished the season 6-9-2 overall and 5-4-2 in the Central Valley Christian League.
Softball: The Wildfires nearly brought home the school’s second league title banner in any sport, but a late loss proved costly. Foresthill settled for second place in the CVCL, a second straight trip to the Division V playoffs and an 11-6 overall record.
Senior Corinne Nevares turned in a brilliant senior season, finishing 7-2 as a pitcher with a 1.27 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 55 innings. Nevares also batted .403 with eight extra-base hits.
Freshman Sadie Stroup was also effective on the mound, posting a 4-2 record with a 1.21 ERA in 40 innings. Sophomore Caitlin McCann was great at the plate, batting .392 with 22 RBIs.
Baseball: The Wildfires’ nine turned in a 7-7-1 season, going through several ups and downs throughout the spring. The Wildfires finished 4-6 in the CVCL, just missing out on the section playoffs.
Seniors Jon McCann and Dave Whitsett were both strong on the mound. Sophomore Mike Mangone had an excellent year with the bat, finishing with a .500 average and a team-high 22 hits. Whitsett had a team-best 12 RBIs while Matt Furness and Travis Greene added five extra-base hits apiece.
Swimming: Junior Danielle Schefcik led the Wildfires’ season in the pool, placing ninth in the 200 freestyle. Schefcik took 10th in the 100 backstroke as well.
A season filled with thrilling highs and a few crushing losses ended in glory as the Wildfires finished with six wins – the most in school history.
An impressive 38-7 victory over Cristo Rey at home clinched Foresthill’s winning season. The team started the year 4-1 before back-to-back blowout losses. The Wildfires won two of their last three and posted a 2-3 record in the Sacramento Metro League, just missing the section playoffs.
Sophomore Colton Rhone gave the Wildfires a big boost, averaging more than 100 yards per game in the six games he played. One incredible performance against Woodland Christian included 2 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns (one was a 95-yarder).
Senior linebacker Jake Henry was tremendous on defense, leading the team with 118 tackles. Travis Greene, Dmitri Vasquez and Matt Furness were also leaders. Senior Tommy Young recorded nine sacks and junior Travis Marshall led Foresthill with four interceptions.
The Wildfires will miss senior quarterback Dave Whitsett, but look for the 2010 squad to run wild with Rhone and Jace Pack leading the way.
Volleyball: The Wildfires are still seeking their first winning season in program history, though they were competitive in 2009.
Foresthill finished 6-10 overall, getting strong play from seniors Mariah Dvorak and Lily Xu. The future looks bright for the Wildfires as Caitlin McCann, Anna Steever and Danielle Weismann will be back next fall to lead the charge.
Cross country: The Wildfires weren’t spectacular as individuals, but a balanced squad came up with a second place showing at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Championships.
Junior Nick Lange led the team with a third place individual finish. David Cox, Jacob Apodaca, Mike Mangone and Sean McMasters rounded out the scoring.
Sophomore Kelsey Zoller had a strong run as an individual at the section championships, racing to third out of 16 runners.
Girls basketball:
The Wildfires rode their momentum from 2008-09 into the winter and nearly upset their way into the section semifinals.
As a No. 13 seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs, coach Tim Dadigan’s team stunned No. 5 Big Valley Christian 48-46 to win a playoff game for the second straight season. In the quarterfinals, Sacramento Waldorf barely held off Foresthill, 57-55.
Freshman Sadie Stroup was terrific for the Wildfires all season, averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds. Junior guard Trysta Ferguson was the floor leader, averaging 9 points and 3.6 steals per game while junior Megan O’Brien was also a key.
Look for Foresthill to be contenders in the Central Valley Christian League next season. After finishing 11-9 last year, the Wildfires will welcome back most of their roster for 2010-11.
Boys basketball: The Wildfires were close to having a strong season, but could not get over the hump as they dropped several very close games throughout the season.
Foresthill finished 4-17 and 2-10 in the CVCL. Sophomore Mike Mangone was the surprise of the season, coming on strong to average 11.8 points and 10 rebounds per game. Senior Travis Greene was a solid contributor along with junior Jerod Williams and senior Dave Whitsett.