Local News

XC 2021 Section Champs

Vacaville, VCS win section cross country titles

 
By Matt Miller | Daily Republic |
PUBLISHED: November 14, 2021

FOLSOM –  The varsity boy runners from Vacaville and Vacaville Christian high schools each won division titles Saturday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country Championships in Folsom at Willow Park.

Both teams qualified for state meet, to be held Nov. 27 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

Vacaville earned a championship in the Division II varsity boys race, ahead of Whitney and Vista Del Lago. The Bulldogs took third through seventh with Donald Cherviyot (3rd, 16:16.7), Kellen Ruiz (4th, 16:19.2), Colton Walker (5th, 16:27.3), Asher Love (6th, 16:31.3) and Paul Hobbs (7th, 16:31.8). Kellen Steplight and Evan Mitchell will join them on the trip to state.

Vacaville Christian’s varsity boys finished first in a field of 11 teams in Division V. Four Falcons had top-25 times in Chris Lepron (6th, 18:23.4), Maverick Adam (10th, 19:06.3), Aaron Laxamana (20th, 19:53.3) and Apollo Adam (22nd, 19:57.4). Harrison Jones, Brian Laxamana and Ryder Sietsema will join them on the trip to state.

Vacaville Christian’s girls came in second to only Bret Harte in the Division V race and will also advance to state. Katrina Husby (7th, 20:56.7), Kara Krulick (11th, 22:38.4), Laura Everett (16th, 23:04.9) and Cate Fereira (25th, 24:41.1) led the charge. Kimberley Miller, Zoe Stires and Taylor Wood will join them in Fresno.

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XC 2021 Section Champs
XC 2021 Section Girls 2nd
MARTIN-01

Vacaville Christian High volleyball player Kirra Martin is athlete of the week

Vacaville Christian High School’s Kirra Martin returns a serve in their first-round section playoff match against Buckingham Collegiate Charter Academy last week. She has been named The Reporter’s Athlete of the Week. (Joel Rosenbaum / The Reporter)

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: November 2, 2021 at 11:08 a.m.
PHOTO:(Joel Rosenbaum — The Reporter file) 

Junior has Falcons in the section semifinals

Heading into the Carmichael Invitational Tournament in September, the Vacaville Christian girls volleyball players were searching for their identity, unsure of just how good a team they could become.

After two straight losses to fall to 2-3 overall, something clicked. The Falcons bounced back for two straight wins in the tourney and a second-place finish.

“We went in thinking we weren’t going to do well,” said Kirra Martin, middle blocker for the Falcons, “and we took second place. That helped us going into league. We were able to see our potential as a team during the tournament.”

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BASKETBALL CAMP

The Skills Factory Experience Basketball Camp

If you missed out on the free clinic going on May 15th, the Skills Factory Experience returns June 5-6 for a two-day camp. Intended for ages 5 yrs. to 14 yrs., the camp runs both days from 9am to 12 noon at the VCS Falcon Gymnasium.

WHO: Boys & Girls, 5-14 yrs. old

WHEN: June 5-6th

TIME: 9am-12noon

COST: $150/player for both days or $100 for only one day.

Space is limited and CDPH guidelines will be enforced. Each player must bring their own basketball and there will be special guests and prizes awarded!

Go to www.hoopitup3x3.net to register today!

VCS Baseball

Season Opener: Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity Fights Back In Loss To Rio Vista

Season opener on Friday, March 19, 2021

Despite a 4-run deficit in the fourth inning, Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity almost came all
the way back, eventually falling 4-3 to Rio Vista on Friday. Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity
scored three runs in the failed comeback on a error and a triple by Steve Dingman.
Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity couldn’t keep up with Rio Vista early in the game. Rio
Vista scored on a double by Baldwin and a single by Drury in the first inning.

Rio Vista got things moving in the first inning, when Baldwin doubled on a 2-1 count, scoring
one run. Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity tallied three runs in the fourth inning. Rafa Rios and Dingman each had RBIs in the frame. Baldwin earned the victory on the mound for Rio Vista. The ace allowed five hits and three runs over five innings, striking out five. Drury threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen. Drury recorded the last six outs to earn the save for Rio Vista. John Elliott took the loss for Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity. Elliott surrendered four runs on six hits over three and two-thirds innings, striking out one.

Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity scattered six hits in the game. Elliott and Dingman each managed multiple hits for Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity. Dingman and Elliott each collected two hits to lead Vacaville Christian Falcons Varsity.

 

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CDPH logo

UPDATE: Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports

Summary

COVID-19 continues to pose a severe risk to communities and requires all people in California to follow recommended precautions. This guidance provides direction on outdoor and indoor youth and recreational adult sports activities to support a safe environment for these sports. The guidance applies to all organized youth sports and recreation— including school- and  community-sponsored programs, and privately-organized clubs and leagues — and adult recreational sports (hereafter youth and adult sports). This guidance does not apply to collegiate or professional sports. Additionally, this guidance does not apply to community events, such as marathons, half-marathons, and endurance races. 

Inter-team competitions (i.e., between two teams) resumed in California beginning January 25, 2021. The guidelines outlined in this document shall take effect on February 26, 2021.

The status of return-to-competition is subject to change at any time given the level of COVID-19 transmission in California.

Click here to review the full CDPH update.

CDPH logo

VCS Athletics and the lifting of the state’s regional stay-at-home order for all regions

SACRAMENTO – Officials with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today ended the Regional Stay at Home Order, lifting the order for all regions statewide, including the three regions that had still been under the order – San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area and Southern California. Four-week ICU capacity projections for these three regions are above 15%, the threshold that allows regions to exit the order. The Sacramento Region exited the order on January 12 and the Northern California region never entered the order.

This action allows all counties statewide to return to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity. The majority of the counties are in the strictest, or purple tier. Tier updates are provided weekly on Tuesdays. Individual counties could choose to impose stricter rules.

Read the full announce by clicking here.

What does this mean for VCS Athletics?

Solano County remains in the Widespread – Purple Tier allowing youth sports to begin the use of shared equipment within our cohorts/teams during practice sessions following the CDPH guidelines for masking, social distancing to the maximum extent possible, hygiene and Equipment Sanitation. Athletes and coaches are expected to choose one team for the season, they are not to participate/coach on multiple teams during the same time frame.  Once outside competitions begin, due to the added risk of spreading the COVID virus if an athlete contracted the virus while competing with an outside school, the athlete must stop training with all other teams.

For example: If Joe is participating on the school football team, he cannot concurrently participate with his outside club basketball team.  Joe must choose to participate with only one team. Also, if Joe is currently participating on the school cross country team and practicing with his school basketball team, once he starts to compete against other schools with his cross country team, he must stop training with the basketball team until he is finished with his cross country season. This is all about protecting everyone involved and we must abide by our county order to follow the CDPH guidelines.

Donna Hagans, VCS Director of Athletics


CURRENT CIF SPORTS SCHEDULE:

IN-SEASON (In-person competitions allowed to begin according to assigned tier): Cheer (Yellow), Cross Country (Purple), Football (Orange), and Women’s Volleyball (Orange)

LIMITED PERIOD for all other high school sports: Baseball (Red), Basketball (Yellow), Competitive Cheer (Yellow), Golf (Purple), Soccer (Orange), Softball (Red), Swimming (Purple), Track & Field (Purple), and Men’s Volleyball (Orange)

Still, the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section has yet a new proposal on the table. They are preparing to vote on a new Sports Calendar for the remaining 2020-2021 school year this week. This new proposal could give the VCS sports league, the Sierra Delta League, the opportunity to determine which sports our small school league could actually make happen this spring based on anticipated movement into particular tiers. The SDL has many things to consider in their decision, such as student-athlete participation numbers, facility availability, transportation, and coaching staff to name a few. Part of the CDPH guidelines requires schools to limit their competitions to their own county and adjacent counties within the same tier. For VCS this means we can only compete with schools in the same tier and located in Solano, Napa, Sacrament, and Yolo counties respectively. The challenge for the SDL is that we are not all in adjacent counties, so VCS is not even allowed to play two of the seven league teams: Golden Sierra and Linden.

Our heads are spinning as A.D.’s as we try to manage the constant changes handed down by both the state and our CIF section along with the many unknowns of this virus. Our goal is the same at this point – we simply want our kids to be able to compete!

Donna Hagans, VCS Director of Athletics

PRESS RELEASE: CIF Statement Regarding Education-Based Athletics for 2020-21 School Year

December 1, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Due to the continued surge in COVID-19 infections, the
California Department of Public Health has postponed the issuance of its updated youth
sports guidance. The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) does not expect the
CDPH will issue any guidance allowing for schools to return to full practice and
competition until after January 1, 2021, at the earliest. Thus, all full practice and
competition start dates are officially on hold until updated guidance is issued.

Therefore, to provide the 10 CIF Sections, our 1,605 member schools, and more than
800,000 student-athletes the best opportunity to compete in Season 1 Sports, once
allowed by the CDPH and local county offices of public health, the CIF State Office is
removing all Regional and State Championship events from the Season 1 Sports calendar.
By canceling Regional and State Championship events, more student-athletes will have
the opportunity to participate in a longer season, rather than a truncated season with
Regional and State post-season play for a limited number of schools.
Additionally, boys volleyball will be moved to Season 2 to avoid the loss of a second full
season, and an updated Season 2 calendar to include boys volleyball will be posted in
January.

The CIF is confident this decision is a necessary and reasonable action for our member
schools, student-athletes, and school communities in light of the current statewide crisis.
This revision to the CIF State 2020-21 Season 1 Sports calendar offers our Sections and
Leagues the flexibility and needed time to plan for the return to practice and competition
once updated guidance is provided by the CDPH.

West Coast Prep Kendall Allen

Xclusive Speed Top 45 Powered by West Coast Preps: Nos. 30-26

No. 27: Vacaville Christian junior receiver Kendall Allen

Kendall Allen is simply a freak of an athlete.

During his first two high school seasons, Allen was one of the top receivers in the entire region and accumulated nearly 1,000 yards both seasons. His freshman year was a 994-yard and 13-touchdown season, following that up with 992 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns to lift Vacaville Christian in a remarkable turnaround from one win in 2018 to a section semifinals appearance in 2019.

On top of that, Allen is a star in basketball and track. He averaged 13.9 points per game off the bench as a freshman to help VCS to a Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship and then posted 21.8 points per game his sophomore year, all the while also being a Junior Olympian.

Click here to read the West Coast Preps article Xclusive Speed Top 45 Powered by West Coast Preps: Nos. 30-26

Zack Mercado

Sky is the limit for Vacaville Christian’s Mercado

October 8, 2020/Chris Jackson

Zack Mercado’s father reached out to one of the most prominent line coaches, and there was no hesitation to work out with the young phenom from Vacaville Christian.

Aaron Day, a defensive line trainer who focuses on rushing the passer, saw it all when Mercado’s father connected with him, and he has seen why those around Mercado rave about the defensive lineman every chance they can.

“With him it’s the ability to pick up things quickly and to put them to use,” Day said. “I give him a couple moves, I try not to put too much on his plate, but he’s been able to surpass my expectations and just keep going. He’s very tenacious, really attacks things. He has an ability to bend and not only just bend, but he can put his hands in the ground and muscle people out of his way. He’s very strong. 

“He’s a special talent.”

– Aaron Day

Mercado’s first varsity campaign his sophomore season in 2019 said it all.

In Vacaville Christian’s run to a 7-5 record and a Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII semifinals appearance, which was the program’s first playoff appearance since 2014 and was also a year when it won its first playoff game since 2011, Mercado was dominant every step of the way. He registered 119 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, 28 hurries and one blocked punt, earning his way to Defensive Player of the Year honors in the region

And Mercado reminds Vacaville Christian head coach Manny Tarango of Armon Bailey, who is now a linebacker at Sacramento State and played for Tarango when Tarango was a defensive coordinator at Vanden.

Both players are intentional. They’re deliberate. They’re extremely hard on themselves, no matter how well they performed or what type of big play they just made.

“Zack pushes himself and holds himself to such a high standard,” Tarango said. “This is a guy that wakes up and watches film on a game and says, ‘My hand placement when I was holding that B gap was off six inches. And if I had got a little bit lower, I would have been able to push the pocket and I would have been able to get that sack instead of the quarterback hurry.’”

There is still so much more room for Mercado to grow, which is exactly what he has done during this extended offseason before his junior season officially rolls around in a few months.

Mercado is 6-2 and 245 pounds and has been a menace at every showcase he’s attended, displaying a burst right away that is tricky for any opposing offensive lineman to maneuver against.

“He has the athleticism to be able to move and pull, but he has the strength and the power to be able to just be, he can be like an Aaron Donald,” Tarango said. “He can hold a gap. He can change the direction of a game, and he’s only 6-2, 245. He’s still growing. But he plays like he’s much bigger. He’s super humble. He’s one of those guys that is very quiet in the classroom. 

“He just gets in, does his work, 3.8 GPA, but he’s just so cognizant of what he’s doing and how he’s doing it, and he plays with such a reckless abandonment.”

The sky is only the limit from here going forward.

With 26 tackles for loss and 10 sacks as just a sophomore for a team that went as far as it did a year ago, the expectations are higher now. Once colleges can start recruiting in person again – the NCAA dead period was extended to Jan. 1, 2020 – Day sees the recruiting process taking off for Mercado.

“I think once they physically see the kid that they’ll see on film, especially this season, because his film is going to be very, very good,” Day said. “Once they see him in person, they can put somebody physically in front of them and see what he’s all about. He’s going to start taking off as far as offers come or just attention.”

“It’s going to help me with everything – recruiting, in game, just everything, the proper technique that he’s telling me to do,” Mercado said. “It’s just on the field, off the field, just me as a person – it’s going to help with everything.”

Maybe another Defensive Player of the Year award is on the way, too.

“I can’t say enough about Zack Mercado,” Tarango said.

“The kid has a motor. I think we might see our first two-time Defensive Player of the Year out of this season because I just don’t know if they’ll be able to block him. He’s bigger, stronger, faster, and he has an unrelentless will to succeed. I just love Zack.”

– Coach Tarango
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