The Davis High freshman, sophomore and junior varsity cross country runners had their moment to shine at last weekend’s Sac-Joaquin Subsection meet in Angels Camp.
When the day was done, the five Blue Devil underclass squads had posted one first-place finish, three seconds and a fourth. Each squad advanced to sections, along with eight additional runners, who will go as individuals. With the 14 varsity qualifiers, Davis has 57 athletes racing at sections, the most in program history.
The Devil frosh/soph girls had seven runners in the top 11 to take first in their division. Claire Dicker was second overall, finishing the two-mile race in 13 minutes, 21 seconds, with freshman Jasmine Casillas (13:35) stepping up big to take fifth. Renee Schuman, Zoe Juanitas and Elisa McIsaac took places 6-8 for DHS, with Katherine Dimond (10th) and Jeanne-Marie McPherson (11th) rounding out the scoring. In addition, Blue Devils Alex Diaz, Elise Chu, Julia Zabala, Sarah Sherwin, Emily Lufburrow and Adria Lammers also qualified for sections, taking an amazing six of the 10 individual spots.
The local JV girls were helped to their second-place finish by Pooja Tripathi, who took second overall, finishing the three-mile race in 20:41. She received strong backup from Laurel Darragh, who was ninth in 21:53. Shauna Simon (12th), Victoria Mohtes-Chan (13th), Lauren James (14th), Michaela Joerger and Isabel Leamon finished out the top seven for DHS, with Siena Cox grabbing an individual qualifying spot.
On the boys’ side, both Blake Croft (sophomore) and Kellen Browning (frosh) won their respective races for DHS. Croft went 11:21 on the two-mile course to help his team take fourth, while Browning’s 11:22 gave the Devils a second-place finish.
In the sophomore race, Davis’ other top finishers were Charlie Harris — who took third in 11:30 — Justin McGrew (34th), Torin Halsted (43rd), Tyler Powell (45th), Zachary Moffatt and Kian Tanner.
DHS’ freshmen got scoring from Winston Tran, Aidan Cox, Tanner Johnston, Eric Smith, David Wilson and Jacob Comingore, while Ryan Nishikawa qualified as an individual.
The Blue Devil JV boys used top-five finishes from John Testerman (third, 17:03) and Alex Arnheiter (fourth, 17:07) to earn a second-place finish. They got help from Ethan Hall (10th), Matt Mayr (11th), Sean Lee (16th), Andrew Leung and Drew Diaz.
Wide receiver Gabe Fong had 170 receiving yards and two touchdowns to lead an explosive showing by the Blue Devils, but it ultimately wasn’t enough in a 62-32 season-ending loss to powerhouse Folsom last week.
“I’m really going to miss this team,” said DHS head coach Adam Perez. “We played with a lot of heart all the way to the end of the season. I saw several individuals really develop as the season progressed.”
Indeed. The Devils (4-6) battled all the way to the season’s final play, when wide receiver Cory Guerreo hung on to a pass, despite a crunching blow.
Early on, the Bulldogs were in control 28-7 as a 5-yard TD from Gabe McKinney — 132 yards on 13 carries for the day — was the only DHS score.
Glenn Welch caught a pair of passes from Jack Beckman, together good for 47 yards to highlight Davis’ first-quarter offense.
The Blue Devils closed the gap to 28-14 when Beckman hit Fong in stride down the right sideline for a 66-yard score.
But despite the best efforts of a solid DHS defense — led by Andrew Pilon, Charlie Stephenson, Benny Torreocampo and Will Bodendorfer — Folsom added another score by intermission.
Early in the second half, the Devils used a two-play, 99-yard drive to pull to within two scores. On the march, a Hall-to-Fong pass got Davis out of the shadow of its end zone to the 25, and McKinney broke several tackles and outran everyone else in a 75-yard scamper on the very next play.
Later in the third quarter, the locals again closed the gap when McKinney returned a punt to the 2-yard line and Hall connected with Tommy McTygue for a short TD pass.
Finally, Beckman — who also serves as Davis’ punter — rolled right on fake punt and tossed it down the sidelines to Fong, who shook a tackler and sprinted the rest of the way for a 68-yard score.
Behind the solid blocking of Jake Griffiths, Paul David, Gerardo Cisneros, Brandon Rael, Pranish Manandhar and David Cobar, quarterbacks Beckman (9-for-19 for 201 yards, one touchdown) and Willie Hall (5-for-9 for 51 yards, one score) both moved the ball.
Finishing the season on a three-match winning streak, the Blue Devils (9-11) ended 2012 with a Delta Valley Conference mark of 6-4.
“Before we started league, I asked the girls to set a goal of how they would like to finish in league and they said they wanted to beat each team in our league at least once,” said head coach Lyndsay Cantrell. “They almost met this goal — with the exception of Franklin, who beat us both times we saw them.
“I am proud of the girls for setting a goal and working hard to meet it.”
In Davis’ final three matches, Laguna Creek (25-14, 25-5), Monterey Trail (25-13, 25-14) and Elk Grove (25-20, 22-25, 15-2) fell to the fast-closing Devils.
The Blue Devil girls lacrosse program — Davis High junior varsity and varsity teams for ninth- through 12th-graders — will host a meeting on Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. in Room N8 at DHS, 315 W. 14th St.
Coach Jenn Morris says parents and players are welcome. Morris may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.