The Davis High boys and girls cross country teams each posted perfect scores of 15, to dominated the Delta Valley Conference Championships on Saturday at Willow Hill Park in Folsom.
The great performances bode well for the future, as the Blue Devils will run the same course at the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships. Before that, DHS has the subsection meet next Saturday at Frogtown in Angels Camp.
“Both squads put out some really good efforts (Saturday) and we’re feeling really good about where we are going into subsections next week,” said DHS coach Bill Gregg. “The second seven ran also ran really well.”
The second seven — Devils who will probably run JV at the Sac-Joaquin meets — provided support to Davis’ top runners, who filled up the top 10 in both the boys and girls DVC races.
The Blue Devil girls saw Fiona O’Keeffe (18:53), Maggie McManis (19:45), Laura Daggett (20:09), Giulia McIsaac (20:17) and Sophie Meads (20:34) sweep the top five, with Pooja Tripathi (20:58) in seventh and Danielle Gantar (21:18) in ninth.
On the boys side, DHS got top 10 performances from Sugal Sutter (third in 16:52), Paul Mohr (fourth, 16:56), Gavin Monges (fifth, 16:57), Daniel Rowen (sixth, 17:01), John Testerman (eighth, 17:11) and Alex Arnheiter (ninth, 17:25) behind race winner Jack Scranton (16:40).
A 17th-place finish by Matt Mayr (18:04) rounded out the Devil scoring.
After dropping their first game at the Northern California Championships on Friday, putting them out of contention to win the tournament for a record fourth time, the Blue Devils had to reset their goal for the weekend.
The new goal?
“We wanted to be the best of the rest,” said DHS coach Doug Wright. “It was a good opportunity to test our resiliency.”
The Devils passed that test, taking ninth after beating St. Francis for the third time this season in the ninth-place contest.
In the 8-6 victory, Colby Stapleton’s contributions were key for the locals.
“She had two or three goals and made some really nice shots,” Wright said of his sophomore sensation. “She takes a lot of abuse in there, gets beat up pretty good, but she can dish it out too.”
The Blue Devils dished out their share of punishment all weekend after falling to Acalanes, 5-2. DHS bounced back with wins over Castilleja (9-2) and host school Menlo Atherton (8-0) to set up the matchup against St. Francis.
Playing in the Finish Memorial Cup in San Jose over the weekend — a tournament that brings together the top-eight teams from Northern California and the best eight form SoCal — the Blue Devils had a couple of exciting wins on their way to a 3-1 record and a ninth-place finish.
After dropping its opener 12-7 to Corona Del Mar of Newport Beach, DHS trailed Coronado by four goals in the first half. Then, the Devils flipped a switch.
First, they came back to beat Coronado, 10-8. Then, the locals won a thrilling 13-12 overtime game against Foothill when Conrad McCarthy scored with 14 second remaining the second extra session.
Davis finished the tournament by getting seven goals from Connor Stapleton to defeat La Cañada, 13-7.
Stapleton scored 20 goals in the four games, Graham Fullerton and Conrad McCarthy added six apiece and Nicholson added five — all in the final contest. In addition, Garrett Fisk tallied four times and single goals came from Tyler Ujifusa and Sam Burke.
“This tournament was the end of a stretch of six games in four days — five against highly competitive opponents and two that (we won in) overtime,” said DHS coach Tracy Stapleton. “The team exceeded my expectations in all aspects of the game. Their defense was dynamic and the offense was patient and effective.”
The veteran coach had special praise for goalkeeper Jeff Stark, who shined all weekend, especially in the last game. Ujifusa also impressed his coach who said he “played the best defense I have seen him play this season.”
Without scoring, Zac Anderson and Chad Prizmich made strong contributions for the Blue Devils.
The defending Sac-Joaquin Section Champion Blue Devils will open their title defense on Tuesday by hosting a familiar foe.
Sixth-seeded DHS will welcome No. 11 Napa, a team the Devils faced on Sept. 15 — and lost 1-0.
That result is a bit deceiving, however, as Davis was missing a few key players in that contest and saw two of its shots hit the crossbar.
Blue Devil interim coach Alex Park expects a different outcome when the two teams meet on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
“All of our players should be healthy and we are playing well right now, peaking at the right time,” Park told The Enterprise.
DHS won three consecutive games to end the regular season at 21-4-5, and hasn’t lost since Oct. 6. The Devils’ 7-0-3 record in the Delta Valley Conference was good enough to tie Grant for a league title.
The Blue Devils, who finished off another undefeated Delta Valley Conference season on Oct. 18, earned a bye in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section team playoff and will open postseason play on Tuesday (2 p.m.) at the Community Park Tennis Complex.
DHS will face the winner of Monday’s match between Del Oro and Tracy, and Davis coach Sally Hosley said she expects Del Oro to win that match.
The Devils topped the Golden Eagles 8-1 in an early-season contest that featured some contentiousness during one of the singles matchups.
The Davis Rugby Club is creating high school varsity and JV rugby teams for boys in grades nine through 12. Interested athletes and parents should attend an informational meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Blanchard Room at the Stephens Branch Library, 315 E. 14th St.
Practices will begin in late November, with games starting in January.
Rugby, a sport that is getting big in Northern California, is a played by kids of all shapes and sizes, and no experience is necessary. Safety is emphasized by the coaching staff, which is headed by former UC Davis rugby coach Steve Gray and includes Andy Malpass, another former Aggie mentor.
For more information, call Gray at 530-756-9111 or Mike Goodison at 530-758-6761.
High school girls interested in playing for the Lady Blue Devil rugby team can contact coach Jordan Apodaca at [email protected].