The Year in Sports
by Marc Aceves | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 31, 2009 | 2799 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With victory imminent in the final moments Patterson players ice coaches Alfredo Virgen and Greg Hartsell. Elias Funez/Patterson Irrigator
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It was a Patterson High sports year filled with individual and team successes.

Three teams — boys soccer, softball and cross country — took home league championships, while a total of 13 teams qualified for their respective postseasons. There were several exciting playoff games involving Tigers teams, plus many impressive individual feats.

There were smiles, tears, close games, dramatic moments, reasons to celebrate and reasons for fans hold their breath. There were coaches who led by example and student-athletes who shone athletically while demonstrating leadership qualities on and off the playing surface.

Here are some of the moments that made the 2009 sports seasons a year to remember in Patterson.

Boys basketball

After dropping consecutive games late in the season to Orestimba and Central Catholic, the Tigers took out their frustration on their opponents down the stretch, ending the Western Athletic Conference season on a three-game winning streak.

Let’s give Patterson credit: A team labeled as having too much talent and not enough experience earned its second-straight playoff appearance.

The Tigers (10-5 WAC, 19-9 overall) finally ran out of gas, however, against host Sonora in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

The loss ended the high school careers of Patterson’s nine seniors.

For Patterson coach Tony Lomeli Jr., a group that included Felix Mapanda, Justin Nuckolls, Daniel Reza, Ronyea Ellington, Imani Brown and Jelani Brown — all members of the 2008 WAC championship team — will be remembered as the players who put Patterson basketball back on the map.

Girls basketball

The Tigers (10-5, 14-13) entered the last week of the regular season ranked No. 16 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III power ratings. They needed to defeat first-place Hilmar for a chance at the final postseason spot.

Patterson failed to make playoffs, falling to Hilmar, 46-39. On the bright side, the Tigers hung around until their final game of the WAC season.

For the second straight campaign, Cassie Coble, then a junior, was named Most Valuable Player for both the Tigers and the WAC. Coble, Rebecca Hinojos and Amber Bond were each named to the WAC All-League First Team.


The Patterson High wrestling team, after going 3-2 during the WAC season, cemented its standing as the league’s third-best team with an impressive performance at the conference tournament at Central Catholic High School.

Patterson’s George Miranda (171 pounds) earned a league title, while teammates Nelson Rangel (119) and Ricky Howard (152) reached the finals but lost.

Sammy Kang (103) and Adrian Rodriguez (heavyweight) both finished third at the WAC tournament. Fellow Tigers Mark Bettancourt (112), Tony Barriga (130), Anthony Sanchez (140), Doug Medrano (160) and Trey Sanchez (189) each earned fourth-place nods. D.J. Cota (145) and Daniel Arriola (215) both placed fifth, rounding out the Tigers’ medalists.

Rangel and Miranda — Patterson’s breakthrough wrestlers that season — eventually took on the best the area had to offer in the two-day Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament inside the Spanos Center at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, but both fell short of the state meet.


It wasn’t just that the Tigers claimed a WAC title. It was how they did it.

Patterson (26-5 overall) won every one of its 15 WAC games, outscoring opponents 123-10, in an unprecedented run for Patterson softball.

While the Tigers didn’t finish 2009 with a section crown, falling 6-1 to Escalon in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship game, the team still had plenty to be proud of.

A productive season got even better when the Tigers put nine players on the WAC first team.

Patterson’s Mandy Sifuentes won the league’s Most Valuable Player award, thanks to her 20 victories, 0.70 earned run average and 219 strikeouts. The Patterson senior also tossed the first perfect game in school history to defeat Livingston 13-0 on April 29.

Sifuentes, Samantha Kramer, Kayla Souza, Kianna Weinzheimer, Anayency Jara, Rebecca Hinojos, Lesley Scheuber, Jessyca Rico and Melissa Robles were also named All-WAC.


Hardly anybody expected the Patterson baseball team to finish where it did.

After all the Tigers went through, with a 0-9 start and a five-game winning streak that catapulted them to prominence in the WAC, they were on the verge of postseason success.

Patterson’s surge at the end of the regular season, which gave them the No. 2 seed in the WAC, didn’t last through the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs, however.

Rival Hilmar won 11-1 at Tony Zupo Field, completing a two-game sweep of the Tigers (11-18, 9-6) and ending Patterson’s playoff run.

Patterson coach Benji Lozano named senior pitcher David Gonsalves the team’s most valuable player at the Spring Athletic Awards Banquet. Junior Tyler Bettencourt earned outstanding offensive player honors, and Alex Casias came away with the Outstanding Defensive Player Award.

Freshman Frankie Sanchez took the Coach’s Award.

Track and field

The Tigers sent 20 athletes to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships at Modesto Junior College. But when the dust settled two days later, only Amber Bond remained.

A memorable season for the Patterson star concluded a week later at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet at Hughes Stadium. Bond competed against some of the section’s best athletes but could not advance past the preliminaries of the girls 100-meter dash, 200 meters or pole vault.

Tigers track and field coach Shellie Freres named sprinter Emmanuel Brooks and Bond her most valuable athletes at the Spring Athletic Awards Banquet.

Patterson’s Krissy Deblar earned the team’s Tiger Pride Award. Teammates Gisela Guzman and Krystal Stubbs took home Coach’s Awards.

On the boys side, Imani Brown earned the Tiger Pride Award. Teammates Raphael Martinez, Jelani Brown and Adrian Laurel received the Coach’s Award.


The Patterson swim team didn’t officially belong to any league this season, but that didn’t stop its athletes from improving their times in the Patterson Aquatic Center pool.

In his third year, Patterson coach Lew Boyle expected his team to be primed for another good campaign. The Tigers — last year’s Mother Lode League champions — lost several athletes to graduation but had plenty of new swimmers.

Kyle VanRiper qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section meet in both the boys 200-yard individual medley and the 500 freestyle. Teammate Bethany Sonnefeld shaved an astonishing 28 seconds from her previous personal best in the girls 500 freestyle.

Boyle named VanRiper MVP of the boys swim team at the Spring Athletic Awards Banquet. Brenda VanRiper earned MVP honors for the girls swim team.

Helio Tejada, Garrett Murray, Jasmin Brundke and Sonnefeld each collected most-improved honors.

Girls soccer

Patterson (10-4-1, 15-10-2 overall), the third-place team in the WAC, followed up its first 10-win league season in school history with a first-round playoff appearance against Mother Lode League champion, Bret Harte of Angels Camp, in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.

The Tigers made the most of their first postseason game in school history.

Patterson tallied a pair of goals in the opening half and never looked back on the way to a 2-0 victory.

The Tigers’ skill and resilience took them to unprecedented heights in 2009, but at some point, the dream had to end.

Patterson hung close with Central Catholic for most of its semifinal affair, but ultimately, the Raiders were too much for the upstart Tigers.

Still, five Tigers — Jessica Herrera, Genesis Barraza, Anayl Diaz, Rosario Cabellero and Yesica Cantero — earned spots on the WAC’s All-League First Team.


The Tigers (8-2 WAC) enjoyed a resurgent 2009, finishing league in second place.

The team capped the regular season by tagging first-place Central Catholic with its first loss of the WAC season.

Patterson’s Paola Hernandez later ended her successful high school career at Oak Park in Stockton, losing a three-set match to Escalon’s Pressley Pilati, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III tournament.

The loss also ended Hernandez’s unbeaten streak. She had won 10 straight matches, going undefeated in WAC play.

Patterson coach Buzzy Wheeland named Javier Lagarde the team’s most valuable male player at the Spring Athletic Awards Banquet. Hernandez earned most valuable female player honors.

Sharon Lizotte took the Tiger Pride Award, and Victor Jimenez was the team’s most-improved player.

Boys golf

The Tigers ended the regular season with a pair of makeup wins against Gustine, 276-312 and 275-322, to avoid finishing at the bottom of the league standings.

But the season was never about wins and losses. For the Tigers, it was about improving a little at a time.

While no one advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V tournament, Patterson coach Jason Oliveira was nonetheless proud of his athletes’ performances.

Oliveira named freshman Alex Whitney the team’s most outstanding golfer at the Spring Athletic Awards Banquet.

Jacob Jordan was declared most improved, Chris Hohl took the Coach’s Award and teammate Jonathan Jordan came away with the Tiger Pride Award.

Boys soccer

Winning the WAC has become commonplace for the Patterson boys soccer team (12-1-2, 20-5-4), the league’s back-to-back champions. But victories in the section title game have been elusive.

The Tigers spent this season aiming for another shot at the crown they’d failed to capture the previous two seasons.

This time, victory was indeed sweet. The Tigers won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title by defeating Hilmar 3-1 on Nov. 14 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium in Stockton.

The team ended the year on a 13-game unbeaten streak, outscoring opponents 51-9 during that stretch.

Patterson coach Greg Hartsell recognized Rodrigo Aldana as the team’s most outstanding offensive player at the Fall Sports Banquet, while senior goalkeeper Luis Torres was named the team’s MVP.

Senior Javier Gonzalez earned the team’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Teammate Rafa Sotello was honored as most-improved player, and Eduardo Lopez received the Coach’s Award.

Torres, Aldana, Gonzalez, Cesar Molina, Gustavo Molina and Danny Virgen earned spots on the WAC All-League First Team.


After going 2-3 in nonleague games, the Patterson High football team embraced its identity as a dark horse and talked about finishing strong.

All the Tigers (4-1, 6-5) did then was win four of their last five regular-season games, including a 26-6 triumph over visiting Hilmar to clinch second place in the WAC.

Patterson earned a trip to the playoffs for the 10th time and for the fifth year in a row.

This time, the Tigers hit the road to face Benicia, from the Solano County Athletic Conference, in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.

While Benicia prevailed 26-20 in overtime — overshadowing a thrilling comeback by the Tigers, who trailed 20-7 in the third quarter — the season was by no means a failure.

Patterson quarterback Cody Weinzheimer, 2009’s WAC Outstanding Offensive Back, passed for 1,677 yards and 18 touchdowns and was named the Tigers’ MVP at the football squad’s banquet.

Teammate Adrian Laurel was named the WAC’s defensive MVP. Wyatt Young (WAC Outstanding Receiver) and Jacob Priester (WAC Outstanding Lineman) took home league honors as well.

Cross country

The Patterson girls cross country team won its second consecutive league title with a first-place finish at the WAC Championships at Legion Park in Modesto.

The Tigers later placed third with 119 points at the Sac-Joaquin Section’s subsection meet, qualifying eight runners — Maritza Vega, Marisabel Carrillo, Meghan Wraa, Laura Thompson, Shalini Bakshi, Sarah Cote, Sandy Luo and Elsa Miranda — for the section meet in Folsom.

The Patterson boys team aimed for an upset at the league championship race but finished third behind frontrunners Livingston and Orestimba.

Carrillo, Wraa and Vega earned spots on the WAC All-League First Team.

Girls golf

Patterson High girls golf coach Jason Oliveira oversaw an inexperienced team that managed a 7-9 record in the Valley Foothill League South and qualified two golfers for the postseason.

As top individual finishers, Alex Delguidice and Izabella Cruz both secured dates at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V subsection tournament at Stevinson Ranch Golf Course.

While neither advanced to the Masters round of the postseason, both closed their campaigns with strong efforts on a blustery afternoon. Wind gusts of more than 50 mph made for difficult playing conditions on the par-72 course. Still, Delguidice came away with a score of 123, and Cruz was close behind with a 126.

Oliveira named the pair team captains at the Fall Sports Banquet. Cruz also received the Most Outstanding Golfer Award, while Delguidice garnered the team’s MVP honor.


Despite playing some of its best volleyball in the second half of the WAC season, the Tigers enjoy little success this year in terms of records.

The Tigers (4-8, 6-14) did manage one win that was a decade in the making, however, as they bested perennial league powerhouse Hilmar on Sept. 28. Patterson battled through five grueling, back-and-forth games before claiming the victory over the Yellowjackets, 16-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-18, 15-12.

Patterson coach Jennifer Hamm recognized six players at the Fall Sports Banquet: Hailey Hohl won the Tiger Pride Award; Stephanie Cantu’s play earned her the Tiger Hustle Award; Chelsea Perez was selected as the team’s most-improved player; most MVP honors went to Dani Hansen; and seniors Amber Bond and Christine Bays were designated as captains.

• Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187 or
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