News
December 8, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Interception seals the deal Emotions were running high Johnson picks up Las Lomas fumble Rancho eliminates Benicia Not in my backyard... Annual holiday gift and toy drive Orangeco settles case for price gouging Penngrove man receives life sentence PG&E meteorologists forecasting a major winter storm Healthy food given by NOAH 49er Pet store closes its doors December gets festive in Cotati Visit the Arts and Craft Faire in RP FEMA grants Santa Rosa $1M to ensure effective evacuation routes Another death in California and investigation into E-Cigarette use Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board Nomination period opens for March 3, 2020, primary election Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member Homelessness spikes in RP Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion Home delivery changes Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case CRPUSD district’s good news in May Worn American flags laid to rest The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Straus Family Creamery moving to RP Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard SMART to offer free rides... SOMO Village overrun by CHP party Discussions on the care facility and apartments Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Mackenzie leaves SMART RP officers spent Sat. car chasing A shimmer of hope against the angry heavy sky SSU to host North Bay Women of Color conference Rancho’s TAG building, now a reality Mayors of So Co write angry letter Dodd’s college student food bill passes TAG building grand opening Rohnert Park caregiver arrested Sheriff’s canine apprehends convicted felon Latino Alliance promotes first festival Students housing and voting Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve RP Downtown project underway New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims Fixing Cotati’s roads RP driver identified Burglary suspect found with firearms Special education funding complicated Cube satellite built by SSU students set to orbit the Earth State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration Keeping California history alive November is Native American Heritage month... Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU DUI driver crashes into 7-1 RP man sentenced to prison 23 years for robbery Adolescent birth rate continues to decline Monitoring wells provide picture of underground water New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: Teen arrested for shooting at RP Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system Former Rancho student convicted A New Experience – Coffee with the Congressman Levine applauds investigation into power shut offs Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship RP votes to restrict fireworks Illegal robocalls and spoofing Farmers’ Market party on the plaza RP Foundation to reinstate Small Grants Program Reported sexually transmitted diseases reach epidemic level Fire management assistance granted RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Music alive in Cotati Sept. is suicide prevention month Three arrested; stolen items recovered Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage month Paper Delivery Update The evacuation through her eyes So Co DA office awarded grant Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations 2018 local stories which made history Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Enroll in Transportation Security Administration Elder abuse rising in So Co U10 Cal Ripken champions say Aloha New start at school board meeting In memory of Greg Beedon City of Cotati urges governor to sign affordable housing bill First Annual Latino Festival draws a large crowd Firefighters called to the front Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Cotati’s code of conduct School board follows its policy Free school supplies RPDPS receives grant to fight alcohol-related crime Winners of “Discovered: Emerging artists of Sonoma County” Cotati Oktoberfest on the horizon Carrying another on a recovery path Giving students added support R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant Holocaust piano now in Cotati RP moves to curb false alarms Doggone hot days are here! Warnings weren’t enough! ‘Stuff the van’ with school supplies Wake up to social crisis Cannabis cultivation and more projects Downtown RP infrastructure project Ca. Dept. of Public Health issues Public Health advisory School district seeks new superintendent March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee Technology High School construction on schedule Groundwater sustainability fee adopted in Santa Rosa Plain Rohnert Park City Council all about safety Accordion Festival San Francisco Mime Troupe to perform in Cotati Rep. Thompson speaks at SSU on climate change RP to vote on protecting open space and preventing sprawl Pedestrian jumps into path of SMART Train Coming together to have fun and help others Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete Superintendent search begins SSU named one of the best universities Verity is hiring to work with survivors RP City Council, not business as usual A young child making a big difference Cotati’s first homicide in 24 years Veterans’ housing to open in 2020 RPPS encourages public to drive sober Issues and recognition but no council meeting RCHS Mascot at Welcome Back Rally Raising awareness on the dangers of SIDS So. Co. is here to connect with you SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Cotati Council moves ahead Students almost ready for kindergarten Would you make a great foster parent? Grand Jury recommends improvements for So. Co. Water City of Cotati switches to 100% renewable electricity I’m ready, bring ‘em on! Tech High School celebrates 20 years PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program accepting applications for aid Learn to become a naturalist Police and housing topics discussed at Council Coursey on the campaign trail RP voters overwhelmingly renew open space protections Cardinals rout Cougars Planning Commission approves hotel SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Five vehicle crash shuts down Golf Course Dr. Happenings at Cotati City Council Trades Intro Program (TIP) leads to career RP City Council: from safety to striping Girls explore STEM possibilities at Tinker Academy Spring Lake Water Bark kickoff Sozo Student Center opens Credo ladies in Trashion show Cougars win behind roaring defensive performance Another long evening at Cotati City council Immigration appointments rescheduled How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary New fire station gets final direction Undercover operation identifies prostitution at local massage parlors Red flags fly at all fire stations during “Red Flag” warnings L J principal promises open door policy DUI driver arrested after collision on RP Exp Contact information needed from about 150,000 PG&E customers A satisfied smile Cotati Council makes it short Cotati is open to new county wide voting system Family Justice Center Sonoma County receives grant awards 100 birthdays and more to go Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Cotati fills Planning Commission The long summer grinds Alert resident foiled attempted burglary of neighbor’s home All about the roads Third DUI driver arrested in RP in three days Santa Rosa doctor overprescribing New leadership delivers new start at school board meeting Man takes own life Bound for a peaceful resting place After sluggish start, Cougars explode RP Improvements Update week of October 21st State Fund offers extended credit to policyholders Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Rohnert Park Station Ave. update School district set to begin new year Wrong way bicyclist rides into path of SMART train City, county reach agreement with Homeless Advocates Our words are not enough: Educators call for action First day of school and new friends PG&E Wildfire Assistance Program distributes first checks to victims  Credo Kaplan-Kinsey semi-finalist Focusing on finances... Fire - Community - Businesses Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery Cuts suggested for school district Rohnert Park residents awarded law degrees School Year 2019-2020 for free and reduced-price meals Cattle drive comes to SR Man dies in custody Home-based learning on the rise Home invasion robbery, suspects still at large Travis Jenkins Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist Years to launch SMART will run limited service SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Joint Legislative Wine Committee to meet at SSU Ca. Dept. of Justice announces ammunition regulations Fatal bicycle vs. vehicle collision RPPS investigating sexual assault A slow and painful wait for a downtown RP improvement updates RP road improvements update Take one, leave one – New free library in Cotati Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases Cotati memorializes victims DMV offices will close for half day Social Security – Care and Beware Urban growth boundary benefits RP Council looks at serious close-to-home issues Fight the flu... get immunized CANCELLATION SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions Reckless vehicle ends in DUI arrest Do you know the relationship between low impact development and water quality? So. Co. Behavioral Health and Health Services in the county jail Cotati City Council of Aug. 13 USCIS clarifies special immigrant juvenile classification to victims of abuse The Salvation Army expands response to Kincade Fire CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area Water Conservation Car washes and water waste Equifax provides $600 million in consumer restitution Cotati sees its first homicide in 24 years New Column Things to know about PG&E’s Public Safety power shutoff SoCo post offices forced to close Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Cotati honors and appreciates Stray sways the crowd Showing off rope tricks Sonoma County Fair reviews safety protocols Gun violence in the U.S. and globally Beautifying Magnolia Park When the power is off, treat signals as stop signs Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open Skating during Cotati Kids Day parade Watenpaugh returns to lead CRPUSD Join CASA of So. Co.’s commitment to helping victims of child abuse Safety and power outages Stay indoors to reduce smoke inhalation A day of celebration and tribute to our veterans RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community Help save lives by donating blood Vehicle crashes into house Call to action in Ca. Passenger killed fleeing crash Help with citizenship Consumer alert on price gouging It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Suicide leading cause of death in youths Impersonating pharmacists Pesticide residue consumed by infants and children Ayuda con ciudadanía Structure fire displaces family Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby Fencing in Sonoma County PG&E to conduct inspections by helicopter in Sonoma County Correction to the July 26 issue SSU student receives prestigious CSU Trustees’ Award Voters urged to return vote by mail ballots early RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit Deputy saves overdosing man using department-issued Narcan SR theft suspect caught after lengthy chase Cotati City Council recommends several adoptions Campaign targets vaping-related illness USCIS updates fee waiver requirements Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs School district seeking new superintendent Rohnert Park’s Black Blear Diner gets sued Penngrove wastewater pipeline overflows Vote by mail ballots now available for the Nov. 5, consolidated elections Sonoma County 2020 campaign headquarters opening Ca. Senate Fellows Program application period opens Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP Cotati protests CASA compact New safety power shutoff zip code alerts 'Team Trevor' A football team with a heart King and Queen Early voting center opens RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program School district balances budget The California Highway Patrol implements a regional effort to save lives RP Council talks about fast trains and lawsuits Reckless driver resists arrests, with help from K-9 Max The USCIS application support center in Santa Rosa closed

Cougars prevail in all time classic ‘Fog Bowl’

  • Rancho's #53 Mihalis Santorineos was "in it to win it" in the first round NCS/CIF playoff game against Windsor! He made an important interception and ran it in for a Cougar touchdown with about 11 minutes on the game clock making the score 37-33. The final score, after the PAT 38-33 Rancho. Photo by Robert Grant

By: Paul Matli
November 22, 2019

Some might say this was Fog Bowl 2.0, others might say it was a matchup between two heavyweight fighters with the intention of killing each other. Rancho Cotate Head Football Gehrig Hotaling would just describe this game as an all-time classic. 

Whatever the description of the game, this was one of the best high school games in recent memory. The game between the Rancho Cotate Cougars and Windsor Jaguars is the perfect example of what playoff football is all about. 

This game had everything from big plays by Windsor’s offense to Rancho’s defense scoring two touchdowns. All these plays will be broken down in more detail later. For now, all that needs to be known is the final score was 38-33 Rancho Cotate. With the win, they are guaranteed to have another home game next week.

“I didn’t recognize our defense in the first half,” Hotaling said. “But, that is because of injuries and plugging guys in the secondary who have been hurt for a long time who were trying to work off the rust against a really good group of receivers.”

This quote by Hotaling is 100 percent true. For those who have watched the Cougars every game or follow the team, it’s clear the defense has been special all season. The defense won the Pleasant Valley game with an interception, kept the Cougars in the games against Sacramento High School and Cardinal Newman and had a shutout last week against Ukiah.

The defense wasn’t good in the first half. The defensive line wasn’t getting pressure, the secondary struggled against Windsor’s’ talented receiving core, but in the end, the Cougars pulled out the victory through sheer will and mental toughness

Windsor receiver Nico Contreras is a flat-out super star for the Jaguars. He came into Friday’s game, second in the North Bay League with 818 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns. Contreras finished close to 200 yards Fri. night. Hotaling couldn’t say enough kind words about Contreras.

“That kid is unbelievable, he must have had over 200 yards,” Hotaling said. “He was hard to stop, and we tried everything, we tried doubling him and throwing every matchup at him we could.”

According to Hotaling, Windsor was in third and long almost exclusively and they converted around 80 percent of them. It was an unreal performance by the Jaguars offense and Contreras was one of the biggest reasons why.

Though the Cougars’ defense struggled for most of the game, they got better as the game progressed. One reason why Windsor’s offense was so effective in the first half was the lack of pass rush. Every one of the Cougars’ defensive plays came courtesy of the pass rush. The defensive line getting pressure is the key for any defense, especially for the Cougars.

The pass rush led to Gino Mencarini’s fumble recovery, Mihalis Santorineos’ pick 6 and Alex Sandoval’s interception. When the Cougars get pressure, they are unbeatable defensively. Hotaling felt that the Cougars started to wear down the Jaguars as the game progressed.

“I feel like we were in good shape and maybe their offensive line got a little bit tired,” Hotaling said.

This last point Hotaling made was true. Being on the Cougars’ sideline, it was clear the strategy both offensively and defensively, was to wear down the Jaguars. Even the late third quarter the coaches were saying the Jaguars looked fatigued.

In playoff games teams need their key players to step up. This was true on the defensive side of the ball. Junior middle linebacker, Mihalis Santorineos, has been the leader of the Cougars’ defense all season long and Fri. night was no exception. Santorineos was exceptional with 15 tackles, two blocked extra points and a pick six. 

“We weren’t playing our game, we weren’t playing Rancho football,” Santorineos said. “We were trying to play with them instead of playing our game and we just had to turn it around at halftime.”

Santorineos spoke highly of the pass rush and the kicking game. He said in a close game like Fri. every little play is huge, so making extra points and creating turnovers are keys to the game. As for his two blocked extra points, Santorineos explained why those happened.

“You know that’s our mentality on defense, if they get a score we will take it away from them on the kick,” Santorineos said. “We have a little scheme going and I owe it all to my teammates in front of me as why I got there.”

 If there’s been an Achilles heel for the Cougars, it’s been Special Teams. Coming into Friday’s game the Cougars had only made two field goals all season. Between having a new kicker, bad snaps and players learning on the job, extra points and field goals were always a problem for the Cougars. Until Friday night.

The Cougars’ special teams had a perfect night. Kicker Alex Sandoval went 3 for 3 on extra points and made a 35-yard field goal. Sandoval also was booming kickoffs into the foggy night for touch backs. For someone who’s played soccer his whole life, Fri. night was a breakout for him.

“I always wanted to play football since I was little, but my parents never let me and senior year they just let me come out here to kick,” Sandoval said. “Then I ended going to safety trying to play that and I ended up playing safety and corner.”

Sandoval’s story is one so often shared by young athletes and parents. Football is the glamour sport all young men want to play. Along with boxing and hockey, it’s the true alpha sport, only the biggest and strongest athletes play it. For young men, being a football player is the dream. For parents it’s the opposite. Most parent’s know about the violent nature of the game and shy away from their kids playing for fear of brain damage, chronic back pain and knee injuries.

Though Sandoval has only played for one season, he’s become a key part of the Cougars’ defense and special teams. Sandoval has always had the leg because of his soccer background and the fact he’s now playing defensive back on top of it, shows his decision to play football was a good one.

When asked about the adjustment from kicking a soccer ball to kicking a football, Sandoval said it’s not a huge difference. The big difference for him is learning how to contort his body and just kicking differently. Whatever his adjustments, they are working, as he is booming the football now.

“We’ve just been executing all day at practice on Thursdays right before the game because we knew kicking would be a big factor in the game, so I just came out laser focused,” Sandoval said.

Sandoval also credited his offensive line and every other player involved in helping him have a great night.

Sandoval also had a fourth quarter red zone interception which helped the Cougars stave off the late Windsor rally. Sandoval again credited the defense for letting him make the play and noted how his matchup with Windsor’s EZ Woodard went.

“They (Windsor) were throwing to Number 30 all game because they thought he could beat me” Sandoval said. “On that play I just read it, got the interception and we got the win at the end.”

Players like Sandoval are why the Cougars are advancing. The stars for Rancho played well, but to win a championship, the role players and lesser known players are often the ones who step up and deliver.

This game gave the Cougars some information on how the playoffs will be. They know now exactly what the next game or two will entail. Looking at how the team has responded to adversity all season, and what Santorineos said at the end, it’s safe to say the Cougars will be ready to go against Number 3 seed Benicia.

“We are going to come back bigger, better, stronger and just got to be ready.”