May 19, 2019
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Worden is walk-off winner SSU Equestrian wins third Credo closes season with a win The Gryphon dominates the Eagles Credo wins softball rematch Cougars pounce on Tigers Boys lacrosse played last home game Vasquez digs in hard Seawolves bow out in round 1 of NCAAs Rancho plays last home game Titans secure division win! Rancho Senior Varsity and Coach Hotaling Ranch boys and girls played mixed Wait, I have it! “To be a Cougar, you have to have a heart of a Warrior” Technology High Seniors being honored Credo/Technology volley ball Cardenas makes good use of errors Honoring Tech High Lady Titans 24-hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway O’Daniel makes it back INDYCAR Showcase Honoring Tech High Lady Titans Phan, player of the year Rancho Cotate High School Credo over Tech, 8-1 Youth tennis camp is huge success Lacrosse holds free clinic Sept. 21 Advancing to the next round Anudokem leaps for the basket Technology High Cougars lose grip in final minutes Cougars score narrow win Panthers trounce Cougars A collision bound to happen Not where I wanted it Warriors struggled during semi-finals Warriors and All Star Blue RC Girls’ basketball won invitational Cougar seniors wave farewell RC Cougar fan facing surgery receives outpouring of support Heading for a goal Seschin and Curry watch with interest Scott goes up for a shot Roseland beats Tech High Titans A well-deserved win Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Nguyen shows thanks Worden lays it up Heart break for Cougars Cougars trounce Pumas Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save Senior night for the volleyball team Cougars shutout Eagles Excitement for new football season  Cougars triumph over Vikings Cougars overcome Pumas Tech baseball, a learning season Move aside Man of Steel, we’ve got Ironman: Ironman triathlon returns to Sonoma County Getting it over the net Kuhlman watches the orb sail Lady Titan’s vs St. Helena Royals win bronze Cougar Ladies dominated Cougars stumble in overtime Winding up for an out Rancho ends losing streak Girls played last game Going for a goal Misi ready for the big hit Great job Lady Titans Sandoval scores against Piner Roby goes high Wildcats beat Seawolves Rancho stumbles against Terra Linda Seniors were defeated by the staff Hayes comes in first Titan’s vs. Anderson Valley Balint, pitcher for the U of Oregon signing autographs Ca. School for the Deaf wins 72-60 RP prepares for opening day Parker reaches for a basket Oppenheim, Sarudiansky, Nudell Named All-PacWest Local playing with Ducks Northern California locals round out SCCA Championship Runoffs Rancho girls beat El Molino Shots don’t win the game SSU briefs Titans’ baseball: Learning respect for the game Game on home turf SSU Sports Briefs Cross country standouts Mata player of the match 8th Annual John’s march against Stomach Cancer Titans lose to Wildcats SSU Track and Field season opener 15 hits fuel SSUs 11 run victory SSU Smith blocks A world of difference Scoring the final goal Tech High started a blaze Getting better all the time Cougars fought and lost hard Strong showing at Hornet Invitational Tech Titans: A Band of brothers and sisters Credo defeats Tech 15 to 3 39 years for championship Gryphons advance to semi-finals Seawolves place first Cougars clash with Cardinals Morie with determination Rancho NBL Redwood Champions After the last game of the season Seawolves top Jacks in series final two games A much-needed win Cars and coffee at the Speedway Pumas defeat Cougars Credo out on the road next week Seawolves sweep over Cal State East Bay Backhanding very nicely Rancho Cotate defeats Santa Rosa Cougar win breaks 39-year dry spell Finished up with a win Tech High Seniors honored Tam defeats Cougars Tigers sweep it all! I am the leader of the pack Jaguars crush Cougars Exhibition match brings out the stars Cougars march toward playoffs Cougars finish season with a win Playing the last home game Seawolves earn team ethics and sportsmanship award Rancho beat Ross Valley Cronin is safe A solar car will be on the track Rain does not stop Credo softball Cougars' winning streak continues Tomales defeats Tech High Coyotes bring down Titans Credo stumbles in overtime Gray battles to the hoop Racing begins March 9th Is the ball in there? Finding victory in defeat Tech High Reim swimming Roseland Beats Tech High Cougars remain undefeated RCHS girls’ basketball team honored their seniors Cougars rain on Lobos’ parade First year gymnasts come in third Will I do it? Rancho alumnus signs with New York Red Bulls Wildcats beat Cougars Healdsburg takes the win Martinez has a powerful kick Hayman flips it up Tech High doesn’t have enough steam Lambrecht puts on pressure Alfaro makes a hit

Race to the stars

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
April 5, 2019

The resolve to stand firm in the face of adversity is a rare and admirable quality—rarer still to discover it in a 15-year-old boy; yet one would be hard pressed to find a greater avatar of determination than that of Nikolas Thompson. 

Looking at him, a man might be forgiven for regarding Nikolas as merely another teenager. His hair is short, his cheeks are bare, and his body carries itself with a smallness of frame that implies it hasn’t quite reached its full height. It’s a look that is held by millions of adolescents across the world, but appearances can be deceiving; for while most kids his age might have a learner’s permit, Nikolas has been racing motorcycles since he was five years old. 

Yes, Nikolas is a racer. Racing is his passion. It’s the reason he gets up in the morning and the reason he goes to bed. And, as Nikolas puts it, he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Last year there was a death in one of the races. It happened right behind me,” Nikolas said. “It happens. It’s unfortunate, but anyone who swings their leg over a motorcycle risks it. It’s because they love it. Probably anyone else would pack up their things and go.”

Most kindergarteners don’t have access to a motorcycle. It takes a rare breed of parent to stick their five-year-old on a 50 cubic centimeter engine and let them run loose. If it weren’t for Nikolas’ parents, Michael and Shanea Thompson, then Nikolas might never have found his passion in the first place. It’s thanks to their tireless labor that they’ve managed to keep their son in top of the line safety equipment and competitive level gear. 

And the challenges don’t stop at the financial. At a recent race, Nikolas crashed. Hard. He was going at 110 miles per hour and a collision from another racer sent him spiraling across the tarmac. He broke a knuckle, a finger, and walked away with a concussion, and for that he counted himself lucky; it was thanks to his safety gear that he survived at all. 

“It was awesome until I hit the ground,” Nikolas said. 

A serious crash might scare most off racing, but then the Thompsons aren’t exactly most people. The next day saw Nikolas again out on the track. 

The Thompsons have a unique philosophy that carries them through times of adversity. “Look at his eyes, look at his face, look at the seriousness of what he’s doing and how passionate he is. You couldn’t tell him no,” Shanea said. “We truly believe that we only get our children for so many years, and if they choose to be the best at say...the clarinet, then we’ll give them all the tools they need to become the best clarinet player they could possibly be. It just so happens (...) he chose the adrenaline filled and expensive sport of racing.”

And there have been many times of adversity. 

Last year doctors diagnosed Shanea with a life-threatening disease which kept her bed ridden for months. The diagnosis cast a shadow across the household. Yet even at their lowest the Thompsons never lost hope. Nikolas kept racing. Their family pulled together and traveled across the North West to compete, going so far as to buy a recreational vehicle so Shanea could come. 

Because Shanea refused to be left behind. In the depths of her treatment, she followed her son from race to race, competition to competition, and urged him forward. Shanea’s stalwart resolve served as a beacon for Nikolas, and for her efforts he rewarded her with three medals: two second place and one third place. 

Still, despite the small victories, that year wasn’t easy.  

“We would be lying if we said there weren’t many times that we questioned what were doing. Why were we adding more pressure?” Michael said. “I think now we can say looking back that we’re so proud of ourselves. If we can do that under those situations, then there’s truly nothing we can’t do.”

Now Shanea is looking a lot better and Nikolas is moving on to pro. He’s one of less than 20 people under the age of 16 in the United States that have their Moto America Pro License. That license allows Nikolas to compete in professional level racing events. He’s planning on taking advantage it, too. Nikolas plans to attend races in Utah, Laguna Seca, and Pittsburg this year. 

But for something that’s more close to home Nikolas will compete in a two-day event at the Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 31st to Sept. 1st. 

“Since day one we’ve been the team. The things we face in just one weekend of racing are more challenges than most people get in a lifetime,” Michael said.