With 2019 almost over and 2020 fast approaching, it’s important to take a look back at what happened the past year. There were some great sports accomplishments and in this piece we will take a look at those teams and individuals who stood out.
The most recent is the Rancho Cotate Football team. The Cougars won their first North Coast Section Title since 2002 and came within one half of being state champions. This team provided the city of Rohnert Park with 15 games of excitement and will go down in history as the greatest team ever, unless another team wins the State Championship.
Another successful team for the Cougars was the Women’s Volleyball team. The ladies reached the North Coast Section Playoffs for the second year in a row. Though they didn’t win a playoff game, the Cougars making the playoffs back to back years shows the program is on the rise. Maybe 2020 will be the year the team wins a game in the NCS Playoffs.
Staying with the women theme, the Rancho Cotate Women’s Tennis team finished their season 10-0 and had a number of impressive individual performances. Junior Captain Julie Phan finished her league season undefeated and won the North Bay League Singles Tournament, while Emily Avila and Abigail Appleton won the NBL Postseason Doubles Tournament with Jalissa Acker and Sarah Bedoka coming in second. The Women’s Tennis program is gaining a reputation on campus and will be a team to follow in the 2020 fall season, like volleyball and football.
The Rancho Softball team also had a very successful 2019 season, reaching the quarterfinals of the NCS/Les Schwab Tires Division 2 Championships. The ladies lost 7-4 to eventual champion Bishop O’ Dowd High School to finish their season with a 21-4 record. With only losing 5 seniors, the Cougars seem poised to have another run in 2020.
The last successful team for the Cougars was the Women’s Basketball team. They reached the quarterfinals of the NCS/Les Schwab Tires Division 2 Championships as the sixth seed. Though the Cougars lost in the quarterfinals to the Montgomery Vikings, the ladies had a phenomenal season, finishing 25-5 and going 10-0 in league play. The ladies aren’t off to as good of a start this season, but they are still a team community residents should come to see.
The Cougars had a really successful 2019 season, but they aren’t the only Rohnert Park school who had good results. The Technology High School Women’s Soccer team had back to back incredible seasons.
Though the ladies couldn’t quite close the deal and ended up losing in a heartbreaking fashion to St. Bernard’s, they still had a great season. For those who are aware, the Titans won 1-0 against St. Bernard’s back in 2018 to win the NCS Championship. Entering 2019 the team had a complete rebuild. Most of the key players graduated and Head Coach Melissa Knoll had to develop a much younger team. Considering the amount of turnover, the ladies coming within one game of winning the NCS again shows what a great program Tech High has going.
Credo High School also had a successful 2019. The Boys’ Baseball team are NCS Division 6 Champions after beating South Fork High School 8-3 in the Championship Game. The Gryphon went 14-5 overall and 11-3 in league play. For a school as tiny as Credo to have an NCS Championship is an incredible accomplishment for the school and the athletic program they are building.
The Girls’ Softball team was also successful as they reached the NCS Division 5 Semifinals and lost to eventual champion Hoopa Valley 4-2. The Gryphon were the number 3 seed and earned a bye week after going 5-1 in league play. The Gryphon finished 8-4 on the season and, like the men, are looking to build off their successful postseason run.
It’s unknown what kind of moments and stories 2020 will produce. But one thing is clear, the community of Rohnert Park will hear about these special stories when they happen. It’s time to move into the next year and hope young athletes produce more great stories that will rival 2019.