September 17, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Cougars total team effort throttles Gauchos Swarming defense and power running lead Cougars to win Big win for the Ranch volleyball team This week in RP sports RP Cal Ripken League preparing for busy month Hanford Little League soars to victory Rough fourth quarter costs Cougars Competition brings adults together 9U-Red vs River Park practice in the park Nine all-league players from RCHS softball team Greeting the floor is hard Seawolves bow out in round 1 of NCAAs Credo Gryphon-NCS Champions Jones has gone for an off track excursion Rohnert Park All Stars out executed It will go in, I am sure Titans secure division win! Rancho Senior Varsity and Coach Hotaling Credo wins the NCS Division 6 semi-final 7-0 Cougars stumble in quarter-finals U12/60 places second in tournament Drag racing at Sonoma Cougars looking to break through Wait, I have it! “To be a Cougar, you have to have a heart of a Warrior” Technology High Vintage car racing takes over Sonoma Raceway U12 Boys - Rohnert Park Royals won first place in the Silver Division Big first inning leads U12 to win against Hayward Regionals, here we come! Up in the air we go Credo/Technology volley ball Cardenas makes good use of errors Honoring Tech High Lady Titans 24-hours of Lemons at Sonoma Raceway Technology High recognizes two senior players Muraki brothers lead River Park to win Cal-Ripken Play-off games in ‘B’ Park Not going anywhere INDYCAR Showcase Honoring Tech High Lady Titans Phan, player of the year Rancho Cotate High School Rancho moves on to quarter finals Callinan Junior Racquetball players win National Championships Rohnert Park defeats Nevada 10-0 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 Ing qualified 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 Herman soars 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 Peninsula speeds past Resurrection Parking lot rally brings families together A nice tight race Nguyen shows thanks Worden lays it up Heart break for Cougars The girls received their pennant for their NBL Championship win!  Rancho graduate signs with Holy Names University Laughlin makes a diving save Senior night for the volleyball team RPSC kicks into action Excitement for new football season  Cougars triumph over Vikings Cougars overcome Pumas The Gryphon dominates the Eagles Worden is walk-off winner 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 Credo wins softball rematch SSU Equestrian wins third 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 Race to the stars Cougars pounce on Tigers Credo closes season with a win 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 Boys lacrosse played last home game 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 Vasquez digs in hard 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 Rancho plays last home game 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 Ranch boys and girls played mixed 39 years for championship Gryphons advance to semi-finals Seawolves place first Cougars clash with Cardinals Morie with determination Seniors being honored 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 O’Daniel makes it back 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 A well-deserved win Credo over Tech, 8-1 Cougar win breaks 39-year dry spell Finished up with a win Tech High Seniors honored Tam defeats Cougars I am the leader of the pack Jaguars crush Cougars Cougars trounce Pumas Cougars score narrow win 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 shutout Eagles Cougar seniors wave farewell 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 Tech baseball, a learning season 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? Girls played last game Rancho alumnus signs with New York Red Bulls Wildcats beat Cougars Healdsburg takes the win Seniors were defeated by the staff Martinez has a powerful kick Hayman flips it up Oppenheim, Sarudiansky, Nudell Named All-PacWest Tech High doesn’t have enough steam Lambrecht puts on pressure SSU Sports Briefs Alfaro makes a hit

Tigers sweep it all!

  • Front row left to right from team picture: 40 Kylan Hale, 21 Landin Morie, 27 Austin Long, 12 Kamden Titus, 53 Logan Langdale, 1 Ryder Nelson. Back row left to right: Coach Joe Bertolina,??24 Austin Bertolina,??28 Gavin Stewart, 54 Jayden Hernandez, 29 Nathan Lukins, 32 Koa Little, Assistant Coach Trevor Stewart

By: Joshua Farestveit-Moore
March 15, 2019

The St. Elizabeth Tigers raised their fists in triumph Sun. evening when they closed out their fifth and final win of the weekend to sweep the COA Tournament in Tomales and finish off their season undefeated. 

It wasn’t a small season, either. The Tigers fought through 16 games and returned with 16 wins—no small feat for any team, much less a horde of raucous third-graders. Yet win they did. Through trials and tribulations, the Tigers rose above every opponent pit against them, and when the dust finally cleared and the season ended, they stood alone, victorious amidst a field of fallen challengers. 

So, what made the difference? Well, according to the Tigers’ coach, Joe Bertolina, the wins were all thanks to the team’s unique philosophy. 

“These are competitors but they’re also third graders. You’ve got to let them have some fun—to let them love the game itself,” Bertolina said. “My thought was to just not put any stress on them. (...) I’ve found coaches that put a lot of pressure on their team make it tough to be successful.”

But the road to victory is long and winding and for the Tigers their path was seeded with more than their fair share of brambles. At the start of the season some Tigers didn’t have basketball experience. For many, this was their first season or indeed their first team sport and so the whole group needed to pull together in the short span time from the start of practices in Oct. to their first game in Nov. 

Pull together they did. The Tigers prioritized a defensive strategy that focused on the fundamentals to limit their opponents’ shooting opportunities. The plan was this: keep the other team within six to seven points and then all they needed to score was eight. Simple enough, and it worked, mostly, until tragedy struck. 

Around mid-season one of the Tigers’ star players, Koa Little, contracted pneumonia. It kept him on the bench for a good portion of the years’ games and the Tigers felt the absence. Rather than dwell on Koa’s misfortune, however, they pulled together to wish their teammate well. 

“When the team found out they wanted to do something really nice for [Koa]. They made him a really cool card. It was like a basketball court with all the little players’ heads on it,” Bertolina said. “Just to see [Koa’s] face light up when we gave him the card...he said it was the best one he’d ever gotten in his life.”

It was a touching gesture and the perfect encapsulation of everything youth sports is supposed to embody, according to Koa’s mother, Kristi Lua. 

“It’s about building friendships and teaching them to follow through,” Lua said. “I like to see them having fun. I was never a very competitive person, so I just wanted to see them making friends.”

Everything told, the Tigers rose above 22 other teams at the COA Tournament. 

Their first match was early Sat. morning against the St. Sebastian Wolves, which they beat 27-11. Next was the St. Eugene Jaguars, 27-14, and then the St. Francis Tigers, 27-18. On Sunday the Tigers played in the semi-finals against the St. Eugene Lions. It was a close one, but the Tigers pulled ahead in the final few seconds and closed out the game 31-30. 

The Lions weren’t done. They battled through the losers’ bracket and returned in the finals, but round two went the same as the first. The Tigers closed out the finals with a comfortable 30-21.