Starting a new sports program can be a very difficult undertaking. You wouldn’t know that by the success of the girls wrestling team at Serrano. Led by head coach Lacey Matson, the team recently concluded their second season. It would be difficult to duplicate the results from their first season, as the team only had three girls returning. Most of the team last year were Seniors. To say the season was successful would be an understatement. During the regular season, the girls won by team points in all of their dual meets (matches against another school) except for Oak Hills, which was a tie. It wasn’t just the Diamondbacks team that was new in 2019; the sport is still in the early stages for the entire Mojave River League. 2020 would provide more competition, enough that the girls had to compete in league finals to qualify for CIF. I spoke to Coach Matson about how the team fared. “At our League finals, we had five girls place First: Lindsey Davis 101, Mackenzie Schexnyder 111, Sarah Amaya 116, Amanda Ericson 126, and Brooklyn Thomas 150. We had Anna Traore take Second at 170. We also had three girls take Third: Serenity-kai Valenzuela 106, Amelie Higgins 137, and Janelle Castillo 160. It was great because the whole team qualified for CIF this year. CIF was very tough and we had five girls in the blood round, which is the ‘do or die’ round. If you win, you make it to Masters (CIF Finals). If you lose, the season is over for you. It is also called the heartbreak round. We have a very tough and dedicated team, but only Sarah Amaya, our 116, who is also one of our first-year wrestlers, was able to move on to Masters.” Coach Matson has big plans to help the team improve next season. The team is fundraising with the intention to send the girls to a summer wrestling camp. One of the main coaches at the camp is a nine-time world medal winner in lady’s wrestling. Anyone interested in sponsoring the team can contact Coach Matson at 951-743-6395 or email@example.com.
D’Backs complete perfect regular season
Serrano Diamonbacks Football Team had a great season
By Geno Lewis
All good things must come to an end. Would that include the Diamondbacks’ amazing 2019 football season, Friday at Cypress? A large crowd gathered to watch two undefeated teams do battle in the CIF Southern Section Division 7 semi-finals. They were treated to a great game. Serrano had a very conservative game plan their first two playoff contests. They would need to open up the playbook to compete with the Centurions. They showed their willingness to do so three minutes into the game. Quarterback Parker Chaffee completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Joey Arguello. The D’Backs’ lead didn’t last long, as the Centurions scored a minute later to tie the game at 7. Cypress scored again with under a minute to go in the 1st quarter to take a 14-7 lead. Serrano also scored first in the 2nd quarter. An 8-yard touchdown run by Cade Beaujean tied the game, 14 all. Centurions cashed in a touchdown with a minute to go in the half. They missed the extra point and took a 20-14 lead. The D’Backs’ hoped to make the missed extra point an important play in the outcome of the game. Chaffee completed another long pass to JJ Rider to get the D’Backs down to the Centurions’ 37-yard line. They were unable to score before the half. Both teams played tough on defense, especially in the 2nd half. The teams exchanged punts in what was mostly a battle for field position in the 3rd quarter. Serrano opened up the 4th quarter scoring early. Chaffee hit JJ Rider again, this time a 5-yard touchdown. Diamondbacks’ kicker Carlos Garcia made the important point after touchdown to give his team the lead, 21-20. Cypress was driving late in the 4th quarter. Serrano held them to 4th down on the D’Backs’ 34-yard line, with about 5 minutes to go. No one ever wants to see the most important play of the game decided on a penalty. Unfortunately, for the Diamondbacks the most important play of their season came down to a call by the officials. They were called for pass interference, setting up 1st down on their own 11-yard line. The penalty appeared to be excellent coverage by the D’Backs’ defensive back. Centurions would score, a couple plays later, to take a 26-21 lead with 3 minutes to go. Despite their most valiant effort, time ran out on the D’Backs and their 2019 season. The final score was 26-21. It truly was a great game and a gut-wrenching loss for the players on Serrano. This senior class was a special group. I’m sure the loss is devastating now but these kids gave themselves and their community a lifetime of memories. Next year’s team will have huge shoes to fill.
By Gino Lewis
November 1, 2019: Serrano entered their game Friday against Sultana (Hesperia) looking to become Mojave River League Champions and finish their 2019 regular season a perfect 10-0. The Sultans were no match for the D’Backs, which became apparent very early. Diamondbacks dominated on defense more than they normally do. They forced a 3 and out (forcing your opponent to punt without picking up a first down) or a turnover on the Sultans first 4 drives of the game. Friday, the D’Backs’ offense was equally up to the task. They led 35-3 after just one quarter of play. Not looking to run up the score, the D’Backs took their foot off the gas pedal a bit in the 2nd quarter. They still scored 21 in the quarter in the normal course of their offense while getting almost everyone on the roster involved in the game. Serrano led 56-3 at halftime and went on to win 70-17. In a blowout of that magnitude there are normally too many great performances for an individual to stand out. That was the case Friday. It was a complete team effort. D’Backs’ executed their game plan to perfection on all three phases of the game. CIF playoffs start this week. Serrano will face Canyon (Canyon Country) Friday. At 2-8 and 0-5 in league, Canyon does not look like a good matchup for the D’Backs. That said, you can’t take anything for granted this time of year. D’Backs head coach, Casey Maholchic talked about the perfect regular season and how he feels about his team heading into playoffs, “Honestly, I’m just very happy for the kids. They’ve worked hard for it. What makes this group so special is their buy-in and maturity. It sets them apart drastically from teams in the past. The offense played very well on Friday and we’re just hoping to keep improving in every phase of the game every week.”
Serrano Smashes Yucaipa in Home Opener
September 6, 2019
Quarterback Parker Chaffee, #6, reaches back to pass. Photo by Gino Lewis
Safety Earl Hodson, #4, tracks the ball carrier. Photo by Gino Lewis
by Gino Lewis
The Diamondbacks’ 2019 football season has gotten off to a very hot start. They opened the season with blowout wins on the road against Barstow 35-0 and Silverado (Victorville) 48-17. Entering their home opener Friday 2-0, their opponent was the Thunderbirds of Yucaipa in what looked like a good test on paper. Yucaipa entered the game with a 1-0 record and made the CIF Southern Section Division 4 playoffs last season. Serrano plays in Division 7 by comparison. Would the D’Backs struggle against a team three divisions higher than them? First-year starting quarterback Parker Chaffee got the scoring started early on a 2-yard touchdown run. Chaffee, a Senior, kept it going when he hit star tight end Matt Lowe for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Running back Wahkill Sullivan had a big first half including a 53-yard gallop to set up a 4-yard score for Earl Hodson. Sullivan also capped off the 1st half, scoring for the Diamondbacks with a 7-yard TD run to make the score 28-10. The Thunderbirds seemed to gain momentum at one point in the first half. The D’Backs had a 21-10 lead and were on the doorstep looking for more until the Thunderbirds had a solid goal line stand. The D’Backs had to settle for a missed field goal try. Yucaipa was moving the ball on the ensuing drive with a chance to cut it to a one score game. The play of the game may have been an interception by Lleyton Steinmann to halt the T’Birds drive and take momentum back for the D’Backs. Yucaipa did intercept a pass early in the 2nd half but never got anything going. Sullivan was at it again, this time a 79-yard run on the D’Backs second possession. Sullivan was player of the game with a staggering 249 yards on 20 carries, he now has 602 yards on the season. The D’Backs were held to 4th down on Yucaipa’s 20-yard line, they decided to go for the knockout instead of playing it safe and trying another field goal. Chaffee and Lowe delivered again, essentially closing out the game connecting on a beautiful play-action touchdown pass to make the score 35-10. Serrano finished the game strong, going on to win 49-10. The Diamondbacks are now 3-0 on the young season. They were very good last year compiling a 9-4 record, advancing to the CIF semi-finals. It’s reasonable to say they look better this season. Perhaps significantly better. The strong run game and dominant defense from last season remain. The difference appears to be a more dynamic passing game led by Chaffee and Lowe. Having a Running Back capable of putting up 250 yards in a game doesn’t hurt either. There is a lot of fire power on offense to say the least. The T’Birds turned out to be no match for the D’Backs, they will face a stiffer test at home Friday against the Bulldogs of Highland (Palmdale). The Bulldogs enter the game coming off a 22-14 loss to a quality St. Bonaventure (Ventura) team. They have a common opponent in Barstow. The Bulldogs put up a similar score to the D’Backs earning a 30-3 win. Highland’s coaching staff has the advantage of the game tape from Serrano’s game against Barstow.
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