By Ray Hamill — The H-DNL cross country season got under way this week and one runner got the campaign off to a flying start, which earns him one of this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes of the Week honors, sponsored by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
Arcata’s Jude Ortega comfortably won the boys race by 47 seconds, and looks like he’s ready for a big season.
In soccer, meanwhile, the Arcata girls had a huge win over McKinleyville on Wednesday and one player in particular was instrumental in the victory.
Junior Kyla Berman has been one of the most consistent strikers in the H-DNL dating back to the start of last season and was involved in five of her team’s seven goals in the win.
And that gets her the nod for our other athlete of the week award.
Our team of the week, meanwhile, goes to Fortuna boys soccer, one of the most dominating teams on the North Coast for much of the past decade and a program that is showing no signs of slowing down.
The Huskies are 4-0 in the Big 5 and on course for an eighth straight conference title after posting victories over Eureka and McKinleyville in the last week.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Arcata Cross Country, Senior
Ortega flew out of the starting gates and led the entire race at Wednesday’s H-DNL boys cross country season opener in Eureka.
The Arcata senior finished in a time of 16:55, well ahead of the field, as he set a blistering pace for the rest of the league with such a dominating display.
For more on his big week, see Ortega sets fast pace in H-DNL opener …
Arcata Soccer, Junior
The Arcata junior scored three goals and assisted on two others in a comprehensive 7-2 win over previously unbeaten McKinleyville on Wednesday.
The win gives the Arcata girls sole possession of top spot in the Big 5 after the first of three rounds of round robin conference play, with Berman as instrumental as anyone in the push for the championship.
For more on Berman’s big week, see Statement win for Arcata girls in key Big 5 showdown …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Fortuna Boys Soccer
Arcata tennis is the only local program that comes close to matching the Huskies’ incredible success on the soccer field over the past decade.
The Fortuna boys have not lost a regular season game to H-DNL opposition since 2013 and are on course for their eighth straight league title.
After finishing 9-0 during the shortened spring campaign, they are off to an 8-0 start this season, including a 4-0 mark in the Big 5.
It’s an incredible achievement for the players and head coach Daniel Holmes, who has been in charge for the entire run.
For more on the Fortuna boys, see BOYS SOCCER ROUNDUP — Huskies, Tigers remain hot …