NCS ROUNDUP — Cubs lose at Branson, as sickness takes huge toll on local teams

File photo by Phoebe Becker – The South Fork Cubs played at Branson on Saturday.

It was a rough week for three of the four H-DNL teams in the North Coast Section football playoffs on Friday and Saturday.

St. Bernard’s, McKinleyville and South Fork all were missing several key players for their section semifinals because of sickness, with numerous others missing practice during the week.

St. Bernard’s played without five starters, including influential senior QB Drew Sisemore, and lost 52-13 at No. 1 seed San Marin in Division 5.

The McKinleyville Panthers had most of their starters available but many had missed multiple days of practice leading up to their Division-7 showdown at No. 1 St. Vincent de Paul and it showed in a 42-7 loss.

College of the Redwoods too had to battle sickness this week at practice, with multiple defensive players affected.

South Fork head coach Karl Terrell didn’t even make a final decision on whether his team would travel to Branson until Saturday morning.

“It was real close to not even playing,” said Terrell, who added that the prevailing sickness hit this team hard over the past three days. 

The No. 3 Cubs did have enough players to field a team and made the trip to play the No. 2 seeds in the eight-person bracket, with the home team winning 48-28 to advance to next week’s championship game.

South Fork quarterback Shevy Bero-Vanmeter, who has been very impressive down the stretch of the season, did not make the trip, while talented running back Wesley Way was able to play for just one snap.

“We had players in places they’ve never even practiced,” Terrell said. 

Jasper Wilke, John Harding, Justin Freitas and Cannon Baker all impressed in the loss, with each of them scoring a touchdown.

Freitas and Harding both filled in for Bero-Vanmeter at QB, with Harding performing admirably in the second half as the Cubs settled into the game despite the setbacks.

It was also a clean game by the Cubs, with few penalties committed.

South Fork closes out the season with a record of 7-5, including a 7-3 mark against eight-person teams and a 42-0 playoff win at Tomales last weekend.

The Cubs won six of seven games at one stage to put themselves in playoff position.

“I think we did well,” Terrell said. “In eight-man we were 7-3, that’s a pretty good season.

“We grew into being a team and we did what we could right till the end. I’m pretty proud of my guys.” 

2 replies »

  1. No excuses, humboldt is getting hammered right now with a really tuff cold/pneumonia/flu it hits your lungs hard and kid’s have no energy. Really tuff to breath let alone play sports with this illness. It has impacted every team in humboldt 😬. Tuff break. Love the hard nose HDNL!

  2. So, it is not just Eureka schools down with the sickness… it is HWY 101 corridor schools within the south-mid Humboldt County regions…

    …tracking winter sports for sickness… now.

    Unfortunately sucks for the SA’s, better luck going forward.

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