By Ray Hamill — It was an historic week for two local teams and another memorable week for two local athletes.
The St. Bernard’s volleyball and Ferndale girls soccer teams both won a first-ever North Coast Section championship for their schools and that makes them our co-teams of the week, an award sponsored as always by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
Our athletes of the week, meanwhile, both enjoyed stellar performances this week.
Ashby, who has now won four of the five league races she has competed in this fall, dominated the field and won the race by an incredible 1 minute, 41 seconds.
Another senior, St. Bernard’s Wyatt Simoni, scored four touchdowns in a 37-0 win over Eureka in football on Saturday, a victory that secured a share of a first-ever Big 4 championship the sport for the Crusaders.
Simoni, who has been the best football player in the H-DNL this season, has been a leading contender for athlete of the week just about every week and he becomes the first local athlete to be named one of our athletes of the week three times in a single season, having also earned the award in late August and early October.
Simioni also made his presence felt as part of a loud and enthusiastic student section in the SB gymnasium later on Saturday as the Crusaders secured a first-ever NCS crown in volleyball with a straight sets victory over California Crosspoint.
Led by seniors Madelyn Shanahan and Rihanna Fontenot and sophomore Sahara Tupua, the St. Bernard’s girls capped a remarkable run through the NCS with the victory and did not drop a set in three section playoff matches.
The Ferndale girls were equally impressive on the soccer field, beating the top two seeds in the playoffs on their way to a first-ever NCS championship, with both wins coming on the road.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
St. Bernard’s Football, Senior
Simoni has been nothing short of sensational this season and leads his team in just about every major statistical category on both sides of the ball, including a team-high 27 touchdowns, which is the second most in the NCS.
He is also second in the section with 1,330 yards rushing and second in the section with 14.5 sacks, just half a sack out of first.
Simoni and his teammates will try to keep their impressive season going when they host Terra Linda in the first round of the NCS playoffs on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
For more on Simoni’s big week, see Crusaders shut out the Loggers as Big 4 ends in three-way tie …
Eureka Cross Country, Senior
Diligence and dedication paid off for this Eureka senior, who was crowned league champion with a dominating performance on Saturday.
Ashby, according to her head coach Will Zerlang, leads by example and is a team captain this year.
“The big thing about Sequoia is she’s very very diligent and dedicated in her training,” Zerlang said. “She’s very adamant about how much she needs to run. She always gets her running in and she’s very focused on her running.
“She loves to run. That’s the big thing about Sequoia.”
For more on her big week, see H-DNL champion Ashby sets her sights on state qualification …
TEAMS OF THE WEEK
St. Bernard’s Volleyball
What a week it was for the Crusaders, who set a new standard for St. Bernard’s volleyball with their historic achievement.
The victory not only gave the SB girls a first section championship, but it also ended a long 37-year wait for the H-DNL.
Head coach Wendy Joyner and her players saw their season finally end with a loss to Sacramento Country Day in the opening round of the NorCal playoffs on Wednesday, but it was a fall they or their fans won’t easily forget any time soon.
For more on their big week, see History-making Crusaders secure the H-DNL’s first NCS crown in 37 years …
Ferndale Girls Soccer
Likewise with the Wildcats, who won their first-ever NCS crown in soccer.
And the Ferndale girls had to do it the hard way, winning a pair of games on the road against higher seeds on the way to the pennant, including a 1-0 win at St. Bernard’s on Wednesday afternoon.
Under the guidance of head coach Bailey Davy, the Cats rose to the challenge, with Teresa Catana scoring the only goal in the final.
Defenders Regan Russ and Michaela Ellsmore both also were hugely influential on the way to the section title, as was goalkeeper Tinnley Pidgeon.
For more on their big week, see ‘Locked-in’ Wildcats claim first-ever NCS crown …