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Courier reviews "Best of 2022" in local sports, part 2
• Highlighting successes of teams & reviewing top stories
CVHS wrestling champs 2022
Central Valley High School’s girls wrestling program claimed the Central California Conference’s overall championship. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

In today’s Courier, we present Part II of the “Best of 2022” list.

Team Effort

1. Central Valley High School’s girls wrestling program captured the Central California Conference overall championship by taking first at the league finals and winning all six of its conference duals. The Hawks also experienced individual success as nine grapplers claimed medals at the CCC Tournament.

2. Ceres High’s football program amassed an 8-3 overall record, finished second in the Western Athletic Conference standings (5-2) and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs. The Bulldogs annexed their first winning record since 2003. Ceres High secured its second consecutive playoff berth. The Bulldogs ended 16 years of postseason futility in 2021. Just three teams from Ceres High have won eight or more games in the past 37 years. The Bulldogs went 9-4 and 8-4 in 1985 and 1988, respectively. Ceres High snapped a seven-year losing streak versus the crosstown-rival Central Valley. The Bulldogs claimed the Ceres Classic perpetual trophy with a thrilling 21-20 win over the Hawks. Ceres High had 10 players earn all-WAC accolades.

3. Central Valley’s baseball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Sac-Joaquin Section playoff history. Seeded 14th, the Hawks upset No. 3 Elk Grove 3-2 in the opening round. Central Valley also made program history by securing just its second playoff berth. The Hawks returned to the postseason following an eight-year absence. Central Valley finished in the top eight in the Division-I playoff bracket, posted a 14-14 overall record and placed fourth overall in the ultra-competitive Central California Conference standings (6-6).

4. Central Valley’s boys soccer team compiled an 18-7-2 overall record, finished second in the Central California Conference standings (9-3-0) and advanced to the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs.

5. Ceres High’s boys soccer team amassed a 16-6-1 overall record, placed first in the Western Athletic Conference for the second year in a row and reached the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.

6. Ceres High’s softball team posted a 19-9 overall record, finished second in the Western Athletic Conference (12-2) and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.

7. Ceres High’s baseball team managed to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs despite dropping its first nine games. The Bulldogs (13-16, 9-5) earned the Western Athletic Conference’s third-and-final postseason spot. Ceres High also finished first at the Art McRae Tournament. The Bulldogs won 13 of their final 20 games.

8. Ceres High’s girls soccer team amassed an 11-7-1 overall record and placed second in the Western Athletic Conference standings (8-4-1) under second-year head coach Hannah Menk’s guidance.

9. Central Valley boy’s tennis team returned to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs following a six-year absence. The Hawks won eight of 12 matches en route to a third-place finish in the CCC standings.

Other notable stories

1. Matt Chachere, head coach of Ceres High School’s football program from 2018-19, died at the age of 39 in San Luis Obispo. The bodies of Chachere, his girlfriend Jennifer Besser, 36, and their dog were found in a creek bed near the intersection of Sacramento Drive and Basil Lane on Nov. 22. San Luis Obispo Police Department Detectives believe there’s a connection between the deaths of Chachere and Besser and a single vehicle accident that occurred in the same area on Nov. 21.

2. Nicole “Sis” Bates made her debut with the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team at the 2022 Pan American Championship in Guatemala City. The 2016 Ceres High School grad hit .500 (13-for-26) from the plate with one home run, two triples, three doubles, nine RBIs and 13 runs as the Americans claimed the gold medal at the Nov. 12-19 international event. Bates batted second on offense. She played shortstop on defense.

3. Ceres native/Major League Soccer forward Cade Cowell scored twice and dished out one assist while appearing in five games during the U.S. Under-20 Men’s Youth National Soccer Team’s run to the 2022 CONCACAF Championship title. Staged in Honduras, the event served as qualifying for both the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games.

4. Chance Cowell, Cade Cowell’s younger brother and an eighth-grade student at Cesar Chavez Jr. High in Ceres, made his debut with Mexico’s Under-15 Men’s Youth National Soccer Team in May. He started at winger during two friendly matches versus host Morocco. Cowell scored twice in a 4-2 win.

5. Scarlett Martinez Lloyd enjoyed her best year to date with the NCAA Division-I Wagner College sotball team. The 2020 Central Valley High School grad set a program record while starring at pitcher with the Seahawks. She became Wagner College’s single-season strikeout leader with 116, surpassing a mark set by Krystle Perry in 2001. Lloyd notched her ninth win of the year as she allowed one run and one hit with five strikeouts and one walk in a 3-2 season-ending victory against Farleigh Dickinson. She was voted Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week for the first time on April 5. She was also named an NEC Prime Performer on April 5, March 28 and March 22. Lloyd transferred to the University of the Pacific this past fall. She’ll team up with younger sister Victoria Martinez Lloyd in the spring of 2024.

6. Victoria Martinez Lloyd became just the second softball player from Central Valley High School to earn a NCAA Division-I scholarship. The senior third baseman announced her verbal commitment to the University of the Pacific via social media on Nov. 10. Lloyd has filled a key role on Central Valley’s softball team since freshman year. She was named to the Central California Conference First Team as a junior. Lloyd batted .424 from the plate with two homers, one triple, six doubles, 12 RBIs and eight runs.

7. Passionate about football since her childhood, Olivia Campos made her varsity debut with Central Valley High School this past fall. The 5-foot-2 148-pound senior defensive end became the first female player in school history to recover a fumble in the Hawks’ 31-6 non-conference loss to the Enochs Eagles on Sept. 9. Campos made one tackle while appearing in two games during her final season at Central Valley. She competed at the JV level as a junior and played frosh-soph football in the ninth and 10th grades.

8. Clinton Goblirsch was relieved as head coach of Ceres High School’s football program on Aug. 10. Bulldog Athletic Director John Bussard refused to talk about specifics related to Goblirsch’s termination, which occurred just nine days before the start of the 2022 season. According to Goblirsch, his unwillingness to implement three new coaching directives imposed by Bussard ultimately cost him his job.

9. Mikayla Mabie’s basketball journey resumed following a three-year break from the sport. The 2016 Central Valley grad paused her playing career to take care of her grandma and focus on her own mental health. Mabie, a senior point guard at UC Merced, was named a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Honorable Mention All-American. She was also an All-California Pacific Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team selection. Mabie averaged 9.6 points, a program-record 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game in leading UC Merced to an 18-8 overall record, a perfect 10-0 mark in league play and to the CPC Tournament Championship. The Bobcats also advanced to the NAIA National Championships for the fourth time in program history.

10. A record 3,500-plus fans attended the 17th installment of the Ceres Classic, which pits Ceres High against Central Valley in football. Tickets were sold via online and at the game. Final attendance figures didn’t include students that used ASB cards to gain free admission to the contest. Fans began lining up outside CUSD Stadium during the junior-varsity game. The line stretched all the way to the Bulldogs’ tennis-court facility. The stadium reached its capacity during the second quarter of the varsity game. The Bulldogs earned a hard-fought 21-20 victory. Ceres High snapped a seven-year losing streak versus Central Valley.

Nicole “Sis” Bates review
Ceres High grad Nicole “Sis” Bates helped lead the the U.S. Women’s National Softball Team to a first-place finish at the Pan American Championship.
Matt Chachere dead review
Former Ceres High football head coach Matt Chachere, 39, and his girlfriend Jennifer Besser were killed in November 2022 in San Luis Obispo. Police believe they were struck by a car while walking their dog. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo