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Lincoln and the PVL

By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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The Pioneer Valley League, as it stands now, includes Bear River, Center, Colfax, Foothill, Lincoln, and Placer high schools. Two of the teams, Bear River and Colfax, are Division IV schools. The rest are Division III. The competition in the PVL is fierce, as evidenced by the Fighting Zebras being able to place only one of its fall sports into the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs. The Lincoln High soccer team went into the playoffs as a No. 3 seed; Placer and Foothill were placed No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. To put the competition into perspective, the Zebras entered league play this fall 7-2-1. By the end of the season they were 12-5-5, and 4-2-4 in the PVL. They went 1-1 in the playoffs, defeating the Tri-County Conference No. 2 seed, Inderkum, and falling 1-0 to the Capital Athletic League’s No. 1 seed, 1-0. It was a game Lincoln well could have won. The league’s No. 1 team, Placer, made it to the championship game, but lost to Natomas, a team that played its best soccer in the playoffs. Cross country is where Placer High School shines. The boys team placed first in Division III at sections. Bear River managed to send one runner to state as an individual qualifier. Lincoln head coach Doug Croall has really brought along the Zebras, as his numbers (runners) went up this season. Lincoln has an outstanding sophomore runner in Kyle Ebert, and Dylan Toerpe is also a sophomore showing great promise. Ebert was the No. 1 runner in his division at sections. However, Placer should return four of its top five runners next season, and give Hillmen coach Randall Fee another outstanding team in 2012. Lincoln has great opportunity in girls volleyball. Although the Zebras finished fourth in the PVL with a 4-6 record, coach Amanda Retallack has the team believing in itself. She will graduate three seniors. Although No. 1 Bear River only loses four, No. 2 Placer will say farewell to seven, and No. 3 Colfax graduates eight. If setter Seline Richard, and hitters Briana Brown and Shelby Workman return, there should be plenty of fight in the Fighting Zebras next year. It’s difficult for the girls golf team because the PVL only fields four teams. Because of that, only one club advances beyond the league championship. However, individual players do advance, as did senior Jisu Yoo, junior Allyson Koehler, and freshman Kaitlin McKinney. Coach Tim Allen should be in a much better position to challenge Placer next year, as he should also return sophomore Abbie Faingold, who certainly has game as well. Football, of course, is where it all starts, and Lincoln’s varsity did not have the kind of season it would have hoped. However, coach Ken Lowe has a lot to look forward to because of what was accomplished at the lower levels. The junior varsity, freshman, and Lincoln Jr. Zebras all had good to outstanding seasons. Don’t be surprised to see the Fighting Zebras challenge Colfax and Placer for football supremacy in the very near future – and beyond.