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Baseball players earn accolades

   Nine Ramona Bulldog baseball players were honored on the 2010 All
Valley League Baseball Team. Three Dawgs also made the prestigious
Spring 2010 All North County Baseball Team.
   Seniors Cody Willingham and Kyle Gray and sophomore Jackson Willeford were named to the first team.
   Willingham is a returner to the squad and for the second consecutive
year was the Valley League Pitcher of the Year. He had a 2.56 ERA in
league action and won four Valley League games against no losses. He
struck out 43 batters in 30.33 innings and was also named to the All
North County team based on his season stats. He was 9-2 on the season
with a North County high 114 strikeouts in 82.33 innings with a 2.13
ERA.

Teamwork is more than handing a baton to a teammate

   Track is supposedly an individual sport. After covering the Valley
League meet at Valley Center and the CIF San Diego Section Finals at
Mt. Carmel, I have a different opinion.
   The 4X100 and 4X400 meter relays are the only events that really
involve teamwork, but teamwork is more than handing a baton to a
teammate. Teamwork sometimes involves more than participants.
   The Ramona High School track teams — officially there is a boys team
and a girls team — are a close-knit team. They practice together. They
travel to meets and invitationals together. They give one another moral
support at meets. They are a team. They have a loyal following of
family and friends.
   The Valley League Meet and the CIF San Diego Section Finals are long
meets. At the CIF finals the first events, the boys’ long jump and the
boys’ discus, start at 10 a.m. The final event, the girls 4X400 relay,
was scheduled for 4:57 p.m. The league meet and CIF championships were
well-organized and right on time.

RHS Softball

   Five Ramona High School softball players received All Valley League honors for the season.
   Lexi Slater repeated as the first team shortstop. The junior middle
infielder hit .387 with 20 RBIs. She hit six home runs, eight triples
and eight doubles, stole four bases and posted a .927 fielding average.
Slater was also named to the Spring 2010 All North County Softball Team
for the second consecutive year.
   Senior catcher Courtney Fick had a stellar season. She hit .371 with
17 RBIs and had two doubles, two triples and four home runs. The
University of Southern Utah-bound signal caller stole a team high 11
bases and had a .953 fielding average.

Spring football ends June 10

   Coach Damon Baldwin and his staff welcomed 150 candidates for the
2010 football season at Spring Football. The spring session started on
May 18 and will end on June 10 with the annual Spring Game.
   “We have over 150 students/athletes out for spring ball,” said
Baldwin. “We have a lot of athletes that are new to our program and are
trying football for the first time. Everybody is working hard.”
   The object of Spring Football is to teach new players the Bulldog
offense and defense and to review the system for the returning players.
There are about 20 returning lettermen from the 2009 varsity along with
the junior varsity and frosh players from 2009. Incoming freshmen do
not participate in spring drills but can participate in the summer
program.

Bulldog baseball wins Valley League

   The Ramona Bulldog baseball team needed to win one of its last two
games to win the 2010 Valley League pennant. They did, but it wasn’t
easy.
   Oceanside High School needed to win two games to overtake the
Bulldogs and win the title. The two teams locked up in classic duel
that lasted almost four hours and went 12innings. The game had it all —
pitching, hitting, power hitting and defense. In the end Ramona’s
leading hitter drove in the winning run with two out in the bottom of
the 12th inning to give the Bulldogs its fourth Valley League title in
Dean Welch’s tenure as coach. Oceanside scored first in the top of the
third inning when Justin Hawkins singled and was driven in by King
Holder with a two out double.

Goodbye Valley League, hello Palomar League

So goodbye yellow brick road where the dogs of society howl. You can’t plant me in your penthouse. I’m going back to my plough.”

   Elton John’s song applies well to Ramona High School’s departure
from the Valley League. The Valley League was very kind to the
Bulldogs. After the Dawgs left the old Mountain League and small-time
high school sports for the big time, the Dawgs didn’t do too well in
the Costal League, Avocado East League or the Avocado League. Boys
track won one championship, boys’ soccer won seven league titles, but
the other sports struggled to compete.

Softball team ends season with 12-16

   If the New York Yankees are the Bronx Bombers, then the Ramona High
School softball team became the Blond Bombers in the final week of the
regular season.
   The Lady Dawgs ripped three home runs and belted 20 hits as they
lost to Westview High School and beat Oceanside High School. The Lady
Dawgs finished the regular season with a 12-16 record and completed
Valley League action with a 6-6 record.
   Ramona jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Westview High School and led
3-1 going into the final inning. Westview scored three unearned runs in
the seventh inning to come from behind to beat the Lady Dawgs. It was
the final home game of the season for the Lady Bulldogs.
   Ally Harvey pitched well as she gave up one earned run on and
scattered five hits. She struck out two and only issued one base on
balls.

Bulldog baseball team clinches first place in league

   Ramona Bulldog baseball enters the final week of the season in the
driver’s seat. The Dawgs have clinched a playoff berth with a 20-7
record and are in first place all alone in the Valley League with an
8-2 mark. The Dawgs have to win one game against Oceanside to earn the
crown outright.
   The Dawgs swept defending league champs Westview High School in a
home and home series. The Wolverines had needed to sweep the Dawgs to
take control of the league race and defend their crown.
   Erik Ernst (8-1) pitched four innings-plus to pick up the win on the
road as Ramona beat Westview 9-4. He scattered six hits and had trouble
with his control as he walked six and gave up four runs and struck out
two.
   Beau Sulser finished on the mound and gave up one hit and struck out four in two innings plus worked to pick up the save.

Tennis finishes team play with 10-8 record

 The Ramona High School tennis team has finished the team portion of
its season and will now go on to individual tournaments. The Bulldogs
finished their season with a 10-8 record and advanced to the
quarterfinals of the CIF San Diego Section Division II team playoffs.
   Ramona advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Mt. Miguel High School at Riviera Oaks Resort and Racquet Club 13-5.
   Mt. Miguel is coached by a former RHS teacher and coach, Grant Martin.
Cameron Ruland had an excellent day as the number one singles player
for RHS. Ruland went 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1. His set against Anthony Tran was
a classic battle of power versus finesse. Tran is a big hitter and a
big individual. Ruland uses his array of shots and agility to win.
Ruland won the set 6-0.

Football Lift-a-thon record

 Most leagues have gotten away from naming a Most Valuable Player. The
title is a bit ambiguous. Most leagues now have a Player of the Year.
True, semantics are involved and both titles are ambiguous, but, if
Coach Damon Baldwin had to name a Most Valuable Player in the past
three Ramona High School football lift-a-thons, the award would be
uncontested.
   Derek Harlan has been the most valuable lifter and fundraiser and in
the 2010 Lift-A-Thon he outdid himself. When Derek was in eighth grade,
the incoming freshmen at Olive Pierce Middle School were not involved
in the fundraiser, so his first chance to earn a spirit pack came at
the end of his frosh year. Harlan took the first prize and brought in a
school record $1,800 and earned a Best Buy gift certificate.

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