Sierra Sports Insider: Homecoming Classic helps put “community” in “community college”…

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What an afternoon! The weather was perfect, with our fabled trees just beginning to show their fall colors. The homecoming crowd was the biggest of the season. The Associated Students of Sierra College gave away hundreds of dollars in prizes. Sierra Cheer was at the top of their game, making the afternoon a color-splashed event. The 49ers and the Wildcats —two youth teams made up of local first and second graders—put on a memorable halftime game. And, afterwards, the Sierra College Wolverines, 51-6 victors over Foothill College, put off celebrating in the locker room to stay and sign autographs for the kids.

Photo of Thayer giving autograph.

Austin Wyatt-Thayer signs an autograph for a youth player at Saturday's Homecoming Classic.

The four hours at The Buzz epitomized what a community college is supposed to be all about. People of all ages—from the little guys playing flag football at halftime, to the those who've been at every Sierra game since the eighties—crowded the stadium. There were local high schoolers in attendance, along with Sierra faculty and staff members. Darci Brownell's Sierra College softball team worked the snack bar and worked the crowd selling raffle tickets. Kevin Bray and Barry Brown once again volunteered their time to take some memorable photos.

The game itself was memorable. Coach Ben Noonan's Wolverines played a complete game. The offense, behind QB Daniel Harding's three touchdown passes and a 173-yard ground attack that produced three scores, moved up and down the field all afternoon. The defense had three sacks and three picks.

As Noonan said after the game, "It sure helped to start the game with a pick-six." He was referring to RaShawn DuPree's 70-yard interception return for a score on the game's first drive, a mere 2:07 into the game. From there, the Wolverines never let up and the Owls never recovered.

A quick look at last week

The Sierra College soccer team, ranked 4th in the state and #2 in NorCal, had a big week. Jason Gantt's Wolverines (8-2-1, 3-0-1 Big 8) took to the road and came away with a 1-1 tie at state #11 Santa Rosa and a 2-0 blanking of arch-rival American River College at ARC.

Vera Nelson's volleyball team had, to put it mildly, an interesting week. They opened Big 8 play Wednesday with a lackluster sweep of Cosumnes River College that showed the Wolverines (12-3, 1-0 Big 8) were a bit rusty after a 12-day layoff. They were scheduled to take on a talented Modesto team the next night at The GoGo, but Modesto thought the match was to be played on Friday and they never got on the bus. Will the match be rescheduled or will it be a win for Sierra by forfeit? We'll keep you posted on the ruling by Big 8 Commissioner Mike Lydell.

...and a look at the week ahead.

Football has a bye before opening Valley Conference action Oct. 19 at Fresno City College. Men's and women's water polo have an important contest at American River College Wednesday the 9th at 3:30. Will be worth the trip down 80 to see this one. Volleyball has a huge match at SJ Delta on Wednesday. There are two Sierra home games on tap this week:

Soccer vs. Modesto Jr. College, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 3:30pm at the Sierra Soccer Complex

The Wolverines look to stay atop the Big 8 standings with a win over the always-tough Pirates. The game may hinge on Sierra keeper Molly McConnell, who recorded her sixth shutout of the season at ARC.

Volleyball vs. Diablo Valley College, Friday, Oct. 11, 6:30pm at Goto/Goldenberg Court

Sierra needs to play! They've played one match since Sept. 20 and need to get some rhythm going. Volleyball is a team game that involves precise anticipation, rotation, communication, repetition and any other –tions you can come up with. With games at Sac City and Santa Rosa next week, this is a big one for the Wolverines.

Across Sierra College

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