Friday, January 30, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Keeping an eye on things – from a distance

By
From page B1 | November 08, 2012 |

It’s good to be back.

You may have noticed my byline missing from the paper for a few weeks. Having an operation for a torn retina will do that.

The procedure was performed on Oct. 3 and after nearly five weeks of essentially doing nothing, much of the time looking down — all on doctor’s orders — I returned to work on Monday.

Hey, five weeks off is great, but you can only watch so much “Adam-12″, “Gunsmoke” and “SportsCenter”.

It reminded me of an episode of “Twilight Zone”  where a character is given everything he wants by his “guide” and then has second thoughts.

“I don’t belong in heaven, see. I wanna go to the other place,” he says to his guide, who replies “Heaven? What ever gave you the idea you were in heaven . . . This is the other place!”

One thing I missed while being forced to sit it out in “the other place” was covering high school football. Since 1990, I’d missed just two Friday nights.

Turns out I missed a whole lot of struggling. For just the sixth time since 1980, no city team qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs and for the first time since 1982, none finished with a winning record.

Regardless, I missed keeping tabs on the city teams and their players, putting into perspective the good and the bad. Better late than never, here’s a look back at each of the squads.

Armijo

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the Indians extended their likely state-record streak of no postseason play to 75 years, though that’s misleading. If the SJS had had its current seeding plan since starting the playoffs in 1970 (Armijo was in the Central Section in 1937) the Indians would’ve qualified at least 11 times and possibly another seven when they finished at .500.

It’s hard to say one 1-9 team (2012) is better than another (2011), but this year’s Indians were vastly improved under first-year coach Karl Finley.

For starters, they nearly doubled their point production (78 to 133), more than tripled their rushing yards (637 to 2,014) and had nearly 1,000 more total yards (1,252 to 2,228). Their defense gave up a few more points (392 to 410) and total yards (3,781 to 3,866), but that’s misleading.

Thanks to its increased scoring punch, the Indians spent less time under a running clock, giving opponents more time to move the ball and score.

Depending on whose stats you use, running back Damian Simpson rushed for more than 1,000 yards or fell just short. Either way, the senior had a dynamite season,  turning out five 100-yard games, including a season-high 193 in the 48-34 win over Fairfield that snapped a 12-game losing streak.

The Indians may not have had the most exciting offense – with Finley being hired less than two months before the start of workouts, being fancy wasn’t an option. They proved it by setting a school record for fewest passing yards in a season with 226.

Fairfield

Even with two previous seasons (1972 and 1975), it’s hard to imagine the Falcons squad having a tougher time than the 2012 squad that went 1-8. Eric Barber wasn’t hired as coach until July, just weeks before the start of practice, and dealing with his seriously ill father also cut into his time with the team.

Defense was easily the team’s biggest shortcoming. Despite playing just nine games, the 2012 Falcons set school records for giving up the most points (389), rushing yards (2,897 — by 459!) and total yards (4,029).

They were shutout in back-to-back games (42-0 by both Benicia and Bethel) for the first time since being blanked in the final three games of the 1983 season.

But if points can be earned for surviving and persevering, the Falcons lit up the scoreboard. With what was likely the smallest roster in school history (24), they routinely ran out of steam, but not out of heart.

Rodriguez

As the Mustangs’ fifth coach in five years, Sarj Singh endured some rough spots before his squad outlasted Armijo 36-21 in the season finale.

Rodriguez missed the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and at 3-7 had its lowest win total since 2004 and third-lowest in school history.

Simply put, the Mustangs had trouble moving the ball. They didn’t top the 1,000-yard rushing mark as a team until playing Armijo and their 2,356 total yards ranks as their third-worst.

Among the bright spots was receiver Arron Short, who caught 20 passes for 582 yards, a school-record 29.1 yards per catch, and eight TDs. Quarterback Jacob Hurt emerged late in the season to throw for 538 yards and seven touchdowns over the final three games.

Here’s hoping the folks at Rodriguez will finally understand the power of continuity. The team would’ve been much better off rehiring John Bent in 2011 and Jason Ott in 2012 and will be way ahead of the game if it brings back Singh for 2013.

And here’s hoping the school district will go through the hiring process as quickly as the rules allow so that Armijo, Fairfield and Rodriguez won’t have to endure another embarrassing season in 2013 and give more students a reason to transfer out of the district to play for someone else.

Vanden

As far as postseason honors go, Vanden made out nicely with Kenny Brand being named SCAC Lineman of the Year, Elijah Williams being co-Defensive Player of the Year and four Vikings making the first team.

But the biggest postseason honor is playing in the postseason and Vanden is  missing out for the first time since 2006. A midseason four-game losing streak did the most damage, three of the loses coming by a total of 17 points and none of the six defeats by more than two touchdowns.

Running back Ren Littlepage crept over the 1,000-yard mark (1,005) by getting 206 yards against Fairfield. Sophomore quarterback Jadon Brisendine had at least one touchdown pass in every game and finished the season by throwing for 1,726 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Christian Basden became Vanden’s all-time receptions leader as his 34 catches give him 88, topping the 79 by former teammate Cody Holbein. Basden’s 481 yards put him at 1,172 for his career, which ranks third.

 If anyone of the four city schools is to return to the playoffs in 2013, look for it to be Vanden.

Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.

Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer is a 1985 graduate of Brigham Young University. The Suisun City resident has been with the Daily Republic Sports Department since 1989 and has served as sports editor since 2007. He and his wife Jackie have four children.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Teens earn right to perform with symphony

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

From classical to Queen: Chamber Players are ready

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Photographer has a passion for color

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Solano summit focuses on ways to end poverty

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fraud among challenges immigrants face, Fairfield panelists say

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Girls on the Run expands, seeks volunteers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Cadets learn skills for future careers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
‘Souper Bowl’ coming to Solano County

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Sports aircraft company CEO recalls effort to locate in Solano

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
SolTrans announces changes to bus routes

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Fairfield police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

California’s snow survey shows far less snow than last month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Boy Scouts reaches settlement in sex abuse case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Doctors starting to shy away from non-vaccine advocates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Protestors shun sister-city relationship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

City event criticized for Mexican mafia connection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
State to move more than 2,000 inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Tech advances lower chance that driver will die in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Killer says his ideas influenced family suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

NASA astronaut memorial stirs memories for shuttle veteran

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Anonymized’ credit card data not so anonymous, study shows

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Poll shows giant gap between what public, scientists think

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Fort Hood gunman Hasan says he wants to keep top lawyer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Attorney General nominee wins GOP endorsements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Police: Family killed man over child custody dispute

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ukraine: Russia-backed rebels overrun another town in east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Simultaneous attacks in Egypt’s Sinai kill 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Indonesian investigators: Crashed AirAsia flown by co-pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Gas blast at Mexico children’s hospital, at least 2 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Deadly San Francisco blaze spurs look at fire alarms

By T. Burt McNaughton | From Page: A12 | Gallery

California meets judges’ prison crowding goal 1 year early

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 30, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Left’s missteps show themselves – given time

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My cousin’s 14-year-old son sleeps in the same bed as his grandma

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Jan. 30, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Jan. 30 through Feb. 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Jim Parsons to play God in Broadway’s ‘An Act of God’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande to pay tribute to Stevie Wonder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: A tired gimmick weakens thriller ‘Project Almanac’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

‘The Thorn Birds’ author Colleen McCullough dies at age 77

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hilary Duff, George Lopez help in search for stolen dog

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Justin Bieber apologizes for bad behavior in online video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Musician Geezer Butler arrested in Death Valley altercation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Lil Wayne sues mentor’s record label for $51M, seeking split

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
 
Bernie Mac widow drops malpractice lawsuit against doctor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Jan. 30, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Desert stars: Celebs converge on Phoenix for Super Bowl 49

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Serena aims for 19th major in Aussie final vs. Sharapova

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Marshawn Lynch talks about why he doesn’t talk to the media

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Vanden boys pull away from feisty Fairfield 86-66

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B7

Gronkowski and Chancellor make for must-see Super Bowl matchup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 30, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Signups for Friday, Jan. 30, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Chevrolet polishes its mid-size truck

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Prospect of Chinese cars in US still remain years away

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Senate passes Keystone XL bill, battles loom

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
McDonald’s under siege as new CEO steps in

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Obama seeks spending spike for defense, domestic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Who wants a bite of Hershey…jerky?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Dzhon Athanc

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Gloria Elizabeth Neal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Anthony Neal Hunley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Joseph Phillip Raiff

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Frank Z. Perez

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9