In normal years, the top story is a no-brainer, one that clearly stands out from the rest.
Well, 2013 wasn’t a normal year. In voting by the Daily Republic sports staff, the top four stories finished within three points of each other, the top five within five points, the top six within eight points.
Yes, it was that kind of year. Here’s a look at the top 10 stories:
1. Brisendine, Williams rewrite city record book (22 points): Vanden junior quarterback Jadon Brisendine and senior receiver Dion Williams hooked up like no other duo in city history. The former completed 224 of 355 passes for 2,961 yards and 44 touchdowns, all city records. The latter caught 87 passes, 24 of them for touchdowns, both city records, and rolled up a school-record 1,261 receiving yards.
2. Vaca wrestler wins state title, another makes finals (21): Vacaville’s Jeramy Sweany captured the state 195-pound wrestling title with a 6-1 victory over SJS rival Scott Votino of Elk Grove. Earlier, Gionn Peralta suffered a heart-breaking 11-10 loss in the 106-pound final. Both are juniors and are aiming for return trips to the finals.
3. Vacaville Christian wins section volleyball title (20): With a balanced effort, the deep and talented Falcons swept Sierra Delta League rival Bradshaw Christian 3-0 in the SJS Division V finals and eventually lost in five sets on the road in the NorCal semifinals.
4. Death of Vacaville icon Green (19): Steve Green, beloved coach and teacher at Vacaville High lost a lengthy battle with cancer a week shy of his 57th birthday and just before the start of the 2013-14 school year.
5. Bucannon makes AP All-American first team, Verrett second team (17): Vanden High graduate Deone Bucannon of Washington State and Rodriguez grad Jason Verrett of Texas Christian were both honored by The Associated Press and other organizations. The former SCAC rivals were both seniors this season.
6. Vanden reaches section girls basketball title game, NorCal quarters (14): The Vikings reached the SJS Division III title game for the second time in three years and again made it to the NorCal quarterfinals.
7. Three Fairfield-Suisun football teams endure dreadful seasons (11): Armijo, Fairfield and Rodriguez combined for five victories between them for the second straight season. Against their crosstown rivals each posted a 1-1 record.
8. Fairfield Pacific wins District 53 11-12 championship (9): The Fairfield Pacific Little League 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars went 5-0 to win its first District 53 title at that level since 2006, downing Cordelia/Tri-Valley 10-0 in the final.
9. Vanden boys soccer team has best season ever (6): There’s finally a league championship banner for boys soccer on the wall at Vanden’s Jim Boyd Gym after the Vikings went unbeaten in the regular season to capture the SCAC crown.
10. Bishop, Johnson go through strange NFL seasons (4): Fairfield High graduate Desmond Bishop was cut by Green Bay Packers and signed to be a backup for the rival Minnesota Vikings only to suffer a season-ending knee injury. Going from doghouse to penthouse, Rodriguez grad James-Michael Johnson was waived by the Cleveland Browns only to land a spot on the Kansas City Chiefs’ roster.
Also receiving votes: Eddie Wilson returns as Fairfield boys coach (3); Christian Stoll resigns after leading Armijo girls to third MEL title (3); Rochelle Roberts earns all-state honors (3); SJS realignment doesn’t include Armijo, Wood move (2).
Also nominated: Verrett, Bucannon, Jensen major award candidates; Vaca hurdlers medal at state meet.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.