Floats with Video Game Theme Highlight Homecoming Parade

Submitted by Denair High School

Not only is Delhi’s football team winless on the field this season, the Hawks also are taking a beating this week on the Denair High School homecoming floats.

In keeping with a video game theme, poor Delhi is getting hammered by the freshmen (“Super Smash Brothers”), gobbled up by the sophomores (“Pac-Man”), barrel rolled by the juniors (“Donkey Kong”) and run over by the seniors (“Mario Kart”).

The floats are the products of the imaginations, artistry, and skill of Denair’s leadership team, plus some nifty welding work by students in the Advanced Ag Mechanics class, painting, and construction done by art students.

The floats will be on display during the annual homecoming parade Friday, which begins at 11:45 a.m. and runs from the high school campus to Main Street into town and back. The parade follows a rally at 10:50 a.m. during which kings and queens will be crowned.

Work on the floats began more than a month ago and wrapped up Tuesday. Students in Robyn Hilton’s leadership class first brainstormed about a theme. They chose classic video games, many of them popular when their parents were toddlers.

Next came the actual design, which in the case of the junior float took just 5 minutes, said Chloe Padgett. “I sketched it out on paper and then transferred it to the computer.”

The other floats may have taken slightly longer to conceive, but all reflect the creativity one would expect of teens enthused about homecoming.

The freshmen – led by Jack Henderson, Preston Roe, and Makena Padgett – crafted a “Super Smash Brothers” float with a muscular Coyote using a hammer to pummel an unwitting Hawk.

The sophomores – with Madelyn Brammer and Haley Hultgren in charge – have a gigantic purple “Pac-Man” orb about to munch a Hawk ghost. On the back, the words “Beware the Pac” are painted, a sly reference to a pack of coyotes as well as the game.

The juniors – with Chloe Padgett and Alex De La Cruz running point – chose “Donkey Kong,” a game both admit they never have played. “I saw it in the movie ‘Pixels,’ ” Padgett said. The back of the float features the slogan “Coyote Kong Country.”

The seniors – led by Adrianna Snyder and Drew Pritchard, but relying on at least a dozen others – created the most intricate design. It has two karts welded by Diana Soto, with the one driven by a Coyote upending a hapless Hawk. As the defending champs (they won last year as juniors), the class of 2019 might be favored again this week.

Voting is done by K-8 students on Denair’s other campuses, plus some community members.

“They’ve had a lot of fun working on these,” said art teacher and project adviser John Stavrianoudakis. “There is a lot of creativity reflected in these floats.”

The floats and parade will be a fun part of a day that will culminate with the football game at 7:15 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Denair (6-1) is tied for second place in the Southern League with three games to play. Delhi (0-7) is last.

It will be the third of four consecutive homecoming games for the Coyotes – their own Friday, road victories the past two weeks against Gustine and Orestimba, plus the Oct. 19 game at Mariposa.

“The kids are talking about going 4-0 in homecoming,” said football Coach Anthony Armas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

High-Powered Denair Hammers Gustine 49-14

Submitted by Denair High School

GUSTINE – The play is called “Power,” which accurately describes what Denair’s offense intends to do to opponents.

Overpower them.

Friday night against Gustine, the Coyotes imposed their will in the second half by running “Power Left” and “Power Right” again and again in a 49-14 Southern League victory.

Denair (5-1, overall, 2-1 in the SL) actually trailed 14-7 at halftime, when it regrouped with two of its starting offensive linemen – left guard Hayden Haile (shoulder) and left tackle Zach Cherry (ankle) – sidelined by injury.

“We had to shuffle it around. We were scrambling to find that place where we were comfortable,” said Coach Anthony Armas.

Typically, that means reverting back to “Power” – a play that Armas, a former offensive lineman, calls one of his favorites.

“Power” involves most of the offensive linemen blocking straight ahead while either guard pulls to lead the play, depending on which direction it goes. It’s one of the first plays every football team learns.

“We narrowed the scope of what we did and stayed with the plays we were running well,” Armas explained. “All our kids know ‘Power.’ We just mixed it up between that and a few other plays.”

Reserves Emannuel Zapien (left tackle) and Quentin Parker (left guard) rose to the occasion, Armas said, working with the other offensive linemen to create plenty of space for running backs Hunter Musgrave, Dylan De Silva and Steffin Winston to repeatedly gashed the Reds’ defense.

Musgrave had his best game of the season, ripping off 206 yards on 18 carries and scoring three touchdowns. Winston ran 14 times for 84 yards and a TD, and DeSilva pounded Gustine for 61 yards and three more touchdowns.

Denair’s defense also had a big role in the romp, forcing three Gustine turnovers in the second half (two fumbles and one interception by Will Knox). The Coyotes turned each of those takeaways into points while holding the Reds scoreless.

“We were more aggressive in the second half. We filled our gaps better. We were flying to the ball,” Armas said.

The victory moved Denair into a four-way tie with Orestimba (5-1, 2-1), Waterford (5-1, 2-1) and Gustine (4-2, 2-1) for second place in the league behind unbeaten Ripon Christian (6-0, 3-0).

RC already has handed Denair and Orestimba their only losses. It plays at Gustine this week while Denair faces another tough road game on the West Side in Newman against Orestimba. Waterford hosts Mariposa.

JV Game: Denair 7, Gustine 0. The Coyotes are 1-3-1 overall and 1-2 in league play.

This week: It doesn’t get any easier for the Coyotes, who face an Orestimba team that just had its 23-game Southern League winning streak snapped. “They’re talented, especially on the offensive side of the ball,” Armas said. “They’re really aggressive on defense. … It’s going to be tough. It’s their homecoming; they’re coming off a loss. It should be a charged atmosphere. It will be fun.” … Denair has scored 241 points in six games despite being held to only one touchdown in its 35-7 loss to Ripon Christian. … A victory this week would put the Coyotes in a good position for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII playoff berth with three weeks to play – home games against Delhi and Waterford sandwiched around a road contest in Mariposa.

Castro Family is this Year’s Beneficiary of Denair Lions Pancake Breakfast

Submitted by Denair Lions Club

Sunday, November 4th, the Denair Community Center will open at 7:00 am for the Annual Lions Pancake Breakfast. This year proceeds will be donated to the Castro Family. Kayla Castro, a 25-year-old mother of 1-year-old Everett, is undergoing cancer treatment while her son is continuing evaluation and treatment for diagnoses of microcephaly, cerebral palsy, and brain abnormalities. You may have read about the family’s struggles and local fundraising efforts in the Turlock Journal this summer. The family continues to bear a large financial burden and there is still much need to be filled.

For over 40 years, the Denair Lions Club has hosted a pancake breakfast on the first Sunday in November. The breakfast has become not only a great fundraiser but also an annual social event for 400 to 600 supporters. Each year the club chooses a person or cause to receive all proceeds from the breakfast. In past years, proceeds have funded such causes as new uniforms and equipment for the Denair Lions Youth Football program, updates and repairs to Denair High School sports facilities and programs, and many local residents in need of financial aid for medical bills during or following a tragedy.

The meal includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, and ham, served with coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, or milk. No tickets are required but donations are accepted at the doors. As always, no person is turned away who is unable to donate. A small number of raffle prizes will be offered together with the traditional Quilt Raffle, which for over 15 years has featured a beautiful handmade quilt crafted and donated by a club member’s mother.

Denair Suffers First Loss to Unbeaten Ripon Christian; Will Try to Rebound Against Gustine This Week

Submitted by Denair High School

DENAIR – The first four weeks of Denair’s football season were marked by big plays on offense and an aggressive, swarming defense. The Coyotes averaged 44 points a game thanks to a potent running game featuring three elusive backs.

But Friday night against mighty Ripon Christian, it was the unbeaten Knights who made all the big plays in their 35-7 Southern League victory over Denair at Jack Lytton Stadium.

“They really good,” praised Denair coach Anthony Armas. “Hands down, that’s the best team we’ll face all year.”

Probably the game’s key sequence occurred in the third quarter with Denair trailing 21-7, but driving for a possible touchdown that would have made it a one-score game. The Coyotes had the ball on the RC 10-yard-line, but were stopped when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

On the next play, Ripon Christian running back Michael Kamps (15 carries, 186 yards, 3 TDs) broke free for a long touchdown run.

Just that suddenly, the air was sucked out of the Denair sideline. What might have been a doable 21-14 deficit with all the momentum in front of a frenzied crowd with a quarter to play became a 28-7 RC advantage.

“We couldn’t punch it in and then they had a 90-yard run,” Armas said. “That was tough.”

A similar sequence occurred near the end of the first half. Trailing 14-0, the Coyotes again drove deep into Knights territory. But Denair missed on a third-down pass attempt, then failed to convert a 33-yard field goal try.

“They had two or three big plays and our longest was about 30 yards,” Armas said.

Running back Steffin Winston led Denair’s offense with 101 yards on the ground. The Coyotes’ only touchdown came in the third quarter on a 9-yard pass from Elvis Silva to Drew Pritchard.

And though Denair moved the ball throughout the game, RC’s defense stiffened when the Coyotes threatened the end zone.

“They like to get after people,” Armas said of RC. “They blitz a lot. They dare you to throw the ball quickly. We had some good drives, but we couldn’t score like we’ve been doing.”

The victory kept the Knights (5-0 overall, 2-0 Southern League) unbeaten in what is shaping up to be a five-way battle for not only the league title but also the coveted playoff spots for the new few teams.

RC is tied with Orestimba (4-1, 2-0) and Gustine (4-1, 2-0) for first place, with Denair (4-1, 1-1) and Waterford (4-1, 1-1) just a game behind.

Denair plays at Gustine this week while Ripon Christian hosts Orestimba. Depending on the results, the standings could even tighter by the end of Friday night.

“We all knew Ripon Christian was going to be good,” Armas said. “It’s a tough league. Really tough.”

JV Game: Ripon Christian 39, Denair 0. The Coyotes fell to 0-3-1 overall and 0-2 in league play.

This week: Denair continues the Southern League gauntlet with a road game in Gustine. What will be the message this week in practice? “Regroup and move forward,” Armas said. “Realistically, we’re not going to go undefeated. We’ve got to bounce back.” … Denair expects to again rely on running backs Winston, Dylan De Silva and Hunter Musgrave to carry the offensive lead. On defense, Armas said the Coyotes will have to be stout against the run. “They’ve got a good running back and some big linemen,” he said of Gustine. … The Reds are coming off a 17-14 victory in Mariposa.

Denair Volleyball Squad Making Strides As Season Progresses

Submitted by Denair High School

There are eight matches left in the Denair High volleyball season. And though the Coyotes have struggled at times – winning just once — Coach Christy North has seen consistent improvement and competitiveness. She believes Denair will play a factor in which team wins the Southern League title this fall.

“We continue to work on our serve receive issues, while steadily increasing our own serve percentage,” North said. “However, we are a stronger team than in the past, and are improving our strategies and skills each contest.

“I still believe we can have a .500 record (in league), and definitely be a spoiler against a team who doesn’t take us seriously.”

The Coyotes (1-10 overall, 1-4 in the SL) will rely on its two senior co-captains — setter Adrianna Snyder and outside hitter Cheyenne Souza – to lead the way to more success.

Snyder missed about a month and a half after suffering a concussion the first week of the season. North could see a difference when she returned. “I think her energy was contagious.”

North said Souza consistently has put pressure on opponents with her serves and aggressiveness at the net.

In Denair’s lone victory – a 3-2 win over Gustine on Sept. 11 — freshman Caitlin Warda came off the bench to start as outside hitter in the deciding game and served seven points in a row, including two aces.

North said the Coyotes still are refining their skills using a “libero,” which is a defensive specialist. Liberos must wear a contrasting jersey color from  her teammates and cannot block or attack the ball when it is entirely above net height.

Junior Tati Abebe began playing libero in the Gustine match.

The Coyotes’ next match is home against Waterford on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.