Denair Opens Southern League with Win Over Le Grand

Penalities. Turnovers. Composure.

Expect Denair football Coach Anthony Armas and his assistants to return to those three themes again and again this week in practice.

That’s because while Denair’s 20-12 victory over Le Grand on Friday night was gratifying, it was anything but satisfying to the Coyotes’ coaches, players and fans at Jack Lytton Stadium.

The Coyotes, at times, were poised and proficient, like when they scored three consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 20-0 lead. But they also were their own worst enemies, with their sloppy play and lack of focus allowing Le Grand back in the game with a pair of third-quarter TDs.

“We shoot ourselves in the foot, big time,” assessed Armas.

Denair (3-1 overall, 1-0 in the Southern League) looked to be in control in the first half behind running back Dylan De Silva and quarterback Elvis Silva.

De Silva motored for 178 yards on the ground, including a 22-yard TD run for the first score of the game. He also caught three passes for another 42 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown from Silva for Denair’s second score.

A few minutes later, Silva hooked up with Jacob Lewellen on a 23-yard TD pass, giving Denair a comfortable 20-0 lead at halftime.

But the momentum shifted quickly in the third quarter. Denair fumbled the opening kickoff, setting up Le Grand (2-2, 0-1) with a short field. The Bulldogs took advantage, scoring to cut Denair’s lead to 20-6.

A second Denair fumble – this one when the Coyotes were driving for a score – gave Le Grand the ball back. Again, the Bulldogs cashed in Denair’s mistake, scoring to make it 20-12.

Continue reading “Denair Opens Southern League with Win Over Le Grand” »

Cajun Crab Boil on Sept. 28 Will Raise Money for Boys Basketball Team

Submitted by R.J. Henderson, Denair High School boys basketball coach:

For the second year in a row, fans of the Denair High School boys basketball team who also enjoy Cajun food are invited to a fun night to support their team. On Saturday, Sept. 28, the coaching staff will host its 2nd annual Cajun Crab Boil.

Tickets are $60 and include all-you-can-eat crab, shrimp, sausage, veggies and garlic bread served family-style. All-you-can-drink beer and wine is included in the ticket price.

Proceeds will help offset travel and equipment expenses for the team. Some will be set aside to fund future scholarships for players.

The event will run from 6 to 11 p.m. at 843 Helena Ave. in Waterford.

For more information, contact coaches R.J. Henderson (209) 535-8332. Denair’s team is coming off back-to-back trips to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. The Coyotes were 17-11 and finished second in the Southern League a year ago before losing in the second round of the playoffs.

Denair Stunned in Last-Minute Loss in Santa Cruz

Denair was less than 30 seconds away from another impressive road victory Friday night. Then, the unthinkable happened in Santa Cruz.

Soquel scored on a 60-yard pass play with 23 seconds to play, capping a frantic finish that saw the Knights rally for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to shock Denair 26-22.

It was a stunning turn of events for the Coyotes, who led by 16 points with 7 minutes left in the final period. For Denair, the defending Division VII state champion, it was the first loss since Sept. 21 last season against Ripon Christian, a span of 10 games.

Denair jumped ahead 15-6 at halftime thanks to a pair of touchdowns from Jorge Yanez (one running and one receiving) and another big night from Dylan De Silva, who scampered for 168 yards.

“We did pretty much what we wanted in the first half,” said Denair Coach Anthony Armas. “But it seemed like every big play we had, we got a penalty. Holding, blocking in the back, false starts. You name it, we did it. Penalties just killed us.”

Those mistakes and empty possessions proved costly, even after Angelo Retana scored to put the Coyotes (3-1) ahead 22-6 early in the fourth quarter. Instead of putting the game away early, the Coyotes let Soquel (3-0) hang around close enough to mount a comeback.

“They went to a hurry-up offense out of the spread and started throwing the ball,” Armas said. “They had a pretty good receiver and we just let him get loose.”

The disappointing outcome made for a quiet atmosphere on the three-hour bus ride back home.

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Carmen Wilson Sworn in as Newest Denair Board Trustee

The Denair Unified School District is back to full strength with five members after Carmen Wilson was formally sworn in Thursday night.

Wilson was the other four trustees’ unanimous choice last month after they interviewed three candidates to fill the seat vacated when longtime board member John Plett resigned Aug. 8. Wilson’s appointment is until November 2020, when her term and those of Ray Prock Jr. and Kathi Dunham-Filson will be up.

Wilson has two children in Denair schools and has participated on school site committees. She has been a board member for the Stanislaus County Youth Development Committee and the Turlock American Little League, and taught Sunday school at Connection Point Church in Denair. She works as a certified public accountant at the Center for Human Services in Modesto.

Between her selection last month and her swearing in Thursday night, Wilson met with Denair Superintendent Terry Metzger and board President Regina Gomes to begin learning about key issues in the district.

“I think she’s going to make a terrific board member. She asked some very good questions in our meeting,” Metzger said.

In other action Thursday, the board:

  • Approved the unaudited final financial report for the 2018-19 school year. The district spent $17.10 million, Chief Business Officer Linda told the board. That was about $1.6 million more than the previous year because the district had saved additional money from the state for one-time purchases like additional modular classrooms at Denair Elementary Charter Academy and Chromebook computers for every student at Denair Charter Academy. It also included pass-through money from the state directed toward employee retirement contributions.
  • Heard a presentation from Metzger about the Local Control Accountability Plan, known as LCAP, which sets out specific goals for the district and its students. Parents and community members are invited to come to a stakeholder meeting Oct. 17 to begin to lay out new goals for next year.
  • Approved an agreement to share a school nurse with the Hickman Charter School District. The nurse will work at Hickman on Monday and Tuesday, and in Denair the rest of the week. The deal will save Denair $7,217 a year from its general fund.

Agreed to contribute $300 per participant for eight students and two teachers to attend the national FFA convention Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 in Indianapolis. The Denair High Ag Boosters cover the cost of lodging, transportation and other expenses.

State Board Unanimously Sides with Denair Unified in Dispute with Turlock Over Boundary Lines

Submitted by Denair Unified School District:

The California State Board of Education unanimously sided with the Denair Unified School District on Wednesday in a boundary dispute involving the neighboring Turlock school district.

The issue dates to 2015, when developer Ron Katakis petitioned the Stanislaus County Office of Education to transfer about 91 acres from the Denair district to the Turlock Unified School District. Katakis envisions nearly 300 homes at the northwest corner of Tuolumne and Waring roads, which has been in the Denair district since the boundary lines were drawn many decades ago.

Public hearings were held in the fall of 2015 and a county commission unanimously voted in February 2016 to keep the property within the Denair district. Turlock appealed the decision, which finally was heard Wednesday in Sacramento by the 10-member State Board.

“We’re thrilled,” said Denair Superintendent Terry Metzger, who spoke at the hearing along with Trustees Kathi Dunham-Filson and Ray Prock Jr. as well as the district’s legal counsel.

Two officials from the Turlock district also spoke.

The boundary dispute has major financial implications, especially for Denair. The district will receive $1 million or more in developer fees when news home are built on the currently vacant property, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in state funding based upon student enrollment.

“We explained the financial significance,” Metzger said. “We estimate it’s about $980,000 a year. That’s 6% of Denair’s $15.3 million budget. It’s six-tenths of 1 percent of Turlock’s $162 million budget.”

Metzger said state trustees also seemed reluctant to overturn a unanimous local decision or set a precedent that favored a larger school district over a smaller one. Turlock has more than 14,200 students while Denair has 1295.

The Stanislaus County Committee on School District Organization weighed nine factors required by the State Education Code before voting 9-0 in February 2016 to deny Katakis’ petition. Turlock appealed the county decision in March 2016. The matter has been waiting to be heard at the state level ever since. The State Board’s staff recommended denial of Turlock’s appeal, saying, “The California Department of Education finds that there are no compelling educational reasons to overturn the unanimous action of the county committee to disapprove the proposal to transfer territory from the Denair USD to the Turlock USD.”