Denair Freshman Wins Section Cross Country Title

Submitted by Denair High School

Denair’s Pablo Flores won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V cross country championship on Saturday and his teammate Julian Zavala finished third.

Flores covered the 2.1-mile course at Willow Hills Reservoir in 14 minutes, 3 seconds while Zavala was clocked in 14:50.

Denair sophomore Johnny Ibarra was 11th overall in his race, finishing the dirt and gravel course next to Folsom High School in 14:58.

Coyote head coach Matthew Groom said he was proud of all his runners.

“We had a great team this year,” he said. “Their attitudes were great and I am pleased with the effort they put out.  My next goal is to qualify a varsity runner for the Section meet. … I also want to thank (senior) Alex Flores for being the team captain over the past two years.  He showed tremendous leadership and everyone on the team looked up to him.”

Groom said Pablo Flores and Zavala have discussed possibly playing football next fall instead of running cross country. If they return, they and Ibarra likely will form the backbone of what could be a strong team in the Southern League.

He said Flores and Zavala could run varsity races in league and still be able to compete as sophomores in the invitational and Section meets, improving their chances of strong individual finishes.

The top varsity teams and individual qualifiers from the Section meet advance to the state championships in Fresno on Nov. 25.

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Gaslight Theater Preparing for the Holidays

Submitted by Denair Gaslight Community Conservatory

Make the Denair Gaslight Theater your holiday destination tradition!

This year’s holiday production is A Christmas Story. Show times are December 8-9, 2017, at 7:00 pm, and Sunday, December 10, at 2:00  pm., and again on December 15-16, at 7:00 pm.

General admission is $10, and seniors are $8. For more details visit our website at www.denairgaslight.com or call us at 209-664-9514. Tickets may be purchased online at www.showtix4u.com.

Don’t miss out on this holiday classic!

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Sousa, Gomes Win Election to Denair Unified Board

Submitted by Denair Unified School District

Educator and parent Crystal Sousa and retired schools technology support specialist Regina “Reggie” Gomes were elected this week to the Denair Unified School District Board of Trustees.

In results released Tuesday night, Sousa received 382 votes (36.17%), Gomes 290 (27.46%), retired Denair Middle School custodian Charlie Asbill 234 (22.16%) and self-employed businesswoman Tina Gresio 144 (13.64%).

Sousa and Gomes will be sworn in at the Dec. 14 board meeting. They will replace Trustees Sandi Dirkse and Robert Hodges, who did not seek re-election.

The new board members will serve an extra year – until 2022 — thanks to a decision by the current board last month to move trustee elections from November in odd years to November in even years.

The move is consistent with the state’s preference to consolidate local elections with statewide voting already scheduled for even years. There is abundant data that shows voter turnout is much higher in even year, when people have more issues and candidates to consider.

The next time that voters in the Denair district will elect trustees is 2020, when the terms expire for the other three trustees – Kathi Filson, Ray Prock Jr. and John Plett.

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Start Your Engines! Tractor Pull Returns to Denair on November 11

Submitted by Denair High School

It’s loud, it’s exciting and it’s coming back to Denair on Saturday night.

It’s the 2nd annual Denair FFA Boosters Tractor Pull, which begins at 5 p.m. at Jack Lytton Stadium.

Last year’s event drew more than 1,000 people. They were thoroughly entertained by drivers from up and down the Central Valley.

Tractor pulls involve multiple classes of vehicles – from antique tractors to modified, high-horsepower versions to souped up 4×4 pickups. Each tractor or truck is hooked up to a weighted sled. The farther the sled is pulled, the more the weight moves toward the front – making it more difficult to pull.

Competitors are scored on how far they can pull the sled.

The event is sanctioned and organized by the Valley Tractor Pullers Association.

Most important of all – the event is the single-biggest fundraiser in support of the Denair High FFA program and its 150 students. Last year’s event generated more than $20,000 – money that helps underwrite the entry costs for the county fair and other competitions, paid for four students to attend the national FFA convention in Indianapolis last month and will cover the cost of more teens to participate in the state convention in Anaheim next spring.

First-year ag teachers Taylor Doo, Nicole Hefner and John Hultgren also have big plans to renovate the school’s on-campus ag facilities, include the student farm. Saturday’s event will help with that.

“I’m told last year was phenomenal,” Doo said. “I wasn’t there, but the turnout was fantastic. There was a lot of community support.”

She said two $1,500 sponsorships still are available. Those interested should call the Denair High office at 632-9911 by 4 p.m. Thursday. The school is closed Friday in honor of the Veterans Day holiday.

Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door, and can be purchased from any FFA student.

There will be food and drinks available Saturday night. Also on sale will be wreaths created by students in the ag floral class, Christmas trees and pumpkins built in the ag mechanics and welding classes, and T-shirts designed by students in the ag leadership class.

Below is a short photo gallery from last years’ event.

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Denair Football Coach: Better Days Are Ahead

Submitted by Denair High School

Anthony Armas believes it’s a very good sign that he had a number of football players who couldn’t wait to hit the weight room Monday.

Even though their season ended Friday night.

As it was much of the fall, Denair was competitive in a 27-21 loss to Waterford. It was the Coyotes’ fifth consecutive loss and dropped them to 2-8 overall and 1-6 in the Southern League.

But Armas thinks the experience gained by a very young team – which will lose only three senior starters – will pay off in 2018.

And it was those sophomores and juniors who led the charge into the weight room Monday.

“We have almost everybody coming back,” Armas said. “We’ll be bigger, faster and stronger with a year under their belt. This was our year where we took our lumps, but we have a lot of returning juniors and seniors who were starters.”

Armas is not naïve about the nature of the competition. “Three of the teams from our league are in the playoffs,” he said. But he also realizes if his players can correctly process and correct the mistakes they made this season, and gain weight and size, they have a chance to surprise some people next year.

Denair, it should be noted, is only one year removed from a magical 2016 season in which the Coyotes often had a 14-man roster, yet still made the playoffs.

Quick turnarounds are possible, especially with motivated players and coaches.

“I think the younger guys are ready to get after it,” Armas said. “I had a couple of kids who said they want to win league next year. Our juniors this year won a lot when they were sophomores. Our backfield will be good.”

Friday’s game against Waterford (4-6, 3-4) followed a familiar pattern for Denair. The Coyotes were tied 7-7 at halftime, but a fumble inside the 20-yard line killed one promising drive and a couple of costly mistakes on defense allowed Waterford to score on two long pass plays. Continue reading “Denair Football Coach: Better Days Are Ahead” »

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