The six athletes received all-league honors this year for their achievements in soccer, football, volleyball, and cross country.
Six Weed High School fall sport athletes received all-league honors this year for their achievements in soccer, football, volleyball, and cross country.The soccer team had a winning season, going 9-7-1 and making the Northern Section Fall Soccer playoffs. Senior striker Angel Nicholas and sophomore fullback Daniel Garcia made the Shasta Cascade all-league team.
In the past an athlete who played varsity sports fall, winter, and spring was called a “three-letter” man or woman. Angel Nicholas would be called a “five-letter man,” playing soccer and football in the autumn, captaining the basketball team, and playing baseball and running track in the spring.
Weed soccer coach Jack Leiffer was driving when we contacted him, so his son Jake recalled the season. He called Nicholas “the senior leader” of the team. Angel used his 100 meter sprint speed to outrun defenders for breakaways that led to 36 goals for the season. He also gutted out a tough football season when the Cougars played games with only 11 or 12 players, often limping back onto the field with his teammates.
The Cougars lose only three seniors to graduation, and coach Leiffer will build his young team around fullback Daniel Garcia. Defenders don’t get a chance to rack up impressive scoring stats, but “We would have given up a lot more goals without Daniel,” said Jake Leiffer. Calling Garcia “a terrific teammate,” Jake added that Daniel also played for a Mount Shasta travel team. Garcia will play for the Cougar’s JV basketball team this winter. The Shasta Valley League selected senior football player Alex Guzman to its all-league team. One of Weed’s captains, Guzman played fullback on offense and anchored the linebacking crew on defense.
Guzman always “played where we needed him,” said Cougar football coach Glenn Gonzales. Alex had 29 solo tackles to lead the team, and took over as quarterback when Gonzales realized that the team needed original quarterback starter Angel Nicholas to catch passes and run the ball. Sophomore distance runner Ryan Mitchell earned his second trip to the CIF State Cross-country Meet when he was the fourth Division V finisher at the Northern Section Meet. Perhaps the most improved athlete this fall, Mitchell was finishing more than two minutes behind Mount Shasta High School’s strong tandem of Alexis Ramirez and Drew Hering early in the season. Mitchell ran a 19:37 5K to start the season and then dropped his time to a lifetime best of 17:16 at the State Meet. He finished only 13 seconds behind Hering at State, and it appears the two will be battling it out for the next two seasons. The young Cougar volleyball team, with eight sophomores and two seniors, had a tough season, but two of the underclassmen showed promise as sophs Karli Reynolds and Richelle “Rikki” Johnson were named honorable mention on the Shasta Cascade all-league team.
As an outside hitter, Reynolds was the only Cougar able to go high for the hard spike. “She’s come a long way as a hitter,” said coach and Weed High School athletic director Steve Neel. “Strong defensively, a good server, just a good all-round player.”
Teammate Rikki Johnson played her first year of varsity ball. Neel said that Johnson “is becoming a good blocker.” Neel was surprised by how good a passer Rikki was.
Johnson and Reynolds will get lots of playing time when they team up again on the six-girl Cougar basketball team.