The Mount Shasta Bears rolled through nearly every opponent they faced, only ending their season at the CIF Division 5 State Championship in Sacramento on March 8. It was the first time since 1929 the Bears had made it to a state title game.

There were a number of memorable sports moments that took place in the South County in 2019.
From the Mount Shasta High School Bear’s historic basketball season to legendary College of the Siskiyous coach Tom Powers earning his 900th women’s basketball win, 2019 had its share of highlights.
Here are some of top sports stories that happened in south Siskiyou County over the past year. The second half of the series will run in the print edition on Wednesday and online later in the week.
Mount Shasta Bears go to state
The Mount Shasta Bears rolled through nearly every opponent they faced, only ending their season at the CIF Division 5 State Championship in Sacramento on March 8. It was the first time since 1929 the Bears had made it to a state title game.
Head coach Cliff Blakely, who coached the team for seven years, retired at the end of a season that saw the team go 33-2.
Led by a talented group of mainly seniors, the Bears won the Shasta Cascade League and the Northern Section Division 5 Section title, as well as the CIF D5 Northern California Championships.
Mount Shasta fell in the CIF Division 5 State Championships to Foothill, a school in Bakersfield of more than 2,000 students by the score of 78-66 at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center on March 8. MSHS came into the game with a student population of 342.
The loss snapped a remarkable 28 game winning streak. The Bears ended the year placing second in the State of California in D5.
Blakely said after the game  that he was  proud of his players, who “put in a ton of work” that paid off in the biggest way.
Mount Shasta went one step further than the 1986 McCloud Loggers, which was the last south county team to get that far. Blakely was an assistant coach to Dan Bringle at McCloud High back in 1986.
To make it to the state title game, the Bears downed Dinuba 80-56 on March 5  in front of an overflow home crowd to take the CIF Northern California crown.
Mount Shasta defeated Durham 61-41  Feb. 23 in the Northern Section D5 title game at Butte College in Oroville for their second straight NSCIF D5 crown.
Senior Kole Riccomini was named SCL MVP. He made the all-league team along with his twin brother Kaden and senior teammates Kody Bauman and Nolan Johnson. Kole is now playing basketball at Butte College, while Bauman and Jett Snure are playing basketball for College of the Siskiyous. Kaden is at UC Davis and will be a member of the Aggies baseball team as a pitcher this spring, and Johnson is playing baseball for Simpson University in Redding.
Blakely was named SCL coach of the year for the fifth time in seven years. senior Tristan Ellerbe made honorable mention all-league. The Bears went 10-0 in the SCL.
 Kaden Riccomini said after the State title game that making it to the state championship was something he dreamed of doing for years and called the experience “unreal.”
“And to experience it with this group of guys was awesome,” he said. “Most of us have been playing together for a long time and getting to go through this with them was amazing. Everyone supported each other and we all got along really well. I think that was a big part of the success we had this year. We had a great group of teammates led by a great coach in Cliff.”
Powers wins 900th game
College of the Siskiyous women’s basketball coach Tom Powers won his 900th game of a remarkable career in 2019.
Powers is only the second California Community College basketball coach to win 900, trailing now-retired San Jose City College coaching legend Percy Carr, who got his 900th victory in 2018.
Powers earned  win 900 on  Dec. 20 when the Eagles routed Las Positas 92-58 at the Monterey Peninsula College Tourney
When asked if he’d hang on to reach 1,000 wins, Powers laughed and said “That would take four or four more great years.” After a pause he added, “But you never know.”
Powers, who started his JC coaching career with a 5-year stint at Butte College before spending the last 38 years at COS, said it was a milestone “Not just for me but for all the great teams we had.”
COS is having another solid season and are currently 11-6 for the year.
The Lady Eagles won its eight straight Golden Valley Conference title  outright during the 20-18-2019 season. COS went 8-2 overall by downing Feather River on the road 75-63 in the regular season finale on Feb. 20.
The Lady Eagles earned the GVC title with only six players on the roster. The Eagles had nine players heading into the year, but had a team member leave right before the season started. COS lost two more players in January.
“We have had to work hard and regroup,” Powers said at the time. “We started rolling and had better team chemistry.”
Three XC runners earn trips to state
Two Mount Shasta High School Bears and a Weed Cougar earned return trips to the CIF State Cross Country Division 5 Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno in November. 
MSHS Senior Alexis Ramirez and  sophomore Drew Hering and WHS sophomore Ryan Mitchell each bettered  their time from the previous year. Ramirez  improved both his time and placement in the Division 5 boys race, finishing 24th with a time of 16:27. Last year, Ramirez ran the 5K in 16:54 and finished 31st.
Mount Shasta head cross country coach Brian Hoskins said Ramirez ran the fourth fastest time ever by a M SHS runner at the state meet, behind only Mark Fritzke, who has the two fastest times, and Chris Morzenti.
Hering had been at Ramirez’s heels all season, finishing as close as three seconds behind him once. He finished 59th in 17:02 after coming in 74th last year with a time of 17:36.
Mitchell showed the most improvement, finishing 82nd in 17:16, a PR time, after running a 19:06 time for 174th place last year.
Mitchell is the first Cougar runner to earn a state berth for two straight years since Grier Gatlin accomplished this in the 1990s.
To earn a berth to state, all three runners qualified at the Northern Section Championships on Nov. 14 at West Valley High School in Cottonwood. Ramirez placed first overall in D5 and third overall, while Hering was fourth overall and second in D5. Mitchell placed fourth in D5 and 17th overall.
Eagle Navarrette wins state title in the discus
College of the Siskiyous Freshman Dominique Navarrette won the discus throw at the CCCAA State Track & Field Championship in San Mateo in May.
COS sent four athletes to the competition. The men’s team scored 20 points for 13th place, while the women scored three points to finish 31st, at State, which was held on May 18 and 19.
Navarrette attended El Capitan High School in Merced where he was coached by his father, Nick Navarrette. Dominique had a throw of 186-00 last year going into the CIF State Meet, but could only get out to 155-00 and didn’t get out of the prelims. Switching from a 1.6 kg. high school discus to a 2.0 kg. college one, and dealing with cold February and March weather, he was averaging less than 150-00 in the first five meets for COS.
He found his form in April and averaged 164-00 per throw thereafter, setting a personal record of 166-09 in early April and then equaling it to win the NorCals. He threw the discus 166-05 to win the state meet
Navarrette was six feet behind the leader after four throws (of six), when he unleashed the two longest throws of the day. His fifth throw of 166-05 was the winner. He ranks fourth in the national JC rankings.
Thomas Dodgen entered the decathlon competition ranked fourth in the state and that’s where he finished with a clutch performance.
Dodgen was in fifth place after nine events, but outran his competitor and finished with a season-best 5,982 points. That ranked him ninth in the country among junior college decathletes. Parker Lapsley high-jumped 6-04.75 to finished fourth in his event.
He had only one miss along the way, breaking a tie with other jumpers who needed more attempts to clear the height. Lapsley also excelled in the long jump, getting out to 22-03.75 during the season but not qualifying for the state meet.
Emily King finished sixth in the javelin at the state meet after finishing sixth at the NorCals. She exploded on her first throw of the day, hurling the javelin 116-11, five feet better than her previous season best.