Mount Shasta were the underdogs against No. 4 seed Colusa, which defeated the Bears in the first round of the playoffs the year before. Colusa also downed the Bears 61-28 to open the 2019 season on Aug. 30. As they have done all season, Mount Shasta would not give up on the road in Colusa on Nov. 15 and earned a 29-28 upset victory.
Below is the third and final part of a series on the top sports stories in the South County that took place in 2019.
Mount Shasta football makes section semifinals
Despite having only 15-17 players on the roster during the season, the Mount Shasta Bears varsity football team battled in every contest in 2019.
“Our team has more heart and fight in them than any team I’ve ever been involved with,” first-year Bears head coach Dave Kindley said.
The Bears finished 5-5 in the regular season and 3-2 in the Mid-Valley Conference. MSHS came away with the No. 5 seed in the Northern Section Division 4 playoffs.
Mount Shasta were the underdogs against No. 4 seed Colusa, which defeated the Bears in the first round of the playoffs the year before. Colusa also downed the Bears 61-28 to open the 2019 season on Aug. 30.
As they have done all season, Mount Shasta would not give up on the road in Colusa on Nov. 15 and earned a 29-28 upset victory.
The Bears came out on fire in the first quarter to take a 21-14 lead at the end of the quarter. Colusa came back and took a 28-21 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
With about a minute left in the fourth, Mount Shasta was in RedHawk territory on fourth down. Sophomore quarterback Cole Kindley made a “clutch” audible call, as he found Gaspar Rodriguez for a touchdown to keep the Bears alive as they trailed 28-27.
Now, head coach Dave Kindley and his staff needed to make a tough decision. Should the Bears kick the point after attempt and tie the game or go for the 2-point conversion and the lead? Kindley decided to go for two and the edge.
“I believe in my guys, so I put it in their hands, and they did not disappoint,” he said.
Cole Kindley ran the ball, as his big brother, senior lineman Lane Kindley, and running back Kayden Crisci, blocked in front of him, as this group of determined Bears fought their way into the endzone for the score. Mount Shasta now led 29-20 with under a minute left, as the squad held on for the one-point win.
“It was nothing short of amazing,” coach Kindley said.
On Nov. 22 in the D4 semifinals, Mount Shasta traveled to top seed East Nicolaus
While the Bears lost 48-20, the squad again gave everything they had on the football field.
“The fact that my guys put up 20 points on a team like that is a testament to the heart that we have as a team,” Kindley said.
Despite the Spartans having 38 players suited up compared to 17 for Mount Shasta, Kindley said that “we didn’t care. They went out and fought 100 percent on every snap.“
“Our guys played their hearts out like always,” he added. “They gave each other and the team all they had.“
Mount Shasta ended the season 6-6 overall. East Nicolaus went on to win the D4 section title for the second straight year.
Weed Cougars boys basketball
The Weed Cougars varsity boys' basketball team had a solid year of hoops in 2019.
For the 2018-2019 season, the Cougars went 17-8 overall.
Weed earned the No. 5 seed in the Northern Section Division six playoffs and upset No. 4 seed Fall River on the road on Feb. 18, 7-59. The Bulldogs had previously defeated Weed twice in Shasta Cascade League play.
Fall River raced out to a 7-0 lead and was ahead 20-13 after the first quarter. The Cougars chipped away at the Bulldog lead and trailed 38-34 at the half.
Coach Robert West credited guard Angel Nicholas with spearheading the Cougar second-half comeback during which they outscored Fall River 36-21.
Weed was down by two-points when Nicholas hit a three-pointer and then had a steal that resulted in another three, and the Cougars never trailed again. Xavia Martinez had 23 points and hit three treys to lead WHS.
Weed faced top seed Redding Christian in the semifinals on Feb. 20 and lost 54-44. Redding Christian went on to win the section title.
Martinez, a senior, was named to the Shasta Cascade League All-League squad. Weed’s leading scorer with 18 points per game. He also averaged eight rebounds, and four assists a game.
Senior Danny Formhals received honorable mention honors. He scored 10 points a game, hit sweet, high-arcing three-pointers, and pulled down five rebounds a game. But it was his tenacious defense that defined him.
The Weed Cougars have had a strong start to the 2019-2020 season so far.
Highlights include winning the Block F Tournament on Dec. 7 against host squad Fall River 46-43. Weed has also downed larger division schools, West Valley, Lassen, and Central Valley.
Mount Shasta Bears baseball has strong league season
The Mount Shasta Bears had a strong season in Shasta Cascade Leauge play this past spring, despite a bump at the end of the road.
In the regular-season finale on May 6, the Bears appeared to have won the Shasta Cascade League baseball crown outright in 2019 with an 8-2 record. The Bears won against Enta in two doubleheader home wins 4-1 and 11-1.
Head coach Chuck Mahan said at the time that they were “two really good wins” and featured strong pitching and bats that “came alive.”
Unfortunately for the Bears, due to a mixup with the pitch count for junior Ian Allen during a game in Modoc on May 3, Mount Shasta was forced to forfeit the game Allen pitched on May 6 vs. Etna.
Modoc, which kept the official book when they split with the Bears on May 3, recorded Allen throwing more than 80 pitches, while Mount Shasta’s scorebook and dedicated pitch counter each recorded 74 throws.
According to SCL regulations, pitchers that throw 0-30 pitches in a game require no rest; those that pitch 30-50 require one day of rest; 50-75 pitches require two days rest, and pitchers who throw more than 75 need three days of rest. Because of this, the Bears had to forfeit the game versus Etna Allen pitched in.
So, Mount Shasta was technically 7-3 after the forfeit and tied for the SCL title with Modoc and Fall River. Mount Shasta was the No. 6 seed in the Northern Section Division 5 playoffs and lost 5-3 to No. 3 seed East Nicolaus on the road in a first-round contest to end the year 11-12 overall.
The Bears earned three SCL All-League and one honorable mention honor. Senior Kaden Riccomini, who signed to pitch for the UC Davis Aggies, earned All-League accolades. Riccomini missed games at pitcher due to injury but still pitched well. He shined don offense hitting three home runs on the season and maintaining a batting average of .565. Allen was also an All-League selection for the Bears. He had an earned run average of 1.20. Senior Gage Kinkade was also an All-League pick for Mount Shasta. The squad's center fielder, he had a .429 batting average for MSHS.
Senior catcher Nolan Johnson was an Honorable Mention Selection. Johnson signed with Simpson University in Redding, where he’ll play baseball for the Red Hawks this year. He finished his senior year at MSHS with a batting average of .333 and an on-base percentage of .467.