University of the Pacific pays an ode to 'Stroh': Redding sports blog (Spring 2022)

Ethan Hanson
Redding Record Searchlight
John Strohmayer when he pitched for the Montreal Expos, from the Strohmayer family's scrapbook.

Shasta County sports icon John Strohmayer died nearly two and a half years ago and his widow, Connie, said her family is still mourning "a tremendous loss."

While Strohmayer is gone, his legacy lives on at the baseball fields and basketball courts of Central Valley High School in Shasta Lake and the University of the Pacific in Stockton, the schools he attended. 

On April 29, Strohmayer's No. 11 jersey got retired at the University of the Pacific. 

In attendance for Strohmayer was Connie, sons Steve, Tim and Kevin and his grandchildren Carese Strohmayer, 17, Andrew John Strohmayer, 14, and Carson Strohmayer, 9. Joining the Strohmayer family was John's sister Natalie Crowder and brother-in-law John Crowder. 

Brothers Tim, left, and Kevin Strohmayer listen to their mother, Connie, tell stories about their father, John Strohmayer, who died on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2019, at the age of 73. John Strohmayer was a Major League Baseball pitcher who later coached and taught at Central Valley High School, and became the superintendent for the Gateway Unified School District.

Before pitching for the New York Mets and Montreal Expos from 1970 to 1974, he was a star player for the Tigers in 1968. That season, the Tigers finished 32-15. That record still stands as the best win percentage in the history of University of the Pacific's baseball program.

Connie Strohmayer called the jersey retirement ceremony "therapeutic" for her family.

"It was very heartwarming. John was the moving force in our family," she said. "This really helped us."

Connie Strohmayer said the family got to meet his coach Tom Stubbs and other teammates from the famed 1968 Pacific Tigers roster.

Stubbs, 87, remembered recruiting a 17-year-old John Strohmayer. He was "very skinny but had a good curve ball."

"His curve ball was his trade mark and that's what got him drafted," Stubbs said. 

Stubbs said his friendship with Strohmayer lasted until his death on Nov. 28, 2019.

"He was a good family man," Stubbs said. "He knew the difference between right and wrong, he always followed the right path and was very devoted to his religion. He's a kind of person that comes around once every lifetime. I'm very proud of John Strohmayer." 

Shasta High School senior Colton Agdeppa, left, signs with Southern Indiana University as father Phil Agdeppa watches on Friday, April 29, 2022.

Agdeppa will swim for Screamin' Eagles

Friday, April 29, 2022

One of Shasta High School's most distinguished swimmers in program history signed a Division I scholarship on Friday.

Shasta senior Colton Agdeppa will continue his swimming career at Southern Indiana University in Evansville, a city that is sandwiched in the middle of Nashville, St. Louis, Louisville and Indianapolis.

Agdeppa is the Shasta record-holder in the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly and 50-yard freestyle. He also competes nationally in club for the Shasta Family YMCA Sharks.

"It doesn't feel real, honestly," Agdeppa said. "I know it's far away but I took a chance when I went out there. I love what the coaches said to me and I'm beyond excited."

Agdeppa becomes the sixth high school athlete from Shasta County to sign at a Division I school in 2022. He joins:

  • Enterprise basketball player Abby Shoff, who signed with Long Beach State
  • U-Prep soccer players Ryanne Ampi and Becca Gaido, who signed with Eastern Washington
  • Fall River football player Ryan Osborne, who signed with Harvard
  • Foothill football player Cade Cox, who signed with UC Davis. 

"Athletics is going up in Shasta County," Agdeppa said. "I think we are catching up fast."

Agdeppa was born in Stockton and moved to Shasta County when he was in the eighth grade. He joined the Shasta Family YMCA Sharks led by Steve Lazaraton.

"I never got told straight forward what it takes to be a college athlete until I met (Lazaraton)," Agdeppa said. "He told me I needed to step it up." 

Colt 45s set to return in 2022

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Redding Colt 45s are ready to play baseball at Tiger Field for the first time in two years after COVID-19 safety guidelines with in-person activities halted play.

General Manager Rick Bosetti said the Redding Colt 45s are celebrating their 19th season at historic Tiger Field. The ballpark marks its 100th anniversary in the community next year.

The Colt 45s will play a 45-game schedule, which includes five games per week. Opening day for the baseball team is scheduled Monday, May 30. General admission tickets are $6, veterans are $3 and kids 12 and are $3. 

Here are six things fans can look forward to when the Redding Colt 45s take the field.

1. Preston Sharp to throw out first pitch

Redding resident Preston Sharp will throw out the first pitch on opening day.

Preston Sharp places imitation carnations at gravesites Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo in preparation for Memorial Day. He was joined by several dozen volunteers who helped decorate the tombstones of veterans and their spouses with flags and flowers.

Sharp, 16, places the American flag and flowers at the gravesites of military veterans locally and in other states through his Veterans and Flowers project. A crowdfunded account on GoFundMe to support his effort has raised more than $77,000 since it was established in 2015.

He has placed 260,000 carnations and flags, according to his website. 

"We want to bring him in on a helicopter (onto the field), have him jog past second base and have him throw out the first pitch," Bosetti said. 

Bosetti said fans who bring a 12-inch-by-18-inch flag on opening day will receive free admission. 

2. 'We Back The Blue' night returns

Redding police officers and Shasta County sheriff's deputies and their K-9 units will be honored on "We Back The Blue" night on Saturday, June 11.

The evening will feature a demonstration of a K-9 tackling a training officer in a bite suit who stands behind home plate.

K-9s will be featured throughout the evening by entertaining fans in between innings with comedic skits.

Red Bluff Little League catcher Johnny Morales takes a secondary lead at first base against East Redding Little League during the 12/U California District 1 championship at Volonte Park in Anderson on Friday, July 2, 2021.

3. Free baseball camp for children

Bosetti said the Colt 45s will offer a free baseball clinic for children ages 8 to 14 from 8 a.m. to noon on June 11.

Young baseball players will receive lessons from 15 different players and coaches on the team.

The clinic will be sponsored by Major League Baseball and Lithia Chevrolet.

The No. 1 selling hot dog after a visit to the condiment cart at Tiger Field.

4. Food, food and more food

Bosetti said the hot dogs served at Colt 45s games will be "some of the best in baseball."

"We use the blue label Costco all-beef 1/3 pound hot dogs," Bosetti said. 

Fans will also have the opportunity to make their own burgers using chopped onions, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments.

Bosetti added that Thursday nights will feature pulled pork sandwiches made by his wife, Patti. Friday nights will feature tri-tip sandwiches and cole slaw and Shasta Pizza will serve slices to fans on Sundays.

File photo - Homer, the mascot for the Redding Colt 45s, had a lot of fans at Friday's pancake breakfast in May 2018.

5. Kids get to hang with Homer

The Colt 45s will bring back Homer, the mascot, to entertain fans and children during the games.

"He's similar to a Yosemite Sam-like character," Bosetti said. "He'll be there for all of our home games."

File photo - Redding's Colt 45's baseball team versus the Humboldt Crabs in June 2018.

6. How to become a bat person

Family members can sign their children up to become bat boys and girls through the Third Base Club, Bosetti said.

Bosetti said the Third Base Club costs $750. Fans through the club get seats on the field along the third base line, receive a free hot dog or hamburger with soda or water, and 50 free tickets to attend future games.

Bat boys and girls have to be at least 9 years old. The Third Base Club also allows fans to be seated and interact with players inside the dugout, Bosetti said.

Shasta College freshman Grace Southern

Local barista sets new 1,500 meters record at Shasta College

Monday, March 28, 2022

Shasta College freshman Grace Southern solidified herself as one of the nation's top long distance runners last Saturday during a meet at Cal Poly Humboldt.

Southern near her third lap broke away from College of the Redwoods freshman Hannah Hartwell and ran the 1,500 meters in 4 minutes and 31.15 seconds to win first place.

Southern's time was the fastest outdoor 1,500-meter time in the country for junior college athletes this season. 

"Before I race," Southern said, "I remember all the hard work I put in, and I think that gives me the confidence to know I can run fast, I can hurt and go with other girls out there."

Southern, who hails from Middletown High School in Lake County, smashed the previous Shasta College record of 4:38.39 set by Yoshi Shimizu in 1986.

The 20-year-old compares the competition she has with running to serving customers coffee. Southern currently works as a barista at Pacific Green Coffee in Redding. 

"I think it's about wanting to know that I did something to the best of my ability," Southern said. "Even when I'm at work, I want to make the customers feel like they are there to be served. I want to do it with excellence."

Southern is considered one of the favorites to win the California Community College Athletic Association state championship in the 1,500 meters. She also placed sixth out of 144 runners in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state cross country championships last fall in Fresno.

"I think there's more pressure but I don't feel it as a weight," Southern said. "I want to have that pressure. I want to feel like I'm going for something bigger than what I've gone for before." 

Enterprise senior Abby Shoff (right) dribbles up the floor and is met by Pleasant Valley freshman Ava Dunn (left) during the CIF Northern Section Division III championship on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

Shoff named MVP of Northern Section

Friday, March 25, 2022

Enterprise High School senior forward Abby Shoff was voted the CIF All-Northern Section Most Valuable Player by media members across the North State.

Shoff was the sixth-leading scorer in California (29.6 points per game) shot 53% from the field, averaged 12.2 rebounds per game and finished the season with 15 double doubles.

Shoff is one of the eight girls and eight boys from Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties to be nominated to the All-Northern Section team.

Fall River players and head coach Tarron Corder celebrate winning the CIF Northern Regional Division VI championship with their narrow 67-65 victory over Weed on Tuesday night, March 8, 2022, in McArthur.

Fall River's Tarron Corder was voted girls basketball Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to the program's third CIF NorCal Regional title. Fall River finished the season 21-6 and beat league rival Weed four times, including twice in the CIF Northern Section and NorCal Regional Division VI championship games.

Pleasant Valley senior Noah Thomas was named the All-Northern Section Boys MVP after helping the Vikings win the CIF Division III state title.

Here are the three CIF All-Northern Section boys and girls basketball teams.

Readers, local players are listed in bold

Enterprise's Demarreya Lewis-Cooper goes around a Justin-Siena player on Saturday, March 5, 2022. The Enterprise boys basketball team lost 66-57 in overtime to Justin-Siena of Napa in the CIF Northern Regional Division IV semifinal game.

Boys All-Northern Section members

First team: 

G - Demarreya Lewis-Cooper, Enterprise: 18.1 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per game, 3.9 assists per game and 2.6 steals per game.

G - Noah Thomas, Pleasant Valley: 16.1 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, 2.8 steals per game and 2.1 assists per game.

C - Kameron Morphew, University Prep: 14.2 points per game and 8.0 rebounds per game.

F - Brady Webb, Durham: 14.2 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game and 2.3 assists per game.

F - Chase Mitchell, Pleasant Valley: 13.3 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Brennan Ramirez attempts a bounce pass during the CIF Northern Section Division III title game against Pleasant Valley on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.

Second team: 

G - Ned Joyce, Pleasant Valley: 11.3 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists per game. 

G - Darius Smith, Weed: 23.8 points per game.

G - Hudson Edwards, Foothill: 14.5 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game. 

F - Brennan Ramirez, Enterprise: 16.2 points per game.

F - Luke Kremer, Pleasant Valley: 12.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Redding Christian's Kole Skinner (1) drives to the basket against St. Bernard's Peyton Smith (2) in the second quarter.

Third team: 

G - Luke George, Las Plumas: 18 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game and 3.3 assists per game.

G - Kole Skinner, Redding Christian: 10.3 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game and 5.5 assists per game.

F - Nathan Kephart, Yreka: (stats not listed on MaxPreps)

F - Guillermo Jauregui, Pierce: 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.

F - Ryan Osborne, Fall River: 16 points per game.

Enterprise senior Abby Shoff (center) attempts a free throw as senior Trinity Fernandez (right) stands just beyond the free throw line during the CIF Northern Section Division III girls basketball title game against Pleasant Valley on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

Girls All-Northern Section members

First team: 

G - Jocelyn Medina, Pierce: 38.6 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and 2.6 steals per game.

G - Campbell Vieg, Chico: 11.6 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game, 3.9 assists per game and 3.0 steals per game.

F - Abigail Shoff, Enterprise: 29.6 points per game, 12.2 rebounds per game, 15 double doubles and shot 53% from the field.

F - AJ Gambol, Pleasant Valley: 12 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game. 

F - Jordan McCoy, University Prep: 13.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and 3.5 assists per game.

U-Prep's JoAnna Warren during the game against Orland on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. U-Prep won 52-38.

Second team:

G - Lexi Peters, Foothill: 12.2 points per game and four rebounds per game. 

G - Maddox Wilson, Pleasant Valley: 11.6 points per game and 3.2 rebounds per game.

G - Giselle Rodriguez, Fall River: 18.1 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 4.7 steals per game. 

F - JoAnna Warren, University Prep: 23.4 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game.

F - Madalynn Bassett, West Valley: 19.1 points per game.

Third team:

G - Shade Satica, Lassen: 16.9 points per game, 5.3 steals per game, 4.8 rebounds per game and 3.7 assists per game.

G - Karli Reynolds, Weed: 17.3 points per game.

C - Brynn Scribner, Trinity: 16.1 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game.

F - Sophie Sims, Chico: 10.1 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game.

F - Alexis Kearney, Oroville: (her stats weren't posted on MaxPreps)

Ethan Hanson started working for the Redding Record Searchlight after four years with the Los Angeles Daily News as a freelancer. His coverage includes working the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament in South Bend, Indiana, and writing about the St. Louis Rams' move to Los Angeles with the Ventura County Star. He began his career as a play-by-play broadcaster for LA Pierce College from 2011-2017. Follow him on Twitter at @EthanAHanson_RS.