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Local high school football player stays game ready after CIF announces sports delays

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TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) – With the news that California Interscholastic Federation sports will be delayed and not canceled, student-athletes are gearing up for their chance to play again.

It’s the work Josiah Gonzales invests on and off the football field that he said has helped lead his team to victory.

“I thought this was going to be a perfect year for us, just how we were as a team, with the new quarterback that leads us,” Josiah told FOX40.

Continue Reading on Fox 40

High schools nationwide ask athletes to sign coronavirus waivers in case they die

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High schools across America have a message for parents: If your kid gets sick and/or dies from coronavirus contracted during a voluntary extracurricular activity, you can’t sue us.

Several high schools, from California to Florida to Minnesota, have asked parents to sign liability waivers for kids starting summer activities.

In some places those activities, including everything from football two-a-days to band camp, have started as scheduled despite the increasing spread of coronavirus throughout much of the United States.

The waivers do not apply to fall classes. Districts have stressed this point, as the documents, which are still quite callous, have panicked parents.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Little League seasons canceled

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Despite kicking off socially-distanced practices just over a month ago, any hope that local youth still held for a summer baseball season was recently erased when all three of Turlock’s Little League organizations canceled their plans to play.

Turlock National Little League and Turlock National Little League Softball announced on June 1 that their respective seasons would be canceled after several discussions with the City of Turlock and Turlock Unified School District. In an interview with the Journal at the end of May, TNLL President Michelle Helwick said that the league was in a state of “limbo,” since their field, Soderquist Park, is maintained by the City.

Come June 1, it was uncertain when or even if Stanislaus County would transition into Phase 3 of the state’s coronavirus reopening plan, where team sports are allowed to play. The County is still in Phase 2 a month later along with the rest of the state, with some reopening guidelines, like indoor dining, being rolled back.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Trump, Goodell Support Kaepernick’s NFL Return, How Does His Hometown Feel?

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TURLOCK (CBS13) — The Black Lives Matter movement is motivating organizations big and small to right past wrongs.

In pro sports, there’s been a complete reversal with the head of the NFL commenting that Colin Kaepernick should be welcomed back and signed to a team years after he was disowned for taking a knee during the national anthem.

But what does his hometown of Turlock think of it all? Papiola Aghassi, the owner of Jura’s Restaurant and Sports Bar has supported Kaepernick ever since he took a knee for the first time. Some in Turlock feel like attitudes are changing.

“Kapernick honestly knew something back then,” said Aghassi.

Aghassi has displayed jerseys with his name in her restaurants even during the tough times when so many critiqued his decision to take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

Continue Reading on Sacramento CBS local

Turlock Schools Require COVID-19 Waiver For Summer Sports Workouts

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TURLOCK (CBS13) — Whether high school sports will get the go-ahead this fall is still unknown.

As some districts debate how it would work, Turlock Unified Schools have already jumped into summer workouts, but there’s a catch. Parents have to sign a COVID-19 waiver, protecting the school from lawsuits.

There have been rumblings of a waiver at the college level, and now, COVID-19 “sign to play” has arrived in Turlock. The district views this as a way to move forward without really knowing the end game for fall sports. The waiver asks that a legal guardian “understand the risk to myself and my child of becoming exposed to or infected by COVID-19.”

“I know that this virus is very real but I just want life to be normal again. I want my kids to be able to play. I want them to be able to be with their friends,” said Breann Smith.

Continue Reading on Sacramento CBS local

Meet Patrick Bailey: Why Giants made ‘easy’ and surprise decision with first-round catcher

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The hometown hero was on the board. As was the top high-school pitcher for an organization lacking in top-end pitching talent. Nearly ready-made college pitchers, too, were still dangling, legitimate options to step into a taxi squad as soon as this (abbreviated) season.

The Giants made “a pretty easy decision,” Farhan Zaidi said, by passing over all of the above, going with yet another catcher for an organization that has one star catcher and another on the rise.

This is where the pitchforks rise, the mobs calling for Turlock’s Tyler Soderstrom, for young Oregon flamethrower Mick Abel, for Oklahoma’s Cade Cavalli. Let the Giants explain why NC State catcher Patrick Bailey is not causing much second-guessing within the organization.

“Simply put, he was in a spot on our board where — we’re in the business of best available player,” amateur scouting director Michael Holmes said in a Zoom news conference Wednesday night, a successful first venture into the new normal. “It was just too good of a talent for us not to be in play on. Everybody that we sent in to see him — despite the fact it was a shorter season — every guy that came out of there felt really good about his ability, both on the offensive and defensive side. And we really think we got a guy that can impact the game on both sides of the baseball. Guys like that, you can never have too many of them in the system.”

Continue Reading on KNBR

San Francisco Giants, father-son duo from Turlock enter MLB Draft with a chance at history

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Twenty seven years after the San Francisco Giants selected Turlock, Calif. native Steve Soderstrom with the sixth overall pick in the MLB Draft, another Turlock product is expected to be in the mix when the team is on the clock in Wednesday’s first round.

Soderstrom, who appeared in three games for the Giants during the 1996 season, can vouch for the 18-year-old catching prospect’s talents.

It’s his son, Tyler.

Only nine father-son duos have been taken in the first round of the MLB Draft and none were chosen by the same team. With the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Giants and the Soderstrom family can make history.

“It would be super special,” Tyler said. “It’s been my dream to play in the major leagues since I found out my dad played professional baseball. My dad is my mentor.”

Continue Reading on Mercury News

Pitman’s Lilly Freitas makes history, wins back-to-back state medals

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Lilly Freitas (150) of Pitman High is a two-time, back-to-back CIF State Champion after she closed out another undefeated season for the Pride this past weekend from Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield where she won out the bracket with five straight pins.

“It felt amazing… at first it was like wow; I really just did that. I am really competitive, but right after the first state title and second I couldn’t believe it, and once I realized it, and went in and hugged my mom and coach and celebrated,” said Freitas.

Last year Freitas made history by becoming the first Pride state champion ever, and this year she did it again, by becoming the first ever back-to-back and two-time state champion.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Activist, gold medalist Tommie Smith to speak at Stanislaus State on Friday

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Tommie Smith said he still thinks about his “silent gesture” during the 1968 Olympics every day.

After Smith won the gold medal in the 200-meter dash and Team USA teammate John Carlos won the bronze, the two raised their fists during the award ceremony with the purpose of calling attention to racial disparity, especially toward African Americans in the United States.

“I am the 1968 Olympics,” Smith said.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

Pitman and Turlock High boys soccer teams tie in a thrilling CCAL matchup

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Wednesday’s Central California Athletic League boys soccer game between rivals Pitman and Turlock had it all.

There were spectacular goals, plenty of yellow cards, and both teams carrying momentum with leads.

Who the top team in the league is will have to wait another day as the Bulldogs and Pride tied, 2-2, at Pitman High School.

Continue Reading on Modesto Bee

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