PD Preps Insider: Piner short-handed in loss to Petaluma

Friday’s loss at Petaluma was a setback for a Piner football team that has looked as though it’s building off of last year’s improvement. Prospectors coach John Antonio knows his players made a lot of mistakes against the Trojans. He also would like to have faced them at full strength.

Three Piner players were academically ineligible for the game.

“Three starters,” Antonio said. “Not having them, you can’t make an excuse, but it hurts not having some of those guys, because they’re playmakers. But it’s also life lessons being learned here, that you’ve gotta take care of the classroom before you take care of what you do out here (on the field).”

All three are expected to return to action in three weeks.

EYES ON KAWASAMI

Playing in the Sonoma County League, Petaluma doesn’t get as much attention as some other local football teams. That means you may not be familiar with senior running back Yusef Kawasami, a 220-pound battering ram who also has the nimble feet to break plays outside. Kawasami had 185 yards on 19 carries against Piner on Friday.

“He played his best game (Friday) night, that’s for sure,” Petaluma coach Rick Krist said. “He had a tough game last week (against Sonoma Valley), and he really worked hard in practice this week. I think his confidence level has just skyrocketed.”

Kawasami has 523 rushing yards through six games.

NEWMAN GOLF NEWS

Scott Mitchell, a Santa Rosa resident and a former All-Empire golfer as a freshman at Cardinal Newman in 2013, won the 2014 Junior Tour of North California Fall Series VI championship tournament at Greenhorn Creek Golf Club in Monterey over the weekend.

Mitchell shot a 1-under-par 143 in the two-day tournament to beat the field by six strokes.

NAME THAT JAGUAR

The undefeated Windsor Jaguars are big on nicknames.

There’s the phenomenal kicker Gedi Tavares, whose inspired boots compel the Jaguars’ play-by-play announcer to call him “Jedi” on the loudspeaker and cue up the theme from “Star Wars” when he nails a point after.

And there’s a kid running around out there that people call “The Tank” for obvious reasons.

But the most esoteric of nicknames has to go to Hunter Hanson, who for unknown reasons likes to be called “Hunter H2O.” The announcer was unclear about the genesis of the nickname but was game to use it on the public address system last Friday.

The crowd got an earful of Hunter H2O’s game — he had 50 receiving yards in the 27-7 win against Casa Grande.

MILESTONE AT ST. HELENA

St. Helena football coach Brandon Farrell recorded his 50th win at the school when the Saints defeated Upper Lake, 48-14, on Friday night. It took Farrell 61/2 years to reach the plateau.

“A lot has gone into that,” Farrell said. “It’s having the players, hard-working assistants, parents and administration. It wouldn’t have happened without a lot of people working to make the program successful.”

This year’s team is 5-0 going into Friday’s home against Middletown (4-1). The winner will have the inside track to winning the NCL I title.

Phil Barber, Kerry Benefield and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.