PD Preps Insider: Maria Carrillo’s impressive goalie

Maria Carrillo's goalie Claire Howard catches the ball during a game held at Maria Carrillo High School, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Maria Carrillo’s goalie Claire Howard catches the ball during a game held at Maria Carrillo High School, Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Maria Carrillo’s girls soccer team was an offensive juggernaut (4.5 goals per game) this past season while winning the NBL and NCS Division 1 championships en route to an unbeaten season.

However, just as impressive as the offense was the play of goalkeeper Claire Howard. The junior posted 18 shutouts in 23 games, three of those in the NCS tournament.

“What makes her such a great goalkeeper is her instincts combined with athleticism,” coach Debra LaPrath said. “Also, she’s such a team player. She takes pride in doing everything for the good of the team.”

The Pumas defense allowed only five goals all year.

As for offense, Madison Gonzalez led the way with 23 goals followed by Brooke Dunbar with 17.

The Pumas were ranked No. 1 in California and No. 4 nationally.


Leon Feliciano coached his last football game at Tomales on Nov. 15, but he will never be forgotten by those he coached against.

“He’s done so much for small school football,” Middletown coach Bill Foltmer said. “He’s also done a lot for the realignment of conferences through the years.

“Besides being a class act and a gentleman, he was a master of the double wing.”
St. Vincent coach Gary Galloway said the realization that Feliciano won’t be back for a 21st season has left him melancholy.

“I feel sad now that it’s happened,” Galloway said. “The offense he put in at Tomales was perfect for the kids he had in his program. Besides doing so much for the school, he accomplished a lot for the community.”

Feliciano retired with 137 victories.


Cardinal Newman’s Rose City Tournament is one of the oldest and most prestigious boys basketball tournaments in the area. This year will be the 47th installment.

Now the ladies are getting their games. The school will host the inaugural Cardinal Newman Classic Girls Basketball Tournament at Fitzgerald Memorial Gym from Dec. 4-6, and varsity coach Monica Mertle calls it “one of the most competitive in the state.”

Newman will be the only local school represented. Visitors to the Cardinal Newman Classic will include Brookside Christian (Stockton), a Division 5 NorCal finalist last year that boasts three likely DI players; Oregon City, the defending state champion in Oregon; Sacred Hearth Cathedral (San Francisco), a 2014 Open Division qualifier; and Scotts Valley, which was the No. 1 seed heading into last year’s NorCal Division 4 playoffs.

YSN365.com will broadcast the games, and Passthaball.com will be putting together highlight packages.


With the Casa Grande boys and Sonoma Academy girls winning their first North Coast Section championships, and Sonoma Academy freshman Rylee Bowen claiming the individual title in Division 5, there was a lot going on down at Hayward High last Saturday.

But don’t overlook the stellar performance turned in by Casa’s Adria Barich.

Going into the D2 girls’ race, the long-striding junior said, her hope was to keep two top-notch North Bay League foes — Santa Rosa’s Delaney White and Maria Carrillo’s Shaz Breedlove — in her sights. After running out to a great start, Barich discovered her goal was entirely reachable. Even late in the soggy race, she was right there with White.

“I’ve never stayed that close to her,” Barich said.

Breedlove finished ahead of White in last year’s NCS race, but wasn’t at her best last Saturday — to Barich’s surprise.

“I kept waiting for her to get past me, but she never did,” the Gauchos runner said. “That’s never happened before.”

White finished fourth in the race, crossing in 18 minutes, 31 seconds. And right behind her was Barich, wearing a big smile and clocking in at 18:43. Breedlove finished seventh at 19:14. All three will run in the state meet at Fresno this weekend.

The Casa Grande girls did very well as a team, but will not be going to state. They finished third, and only two NCS teams advance from Division 2 to the CIF championships.

Press Democrat staff writer Phil Barber and correspondent Howard Senzell contributed to this report.