Dissa & Data: Analy, Elsie Allen, Windsor, Santa Rosa fans vie to be best

Analy, Elsie Allen, Windsor and Santa Rosa high schools are finalists in the inaugural year of Battle of the Fans.

The program, spearheaded by Montgomery High School principal Laurie Fong and directed by the Vikings JV boys basketball coach Steve Arrow, aims to reward campuses whose team spirit doesn’t devolve into the cruel and unsportsmanlike.

Every campus in both the SCL and the NBL signed on for the program. Schools produced short videos highlighting their fans and spirit. It was from those videos that a committee of three advanced the two SCL schools, Analy and Elsie, and the two NBL schools, Windsor and Santa Rosa into the final round.

Committee members will make school visits in the coming days to watch varsity basketball games and conduct interviews. The winning schools — one from each league — will be honored at the end of the season, given a banner and $1,000.

Each of the finalists’ videos is below.

Analy

Elsie Allen

Santa Rosa

Windsor

Steve Bell gets 500th win

Steve Bell, head coach of the Montgomery Vikings girls basketball team and the longest-tenured NBL girls basketball coach, was honored for his 500th career victory with the Vikes at halftime of the Windsor game last Friday.

Bell, who began his career in 1990 coaching his ultra-talented, multisport daughter Christina Bell (MHS class of ’93), notched number 500 in the Vikings’ 57-35 win against Rancho Cotate.

The Vikings are 8-5 in the NBL after defeating Casa Grande on Tuesday.

Ziemer’s national call

Montgomery junior Taylor Ziemer, co-Player of the Year in the NBL last soccer season and an All-Empire selection, was one of 24 players called up to the U.S. U-18 training camp in Chula Vista Feb. 1–8.

Ziemer, who led the Vikings to a 21-4 record this season with a league-leading 29 goals and 15 assists, was one of just six forwards invited to the camp by U.S. U-18 women’s head coach April Heinrichs.

Ziemer is part of the U-18 women’s national team that will eventually compete to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Carrillo baseball is back

Monday was the first day of practice for spring sports and despite a soggy outfield, Maria Carrillo’s baseball team was on the field.

Last year, the Pumas took the NBL title with a 14-0 record and they’ll be good again this year.

“We only lost four players to graduation, so we have a good core coming back,” coach Derek DeBenedetti said. “We believe we have a chance to repeat but the NBL is always difficult. It looks to me like every team in the league is improved over last year.”

Leading returnees for Carrillo include Andrew Vaughn, Zach Scott, Jo Bynum and the Andrews brothers (Clayton and Myles).

“We had around 40 players come out for varsity and junior varsity,” DeBenedetti said. “It’s exciting being out on the diamond again.”

The Pumas open the season Feb. 28 at Vintage (Napa).
Other sports that began practice on Monday were: badminton, boys golf, lacrosse, softball, swimming/diving, boys tennis and track.

Kerry Benefield and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.