Empire sports roundup: Santa Rosa youth soccer teams in Seattle tournament

Maddy Gonzalez, shown in 2014, will join other Redwood Empire soccer stars at the Elite Club National League soccer tournament in Seattle. (PD FIle, 2014)

Maddy Gonzalez, shown in 2014, will join other Redwood Empire soccer stars at the Elite Club National League soccer tournament in Seattle. (PD FIle, 2014)



Two local soccer teams are traveling to Seattle next week for the national Elite Clubs National League semifinals.

Both the U17 Freeze and the U15 Tremors from Santa Rosa United advanced to the tournament, with the U17 team securing the No. 1 seed.

The Freeze features some of the top high school players in the area, including two-time All-Empire Large Schools Player of the Year Maddy Gonzalez and University of Oregon-bound Brianne Parsons, an incoming and graduating senior, respectively, from Maria Carrillo High; Taylor Ziemer, an incoming Montgomery High senior and Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year; and Chloe Colbert, an incoming senior at Sonoma Academy and two-time All-Empire Small Schools Player of the Year.

The top eight finishers from 32 teams in each age group advance to the national finals in July in Virginia.


In its move from 11-man to eight-man football next season, the Tomales High School football team needs a new, portable goalpost.

The new team configuration means a new field configuration: shorter and narrower. A moveable goalpost will keep teams from having to drive to the same end zone every possession.

“You can do it with regular goalposts but it gets kind of awkward,” said outgoing coach Leon Feliciano.

Boosters are hosting a fundraiser Monday night to raise money for the new goalpost, estimated to cost $2,500.

The school made the move to the smaller squad after years of declining enrollment had made fielding a full side difficult.

Three coaches will be honored at the event: Davis “Hunky” Danielson who coached at Tomales in the 1960s and ’70s; Bill Tucker, a multi-sport coach since the mid-1980s; and Feliciano, who coached Tomales to six straight league titles and who handed over the reins to Dominic Sacheli at the end of last season.

The dinner and auction at Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door an include dinner and entrance into the 50/50 raffle.

For information or tickets, call Feliciano at 575-3520.


The Empire Runners Club will host an Olympic Day ceremony during the second summer track series meet Tuesday.

Former Olympians Ron Whitney, who competed in the 400-meter hurdles in 1968, and Stephen Agar, who ran the 1500 meters for Dominica in 1996, are expected to participate in the ceremony to mark the birth of the modern Olympic Games and promote fitness, excellence, friendship and respect.

Others, including Montgomery High grad Kim Conley, will appear in a video, and Santa Rosa High alum Silas Stafford, who sent signed cards for the event, will be acknowledged in the ceremony.

Santa Rosa Mayor John Sawyer is scheduled to read a proclamation announcing June 23 as Olympics Day in Santa Rosa, according to organizers.

Between 150-250 athletes of all ages and abilities typically turn out for the series, which features five running events divided into heats based on speed. All levels of athletes are welcome. Registration is $10 for the entire summer series.

All meets begin at 6 p.m. at Santa Rosa High School.

For more information and a schedule, go to empirerunners.org.

You can reach Kerry Benefield at 526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram
at kerry.benefield.