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2013: Sports Year in Review
Colin Kaepernick leads San Francisco from under center during the 49ers final regular season game at Candlestick Park. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Kaepernick becomes part of 49er history

After taking over for former first-round pick Alex Smith in 2012, Turlock’s own Colin Kaepernick kicked off 2013 with a spectacular post-season run and led San Francisco to its sixth Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. Kaepernick started his 49ers’ quest for six with a record-breaking performance against the Green Bay Packers in which he threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns—a league record for most rushing yards by a QB in a playoff game or otherwise.

Though San Francisco fell to the Baltimore Ravens by three points in Super Bowl 47, Kaepernick recently made 49er history again as he became the last quarterback to play at Candlestick Park, bidding farewell to the 42-year home of the 49ers with a 34-24 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Bulldogs breach baseball record

Equipped with a talented roster and blessed with depth on the pitcher’s mound, Turlock High’s baseball team set a new school record with 26 consecutive wins. During the streak, the Bulldogs won two tournament titles at the Atch Pedretti and Dick Windemuth tournaments and claimed a Central California Conference championship with an undefeated league record.

Turlock advanced all the way to the Division I Sac-Joaquin South Section championship game but was sent home without the title by a stacked St. Mary’s High team. To date, nine players from the record-breaking team have signed on to play baseball at the collegiate level.

Women Warriors dominate the pitch

2013 will forever be remembered as the most successful year in the history of California State University, Stanislaus’ women’s soccer program. Led by acclaimed senior forward Karenee Demery, the Warriors went undefeated on the season and earned their second CCAA Championship in school history with a 2-0 victory over Sonoma State.

Stanislaus’ record of 18-0-2 secured its women a berth in the Division II NCAA Championships—hosted at Stanislaus for the first time—but the Warriors were upset in the first round by Cal State San Bernardino.

Hilmar’s near perfect football season

The Hilmar High Yellowjackets owned the gridiron in 2013, as they barreled through the regular season with an undefeated record and made their second Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section championship appearance in the past three years.

Anchored by a solid defensive unit, Hilmar outscored their Trans Valley League opponents 220-67 before going on to beat Liberty Ranch, Escalon, and Center High in post-season play. The ‘Jackets lined up across from Central Catholic High in the D4 SJS title game where, despite a valiant second-half effort, they fell to the Raiders 24-10.

Bertalotto’s sophomore surge

Isaac Bertalotto became only the fourth wrestler in Turlock High history to place at the state tournament in 2013, with his 8th place finish in the 132 pound division.

After the high school season wrapped up, Bertalotto continued his success on the mat as he earned a pair of folkstyle state titles in the cadet and junior divisions before becoming a two-time All-American as a folkstyle and Greco Roman wrestler.

TC, Hilmar make it to volley finals

Turlock Christian and Hilmar High had successful seasons on the court in the respective Southern League and Trans Valley League in 2013.

TC finished with a 10-4 league record and rode a six match win streak into the Division VI SJS Championship match against Stone Ridge Christian High. The Eagles beat back the Knights, 3-1, and earned their second consecutive section title.

Hilmar posted an undefeated league record in its most successful volleyball season to date. The Yellowjackets won 17 of their final 18 matches of the season before facing off against Sonora High in the Division IV SJS championship match where they missed out on what could have been their first section title by a mere two points. Hilmar went on to compete in the CIF State Volleyball Tournament where they posted a 1-1 record.

Kramer wins CWS with UCLA

Former Turlock High baseball and football standout Kevin Kramer helped lead his UCLA Bruins to the team’s first College World Series championship in 2013 from his third base position. In only his junior year, Kramer was part of a Bruins team that defeated LSU, North Carolina State, and North Carolina—allowing only one run in each game—before sweeping Mississippi State for the championship.

Lewis Gonzalez continues MMA ascent

Though only fought twice in 2013, Turlock’s Lethal Lewis Gonzalez experienced a much-deserved boost to his career as he signed a six-fight contract with the upstart promotions World Series of Fighting.

After beating Emmanuel Sanchez at the regional level, Gonzalez exploded onto the national stage with his victory over veteran fighter Antonio McKee at WSOF 4. With his perfect record intact—9-0 as a professional—Gonzalez recently secured a title shot for WSOF’s inaugural Lightweight belt against Justin Gaethje on Jan. 18, 2014.

Pitman boys own soccer season

After finishing fourth in the Central California Conference in 2012, Pitman High’s boys soccer team had a turnaround year to remember in 2013. The Pride finished with a 12-3 CCC record and earned their second league championship in school history as they completed their best overall season to date. Ranked as high as fifth in California during the season, Pitman advanced into the Division I SJS playoff tournament where it beat Franklin and Oak Ridge High before losing to Granite Bay High in a tight 2-1 semi-final match.

Harvest Bowl X

The city of Turlock marked the 10th anniversary of the Harvest Bowl in 2013 with a game packed full of big plays and excitement. Rivals Turlock and Pitman High met in the final game of the regular season with the Bulldogs in search of a playoff berth and the Pride on a quest for their 8th series win.

Pitman entered halftime with a 7-6 lead, setting up a second half of football that kept fans on both sides of Joe Debely Stadium on their feet. Turlock was in position to take the lead with mere minutes on the clock when Pitman’s Bryce Silva intercepted the ball at the seven yard line and helped set up a thrilling 90-yard, game-winning touchdown dash by Logan Wolfley on the ensuing drive.

Both teams scored four touchdowns on the day, but three failed two-point conversions by the Bulldogs was the determining factor in the 27-25 final.