When Drew Petersen was 11 years old, he was fed up with being picked on by the bullies at school.
Not blessed with the biggest physique, Petersen bought a book on bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger, inherited a weight set from his uncle and locked himself in his garage for an entire summer to build strength.
Petersen showed up
Max Stassi's first foray into the Big Leagues took a painful twist Wednesday night when a 96 mph Tanner Scheppers fastball struck the 22-year-old from Yuba City in the face.
Stassi spent Wednesday night in a Dallas-area hospital for precautionary reasons. He underwent X-rays and tests.
Stassi's father, Jim, said X-ray results wer
Jim Stassi has been to his fair share of big league stadiums.
The former San Francisco Giants farmhand and longtime Yuba City High coach said walking into Rangers Ballpark at Arlington in Texas on Tuesday afternoon was unlike any experience he has ever felt in his life.
Everything started out normal. He pulled up in the parking l
Today marks the first day of practice for fall sports in the Mid-Valley.
This morning, football players at local high schools will be gasping for air and fighting for that last little bit of energy to get through the first sessions of "Hell Week."
About 1,000 miles away in Butte, Mont., former area standout Taylor Rowe is going t
Aaron Pamma isn't one to shy away from a challenge.
When Appeal-Democrat All-Area tennis player Michael Catbagan had to retire from the Sacramento Valley League championships with an injury, Pamma saw it as an opportunity to step up for his Live Oak High squad.
Seeded No. 4 on the Lions' strength ladder, Pamma teamed up with his
With two older brothers pushing her to succeed, recent Gridley High graduate Ashtyn Macfarlane took to athletics rather easily.
The only problem was figuring out how to spend her time.
As a four-sport athlete, Macfarlane is a rare commodity these days and excelled at volleyball, basketball, softball and track during a sensational
Longtime Yuba City High golf coach Kent Myers still chuckles to himself when his No. 1 golfer accepts medals at tournaments.
All day on the golf course, competitors from outside of the area hear about a guy named Connor Estrada, who can bomb it 280 yards off of the tee and make par 5 holes seem like child's play.
When Estrada's n
Summer baseball in the Yuba-Sutter area has become a staple of our community.
Since 2002, local fans have enjoyed the yearly, three-month season of the Marysville (née Yuba-Sutter) Gold Sox, filled with the traditions they have come to know and love.
Long before the crowd at Appeal-Democrat Park was doing the chicken dance
Whether it's driving a defender off the line of scrimmage on the football field or pinning his opponent on the wrestling mat, it's hard to ignore the presence of Reid Melani.
Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing nearly 300 pounds, the recent Sutter High graduate is as big as he is skilled, and went on turn in championship-caliber performances
In just two seasons at River Valley High, Mackenzie Arnold has already etched her name in school history.
The River Valley High track and field star, who will begin her junior year this fall, has already put together a prep career that would make many fellow athletes envious — and she's not even close to being done yet.
Life moves at a different pace up in Humboldt County.
Cameron Olson had that "We're not in Kansas anymore" moment on his first day in Arcata.
He made the roughly 250-mile journey up California's North Coast in late May and arrived in the quirky coastal town with little knowledge of the area.
When he walked up to a restaur
Brian Hickman always dreamed of a life in baseball.
His ideal lifestyle consisted of going to the ballpark every day and being around the game he's loved his whole life.
After 11 years in baseball as a professional, he's living out that dream, just in a different way than he envisioned.
A baseball lifer, Hickman has made
Diving into the pool has become a family tradition for Claudia Guillory.
With a mother and a sister who are both accomplished competitors and coaches in the sport, Guillory began swimming competitively at the age of 8 when she joined the Feather River Aquatic Club — a program that has been turning out the area's top talent for near
Before she was a four-time all-league selection for the Live Oak High girls tennis team, Lucero Topete was just learning the game, sitting on the lower rungs of the Lions' strength ladder as a freshman.
During her freshman season in 2009, Topete received a promotion she wasn't even expecting.
When one of his players succumbed to
When Helen Prager's husband displays his ultra-competitive psyche, she calls him "The Incredible Hulk."
Forget Beast Mode; Josh Prager goes into Hulk Mode.
Instead of a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run filled with would-be tacklers getting embarrassed, Prager's version comes at a table with cards on it.
Only a select few saw
In only its second year of competition, the Sutter High trapshooting team has quickly made a name for itself, not just in California, but on the national scene.
After taking first in Division III at the State Championships in June, Sutter took its shooters to the California Youth Shooting Sports Association's (CYSSA) U.S. Open Trap Tourn
At one of the first competitive track meets his son competed in, Erich Kerstan looked on in bewilderment at the scene in front of him.
Warming up on the track, stretching in their lanes were 8- and 9-year-olds with the poise of Olympians. No parents are allowed in the competitive area so these grade schoolers were out there all alone.
They have been called "partners in crime," the "dynamic duo," and have even given themselves the playful moniker of "Biggy-Smalls."
They began playing together at the age of 8, can complete each other's sentences without missing a beat, and the bond the two share on the soccer field is matched only by their close friendship off of it.
In one of the most unique positions in sports, Jeff Stanhope is thriving.
However, the Sutter and River Valley High girls soccer coach will credit his players and assistants before recognizing his own achievement as being named the A-D's 2012-13 All-Area Coach of the Year.
In a single year, Stanhope led Sutter to a fourth consecu
As the daughter of two highly successful coaches, it comes as no surprise that Tressa Arostegui went on to excel on the softball diamond.
Her mother, Sue Arostegui, was a three-time A-D All-Area Softball Coach of the Year at Live Oak High in the 1990s and began coaching Tressa when she was in Little League.
Tressa's father, Jim A
Chandler Eden's pitching career was almost over before it even began.
As a 14-year-old with Yuba City High's freshman baseball team in 2010, Eden had to find courage on the pitcher's mound in just his first year of high school ball.
His coach that season was now-varsity skipper Dave Rodriguez. He remembers the moment as if it hap
Unlike his new Marysville Gold Sox teammates, Ryan Pope is well-acquainted with the pitcher's mound at Appeal-Democrat Park.
The right-hander went 5-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings as a redshirt freshman with the Yuba College 49ers this spring in the team's first season at the lakeside ballpark since 1967.
An All-Bay Valley Confe
Before each summer, Marysville Gold Sox manager Jack Johnson has the task of assembling a baseball team comprised of players from colleges throughout the country, both big and small.
It's not easy.
Though the Gold Sox enter each season with the goal of winning the Horizon Air Summer Series title, Johnson has much more on his plat
When she was 10 years old, Aleqse Hawkins was hit by a car — her hips were never the same.
She has gone through physical therapy, constantly debated how far to push her limits and even felt the grief of letting her teammates down.
She's played through pain, rested when she could, but her passion for basketball, her father a
One conversation changed Cedrick Thomas' outlook on the game of basketball forever.
Thomas already had raw athletic ability when he stepped on to the Lindhurst High campus as a freshman in the fall of 2009. He would frequent the Blazers' open gyms during the offseason and throw down one-handed slam dunks just for fun.