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Wheatland Sun

17 Athletes Represent Area in All-Star Games

Jun 22, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story by Steven Bryla

The South Division II/III Lions All-Stars pose for a photo postgame following the 22-0 defeat to the North on June 17 at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico. Photo by Steven Bryla

17 Athletes Represent Area in All-Star Games [5 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

46th Annual Lions All-Star Game
CHICO, CA (MPG) - Eight class of 2023 athletes were selected by the Lions Club in February to participate in the 46th installment of the Lions All-Star game at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico on Saturday, June 17.

The athletes selected were Joe Endicott and Danny Lanini from Marysville. Brandon Sanders, Noah Pineda and Tyson Funk from Yuba City. Brice Stokes, Luke Miller and McCray Wilder from Sutter rounded out the selected and were named to the South Division II/III roster.

The six athletes who participated in the game endured a week of practices at California State University - Chico with teammates coming from other schools that included Gridley, Biggs, Chico, Lindhurst, East Nicolaus and Wheatland.

All of the money raised from the two games featured a big school game between Division II/III and a smaller school game which featured athletes from Division IV-VI went to the Lions Children’s Diabetic Camp.

Miller told the Dispatch it was an honor to be selected to play in the game.

“To see the guys who have participated in this game and the guys who will play in this game is awesome,” Miller said.

Miller started at quarterback in the first half before he moved to running back in the second half.

Miller is heading to Simpson University in the fall and will be part of the first football team of the school’s existence with a scrimmage season in 2023 before they have a competitive season in 2024, according to their athletic page.

Stokes began the game with an interception on the opening drive of the game and made tackles throughout the game.

Both offenses struggled to move the ball in the first half as it was a punt-a-thon before the North scored with a little under six minutes to go in the first half.

Lanini and Miller carried the ball multiple times in the first half and Funk and Pineda did their thing on the lines blocking and attempting to make running lanes for their rushers.

Endicott and Lanini also contributed heavily on the defensive end as they were in the mix on multiple tackles throughout the night.

The North won the game 22-0, but although six to seven months prior as these athletes were trying to beat each other, they found common ground on all being on one team.

“It was a challenge of seeing the great talent out here,” Endicott told the Dispatch. “We weren’t given our spots and we had to fight and grind out for them.”

Endicott said he is going to attend Yuba College in the fall.

Funk expressed to the Dispatch he thought his last football game was back in November 2022, when the Honkers got knocked out of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs by eventual Division III-AA State Champion Grant.

Funk was appreciative of the invitation and said it was an adjustment with a new playbook in a short week, but was happy with how everything went.

Funk expressed that this is the last football game he’ll play as he is going on a two-year mission, which will be served in Layton, Utah. Following his mission, he plans to attend Brigham Young University - Idaho where he’ll major in Biomedical Sciences.

52nd Optimist All-Star Game
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Nine local athletes from the class of 2023 represented the area in the 52nd Optimist All-Star Game on Sunday, June 11 at the Army Depot Fields in Sacramento.

The nine athletes represented were Yuba City’s outfielders CJ Hopper and Brent Gallegos along with infielder Nathaniel Hurley. The 2023 CIF Division IV NorCal Champion Sutter Huskies were represented by catcher Landon Sable, second baseman Andrew Hanson and outfielder Matt McCall. Marysville was represented by catcher/infielder Maddox Marino, infielder/pitchers Stevie Cherry and Jack Howsley.

The Yuba City representatives played in the large school game and the Sutter and Marysville players participated in the small school game. Yuba City head coach Maury Castaneda was a coach on the large school roster.

All recipients of the nominations deserved their accolades and were voted in by the Optimist committee.