Like holiday decorations before Thanksgiving and the inevitable Dodger post-season failure, the winter prep sports season has arrived.

The Selma High boys basketball team was scheduled to scrimmage Clovis and Edison last Saturday at Selma. The Bears open the season Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at the Clovis North tournament and travel to Reno for a tourney Dec. 27-30.

The Selma girls basketball team opens with a game Nov. 25 at Golden One Arena, the new site of the CIF-State playoffs. The Bears then host the Selma Shoot Out Nov. 29 through Dec. 2 and also head to a gambling mecca around the holidays, competing in the Las Vegas tourney Dec. 19 through Dec. 22. If Bear coach Paul Romig doesn’t return from Vegas, we’ll know he hit a progressive.

As strong as the Selma boys basketball team will be with Will Pallesi, Junior Ramirez, Tiveon Stroud and Manny Singh all back from last year’s section championship team, the Bear girls wrestling team is no doubt better. Word is the Bears have their best team ever, and that’s saying something for the two-time defending state team champs. Selma opens the season Nov. 25 at the Carter High-Rialto tournament.   

WELL-TRAVELED: The Kingsburg girls soccer team lost some key players off last season’s section champs, but still has plenty of firepower and showed it Wednesday in a successful scrimmage against Woodlake. Coach Scott Hodges’ team is at McLane on Nov. 27 and takes a SoCal swing to Corona Del Mar on Dec. 1 and Newport Harbor on Dec. 2.

“We're very excited about that,” Hodges said. “We’re going by UC Irvine for a campus tour and maybe we’ll spend some time at the beach.”     

QUICK STUDY: Kingsburg High grad Andrew Vorhees was only the No. 366 overall recruit and No. 36 offensive tackle prospect before signing with the USC football last year. He entered school early and made a meteoric rise, thanks to his own diligence and some Trojan injuries. Vorhees (six-foot-six, 305 pounds) has seen significant playing time this season, even starting some games.   

"I just come out here and want to get better every day,” Vorhees told  247Sports before the season. “I think I'm making progress.”

VICTORY LANE: Kingsburg’s Cory Eliason completed his King of the West campaign Nov. 11 by winning the Tribute to Gary Patterson race in Stockton. He also captured the season opener.

“To win the season opener, and season finale in the same year is pretty cool, and I owe it all to these guys who work on this car,” Eliason told Petersen Media. “We definitely would have loved to be in the championship battle, but unfortunately it didn’t play out, but we still ended up third overall.”

REMEMBERED: The late Gary Quintana, a former Selma High and Cal State University Fresno star wrestler, was honored before the Bulldogs’ season-opening match last week. Aryanna Quintana, on behalf of the family, received Quintana’s framed singlet in an emotional ceremony.  

GONE GUY:  At 61 years old and with 37 years in the business behind me, I’m leaving the Central Valley and this publication to chill out in Redlands. I'll probably do some freelance writing and coach some youth basketball. I’ll miss the rural vibe of Selma and Kingsburg, the down-to-Earth nature of the people and being able to tell the stories of so many amazing kids. Keep it real, Central Valley.  


John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or