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Prep season: Sienna Abernathy

Sienna Abernathy 

The baseball mitts are being put away, the back-to-school sales are here and the practice fields are filling up. The high school fall sports season is almost here.

Here are 10 reasons why it's just on time:      

  • A change of pace. Youth baseball is great, but I’ve eaten all the hot dogs I should, seen enough left-handed catchers to last a lifetime and heard enough fans yell “You got this” for one summer, thank you.
  • The Friday Night Lights. Is there anything better? The fresh, green carpet of grass … teen fans intently watching their cell phones and occasionally the game … cheerleaders sprinting to the end zone after every touchdown. Let the games begin.    
  • Reunions. The 1967 Kingsburg football team won a league title and the Viking ’77 team captured a section title and at least one of those squads will reunite this season. Nostalgia is fun and there should be plenty of it to go around.  
  • Prep volleyball. It’s an underrated sport and among my favorite to cover. It’s fast, it takes athleticism and it’s exciting. What’s not to love?
  • Milestones. Selma football is just 13 wins away from 500 victories since it began playing in 1893. Coach Matt Logue’s beard —which he may not shave until the Bears lose — could have a ZZ Top look to it by November.
  • Game stories. It’s been fun writing about mixed martial artists, the specter of head trauma, etc., but I’m just about plum out of ideas. I need events with winners and losers and kids giving 110 percent or whatever.
  • Cross country. I did some running in my day, but now I’m content to watch these kids — built like pumas but with less body fat — churn out their six-minute miles. I think I’ll have a Gatorade after every race anyway, though.  
  • Water polo. The games are short, it’s relatively easy to follow and it’s fun to watch. That’s a hat trick in my book.  
  • Photos. They’re wonderful, and I’m sure Selma’s Randy Petersen and Kingsburg’s Johnie Thomsen are polishing their lenses and are poised to take dozens of great ones again this season. Bring ‘em.
  • “Hey everybody, stand up for the kickoff!” … OK, I don’t care so much for this tradition, but it does signal the start of something tremendous. Can’t wait.

Looking back

 It was Selma super fan Will Goldbeck who discovered the Bears can reach 500 victories all-time with 13 more victories (the Bears went 13-1 last season).

Selma is 487-450-34 all-time. The Bears’ first game was in 1893, a year in which Grover Cleveland was sworn in as President of the United States and Lizzie Borden was acquitted of murdering her parents.  

The Bears are 43-43-1 against Reedley since 1899, 34-26-1 against Dinuba since 1901 and 35-47-2 vs. rival Kingsburg since 1922.

Abernathy in Roseville

Kingsburg youth swimmer  Sienna Abernathy, 10, has made the Central California Zones team and is competing in the Best of the West meet, which began Aug. 7 in Roseville and ends Saturday.

The Reagan Elementary fifth-grader swam in eight individual events and two relays at the Long Course Junior Olympics July 27-30 at the Clovis North Aquatics Center. She won the 50-meter freestyle in 31.66 seconds and the 100-meter freestyle in 1:08.72, a new club record.

She was also a part of two first-place relay teams and medaled in six other events. Nicely done. 

John Murphy can be reached at 583-2413 or

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