WATERFORD, CA – After two record-breaking years for Waterford High School Athletics in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, Waterford High School’s Fall Sports programs are on course to keep the small-town school’s playoff streak alive and well.
Waterford Athletics has had past re-occurring successes limited to their Wrestling and Softball programs. However, in the last two school years, new sports have busted open the playoff books for the Wildcats, and there doesn’t appear to be any slowdown of that trend in sight. In the last two years, the following sports programs at Waterford have punched postseason tickets: Boys Cross Country, Girls Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Wrestling, Softball, Tennis, CoEd Golf, Boys Track, and Girls Track. Football, Volleyball, Girls Cross Country, Baseball and Boys Basketball continue to knock on the door.
In the fall season, Waterford has dominated in Boys Cross Country. Under head coach Barry Wixom, the Wildcat’s have done nothing but grow their roster to extraordinarily high levels. They have swept both Southern League Meets and hold a commanding lead heading into the Southern League Championships. Girls Cross Country has hung in with other league rivals and will be positioned to compete for a title as well in the upcoming Championship Races. Waterford’s teams will no doubt send a small army of individual runners into the postseason and seem to have the inside track on capturing a championship or two along the way. Girls Runner Jaecelyn Romero and Boys Runner Jonathan Staley are two big runners to watch for the Wildcats.
The Dark Ages may be over for a Waterford Football program which has been re-building from a stretch where they only won 3 games from 2014-2016. Under third-year head coach Lonnie Statzer, the Wildcats have found a new stride, currently having won 15 games under Statzer’s tenure. They are 6-1 on the season, their only loss coming from this year’s presumptive Southern League Champion: Ripon Christian. The Wildcats have a significant game coming up against the Defending Southern League Champion Orestimba Warriors, a Victory at home at Wildcat Stadium will likely give the Wildcats their first postseason berth since the 2013 season. The Wildcats have tough road games at Gustine and league rival Denair to finish the year. With senior QB Mike Vivo having a career season alongside WR Ricardo Ramirez the Wildcats might be a sure bet.
Waterford has a new Volleyball Head Coach this season in Jolene Thompson. Coach Thompson got the promotion from a long run as the district Junior High head coach. The Lady Cats have had an up-and-down season but have competed against everyone they have played. They are 8-7 overall and 5-4 in the Southern League. They will need to finish in the Top-3 in league play to get into the postseason, they currently sit in 4th behind Orestimba, Ripon Christian and the surprisingly undefeated Le Grand Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Cats will get the opportunity to make a run up the ladder as they still have games remaining against Orestimba and Le Grand.
Waterford has added a pure Girls Golf program this year under Coach Keith Self. Waterford has traditionally played in the CoEd divisions which take place in the Spring Time during Boys Golf season. The addition of another sport to their resume shows the continued growth of Waterford High School sports. While Waterford has to play up against big schools, (they have one of the only two girls golf programs in the Southern League), they may send a couple of individual golfers into the section playoffs.
The bottom line is this: many thought Waterford’s move up the sections small school’s athletic mountain, and out of the valley of mediocrity, was going to be a temporary one. If the Wildcats continue punching playoff tickets in the third straight year, they have to be taken seriously as perennial playoff contenders in every season of play. Based on how the fall sports season is shaping up for the Wildcats, it appears they are here to stay and plan to add to their accolades and titles.