WATERFORD, CA – Waterford High School spring sports are ready to roar into the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs. The Spring Season after a lackluster Winter Season, in terms of playoff appearances, despite a statistically winning winter campaign for Waterford. Boys Soccer were the lead runner-ups for the second year in a row, but unlike last year they got an unfavorable bump into a higher division in the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round by the eventual Division V Champions from Hilmar. Boys and Girls Basketball, each posted winning seasons but missed the playoffs by one game. The Wildcats perennial playoff contending Wrestling program also saw an early exit in the section playoffs despite being league runners-up as well.
But fear not Waterford fans because Spring Sports have come to the rescue of higher expectations. Waterford Tennis has three individual champions on their way to Sections. For the second year in a row, Women’s Tennis star Anna Olson-Cruze vanquished all her league foes and captured the Women’s Singles Title. Following her at the SAL Tennis Championship were the upset team of Danny Bustillos and Isiah Ramirez who conquered the Men’s Doubles bracket to win a title of their own.
Boys Golf has been eliminated as a team, but as an individual golfer, the Wildcats Paul Etcheverry stands on a precipice of qualifying for the Section Championships. He and his team will compete at the SAL Championships on Tuesday at the fearsome Diablo Grande Golf Course.
Both Baseball and Softball control their destinies not only for playoff spots but for league titles as well. Currently, Waterford Baseball is in a three-way tie alongside Mariposa and Ripon Christian. All three Southern League Baseball teams stand at 8-2 in league play. Waterford has two games against Orestimba (6-4), and Gustine (5-5) left to play. Waterford Softball stands at 9-1 and has split with Ripon Christian (10-1). Waterford has the tougher of the two schedules to capture a Softball Title. They have to face Orestimba, Mariposa, Le Grand, and Denair to end the year. Mariposa is the defending champions, and Le Grand nearly defeated Waterford at home earlier this year in an instant classic which went nine innings and required 21 Strike-Outs from Ace Tawni McCarty and a 2-Run Blast over the left field fence from Alyssa Donaldson. The fact remains that if Baseball, Softball or both teams win out, they will be guaranteed at least a share of the Southern League Championship. Softball needs just one win to clinch a berth to the postseason. Baseball needs two wins to do the same.
Waterford Track & Field looks to defend its Boys Title this Friday at the Southern League Championships in Atwater. At the beginning of the season, it was thought Boys Track would be a shoo-in for a second championship, but Orestimba has come nipping at their heels. The Warriors defeated the Wildcats at the last league meet earlier this year. Girls Track & Field continues to threaten the top of the mountain on their own. Despite having not won a league meets this season, they have come close and have shown they are certainly capable of winning their second title in three years.
Expectations are high for Waterford High School after three seasons of Championships and Playoff Appearances. No longer are the Wildcats on the outside looking in but are now considered among the top schools in the Southern League in sports. Football, Wrestling, Girls Cross Country, Boys Soccer and Wrestling all qualified to the postseason this school year. Boys Cross Country not only qualified but won a League Championship, became the Section Runner-Ups and qualified for the State Championships for the first time in school history. Baseball, Softball, Track & Field look to add to the list and can all do so this upcoming week.
“We believe our Softball, Baseball, and Track & Field teams are all capable of bringing home (Championship) banners,” said Waterford Athletic Director Josh Whitfield. “We have a lot of great athletes and athletic talent right now. We have great faith in our coaching staff and the programs we field.”
Waterford is looking for more than just playoff qualifiers now. They expect to bring home even more Championships this year.