The year wraps up in less than a week and it’s time for Lodians to voice their opinions. Which local sports story was the biggest?
Each year, the News Sentinel publishes the top 10 sports stories of the calendar year which is ultimately decided upon by staff. But now is the time for readers to help us out.
At lodinews.com/sports, there is a poll where you can help us vote. Select one of our nominees or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you feel we missed something.
Our top story from last year was Julius Thomas’ breakout season with the former Tokay basketball standout in the running again. He established himself as one of the premiere tight ends for the Denver Broncos then and this year came on fast.
Injury later struck and Thomas’ numbers began to tail off in the second half of this season. Despite the slow down, he earned his second Pro Bowl selection earlier this week.
Another professional who made news was former Lodi baseball player Patrick Armstrong. He went from no Division I scholarship offers out of Sacramento City College to starting at first base for UNLV to being drafted by the Angels in the summer.
College performers were led by Lodi native and McNair product Jim Wilson, who broke onto the wrestling scene as the Pac-12 Wrestling Freshman/Newcomer of the Year.
Meanwhile, Tokay’s girls wrestling team was entirely new, as in its first year. The group of largely inexperienced competitors went on to win a section title behind Madisen Bozovich’s 150-pound title.
The Tigers would also make news when Rod Gaines decided to step down as boys wrestling coach after 33 years. He raked in 18 league championships before passing the torch to former standout Ed Carlos.
Then this fall, Tokay’s football team stunned Lincoln in the new Tri-City Athletic League with a 22-21 victory. Kicker Cullen Cornaga came in cold and nailed the game winning field goal with no time on the clock. It proved decisive in getting the Tigers in the playoffs and keeping the Trojans out.
Tokay joined Lodi last spring in what turned out to be banner years for both baseball teams. Lodi won a share of its first league title since 1991 and Tokay won a championship in coach Pat Macfarlane’s first year in charge.
Nic Carniglia made the top 10 in 2013 for making the USA Youth National Team, only to play for the Senior Team in 2014 before heading to UC Berkeley. He and other Olympic hopeful went against the Serbian National Team at Pacific’s Kjeldsen Pool in June.
He and Jessica Raybe (soccer) were a pair of Pac-12 signees for the Flames, which also got a pair of Ivy League commits. Class of 2014 soccer player Nate Devine left to play for Harvard over the summer, followed by 2015 grad Ryan Ozminkowski committing to Princeton for track.
Lodi’s girls golf team slipped in at No. 9 on the 2013 list for winning its sixth straight league title. They suffered heavy losses, yet managed this year to win the TCAL.
Elliot Christian isn’t exempt from this year’s possible top 10 with the finest football season in Eagles’ history. During the fall, they went to their first section championship game after setting school records for wins in a season and consecutive wins in a season.
Throughout the coming days, readers can log back onto the website and check to see how results are stacking up. After that, keep an eye out for the print edition of the paper and our final top 10 picks.