Five male Woodland athletes win Optimist All-Star caps – Daily Democrat
In a year where all sports were crammed into two busy seasons due to COVID-19 restrictions, senior athletes in the Woodland area still managed to pull through.
A total of five male athletes have been selected to their respective 2020-2021 Optimist All-Star baseball and basketball sports teams. The Optimist All-Star Games honor the region’s outstanding senior student-athletes for their hard work, diligence and excellence in their respective sports.
The Evening Optimist Club of Sacramento was founded in 1963 with the motto “Bringing out the best in children”. The game itself gives the best senior athletes in the Sacramento area the opportunity to show off their talents.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, basketball and baseball games have been canceled.
Despite the unusual basketball season this year, two notable basketball players from Keaton Massey at Woodland Christian School and Josh Goldston at Pioneer High School have been selected to the Boys Small School South team.
Massey, who will play for Butte College next year, has been recognized as one of the best players on the AAU Tour and has managed to overcome a serious injury early in the season.
“Massey attended all practice and practice despite a broken Jones,” said Woodland Christian basketball head coach Casey Neimeyer. “As soon as he was able to start playing he had an immediate impact on the team.”
“Who knows what other accomplishments these seniors would have achieved had they been able to play a normal season,” said Callie Wissman, director of athletics for Woodland Christian. “Their hard work and dedication not only set the bar for other players, but they also set an example of how to have a positive attitude during an extremely difficult school year.”
Josh Goldston played as one of the guards in Pioneer head coach Barry Reese’s three-guard rosters.
During his third year as a college player, Reese mentioned that Goldson was able to shine as a leader after slowly gaining more and more playing time since his second year.
“He’s matured a bit more compared to last year,” Reese said. “He got his feet wet in second year. In his junior year we were loaded and won the league so he contributed as a sixth man. This year he had the opportunity to start, and his experience has shown it.
On the baseball field, Tony Ocanas of Woodland High School, as well as Hunter Timothy and Austin McKinney of Pioneer High Schools, were selected to the Small Schools South team.
Ocanas, who played the Wolves’ first and pitcher, is set to play baseball at American River College in the fall.
Ocanas decided to spend his final year away from the football field to focus on baseball, and it paid off with an all-league selection in the Golden Empire League.
“Tony is the team’s only left-handed pitcher this year,” said Gallagher. “He’s just a presence on the mound and when he’s in the batter’s box. It’s the best I’ve ever seen him throw. He locked himself up. I think it will only get better. He has the build and the attributes that colleges are looking for. All they have to do is find out. I think he can do great things at the top level.
Hunter Timothy played at the college level all four seasons and was also a pitcher with teammate Austin McKinney.
“It’s just nice to have kids who can play in college at a younger age, and you can consolidate a position without ever worrying about it,” said Pioneer head coach Ben Marquez. “Being a pitcher and understanding the game as much as he does helps even more.”
Timothy pulled out a great glove on third base, but it was on the mound that he really took off.
“As far as pitchers go, he’s probably one of the best pitchers in the program for a long time,” Marquez said. “Regimenting him off the field and taking care of his body is hard to do when you’re older and getting paid as a professional, but for someone who has the know-how at such a young age to go from forward and take care of it. of itself is quite special.
Marquez mentions that he’s constantly trying to improve as a pitcher. Timothy is scheduled to go to Sacramento State in the fall and play baseball.
Austin McKinney, the Patriots’ second staff ace, also played four years at the varsity level and also lined up at right field.
He is also expected to attend the University of the Pacific in the fall to play baseball.
“Austin and Hunter really pushed each other off the pitch, preparing, taking care of themselves and honing the pitching trade,” Marquez said. “This year he was extinct. I think his league ERA was 0.69. It all came together. You can tell when a child has enough to do when they are just outside having fun. he didn’t even have to think he was just playing with his buddies.
Marquez mentions that their next level coaches will find that they are “both quite special when it comes to their hunger for the game.”
This is the first in a series. The Woodland Area Optimist All-Star Women’s Trials will be announced once the women’s volleyball teams are finalized.