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Burney Spring Classic is this Friday at 11am

Burney’s Sebatstian Magnia (r) and his Raider teammates will host Burney Spring Classic Friday.

BURNEY - The annual Burney Spring Classic small school track and field meet will fire off this Friday beginning at 11 am with field events and 12 noon for running.

As of this past weekend, 10 teams have signed up to join host Burney in the only track and field meet taking place in the Intermountain Area. Portola, Trinity, Big Valley, Fall River, Butte Valley, Dunsmuir, Happy Camp, Herlong, Los Molinos and Loyalton will join the host Raiders.

Almost Everyone Returns to Action this Week

Prep athletes in the Intermountain Area - with the exception of the Burney baseball team - had a week off for Spring Break, but all but one team will return to action this week as the race for league dominance heads to the finish line.

The lone holdout in getting back into action is the Big Valley Cardinal baseball team, who will remain idle until April 29 when they host Princeton in a double header starting at 1 o’clock in Bieber.

Meanwhile, back in the Fall River district, local teams are gearing up for a fast re-start to competition.

Fall River softball and baseball teams will play host to the Tulelake Honkers today (Tuesday) in single games beginning at 4pm. The Bulldogs will be back in conference action on Friday when they host the Trinity Wolves in double headers at 1 o’clock.

Burney jumps into the Shasta-Cascade league battle today (Tuesday) when they travel to Etna to take on the Lions in a double dip, then return home on Friday to host Weed in another league double header battle starting at 4 pm.

Track and Field athletes will do battle with other small/medium schools in the annual Burney Spring Classic Track and Field Meet starting at 11am Friday.

Men’s Hoop tournament is
May 3-4

BURNEY - A Men’s 5- on-5 basketball tournament is planned for Burney high school gym on May 3 and 4.

Sponsored by the Pit River Casino, Pit River Tribe, Pit River Mini- Mart and KWAHN Corporation, the tournament is open to all men.

The entry fee is $150 for a team of eight, and for information on signing up, contact Larissa Villarruel at (530) 941- 1303.

Funds raised will help go toward the Pit River Tribe Big Time Pow Wow set for late June.

The first place players will receive sweatshirts and a cash prize, second longsleeve Tshirts and third place Tshirts.

Mountain Echo Sports
Ron Mosher, Sports Editor

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher

Raiders Bombard Dunsmuir Tigers

BURNEY - The Burney Raiders took some time off from Spring Break to bombard the visiting Dunsmuir Tigers here last Wednesday, coming away with a 24-7 and 11-2 drubbing in a nonleague double dip.

In the opener, Brian Hickman picked up the win allowing only two earned runs on five hits and striking out nine. Burney gave Hickman an early comfortable lead scoring six in the first inning and 11 more in the second on their way to the lopsided win.

Caleb Frazier was 3- for-4 with three RBI’s, while Wyatt Hibbeln finished a perfect 3-for-3 with four runs driven in. Jared Hovis had two hits in three at-bats in driving in three and Jason Searl was 3-for-6 with a pair of RBI’s.

In the nightcap, sophomore Ray Guerrero (pictured shortstop above) went the distance scattering five hits, walking three and fanning seven.
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Winning Through Adversity

By Ron Mosher
Sports Editor
The Burney Raiders won a pair of baseball games Wednesday, but the joy was tempered by emotional adversity the team had been saddled with the past few days.

The Raiders started the twinbill just a few hours after returning from a funeral in Redding for their coaches grandfather. Coach Dustin Fortenberry’s (shown above with team members) grand dad passed away the previous Sunday.

If that wasn’t depressing enough, one of the players learned of the death of his grandmother earlier that day - just a few days after losing his younger step brother and a month after his grandfather passed away.

“It’s been a tough week,” summed up coach Fortenberry, as he continued, “but I truly believe everything happens for a reason.”

Fortenberry has emphasized that his team is more than a team, “We’re a family... and families stick together and help each other out.”

“It’s ‘We,’ not ‘Me’ is the slogan adopted by the team, and they are pulling together as a team - or better yet, a family.

The team has been forced to mature a lot in just a short period of time, and they did it as one unit... one family.


Burney Little League Opens Saturday

BURNEY - The 51st year of Burney Basin Little League will get underway with their annual opening ceremonies set for this Saturday beginning at 10am at the Bailey Street Little League Field.

The public is invited to attend, where all 15 teams will be introduced and take the field.

The league is comprised of 173 youngsters playing in seven different divisions.

There are four T-ball teams of 4-6 year-olds, five Farm division squads, one Minor girls, two Minor boys and one team each in Major girls, Major boys and Junior boys.

Following the opening ceremony a BBQ is set that includes hot dogs, hamburgers with all the fixin’s to go with chips and a soda for $5. According to president Keith Courtright, all proceeds from the BBQ will go back to the league for equipment and operational costs.

Five games are on tap for opening day (Saturday) as follows:

T-Ball games will begin at 11am when the Giants take on the Orioles. At 12:15 the Mudcats will battle Storm.

Then it’s a Farm division double header starting at 1:30pm when the Phillies meet the Royals followed at 3 o’clock with the Braves taking on the Mets.

The final game of the day starts at 4:15pm with the Minor boys Pirates tangling with the A’s.

The Fall River/Big Valley Intermountain Little League will celebrate their opening day the following Saturday (May 2) at the Joe Bruce Sports Complex at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds.

Letters to the SPORTS DESK

DEAR EDITOR - I have officially stepped away from Washburn Park and the softball league, it’s time for someone else to step up.

Over the years we have used the proceeds from the tournaments and adult leagues to assist Burney high school baseball and softball with needed equipment, pitching machines, bats, catchers gear and batting cages to mention a few. At the Park itself, light bulbs, fertilizer, fuel, tractor parts and many sprinkler heads.

I am also pleased to say we were able to turn over $2,870 in funds from an account set aside to hold proceeds from the adult league and tournaments. These monies were turned over to the Burney Little League to keep the Park running.

All park questions and requests can be handled by Keith Courtright or Burney Basin Little League.

Nancy and I want to thank the community for their help in keeping the Park going. I don't know how Harvey Witherspoon did it by himself for so many years - my hat’s off to Mr. Witherspoon. Sincerely, FORREST BARTELL



Yep, I’m still in Easter Bunny mode, but should return to normal life within a month or two. I’m still shocked the stores haven’t started featuring 4th of July shelves... oh, maybe they have, I’ve been too busy chasing Bunnies to check.

So let’s get caught up with some odds ‘n ends...

• I’m reminded just how important volunteers are to our Intermountain Area, with the e-mail received announcing Forrest Bartell has stepped away from running Washburn-Bue Park and working to organize the ever-popular adult Co-ed Softball League. Forrest, his wife Nancy and their entire family, have spent countless hours keeping the Park mowed/watered/and running.

Keith Courtright and the Burney Basin Little League will continue to operate the Park, and Keith and his li’l band of helpers, is finishing up the construction of the concession stand at Washburn-Bue.

We’ve just wrapped up a pair of Youth Basketball Leagues, with several volunteer coaches, officials, scorekeepers, etc. My hat’s off and a big ‘Thank You’ to all involved.

However, now we come to the grandaddy of ‘em all - little league baseball and softball. Talk about an army of volunteers needed. Dozens of coaches and assistants not to mention a small army of umpires and a large contingent of volunteers to keep the various fields in pristine and operating condition. Approximately 300 of the Intermountain Area’s youngsters will play little league ball this spring/summer, and it takes a ton of organized planning to get the program off the ground and keep it from collapsing under its own weight.

Coaching little league is a thankless job, open to criticism from parents who think their li’l darlin’ should be the star. So here’s a reminder - these people helping to give your kid a spring/summer of fun while learning a sport are V-O-L-U-N-T-EE- R-S... They aren’t paid to put up with your harping... so don’t even get out the soap box. Please attend the games, and cheer on your children with a strong positive voice. If you feel there is a problem, talk (nicely) to the coach in private. If you aren’t satisfied with his/her answers, you can always take your complaint to the board (again away from the sensitive ears of the kids)...

It’s always a treat to watch the youngest of little league players - you know, the one’s sitting on the grass in the outfield looking for 4-leaf clovers, interesting insects, or picking apart a Dandelion... Gotta love ‘em. But, the main thing is - they’re having fun, and that’s what it is all about.

Remember parents - it’s for the fun of the game and a chance for your kid(s) to be outdoors away from joy sticks, video games and texting on cell phones. ENJOY the moment.

• Spring high school sports returns to the calendar this week after Easter/Spring break... and I’m one happy camper.

The Burney Spring Classic track and field meet is set for this Friday starting at 11am at the Gene Pisenti Field on the school campus. Ten teams will join host Burney in running, throwing and jumping events. This is the only local track meet held in the Intermountain Area, so here’s your chance to come out and cheer on all three local schools in a local setting... no need to get a second mortgage to fill up the tank and drive all day to watch them perform.

• Baseball and softball return to the prep world this week also. Burney is on the road today (Tuesday) but will be home to host Weed on Friday in both baseball and softball... will be a busy time on the Raider campus with baseball, softball and track. Where else can you get all three sports in the same campus at the same time... gotta love it. Fall River hosts Tulelake today (Tuesday) in a single game at 4pm, then hosts Trinity on Friday at 2pm. Big Valley remains idle until April 29.

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