This is my third and final column in honor of the Amador Centennial Celebration, which occurs this week in Pleasanton, recognizing the 100th anniversary of Amador Valley High School.
This week covers from 1985 to the present time of athletes I covered as a writer. I am going to list the top 10 athletes I covered to be able to comment on what made each athlete memorable to me.
Here is the caveat for this list -- I had to have covered the athlete. There are gaps during the time when I was not a sportswriter, and thus missed covering the athletes that landed in those gaps.
Someone like Stephen Piscotty I did not get a chance to cover, so he won't be on the list. There's no denying Piscotty is one of the top all-time best when it comes to Amador Valley athletes and is deservedly already in the Amador Hall of Fame, but I didn't get a chance to cover him.
There is no right or wrong here, just athletes that I covered. Here we go -- these are in order of my thoughts.
1. Danny Gabor (track): This one is personal for me. Danny was like a little brother to me since I had known him since he was 10. When he won the 1987 CIF State Championship 800-meter title, it became the greatest single sports moment I covered and it's not even close. When Danny died when TWA Flight 800 exploded off the coast of Long Island in July of 1996, part of me died that day as well.
2. Mia Fisher (basketball): Fisher, a 2001 graduate, was the best basketball player -- boys or girls -- that I saw in high school. She led the Dons to three straight CIF Championship appearances. She did it all from her point guard spot -- scored, defended and was the best pure passer I ever saw. Went on to star at U.C. Santa Barbara, leading the team to four straight NCAA appearances. Was picked to the 2001-2009 All Decade team for UCSB.
3. Charmon Logan (basketball): Before Mia, there was Charmon Logan. The 1987 graduate was someone I described as "playing like a guy" during her time at Amador. She could knock down jumpers as well as anyone I saw. A ferocious defender, Logan also went to the hole extremely well. Led the Dons to an EBAL title before taking her game to the University of the Pacific.
4. Junior Adams (football): Now the co-offensive coordinator at the University of Oregon, Adams was simply amazing. I can't remember the opponent, but Adams had a touchdown run where he must have covered 200 yards, zig-zagging around and through the entire defensive unit. Arguably the most exciting football player I covered.
5. Sophia Dunworth (volleyball): The 2007 graduate was amazing in that she was in the highly regarded Amador band at the same time she racked up awards on the volleyball court. The ferocious hitter that led the Dons to EBAL and NCS titles was ranked 16th out of 643 students in her senior class. Went on to star at Duke and graduated from the Duke School of Medicine in 2017.
6. Johanna Grauer and Danielle Williams (softball): I didn't cover much softball during their careers but made a point to see these two players. They just dominated and put the Amador softball program on the national map. Check out these single season bests for these two. Grauer: 2014 California Player of the Year. She went 27-0 with an ERA of 0.51. Williams' senior year, she went 21-4, striking out 363 batters in 178 innings pitched. Grauer pitched for UCLA and Williams for Northwestern.
7. Catherine Breed (swimming): Arguably the top swimmer from Amador went on to swim at Cal and has since become a record-setting open water swimmer. The 2011 Amador grad has swum the English Channel, the length of Lake Tahoe, across the Monterey Bay and from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay, just to name a few.
8. Jean Zedlitz (golf): She ended up playing at UCLA and then on the LPGA Tour, but I remember Zedlitz best for winning the EBAL title -- the EBAL boys' title. There was no girls' golf league when she played for Amador, so she went out and beat down all the boys to win the league.
9. Francisco Zepponi (tennis): One of the best. A three-time MVP of the EBAL, Zepponi went on to win an NCS title in 2000. A charismatic and exciting player to watch, Zepponi went on to star at the University of Santa Clara where he was a two-time team captain and set school records at the time for career wins.
10. Nate Clinton (volleyball): The only recent athlete I have in my top 10. I love covering high-caliber volleyball and it doesn't get much better than covering a player that gets a scholarship to Stanford. He doesn't spike the ball -- he kills the ball. One of those players makes me fear for the other team when he goes up for a hit.
The Falcons stayed on a roll, winning three straight matches last week.
The week started with a 19-25, 25-15, 25-14, 25-21 win over defending NCS Division I champ San Ramon Valley. Highlights came from Paige Bennett (17 kills, 7 aces), Katie Salonga (32 assists, 8 digs, 4 kills) and Kaycie Burdick (11 service points, 9 kills).
Next was a non-league, 25-13, 25-11, 25-17 win over Castro Valley. Leading the way were Sophia Burdick (9 kills, 3 aces), Brooke Stedman (14 assists, 1 ace) and Paige Nelson (3 kills, 1 block).
The week ended with a 25-19, 25-7, 25-17 win over Dublin. Maddy Snodgress (6 service points, 5 kills), Kait Vogel (10 digs, 4 aces) and Nisa Kincaid (3 blocks, 2 kills) paced Foothill.