High School Sports

Local Digest: Pitman opens new all-weather track and turf football field

With the band playing and cheerleaders celebrating, the Pitman High football team took the field for practice on Thursday.

The players jogged to midfield and began jumping up and down with excitement.

What made a first-day-of-August practice so special? It was the first day on the school’s new turf field. Pitman also installed an all-weather track.

“Football players, today is your day to make a difference,” Pitman principal Angela Freeman said during a ceremony celebrating the improvements to the field and track. “Feel proud you are an athlete at Pitman. We are turning the field over to you guys today; take care of it.”

The cost of the renovations that began in Nov. 2018 were $2.5 million. Varsity soccer also will use the field for games.

“I really feel like we have a great town,” Pride Athletic Director Dave Walls said. “We are like everybody else in that we have issues but I think we have good quality facilities.”

Turlock High also as an all-weather track and turf football field and both schools have pools.

Walls said the new facilities will help out logistically as the Pride football team used to practice on Wednesday at Turlock’s Joe Debely Stadium and the track team use to have to pay and practice at Stanislaus State.

Pitman sophomore falls in quarterfinals at World Wrestling Championships: Pitman sophomore Lilly Freitas lost to India’s Sonam Sonam in the quarterfinals at the Cadet World Wrestling Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Freitas, who was the Bee’s Girls Wrestler of the Year, won the 143-pound CIF State Title in March and was 35-0 in her freshman season.

Local athletes shine at USATF National Championships: The 2019 USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships were held July 22-28 at Sacramento State and several local athletes earned All-American status (top eight in each event).

Sonora native Broen Holman won both the 1,500 and 3,000 meter races in the 13-14 age division.

Oakdale senior Ben Chappell finished in sixth in the men’s hammer (17-18 division) while Pitman sophomore McKinley King finished in seventh in the girls hammer (15-16 division).

Turlock alum Silas Fredeen finished sixth in the men’s pole vault and Pitman senior Jayson Martin finished in seventh in men’s 800.

CIF State releases participation numbers: For a record seventh straight year, high school participation is at an all-time high with over 814,000 athletes participating in sports in the 2018-19 school year, the CIF State announced Thursday.

However, football decreased by 3.1% with 91,305 participants while girls soccer increased by 4.5% with 45,997 athletes.

Pitman alum represents Philippines: Pitman alum Cerah Moren competed in the javelin at the World University Games in Italy in early July while representing the Philippines.

Moren, who will be a redshirt sophomore at Arizona State, finished 22nd with a throw of 116 feet, 5 inches.

She was an Academic All-American at ASU and advanced to the NCAA West Regionals in late May.

CCAL unveils new website: The Central California Athletic League, with members Downey, Enochs, Gregori, Modesto, Pitman, and Turlock, recently launched a new website, www.ccal209.com.

The website has information of all the schools as well as schedules and standings of upcoming events.

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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.