Sunday, September 30, 2018

HumSport: Your Week in Sports Photos

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2018 at 9:46 AM

Fortuna High School Husky Levi Nyberg carries the ball for big - yardage in front of a homecoming crowd against the previously unbeaten Del Norte Warriors. Fortuna won the Friday night game, 62-32. - JOSE QUEZADA
  • Jose Quezada
  • Fortuna High School Husky Levi Nyberg carries the ball for big yardage in front of a homecoming crowd against the previously unbeaten Del Norte Warriors. Fortuna won the Friday night game, 62-32.

Local photographer Jose Quezada has launched a pair of new websites, HumSport and HumLook, showcasing the work of local photographers. Photographers will be uploading galleries of photos on both sites regularly, showcasing their best images of local sports, cultural events and landscapes. High-resolution downloads of the images are also available for $5 apiece.

The Journal is partnering with Quezada and the sites to bring you regular slideshows offering a glimpse of what these photographers have captured. The below slideshow is from HumSport. To see more or to purchase downloads of any of these images, visit
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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

49ers Sign Former Lumberjack Ja'Quan Gardner

Posted By on Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Wide receiver Chase Krivashei and tailback Ja'Quan Gardner celebrate a touchdown in 2015. - FILE
  • File
  • Wide receiver Chase Krivashei and tailback Ja'Quan Gardner celebrate a touchdown in 2015.
Former Humboldt State running back Ja’Quan Gardner today signed a three-year contract with the 49ers, according to the team.

Gardner made his mark as a Lumberjack, appearing in 42 games in which he broke campus records and was an integral part of the 2015-2016 football team that saw HSU rack up its first post-season win since 1968.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Crabs vs. Ringtails and Rooting for the Other Guy

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Crabs celebrate one of their 25 runs on Tuesday night - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Crabs celebrate one of their 25 runs on Tuesday night

Tuesday night’s game was one of the cruelest shellackings I have ever seen in any sport. The Redding Ringtails, obstructed by the Carr fire
currently ravaging the Whiskeytown area, were only able to field nine of their own players. They picked up a 10th body, a young man from Eureka
High School known to the score reporter only as No. 37.

No. 37 played well but was of only minimal help as the Ringtails tallied more errors than hits (five and four respectively) and the Crabs cruised to a 25-0 victory in the first of a two-game series. Our crustaceans scored in seven of eight innings in which they hit, scoring a game-high seven runs in both the fifth and seventh innings, and another six in the fourth.

McCarthy Tatum went 4-6 at the plate, hit a truly gratuitous grand slam (for four of his nine RBIs) and was one double away from hitting for the cycle. Wesley Ghan-Gibson, too, was hot Tuesday night. He went 3-6 and clocked four RBIs of his own. On the other side of the ball, Alex Trautner pitched seven strong innings, striking out 10 batters and only allowing four hits and one walk. His ERA sits at a tidy 1.67. Santiago Cantu came in for the final two innings and secured the shutout.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Jacks Football Over After 2018 Season

Posted By on Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 1:32 PM

The 2018 season marks the end of Jacks football. - FILE
  • File
  • The 2018 season marks the end of Jacks football.
Just seven months after what seemed like a miracle save of the Humboldt State University football program, President Lisa Rossbacher announced today that 2018 will be the last season after all.

In the announcement, Rossbacher describes the reversal of fortune for the Jacks team as an “unfortunate, but necessary, step in addressing the university’s structural deficit and protecting HSU’s core academic mission.”

She also says a private fundraising effort to save the program fell short of its $500,000 target — raising $329,000 — despite an extended time line. Read more about the community effort in the Journal’s Dec. 7, 2017, story “Boosters Connect on Hail Mary, Save HSU Football.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Crabs Eat Gumbo from Walnut Creek

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 7:44 PM

Santiago Cantu and Kenton Carruthers stunting before the game - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Santiago Cantu and Kenton Carruthers stunting before the game

If any time during the Crabs short 49-game season can be called the Dog Days, it is now. On the heels of Independence Day, with Oyster Fest and Father’s Day far off in the rear-view mirror, Crabs players and fans alike need to dig deep and show their mettle. This past series against the Walnut Creek Crawdads showed some fan fatigue and great resilience by the players.

It sometimes feels like I’m writing the same piece over and over again. The Crawdads, like the California Expos and B-52s before them, were a solid defensive team, who put the ball in play well but to little effect and were betrayed by some poor late-game pitching, and so fell to our exoskeletal pals.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Crabs Cap off Superlative Week with Massive Shutout

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 4:39 PM

Crabs players pose with Crescent City Pirates on Little League Sunday - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Crabs players pose with Crescent City Pirates on Little League Sunday

Since a crushing shutout on June 3 against the Corvallis Knights, the Crabs have scored 60 runs and ripped off five consecutive wins.

On the heels of pouring a 15-run deluge on and eking out a 4-3 victory in the 12th Friday night, inning against the San Francisco Seals, the Crabbies welcomed the Valley Bears of Fresno to Arcata Ball Park for a three-game weekender. I was unable to attend Friday night but by all accounts it was an unfriendly introduction as the Crabs cruised to an 11-1 victory and the game ended after the seventh inning due to an agreed upon 10-run rule — that would be the only run the Bears scored all weekend. Not a single Crab struck out and Crabs pitcher Alex Pham had a stellar second appearance on the mound. He threw all seven innings, allowing only four hits and no walks and striking out a staggering 15 batters. The University of San Francisco freshman is looking to be a real asset.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bittersweet Opening Weekend for the Humboldt Crabs

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Team Crusty lines up for the 2018 season. - PHOTO BY MATT FILAR
  • Photo by Matt Filar
  • Team Crusty lines up for the 2018 season.

Ladies and gentlemen, grab your reusable cups and your Ricolas because it’s Crabs season in Humboldt again. And this season, the Journal will be posting recaps of weekend games in Arcata.

The Crabs wrapped up a bittersweet opening weekend, going 1-1 against their rivals of yore, the Corvallis Knights.

Friday, June 1:
I arrived at 6:10 to a line from the ticket stand to F Street. Blankets covered the bleachers and, though beer isn’t served until 6:30 p.m., folks were lining up for libations, nearly to home plate already. Crabs fans certainly have their priorities in order. By 6:45 p.m., the stands were packed shoulder-to-shoulder, the Crab Grass band (who are in fine form this year, complete with pocket trumpet and plastic trombone players) had harmonized and taken their seats, and folks were finishing up their pre-game beers.

Seven o’clock came around and the lights flickered on and, after some protracted thank-yous and introductory remarks, the Humboldt Harmonaires sang a rousing rendition of our national anthem in their trademark shimmering periwinkle vests, a spectacle unto themselves.

The Crabs tapped Alex Pham to start on the mound and he let up a leadoff single but escaped the first inning facing only three batters.

Carson Cunningham, the Knights' opener, was in for a different first outing. Crabs leadoff hitter Bronson Grubbs worked a full count before flying out to center field. Cunningham would then go on to walk three out of the next four batters, loading the bases with two outs and then zinging a wild pitch past the catcher allowing Kokko Figueiredo to score the first run of the season. Crabs fans could not have been more pleased, offering up an extended round of cheers and heckles.

The Knights bounced back with two runs of their own in the top of the second, though it was all they could muster for the night. Pham’s pitching was simply too strong, going six innings and striking out eight.

But Crab Jackson Kritch would tie the game in the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff freeway ball, and it was all downhill for the Knights from there. McCarthy Tatum led off the sixth with a double. Knights reliever, Logan Nousen, got two outs before walking Otis Statum and Welsey Ghan-Gibson on eight straight pitches (leading to the Heckle of the Night) and beaning Kritch to give the Crabs the lead and ending Nousen’s night. Grubbs singled off the new reliever, driving in Statum and Ghan-Gibson and Figueiredo followed suit, driving in Kritch. Crabs would end the sixth up 6-2 and some truly expert pitching by Zach Wallace (one hit, seven strikeouts in three innings) would make it the final score.
Ballpark lights on the fritz Saturday night. - PHOTO BY MATT FILAR
  • Photo by Matt Filar
  • Ballpark lights on the fritz Saturday night.

Saturday, June 2:
What was meant to be a three-game series was cut short before the fourth by malfunctioning stadium lighting, and what a disappointment it was. The Crabs brought their big-boy bats on Saturday, racking up six runs in only three innings.
The stadium lights power comes, unexpectedly, from Kansas City and are set to turn on remotely at 8 p.m. Some cloud cover darkened the park earlier than expected, so a call was made to get the lights on earlier than usual. This is rarely an issue but Saturday a power surge caused the lights to turn off automatically. A group of men crowded around the breaker, searching for a manual fix to no avail. After almost an hour of tribulation and deliberation, officials decided to cancel the game. A game must go at least five full innings for a decision to be awarded and so six glorious Crabbie runs faded into the ether.

An electrician was scheduled to take a look at the breaker on Monday, June 4. Should no fix be readily apparent or feasible, all further evening games will be pushed up to avoid the issue. What time, though, is uncertain at time of writing.

Sunday, June 3:
The final in a three — er, two-game series, was a tough one to swallow. Fired up from the beating they narrowly escaped and some decidedly un-choice heckling from the crowd (more on that later) Saturday night, the Knights came to play.
Led by an error and a marching advance of singles, the Knights loaded the bases early and put up three runs in the first. Our Crabs were lucky to escape with only that many on the board.

From there on out, it was a mire of stranded baserunners, poor calls and missed opportunities. The Knights would tack on two more runs: one in the fifth and one in the ninth as final nails in the coffin, completing a 5-0 shutout on an otherwise beautiful Arcata day.

Some highlights: Jared Milch, despite his starting woes, put in four solid innings on the mound, striking out seven and walking nobody. Jackson Kritch shows real poise at the plate, as does McCarthy Tatum. The Crabs did not roll over, even a little bit. Chase Larsen worked a walk on an 11-pitch at bat in the bottom of the eighth with two outs. I’ve never heard such cheers for a trot down to first. The ladies from the Humboldt Roller Derby showed out in the Heckle Section.

Upcoming Games:
Crabs have a two-game homestand against the San Francisco Seals Tuesday, June 5 and Wednesday, June 6. Wednesday is #24 Scott Eskra night, to honor the memory of former Crabs Third Baseman Scott Eksra. Fans are encouraged to wear his initials or his number to the game.

Cheers and Jeers:
Cheers to the Crabs, for going 2-1 (if you count the moral victory) on opening weekend and previewing an exciting summer of baseball to come.

Jeers to the folks (not the derby ladies) who reserved seats in the always sellout Heckle Section and only showed up on Sunday. You know who you are.

Cheers to the Swag Booth for selling beer tickets to those who forgot to bring cash.

Jeers to the dude caught drinking from a flask and booted. If you’re gonna break the rules, be tactful.

Cheers to him being the only kick-out all weekend!

Big, hearty jeers to the “heckler” on Saturday cussing out the Knights. Lobbing unvarnished invective at an opposing team is a bad look, man. It isn’t clever, it’s against the code of conduct, and it’s just deeply lame. You’re lucky the park manager didn’t give you the boot.

Heckle of the Weekend:
Fans cheer-counting a long string of balls thrown in the bottom of the sixth on Friday. Pitching from the stretch over a chorus of “Ball SIX! Ball SIX! Ball SIX!” must suck.
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Friday, April 27, 2018

HSU's Cappa Picked by Buccaneers in Third Round of NFL Draft

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 9:03 PM

Cappa - HSU
  • HSU
  • Cappa
Humboldt State University offensive tackle Alex Cappa has been selected in the third round of the National Football League draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which traded up to get him, becoming the first HSU player taken in the draft in more than 25 years.

The 94th player chosen overall, the 6-foot-6, 305-pound Cappa was a dominant force for the HSU Lumberjacks, earning Great Northwestern Athletic Conference Lineman of the Year honors each of his four seasons at HSU.

Cappa was projected to be a fourth or fifth round pick by pundits, but the Buccaneers clearly targeted him, trading up to select him. ESPN’s draft analysis says Cappa is a good fit for the organization, which saw a couple of its linemen end last season with serious injuries and is looking to improve its run blocking, and described Cappa as a “tenacious run-blocker with a nasty disposition.” The sports network’s pre-draft analysis, however, couches expectations, saying Cappa “might never develop into a starter but has the mental and physical toughness to become an above average backup.”

HSU fans looking to get a glimpse of Cappa in the big leagues can look forward to Sept. 24, when his Buccaneers will square off with the Pittsburg Steelers on ESPN.

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Hundreds Line Fortuna's Main Street to Welcome Champs Home

Posted By on Mon, Dec 18, 2017 at 8:12 PM

  • Jillian Butolph
Hundreds turned out on Fortuna's Main Street this afternoon to welcome home the city's state champion high school football team.

The Fortuna High School Huskies outscored Katella High School 26-6 in the second half of Saturday's CIF State Division 5-A title game to take the championship by a commanding 54-33 score. The team spent Sunday celebrating at Disneyland and returned home this afternoon, complete with a Humboldt County Sheriff's Office escort.

Main Street was lined with fans waiting to greet the team. Our photographer Jillian Butolph was there and shares the following slideshow.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

NoHum Trustee Faces Censure Over Conduct

Posted By on Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:02 PM

Arcata High School - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Arcata High School
He’s a popular Arcata High basketball coach lauded for setting high standards on and off the court. She’s a social worker and mother of four who volunteered to serve on a Northern Humboldt Union High School District athletic committee. Both became the target of a single trustee who questioned whether they were qualified for those roles during a school board meeting last month.

The reasons appear to circle back to a complaint filed by Trustee Jennifer Knight’s sister after her son failed to make the Arcata High School varsity basketball team last year.

Now Knight is facing a formal reprimand by her fellow board members for what a five-page resolution of censure describes — at times in detail — as an extensive pattern of unacceptable conduct, which includes being disrespectful to parents and staff and using her position to push her sister’s grievance.

Knight canceled a scheduled interview with the Journal last week, noting she believed it was “best to first engage with the Board resolution process,” adding later via email that she was looking to move forward and continue her work with the district.

“In my effort to provide a safe place for all to be heard, I regret that I may have inadvertently gotten overheated and my demeanor was not deemed appropriate,” said Knight, a student development advisor at College of the Redwoods, before the board agenda came out.

Meanwhile, the district is taking rumors of a recall effort seriously enough that staff asked the elections office for a cost estimate, which came back at $7,500 to $9,000 if it was held in conjunction with the June primary.

Registrar of Voters Kelly Sanders said no recall paperwork had been filed as of Monday afternoon.

According to the resolution, Knight is said to have violated 10 board bylaws and policies that require trustees to act in an ethical manner, make decisions in the best interest of the district and the public and to abstain from voting when a conflict of interest arises.

The resolution states that the board “wishes to condemn Ms. Knight’s actions in the strongest possible terms available to it as a governing body” and specifically directs Knight “to abstain from voting on any and all matters which pertain to her personal or familial interests, including matters which relate to her sister’s complaint filed in December 2016, and to conduct herself in a manner becoming a representative of this community.”

While the issue has reportedly been ongoing for about two years, Knight’s conduct came to a head Oct. 10, when she attempted to block the reappointment of popular Arcata High varsity basketball Coach Ryan Bisio as well as JV Coach Graham Johnson by pulling their names from a routine list of hires.

Knight then stunned the room by publicly excoriating parent volunteer Carolyn Perkins at length, calling her “unfit” to serve on a school committee, distributing as “evidence” a nearly year-old personal email from Perkins that Knight somehow obtained that references concerns about her sister’s complaint.

“I hope you never have to experience something comparable in your life, because it was wretched,” Perkins told the board that night in an emotional statement.

She was later appointed to the committee after a second vote because the board failed to take public comment amid the confusion.

Superintendent Roger MacDonald also had some strong words at the meeting, saying he was “concerned about what’s going to happen tomorrow after we have disparaged people in the community that have chosen to come forward and support our schools.” He also noted Perkins and a fellow parent whose appointment’s Knight tried to block were the first to volunteer for the athletics board in six years.

In fact, the athletics committee almost failed to materialize after two trustees — Brian Lovell and Dana Silvernale — abstained with Knight dissenting on the first vote until the point was raised that the board had failed to follow policy and conducted a second round.

Both coaches were also later approved after a special meeting on Oct. 16, when dozens of speakers lined up to support them amid calls for Knight’s resignation or for the board to at least gain a grip on her behavior.

Trustee Brian Gerving, who brought the discussion of a censure to his fellow board members at the Oct. 16 meeting, said he has concerns about what the coaches were put through, regardless of how the situation turned out.

He said Knight’s actions are not only eroding public trust in the district and the board, but set a bad example for students and staff, noting other incidents have “bubbled up over time” involving her and the Arcata basketball program.

“This was definitely the most egregious case,” Gerving said.

In a later interview, MacDonald added that “this is not a surprise and did not come out of the blue," noting that he, past superintendents and other board members have all tried to intervene with Knight without success.

“It’s a distraction from educating our kids,” the superintendent said. “It causes our staff members to wonder. It’s been said, ‘Who’s next?’ I’ve heard that from teachers, from coaches. I’ve heard that from administrators, ‘Who’s next? Who’s going to be the next person there a perceived problem with.’”

The 6 p.m. board meeting takes place Tuesday at the McKinleyville High School library, 1300 Murray Road.
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