Golden Valley volleyball coach Matt Thissen will be a busy man the next two days as his Cougars host the 19th annual Central California Classic.
The 36-team tournament will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday at nine different locations.
"Now it's kind of a routine, it's a little easier putting the tournament together than when we first started," Thissen said. "I wouldn't be able to do this without the help of the coaches at Atwater, Merced, Buhach Colony and El Capitan. They let us use their gyms on Friday and Saturday. Without their support this thing would be dead in the water."
The tournament gives teams an opportunity to play a lot of matches against quality teams. Gregori defeated Pitman to win the tournament championship last season and both teams appear to be the favorites to meet again for the title.
There will be nine pools of four teams playing each other on Friday. Action begins on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. By the end of the day, six division champions will be crowned. The overall championship game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. at Golden Valley.
"You learn a lot about your team in this tournament," Thissen said. "You can see where you succeed and you'll have your weaknesses exposed.
"Every team is going to play at least seven matches and four to five of those will come against really good competition."
Michelle Osmer's retirement didn't last long.
The Buhach Colony volleyball coach is back leading the Thunder after a year away from the sport.
Osmer volunteered to coach when Buhach Colony struggled to find somebody to take over the program in the spring.
Osmer compiled a 256-79 record and seven league championships as a coach at Atwater and Buhach Colony before retiring after the 2011 season.
Golden Valley football coach Dennis Stubbs took advantage of 30 years of coaching experience on Saturday against Downey.
With the Cougars trailing 42-39, Stubbs instructed his punt returners to fair catch a Downey punt with 19 seconds left. The fair catch allowed Golden Valley to attempt a free kick from the line of scrimmage.
Cougars kicker Cesar Tellez was able to attempt a possible 58-yard field goal without a rush from Downey.
Tellez's kick fell short.
"To be honest, the only reason I knew of the rule was one of my first few years of coaching with my uncle at Hughson, we were playing Linden and Linden did that to us right before a half," Stubbs said. "That was 30 years ago and I haven't seen it since, but I've always had it in the back of my mind."
Stubbs said there was a lot of confusion on the Cougars sideline as he tried to explain what he wanted his players to do to set up the opportunity.
"I thought it was our best chance to win with 19 seconds left and no timeouts," Stubbs said. "I think we'll have to practice that situation so we'll be more ready next time."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or email@example.com.