About the Section
The Merced Sun-Star sports team loves a good nickname and the ripple effect it can have in a football-crazy county. And when the description marries perfectly with the talent, as it has on a number of occasions in the past, the buzz can be far-reaching and almost impossible to measure.
Two years ago, the Sun-Star produced The Showman for Los Banos wide receiver Rubal Sangha. All Sangha did that season was score touchdown after touchdown. His reputation -- and nickname -- preceded him whereever he went. Players used it. Fans, too.
Before Sangha, there was another football special section coverboy, Merced safety Dion Bland, aka Dr. Pain. From the same mold as a Ronnie Lott or Steve Atwater, Bland's game was built around punishing anyone who dared cross through the middle of the field. Sometimes, his blasts would even leave him head-spun. Fortunately, the Doctor always knew how to put himself back together again.
This season, the Sun-Star has christened an entirely new cast of athletes with nicknames. Among the many that you'll find lurking on these pages: The Magic Man, Dr. Tackle and Mr. Run-and-Hide, The Sniper and of course, The Getaway Boys.
They are Merced County's "Most Wanted" -- a collection of athletes whose strengths make them a must-see for fans and a must-stop for opposing coaches. Some are unmatched physically. Others have high IQs. And then there are the rare finds; special talents who make it all look too easy and so fast.
The players featured in this section have it all, including now a nickname.