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.
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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.