In the News - Friday, May 21,
this week's FRONT PAGE (PDF)
on brink of extinction
The Kaweah Post Office is not just your ordinary
is a piece of history, an artifact.
should take the time to learn from it, and not destroy
These are the words of Abbie Friel, a seventh grader
at Three Rivers Union School, one of the entire student
body of 150 who completed letters to their congressman
this week with the hopes that the Kaweah Post Office
might be saved from closure by the U.S. Postal Service.
The fate of Kaweah Post Office is, at best, uncertain.
rest of story...
SPRING SPORTS 2010
Woodlake High School
athletes make a splash
When the new Woodlake swimming pool was
completed in 2002, it marked another benchmark in
a storied career for Woodlake’s venerable swim
coach Craig Baker. Baker announced recently that after
21 years he is stepping aside.
Baker said he is confident that the timing
is right and there’s another coach with a passion
for swimming waiting in the wings.
“I just didn’t want to retire until
I knew the program would be in good hands and it appears
that it will be with Tammy Range,” said Coach
But following Coach Baker will be no
easy task. He built an incredibly popular and successful
program from summer toddler Tiger Sharks to high school
champions. In fact, this year’s high school
team marks the culmination of the summer swim program
he started 14 years ago.
“Some of these kids like [senior] Madison
Beck were four-year-olds splashing around in the pool
while we were working with older siblings,”
All that dedication and hard work, and
a beautiful new pool, have really paid dividends.
In fact, Coach Baker said, this year there were 55
students out for swim team, the most ever enrolled
in the WHS swimming program.
SWIMMING— The Tigers just completed
undefeated East Sequoia League seasons in both boys
and girls swimming. The boys have won championships
for five consecutive seasons; the girls the last four
The girls’ MVP and team captain
was Danielle Knapp; the boys’ MVP was Christopher
Spahn and team captain was Daniel Mesa.
Dani Knapp, Emily McFadden, Madison Beck,
Lennea Fraser, and Kelsey Ruehling qualified for area
championships on May 15; the boys who qualified were
Daniel Mesa, Christopher Spahn, Berto Lewis, and John
JV GIRLS SOFTBALL—
According to Coach Sophie Nunez, the team was not
especially experienced but what they lacked in skills
they made up for in heart.
Sophie, a 1988 WHS alum, said she hasn’t
seen Tiger Pride in a JV team like what this team
displayed since the glory days of the mid-1980s. These
JV Lady Tigers went 12-6 overall and 10-2 en route
to an ESL championship. The team’s new field,
completed recently with Measure C bond funds, provided
the team with a field of their own and was an obvious
source of pride for these Lady Tigers.
“We were undefeated at home this season
and, in one of our biggest wins, Erika Edwards smacked
a home run that cleared the fence,” Sophie said.
“I can’t ever remember that happening
in a JV game.”
Coach Nunez said like any successful softball team,
the JVs were led by pitchers Karina Rodriguez and
Jessica Carrillo and catcher Vita Rodriguez.
were my outstanding players but the success we enjoyed
was a team effort,” Sophie said.
VARSITY GIRLS SOFTBALL—
The varsity Lady Tigers (seeded No. 8) completed their
season Wednesday, May 19, being ousted from the opening
round of the sectional playoffs by visiting Bakersfield
Christian (No. 9 seed), 3-2. The nail-biter was a
difficult loss for the Tigers who faced a tough Bakersfield
pitcher who fanned 12 but survived a double by Bridget
O’Shaughnessy and a triple by Kaweah Vines of
These Lady Tigers finished 14-10 overall
and 7-5 in East Sequoia League play.
* * *
BOYS TENNIS— Under the
patient tutelage of Coach Mike Judson, this young
but enthusiastic team consisted of a dozen players
and continued to show excellent improvement throughout
the season. Anchored by No. 1 singles player Nathan
Wood (sophomore), these Tigers finished in the middle
of the pack in ESL play.
The doubles team of Ramon Hernandez and Joseph Garcia
finished third in the ESL tournament.
TRACK— The 2010 season
marked huge strides for Tiger runners who competed
in several new events for the first season since the
recent revival of a track program. Some of the credit
for the resurgence must go to Coach Tony Ramirez.
Coach Ramirez is anticipating the day
when his Tiger harriers can circle Robinson Field
on a new state-of-the-art, all-weather track. That
project, earmarked for Measure C funds, awaits some
matching grants that will see the new track installed
by 2011 or soon thereafter.
No sport at Woodlake is more dependent
on getting some upgraded facilities to attract new
participants. This season, without the benefit of
being able to stage home meets, the boys earned third
place at the East Sierra League championship meet.
“This was a huge improvement over last
year’s sixth-place finish,” said Coach
Ramirez. “We missed second place by just two
The team also earned their first team
trophy at the McFarland Invitational with a second-place
finish — and they did it without any athletes
to compete in five of the meet’s contested events.
Four-year varsity letterman and senior
Ben Rothbaum of Three Rivers medaled in every meet
and was league champion in both the 100 and 200-meter
dashes. He placed fourth in the 100 meters at the
Sierra-Sequoia Championships with a time of 11.39;
in the 200 he placed fifth.
Connor Beck, a sophomore from Three Rivers,
won the high jump at the league meet in the frosh/soph
division. Juan Tovar tossed the shotput 42 feet, 1
inch, for a personal best.
Senior Philip Dixon of Three Rivers posted
personal bests in the mile (4:58) and in the 800 meter
Among the girls, Meg Johnson of Three
Rivers finished second at the league championships
in the high jump. Phoebe Castro, also of Three Rivers,
turned in some outstanding times in the 100 and 200
“I’m very proud of these kids on
this squad,” Coach Ramirez said. “They
come in with zero knowledge of these events and take
a rewarding journey with me as they learn each event
and set personal bests.”
* * *
JV BASEBALL— These Tigers
finished 8-7-1 overall and 4-5 in ESL play. According
to Coach Monte McKean, Daniel Keeley (pitcher, catcher)
of Three Rivers was the team’s most consistent
player. Jim LeFave, also of Three Rivers, was the
team’s outstanding hitter while Phillip Woods
(Three Rivers) and Francisco Barrientos (Woodlake)
helped bolster the pitching staff.
Robert R. Johnson
1941 ~ 2010
Robert R. Johnson passed away at his
home in Three Rivers on Thursday, May 13, 2010. He
Bob was born August 22, 1941, in Priscilla,
Miss., to Perry and Ethel Johnson. He grew up in Texas,
but moved to California, eventually settling in Exeter
and, later, Three Rivers.
In 1997, Bob retired from Sequoia Pacific
Systems Corporation in Exeter. He was an active member
of the Fraternal Order of Eagles-Exeter for many years,
where he was a life member and former lodge president.
Bob was an avid NASCAR fan and enjoyed
fishing, but his true passion was his family.
Bob’s in-laws are the late Harold
Yardley and Roberta Yardley (1927-2000). Bob resided
with his wife Terry in the former Yardley home.
Roberta was a postmistress at the Kaweah
Post Office for 10 years. Bob assisted her in the
operation of the historic post office.
Bob could often be seen during his daily shopping
trip to Village Market and Three Rivers Drug. He enjoyed
chatting with the employees and customers.
Bob was preceded in death by his son,
He is survived by his wife Terry Johnson
of Three Rivers; daughter Lynn Johnson of Pomona;
stepdaughter Kim Hagler-Auernheimer of Nashville,
Tenn.; son Robert D. “R.D.” Johnson of
Mason, Texas; stepsons Bill Hagler of Danville, Va.,
and Tom Hagler of Three Rivers; 18 grandchildren;
11 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews;
and a large blended family, all of whom were very
dear to him.
At Bob’s request, there will be
no services. Condolences may be sent to the family
at: P.O. Box 1, Kaweah, CA 93237.