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Community savors California's district championships

Community savors California's district championships

March 13th, 2012 in News

Members of the California Pinto varsity basketball team, coaches and managers proudly displayed their district championship banner Saturday morning at the high school before boarding the chartered bus to head to Springfield for Class 3 Quarterfinal play against Mt. Vernon. After winning the district title (the first since 1990 for the Pintos), California went on to defeat Blair Oaks 50-47 at Class 3 Sectionals March 7 at Rolla, then lost 55-45 to Mt. Vernon Saturday at Class 3 Quarterfinals at Springfield to end the season.

Photo by April Arnett

What followed California's two district championship wins last week at Versailles was nothing but celebration, from the players and coaches to the fans and the community. It's the first time in the history of California High School basketball that both the girls and boys teams have won the district. And it's been 22 years since the Pintos have won a district championship. So it's no wonder the community was buzzing with pride.

CHS Athletic Director Bob Staton, whose son Mike Staton was a member of the last California boys' team (1990) to win the district championship, said, "It really made me realize how long it had been that our boys have had the opportunity to experience a district championship and enjoy all that comes with it. It's also special for me because I have a close bond with this senior class. When I retired from the state, I taught seventh grade science and had all of them in class. Then I coached the boys in seventh and eighth grade football. Then I had these seniors when I taught freshman physical education. It makes all of this extra special for me."

For more of this story check out the March 14 issue of the California Democrat.