Written By B.J. Hansen and Justin Flores:
Sonora, CA — It was an exciting Friday night at the Oak Pavilion in Columbia as over 3,000 turned out for the final Sonora High basketball game of the season versus rival Oakdale.
During a halftime raffle, Dr. James Comazzi won a new Subaru that was given away as part of the “Trek to the Track Campaign” to put in a new track surface at Dunlavy Field. Former students in attendance were recognized from the various decades, including past head basketball coach Bud Castle who represented the class of 1943.
Castle commented to Mymotherlode.com that he “jumped through hoops” just to get Francis hired. Castle wanted someone passionate about the sport to take over after his 26 years at the reigns and knew Francis was the right choice. Castle says at first the school saw it differently, but eventually Francis was given the job.
37-years later, Francis ends the 2009 season celebrating over 600 wins, 10 VOL Championships, three CIF sectional championships and 23 straight years of qualifying for post season play.
Also at halftime, starting guard Matt Relei was crowned “High School King.” A rose ceremony took place for the graduating seniors, and coach Francis was given a poster commemorating his 600th victory back on January 10th.
All three Sonora High squads were victorious Friday night, Frosh, JV and Varsity. Immediately following the game was a roast for Francis at the Sonora Elks Lodge.
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