Wednesday, December 2, 2020

NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED WEEKLY ON WEDNESDAY - WEBSITE UPDATED THURSDAY

Coaches Corner: Scott Burnum

As in most small communities, high school sports have always played an important role in Colusa County, and without question it is an odd feeling to head into fall with the playing fields and gyms deserted.

Thus, in an effort to fill the void, the Pioneer Review has reached out to some of the long time local coaches to discuss what each feels are their most memorable teams.

What clearly emerged from the reflections of these veteran coaches was that narrowing it down was an extremely difficult task, and while not every athlete, statistic or anecdote can be included, the larger message was that it was a team effort that created some of their longest lasting memories.

Leading off the “Coaches Corner” series is Pierce’s Scott Burnum, who despite retiring from coaching in 2019 continues to teach and remain a fixture at Bear athletic events.

Now in his 28th year in Arbuckle, Burnum, recognized as one of the elite coaches in the Northern Section, became the embodiment of Pierce basketball accruing a record of 165-91 over 17 seasons on the bench.

What some may not realize about the legendary coach though, was that he spent four seasons, from 2010-2013, just as successfully leading the Bear football team as he compiled a 30-14 record over that span.

For Burnum who has always found the motivation for coaching as well as teaching in the lasting memories and friendships that develop, the two teams that standout most are his 2004-05 section champion basketball team and his 2012 football team that went 10-0 in the highly competitive Sacramento Valley League.

“Basketball is such a hard choice,” said Burnum.  “I had some great teams, good teams and not good teams, but our goal was to always play as hard and as smart as we could and let the results take care of themselves.  I feel that 99% of the time, from our first playoff run in 2000-01 until I finished, that is what happened, but I have to pick the ’04-’05 team because of their pure drive to win.  Those kids just knew how to win.”

With a starting five that included Austin Bedart, Manuel Cano, Martin Corona, Kevin Hardy and Jose Lomeli, the athleticism and quickness of this group made not only for a ferocious defense, but also created match up problems for their opponents on the other end of the court as they went on to finish the season 23-6 overall.

It was a team truly built for the era, a hard-nosed, physical group that was intimidated by no one and mirrored the fiery personality of its coach.

Starting as the No. 4 seed, in the 16 team Northern Section Division V playoff bracket, the Bears ran the gauntlet, first by employing an element of gamesmanship against nemesis Bishop Quinn in the opening round, then beating both Modoc and Liberty Christian on the road, before downing Portola 58-40 to claim the championship.

A similar attitude prevailed on the gridiron in 2012, with a team that Burnum described as the “last of its kind,” meaning the athletes wanted to play by earning everything and having nothing given to them.

As an example Burnum recalled the first day of spring practice when quarterback Nate Smith walked out of the locker room and announced, “This is our year baby!” expressing the undying enthusiasm of the squad that willingly toiled throughout a brutally hot spring and summer to get ready for the upcoming season.

Preparation paid off though as the Bears dominated their SVL opponents and then knocked off an always tough Durham team in the first found of the Division III playoffs.

Yet a second round match up would ultimately bring an end to the Bears’ season in what Burnum described as the “hardest loss” he suffered in all his years of coaching, and one he still thinks about often.

A controversial call in their first possession in overtime resulted in a heartbreaking 3-0 defeat at the hands of Willows after it was deemed that running back Adolfo Ramirez was stopped short on a fourth and inches play at the goal line, giving the ball back to the Honkers who kicked the game winning field goal on the ensuing drive.

Burnum however fondly remembers this team, which also included Andy Corona, Preston Smith, Chaz Benton, Mago Meza, Jesus Huerta, Jonathan and Ryan Hunt, Hayden Kalfsbeek, Robby Cross, David Castaneda and Joe Howard among many others, as a “great family team, and as true men who were leaders of the school.”

Now given the recent success of the Bears’ basketball and football programs, both of which finished as the section runner up last season, the question frequently arises whether the 2019-20 teams are as good as Burnum’s teams from the past.

While the answer is up for debate, one thing is certain, that the ’04-’05 basketball team and the 2012 football team set a standard at Pierce for all those that follow to reach. ■

More News

Colusa County COVID-19 cases on the rise

The spike in Colusa County COVID-19 cases has forced Colusa County on Tuesday to move back into the most restrictive “purple” tier on Gov....

Sacramento Valley Mirror publisher dead at 77

Tim Crews, founder, publisher and editor of the Sacramento Valley Mirror in Willows, died on Thursday, Nov. 12., at Shasta Regional Medical Center, in...

Fair Board postpones Colusa Farm Show

The 56th annual Colusa Farm Show will not happen in February as usual, but the 44th District Agriculture Association hasn’t given up hope entirely...

County to help small farmers replace old tractors

Colusa County is looking to make good on its promise to find a way for small farming operations to participate in a state grant...

Colusa tree dedicated to longtime Colusa Tree Commissioner

Family and friends of the late Charles Whitcome Tuttle gathered in Will S. Green Park on Sunday as Colusa officials dedicated a tree in...

Local Government

What’s that smell? Colusa to crackdown on pot odors 

The smell emitted from marijuana  is something you either love or hate. But with Colusa-dwellers making their opinions of the pungent plant - which some...

County to help small farmers replace old tractors

Colusa County is looking to make good on its promise to find a way for small farming operations to participate in a state grant...

County to help small farmers replace old tractors

Colusa County is looking to make good on its promise to find a way for small farming operations to participate in a state grant...

Public & Legal Notices

City of Williams – Advertisement for Bids

CITY OF WILLIAMS WILLIAMS, CA WATER SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT PROJECT SCHEDULE A - WATER METER REPLACEMENTS ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Separate sealed Bids for the construction of the Water System Improvement...

Pierce Joint Unified School District – Public Notice

    PIERCE JOINT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC NOTICE PROPOSED ENERGY SERVICES CONTRACT 256.6 KW PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR PROJECT NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that on December 10, 2020 at 5:00...

FBN: Ariiasbtque

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2020-0000106 Date filed: November 17, 2020 The following persons are doing business as: ARIIASBTQUE Business Address: 133 9TH STREET, WILLIAMS CA 95987 Mailing Address:...

City of Colusa – Ordinance No. 533

CITY OF COLUSA ORDINANCE NO. 533 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLUSA APPROVING PREZONING TO PLANNED DEVELOPMENT (M-1-PD, M-2-PD, AND P-F-PD) AND...

Colusa County Planning Commission – Notice of Public Hearing

COLUSA COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT the Colusa County Planning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing on December 2,...

Latest Headlines