Sports Notes

by Ken Hurst, December 4, 2013

'Flick’ McDonald, coach of this year’s championship girls volleyball team, has retired. His legacy is of an AV High girls volleyball program of sustained excellence for 30 years, plus the admiration and fondness for him by his Lady Panthers and their families. He has won more games and championships than any other coach in Anderson Valley High School history. As a man, he is a class act. As a coach, he is a treasure. Anderson Valley and all Northcoast high school sports fans wish him a long and happy retirement.

The 49ers — The Niners won their game over the St. Louis Rams last Sunday 23-13. And the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Arizona Cardinals to give the Niners breathing room in reaching the NFL playoffs. The Niners and Cards were tied in their win-loss records preceeding last Sunday’s games. The 49ers’ last game at Candlestick Park in the city will be December 23 against those Atlanta Falcons. It may be a big game.

Niner quarterback Colin Kaepernick seemed to have lost the sour mood that had enveloped him after the Carolina loss and the win in Washington. His eyes were still directed at a single target in the Rams game Sunday when he passed, but he didn’t seem to be nearly para­lyzed by tightness. In the Rams game, he appeared to have regained his spontaneity to run when he saw open space and to pass with more accuracy.

Perhaps Kaepernick loosened up because one of his favorite receivers, Michael Crabtree, returned to play after regaining health from an achilles tendon injury. Plus, both Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis both played with spark and energy.

But, it is really the defensive team that is carrying the 49ers this year. Defensive tackle Justin Smith is playing an heroic season because he is playing very well while injured.

College Football — #4 Auburn upset #1 Alabama in a dramatic finish on Sunday. So now, it looks like Flor­ida State will be favored over Ohio State in the Champi­onship game

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