Sep 20, 2023

Clipboard: Palma elementary student ranked No. 2 in country in wrestling

Ranked No. 2 in the nation in his age class coming into the season, Casey Bittner demonstrated why after winning a preseason national wrestling tournament last week.

A sixth-grade student at Palma, Bittner won the 12-under, 95-pound division, going 3-0 with an 8-2 win in the title match.

Last year Bittner was the California United States Wrestling Champion. He will look to defend his title in the Tulsa Kickoff in Oklahoma in November.

Brittner is a four-time national champion in his weight class and age division and a three-time California State champion.

In 2022, Brittner won the Tulsa Kickoff, the Tulsa Nationals and the Reno Worlds to earn the No. 1 ranking in the nation. He also made the World of Wrestling all-star team in 2022.

Quarterback Grant Sergent put together the best game of his career at any level, throwing for 408 yards and three touchdowns in the University of San Diego’s loss at Davidson.

The Palma product, who made his first college start three weeks ago, has thrown for 670 yards and six touchdowns, with no interceptions in 65 attempts.

The Toreros are 1-1 with Sergent – a redshirt senior – starting this fall. The 22-year-old is one of two quarterbacks in the FCS to have not thrown an interception this year.

Having been a placeholder as a sophomore, Sergent completed all three of his attempts in a mop-up role last year for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Sergent was the Herald’s All-County Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 at Palma, throwing for nearly 2,300 yards and 27 touchdowns, with just two interceptions in 232 attempts.

Former Carmel standout and senior receiver Rashaan Ward has caught four passes for 27 yards this fall for the Toreros.

Last season the former state meet qualifier in track caught 14 passes for 140 yards while turning seven carries into 34 yards. Ward also ran back four kickoffs for 80 yards.

Monterey Bay F.C. wingback Walmer Martinez was selected to play for El Salvador’s National team for the 2023 CONCACAF Nations Group Tournament, joining the team last weekend.

The former CSU Monterey Bay sniper will be making his second appearance for El Salvador, having earned a call-up in 2021.

Martinez appeared in 31 games this year for the Union, with 21 starts, recording two assists in 1,636 regular season minutes.

The 25-year-old Santa Cruz native – the first player ever signed by Monterey Bay F.C. — finished his second season with 38 tackles, 31 clearances and 30 interceptions.

Martinez scored 13 goals and finished with seven assists in his final collegiate season for CSUMB in 2019. His two-year totals were 17 goals and 16 assists, leading the Otters in points in both seasons.

Battling for the No. 1 spot on the Southern Oregon cross-country team through the first month of the season, Frankie Maciel has a pair of top-five finishes this fall.

The former Alvarez High and Hartnell College distance ace was the team’s No. 1 runner in its opener and ran as the No. 2 runner in Southern Oregon’s most recent meet.

Maciel covered 8k in 25 minutes 34.05 seconds in finishing third in one race, and was second in another with a career-best of 25:06.5, helping Southern Oregon to a team title at the Jessup Invitational.

Last year Maciel earned All-Cascade Conference honors in cross-country by taking 13th overall with a time of 25:36.5.

On the track last spring, Maciel was eighth at the conference finals in the 10,000 meters with a mark of 31:57.15. He also ran 14:57.04 in the 5,000.

During his sophomore season at Hartnell in 2021, Maciel was sixth at the Northern California finals in cross-country. He was the runner-up at the Coast Conference track and field finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

The USA Golf Association has awarded Free Tee Monterey County with the inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility grant, continuing its commitment to impact communities through golf.

First Tee Monterey County has identified a growing number of children considered homeless in the area, with hopes to inspire and engage these youths with new programs.

The chapter will allow 25 participants to participate in four, two-hour clinics at King City Golf Course, which First Tee assumed management of in 2022 — with a PGA instructor.

The group will also take a field trip to Pebble Beach Golf Academy and participate in a clinic with academy director Laird Small.

Charles Porter of San Francisco won a one-hole sudden-death playoff over Will Collins to capture the Monterey Open at Old Del Monte Golf Course.

The win came with a $5,000 purse, as well as an automatic entry into the Taylor Made Pebble Beach Invitational on Nov. 16-19.

Kyle Karazissis of Indian Wells finished third, with defending Monterey Open Champion Kevin Velo of Danville placing fourth. Tyler Lowe of Davis recorded a hole-in-one.

Peninsula Sports Incorporate (PSI) is looking for high school and middle school officials for all sports this season. Varsity officials are paid $100 a game.

There is an immediate need for officials in the winter for boys and girls basketball, soccer and wrestling. Training is provided. Call Tom Emery at 831 241-1101.

Palma is conducting baseball camps each Saturday through Nov. 4 from 9 a.m. to noon on its baseball field.

The camp is open to all kids in fifth through eighth grades. The fee is $150 for all sessions, or $40 per session. Go to [email protected]

Gonzales is looking for a girls’ basketball coach for this winter. Contact athletic director Margie Daniels at [email protected].

Soledad is looking for a head softball coach. Go to [email protected].

Carmel is looking for an assistant wrestling coach, a JV girls basketball coach, a varsity boys and girls lacrosse coach and a varsity softball coach. Go to

Greenfield is looking for an assistant boys basketball coach. Go to [email protected]