St. Helena High School graduate Jeff King is entered in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The race’s ceremonial start is on Saturday in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and D Street. The official re-start is on Sunday in Willow.
King finished last year’s Iditarod in 11th place. He completed the nearly 1,000-mile race, which began in Fairbanks, in nine days, 49 minutes, 42 seconds.
Officials announced that this year’s race will follow the southern route. The southern route has not been run since 2013 because of inadequate snowfall and poor trail conditions, according to a press release.
King is a four-time champion of the Iditarod and lives in Denali, Alaska.
John Swett 10, St. Helena 7
The Saints (0-3) suffered a gut-wrenching loss in Crockett Tuesday, blowing a 7-1 lead in the sixth inning as the hosting Warriors overwhelmed them with a nine-run rally.
Relief pitcher Casey Walker failed to record an out, giving up seven runs (five earned) on five hits and a walk. Zac Flood got the Saints out of the inning, but after the Warriors had plated two more unearned runs.
St. Helena’s defense committed five errors over the course of the fifth and sixth innings when John Swett scored all of its runs.
The Saints loaded the bases with one out in the seventh but failed to send anyone home.
St. Helena was cruising after the first three innings. In the first, Walker (1 for 3, two RBIs, run, double, walk) scored Caleb Jeske (2 for 4, two runs, double) and Stephen Collins (2 for 3, RBI, run, walk) on a two-RBI double, and an error forced on a ball hit by Caleb Granados (RBI, steal) sent him home for a 3-0 lead.
In the second, an RBI double by Luis Robledo (1 for 3, RBI, run, double), a sacrifice play by Collins, and a run scored by Jeske on a passed ball put St. Helena ahead 6-0.
Collins, the Saints’ starting pitcher, factored into a no-decision, tossing 71 pitches over five innings and allowed one unearned run on three hits, one walk and struck out four.
Piedmont 3, St. Helena 2
The Saints were dealt a deflating nonleague loss on the road Saturday, surrendering one run in each of the final three innings after leading for much of the contest. Multiple errors by St. Helena’s defense contributed to the Highlanders’ comeback.
The defeat was made even worse for the visitors as senior center fielder Ryan Rockwood went down with a serious leg injury on the final play of the game. According to Saints assistant coach Jim Gamble, he was diagnosed with a fractured tibia and underwent season-ending surgery Sunday.
Piedmont’s Joe Sassi notched an extra-base, walk-off hit to deep center field to score Matthias Haggerty from first base.
St. Helena pushed one run across in the second and third innings. In the second, Carlos Acuna (1 for 2, RBI, walk) hit an RBI single to score Granados, who started the rally with a lead-off walk. In the third, Walker (1 for 4, RBI) cranked an RBI double to plate Jeske (1 for 3, run, walk, steal), who started that rally with a lead-off single and later stole second base with two outs.
Jeske was the starting pitcher for the Saints. He tossed five innings and surrendered one unearned run, two hits, three walks and struck out four. Flood pitched an inning of relief and allowed one run on one hit. Collins took the loss, surrendering the final run in the seventh.
St. Helena 5, Piedmont 4
The Saints (1-0) trailed by as many as three runs in Saturday’s season opener at Piedmont, but fought back with rallies in the fourth and sixth innings to snatch the win.
Down 3-0 in the fourth, Jonathan Gamble (RBI, run, walk) scored Sam Coltrin, forcing an error on a ball that got past the shortstop. With Javin Jorgenson at the plate, Gabe Cornejo (1 for 4, run) raced home on a wild pitch to narrow the deficit to 3-2.
In the sixth, three consecutive walks loaded the bases for the Saints. Conlan Harrington (1 for 1, RBI) smacked a clutch pinch hit to left field in his first prep at-bat, scoring Coltrin. With two outs, Jackson Dena (1 for 4, double, two RBIs) launched a two-RBI double to plate Liam Gilson (walk, run) and Gamble.
Gamble and Gilson teamed up for three scoreless innings of relief to preserve the lead for the Saints. Coltrin was the starting pitcher and finished with two innings, three runs, four hits, and struck out five. Cornejo pitched the third and fourth frames, allowing one run, one hit and struck out one.