With the 2019-2020 school year in our rear-view mirror, The Register sports staff has turned its attention to the Napa County student-athletes that are returning to play sports in 2020-21.
We know there are still many questions surrounding the fate of sports during the coming school year, and currently we don’t have many answers. But we do know that sports will return at some point. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
With that in mind we continue our new Up & Comers series, which highlights rising stars and players to watch for whenever organized sports do return to the area.
For our eighth edition, we’re featuring Maizy Armstrong-Brown of Napa High, Cooper Cohee of Justin-Siena, and Julia Heth of Calistoga High.
School: Napa High
Class of: 2021
Sports: Girls golf, basketball
Last fall, Armstrong-Brown helped the Napa High girls golf team win the Vine Valley Athletic League Tournament at Oakmont Golf Club, finish 18-0 in league play, and advance as a team to the North Coast Section Division 1 Championship.
She then returned as a starter for the basketball team and helped the Grizzlies win 12 games, six in VVAL play, as they finished fourth in league and just missed the playoffs under new head coach Taylor Willis.
The 5-foot-5 point guard led Napa in made 3-pointers, averaging 1.2 per game, and netted 7.3 points per game and 1.1 assists. She scored a team-high 21 points against McKinleyville at the Windsor Tournament as Napa rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to win 40-37. She was 6 of 8 from the 3-point line in the game, going 4 for 4 in the second half. She scored 14 points in a 47-44 win over Rancho Cotate, and 10 points in a 46-39 Big Game win at Vintage. She was also Napa High’s second-leading rebounder with 5.3 boards per game.
“Maizy breathes, eats and sleeps basketball,” Willis said early last season. “She is constantly asking questions and wanting to approve. Her determination is a huge motivator for her teammates and she has done a great job over the summer improving her on ball defense and developing her finishes.”
Armstrong-Brown made the All-VVAL Second Team and was one of five finalists for All-Napa County Player of the Year.
After earning All-VVAL honorable mention and a finalist spot for All-County Newcomer of the Year in 2018-19, Armstrong-Brown was one of eight players selected to the Under Armour U-17 UA Rise showcase girls basketball team. Based in Marin County and guided by Branson head coach Zach Borello, the super squad was run by North Bay Basketball Academy and played showcases as far away as Seattle, Indianapolis and Atlanta.
“It’s a great opportunity because I’ve always played with people that are older than me,” Armstrong-Brown said of the Under Armour honor. “I just love the sport. I love the way it feels to just hold that ball in your hands. It’s very exciting to play.”
Class of: 2022
Sports: Football, wrestling
After playing his second season of junior varsity football, as a running back and safety, Cohee had another strong season of varsity wrestling.
In early December at Half Moon Bay High, he led the five Braves with a third-place finish in the Peninsula Invitational.
“The kids in Half Moon Bay earned some cred that will help them with the NCS seeding committee come February, picking up some big wins at a Tier 1 event. Cooper’s win over a wrestler from NCS power James Logan is a prime example.”
Cohee went on to win the Vine Valley Athletic League title at 115 pounds before going 2-2 at the North Coast Section Championships to finish 26-9 on the season.
He went on to compete for the Napa Sheriff’s Activities League Wrestling Club in early March at the California USA Wrestling Cadet Folkstyle State Championship at Selland Arena in Fresno, and in recent weeks has been conditioning with the varsity football team.
Class of: 2021
Sport: Track and field
A three-year member of the Wildcats’ program, Heth was off to a nice start this spring before the season was abruptly ended. She ran a personal record in the 800 meters with a time of 3 minutes, 3.38 seconds at the Big Cat Invitational on March 7, the only meet Calistoga was able to compete in.
Her best season to date came her freshman year, when she set the majority of her personal records. In the 1,600, she finished sixth at the Coastal Mountain Conference Championships with a time of 6:12.27 and followed that up with her personal-best time of 6:05.77 at the North Coast Section Class A Meet.
The same year, she recorded a personal-best in the long jump with a mark of 11 feet, 9 inches.
If she finishes out her high school career in track and field her senior year, she’ll likely be one of the Wildcats’ top competitors.
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