15 for 15: Top Moments in Heritage History - Honorable Mention, Part 1

As we look forward to the return of competitive interscholastic athletics during the spring of the 2020-21 school year, we are also taking this opportunity to look back at the first 15 years of the school's athletic history, and recognizing the top 15 moments in those first 15 years, as voted upon by a panel of long-time Heritage coaches and administrators.  

This first post recognizes 5 of 10 moments in school history which narrowly missed making the top 15 list, but have been recognized as significant moments nonetheless.  Here are those first five moments which have earned the distinction of Honorable Mention.

Honorable Mention, Part 1

  • Girls basketball defeats 13-time defending SJS champion St. Mary's-Stockton to win Gold Division of West Coast Jamboree - 2018

A 14-2 run going into halftime gave the Patriots an eight-point lead they would never relinquish, as they pulled away for the 58-39 victory over perennial powerhouse St. Mary's-Stockton to win the Gold Division of the 2018 West Coast Jamboree.  Jordan Sweeney had 17 points to lead the way, followed by 16 points from Abby Muse and 13 points from Julie Ramirez.

  • Girls golf gets first-ever HHS varsity victory, defeating Pittsburg - 2005

Varsity events were few and far between across the athletic department in the inaugural year of the school, but the girls golf program was an exception.  When the Patriots took to the links in the fall of 2005, they did so as a varsity program, and quickly picked up the first varsity victory for any Heritage sport, defeating Pittsburg in a BVAL dual match.

  • Wrestling defeats Liberty in a dual match for the first time ever - 2019

For the first time in school history, the Heritage wrestling team earned a dual meet victory over Liberty, a longtime section and league powerhouse in the sport.  The Patriots clinched a 40-36 victory over the Lions when sophomore Hunter Holguin earned a major decision victory in the 111-pound weight class, giving Heritage an insurmountable lead at that point.

One of the key victories for the Patriots was obtained by junior Joseph Hurtado, who trailed in the third round of his match before reversing his opponent and finishing his match with a pin.  Heritage led 18-12 going into Hurtado’s match, and it appeared as if the Lions were going to cut the lead to three points, but instead his pin gave the Patriots a 24-12 advantage, and they built upon that when Alex Peterson earned a win by forfeit and Sebastian Davis pinned his opponent in the 285-pound weight class for a 36-18 lead.

Ronald Jackson and Caleb Waller also won by pin earlier in the match, while senior Harrison Garcia notched a big victory early.

  • Boys golf finishes decade with 40 straight dual match victories, four straight BVAL titles - 2019

From 2016-2019, there was no one better in BVAL boys golf than the Patriots, who went a perfect 40-0 in their final four years of the decade, claiming all four league titles.  The start of 2020 was much of the same, as Heritage easily won its first four dual matches in league play before the pandemic wiped out the rest of the season.  As a result, they will carry a 44-match winning streak into the spring of 2021.

  • Baseball rallies past Berkeley for program's first Division I playoff victory - 2010

The Heritage baseball team had won NCS playoff games before, but not at the Division I level, a bracket which the Patriots entered for the first time in the 2010 season.  And for six innings against Berkeley ace Matt Lawrence, it appeared they would wait another year for the program's first playoff victory at the highest level.

But with their season on the brink, down to their last strike on six different pitches, the host Patriots delivered three consecutive two-out, two-strike hits, the last one a walk-off RBI single by Dayton Mellor, to pull out a 2-1 North Coast Section Division I first-round win.

“Our motto all year was, ‘Don’t make the last out,’ ” said senior center fielder Jordan Heald-Mullins, who began the two-out rally with a single. “I didn’t want to let everyone down and obviously no one else did, either. I still can’t believe we pulled that off.”

After recording two quick outs in the seventh, Heald-Mullins lined a single to left after falling behind 1-2 in the count.  Heald-Mullins then stole his 33rd base of the season on a close play at second, took third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on Sean Packard’s third double of the game, a liner to the fence in right-center on a 3-2 pitch.

The hits were Packard’s first since returning from a six-week absence because of a broken jaw.

“Tough, tough kid,” Heritage coach Kevin Brannan said of Packard. “He showed it with his return. He showed it in that at-bat.”

That set up Mellor, who went down 1-2 in the count and then rolled a soft single through the right side. Right fielder Langston Calhoun barehanded the ball perfectly, but under wet conditions his throw was over catcher Coleman Lukas’ head and pinch-runner Robert Periera scored, setting off a wild celebration.

It made a winner out of dominating Cole Wells, who struck out 10, walked one and scattered seven soft hits.