Monday, January 01, 2018

Top Stories of 2018

The Citizen has posted its Top Stories of 2018.

We featured some of the stories we covered this last year that were either newsmakers or accomplishments that stood out. Of course, someone will mention a story that we "forgot" and that happens when putting together this kind of a feature.
Elk Grove volleyball player Ashley Vanderpan

However, there were lots of stories we told on the pages of the Citizen of people excelling in their sport, but also -such as the case of Elk Grove volleyball player Ashley Vanderpan -  we chronicaled those who showed great courage. In Ashley's case, it was incredible to see her return to her sport after a near-debilitating health issue put her in the hospital for three months.

David Freitas got to play a few games for Atlanta in 2017.
Then we had a year when two more locals were promoted to the top ranks of Major League Baseball. Elk Grove 2007 graduate David Freitas, after bouncing around in several MLB franchises' farm sytems, got called up in August to play catcher for the Atlanta Braves. He followed another Herd grad, J.D. Davis, who was promoted from Triple-A Fresno to the Houston Astros.  Davis will have the chance to earn a regular spot on the Astros' roster this year, while Freitas signed on with the Seattle Mariners in the off-season.

Still awaiting his roster spot is David Hernandez, a 2003 Elk Grove grad, who played for both the L.A. Angels and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.

In football,
Cole Hikutini became the fourth Elk Grove – area football player to make a NFL active roster this season. The 49ers signed Hikutini (6-4, 247) off its practice squad in October. The former Pleasant Grove Eagle was originally signed with the team as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 4, 2017. He was waived on September 2 and signed to the team’s practice squad the following day.
49er tight end Cole Hikutini
He joined high school teammate Arik Armstead on the Niners, who was the club’s top draft choice two years ago out of Oregon. But, both finished the season on the injured reserve list, having to watch San Francisco finished the season with a five-game winning streak, jump-starting Niner faithful after a few years of disappointing seasons.
By the way, the other two locals in the NFL were starters in 2017:  Kenny Wiggins, an offensive guard for the Los Angeles Chargers, and Ethan Westbrooke, a defensive end with the Los Angeles Rams. Both of those guys get to experience the NFL playoffs in the coming weeks.

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