Best of the north: All-Northern Section baseball and softball teams announced (2024)

With graduations upon us, and athletes from the 2023-24 class getting ready to take the next step in their lives, it is time to announce the players and coaches who have received All-Northern Section baseball and softball honors.

All-Northern Section teams are selected by area media members from the Enterprise-Record, Paradise Post, Redding Record Searchlight, Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Red Bluff Daily News, Shasta County Sports and MaxPreps.

The Chico High baseball team won 14 of its last 16 games, including its final 11 Eastern Athletic League contests, en route to a Northern Section Division II championship. The Panthers were led by first-year coach Brian Thomas, who earned Coach of the Year honors.

“It is a great honor to receive this award, especially with so many quality coaches in our area,” Thomas said via text Friday. “I would not have been able to achieve this award without the support of my assistant coaches. I am beyond fortunate to have Andy Quiring and Tom Miles on my staff. Of course the players are a huge reason and this doesn’t happen without them, but without my assistants, we would not have been able to achieve the successes this year.”

“To achieve this in my first year is an amazing feeling,” he continued. “It is a testament to the hard work that my players put in all season. The guys bought into Attitude and Effort, the two pillars of the program.”

Thomas noted he knew there would be a transition entering this season as the team got to know each other and built an identity, as shown by the Panthers’ 7-5-1 start, but once the team clicked, the success continued.

“After speaking with (last year’s coach) Fred Ludwig and getting insight on the players, I knew we had a good chance at doing something special,” Thomas said. “My guys have played together for a long time, and they all came together to complete a common goal. It was my job to steer the ship and hold them accountable to the goal they wanted to achieve. Just so happens, it was not to difficult to keep them on the right path.”

Panthers’ first baseman Luke Henderson and third baseman Malachi Bosschart were named to the First Team, while pitcher Rex Edwards and utility player Jaden Neugebauer were named to the Second Team. It was the second straight First Team honor for Henderson, and second straight Second Team honor for Edwards.

Gridley, which won its first NSCIF playoff game in the 2022-23 season, came from the loser’s bracket to defeat Lassen 6-3 in the NSCIF D-III championship. Outfielder Garrett Francis represents the Bulldogs on the First Team.

Orland’s Zach Story, who committed to UC Davis, was named to the First Team after being named Second Team in 2022-23. Red Bluff’s Cooper Sides, who was named to the Second Team in 2022-23 as a freshman, was named First Team in his sophom*ore season.

Colusa’s Lukas Kalfsbeek was named All Section MVP for a second straight season, after leading his team to a section championship. He tied the record for career wins in the Northern Section, and had a 0.44 earned run average and 121 strikeouts in 64 1/3 innings pitched. He was also the RedHawks’ leadoff hitter and finished with a .411 batting average.

In softball, two Butte County schools Pleasant Valley and Las Plumas battled it out in the Northern Section D-II championships, with the Vikings coming out on top. Pitchers Kodi Aisthorpe and Alissa Snipes were named to the first team, and Ella Thurman (St. Mary’s commit) was named to the second team. LP’s McKenna Harvey, who led the Thunderbirds’ pitching attack as well as at the plate and on the bases, was named to the First Team as a sophom*ore.

It was the second straight First Team honor for Snipes and Harvey, and second straight honor for Thurman – who was named to the First Team in 2022-23.

Paradise’s Nyah Baker was honored on the Second Team for a second straight season, after leading her team with a .533 batting average, six home runs, 40 RBIs and 10 doubles.

University Prep catcher Leigha Wood, who was named 2022-23 Second Team, was named this season’s MVP. The sophom*ore Wood led her team to a 25-4-1 record, while batting .470 with 13 home runs, nine doubles, five triples, 32 RBIs and 42 runs scored in 101 plate appearances.

All Section baseball


P – Cooper Sides, Red Bluff

P – Zach Story, Orland

P – Luke Kalfsbeek, Colusa

C – Wyatt Denton, Las Plumas

1B – Luke Henderson, Chico

IF – Tyler Zahniser, Foothill

3B – Malachi Bosschart, Chico

SS – Sutter Moss, Colusa

OF – Jake Dahl, Pleasant Valley

OF – Garrett Francis, Gridley

OF – Connor Kirack, Lassen

Ut – Emmett Stacher, Etna


P – Emmet Smallwood, Gridley

P – Patrick Bowen, Anderson

P – Rex Edwards, Chico

C – Carson Ledbetter, Red Bluff

1B – Clayton Harris, Etna

IF – Langdon Martinovich, Corning

3B – Lukas Klimek, Chester

SS – Diego Recio, Central Valley

OF – Jacob Ortega, Pleasant Valley

OF – Isaiah Pazmino, Winters

OF – Izick Nelson, Los Molinos

Ut – Jaden Neugebauer, Chico

MVP – Luke Kalfsbeek, Colusa

Coach of the Year – Brian Thomas, Chico

All Section softball


P – Kodi Aisthorpe, Pleasant Valley

P – Gracie Hornbuckle, UPrep

P – Stevie Knight, East Nicolaus

C – Leigha Wood, University Prep

1B – Elisea Wiegand, Foothill

IF – Lily Thurman, Pleasant Valley

3B – Madison Jones, Shasta

SS – Bethany Millen, Willows

OF – Alissa Snipes, Pleasant Valley

OF – Morgan Kingsbury, Foothill

OF – McKenna Harvey, Las Plumas

UT – Mattison Kwarta, Red Bluff


P – Ava Garcia, Colusa

P – Mia Perez, Burney

P – Caelli DePaul, Modoc

C – Kori Harris, Etna

1B – Ella Thurman, Pleasant Valley

2B – Makinze Massey, East Nicolaus

3B – Nyah Baker, Paradise

SS – Bailey Weibling, Los Molinos

OF – Adalyna Medrano, Las Plumas

OF – Madisyn Rubalcava, University Prep

OF – Leah Cawthorn, Chico

UT – Aubrey Wertz, West Valley

MVP – Leigha Wood, UPrep

Coach of the Year: Dustin Massey, East Nicolaus

Best of the north: All-Northern Section baseball and softball teams announced (2024)
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