Joe Davidson

Bear River’s championship good therapy for coach

Terry Logue has coached the Bear River football team since 1987. He surpassed the 200-win mark this season.
Terry Logue has coached the Bear River football team since 1987. He surpassed the 200-win mark this season.

The old coach was as giddy as his players.

Amid the wash of a dream season, Terry Logue exhaled after his gritty Bear River Bruins beat rival Colfax 28-17 on Friday night in Lodi in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title game. The first person he sought out was his co-coach and close friend, Scott Savoie. Their appreciation for each other is warm and genuine, never mind their game-day gruff exteriors. They repeated hugs and accolades as scores of players and community members from Lake of the Pines and Grass Valley thanked them for mentoring their sons.

“Beyond words how special this is,” said Logue, who is rarely at a loss for words.

The coaches celebrated the program’s first section championship in 20 seasons. And all of this came from nothing. Logue inherited a winless Bear River program, one year into its existence, in 1987. Logue won his 200th game earlier this season, joining area active coaches Mike Alberghini of Grant and Dan Carmazzi of Christian Brothers in reaching that plateau. The campus was so new when he took over that the grass had barely taken root. The Bruins absorbed some brutal beatings early, and then slowly emerged. Bear River has not had a losing season since 1988, a remarkable feat given declining enrollment and the talent and depth of their leagues. Bear River is at an all-time-low 705 students.

His co-coach in recent years has been Savoie. Logue has courageously battled Parkinson’s disease, explaining that it has been good therapy to coach. He is beloved by his players, many of whom call him, “a legend.” Logue and Savoie point to each other for the program’s sustaining power, and then the coaches in unison point to the players, such as brothers Jason and John Voter. Jason accounted for four touchdowns at quarterback – three passing, one rushing – against Colfax, while John has been the team’s heart and soul at linebacker.

Browning update – Social media was abuzz late Friday night with frantic Folsom followers – and those disturbingly hoping for the worst – wondering if Jake Browning had gone down with a broken arm in a Division I semifinal. In truth, the Folsom quarterback was not touched as the top-seeded Bulldogs rolled past Monterey Trail 56-14 to reach a section final for the fifth consecutive season.

The only thing broken was another record by Browning. He had six touchdown passes, giving him 76 for the season, breaking by one his state single-season mark. And typical Browning, he downplayed all of it, preferring to chase championships and not milestones, though they continue to go hand-in-hand.

Folsom (13-0) plays upstart Tracy (10-3) on Saturday at Sacramento State for the championship with CIF D-I NorCal and CIF State Bowl games looming, should the wins continue. Tracy is coming off upsets of No. 2 Jesuit and No. 3 Granite Bay.

Bee All-Star Games – The Sacramento Bee is the brand partner for two high school all-star football games featuring graduating seniors that benefit local charities.

The Sacramento Bee Optimist All-Star Classic is scheduled for Dec. 27 at Folsom, with players from area large-enrollment programs such as Christian Brothers, Del Oro, Folsom, Franklin, Grant, Granite Bay, Inderkum, Rio Linda, Rocklin and Sacramento, among others. The North coach will be Inderkum’s Terry Stark, and the South is headed by Mike Johnson of Franklin. This is the 59th annual game, presented by Optimist Clubs throughout the region and Character Combine, a nationally recognized company based in Sacramento that offers clinics on sportsmanship to coaches and athletes of all sports and ages.

The Sacramento Bee Small-School Classic, presented by Character Combine, will be held Dec. 26 at Capital Christian. The debut game will include seniors from small-enrollment programs such as Bear River, Bradshaw Christian, Capital Christian, Colfax, Golden Sierra, Highlands, Natomas, Union Mine, Winters and others.

The South coach will be Phil Grams of Capital Christian and the North is headed by Highlands coach Matt Cokley.

Coaches who haven’t already nominated players for either game can do so by emailing with comments and Hudl game clips. Roster updates will be announced in The Bee, on and on “The Bee Preps Show” on Comcast SportsNet California.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.

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