Stuart Welch has done it. 

The goal-determined head coach has turned around the Yuba College women’s basketball program. The 49ers finished last year’s campaign with an overall record of 10-14, which was not all that bad compared to two year’s ago when the team tallied just two conference wins.  This season however, Yuba sits alone the top of the Bay Valley Conference with an overall record of 17-7 and a league record of 10-2. It’s a total team makeover. 

Welch should be given a lot of this credit, whether it’s his relentless teaching or his willingness to learn from those around him about the importance of recruiting. He’s taken the process by storm.

But what might throw you off is that none of his players are atop the league leaderboards for stats. Why? Because Yuba has a balanced attack. Whether it’s Janae Blue Horse hitting lights out from the 3-point line or Gloria Leon-Campos directing offensive plays, the 49ers are lethal. 

So next time you think about leaving after the men’s team plays (yeah they’re pretty good too) stick around and watch a first place women’s team that could make a deep run in the playoffs as well. 

•••

The time between when the Super Bowl ends and the NCAA Tournament begins is a dark and bleak time in the sports world. Sure, we still have plenty of games and even and NBA All-Star weekend, but none of it really feels all that glamorous. 

Is the XFL going to help? Probably not, but let’s give it a shot. 

Saturday’s action was pretty entertaining. The kickoff and extra point formatting was vastly different,   but also sort of fun. 

Maybe that’s what you really have to do when you watch XFL games. Realize none of it is all that meaningful and just appreciate it for what it is. 

At the same time you have to be proud of the players competing for future NFL roster spots this summer. 

Plus, you never know, maybe some day Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will be the XFL’s version of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. 

***

This week in local sports, high school basketball teams will start to clean up their play before the playoffs start next week. 

There is one very important game though this week between two schools that always show up to play no matter the win-loss records. 

The Yuba City and River Valley boys basketball teams will face off at River Valley High on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

You won’t want to miss it given the last game between the Falcons and Honkers on Jan. 21 was decided by less than three points. 

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