Tag Archives: Paso Robles Bearcats

Top 20 National Ranking For Paso Robles

Between the Bay Area and Los Angeles, on the California Central Coast where wine is prominent, quietly sits the town Paso Robles.

However, there’s another prominent entity in town and more directly the high school, has reached new heights with their football program. The Bearcats’ gridiron squad, which at one point was for a short time ranked in the Top 10, ended the year 19th overall nationally among small schools (MaxPrep).

Coached by Rich Schimke and led by San Luis Obispo County’s top athlete in Bailey Gaither, Paso Robles went to their first bowl game and in the fact was the first team from the Central Coast to be represented in the state championships.

The Bearcats went the entire magical year undefeated before losing to their North County rival Atascadero Greyhounds at seasons end, making them co-champions with the ‘Hounds and Arroyo Grande Eagles in the PAC-5 League. Paso then pounded Royal of Simi Valley 42-14 in the first round of the Northern Division playoffs and turned around and easily beat a good Palmdale team 49-16.

Bailey Gaither

Bailey Gaither helped lead Paso Robles to a fantastic season. He’s San Luis Obispo County’s top football and baseball player.

In the semifinals, the Bearcats slugged out a 28-21 victory over Arroyo Grande to make it to the finals against a very good Newbury Park squad. Before a packed house on a wet and muddy field at War Memorial Stadium in Paso Robles, the Bearcats were able to run Gaither right, Gaither left and Gaither up the middle, battling their way to an epic 13-10 win.

With an incredible 13-1 season, Paso went to their bowl badly beaten up – for instance they were playing fourth-string running backs – and without their star do-everything player, Bailey Gaither. The magic came to resounding thud as the team had to travel half a day to Lakeside, California in San Diego County to play against 13-0 El Capitan. While losing their star kicker/punter Brice Pasky and standout wide receiver Ty Jones in the first quarter to injuries, there was too much to overcome and the Bearcats lost 41-0.

It should be noted, Gaither is heading to San Jose State to play for the Spartans next year along with his Bearcat teammate Josh Oliver – who was also a two-way star on the Paso Robles football team.

It was a great season and unprecedented year for Bearcat football. The town is very proud of them and in fact, it was a common occurrence when in or around town, folks of all sorts would start talking about the football team in any conversation.

War Memorial Stadium - Paso Robles

War Memorial Stadium was the place to be in 2014 … and any year for that matter.

So the next time you’re in our quiet hamlet, during the late summer or fall enjoying your favorite countryside tasting our world famous wine, check out another favorite here on the Central Coast.

Congratulations to the Paso Robles football team on their national ranking.

Go Bearcats!


Daryle W. Hier





Paso Robles Football Advances To Bowl Game

One of the better football teams to come out of Paso Robles High School in some time, has advance to California’s South Division Championship bowl game against El Capitan Vaqueros of Lakeside in San Diego County.

Although wine dominates our region now, sports has always been a mainstay in the North County and the Paso Robles Bearcats have been a very good team almost forever.

I’ve not talked about sports here because I wrote so much outside of Paso Wine Barrels’ blog. I freelanced for a handful of years and was a writer for Yahoo Sports!, becoming one of their top writers worldwide. However, the barrel business soon overrode my time and combined with many changes at Yahoo!, my sports writing diminished.

So occasionally, I might throw some sports related stuff in here, but not to worry, it will be sporadic at best. Just enough to keep you informed of what’s going on here on the Central Coast sports-wise.

Top 20 ranking

As far as the the football squad, they won the Northern Division of the Southern Section in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) – CIF governs all 1,500 high schools regarding sports in the Golden State. Sounds like a lot of schools, huh. You have to remember there are roughly 40 million people living in California. By the way, Paso Robles is currently ranked 18th in the state.

Anyway, the Bearcats rolled to a 13-1 record with their only loss to league rival Atascadero Greyhounds at the end of the regular season. Atascadero also had an excellent team this year and most years for that matter. The PAC 5 League that Paso and A-town are part of, is a powerhouse and ended with a tri-championship between the two aforementioned schools along with Arroyo Grande. All three made it to the division semifinals – the PAC 5 was that good.

Paso Robles defeated a very strong and high-scoring machine of a team in the Newbury Park Panthers from Ventura County. The Northern Division Championship game was played on a muddy field due to rains that have been steadily on and off here on our parched and drought-stricken land for the last few weeks. Yes, good news, and something I’ll talk about in a later blog. In any case, the final score was a tight 13-10 slugfest with the Bearcats often using a stacked I formation – an obvious running style that dared the Panthers to stop the run.

Superstar leading the way

Bailey Gaither #34, ran up and down the field on Newbury Park to help the team win the Northern Division crown.

The star was Bailey Gaither who ran for an impressive 180 yards even though he’s the team leading wide receiver. An extremely talented player who does everything better than anyone, he ran from the tailback position and helped win the game. As a note, Gaither was the county’s player of the year in baseball last spring. He will most likely be the player of the year in football for San Luis Obispo County as well.

It was estimated that 5,000 fans were packed into War Memorial Stadium in less than ideal weather conditions. The game with El Capitan will be in San Diego so Paso Robles will have a six hour bus ride south to play the 13-0 Vaqueros.

This is the first time a team from the Central Coast has participated in the state bowl program – and it has made the town proud. If the Bearcats win, they will play in the state championship against the North Division champion (between 14-0 Campolindo and 13-0 Sutter).

There you have it, Paso Robles may have been this past seasons wine region of the year, but we also have a great football squad. Go Bearcats!


Daryle W. Hier