The season finale of BVarsity Live on Thursday was supposed to include the top five storylines of the academic year that was from both sports editor Zach Ewing and lead BVarsity writer Trevor Horn, but technical difficulties forced an early end to the show.

Here they are in print form: Our top five Kern County high school sports storylines for 2016-2017.

Zach’s Top 5

5. Central Section expands and leagues realign

This won’t take effect until the 2018-19 school year, but the Central Section approved a major renovation in January when it OK’d the addition of 13 coastal schools from the Southern Section.

Included in those schools are Division I and D-II type programs like San Luis Obispo, Arroyo Grande and Atascadero.

Also changing in 2018-19 are the local league structures, most notably with Bakersfield Christian joining the South Yosemite League and East High leaving the SYL for the Southeast Yosemite League.

4. Wilson, Viveros siblings become track and field stars

Daniel and Alicia Viveros made Kern County history at the CIF State Track & Field Championships last weekend when they became the first local siblings to earn state medals (top-six finish) at the same state meet. Alicia, a senior, finished fifth in the girls shot put, and sophomore Daniel was third in the boys shot.

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Daniel Viveros of Lberty just before he releases the shot in the CIF Central Section 2017 Masters Track & Field at Buchanan High School in Clovis.

Rod Thornburg / for The Californian/

Daniel could go into next season as the favorite to win a state title, and this year’s local breakout star, Stockdale junior Aaliyah Wilson, might not be far behind. Wilson set the Central Section record with a 13.72 in the 100-meter hurdles, and even though she fell in that event at state, she finished fifth in the 100-meter dash.

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Stockdale High’s Aaliyah Wilson competes in the finals of the 100 in the CIF 2017 State Track and Field Championships held at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the campus of Buchanan High School in Clovis Saturday.

Henry A. Barrios/Californian//

3. Liberty wins Division I volleyball title

Despite its young history, Liberty has one of the most storied volleyball programs in the Central Section, one that includes a Division II state championship and numerous other honors. But one item the Patriots’ resume was lacking was a Division I section title.

That all changed in November, when Liberty swept Clovis West in the D-I title game at Lemoore with a brilliant performance. The victory was Liberty’s first in three tries in D-I title games.

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The Liberty volleyball team celebrates its Division I championship victory over Clovis West on Saturday night.

Nick Ellis / For The Californian

2. BHS, BCHS win a pair of classics

Bakersfield High won its 37th Central Section title with a heart-stopping 21-14 victory against Fresno-Central in early December, with Josh Maran throwing the tie-breaking touchdown pass to Navonte Demison in the final minutes.

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Bakersfield High celebrates winning the Central Section Division I football championship earlier this month.

Felix Adamo / The Californian

A week later, Bakersfield Christian played a thriller of its own in a CIF Division IV regional, beating Selma 28-27 thanks to a blocked field goal-return touchdown from Stephen Figures and the Bears’ failed two-point conversion attempt in the final seconds. BCHS hosted the state championship the next week but lost to Moraga-Campolindo.

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FelixAdamo/The Californian Eagle Stephen Figures (1)is all by himself except for teammate Cole Wattemberger as he races for the game winning touchdown against Selma.

TBC

1. Demison wins another state wrestling title

Navonte Demison rejoined the BHS football team and delivered some heroics, but it was in wrestling he proved himself to be one of the Drillers’ all-time greats. Demison beat Granite Bay’s Jack Ramalia 5-2 to win his second straight CIF state wrestling title, this one at 145 pounds.

Demison, who will wrestle for Arizona State, was unbeaten and virtually untested all season after winning the 138-pound title as a junior.

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BHS’s Navonte Demison locks up with Granite Bay’s Jack Ramalia the 145-pound finals match Saturday evening at Rabobank Arena.

Nick Ellis / for The Californian

Trevor’s Top 5

5. Mota races with one shoe

It was quite amazing in and of itself to see Stockdale sophomore Marcus Mota finish seventh in the state with a personal record time of 9:09.93. But moments later, realizing in person that he had done it without his right shoe for more than a mile made this not only a top 5 story for this year, but one of those legendary tales I will remember for a long time.

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Stockdale High’s Marcus Mota finished the 3200 race with one shoe missing and his leg bleeding but still managed a 7th place finish in the finals of the CIF State Championships Saturday.

Henry A. Barrios

4. Breakthrough Saturday in baseball/softball

In a span of three hours in late May, Wasco won its first baseball title in 27 years and Highland baseball and Independence softball each won the first titles in those programs’ histories.

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Nick Ellis / for The Californian Wasco players and coaches celebrate their win over Firebaugh in the division IV baseball finals Saturday.

TBC

The Tigers win was the most dramatic, with senior Lalo Barraza delivering a go-ahead three-run double with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to beat stun Firebaugh 5-4 for the Division IV baseball title.

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Highland wins first baseball section championship

Highland celebrates their win Saturday over Porterville in the Division III baseball championships.

Nick Ellis / For The Californian/

Later, Highland beat Porterville 8-5 after jumping to a 6-0 lead in the D-III baseball title game, and Independence routed Kerman 11-5 for the D-III softball title.

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Independence softball captures D-III section title

Independence celebrates its 11-5 win Saturday against Kerman in the Central Section Division III softball championship at Fresno State’s Margie Wright Field.

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA / Fresno Bee/

3. BHS basketball breaks Kern’s drought

Since the Central Section moved all of its basketball championships to Selland Arena in downtown Fresno in 2005, no team from Kern County had played in the Division I boys title game, until March when Bakersfield boys basketball team advanced with a semifinal victory against Fresno-Bullard.

The Drillers lost the title game, 68-58 to Fresno-Central, but just being there was an achievement no local team had made in more than a decade.

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BHS’ Tahj Wright takes an under the basket shot during the fourth quarter of the Central Section boys basketball Division I championship against Fresno-Central on Saturday night at Selland Arena in Fresno.

Henry A. Barrios / The Californian/

2. BCHS plays in another state football championship

Four years ago, it was Brandon Jones and Grant Bouma leading the way for Bakersfield Christian in the small school state football championship game. This time around, the Eagles returned behind quarterback Braden Wingle, wide receiver Jeremiah Foster and coach Darren Carr as the Eagles hosted Moraga-Campolindo for the state title.

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BCHS fans like their 1st half touchdown against Campolindo High CIF Division 4AA state championship football game Saturday night.

Henry A. Barrios/Californian

Never mind that the game ended in a lopsided Campolindo win, just as BCHS lost its first state title game against Modesto-Central Catholic. These Eagles return plenty of talent and have a chance to make another run at state.

1. Navonte Demison wins 2nd straight state title

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BHS’s Navonte Demison celebrates with coach Andy Varner after defeating Granite Bay’s Jack Ramalia in the 145-pound finals match Saturday evening at Rabobank Arena.

Nick Ellis / for The Californian

Like track and field, wrestling at the state level knows no divisions and makes no consideration for school size, making the competition the best against the best. That means every champion is a true state champion. For the last two years, Navonte Demison played the role as hometown favorite, winning consecutive state titles before heading off to Arizona State.

Zach Ewing can be reached at 661-395-7324. Follow him on Twitter @zewing. Trevor Horn can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter @trevhorn.

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