Back when basketball was played in skirts: Vintage photos show sports in Sonoma County

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Sonoma County residents have been cheering on the home team for over a century. A number of local club, semi-pro and high school teams have been open to young men in the area since the turn of the 19th century. But options for young women were limited until 1972 when Title IX passed, requiring gender equality for boys and girls in all educational and athletic programs receiving federal funding.

The Press Democrat has been celebrating our high school sports superstars for 25 years, with the annual All-Empire Athletes awards ceremony.

This year’s celebration will be held at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Friedman Event Center in Santa Rosa. Local families and sports fans are invited to attend the scholarship event and hear about the achievements of this generation’s athletes.

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