Sonoma Petanque Girls Go International


Sonoma high school seniors Natalie Wetzel, left, and Rosie Houghton at the Petanque courts in Sonoma on Wednesday, 25 Aug., 2021. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

Joe Gitti Di Vita, sports writer

Claiming a spot on the Petanque USA Youth National Team, SVHS senior girls, Natalie Wetzel and Rosie Houghton, have earned a trip to Spain to represent their country.

A trio tournament with one alternate, the squad is set to depart November 10th along with two other teammates from Florida and Texas. Coupled with hours of practice every other day, Rosie and Natalie look to make their mark overseas by competing against other world class athletes. 

Despite leaving for a weekend, the petanque pair has full support from their friends. “I’ll definitely miss them… but I’m glad they’ll be able to participate in such a unique experience” claims close friend and senior, Nelli Jimenez.

Although prevailing as a prominent sport overseas, Petanque receives far less popularity in the states, mainly due to its French origin. 

Still looking for funding on their journey, a GoFundMe page with an $8,000 goal has been created. With just over $4,000 donated so far, as of September 27th, the girls are on pace to be in Santa Susanna Spain on time for their tournament.

The girls expect fierce competition in Spain, and hope to represent their school and country well through their petanque performances.