Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Tough Question

I was asked recently a question that has made me think:

As the nation approaches its 57th Presidential Election, we're asking the future leaders of this country, students, to define the single most important political issue in this election. Tell us not only what that issue is, but also tell us why and how you propose we come to a solution that benefits the majority?"

I don't think any of the candidates running for office have all the answers but one issue I find important to everyone is how involved government should be in our lives. If we get right down to the Constitutional guidelines for the federal government, it's pretty simple: protect and serve the United States.

 It doesn't say anywhere to line people's pockets with money. It doesn't say anywhere to provide healthcare. It doesn't say anywhere to provide jobs. It doesn't say anywhere to send troops overseas or give other countries money.

The federal government, and really the state governments, too, is to provide a military to protect us and provide for an infrastructure so that commerce and society can operate. It's a pretty simple objective.

What concerns me and where the big debate exists is how involved the government should be. Too many people want the government to give them a job, provide them with money when they don't have one and to enforce some ridiculous laws.

I think the one thing we all have to agree upon is that government cannot any longer be the source of solutions. Let's allow our free enterprise to do that. Let's allow business to flourish without government intervening or asking for too much money. 

The presidential candidate that expresses smaller government frankly is the one we all should support, whoever they are and whatever party from which they belong.

This is an official blog entry for the Blogging Scholarship. If selected, I'll receive $1000 towards my college expenses in 2012. This scholarship is sponsored by

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Curt Mettler Wrestling Tournament

Elk Grove High School looked real strong Saturday at its Mettler Tournament. Most of the Herd wrestlers placed in the top eight of their weight class. Cosumnes Oaks also had a good tournament.

Read my story in this Friday's Citizen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Burbank Suffers Season Ending Loss

I enjoyed watching and being a part of our eight home games this season at the brand new Titan Stadium. Burbank had a great team this season, going 9-1 and winning the Metro Conference championship for the second year in a row.

But, I knew Oak Ridge was going to be tough. They were. Our season ended with a 30-28 loss in the opening round of the playoffs. This was, by far, the tightest first-round game of the post-season. It came down to the final two minutes.

Coach John Heffernan and staff and players have no need to hang their heads over this one. They played (and coached) their hearts out. Good job. Keep up the great work!

National Letter of Intent Day, 2011

Each November several of our area athletes, usually in advance of their seasons, sign a National Letter of Intent with the college of their choice.

At Sheldon there were three senior softball players off the defending Section championship team announcing their intent, Alexis Cooper who will attend Arizona State, Meshalon Moore who will go to UC-Santa Barbara and Danielle Wiltz, who signed with Nevada-Reno.

Elk Grove High School's Carlee Gray has inked with George Washington University. (Carlee is on the left)

Congratulations to all these terrific softball players.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ten EGUSD Athletes To Watch

Now that the 2011-2012 school year is underway and we’ve kicked off the football season, it’s time to look ahead and see who might be the  athletes who may make a difference for their teams this season locally.

There’s far too many good athletes to list all of them here, but we’ve decided there were a few who, barring injury or other factors, could stand above the crowd in the next nine months.

Cody Demps – Pleasant Grove football and basketball

He’s the quarterback on the Eagles’ highly touted football team, but he’ll be the guy spearheading what should be a very good basketball team at Pleasant Grove this winter. At 6-4, he can play just about anywhere on the court.

If the football squad does indeed play deep into the playoffs, as expected, Demps and the Eagles may start a little slow when basketball season begins in December, but they’ll be competing for the Delta River League title on the hardcourts in February.

Kyi Thomas – Sheldon football and basketball

If last Friday is any indication, Thomas will get lots of touches on the football field this season, but basketball coach Joey Rollings will count on Thomas to lead the Huskies on the court when they prepare to defend their Sac-Joaquin Section title.

Thomas is the guy who really moves the ball up and down the floor for the basketball team and may be the most athletic member of the squad. He, along with Dakari Allen, D’Erryl Williams and Ryan Manning are so good that they’ll have Sheldon fans forget who Darius Nelson and Ramon Eaton were.

Nick Martinez – Elk Grove Track and Field

It’s been almost ten years since any athlete from Elk Grove Unified School District won an event at the state track and field meet. Martinez could do it in two events this spring.

He was third at the state meet last year in the 300 meter hurdles and competed in the 100 meter hurdle event, too. He’s our area’s most gifted trackster and will draw the attention of many collegiate track coaches.

Martin Ramirez – Elk Grove wrestling

There’s been only five boys from Elk Grove win a state championship in wrestling. Ramirez, who was third last year at 125 pounds, could be the sixth. Barring injury he’ll likely win his weight group at the Section Masters’ meet for a third time.

He and Josh Letuligasenoa will lead the Herd wrestlers this winter to another Delta Valley Conference championship and probably a high finish in the Section dual meet, like usual. Letuligasenoa meanwhile is the Herd’s top linebacker on a very good football team at Elk Grove.

Meshalon Moore – Sheldon softball

With older sister Dejanee and third baseman Danielle Henderson off to college, it’s “Meme’s” turn to lead the Lady Huskies. They’ve won three Section championships the past five seasons and Meme is going to be the top bat this spring for head coach Mary Jo Truesdale. She batted .380 a year ago.

With pitcher Alexis Cooper (24-6, 1.64 ERA) and outfielder Danielle Wiltz (.414 avg.) also in the lineup, Sheldon will be the odds-on favorite to repeat as Section winner come May.

Theo Johnson – Franklin basketball

Even though brothers Ike and Uchenna Iroegbu have transferred to other high schools, the Wildcats will once again be one of the top DVC teams. That’s because the long and tall Johnson returns in the post.

Rowdy Tellez – Elk Grove baseball

He’s just a junior, but already has drawn the attention of many pro scouts because of his 6-5, 220-pound frame. He hit nine homers and batted over .500 last season for the Herd, but developed into a good pitcher.

Now that J.D. Davis is graduated and off to Cal State – Fullerton, Tellez will be the ace of the staff. That’s a pretty good accomplishment for a young man who barely pitched at all two seasons ago. He along with Team USA member Dom Nunez will lead a very potent Elk Grove baseball team, hoping to grab the Section title for the first time since 2007.

Tyler Blake – Franklin baseball

Also a tall first baseman/pitcher and a junior, Blake’s presence in the Wildcat lineup keeps Franklin in the picture for the DVC baseball championship this year.

Blake will be a regular starter on the mound where’s he’s excelled the past two seasons. He’s 9-0 over that span. He may be one of the best contact hitters locally. Last season he batted .506 and, at 6-5 he’s a huge target for infielders throwing to first base.

Arik Armstead – Pleasant Grove football and basketball

He’s drawn lots of national attention thanks to the recent game on ESPN and deservedly so. At 6-7, 285 he’s a man amongst boys on the football field, but he’s also going to do the same thing on the basketball court for the Eagles – as long as future college coach Lane Kiffin allows it.

The USC head football coach may not like a prized recruit, like Armstead, playing roundball in the winter. Pleasant Grove will be the main competition for Sheldon for the DRL title this winter, especially if Armstead is in the post.

Ashlee Jones – Bradshaw Christian basketball

The Lady Pride hope to make it five small-school Section championships in a row this winter, but they’ll have to do it on the back of Ashlee Jones. With four-year starters Fernandi Espinosa, Lauren Beyer and Jordie Smith now all in college, Jones and several new faces will have their work cut out for them.

A year ago Jones was a key outside shooter and perhaps the Pride’s top defender.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Open Enrollment and Its Affect On Sports In EG

I recently wrote a story in the Elk Grove Citizen how open enrollment has affected the sports programs in the Elk Grove Unified School District.

Please understand in the story I in no way am saying the coaches in the district are recruiting kids to their programs, quite the contrary. The parents are recruiting other parents and their student/athletes to schools outside of their attendance area.

What is happening, as the story points out, is that half the EGUSD sports programs are strong and the others weak with almost no one in between.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

MLB Draft - Days One and Two

Pleasant Grove High School right-hander Kyle Castro became the school's first-ever player selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft when he was chosen in the third round by the Texas Rangers Tuesday. Castro was the 113th selection overall.

Two rounds later Elk Grove High School slugger J.D. Davis was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was the 180th player taken overall. Davis was drafted as a third baseman even though he was the Herd’s top pitcher the past two years.

The pair marks the earliest any graduating prep player from an Elk Grove Unified School District School has ever been selected in the First-Year Player Draft. In 1970, Elk Grove’s Bruce Butter was selected in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Phillies. Two former Herd players were drafted in 1982 – Catcher Todd Trafton in the sixth round by the White Sox and outfielder Tim Hill in the seventh round by the Dodgers.

Three years ago former Laguna Creek pitcher Casey Weathers was a first-round draft choice but he was drafted after his senior season at Vanderbilt.

A couple hours after Davis’ pick, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Bradshaw Christian School’s ace pitcher Brady Dragmire in the 17th round, a school first, as well.

A Pleasant Grove alum, Sacramento City College pitcher Kyle Devore, became the Eagles’ second-ever MLB Draftee when he was selected in the 27th round (834th overall) by the Rangers.

Texas chose three pitchers in its first four picks, but Castro was the only right-hander in that group. He was the 12th high school grad from the State of California taken in the Draft. Castro went 5-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 16 appearances for Pleasant Grove this season. He struck out 64 and walked 29 in 55 innings.

“This is a great day for him and for our program,” Eagles’ head coach Rob Rinaldi said. “I know it was an exciting day for (Castro) and he’s now in a very elite group of people. I phoned him and wished him the best.”

Castro almost assuredly will sign with Texas after not committing to a college this season and opting to consider either junior college or a professional contract.

Davis admitted he was on quite an emotional roller-coaster Monday and Tuesday. The Rays had ten picks in the first round and the compensation round which followed. Davis was their 15th overall selection.

“(The Rays) called to say they were going to pick me, perhaps in the first round, so we were waiting and waiting,” Davis said. “We went over to (Elk Grove head coach Jeff ) Carson’s house to hang out, waiting to hear something. Then they called me this morning and said they’d pick me the second or third round.”

Davis didn’t get the call then and needed to leave to drive to a photo shoot in downtown Sacramento. On his way, a representative from the Rays finally phoned.

“Then I started getting calls from everywhere saying, ‘Congratulations’,” he said. Some of those calls came from his future coaches at Fullerton.

Davis said that the Rays will come to his home in a little more than a week to discuss contract. 

Davis have a tough decision to make this summer because he’s already inked a letter-of-intent to Cal State – Fullerton. All draftees must be signed to a pro contract by Aug. 15. The next day, Davis said, is the day he’s due to report to Fullerton.

“I’ve got so many options going on right now,” he said. “The calls from Fullerton want me to come to Fullerton, but I want to sit back and just weigh my options.”

Davis, drafted as a third baseman, went 6-2 on the mound with one save and a 1.56 ERA in his senior season at Elk Grove. He struck out 70 and walked just 17 in 49 1/3 innings.

Davis led Elk Grove with a .484 average and nine home runs. He was second on the team with 45 RBIs.

“It’s an exciting day for him, his family, for the (Elk Grove) program and for me as his coach,” Carlson said. “Just to get drafted means you’re pretty special and an elite player.”

Davis is Carlson’s 10th Elk Grove player to be drafted out of high school and thinks he’ll have a nice offer brought to him by the Rays.

“He has a great opportunity at a great baseball school at Fullerton to fall back on,” Carlson said. “He’ll have great leverage in his negotiations. Just because he was drafted fifth round doesn’t mean he’ll get fifth round money. They’ll have to come to him with something like second round money to entice him to think about maybe signing this year.”

Dragmire, the 529th player selected overall, likewise has committed to a college, Nevada – Reno.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for him,” Bradshaw’s athletic director Mike Ruble said. “When I got to Bradshaw a few years ago and met Brady, I knew he was someone special.”

Devore had a great year for the Cougars. He was 11-0 with a 2.50 ERA. Devore, a sophomore at City College, struck out 89 in 101 innings and walked only nine.

“He has the unique ability to miss the barrel,” Rinaldi said. “Kyle was fantastic for us. He won a big game against Jesuit the last day of the regular season his sophomore year. He then won a playoff game against Davis his junior year and in his senior year he had 15 strikeouts in a game against Woodland.”

“I know he’s a hard worker and got better every year for City (College),” he added.

Rinaldi thinks two more former Pleasant Grove pitchers, Dylan Chavez and Taylor Herbert, may both be selected by the end of the Draft.

The first area player drafted was former Jesuit and current Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac who was selected in the second round by the San Francisco Giants.

The third and final day of the Draft was Wednesday with rounds 31 through 50.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Lindsey's CWS Blog - Day 4

The Cal Bears' softball season is over. Saturday at the College World Series, the Bears eliminated Oklahoma State, 6-2. Later in the afternoon, the Florida Gators defeated Cal, 5-2, to send the Golden Bears home. Former Sheldon star Lindsey Ziegenhirt gives us her thoughts on the emotional day. Also, follow Lindsey's blog on the Elk Grove Citizen website.

Well, it's the end of the season for the well-traveled Cal Bears. After a tough loss to Alabama on Thursday, and nice day off on Friday, we began today's elimination day with a win over Oklahoma State. It was great to see our team bounce back so quickly, and even when we got behind in the game we dug deeper and got some runs in. 
After the Oklahoma State game, we rested at the hotel for a few hours. At 4p.m., we departed for the Hall of Fame stadium for what would be our last game this season. Florida was a tough opponent, and all the girls knew going into the game that it was going to test our endurance. The big bats of the Gators were fairly quiet (and quiet as in no home runs), but they scored just enough to put it out of reach.
I was proud of the way our team came out and scored in the first inning, but we couldn't get the key hit later in the game. 
Tomorrow, we fly in another chartered flight home to good ole Oakland, CA. I can definitely speak for my teammates when I say that I've missed California a lot, and I am excited to finally unpack after a three-week long road trip across the country. But overall, this was one of the most memorable softball experiences I've ever had, and I can't wait to be there again next year! Go Bears!

Lindsey's CWS Blog - Day 3

The Cal Bears had Friday, June 3, off at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. It was still a busy day for Lindsey Ziegenhirt and her teammates. Plus, it was Lindsey's birthday!

You can also follow her daily blog on the Elk Grove Citizen website.

Another scorcher in Oklahoma City today! With temperatures reaching the mid 90's and the humidity and haziness, this is a tough city to play elite softball in. The winners of yesterday's games faced off today in two very well matched games, while the losers had the day off.

Instead of sitting and moping about yesterday's loss, the Cal Bears and I took off to a hitting practice to loosen up our bats and restock our confidence at the plate.

After practice, we visited an Oklahoma favorite "Fried Pies" shop. It sounds unappetizing, but the fried pies are similar to a turnover dessert. Coach Ninemire enjoyed a peach pie while others decided between apple, cherry, pineapple, and many other flavors. After we returned to the hotel, players had the rest of the day off to adventure around with their family or friends. Before beginning my birthday celebration, I got some deep tissue work done by our physical therapist, and after an hour of pain, torture, and some laughs I was able to go downstairs and hang out with my family.

I had quite a few family members and friends that came to cheer us on, including Sheldon High softball coaches Mary Jo Truesdale and Joe Jaquez. I received awesome cakes, or I should say many cupcakes, from my friends and teammates; if anyone knows me they know I love my dessert, so this was the perfect present!

Overall, I had a great birthday and it could only be bested with a win tomorrow against Oklahoma State. Watch us take on the Cowgirls tomorrow (Saturday) at 9am pacific time on ESPN. GO BEARS!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Lindsey's CWS Blog - Day 2

Former Sheldon High School catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt is blogging for the Elk Grove Citizen from Oklahoma City, site of the Women's College World Series.
Another day, another game. Today, we faced #2 seeded Alabama and, boy, was it a fight till the end. Jolene Henderson, another Elk Grove native and Sheldon alumni, pitched an awesome game against the powerful bats of the Crimson Tide. Unfortunately, our offense took a day off and we couldn't get the runs we needed, but a 1-0 loss isn't anything to be disappointed in. 
Every team in this tournament deserves to be there for one reason or another whether it be lights-out pitching, a stellar offense, or more commonly both. Each game is expected to be a close game; no team is going to give up without a fight. 
I will say one thing in our defense, no one on our team except two of the coaches has ever played in the World Series so the first-game jitters are natural. But now that we have one game under our belts, you can be sure that the Cal Bears will show up ready to win some games and send some teams packing for home.  

Our next game isn't until Saturday when we take on the hometown Oklahoma State Cowgirls, but in the meantime, tomorrow we'll get some extra hitting in and then we have the rest of the day to explore Oklahoma City. And just to make it a little more sweet, tomorrow's my birthday! Enjoy the week of softball; it's just getting started!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Lindsey Ziegenhirt's Blog

Former Sheldon High School All-American, now Cal Bears' catcher, Lindsey Ziegenhirt is blogging daily from the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. Here's her day one blog:

Hello Elk Grove! For those who don't know me, my name is Lindsey Ziegenhirt and I'm a Sheldon High alumni c/o 2009. I played softball for the Lady Huskies for 4 years and won back to back section championships my sophomore and junior year.

I am currently playing softball for University of California at Berkeley and, after winning the Super Regionals in Kentucky last weekend, I am now writing to you from the NCAA College Softball World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

It has been such an honor to be regarded as one of the top 8 teams in the country, and believe me, it hasn't been an easy road. The Pac-10 conference is full of top ranked teams, and every weekend prepared us for this level of competition. Every little softball girl's dream is to play in the College World Series. Now that we are finally here it seems unreal and dream-like. I know I'll look back on this coming week with pride and fond memories no matter what the final outcome.

If I may say so, this is a great week to be a Cal Bear. This is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (well, hopefully not once, but there is no such thing as a guarantee in softball). 

Yesterday, we traveled from Lexington, Kentucky to Oklahoma on our own chartered flight. Every girl got their own row on the plane and our bus picked us up right on the tarmac, like real celebrities! We arrived at our hotel, and quickly got ready for the Champions Dinner with all the other teams. 
Today, we had interviews and photos with ESPN and practiced on the stadium field. However, tomorrow the real fun begins as we face Alabama in the very first game of the tournament. 
It's game time. GO BEARS!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monterey Trail Baseball

They haven't won a game, yet. But with Kenny Munguia at the helm they will soon and be decent in coming years. ...

When a high school baseball team starts a season 0-11, there’s every opportunity for the players to brood over each loss, lose their excitement for the game and even begin to quit before a game is over.

But, watching the Monterey Trail Mustangs during an 11-1, five-inning loss to Elk Grove Friday, no one could say there was anyone waving a white flag.  First-year coach Kenny Munguia was still shouting out word of encouragement to his players, all the while they were hustling and making the routine plays just like the highly-touted Thundering Herd players.

“The kids are coming along,” Munguia said. “We don’t have any feeder programs in the area. The kids I am getting maybe have two to four years of experience in playing baseball … and this is Division I, it’s a strong division.”

“They are getting there. The strides they are making don’t reflect the scores.”

In the tough Delta Valley Conference with strong programs such as Davis, Franklin and the Herd, the Mustangs are taking their lumps this season. In three games with Elk Grove, they’ve been outscored 45-2.  In its only game against Davis, Monterey Trail was defeated 17-0.

“In a game the other night against Franklin, we ran a double-cut that was perfect and I tell the kids, ‘That’s what we’re looking for,’” Munguia said.

But, Munguia has had to start all over, literally. The school in its six years of existence has put together a quality football program which has been in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I championship game the past two years. The boys’ basketball team won its first playoff game this winter, but baseball hasn’t found its niche.

In the previous four seasons as a part of the Delta River League, the Mustangs finished in last place each year with a combined record of 2-58.  They are now 0-6 in the DVC after Friday’s loss.

A veteran high school coach of 20 years, Munguia remains optimistic that he can build a quality baseball program at Monterey Trail just like his Elk Grove-area counterparts.

“What I’ve been doing is putting these kids in summer ball and also in fall ball,” Manguia said. “The only other thing I’ve got going for me is word-of-mouth.”

Numbers has been an issue this year for him. He had only 18 boys show up at the beginning of the spring which led Manguia to decide not to field a junior varsity squad. He thinks that will change next year.

“We put a feeler out at Edward Harris (Middle School) our feeder school and we had 16 kids show some interest,” he said. “We want to get them before they leave and encourage them to stick around, go to MT and play some baseball.”

Munguia coached the Sacramento High School Dragons for 16 years, spent a year at Vista del Lago and last season was an assistant coach at Christian Brothers. All this time, he balanced his coaching with a full-time job in the Parks Department at the City of Sacramento.  He’s hoping his positive approach to coaching along with his knowledge of the fundamentals of the sport will lead to more boys wanting to play for him at Monterey Trail.

“I want them saying, ‘Coach Kenny is showing me baseball,’” he said. “I want the kids to enjoy the game. These kids, this year, are working hard.”

With open enrollment in the Elk Grove Unified School District and baseball programs at Pleasant Grove, Elk Grove and Franklin forced to make cuts to their rosters this spring, Manguia thinks more baseball players may drift in his direction in coming years.

“I think we’re a couple years away from getting players from some of the junior programs,” he said. “I’d love for them to come. I’ve got a good coaching staff of men who were with me for several years, Wayne Weinheimer and Andy Fox, guys who were with me at Sac High.”

“But, if kids are into prestige affiliation, then go ahead and try to get into the lineup and sit. If you come to Monterey Trail, you’ll play some baseball. One thing I teach to a kid is how to be a good citizen and giving back to the community, but along the way, we learn some baseball, too.”

In the short term, Manguia likes the players he currently has on the roster.

“I’ve got a good core of juniors coming back,” he said. “If we get a good crop of new players coming in, then we can make some noise in the next year or two years.”

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Notebook for 3/17/11

Former Sheldon High School softball star Jolene Henderson has been named the Pac-10 player of the week.  She pitched the Cal Bears to a perfect 4-0 record at last weekend's Bayer CropScience Classic in Fresno.
Henderson notched a 0.75 ERA in 28 innings of work, striking out 28 and walking just two of the batters she faced, landing her a spot on the all-tournament team.
"Thanks to support from my teammates' bats, I was able to help us to the four wins," Henderson said. "It's an honor to receive this award twice this year."
Henderson is batting .283 with four home runs and 16 RBI’s. Her Sheldon teammate, Lindsey Ziegenhirt, is now batting .260 for Cal with a home run and 11 RBI’s.
The Golden Bears are 17-2 this season and are playing in Honolulu this weekend in the Hawaiian Spring Fling Tournament. …
Locally, Elk Grove High School’s softball team lost its first two games of the season last Saturday in the Tournament of Champions tournament at Bartholomew Park.
After winning games over St. Francis, Bear Creek and Napa to open the tournament, the Lady Herd slid right into the tournament’s semi-finals.
With ace pitcher Shelby Wisdom nursing an injury, coach Jeff Alexander gave Jessica Venturelli a start on the mound. She had a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning in the game with Rodriguez High School, but surrendered a single, a double and a two-run single to lead off the frame. The time limit for the game then expired and because Rodriguez was the home team, the game was ended. Elk Grove lost its first game of the season, 4-3.
Jordan Brenner went three-for-three for the Lady Herd.
Later that night in the third place game, Kimberly Wilburn was handed the start against Vacaville. She surrendered just two runs, but then took a line drive off her knee in the fifth inning which put her on the bench. Venturelli was called on the finish the game. Meanwhile, the Thundering Herd bats couldn’t muster but five hits off Bulldog pitching and lost, 3-0.
Sarah Hannah had two of those hits for Elk Grove.
The Lady Herd, who was named the top-ranked team in the nation by Maxpreps last week, had another showdown against Pleasant Grove on Wednesday. Last week, they shutout the Lady Eagles, 1-0. ….
Elk Grove’s baseball team also suffered its first loss of the season Saturday. It was a 6-3 defeat at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose.
The Herd, who is ranked 16th nationally by Maxpreps, committed four errors against the 15th-ranked Mitty squad. Pitcher J.D. Davis started on the mound and went four innings, surrendered four runs, two of them earned, five hits, struck out eight and walked one. He also hit a home run, his second on the year. Matt Aday had two hits and two RBI’s.
On Friday, Elk Grove defeated Bellarmine, 6-3. Rowdy Tellez was three-for-three with three RBI’s. Jesse Anguiano picked up the win in relief of Ryan King.
Coach Jeff Carlson wasn’t that impressed that Maxpreps had ranked his team so high nationally.
“It is a nice honor to the program to get national recognition,” Carlson said. “The important thing is not get to into rankings and try as a team to get better each and every week. I tell the players it is important how you finish the year not how you start it as it relates to rankings.”

The Thundering Herd has a rematch against St. Mary’s March 29 in Stockton. The two schools faced off last spring in the Division I championship round of the Sac-Joaquin Section tournament. St. Mary’s won the first two games of the best-of-three set. …

The CIF NorCal Basketball Championships for Divisions I, II and III are tomorrow at Power Balance Pavilion. In the D-I boys’ game, Castro Valley, a team that has lost only once, will face De LaSalle, the club that knocked Sheldon out of the state tournament.

Franklin head coach Jesse Formaker likes Castro Valley in that game.

“Castro Valley is by far the most athletic and experienced team in Northern California,” he wrote in an email to the Citizen. “They could very well represent the North in the State game.”

He should know because Castro Valley ended the Wildcats’ season last week in a second-round NorCal game, 68-63. That’s the furthest any Franklin team has ever gone in the NorCal tournament.

Formaker said that game may have been his team’s best performance all year, despite the loss.

“In the second half of our game at Castro Valley, we played about as well as we have played all year,” he wrote. “I was extremely pleased with the heart and character we showed in responding to the adversity of the situation. It demonstrated the outstanding ability and heart of our players.”

“Our team played with great passion, commitment, and effort in the second half, pulling within two points in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, we just came up a bit short at the end.” ….

Cosumnes River College baseball notes –

On Tuesday, March 8, CRC defeated Sacramento City College, 6-2, in a non-league game. Taylor Herbert (Pleasant Grove H.S.) allowed one hit in 4 2/3 innings to earn the win.

Two days later, the Hawks scored three runs in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Sierra College, 7-6. After a lead-off out, Joe Bettencourt (Elk Grove H.S.) and Phillip Roa (Elk Grove H.S.) both singled.  One out later,  Colby Brenner (Elk Grove H.S.) doubled home two runs, then Brian Murphy (Pleasant Grove H.S.) singled home the winning run.

Brenner, who went 5-6 with 4 RBI’s, had tripled home two runs in the 7th to make it a 5-4 game.

CRC then opened the Big 8 Conference schedule last Saturday, losing to Delta College, 4-3.  ….

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Sheldon Wins Section Title, Again

Here's the summary of the game from Wil DeBoard of the SJ Section:
The Huskies (23-7) won their second consecutive Section title behind 27 points and 14 rebounds from senior forward Darius Nelson. Sheldon is coached by Joey Rollings, who won a Section title with the Huskies' girls team in 2006 as well.
Sheldon received 18 points apiece from Ramon Eaton and D'Erryl Williams and 10 points form Dakarai Allen.
Jesuit, the DRL runner-up to Sheldon, got 17 points apiece from Akachi Okugo and Parker Uu. Broan Glodowski added 15 points.
It was the third meeting between the DRL rivals, and Sheldon won all three. Both advance to the CIF NorCal Tournament, which begins next week. NorCal brackets for all divisions will be released Sunday afternoon.

My comment - business as usual. Superior talent prevailed over a good coached team. Darius was outstanding as usual, but the difference was that Jesuit had no answer for the athelticism of Ky Thomas, D'Erryl Williams and Dakarai Allen.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Notebook 3/4/11

Brief notes from my sports notebook:

Can they make it four in a row? That’s the question before the fans of the Bradshaw Christian School’s girls’ basketball team as they take on Brookside Christian for the Division V basketball championship today at 4 p.m. at Power Balance Pavilion.

The Lady Pride once again walked right through the playoffs this season. Tuesday, they made minch meat out of Vacaville Christian, 68-32. Bradshaw had won previous playoff games by 43 and 40 points to this point.

To pick up their fourth straight Section championship banner, they’ll have to face a team, Brookside Christian, whose leading scorer is a freshman, Tiara Tucker. She led the Sac-Joaquin Section with a 31  points per game average.  Brookside dispatched Turlock Christian, 72-60, in the other semi-final matchup on Tuesday.

The Pride have been led the last four seasons by UC-Davis-bound Lauren Beyers, along with forward Jordie Smith and fireplug guard Fernandi Espinosa. But, this year sophomore guard Ashlee Smith has risen to the occasion for the Pride.

The last girls’ basketball team to win a Sac-Joaquin Section championship four years in a row was St. Francis which took the D-III titles between 1991 and 1994.   ….

As fired up as Elk Grove wrestling coach Pat Coffing was about his team’s performance last Saturday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters’ Meet in Stockton, he’s a little more reserved when talking about the Thundering Herd’s chances at the California State Meet this weekend in Bakersfield.

“I think (Martin) Ramirez has a good chance of being successful,” Coffing said about his 119-pounder who is ranked fourth in the state by The California Wrestler website. “The rest of my guys will go (to Bakersfield) and compete. There’s no reason success can’t happen there.”

Coffing was elated last weekend when for the first time since he’s been coaching at Elk Grove he had nine wrestlers all place at the Masters. He brought 11 total to the event at the Stockton arena.

“I told them the way they competed made me as proud about any team that I’ve coached,” he said.

But as a team, Elk Grove finished third after two straight years of ending up second. Didn’t matter that much to Coffing because of those Herd wrestlers who placed, six of them qualified for Bakersfield. He says any of his young men could place there, too, this weekend.

“It’s kind of like Disneyland, dreams do come true sometimes,” Coffing described wrestling at the state meet. He recalled several area wrestlers who had numerous losses during the season, yet placed high at the state meet.

“It just happens,” he said. “You just have to perform. You have to dance with the girl that brought you. Be yourself and wrestle within yourself and just be stubborn and tough. A lot of kids start getting shaky when it really counts.”

Besides Ramirez, Elk Grove’s 215-pounder Josh Letuligasenoa has a decent chance of placing at state as does 285-pounder Bryan Hayasida. 112-pound wrestler Danny Inong has come on in the last month.

Coffing thinks coming off the strong showing in Stockton will help his guys at the state meet.

“We just competed with ice in our veins,” he said. “Some guys wrestled above their heads. Our schedule prepared them for this pressure. A lot of kids (at other schools) aren’t (prepared).”

“There’s some that have a wonderful record and lose the first day because they haven’t been tested.”

Coffing is also taking with him 103-pounder Jacob Lopez and 160-pounder Scott Votino.

Sheldon will be represented by two wrestlers, Laith Alnassiri at 140 pounds and Roger Bain at 189 pounds.

Coffing says he expects Bakersfield High School and Clovis West to battle for the state team wrestling title. …

When word got to PGA Champions Tour professional Loren Roberts a year ago that high school golf programs would be eliminated in the Elk Grove school district in a cost-saving measure, Roberts wrote out a check for $70,000. High School golf was saved locally thanks to his generosity.

As a way to say thank you, all the EGUSD golf teams competed Monday in the first-ever Loren Roberts Invitational at the Rancho Murrieta Country Club. And, Roberts himself was in attendance. …

Cosumnes Oaks football coach Ryan “Scooter” Gomes texted the Citizen Tuesday to report that junior Marcus Rios was offered a scholarship to play football in 2012 for Boise State. Gomes wrote, “(Rios) told coach (Chris Petersen) he wants to play for him and the Broncos and to be teammates with Robert Ash.”

Rios is a 6-0, 160-pound free safety who had 47 tackles, one interception and two fumble recoveries for the Wolfpack last fall.

Ash, a defensive end, will graduate in May and attend Boise in the fall.

Gomes also texted he expects a few Pac 12 schools to also go after Rios.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Notebook for 1/22/11

I read our story in the news section of the Citizen which discussed the possibility that the Board of Trustees of Elk Grove Unified will postpone the re-drawing of attendance boundaries. The reason, as I have previously blogged, is that Franklin High School and its feeder junior high, Toby Johnson, are over capacity. The Board wants to spread out the students between all of its schools. That's a good idea. With the exception of Pleasant Grove H.S. and Albiani Middle School, all the others are under capacity, some by quite a bit.

But the parents are beefing about that. As one administrator recalled in 2002 when Franklin High School was ready to open no one wanted to go there. Now, everyone wants to attend Franklin.

Laguna Creek is getting a bad rap and folks think it's like walking into East L.A. (yes, I had a parent tell me that).

So, the school board is taking the easy way out and putting it all off. But, because no one complained in the Irene West Elementary School area, those students will head to Laguna Creek/Harriet Eddy instead of Monterey Trail/Harris. Except for football, we almost never hear from Monterey Trail parents at the Citizen.

Well, go ahead and draw the boundaries. It still won't stop the parents of athletes figuring out a way to get into the high school they want their student to play for, the coach they want their son/daughter to play for. It is absolutely amazing how many of the star varsity players on just about every team in just about every sport don't live in that school's attendance area.  ..... Click on this link. The batter at the top of the page (the Menlo College baseball website) is my oldest son, Joel. He's the starting right fielder for the Oaks. This will be his senior year at Menlo. They'll have a team that could go deep into the NAIA playoffs.

This may be a pivotal year for locally-based professional baseball players Dwight Childs and Brad Kilby.

Kilby, a former Laguna Creek and San Jose State pitcher, reports to the Oakland A’s minor league spring training camp in Arizona the first week of March. He spent much of 2010 on the injury list of the Sacramento River Cats, the A’s Triple-A franchise, with a shoulder injury. He had surgery in the off-season and has been rehabilitating.

Kilby is already 15 pounds under his playing weight a year ago and looking to shed more pounds. He’s also been the basketball scoreboard operator at Franklin High School this season, helping his brother, Bryan, the school’s activities director.

Last season Kilby spent some time in the bullpen with the A’s, but it appears as though he’ll be playing for Sacramento for the fourth year in a row…..

Childs, a catcher at Elk Grove High School and the University of Arizona, was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 2009. He played in Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley that summer and was with Class A Lake County after expanded spring training in 2010.

Whereas Childs is regarded as a top defensive catcher, he’s struggled in the pros with his bat. He had a .093 batting average with Mahoning Valley in 15 games and a .103 mark in 16 games with Lake County.

He reports March 7 to the Indians’ minor league camp, also in Arizona.

“I know they’ll give me an opportunity, so I need to take advantage of it,” Childs said of his prospects for the 2011 season.

The Indians have a new catching coordinator, Dave Wallace, Childs said so he’s a little unsure of where he may be playing in the Indians’ organization.

“I just want to play,” Childs added. He says he’s been doing weight training to try to add pounds to his 175-pound frame.

“There’s lots of good talent in the minor league ranks right now,” Childs said of the Indian organization. “They’ve got good instructors, good coaches.”

He described current Indians’ starting catcher Carlos Santana, “a really good hitter” and thinks the Indians have some rising stars in its organization at several positions. ….

Cosumnes Oaks football coach Ryan Gomes recently visited former Laguna Creek and Oregon State linebacker Alan Darling in Oregon on a trip to that state. Darling played some professional football briefly in Europe and is now trying to get on the coaching staff of the Beavers, according to Gomes.  

Gomes said Bryson Littlejohn, who just wrapped up his college career this season at Oregon, and Jeremy Ross, a wide receiver/running back at Cal, both should be drafted by an NFL team in April. Gomes said the two former Cardinals have been working out in preparation for the upcoming draft combines.

NFL Draft Scout.Com lists Littlejohn as the 47th best prospect at inside linebacker for the draft while Ross is listed as the 87th top wide receiver coming out of college.  

Gomes used to be an assistant coach at Laguna Creek before coming over to Cosumnes Oaks as its head coach three seasons ago. …