Wednesday, January 30, 2013

League Realignment - Cosumnes Oaks To the CVC?

Section officials called it the best-attended - and longest - public meeting ever on realignment of the leagues and conferences around the Sac-Joaquin area. Tuesday was the second of a scheduled five open meetings to discuss where area high schools would be placed for interscholastic athletics for the four academic years between 2014 and 2018.

In that meeting it was proposed Cosumnes Oaks, a school of about 1,800 students, would be placed with similarly-sized institutions in the Capital Valley Conference. They would join Antelope, Roseville, Whitney, Del Campo, Bella Vista, Oakmont and Ponderosa. In the initial proposal brought forward in early January the Wolfpack would have joined the Metro Conference. But, C.O. officials balked strongly mainly because many athletic departments at many of those schools amount to nothing more than intramural clubs (honestly).

Here is the latest proposal of what the Section would look like beginning in 2014

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vandalism At Valley Hi C.C.

Elk Grove is blessed with several quality, well-kept golf courses. None of them, though, is better maintained than Valley Hi Country Club.

Apparently, one or possibly more people don't seem to honor finely landscaped golf layouts such as Valley Hi's.

The country club's manager, Jim Davis, said he got a phone call early Saturday morning that vandals badly damaged four greens, six tee-boxes and stole six flagpoles from the course.

"My jaw dropped to the ground," Davis remarked after viewing the extensive damage. "I've never seen anything like this."

In fact, Valley Hi is now offering a $2,500 reward to anyone that can give information that would lead to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the vandalism.

"Where I am coming from, this is a hard-core, malicous act," Davis added.

Davis said at least two different types of shovels were used in digging large, deep holes on the greens and tee-boxes.

He didn't know exactly how much the cost would be in fixing all the damage but claimed he would likely have to pay at least six thousand dollars in additional labor alone to fully repair all the greens and tee boxes.

If you know anything about this vandalism, Davis asks you phone 916-684-2120. You may remain anonymous.

Follow me on Twitter @EGCitizenJHull

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hernandez Selected To Team Mexico For WBC

Former Elk Grove H.S. and Cosumnes River College pitching star David Hernandez was recently selected to play for Team Mexico in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Mexico will play in Pool D with Italy, Canada and Team USA.
Arizona pitcher David Hernandez

Hernandez just completed another outstanding season as a late-inning reliever for the Arizona Diamondbacks.He amassed a 2-3 record but improved his ERA (2.50) and struck out more hitters (98) in one less inning of work (68 1/3 IP). His strikeout to walk ratio was massively impressive (4.45-1), he improved his Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched or WHIP (1.1-1.0) and his Wins Above Replacement rating was a 1.7, which is solid for a reliever. 

This year Hernandez is being slotted to be the set-up man for D-backs' closer J.J. Putz. The team did sign former San Diego closer Heath Bell in the off-season.

His younger brother, Raymond, played last summer in Arizona's Class A team in Visalia. He, too, is a pitcher. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sheldon Beats PG, Laguna Over Franklin

A strong third quarter was the difference as Sheldon defeated Pleasant Grove in a showdown of the Delta River League's top two teams, 85-79. The Huskies' Derin Johnson had 28 points to lead everyone. Dakarai Allen added 22 while D'Erryl Williams scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half.

Pleasant Grove was paced by Malik Thames with 20 points. Cole Nordquist scored 19 and Marquese Criss had 18 points. Matthew Hayes added 15 as the Eagles found themselves down 62-42 midway through the third quarter after trailing only 43-37 at half.

Both teams came into tonight's game at 4-0 and atop the DRL standings.

In the Delta Valley Conference tonight Laguna Creek started out hot with a 17-2 lead over Franklin and then cruised to a 56-51 win over the Wildcats. With the win, the Cardinals pull into a four-way tie for first place in the DVC. Along with Franklin and Laguna Creek, Davis and Grant are also 4-2.

Tonight, Davis rolled over Elk Grove, 96-57, while Grant defeated Monterey Trail, 49-46.

In girls' action tonight in the DVC I watched Franklin methodically deal with Laguna Creek, 47-39.
 Though the Lady Cardinals are now 3-15 on the season, 0-6 in the conference, coach Bridgett Singleton, a former Sacramento City College player, has a great attitude in bringing along a group of girls who lack basketball experience.

Listen to my post-game interviews with Singleton, her top guard, Arianna Alvarez, and Franklin's impressive forward Lindsey Bedford.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

EG Wrestlers Finish Second In Albany

Elk Grove's wrestling squad took second place at a tournament in Albany last weekend.

Six of the Herd grapplers placed first in their weight classes while one was second.

Placing first was Tristan Scott (106), Ethan Larrabee (120), Terell Turner (132), Scott Votino (195), Thomas Aquila (220) and Jaharee Taylor (285).

Kelani Tonge at 113 pounds was second at his weight.

At the Tim Brown Memorial Tournament, also last weekend, Sheldon's heavyweight Sam Alnassiri won first place in his weight class.

Franklin Boys Grab DVC Lead

Franklin's boys' basketball team sits alone atop the Delta Valley Conference standings today thanks to an impressive 75-67, come-from-behind win over Davis. The Blue Devils (3-2 DVC) were outscored 26-14 in the fourth quarter by the Wildcats to drop one game back in the league standings.

Franklin (4-1 DVC) was led by Benson Osayande who had 22 points. Victor Rustin added 18 for the Wildcats.

There's now a three-way tie for second as Grant (3-2) defeated Elk Grove, 48-31. The Herd (2-3) were led by Connor Sutton with ten points. Elk Grove scored only two points in the second quarter as their offensive output has really declined the past four games or so.

Laguna Creek (3-2) is the third team in the second place logjam. They defeated 0-5 Monterey Trail, 73-59.  Andre Lewis led the Cardinals with 23 points.

Laguna will host Franklin Friday night in the biggest game of the night in the conference.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Franklin Wrestlers Defeat Davis, 72-15

Franklin's grapplers, following last week's disappointing dual match loss to Elk Grove, have rebounded the past few days with several outstanding performances. Wednesday in a Delta Valley Conference dual match, the Wildcats defeated Davis, 72-15.

Here's the results of each match: (Franklin wrestlers listed first)

108 Josh Santo Domingo lost by fall at :42 to Elias LoBuono-Gonzalez
115 Andrew Hoang won by Forfeit
122 Sebastian Flores won by Forfeit
128 Antonio Rios won by Forfeit
134 Hunter Eva pinned Hughes at 2:29
140 Adam Borges pinned Maquis Turner :55
147 Matt Sy was pinned by Carr Tanner 2:57
154 Josiah Doherty was pinned by Connor Spann 5:41
162 Karriem Davis pinned Connor Spann 3:15
172 Robby Nickerson pinned Jon DeSidiri 2:43
184 Connor King won by Forfeit
197 Walter Moreno won by Forfeit
222 Ibrahim Shaikh pinned Devin Sanchez 1:25
287 Tyler Hecht won by Forfeit

Basketball Power Rankings - How Do They Work?

Rather than I explain it, here's a full rundown from the Sac-Joaquin Section on how each basketball team - boys and girls - receive their power rankings.

Basically, the top 16 teams from each division (except Divisions V, VI and VII) get into the playoffs. There can be more if, for example, a league champion earns a power rating lower than the top 16 in that division. There is usually a "play-in" game with seed #17 (the league champion) and #16 a couple days prior to the start of the bracket of 16.

There is also a "power ranking" assigned to each league in the Section which can go a long ways towards getting more teams in some leagues/conferences into the post-season. The Delta River League, in both boys and girls, has the highest ranking number (8.2) of all leagues. That basically is figured by how good all the teams in the league are each season.

Read more about this on the section website. I will add that next week the first of the team power rankings will come out. That will give us some idea on which teams have a chance of making the playoffs.

Most leagues will start their second go-round of conference games next week.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Armsteads Inks With Patriots

Former Pleasant Grove defensive lineman Armond Armstead has signed a contract to play next season for the New England Patriots.

Armstead was an all-star defensive lineman for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian League this season. The Argonauts won the Grey Cup, the CFL's version of the Super Bowl trophy.

Armstead played his college ball at Southern Cal.

Monday, January 21, 2013

All-State Football Team Announced

Cal Hi Sports announced their all-state football selections for the Sophomore and Junior class for 2012.  There are four players from the Elk Grove area selected:

All-State Football:  Sophomore
 - Spencer Sheff (Elk Grove), LB/RB/DB - Second Team
All-State Football:  Juniors
 - Joey Banks (Franklin), LB - Third Team
 - DeAundre Terrell (Pleasant Grove), QB/DB - Third Team
 - Alex Van Dyke (Cosumnes Oaks), WR - Third Team

Burbank's junior defensive tackle Ngalu Tapa was selected to the first team All-State Junior squad. 

Wiggins, 49ers Head To Super Bowl

SF 49ers NFC Championship hat, given Sunday to
former Elk Grove H.S. lineman Kenny Wiggins
Sure, he's a member of the practice squad, but former Elk Grove and Fresno State offensive tackle Kenny Wiggins is beaming with pride today. His San Francisco 49er teammates won the NFC championship over Atlanta Sunday, 28-24.

They are on their way to the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb.3.

Wiggins, in an interview with me two weeks ago, talked about how hard the Niners have been working and the result of that hard work showed in impressive wins over Green Bay and the Falcons in the playoffs.

The Niners have Wiggins and the other practice squad members prepare just like the active roster players for each and every game. They are one NFL team that takes their practice squad seriously and treat them very well, according to Wiggins.

He'll also have a big insight to the Baltimore Ravens, the 49ers Super Bowl opponent. Wiggins finished the 2011 season as a part of their practice squad.

He'll be EGHS' second participant in a Super Bowl. Lance Briggs went to a Super Bowl four years ago with the Chicago Bears.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Franklin Roars To First Place With Win

Maybe no one is noticing, but the four-time defending Delta Valley Conference basketball champions are in first place.

Franklin High School, after losing top scorer Derin Johnson to Sheldon and Theo Johnson and Kelton Newman to graduation, have found a group of guys who play Jesse Formaker-type basketball. Friday they defeated Elk Grove, 53-45, to go to 3-1 and sit atop the conference after two weeks of play.

Sure they are now 10-10. Not an impressive record, but Formaker sounds like an invigorated coach who really is having a great time this season.

Listen to him in this video following Friday's win. Also, I talked with team leader Victor Rustin, who led all scorers with 22 points.

Other Friday scores:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

EG Wins Wrestling Dual vs. Franklin

Elk Grove’s wrestling squad has won the last ten conference championships. This year Franklin’s Fred Marks thought he had the squad that would end the Thundering Herd’s choke hold over the Delta Valley Conference.

It didn’t happen Wednesday night. Elk Grove showed why this winter they should be hanging it’s 11th consecutive DVC championship banner in the Cartwright Gym in just a couple more weeks.

The Herd grapplers won 11 of 14 matches,  seven by pin, to easily take the dual match over the Wildcats, 56-15.

Marks thought his guys would win five matches. He had pretty much conceded four matches to Elk Grove in his head. Marks thought the other five or so would be toss-ups. He was expecting a tight dual, maybe a win that could be the biggest in Franklin’s ten-year history.

“We have all kind of talent, but talent didn’t show up (Wednesday),” Marks said afterwards.

“We were very, very solid,” Elk Grove coach Pat Coffing described his team’s one-sided win. “We wrestled well and we did the things we’ve been working on.”

The dual started with the 154-pound classification and Elk Grove got on the board immediately as Braden Henderson pinned Nick DiManno in a minute, 59 seconds. Joey Lopez at 160 pounds pinned D.J. Harper right after that and the Herd had a 12-0 team lead right off the bat.

Franklin’s Robbie Nickerson got his team on the scoreboard at 171 pounds when he bloodied the face of Christian Vargas and rode him to a 9-7 decision.

The Wildcats’ top wrestler, Joey Banks, then pinned John Thomas in 1:40 in the 182-pound match to make it a 12-9 match.

Elk Grove’s Scott Votino, a 195-pounder, followed with a pin of Ibrahim Shaikes to extend the lead to 18—9.

Nick Gustin then earned what was Franklin’s final win of the night at 220 pounds by pinning Thomas Aquila in a minute, 59 seconds. The match score at that point was 18-15, Wildcats.

Then in perhaps the most anticipated match of the night, pitting two of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s best heavyweights, Jaharee Taylor pinned Tyler Hecht in 5:24.

“(Jaharee) was able to hold Tyler down for the first time,” Coffing said of the match. “Jaharee wrestled a lot in the off-season and it really shows.”

Taylor has only one loss this season.

The other highly anticipated match of the night didn’t materialize. Elk Grove’s Ethan Larrabee was set to take on Franklin’s Josh Villaflor at 120 pounds, but Villaflor didn’t make weight.

At 126 pounds there was a bit of an upset when Elk Grove’s Carson Sperber decisioned Antonio Jimenez of Franklin, 7-3.

“That was a very good win for Carson,” Coffing said. “That was his best win all year.”

Though the Herd has two more DVC dual meets, one at Grant and the final one on Jan. 30 at home against Monterey Trail, it’s pretty much expected that Elk Grove will hang another conference championship banner just a couple days prior to the Section Team Dual Championship, Feb. 2, at Lincoln High School.

“We’ll re-group and get back at them at the conference meet,” Marks promised.

His guys will wrestled this weekend at Morro Bay in a large tournament. Elk Grove will send most of their top guys to a tournament in Albany tomorrow and through the weekend. The rest of the team will go to a tournament at Sonora High School.

Franklin vs. Elk Grove Dual Wrestling 
Individual Match Results

154     Braden Henderson (EG) pinned Nick DiManno (F) 1:59   6-0    
160    Joey Lopez (EG) pinned D. J. Harper (F) 5:00                                  12-0
171     Robbie Nickerson (F) dec. Christian Vargas (EG) 9-7                    12-3
182    Joey Banks (F) pinned John Thomas (EG) 1:40                              12-9
195     Scott Votino (EG) pinned Ibrahim Shaikes (F) 1:30                       18-9
220    Nick Gustin (F) pinned Thomas Aquila (EG) 1:59              18-15
285    Jaharee Taylor (EG) pinned Tyler Hecht (F) 5:24             24-15
108    Chris Ennis (EG) pinned Santo Domingo (F) 1:27              30-15
113     Tristan Scott (EG) pinned G’Angelo Rodriguez (F) 1:54    36-15
120    Ethan Larrabee (EG) pinned Sebastian Flores (F) 1:20                 42-15
126    Carson Sperber (EG) dec. Antonio Jimenez (F), 7-3                       45-15
132    Jason Garcia (EG) dec. Ali Khan (F), 8-7                                           48-15
140    Davis Hallberg (EG) tech. fall over Adam Borges (F)                    53-15
145     Caleb Vetterli (EG) dec. Arman Haq (F), 5-0                                   56-15

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Franklin, EG Grapplers Prep For Weds' Dual

The biggest dual match of the season is coming up Wednesday when Elk Grove hosts Franklin. It will determine the Delta Valley Conference champion in wrestling.
EGHS wrestler Annastassia Ramirez

The dual begins at 6 p.m. in the Cartwright Gym. Wrestling fans, this will be a don't miss match. 

Franklin Grapplers Win Armijo Tourney

Franklin's wrestling team was very impressive last Saturday in winning the Armijo Invitational in Fairfield. Ten of the 14 Wildcat wrestlers placed in the top four in their weight class.

First place medals went to Josh Villaflor (126 pounds), Ali Khan (132), Joey Banks (182) and Tyler Hecht (285). Villaflor was named the outstanding wrestler of the event.

Evan Fong placed fourth at 106 pounds. Earning third place were Antonio Jimenez (126), Arman Haq (145), Connor King (160) and Nick Gustin (195)

This weekend Franklin will compete at the California Invitational at Morro Bay.

Friday, January 11, 2013

EG Outshoots, Outhustles Laguna Creek

Behind the sharp shooting of Elk Grove guard Danny Goldman, the Thundering Herd grabbed its first Delta Valley Conference win of the year Friday night by downing Laguna Creek, 48-40.

Goldman scored 19 points while Connor Sutton tacked on 11 to outsmart a taller and more athletic Cardinal team, now at 0-2 in the DVC, looking for its identity on the court.

Cardinal coach Paul Casey admitted afterwards its been hard to have five players, including Burbank transfer Jericho Avery, added to the team late and eligible to play just barely a week.

In the video below, watch game highlights and listen to Casey talk about his conundrum along with the plaudits from Elk Grove coach Rudy Ortega who thought Friday's performance by Goldman was one of the best he's seen out of one of his players since Yemi Akilo in the 2007-2008 season.

In other games, Sheldon looked impressive in its Delta River League game by defeating Jesuit, 69-42.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Levin To Take Year Off

Elk Grove golfer Spencer Levin has decided to take a medical leave of absence from the PGA Tour in 2013. According to his uncle, Bob, the athletic director at Elk Grove High School, Spencer wanted to insure his injured thumb ligament, injured in October and surgically repaired soon thereafter, would be completely healed.

Levin was 68th in money winnings on the Tour in 2012 and finished 83rd in the FedEx Cup standings. He had three top-10 finishes and earned a little more than $1.2 million.

Spencer had planned on making his 2013 debut at this week's Sony Hawaiian Open, but Bob said Spencer had second thoughts and wanted to spend much of the year on a strength and conditioning program. He'll point towards returning to the Tour following the FedEx Cup Playoffs in September.

Bob also says that he's hired former Monterey Trail golf coach Clifford Cheathon as his assistant coach at EGHS for the spring. Cheathon is also an assistant pro at Wildhawk Golf Club.

Franklin Wins Dual Match

In Delta Valley Conference wrestling Wednesday Franklin rolled over Laguna Creek, 70-6. The Wildcats are now 2-0 in DVC duals.

They are coming off an impressive showing last weekend at the the "Sharktank" which was held in Corona. Franklin broke several team records for performance in a major competition. They finished 6th with 134.5 points. Nine wrestlers made it to the second day and four placed.

DJ Harper finished 7th at 160 pounds. Josh Villaflor was 4th at 120 while Antonio Jimenez claimed 3rd at 126. Tyler Hecht won the championship at 285.

Also in the DVC Wednesday, Elk Grove defeated Davis, 72-6.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Section Realignment - Delta League To Return

The old Delta League, which comprised the Elk Grove-area schools along with Davis, Folsom and Jesuit/St. Francis High Schools, discarded in realignment of the Sac-Joaquin Section about seven years ago, may return. In today's first of what will be four league realignment meetings in Stockton, Section officials proposed the dissolution of the Delta Valley Conference and Delta River League beginning in the fall of 2014 and replace them with the Delta League.

In the proposal, Elk Grove, Franklin, Sheldon, Monterey Trail, Pleasant Grove, Jesuit/St. Francis, Grant and Davis would comprise the resurrected Delta League. There would also be two other Division I leagues in the north half of the Section, if the proposal is approved by the Section's Board of Governors later this spring.

The Sierra Foothill League, which currently has Del Oro, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Roseville, Woodcreek and Nevada Union, would add Folsom and Oak Ridge. Those two schools currently are part of the DRL.

The Monticello Empire League would be the Section's third Division I league in the North. Section officials also propose the MEL would contain Napa, Vintage, Rodriguez, Vallejo, Bethel and Vacaville.

Cattolico Will Remain at PG After All

A very good source has just texted me that Pleasant Grove's football coach Joe Cattolico will remain as the Eagles' head football coach.

In early December he had announced his resignation after six years, one Section championship and two runner-up finishes.

More details on this story as I receive them ...

Friday, January 04, 2013

PG Rolls Over EG, DRL Opponents Next

Pleasant Grove looked every bit one of the area's top boys basketball teams tonight as they easily defeated Elk Grove, 75-41. Colfax Nordquist had a very solid night for the Eagles  scoring 24 points and keeping the middle bottled up all night with some excellent defense.

Listen to portions of a post-game interview with Nordquist and Eagles' coach John DePonte. 

Pleasant Grove is now 12-3 on the season and will open the Delta River League slate Wednesday at Oak Ridge. Elk Grove, with the loss, dropped to 10-7. They were led by Danny Goldman with 11 points. Connor Sutton had eight points and five assists. Follow the DRL and the Delta Valley Conference this season right here!

Johnson, Now Eligible, Leads Sheldon In Win

Sheldon's latest addition to the basketball roster made a definite impression for the Huskies as Derin Johnson scored 24 points in a 65-53 win over Northside H.S. of Lafayette, La. The Huskies are in New Orleans this weekend for the All-Star Sugar Bowl Classic. 

Johnson had to sit the first 30 days of the season after transferring from Franklin.

Other Games:

Andre Lewis, a transfer from South Carolina, debuted for Laguna Creek (9-7) in a big way by scoring 35 points. But, Laguna lost to Cordova, 74-65. 

"He's about 6-2 and is a strong kid," Cardinal coach Paul Casey said. Laguna Creek's top scorer, center Malik Pope, sat out the game.

The Cardinals play at Turlock tonight.

Cosumnes Oaks, behind 24 points from Alex Van Dyke, defeated Rio Americano, 57-56.

A good game to attend tonight - Pleasant Grove faces off against Elk Grove. Tip off at the Cartwright Gym is at 7 p.m.

In girls' hoops, Jasmine Redmond scored 24 points to lead Monterey Trail to a 58-55 win over Ponderosa.

Franklin defeated Monterey Trail, 41-34, to open the Delta Valley Conference dual season. In another DVC dual, Elk Grove beat Laguna Creek, 56-12. 

This weekend Herd wrestlers will compete in the NorCal Classic in Redding.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

PG Beats Franklin, Looks Strong in 2013

Sheldon's boys' basketball team has received lots of ink and attention, and rightfully so, going into this winter. But, watch out for Pleasant Grove, who was impressive Wednesday night in defeating Franklin, 68-45.

The Eagles will next be in action Friday when they play at Elk Grove, another team that looks good already.

In girls' basketball, Elk Grove was thumped by McClatchy, 52-21, as Michelle Wong had eight points to lead the Herd.

Elsewhere ....