Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Sheldon vs. Pleasant Grove For D-I Title

The Delta River League foes, Pleasant Grove and Sheldon, will face each other for the third time this season late Saturday night for the biggest prize thus far this season - the Sac-Joaquin Section's Division I boys' basketball championship.

The game is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. tip off at Sleep Train Arena.

Pleasant Grove late Wednesday defeated Bella Vista, 68-60, while Sheldon earlier in the day beat Bethel, 86-72. 

More on the upcoming matchup between two of the area's top clubs coming soon right here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dinwiddie Hired As Ass't Coach In CFL

Former Elk Grove High School quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie was hired last week as an assistant coach for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He’ll be working under his former college coach at Boise State, Dan Hawkins, who also was recently hired by the Alouettes as their new head coach.

Ryan Dinwiddie
Hawkins hired Dinwiddie as his “offensive quality control coach.” 

Dinwiddie recently retired from playing in the CFL after spending three years with Winnipeg and two years with Saskatchewan. 

EGHS' Ramirez Finishes In Top 12 At State

Elk Grove Wrestler Annastassia Ramirez in action
at last weekend's State Girls' Wrestling Championships

Elk Grove freshman Annastassia Ramirez finished in the top 12 at last weekend’s Girls’ State Wrestling Championships at Lemoore High School. She had three wins and two loses at the tournament. She finished the year 38-12 with 29 pins. 

The other local girls competing in Lemoore were Tita-Marie Yasay (122 pounds) of Florin who won one match and Ciara Martinez (138 pounds) of Pleasant Grove who won one match. 

Ramirez’ older brother, Martin, a former three-time Masters champion at Elk Grove and now at Adams State College in Colorado, placed third at the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament at Chadron State College, last weekend. That finish earned him the "Freshman of the Year" award and qualified him for the National Tournament, March 8-9 in Birmingham Alabama.

Also competing at that tournament was Isa Hurtado, a former Sheldon Huskie. Hurtado is now wrestling for San Francisco State. He earned fifth place at the Regional.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Larson Unhurt in Large Crash At Daytona

Kyle Larson's car (#32) as it flies above the track during
a crash at Dayton Interntional Speedway Saturday. Larson
was not injured. (Photo Courtesy AP)

Kyle Larson’s first race in NASCAR’s Nationwide Tier-2 Series will be a memorable one. Just 200 hundred feet away from the finish of the season opening race at Dayton International Speedway Saturday, Larson was moving closer into the pack of leaders and all of a sudden a multi-car crunch started.
Larson’s No. 32 Chevrolet got the worse of it. It began to sail into the air, slammed into the fence that separates the track from the spectators. Debris was flying everywhere.
The front of his car sheared off with the burning engine wedged through a hole in the fence. A tire ended up midway up the bleachers.
After the dust and debris settled what was left of his vehicle was sitting on infield of the speedway. A photographer caught an image of Larson standing alongside his race car looking a bit stunned. His protective roll cage saved his life. The entire front half of the car was sheared off.

Taylor Takes Masters Championship at 285

Elk Grove's heavyweight wrestler Jaharee Taylor defeated Sheldon's Sam Alnassiri, 2-1, Saturday to win the Sac-Joaquin Section's Masters Tournament at 285 pounds.

Taylor, who placed second to Franklin's Tyler Hecht at the Division I-A meet last weekend, got to the championship match thanks to a double-overtime win over Jeff Camilli of Ponderosa in the semi-finals.

Late in the third period of the championship match, Taylor reversed on Alnassiri who was riding Taylor throughout much of the period. The points came with only 20 seconds remaining in the match.

Taylor's teammate, Tristan Scott, was sixth at 106 pounds. Another Elk Grove grappler, Scott Votino, got a fourth place finished at 195 pounds. Those three will represent their school next weekend at the
 California State Wrestling Tournament next weekend in Bakersfield. The top seven finishers at each weight classification qualified for the big event.

Franklin heavyweight Tyler Hecht placed third at 285 pounds.

At 182 pounds, Franklin's Joey Banks finished second and Monterey Trail's Marlon Ward was sixth.

At 113 pounds, Ethan Brewer of Sheldon earned a third place medal. Franklin's Josh Villaflor finished third at 120 pounds.

More Masters results .....

Friday, February 22, 2013

After Day One, EG 9th, Franklin 10th at Masters

Elk Grove is currently in ninth place, Franklin tenth in the teams standings after day one of the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters' wrestling championships in Stockton.

The Herd has accumulated 49.5 points, the Wildcats have 48.5. Vacaville leads all teams with 123 points, followed by Folsom (79 pts) and Oakdale (76 pts).

Here's the individual results from Day One.

Some highlights:

--In one semi-final at 120 pounds Franklin's Josh Villaflor takes on Kasey Klaus of Vacaville Saturday. Either guy has the potential to go deep at State next week.

-- At 138, EG's Davis Hallberg is one win away from assuring himself a spot at the State Tournament. Same thing for teammate Braden Henderson at 152.

-- Two outstanding football players will wrestle each other in the semi-finals of the 182-pound weight class. Franklin's Joey Banks will take on Zack Claiborne of Oak Ridge, who led the Section in sacks. Banks was the Wildcats' top linebacker.

Also at 182, Pleasant Grove's Logan Paxton needs just win to assure himself a spot at the State tournament next weekend in Bakersfield.

-- At 195, Scott Votino (Elk Grove) is in the semi-finals. He's have a great year after wrestling the past two seasons at 170 pounds.

-- Elk Grove heavyweight Jaharee Taylor will take on Ponderosa's Jeff Camilli in the semi-finals Saturday. Camilli, who will play football at Boise State next season, won the Division I-A championship last weekend.

Two other area 285-pounders, Sheldon's Sam Alnassiri and Franklin's Tyler Hecht face off in the other semi-final. All four are assured a spot in the State Tournament.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Boys' Basketball Playoff Scores

Here are all the scores from our local guys Wednesday, the opening night of the round of 16 in high school boys' basketball:

Franklin 67, Turlock 65
Rocklin 62, Laguna Creek 42
Pleasant Grove 75, Armijo 62 (PG will host Franklin Friday night)
Cosumnes Oaks 89, Buhach Colony 88
Sheldon 94, Bear Creek 40
Golden Valley 50, Oak Ridge 49
Kennedy 71, Lodi 59
Bethel 74, Granite Bay 72
Del Campo 58, Del Oro 51
Placer 62, Inderkum 59
Lincoln (Stockton) 80, Davis 78
Sacramento 79, Wood 45
Burbank 76, Gregori 54
Grant 59, Cordova 55

Girls' (played Wednesday because of snow Tuesday in Grass Valley)
St. Francis 50, Nevada Union 42

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Want The Latest On League Realignment?

Here is a blog site that I think will help you see and read about all the latest talk surrounding Sac-Joaquin Section realignment for 2014-2018.

The blog is written by Rich Estrada, a writer for the Modesto Bee.

Ziegenhirt Smacks Five HR's In Five Days

The Cal womens’ softball team started the season two weeks ago on a bit of an ominous note, losing its first two games, narrow defeats at the hands of Kentucky and Florda. But, since that time the Bears have reeled off seven wins in a row, including a four-game sweep this past weekend in Las Vegas.

Leading the way was former Sheldon catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt. She has drilled a home run in each of her last five games, including a grand slam and a two-run homer Sunday in a win over Portland State.

Cal Senior Lindsey
"I feel like I'm hitting my stride. I have been working really hard hitting at practice and hitting all week so it's great to see that it's paying off," Ziegenhirt said. "Even though the result isn't always going to be a home run, I'll enjoy it while it lasts. I know now that I have that potential and I won't be doubting myself." 

She had plenty of reasons to doubt herself last season when she found herself on the bench during the Bears’ stretch run to the Women’s College World Series.  Now, this season back in the starting lineup again, Ziegenhirt has responded with a .357 batting average in the Bears’ first nine games.

The confidence she showed during her career at Sheldon where she and teammate Jolene Henderson earned high school All-American honors and led the Huskies to a pair of Sac-Joaquin Section championships, is shining again in her senior season at Cal. Even grand slams are becoming second nature to a young lady who was one of the state’s top power hitters in high school.

"I wasn't even thinking that it was bases loaded. I just really wanted to put the ball in play," Ziegenhirt said. "I'm doing the most with the opportunities given to me. I think I'm just seeing the ball well."

Also seeing the ball real well is Henderson, who has been an All-American pitcher the past two years at Cal. She’s been batting for herself a bit this season and is hitting .300 with a pair of home runs.

The Bears play in a tournament this weekend in Palm Springs.

Carda Off To Hot Start With UCLA

Former Pleasant Grove pitcher Ally Carda has led UCLA to a quick 8-1 start this season. She is 5-0 on the mound for the Bruins with a 1.58 ERA, two complete games and a shutout.

Her Eagle teammate, Alyssa Tiamalu, has recovered from knee surgery and is behind the plate for the Bruins this year. Tiamalu is batting .318 with a home run.

UCLA is ranked 18th in the nation while Cal is currently ranked No. 8.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

25 Area Wrestlers Qualify For Section Masters

Twenty-five Elk Grove-area boys qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section championships at the Division I-A wrestling meet at Pitman High School in Turlock on Saturday. The top eight in each weight group have qualified for the Section Masters' Championship which starts this Friday at the Stockton Arena.

The Masters pits the top grapplers in the Section from all divisions. Thirty-two wrestlers in each weight classification will open up competition this Friday at 9 a.m. The matches for first, third and fifth place will begin Saturday at 3 p.m.

The top seven in each weight group at the Masters will qualify for the State Wrestling Championships, March 1 and 2 at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

Here's the results of Elk Grove-area wrestlers:

108 - 1st Tristan Scott, Elk Grove (pinned Israel Washington of Monterey Trail in 3:41, Washington will also qualify for Masters).
115 - 4th Ethan Brewer, Sheldon; 8th Ethan Larrabee, Elk Grove
122 - 2nd Josh Villaflor, Franklin (lost a 6-2 decision to Albert Landeros of Tracy in the championship); 6th Alex Ennis, Elk Grove
128 - 3rd Antonio Jimenez, Franklin
134 - No local wrestlers qualified for Masters, but Ali Khan of Franklin was ninth.
140- 7th Davis Hallberg, Elk  Grove
147- 7th Kaleb Vetterli, Elk Grove (decisioned Arman Haq of Franklin, 4-0, so Haq will also qualify for Master)
154- 2nd Braden Henderson, Elk Grove (lost the championship match to Tre Providence of Ponderosa, 3-0) 8th Rossin Erbe, Pleasant Grove.
162- 4th Adelkhan Niazi, Monterey Trail; 6th D.J. Harper, Franklin
172- 4th Kendahl Richmond, Monterey Trail; 6th Christian Vargas, Elk Grove
184- 2nd Joey Banks, Franklin; 4th Logan Paxon, Pleasant Grove
197- 1st Scott Votino, Elk Grove (defeated Josh Phillips of Central Catholic, 13-5) 5th Nick Gustin, Franklin
222- 6th Thomas Aquila, Elk Grove; 7th Ibrahim Shaikh, Franklin
287- 2nd Sam Alnassiri, Sheldon (lost to Jeff Camilli of Ponderosa in the championship, 4-3); 3rd Tyler Hecht, Franklin, who defeated Jaharee Taylor of Elk Grove, 9-6, in 2 OT.

Qualifiers by school:

Franklin - 8
Elk Grove - 10
Monterey Trail - 3
Sheldon - 2
Pleasant Grove - 2

Friday, February 15, 2013

Folsom, Pondo Look Strong At Div-I Championships

The first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section's Division I-A wrestling tournament at Pitman High School has been a little disappointing for several of the Elk Grove area wrestlers. Several grapplers from both Folsom and Ponderosa High Schools have qualified for the semi-finals in their weight groups. Those matches will be wrestled Saturday.

The biggest upset of day one on Friday had to come at heavyweight where Elk Grove's Jaharee Taylor lost for only the second time all season, a 7-4 defeat at the hands of Jeff Camilli of Ponderosa. He and Franklin's Tyler Hecht will both have to wrestle in the consolation rounds Saturday.

The top eight placers will move on to next weekend's Masters' tournament in Stockton.

Hecht was pinned by Sheldon's Sam Alnassiri in Friday's quarterfinals. Alnassiri will now take on Ricky Flores of Turlock in one semi-final match at 287 pounds. Camilli will face off against Jacob Proul of Oak Ridge in the other semi.

At 184 pounds, Logan Paxton of Pleasant Grove will take on Franklin's Joey Banks in a semi-final match.

Here are the other local wrestlers who are in the semi-finals:

108 Tristan Scott, Elk Grove
115 Ethan Brewer, Sheldon
122 Josh Villaflor, Franklin
128 Antonio Jimenez, Franklin
154 Braden Henderson, Elk Grove
162 DJ Harper, Franklin
172 Kendahl Richmond, Monterey Trail
197 Scott Votino, Elk Grove
222 Thomas Aquila, Elk Grove

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sheldon, PG, Franklin All Open Playoffs At Home

The boys’ high school basketball playoffs open next Wednesday and Franklin, Pleasant Grove and Sheldon will all host first round games. Sheldon, the No. 1 seed, will face the winner of  Bear Creek and Rodriguez which will play Friday in a “play-in” game in the Division I bracket.

Pleasant Grove, the No. 2 seed, will host the winner of Armijo and West, also facing off in a “play-in” game Friday.

Franklin, a No. 7 seed, will open at home against No. 10 Turlock.

In Division II, there are six “play-in” games Friday before the 16-team bracket starts first round play Wednesday. Under new Section rules, a team that either won 15 games and/or was a conference champion, but did not finish in the top 16 in power rankings, will be given a spot in the playoffs.

Cosumnes Oaks earned a No. 5 seed in D-II and will play the winner of Buhach Colony and Vacaville. Tenth-seeded Laguna Creek will play at Rocklin.

Bradshaw Christian is the No. 10 seed in Division V and will play at Forest Lake Christian Wednesday.

Pleasant Grove, Monterey Trail Start Girls Post-Season Tuesday

In girls’ basketball Pleasant Grove and Monterey Trail will host first round games Tuesday. The Eagles will take on McClatchy while the Mustangs welcome Lincoln of Stockton.

The Mustangs hope to make it past the first round, something they have never done in the post-season.

Pleasant Grove earned the eighth seed while Monterey Trail is seeded seventh. St. Mary’s is the top seed in D-I. Oak Ridge is seeded No. 2.

In Division IV, Bradshaw Christian earned a three seed and will open the playoffs Tuesday with a home game against Union Mine.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nunez/Tellez Talk About Upcoming Season

It was picture day at Elk Grove High School and the Thundering Herd can't wait for the baseball season to get underway. They'll be on the odds-on favorites to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship this season with a pair of excellent players now entering their senior seasons, Dom Nunez and Rowdy Tellez.

Today I caught up with the pair and talked about their prospects for the coming campaign.

Ponderosa Wins DRL Wrestling Championships

Ponderosa squeaked by Folsom Saturday to win the Delta River League’s wrestling championships held at Sheldon High School. Folsom had won the DRL dual match championship title and was the runner-up to Vacaville in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I Team Duals Feb. 2.

Oak Ridge finished third in team scoring and Sheldon was fourth followed by Jesuit and Pleasant Grove.

The top four individual wrestlers at each weight will advance to this weekend’s Division I meet at Pitman High School in Turlock.

Sheldon qualified eight wrestlers for the Divisional round. Sam Alnassiri won the 287-pound classification. Ethan Brewer took second at 115 pounds. Huskies that took third place medals were Vinh Nguyen at 108 pounds, Paris Gualman at 147 pounds, Wesley Nguyen-Pham at 128 pounds and Darren Nguyen at 122 pounds.

Finishing fourth were Daniel Luz at 140 pounds and Jose Raya at 222 pounds.

Pleasant Grove will send five grapplers to Pitman this weekend. At 154 pounds, Rossin Erbe earned a third place medal. So did Logan Paxton at 184 pounds and Tyler Weathersbee at 222 pounds.

Aaron Bernatchy finished fourth at 162, as did Tanner Smith at 172.

The top eight finishers at the Divisional round will earn a trip into the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters’ Tournament Feb. 22 and 23.