Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CSD Continues EGHS Football Arson Investigation

CSD Fire Arson Investigators are still looking for the person or persons responsible for the July 18 blaze that destroyed a pair of storage sheds on the campus of Elk Grove High School. Several thousand dollars in football equipment stored in those sheds were also destroyed.

Thundering Herd coach Chris Nixon says the Elk Grove Unified School District’s insurance has paid to replace the lost equipment and he expects delivery on most of the necessary gear very soon.

He’s also received many calls and donations from the community, too. Nixon’s former player, current Chicago Bears’ linebacker Lance Briggs, was one of the first on the telephone to his ex-offensive coordinator willing to pay to replace the destroyed equipment.

“He’s regularly donated money to the program, wanting nothing in return,” Nixon said. “He’s done it all out of the kindness of his heart.” 
EGHS Football coach Chris Nixon

This summer Briggs has paid for new shoulder pads for the Herd. When he heard about Elk Grove’s change to pearl matte blue helmets, Briggs quickly phoned Nixon offering to purchase the team gold helmets, similar to the kind Notre Dame wears, the same color of head gear Briggs wore as a member of the Herd in the late-1990’s.

“I told Lance, we’d wear them in the games he chose,” Nixon chuckled.

The bright gold headgear will be similar to the Fighting Irish’s color of helmet. Nixon said Notre Dame actually has a copyright on the exact tint of gold they use.

 Anybody with information about the fire may call the CSD Arson tipline at (916) 405-7118.

Freitas Returns To River Cats

Former Elk Grove and Cosumnes River College catcher David Freitas returned to the Sacramento River Cats on July 25.  He was in the starting line up Tuesday and went one-for-four at bat. 

Freitas, who is now in his fourth minor league season, was Sacramento’s opening day catcher, but after playing in only five games he was shipped to the Oakland A’s Double-A franchise in Midland.

In 61 games with the Rock Hounds, Freitas batted .214 with nine home runs.

Armstead On Patriots’ Injured List

Another bit of hard luck has sidelined Armond Armstead.

The former Pleasant Grove and USC defensive lineman was recently placed on the New England Patriots’ injury list after Armstead required surgery to treat an infection.

“Armond is in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery,” the Patriots wrote in a news release on Monday. “A timetable has not been set for his return to football."

Armstead sat out his senior season at USC for what was later revealed to be a heart attack brought on by painkillers school trainers were giving him. Armstead filed a lawsuit against the school.

Last fall he had an outstanding season for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. In his rookie CFL season, Armstead compiled 43 defensive tackles, 2 special teams tackles and 6 quarterback sacks. He was also named as a CFL All-Star, and went on to win the Grey Cup with the Argonauts that.

He was signed by the Patriots on Jan. 22 of this year.

Monday, July 29, 2013

LYB 12U Baseball Qualifies For Ripken World Series

The Laguna Bandits will return to the Cal Ripken World Series, two years after competing in the age 10-and-under version of the big event.

The Laguna Youth Baseball League’s Age 12-and-under squad won the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament Sunday to qualify for the Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, Maryland. The event will be Aug. 8th through the 18th.

The Bandits defeated teams from Hawaii, Guam, Southern California, Bakersfield and Northern Utah to earn a spot for the second time in Ripken Baseball’s top venue. In 2011 the same group of boys placed third at the 10U World Series in Virginia.

Coached by Mike Stevens, Leo Morales and John Regino, the Bandits have now won five consecutive Northern California state championships, as well.

During the regional tournament last week the team outscored the competition 80-20 in the six games and a total of 11 homeruns were hit. Jonah Ira was named the tournament’s most valuable player by getting nine hits in 12 at-bats with six RBI’s and scoring 11 runs. 
Laguna Bandits, the Pacific Southwest Regional champions
of Cal Ripken Baseball

R.J. Blanton, Cole Bendle and Jino Enriquez were named to the All-Tournament team. Blanton had a pair of homers, including a grand slam. Bendle as had a pair of round-trippers and drove in 11 runs.

Enriquez went nine-for-15, stole nine bases and scored 12 runs. 

The other members of the team are Grant Stevens, Carson Stevens, C.J. Long, Alex Morales, Collin Dean, Gabe Bonilla, Riley Sikora, Zachary Meddings, Nico Regino and Justin Wilburn

Team mom Lesa Sikora said they are accepting any donations to help offset the cost of traveling to Maryland. She added they’d like to borrow a bus or a series of vans to take the team as one group to San Francisco to catch their plane next week.

Contact Amy Long at 916-541-2936 if you can help.

Henderson Sits Out NFP Season

A knee injury suffered near the end of the Cal Golden Bears’ softball season has forced former Sheldon High School and All-American pitcher Jolene Henderson to delay her professional debut one season.

“Due to her injury she chose to sit out this season but has every intention of signing with the team next season,” Jacquie Boatman, a spokesman with the Chicago Bandits, wrote recently in an email to the Citizen.

The Bandits, a franchise in the National Fast Pitch Professional Softball League,  made Henderson its first round draft selection earlier this season.

She helped the Bears to a 38-19 record along with a nation's-best 28th consecutive postseason berth. Henderson topped her career with a no-hitter against Valparaiso at the Ann Arbor Regional in her final win. Along the way, Henderson became Cal's all-time winningest pitcher with 130 career wins. She ranks second all time for games (186), games started (143), saves (9), complete games (123) and innings pitched (1,095), and is one of just four Cal pitchers to toss more than 1,000 strikeouts.

Koria Inks With Concordia (Oregon)

Evan Koria, a soccer player at Pleasant Grove High School and Cosumnes River College, has signed a national letter of intent to play for Concordia College in Portland, Ore.

Koris has seen time all over the field in his career. He was named the defensive MVP of his CRC team, but led the Eagles in goals and assists during his senior season.

"Evan could fit nicely in to the midfield or outside back roles," Cavaliers’ soccer coach Dan Birkey said. "He's quick and explosive, and has an optimistic attitude."

Ramirez Earns Honors At N.D. Wrestling Camp

Elk Grove High School wrestler Annastassia Ramirez scored well at the Junior & Cadet National Championships two weeks ago in Fargo, N.D.

In the cadet division Ramirez placed sixth earning "All-American" honors with a record of 3-2.
Annastassia Ramirez (in red) wrestling in North
Dakota in mid-July

With her strong showing she was select as the 112 pound wrestler for the California Dual team. In that competition California placed second losing  to New York in the finals. Ramirez’ record in the team dual competiton was 3-1.

Mayor To Host Bocce Ball Tournament

Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis will be hosting a bocce ball tournament on Saturday, August 31, at Rau Park beginning at 10:00 a.m. 

Net proceeds from the tournament will benefit Serve Elk Grove, the hub for connecting people with needs by making it easy to both find service project opportunities and to post service needs.  Additionally, Serve Elk Grove works cooperatively with other nonprofit organizations in Elk Grove to identify opportunities to share resources and opportunities.

Teams of four, in four different categories – men’s, women’s, mixed and family- will play for first and second place prizes.  The cost is $100 per team and includes the entry fee and luncheon.  Sponsorships are also available.

For questions, including sponsorship inquiries, please contact Teresa Rodriguez Event Planning at or 916-606-3905.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Update - Arson Believed Cause of EGHS Storage Shed Fire

An early morning blaze at Elk Grove High School destroyed two wooden sheds and damaged a third. All contained primarily football equipment.

The two sheds are about 15-by15 feet in size and  on the southeast side of the Elk Grove-Laguna Creek Community stadium. Herd head football coach Chris Nixon said they contained pads for the team's blocking sleds, blocking dummies, other practice equipment and the piece of equipment used to maintain the artificial turf in the football stadium.
The ruins of the EGHS football storage shed

"I've got an estimated loss of $22,900 not counting tax and shipping, nor the replacement of the sheds," Nixon said. A news release issued late morning by the Elk Grove football boosters put the damage estimates at $60,000.

Late this afternoon CSD Fire did say they believe arson was the cause of the fire but could not say for certain. Fire investigators are asking anyone who may know something about the cause of the blaze and who may be responsible to phone the CSD's arson hotline at (916) 405-7118.

Nixon said that this is about the third time the equipment shed has been broken into this summer.

"About a month ago they stole the John Deere Gator out of the shed," Nixon said. "We found it abandoned in a field a few days later." 

He moved the Gator to another shed. Nixon added he fully expected more break-ins to come.

"They broke in again and this time pulled bags out and slashed them, then set the sheds on fire," he said.

Also destroyed was a portion of the varsity baseball diamond's fence, fence liner and a few of the outfield signs. 

Members of the Elk Grove community have quickly reacted to this morning's fire, reported to CSD Fire at 2:45 a.m. Frank Zaccari, a long-time EGHS supporter who owns a Farmers' Insurance Agency office in Old Town, was quite upset over this incident.

"I've been hearing of all this vandalism at the high school and this must stop," Zaccari said. "We can no longer accept this."

He is now collecting donations from the public to help replace all the stolen, damaged football equipment. He'll accept donations at his office, 9153 Elk Grove Blvd. or you may phone 686-8000.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ziegenhirt Playing For USA National Team

Former Cal Bears’ and Sheldon High School catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt was selected to play for the USA National Softball team. She and her USA teammates, which include former Cal teammate Val Arioto, just completed play in the World Cup of Softball this week in Oklahoma City.

They took the silver medal at the event. 
Lindsey Ziegenhirt, a member of the 2013
USA National softball team

They are now competing through July 22 at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada.  August 5-18 Team USA will move on to the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship/Pan American Games qualifier in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Ziegenhirt hit 17 home runs with 54 RBI’s finishing her career fourth all-time at Cal in homers.

Letters of Intent

Franklin soccer player Kyndall Taylor has signed a national letter-of-intent to play for the University of La Verne. She was a member of the team that won the Section Division I championship in the spring.

Former Laguna Creek softball player Makayla Fama has committed to continue her playing career at Dave and Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia.

Fama was a recipient of the Dr. Ervin Jackson Academic and Leadership Award, and also received the Academic Excellence award twice at Laguna Creek. She was named to the All-Delta Valley Conference team three times between 2010 and 2012.

Richard Cooper, a long jumper this past year at Pleasant Grove High School, has decided to accept an offer from Sacramento State University.

Local 10U Softball Team Advances To Arizona

A fundraising car wash will be Saturday to help provide funds for the Elk Grove Gold Age 10-and-under softball team to compete in Arizona in the ASA National Tournament, Aug. 1 – 4.
Jason Morgan-Voyce coaches the team. His assistant coaches are Jill Sanchez, the current varsity softball coach at Franklin High School, and one of Sanchez’ former players, Sarah Valdivia. 
Elk Grove Gold 10U team, on their way to the ASA
Nationals in Arizona

The car wash will be at 10481 E. Stockton Blvd in the parking lot of Decorative Specialties. Hours will be from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Football Safety Clinic Saturday

Former Los Angeles Rams special teams coordinator and linebackers coach Artie Gigantino will be heading up a coaches’ clinic Saturday at Elk Grove High School
that aims to help develop a better and safer game of football for Sacramento-area youth.

Youth football coaches are participating in a first-of-its-kind player safety clinic that is part of the “Heads Up Football” program, a new initiative led by USA Football, the official youth football development partner of the NFL and its 32 teams.

During the clinic, Gigantino will guide coaches through a series of drills to reinforce proper tackling mechanics that focus on reducing helmet contact, feature education on concussion recognition and response, and instruct on proper helmet and shoulder pad fitting. According to a spokesman for USA Football, this group of coaches will then teach Heads Up Football to their youth league coaches, players and parents.