Saturday, September 28, 2013

Folsom Rolls Over Mustangs, 49-21

The offensive football machine that is the Folsom Bulldogs was on display Friday night at Mark Macres Memorial Stadium. For one half of football and the opening drive of the third quarter no one dressed in Monterey Trail’s black and green uniforms could do anything that would stop quarterback Jake Browning or his Bulldog teammates.

The final score, 49-21 in favor of Folsom (5-0), indicated the Mustangs were able to do something almost no one had been able to accomplish in the first four weeks of the 2013 season, hold the Bulldogs to less than 50 points. But, that really wasn’t the story of this game.

Browning stunned the Monterey Trail (3-2) faithful into virtual silence very early in the game, finding receivers wide open for big gains while the Mustang defense hardly could muster a pass rush on the 6-2 junior quarterback. He led his team downfield in marches that took only 1:29, 2:18, 1:16 and 3:11 off the clock in scoring 28 points in the first quarter. Folsom’s offensive line game Browning enough time to stand in the pocket and check off numerous receivers before finding someone open.

Folsom walked into the halftime locker room leading Monterey Trail, 42-7. At that time Browning had 306 yards passing on 20-of-25 passing and five TD passes. Four of those scoring strikes were to receiver Will McClure.

The Bulldog offense had 396 total yards in 36 plays to that point of the game. The Mustangs were held to only 96.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Preps Plus Live Chat Tonight

I'll be updating Folsom vs. Monterey Trail all night right here. Join us in the live chat.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ross Released By Packers

The Green Bay Packers have released former Laguna Creek and Cal wide receiver Jeremy Ross.  The transaction was announced Monday by Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations Ted Thompson.
Ross played in eight regular-season games over the past two seasons for the Packers. He averaged 17.9 yards on nine kickoff returns, 20.5 yards on six punt returns and made one catch for 8 yards. 
Too many turnovers resulted in Jeremy Ross
being released Monday by Green Bay
“We’ll put someone out there that can function and do the job the right way,” Packers' Special Teams coach Steve Slocum said. 
What led, unfortunately, to the release were Ross’ ball-security issues. In his eight games with the team, dating back to Week 15 of last season, Ross mishandled the ball three times – trying to catch a backwards pass from Cobb on a trick play at Chicago, fielding a punt in San Francisco in the playoffs, and running up to catch a short kickoff on Sunday in Cincinnati.
All three miscues led to pivotal scores for the opposition.
“What happened to him yesterday was unfortunate, but we’ve got to be better than that,” said Slocum, who absolved the other return-unit members of any responsibility for catching the shorter kick, saying it was Ross’ play all the way. “I thought he made a delayed decision to go play the ball, and he missed the catch.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

A Pitcher Without A Home

The last two months have been miserable for Austin Ragsdale.

But, prior to that the tall, blonde-haired righthanded pitcher was living a dream on the baseball diamond at Bradshaw Christian High School.

He was a part of two Sac-Joaquin Section Div. VI championship baseball teams and a Division VII championship team in his four years of high school. The past two seasons he emerged as one of the area’s top pitchers. He was 9-1 with a 0.60 ERA in 2013. Ragsdale struck out 76 batters in 58 innings pitched.

On top of that, he batted .446 with five home runs and seven triples.

He solidified his baseball resume this past spring by pitching a complete game win over powerhouse Elk Grove, a team that went on to win the Section’s Division I championship.  That night his fastball was registering near 90 mph on the jugs gun as he mowed down a club that included a pair of guys that are now playing in the minor leagues.

For the past couple years he was courted by coaches at Sacramento State, Wayne State in Nebraska, Colorado Christian University and California Baptist College along with several junior college coaches. This past spring he told Dave Nakama that he wanted to play Division I baseball for him at San Jose State. Nakama was newly hired after spending several seasons as an assistant coach at Washington and Stanford.

Ragsdale signed his national letter-of-intent to play for the Spartans in April, excited to help rebuild a struggling baseball program. The school would pay for his books and his tuition. His family would have to pay room and board, a typical athletic scholarship offer especially for baseball players.

Ragsdale had his bags packed; had purchased several items for his dorm room in San Jose and was just 16 days away from moving in. Then that fateful phone call from Nakama came Aug. 1.

“Coach called me, said ‘there’s a problem. You’re not eligible to play. You’re missing a class’,” Ragsdale recalled.

That phone conversation began days of multiple phone calls, emails and discussions that have resulted in Ragsdale becoming a talented college baseball prospect without a school. It’s not so much because of the lack of a required class he should have taken at Bradshaw, rather it’s due to the stringent rules behind the National Letter of Intent, the document colleges have prospective student/athletes sign.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week Three Football Tonight

There's quite a number of big games on tap tonight. I'll be covering Pleasant Grove's home game with Inderkum. The Tigers handed the Eagles a resounding loss last season, so it's PG's turn for revenge tonight at Sheldon/PG Stadium.

Elk Grove's homecoming is tonight and they'll play Sheldon, a team that has looked really good at times this season. Don't forget homecoming parade will close down Elk Grove Blvd. between 1 and 3 p.m. today.

Follow me and other sportswriters tonight right here:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kropp Out, But For How Long?

This Friday Cosumnes Oaks will take on their stadium rival, Franklin, but without a key member of the team.

Wolfpack starting quarterback Alex Kropp suffered a broken left wrist in the win over Sacramento two weeks ago, sidelining the righthanded thrower for a while. Coach Ryan Gomes said he really didn't know how long Kropp would be out. 

Junior Jaaron Stallworth will take over the signal calling duties. Stallworth, a point guard on the Wolfpack basketball team, isn't known for his throwing ability, so the lack of someone throwing the ball to Alex Van Dyke, the all-everything receiver, might hurt Cosumnes Oaks, particularly in this week's game against Franklin.

The Wildcats are 2-1 following last week's loss to Oak Ridge. The Wolfpack is 1-1 and had a bye week. Last year, Franklin won the first meeting between the two schools, 23-3.

Hill Verbally Commits To Oregon

Elk Grove High School baseball player Derek Hill has verbally committed to play collegiately at Oregon. The senior centerfielder spent much of his summer playing for USA Baseball and in mid-August participated in the Perfect Game All-American game in San Diego.

Earlier in the month he played for the Athletics’ team in the Area Code All-Star Games in Long Beach. Other locals on that squad included Cameron Avila-Leeper of Grant, Matt Trask of Davis and Tyler Schimpf of Capital Christian.

Hill batted .417 for the Division I Section champions last season.

He will make his decision to play for the Ducks official in early November during the NCAA’s early letter-of-intent signing period.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Coronado Hired As AD at Monterey Trail

David Coronado was recently hired as the new athletic director at Monterey Trail High School. He officially took over the post Aug. 1.

Coronado spent the past eleven years teaching sixth grade at Samuel Kennedy Elementary School, but has been a part of the Mustang’s football program since 2005.

He is currently in his sixth season as the head junior varsity football coach.

“I feel it’s an administrative role I wanted,” Coronado said about his new post.

The school’s longtime A.D., Rick Arcuri, resigned in the spring but is still at the school in the role of assistant A.D. and assistant football coach with the varsity squad.

“I am very grateful and humble to have had the opportunity to be a part of building the foundation of Monterey Trail High School,” Arcuri wrote in an email to the Citizen. “While I will continue to teach, coach and work toward the success of MTHS, I feel as though it is time for a new leader to take Monterey Trail Athletics to the next level of success.  David Coronado is that leader.”

Coronado grew up in Tulelake, a small town near the Oregon border, where he played football, basketball, baseball and threw the shot and discus for the track team. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Chico State and a Masters of Education at Sacramento State.

“My goal is to continue with what coach Arcuri has put in place and grow from there,” Coronado said. “We want to hold the kids to the commitment level we have at Monterey Trail.”

The school, in its ten-year history, has won the Division I Girls’ Track and Field Championship in the Sac-Joaquin Section in 2012. The football team was Section runner-ups in 2009 and 2010.

“(Monterey Trail) is truly a family atmosphere, a melting pot where all walks of life come together on ONE trail, the Monterey Trail,” Arcuri wrote.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

EG Defense Stifles Del Campo, 38-13

The defense rose to the occasion Saturday night for the Elk Grove Thundering Herd as they overwhelmed Del Campo, 38-13, to win its third game of the season.

More on the game in the Elk Grove Citizen this week, but here are the stats:

                              Box Score (Final)
  Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
  -----------------             -- -- -- --   -----
  DelCampo............     0  7  0  6  - 13       Record: (1-2)
  Elk Grove...........      7 14 10  7  - 38      Record: (3-0)

Scoring Summary:                                                               DC - EG

  1st Quarter
  10:51 EG - Wadus Parker 14 yd run (Ryan Robards kick)
                                              4 plays, 36 yards, TOP 1:09         0 - 7
  2nd Quarter
 11:50 DC - Romeo Lopez 26 yd pass from PrestonSemkiw (Tristen Howards kick)
                                              4 plays, 67 yards, TOP 0:58         7 - 7
      10:57 EG - Wadus Parker 48 yd run (Ryan Robards kick)
                                              2 plays, 49 yards, TOP 0:53         7 - 14
      01:35 EG - Wadus Parker 5 yd run (Ryan Robards kick)
                                              4 plays, 20 yards, TOP 1:30         7 - 21
  3rd Quarter
 07:06 EG - Ryan Robards 36 yd field goal
                                              6 plays, 13 yards, TOP 2:41         7 - 24
      02:27 EG - Ryan Robards 50 yd pass from TommyArnold (Ryan Robards kick)
                                              6 plays, 73 yards, TOP 2:48         7 - 31
  4th Quarter
08:26 EG - SpencerSheff 5 yd run (Ryan Robards kick)
                                              2 plays, 10 yards, TOP 0:47         7 - 38
      04:19 DC - PrestonSemkiw 3 yd run (Tristen Howards kick failed)
                                             12 plays, 80 yards, TOP 4:07        13 - 38

Friday, September 13, 2013

Final Scores Around EGUSD

Monterey Trail 48, Valley 6
Pleasant Grove 62, Nevada Union 7
Oak Ridge 21, Franklin 13
Vista del Lago 49, Laguna Creek 21
Rosemont 41, Sheldon 36
Bradshaw Christian 49, Summerville 42

Saturday: Del Campo vs. Elk Grove, 7 p.m.

Preps Plus Live Chat Tonight

My weekend high school football assignment this weekend will be tomorrow's 7 p.m. game at Elk Grove High School as the Herd plays Del Campo in a rare Saturday contest. Thus, tonight I'll be sitting around the I-Mac at home "talking" to you and many others in the Bee's Preps Plus Live Chat. Access that tonight right here:

Saturday, September 07, 2013

So, Who Is Nolan Merker?

That's a good question.....but, the Sheldon senior quarterback is making a name for himself and the Huskies' football team this season. A week ago in the season opener, Merker led Sheldon to a 52-14 win over McNair. Then Friday night it was an amazing 8-TD pass performance he turned in as the Huskies overwhelmed Lodi, 68-14. That's a school record.

Are the Huskies that good? Will they be the surprise team of 2013?

This week we won't know because they will probably ring up the cash register against Rosemont. We'll get a real idea of how good Sheldon is the following week at Elk Grove. The next week they'll take on Laguna Creek to wrap up the non-league slate. After watching the Cardinals Friday, I would imagine the Huskies will be 4-1 when they begin the Delta River League games.

All they need to do is win one and likely the Huskies will be in the post-season. Coach Herbie Berry and crew can go ahead and sell playoff tickets now.

Other Friday games:
Laguna Creek 34, Florin 12 - The Cardinals have some weapons, but they need to get started earlier. They began to move the ball near the end of the third quarter against a Florin team that wasn't as talented. Chris Williams is the real deal. He's an exciting kick returner and good defensive back.

Pleasant Grove 14, Burbank 12 - Titan coach John Heffernan needs to find a placekicker. There's plenty of talented kickers on the soccer team. Suit one up Friday night. The Eagles look solid.

Cosumnes Oaks 24, Sacramento 13 - First win of the year for the Wolfpack after a disappointing zero week loss at Roseville. Alex Van Dyke once again impressed.

Monterey Trail 32, Antelope 21 - Congrats to T.J. Ewing and the team for winning its first game of the year. If the Mustangs get hot, they could be a DVC darkhorse.

Franklin 45, Tracy 14 - The Wildcats have athletes and now this shows they are beginning to become a team. This was impressive after not really looking that good last week in a win over Atwater. Sorry to hear coach Mike Johnson's son Brandon broke his leg in the game. Too bad for a promising junior wide receiver.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Week 1 - Prep Football

Tonight, I'll be at Monterey Trail H.S. for Florin's home game against future Metro League opponent, Laguna Creek. This will be the last year for the Cardinals in the Delta Valley Conference before they jump to the Metro next season. Follow me on Twitter for the updates: @EGCitizenJHull.

Here's the other games we'll follow:

Burbank vs. Pleasant Grove (rematch of last season's playoff game)
Foothill vs. Elk Grove
Sheldon vs. Lodi
Franklin vs. Tracy
Sacramento vs. Cosumnes Oaks (a must-win game, frankly, for the Wolfpack)
Folsom vs. Granite Bay (most of the prep football world will be here)

I'll also be a part of the live discussion on the Preps Plus page at Sacbee.Com. Join us there, as well.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Ross Makes Packers' Roster; Wiggins Signs With Bolts

It had to be an emotional roller coaster this past weekend for our several local football players trying to make an NFL roster.

Laguna Creek's Jeremy Ross has made the 53-man roster of the Green Bay Packers. He'll be their punt and kick returner and a fifth wide receiver.

After being cut Saturday by the 49ers, Elk Grove's Kenny Wiggins signed with the San Diego Chargers and was added to their practice squad. Last season Wiggins was on the Niners' practice squad and spent a few weeks with the Ravens the prior season.

Cut over the weekend and unsigned, as of this writing (Monday) are Pleasant Grove's Deonte Williams and Elk Grove's Matt Kopa. Armond Armstead, a former Eagle, is on the injured list with the Patriots.

Of course, the Herd's Lance Briggs will be the leader of the Chicago Bears' defense this fall. He's a seven-time All-Pro linebacker and begins his 11th year with the squad.

Girls' Volleyball, Cross Country, Golf

St. Francis opened the girls’ volleyball season in a big way Labor Day weekend by defeating Nevada Union for the High Sierra Tournament title in Reno.

The Troubadours’ cross country team at virtually the same time opened its season by taking the Oakmont Invitational title.