Monday, October 28, 2013

Big Day For Saunders/ Van Dyke Continues To Impress

Oklahoma senior wide receiver Jalen Saunders had one of his best games as a Sooner Saturday when he caught six passes for 158 yards and a pair of second quarter touchdowns as Oklahoma defeated Texas Tech, 38-30, in a Big 12 matchup.

The former Pleasant Grove star scored on pass receptions of 15 and 76 yards to boost the Sooners to a lead in the second quarter. Oklahoma had to come from behind in the third quarter to win and hand the Red Raiders their first loss of the season.

Oklahoma is now 7-1 overall, 4-1 in the Big 12.

Saunders is leading the Sooners with 35 catches, 431 yards and 5 TD’s this season.

Van Dyke’s Big Game Overshadows Near-Record Night

UCLA-commit Alex Van Dyke continued to show why he is the area’s top wide receiver with a big game Friday night in Cosumnes Oaks’ win over Vista del Lago.

Van Dyke had nine catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the Wolfpack’s 40-21 Sierra Valley League win over Vista.

The show by Van Dyke may have outshined the night Vista quarterback Matt Jimison had. He attempted 71 passes, completed 48 for 422 yards and three TD’s. The 71 attempts was almost a state record.

According to CalHiSports, earlier this year Trey Tinsley from El Toro High School tried 75 passes in a game to set the state mark. 

In Friday’s loss, Vista del Lago had only three running plays, all by Jimison on what appeared to be designed pass plays.

The Wolfpack can pretty much wrap up its first SVL title this Friday with a home win against Liberty Ranch.

Bradshaw Kicker Nears Scoring Record

Bradshaw Christian assistant football coach Chris Abe says his team’s placekicker, Jennie Lawson, is only eight points away from setting a state scoring record for kickers.

Yes, she’s a girl.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Night Football - Week 8 Scores

In the Delta Valley Conference:

Grant 47, Monterey Trail 21 (more on this one later)
Franklin 28, Elk Grove 21 (Lamar Jackson, the Wildcats' sophomore QB has come a long ways. Franklin's defense stops Elk Grove as time runs out)
Davis 28, Laguna Creek 21

Delta River League:
Folsom 80, Sheldon 27 (80 points in a High School Game?)
Oak Ridge 41, Ponderosa 0
Tomorrow - Pleasant Grove at Jesuit, 1 p.m.

Cosumnes Oaks 33, Vista del Lago 21
Sacramento 63, Valley 0
Kennedy 49, Johnson 6 (I think that ends about a 48-game losing streak for the Cougars)

Tonight: Monterey Trail at Grant, EG at Franklin

I'll be tweeting from the Monterey Trail game at Grant in the DVC. It's almost a must-win for Grant if they want a decent seeding in the post-season. Follow all the update here:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Bee's Playoff Projections - EG #1 in D-II

The Sacramento Bee has just taken its first shot at what they football post-season would look like, given that the season were to end today. Interestingly, the top four Delta River League teams - Folsom, Pleasant Grove, Oak Ridge and Jesuit - would be the first four seeds in the Sac-Joaquin Section's division I bracket.

Elk Grove is riding atop the Division II playoff bracket with their 7-0 record, according to the Bee's projections. Cosumnes Oaks would also be a playoff participant in D-2.

Franklin and Monterey Trail would also have pretty high seeds in D-1 if the post-season were to end today.

The playoff system is based upon total wins and size of school enrollment. The first and second-place teams in every league make the post-season. Then 24 at-large teams qualify depending up those schools' number of wins.

The biggest 16 schools would be in Division I, the next 16 biggest schools would be in the Division II brackets and so on.

However, every team must win at least two games in league in order to get into the post-season. In the stronger leagues it's possible a school with a .500 record might make the playoffs.

Folsom is the defending Div II champions, but their overall enrollment is large enough to put them up in Division I this year. They could fall back into Division II if a few bigger schools turn it on here late in the season and qualify for the post-season.

This Saturday, Pleasant Grove plays at Jesuit.

Friday night games include Monterey Trail at Grant (I will be covering that game. Follow me on Twitter @EGCitizenJHull), Elk Grove at Franklin, Laguna Creek at Davis, Folsom at Sheldon and Cosumnes Oaks at Vista del Lago.

Monday, October 21, 2013

St.Francis Wins D-1North Golf; Briggs Out Six Weeks

The St. Francis girls’ golf team followed up its win of the Delta River League championship a week ago by winning the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division I North title Monday. For the Troubadours, it was their eighth straight D-I North banner.

St. Francis shot a 424 team score, winning by 13 strokes over Davis (437). Rocklin (439) and Granite Bay (452) were third and fourth, respectively. Franklin finished seventh overall at the event held at Rocklin Golf Club.

Pleasant Grove golfer Sarah Debnekoff finished second in the medalist race. She fired a 74, four strokes behind Virgie Velasquez of Roseville. Franklin’s Kylie Fong fired a 77 and was fourth.
Emily Laskin, heading to Navy next year

Elk Grove resident Emily Laskin led the Troubadours charge to both championships.
A leader on and off the golf course, she holds an office in the student government and has been captain on the golf team.

Next year Laskin will be a golfer for the U.S. Naval Academy.

“I feel it is the right school and place for me,” said Laskin. “The girls that are going to be on the team next year are so welcoming and down to earth people.”

Laskin fired an 81 Monday at the Rocklin Golf Club. Teammate Ileana MacDonald shot a team-best six-over par 78.

Next up for Laskin and the St. Francis golfers is the Section Masters golf tournament next Monday, Oct. 28, at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton.

Briggs Out With Shoulder Injury

Lance Briggs has a small fracture in his shoulder, suffered in Sunday’s loss to Washington, and will be out of action for six weeks. The former Elk Grove High School star in his 11th NFL season won’t have to undergo surgery, according to team doctors.

“Losing Lance is losing a great leader,” Bears’ coach Mark Trestman said during his Monday news conference. “That’s a loss we’re going to have to work very, very hard to recover.”

Not only is the seven-time All-Pro linebacker out, but so is Chicago’s starting quarterback Jay Cutler due to a torn groin muscle.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Levin Looking Good In Return To PGA Tour; LoForte Commits To Fullerton

The PGA Golf Tour opened its 2013-2014 season a little more than a week ago with the Frye's.Com Open event. Making his return to the Tour in that event was Elk Grove's Spencer Levin.

He took a medical leave of absence from the Tour this past season to rehab a thumb injury.
Elk Grove golfer Spencer Levin

And, he showed at the Frye's event he was ready to return. He placed in a tie for 12th place in his first tournament back. For his efforts he earned a little more than $101,000.

This weekend he's playing in the Shriners' Hospitals For Children Open in Las Vegas. After Saturday's third round he was tied for 63rd place at three-under-par.

According to, He's competing this season on a major medical extension that will require him to make $595,483 in 28 starts to retain his Tour card.

To prepare for his return to the big tour he played in eight Tour events this summer finishing in the top-25 four times. He lost a playoff to Kevin Tway at the Albertsons Boise Open and nearly earned a Tour card at the Tour Finals after a tie for seventh at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Open.

He finished 55th in the Tour Finals priority rankings; the top 50 earned PGA Tour cards for this season. Levin still has Tour status because of the medical extension, though.

Levin had surgery Oct. 4, 2012, to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

LoForte Commits To Fullerton 
Franklin's Hank LoForte

Franklin High School shortstop Hank LoForte has verbally committed to accept a scholarship to play college baseball at Fullerton State. He will make that official in 2014 because he's a junior.

Hank's father, Brian, is the athletic director at Laguna Creek High School. The elder LoForte is a former baseball coach at McClatchy and at Laguna.

This Nov. 13 begins the week-long NCAA early National Letter of Intent signing period and we'll have a few basketball and baseball players inking those agreements.

Friday, October 18, 2013

EG Squeaks One Out; PG Rolls

Pleasant Grove flexed its muscle Friday night in rolling all over Ponderosa, 46--0, in a Delta River League contest. The 7-0 Eagles held the Bruins to only 77 yards total offense while gaining more than 500 yards itself. Huge nights for Ian Broom and Brandon Lewis, but big props to the Eagle defense who kept Ponderosa in its own part of the field except for two plays.

The closes the Bruins got to the goalline was the Pleasant Grove 44 yard line.

(Stats on the PG/Pondo game below)

Here are other EGUSD scores:

Elk Grove 7, Grant 3 (Joe Davidson tweeted it was one of the hardest hitting games he's seen. The Herd defense held the Pacers to 153 yards total offense)
B'Won Canada (#14) Noah Letuligasenoa (#12) and
Spencer Sheff (#6) all led an impressive defensive performance
Friday in Elk Grove's win over Grant (photo by Maka L.)
Franklin 47, Davis 7 (good win for the Wildcats)
Rosemont 49, Florin 6 (Panthers will probably fall short of the post-season, again..last time was 2002)
Oak Ridge 56, Sheldon 7 (The Huskies' basketball players need to come out for football)
Valley 14, Johnson 0 (Hey, two wins in a row for the Vikings..I think we have to go back to around 2006 for the last time that's happened. Great job, Coach Filan)
Cosumnes Oaks 52, El Dorado 21

PG/Pondo stats:

Mustangs Beat L.C.; Preps Plus Tonight

In a rare Thursday night game, Monterey Trail defeated Laguna Creek, 35-28, to go 2-0 in the Delta Valley Conference and pretty much assure itself of a spot in the post-season. Of course, they now have to play Grant, Elk Grove and Franklin, yet with five wins, two in conference, they will likely make the Division I post-season.

Tonight the big game will be at EGHS where the Herd will take on Grant. Should be a good crowd.

I am at Sheldon H.S. for Pleasant Grove's Delta River League game against Ponderosa. The Eagles hope to go 7-0 win a win tonight. Follow me and other top games tonight on the Preps Plus chat below:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reiswig Named Interim EGUSD A-D

Todd Reiswig has been named interim athletic director of the Elk Grove Unified School District. He’ll temporarily replace the recently retired Jim Smrekar, according to district spokesperson Elizabeth Graswich.

Smrekar spent the past twelve years at the district’s A.D. post.

Born and raised in San Jose, he graduated from UC-Davis in 1975. For eight years, he taught English at San Jose's Yerba Buena High School, where he also served as co-head basketball coach during his first year. In addition, he was the assistant basketball coach at San Jose City College from 1978 to 1985.
Jim Smrekar

He and his family moved to Sacramento in 1985, and he went on to become an English and physical education teacher, as well as varsity basketball coach at Valley High School, a position he held for four years.

He became varsity basketball coach at Florin High School from 1989 until 1998, and was the school's athletic director from 1989 until 2001 when he moved on to his position with the school district.

Reiswig has temporarily left his mathematics teaching position at Elk Grove High School, according to Graswich.

He came to Elk Grove in the fall of 1993 and was the head boys' basketball coach for six years. He took over a team that won only six games the year prior and they won the Delta League Championship. During his tenure the Herd won the league four time, placed second twice and won the Section championship once. His overall coaching record was 142-41.

In recent years he’s been a fixture at the Sac-Joaquin Section’s basketball playoffs and has maintained the power rankings for the Section over the years.

A permanent replacement for Smrekar will be named sometime in March, according to Graswich. At that time Smrekar will return for about six months to train his permanent replacement.

Van Dyke Commits To UCLA

Cosumnes Oaks’ wide receiver Alex Van Dyke has verbally committed to attend and play football for UCLA, according to Wolfpack coach Ryan Gomes.

Van Dyke, a 6-3, 200-pounder, will join his former high school teammate Marcus Rios in Los Angeles. Rios is a reserve defensive back for the Bruins.

Friday, October 11, 2013

EGUSD Football Finals

Elk Grove 46, Laguna Creek 6
Grant 30, Franklin 20
Valley 15, Kennedy 0 (first win of the year for the Vikings)
Burbank 63, Florin 6
Pleasant Grove 63, Sheldon 21

Conference Season Opens Tonight

It's week six (this first half of the football season has flown by!) and tonight all our EGUSD teams open their conference/league schedule. Pleasant Grove plays Sheldon, Elk Grove will be at Laguna Creek, Monterey Trail is at Davis and Franklin takes on Grant.

Be certain to follow the action (and you can participate right here, too) on the Preps Plus Chat:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pope Commits To SDSU, Ross May Sign With Lions

The Twitter-sphere was alive last evening with word that Laguna Creek's talented forward Malik Pope has verbally committed to play his college basketball at San Diego State.

He'll be joining a couple of his AAU basketball buddies D'Eryll Williams and Dakarai Allen, teammates at Sheldon. A couple years ago they wanted Pope to transfer to their school when Pope's family moved from the Burbank High School attendance area into Elk Grove.

Because of the nature and timing of the move, Pope, who moved into Laguna Creek's attendance boundaries, had to enroll at that school or risk the possibility of being ineligible for a year.

Still, he led the Cardinals to one of its better seasons in quite a while until he broke his leg during a rally at Eddy Middle School. Laguna Creek did make the playoffs but lost in the opening round.

The 6-8 multi-talented forward will probably won't be playing for the Cardinals this season. He refractured the same leg in September. Still, Laguna Creek with several quality players on the roster is a pre-season favorite, along with Grant, in the Delta Valley conference.

Ross Inks With Detroit

After a rocky few months with Green Bay, Jeremy Ross has reportedly signed with the Packers NFC North rival Detroit. However, there is no official word as of this morning on the Lions' website of the signing.

Ross was signed off the Colts' practice squad late last season by the Packers. He was used primarily as a kick returner.

Ross had a key fumble that led to a San Francisco touchdown in last year's playoff loss to the 49ers. He made the Green Bay roster this season, but a couple turnovers and some mental mistakes led to the Packers releasing him a few weeks ago.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Saturday Folo-ups

It's a lazy Saturday, sort of.

I've had a great week at school with my digital media/journalism students (Luther Burbank H.S. and Cosumnes River College), but they really exhaust me by the end of the week. I have some future journalists/photographers in those classes.

I celebrated my birthday yesterday (59th) reading lots of Facebook greetings, phone calls and text messages. All my kids are here, along with my granddaughter, Olivia.

I'm going to have to get moving soon and prepare for covering this afternoon's Laguna Creek football game at Jesuit. Looking forward to what could be a high-scoring game. The Marauders look every bit the playoff team I predicted they would be prior to the start of the season. Kick off is at 1 p.m. at Loyola Field. Follow me (@EGCitizenJHull) on Twitter for score updates.

But, now it's time for a few notes on stories I've written in the past.....

CIF Transfer Inquiries

I have it on good authority that officials with the Sac-Joaquin Section are beginning to ask some pointed questions about possible "un-due influence" (or recruiting) tactics used at EGUSD sports programs.

The reason is that transfer paperwork has been funneling into the Section office the past couple months,  but there's been an unusual number of kids switching to at least two schools - and more specifically, two sports programs in the District. That has Pete Saco, SJS commissioner, and his staff looking into it.

There isn't a full-blown "investigation"into recruiting - yet. However, don't be surprised if Saco rules a few student/athletes ineligible for this school year. At this point, it appears as though most of this are parents (and their tournament team coaches) who are banding together to send their students to one school.

More on this later ...

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Friday Night Football (Light Schedule)

There won't be much for our local high school football teams Friday night because most of the EGUSD schools have a bye week, preparing for the start of conference and league games on the 11th.

I'll be on the Preps' Plus Live Chat Friday night starting at 6 p.m. sharing the few scores that we will have....Bradshaw will host undefeated Rio Vista, Union Mine plays at Cosumnes Oaks and Rosemont will play at Valley.

Saturday, I'll be at Jesuit to see the Marauders try to go undefeated in non-league play when they take on Laguna Creek, a team still smarting from last week's 33-30 defeat at the hands of Sheldon. Kick off at Loyola Field is at 1 p.m. Follow me on Twitter for those game updates (@EGCitizenJHull).

There is a realistic possibility that when the Delta River League opens its play next Friday, five of the six teams could be 5-0. Folsom, Pleasant Grove and Oak Ridge are already 5-0 and take this weekend off. Jesuit is now 4-0. Ponderosa, also 4-0, plays at Rio Linda Friday. Sheldon, the sixth member of the DRL, is 3-2.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Former EG RB To Manage Fundraiser

Long-time Elk Grove High School football coach, the late Jim Wilson, called Joe Allen the most talented freshman running back he ever coached.

Allen was a key part of the Thundering Herd varsity offense in 2004 and 2005. He may best be remembered for scoring the winning two-point conversion with no time on the clock in a 35-34 come-from-behind playoff game at Vacaville in 2004.

“It was nuts because that was my 18th birthday and I grew up in Vacaville,” Allen recalled. “The headline in newspaper the next day in Vacaville was ‘Allen’s Birthday Celebration is Vacaville’s Worse Nightmare,’”

Allen went on to briefly play at Fresno Community College, but quit football and finished his college degree at UNLV.

Now almost ten years later Allen has placed his efforts into managing bowling and golf events that raise money for at-risk children.

His organization, Strikes For Kids, partners with more than 40 professional football players with local businesses, fans, children and sports together for great causes.

“I did a fund-raising event for (Arizona Cardinal defensive end) Dante Moch last August,” he said. “It went so well, we did another one in Reno.”

His reputation from running those events then grew and the word got around the NFL.