Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Garrison Selected As New SJS Commissioner

The CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Board of managers unanimously approved Mike Garrision as the Section’s fourth commissioner on Wednesday.
Garrison, currently the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources with Rocklin Unified School District, is no stranger to the CIF and the Sac-Joaquin Section. He served as the Section President from 2010-12 and is a member of the Section Executive Committee. He served on the Budget Committee and Realignment Committee and was the SFL President. He’s also currently a member of the CIF State Executive Committee (2011-2014) and a member of the CIF State Federated Council. He’s the State and Northern California Basketball Tournament director and he’s a member of the CIF State Governance and Basketball Advisory Committees.
“I’m extremely excited,” Garrison said at the Board of Managers meeting at The Reserve at Spanos Park. “I truly look forward to serving the schools of the Sac-Joaquin Section. This is my dream job.”
Garrison is the fourth commissioner in the Sac-Joaquin Section’s 72-year history. He replaces Pete Saco, who started in 1993. Saco was preceded by Clarke Coover (1968-1993) and James Cave (1942-1968). As a tribute to Saco, the Section office building at 1368 E. Turner Road in Lodi was renamed the Peter J. Saco Building.
“I have some very large shoes to fill,” said Garrison, who will start on August 1.
Garrison has a lengthy history of working in high school athletics. After receiving his Master’s Degree in Educational Management from the University of La Verne in 1997, he started as the athletic director at Princeton High School in the Northern Section in 1998. There, he served on the Northern Section Board of Managers, Realignment Committee and the Basketball Playoff Committee.
From Princeton, he went to Rocklin High, where he was the athletic director from 1999-2005, assistant principal in 2000 and became the school’s principal in 2005. He moved to the District Office in 2011.

Saco, meanwhile, officially retires on August 30.

Frosh Sports Back In EGUSD; Lex Out Indefinitely

The tons of emails from parents who didn't want their boys riding the bench on junior varsity football teams in the fall had its affect on the EGUSD Board of Trustees. Today they told staff not only to fund freshman teams, but to do it with the fall semester of the 2014-2015 school year.

In an email from EGUSD athletic director Jim Smrekar, "The Board voted 4-3 to reinstate freshmen sports in football, baseball, girls’ volleyball, basketball, soccer, and boys’ basketball for the 2014-15 school year."

Most everyone I talked to over the past few weeks, coaches and administrators, alike, wanted freshman teams to return. They were cut out because of budget shortfalls in 2010. Now, four years later the lights will be on Thursday nights once again at our local stadiums.

This will make our local athletic directors hustle to not only hire a decent staff of coaches, but also rig up a schedule and buy more shoulder pads and helmets (not cheap).

Pleasant Grove's Jeff Caton had a good idea to put the freshmen sports back in for basketball season, then there would be a whole year to hire the right guy to coach football, plus baseball, softball and whatever.  As he wrote me a few days ago, "I am afraid the first guy to raise his hand ends up with a coaching job at a couple schools instead of someone who is truly qualified."

Here's another issue: will Monterey Trail, a school that struggles to field enough varsity guys to have a full scrimmage on both sides of the ball, be able to field a sizeable squad in the fall? Laguna Creek, headed to the Metro League, won't bother. Neither will Florin and Valley.

I bet even Sheldon will have difficulty in getting 22 guys.

This was an email drive put on by parents at Franklin, Cosumnes Oaks and Pleasant Grove. They got their way. Now the Midget football teams have another year playing together. Most won't be playing their sophomore year.

Please don't take me wrong, for I know there should be freshman teams, but it can't happen at every local school. The numbers just aren't there. And, many times you place undue pressure on some schools to come up with freshman squads to the point that what they field is embarrassing and results in something real negative.

Josh Lex coaching one of his pitchers
Lex Out Indefinitely

Laguna Creek plays Elk Grove in baseball Thursday and Friday and head coach Josh Lex may not be there. He was ejected from a game last week where he bumped an umpire. By CIF rule, that means a two game suspension. However, the school may make him sit out more games.

One observer told me it was an ugly scene when Lex was ejected protesting a balk call on one of his pitchers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Reiswig Says 'No' To EGUSD A.D. Job

When Elk Grove Unified School District’s athletic director Jim Smrekar officially retires at the end of the current school year, Todd Reiswig will not be replacing him.

Reiswig told me following Elk Grove’s 6-5, nine-inning baseball win over Franklin Monday that he decided he would rather return to the classroom and one of his true loves – teaching AP Statistics.
Todd Reiswig

The former EGHS varsity basketball coach was the interim A.D. between October and March this year and dealt with one of the school district’s toughest investigations, the basketball recruiting scandal at Sheldon High School.

Following the long investigation headed up by Reiswig, the Sac-Joaquin Section levied numerous sanctions against the Huskies’ program which included the immediate ineligibility of five players and banning Sheldon from the post-season.

Once back in the classroom, Reiswig re-thought the prospect of replacing Smrekar on a long-term basis.

“It was a great experience and I am thankful to (the school district) for the opportunity,” he said. “I will stay active with CIF.”

Reiswig, 50, is a frequent worker at Section football and basketball playoff events. He coached the Thundering Herd basketball program through most of the 1990’s.

The school district just posted the new vacancy on its job site Monday.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Larson On The Pole For Sat. NASCAR Race

For the first time in his young racing career, Elk Grove NASCAR driver Kyle Larson will be on the pole for the Toyota Owners 400 Saturday night in Richmond, Va.

Read about the race including an interview with Larson, a graduate of Pleasant Grove High School.

EGUSD Close To Approving Frosh Sports

Tuesday’s meeting of the Elk Grove Unified School District’s Board of Trustees led off with public comment on re-instatement of funding for freshman sports. From those who had spearheaded an email campaign over the past couple months asking for freshman-only teams at the high school level, they walked away encouraged that Trustees may tell staff to get frosh sports back into the athletic schedules.

“The meeting went pretty well,” John McAtee, a father of an incoming freshman athlete at Pleasant Grove, wrote in an email to the Citizen. “The Board was mostly unanimous that they wanted to get freshman sports back. (We are) not clear on the timing.”

When funding cutbacks caused Elk Grove Unified to eliminate freshman-only teams starting with the 2010-2011 school year, it began a rumbling amongst the sports community that it would cause long-term negative effects on the entire sports programs.

Locally, only Three Rivers Unified, Sacramento Unified and Elk Grove Unified schools lack freshman teams.

“Several board members I feel are ready to pull the trigger for the fall of next year,” McAtee wrote. “They are meeting next week to walk through broader budget (issues) and I believe could make the call. They also understand if they wait much longer puts the fall in jeopardy due to hiring and scheduling which needs to be done.”

EGUSD athletic director Jim Smrekar told the Citizen Thursday he’s awaiting direction from the board.

“Nothing is for sure at this point in time,” he said. “I should have more definitive information on both the budget and freshman sports by May 1.”

Earlier this month Smrekar mentioned that when cutbacks had to be placed on sports, thus causing the elimination of freshman teams, the plan would be that when money was more plentiful funding for varsity teams would be returned first and then the restoration of freshman sports would be considered next.

“There are capital outlays that have to be considered when bringing back freshman athletics,” Smrekar said. Not only will coaches have to be hired, but equipment and uniforms will also have to be purchased, he added.

One varsity football coach told the Citizen two weeks ago he was asked for an inventory of his equipment in case a frosh team would have to be formed this summer.

EGUSD Board Trustees Priscilla Cox and Jeanette Amavisca have not yet responded to an email asking for their comments on this issue.

McAtee and his fellow campaigners think now is the best time to bring back freshman teams because of league realignments throughout the Section that will occur this summer.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Corpuz Released As M.T. Girls' Coach

Louis Corpuz has brought Monterey Trail girls' basketball out of the depths of dispair. After years of poor team, Corpuz led the Mustangs to back-to-back Delta Valley Conference championships.

However, Corpuz was told Wednesday he will not be asked back to coach next season.

All he was told by Monterey Trail administration  was that the school wanted to go a different direction. Read Jon Gudel's story in Friday's Citizen.

In baseball Wednesday, Elk Grove swept its three-game series with Monterey Trail by overwhelming the Mustangs, 14-3. Derek Hill had three hits and four RBI's. Nick Womack started and earned the win. Matt Walter had a pair of innings in relief.

On Tuesday, the Herd romped over the Mustangs, 21-1, as Austin del Chairo had four hits and five RBI's. Skyler Quam earned the win for Elk Grove.

Also on Wednesday, Franklin rolled over Laguna Creek, 17-10.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Tellez Preps For First Full Season In The Minors

Rowdy Tellez has spent much of April in extended spring training with other up and coming Toronto Blue Jays’ prospects. In the next few days he’ll be assigned to one of the Jays’ minor league franchises, barely a year removed from the season in which he powered Elk Grove High School to a Sac-Joaquin Section championship.

Tellez told the Canadian Baseball Network last week that what helped him prepare for professional ball was the time with some of the high school area code and elite squads the summer prior to his senior year at Elk Grove.

“You realize you’re not the best, but you’re not the worse, either,” he said. “There are guys with different skill sets than you. I got to play with Austin Meadows who was the ninth overall pick by the Pirates and Clint Frazier who was the fifth overall pick by the Indians and felt right with them.” 
Rowdy Tellez, now in the Blue Jay's minor league organization

The Blue Jays were one of many organizations wanting to draft Tellez. The fact Tellez was already inked with the University of Southern California may have kept some clubs from selecting him higher in last June’s draft.

He ended up being drafted by Toronto in the 30th round because he told the Jays he would willing to forego college as long as he got the signing bonus he wanted. That ended up being $850,000.

Now, he’s showing the Toronto organization and its fans it’s been a wise investment to this point

“It’s huge to be a well-rounded player,” he said. “I’m working being a better overall hitter and the most important thing is to become a better defender at first base so I can hold down the first base job so I am not pegged at being just a D.H. I need to more solid at the bag so that my infielders are more confident in throwing to me.”

He’s been working in extended spring training with the Blue Jays’ infield coordinator Danny Mordecai at having better “feet” around the first base bag. Tellez says he’s been working much of the time working on timing and to be faster. He says he’s lost weight over the winter to be faster.

“I’ve been working on the little things that will be huge when it comes to my defense,” he added.

Definitely Tellez has been challenged by the rapid upgrade in pitching, yet he’s wowed the Jays’ fans with some bursts of power, not only this spring but also at the end of last summer where he ended up in Class A with Bluefield.

“You just don’t face these kind of (pitchers) in high school,” he said. “You may get one or two a year.”

Right after inking last June with Toronto he arrived in Dunedin, Florida and had a bit of a rough start in the Gulf Coast League.

“It kind of messed with my mind,” Tellez said. “So, I had to make some minor adjustments. I got rid of a huge leg kick. I had to stay confident every day, never getting down on myself.”

Nunez Playing Catcher In Rockies’ Organization

Tellez’ Elk Grove teammate, Dom Nunez, who also was drafted last summer, has spent extended spring training behind the plate, much like he did most of his senior year with the Herd.

Nunez played at Grand Junction in the Pioneer League after being selected by the Colorado Rockies, but he was a second baseman.

Nunez father, Manuel, said last week that Dom thinks he may end up with Grand Junction once again when the Pioneer League starts up in June.

Matthias Signs Letter With Sac State

Sacramento State head softball coach Lori Perez announced last Wednesday that Pleasant Grove High School pitcher Celina Matthias has signed a National Letter of Intent.

She joins three other players who inked letters with the Hornets last fall - Sheldon High School second baseman Zamari Hinton, Pleasant Grove High School shortstop/outfielder Marissa Maligad and Center High School corner infielder Cassidy Martin.

Celina Matthias inks with the Hornets
Maligad and Matthias are currently in their fourth season as teammates on the varsity squad at Pleasant Grove.
Matthias is currently 8-4 with a 1.45 ERA for the Eagles. The right-hander has struck out 88 batters in 82.1 innings pitched. Her strikeout total currently leads the league and the ERA is the Delta River League's second best mark.

Last year she led the Eagles to a runner-up finish in the Section’s Division I playoffs. That season, she was 15-8 with a 2.51 ERA, and posted a league-best 161 strikeouts in 153.2 innings.

Batson Wins 100 Meters at Mt. SAC Relays

University of Alabama sprinter Diondre Batson was back in California this past weekend and shined brightly in his home state, winning the 100 meters in the Mt. SAC Relays, hosted by Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.
What raised everyone’s eyebrows was that Batson, the NCAA indoors champion at 200 meters, ran the fifth-fastest 100 meters in Alabama history with a clocking of 10.06 seconds.

Batson, a former Laguna Creek High School sprinter,  and his Crimson Tide teammates are now preparing for the Southeastern Conference meet which starts May 15th in Lexington, KY.  
Diondre Batson

DVC Track Meet Wednesday

The second Delta Valley Conference track meet of the season will be run Wednesday at Davis High School. Davis, Franklin, Elk Grove and Monterey Trail will all vie for the top team score.

Top performers this season have included Elk Grove’s Jazmine Smith who has the best times thus far this year in the DVC in the 200 and 400 meters and the second-best time in the 100 meters along with Monterey Trail’s Ciara Levy who has the fastest marks in the 100 meter hurdles and the 300 meter hurdles.

In the boys’ competition, Monterey Trail’s Jahmar Sexton has the top time in both the 400 meters and in the 300 meter hurdles.

In the jumps Franklin’s Jorden O’Neal has the longest mark, 18 ft., eight inches, in the long jump by more than a foot. Tiara Webb of Monterey Trail likewise leads her closest competitor by more than a foot in the triple jump.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EG Nips Buchanan, Gains Boras Finale

Elk Grove junior left-hander Chris Martin tossed a complete game three-hit gem Wednesday night to lead the Herd to the Northern California championship game of the Boras Baseball Classic for the second year in a row. Martin confounded Buchanan High School batters much of the night en route to a 3-1 victory.

EG junior Chris Martin
Three Bears' errors in the first inning allowed Elk Grove to jump to a quick 3-0 lead, but the rest of the way could do little against Buchanan ace Aaron Gutierrez, who had five strikeouts.

Sophomore Ryan Robards had a big RBI double in the first frame.

Martin allowed just one hit through the first five innings, but Buchanan got a pair of singles and loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out. A big strikeout and ground out ended the threat.

He ended up with four K's.

Elk Grove, who lost to Pleasant Grove, 11-1, last year Boras' NorCal championship game, will take on St. Francis High School, which defeated Clovis West, 3-0. The Herd lost to St. Francis a little more than a month ago, 2-1, in Mountain View.

Quick Hits ....

Elk Grove's outstanding centerfielder Derek Hill sat out the game Wednesday. He's reportedly suffering from an issue with one of his legs. No one would say officially.

James Santos filled in quite nicely in centerfield chasing down quite a few fly balls.

Not certain if Hill will play in Thursday's championship game. ...

There was quite a crowd for Wednesday's games. Many in the crowd were Pleasant Grove players and fans who hung around following their 7-3 impressive win over Davis. The Eagles got to Blue Devils' ace Matt Trask for six runs in the fourth inning.

The Eagles will play at 4 p.m. Thursday in their concluding game of the Boras. ....

CRC assistant coach Brad Kilby was at Grant's 12-2 win over Christian Brothers Wednesday morning. The reason: he's talking seriously with Pacer ace lefty Cameron Avila, who isn't going to go to Arizona after all.

Suggestion for Avila: Go to CRC. That will be the best baseball program you can play for. Tony Bloomfield will make certain you do well in the classroom and Kilby, a former Oakland A's reliever, is the best tutor you can get right now collegiately. ...

Remember when Jeff Carlson and Dave Hoskins were co-head football coaches at Elk Grove? When Hoskins resigned in 2007 principal Cathy Guy mistakenly thought Carlson was also quitting. He had no notion to do so.

Then that started a real mess which ended up with EGHS hiring Carlos Meraz as a football coach for about six weeks, then the teachers' union filed a grievance because of a little known rule that any open job must be filled by a qualified person from within the school district (I call it the "Chris Nixon" rule). Only if no one from within the district applies can the job be open to a qualified person from outside the district.

That's how Nixon, who applied, but didn't get an interview or anything, got the EGHS head coaches' job. Meraz was last seen back in Martinez from whence he came.

Okay, because of that hull-a-baloo the district said there would no longer be "co-head coaches." Well, did someone forget that when they hired Bob Book and Russ Pettis to co-coach softball at PG?

WELL ... (here's my point/question): I recommend Chris Nixon and Joe Cattolico, who recently resigned at PG, become co-head coaches at Elk Grove. Nixon can coach the offense, Joe the defense and Father Butch Cattolico can coach special teams or do whatever he wants. Moe Lollar has the "Hammerhead" brand on the O-Line and Steve Blum on the D-Line.

I bet Mike Johnson wouldn't mind a similar arrangement at Franklin, too, especially if Joe were to say "no" to Nixon. ...

Now that I'm on a roll why not name the EGHS football stadium "Lance Briggs Stadium?"He's definitely sent the Herd football program a bunch of money over the years and this town hasn't had an  All-Pro linebacker like Briggs, ever.

Back to the "Chris Nixon" rule --- If EGUSD were to overlook it, I know a guy who should be Pleasant Grove's next football coach - Burbank's John Heffernan.

Note I wrote "should be." Heff probably doesn't want to deal with the same stuff Catt had to and is happy to remain at Burbank where he has had the class football team of the Metro League for ten years now.

P.G. could have their pick of quality coaches from all around Northern California if it wasn't for the "Nixon rule." That's a great school with an established football program thanks to Catt.

Younger Brother's Efforts Pushes Tourney To Prominence

The name Scott Boras is synonymous with term “sports agent.” The 62-year-old graduate of Elk Grove High School has as impressive a list of clients as any of his colleagues: Matt Holliday, Prince Fielder, Magglio Ordonez, Stephen Strasburg and Barry Zito (plus at one time, Alex Rodriguez).

It was just a few years ago, though, that Boras wanted to begin reaching back into the sports community that gave him the roots from which he grew into one of the most successful businessmen ever to hail from the Elk Grove area.

That’s when the idea of helping the high school baseball teams in California come up with some sort of a state championship tournament was birthed. Scott impressed upon younger brother Gerry to quit the banking business and come on staff of the Boras Corporation to specifically birth the Boras Baseball Classic.

Gerry Boras, at the gate of the Boras Classic on Tuesday
Now in its second year, Gerry is beaming at the almost-immediate success the 32-team tournament has obtained.

“I think the players and their talents speak for themselves, but it is nice to have Scott’s name attached to the event,” he said. “I think that helps a lot, but in the end it’s all about the boys.”

The younger Boras was not a baseball player at EGHS, like his older brother was. Gerry was a football player who played for Coach Bill Benton and graduated in 1976. He followed Scott’s path to the University of the Pacific. Scott studied law while Gerry got into marketing.

Next came 27 years in banking and real estate while staying in touch regularly with his older brother. He was impressed with how Scott grew into the biggest name in sports agents.

“I don’t look at him as a big-time sports agent, even though he has that label,” the younger Boras said. “To me, he’s just my brother. We have a normal relationship as any brothers would. He’s down to earth, very giving, just a great person.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Monterey Trail Girls' Track Wins Del Oro Invitational

Monterey Trail’s girls’ track and field team placed first while the boys’ squad finished second Friday at the Del Oro Invitational.

The host Golden Eagles’ boys’ squad placed first.

Freshman Camryn Cook was impressive in winning the girls’ 400 meters in a time of 59.42 seconds.

In the boys’ version of that event, senior Jahmar Sexton was just nosed out at the finish line by Del Oro’s Johnathon Tuttle. Both boys ran the 400 meters in 49.55 seconds.

The Mustangs’ Cierra Levy once again had a strong outing by winning the 100 meters hurdles in 15.09 seconds. In the preliminaries she clocked a time of 14.98 seconds.

She also had a third place in the 100 meters, while sophomore Zaire Hammond was fifth.

Hammond took third in the 200 meters.

In the 800 meter event, Stephen Gibson and Waih Truong were fourth and fifth, respectively, in the boys race. In the girls, Kamra Newton placed fifth.

Newton also took fifth in the mile run.

Monterey Trail’s 4x100 meter girls’ squad placed second. The boys’ team of Sexton, Allen Deguzman, Isiaha Bair and Nosa Edigin were first.

The girls took second in the 4x400 meter relay, while the boys were third.

In the field events, Tiara Webb won the triple jump with a leap of 37 feet, seven inches. Second was Detrice Adams at 34 feet, six inches.

Adams grabbed a tie for third in the girls’ high jump.

Webb was second and Alexis Mariland third in the long jump.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ah, Spring Break! Time For The Masters

Finally, spring break has arrived and that generally means a big more sleep, fixing up and cleaning up around the house and generally a whole lot more baseball/softball or, how about golf?

Have you noticed how every golf retailer, golf course or any golf-related business is hyping their Masters' specials? I think the most prestigious golf tournament in the world, the Masters in Augusta, Ga., seems to be the one event that even the mild golf fans will stop and pay attention, more so than the U.S. or the British Open, tournaments that will be played in June and July, respectively.

The TV coverage seems to take a ramp up, the sports radio stations have twice-an-hour updates and, of course, we all have to check our "Masters App" regularly. If there was one event on television that has me yelling/cheering at the set, it is the Masters. I still remember going bonkers when Jack Nicklaus was making incredible shots and rolling in birdie putts en route to his 1986 championship.

Plus, doesn't the grass at Augusta look greener than anywhere else?

CRC Doubles Team Qualifies For State

The Cosumnes River College Women's Tennis doubles team of Cassie Gomez and Tammy Tran have qualified for the California Community College state tennis championships April 24-27 in Ventura.

Gomez is a sophomore who attended Liberty Ranch High School. Tran, also a sophomore, graduated from Monterey Trail.

Von Ruden Leads CRC To Win

Kyle Von Ruden, a CRC sophomore who played at Franklin High School, threw a nine-inning complete game Thursday as the Hawks defeated Delta Valley College, 6-1.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Prep For Boras Classic Underway, Belton Commits To Sierra College

Spring Break starts on Monday, but there will be little rest for a couple local baseball squads. Elk Grove High School will host the Northern California part of the 32-team Boras Baseball Classic, Apr. 14 – 17, at McAuliffe Fields.

Pleasant Grove will defend its 2013 Boras North Championship title next week.
Scott Boras

The Eagles will open play on Monday against De La Salle. Elk Grove will start play in the Boras against Rio Americano. Other first round games include Christian Brothers vs. Granite Bay, Grant vs. Buchanan, Oak Ridge vs. Archbishop Mitty, Davis vs. Stockdale (Bakersfield), Foothill vs. Clovis West and Yuba City vs. St. Francis (Mountain View).

The winner of the 16-team single-elimination tournament will face Temecula Valley, winners of the Southern California portion of the Boras Classic, at a date yet to be determined at the University of the Pacific.

The SoCal tournament was played March 29- April 5.

Sports agent Scott Boras, who graduated from Elk Grove High School, organized the high-profile tournament, now in its second year.

Trey Belton, who will play for Sierra College next season
Belton Commits To Sierra College

He was ruled ineligible to play his senior season, but Sheldon High School’s Trey Belton will resume his basketball career this next season at Sierra College. Head coach John Fusano confirmed to the Citizen of Belton’s commitment Monday night.

Belton started his high school career at Elk Grove, then transferred to Capital Christian High School and played on back-to-back Division V Sac-Joaquin Section championship squads the next two seasons.

He transferred to Sheldon last summer, but CIF rules prohibit student/athletes eligibility for one year following a second high school transfer.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Cattolico Resigns At PG; Belden Hired As A.D.

Pleasant Grove High School has decided to hire Bruce Belden as the school's athletic director, replacing Jeff Caton.

One of the first jobs Belden will have to do is hire a head varsity football coach. For the second time in about 12 months Joe Cattolico has resigned his post.

Last time, he reconsidered the resignation and asked for his job back. That was mainly because his father, Butch, resigned his long-time football coaching job at Los Gatos High School and wanted to move to Elk Grove. Joe desired to coach alongside his father and that was a reality during the 2013 season with Butch coaching the offense and Joe the defense.

But, this time, Cattolico said Thursday night, he’ll stick by his decision to quit.
Joe Cattolico resigned as Pleasant Grove High School's football coach Friday

“I applied for and interviewed for the athletic director’s position and the school decided to go in a different direction so I am going in a different direction myself,” he said.

The current athletic director, Jeff Caton, made it known two months ago he didn’t want the job any longer, so Cattolico and Belden applied for the post. Belden was selected Thursday by school principal Hank Meyer.

Cattolico, who has been Pleasant Grove’s only varsity football coach in the school’s nine-year history, didn’t have any comment on Belden’s appointment instead of him.

“I am not retiring (from football),” Cattolico said. “I am still interested in coaching football. That may not mean in the fall, but likely in the future.”

In the meantime, the Princeton University grad plans on teaching at the school in the fall.

My plans right now are to teach U.S. History at Pleasant Grove,” he said, “Who knows, you may see me on the sidelines of the games just watching them this fall.”

Under Cattolico the Eagles’ football program has grown into a model of consistency and excellence on the field. No other Division I or Division II school has won at least one playoff game in each of the past seven years. Pleasant Grove is the only school to brag of that fact.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Former EG Football Player Dies In Traffic Accident

Michael "Mikey" Lyttle, a former Elk Grove High School football player and outstanding young man died late Wednesday night in a traffic accident. He was 25.

According the Sacramento Bee, his speeding sport-utility vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree along Elk Grove Boulevard around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night.
photo compliments of Dave Nugent

Lyttle was always the "little" guy on all his Elk Grove Junior Thundering Herd squads, yet was always a tough guy to tackle. He played slotback and running back and for many years was the team's placekicker. His mother, Darlene, was actively involved in the Jr. Herd as was father Tom, who coached most of Mikey's team.

Lyttle, despite his small stature, contributed mightily to the Herd varsity squads in 2005 and 2006. He always was a member of the kickoff squad and not afraid to hit anyone.

Long-time Jr. Herd president Jack Budmark wrote on his Facebook page: "Mike Lyttle was one of the most courageous young man I've had the pleasure to know and coach. Pound for pound Mike always left it all on the field. He may have been one of the smallest players in both youth and high school football but he would hit you like a 200lb linebacker and make you think twice before you ran the football to his side and think you were going to score."

Please leave rememberances of Mikey here on this blog ......

Details of his funeral are pending.

Read more here:

Gill Hired As L.C's Boys' Basketball Coach

Laguna Creek athletic director Brian LoForte announced today that he has hired Michael Gill as the boys' basketball coach. Gill, a graduate of Lincoln High School in Stockton, will replace the retiring Paul Casey.

Gill was Casey's assistant between 2009 and 2011. The past two seasons he's been the assistant to Gary Greeno at Lincoln/Stockton. He is a teacher at Elk Grove Charter School.

From 2005-2009 he was the head varsity girls' coach at Rowland High School in Rowland Height, Cal.

"We are very excited to have Mike as our new head coach," LoForte wrote in his news release. "He has great basketball knowledge and enthusiasm that will make him successful as we transition to the Metro League. He's paid his dues as an assistant coach and is more than read for this opportunity as a head varsity coach."

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Tresemer's Walkoff Double Sinks EG, 7-6

A walkoff double drilled to the left field fence by Franklin sophomore Zach Tresemer off Elk Grove reliever Dustin Jack scored a pair of runs as the Wildcats came from behind to beat the Herd, 7-6.

Wildcat ace Cameron Keup threw a complete game even though he gave up three singles to Ryan Robards, Nick Madrigal and Derek Hill to lead off the top of the seventh inning. Carlos Moseley followed with an two-RBI double to give Elk Grove a 6-5 lead.

Four Franklin errors allowed Elk Grove to stay in the game. Ty Madrigal started for the Herd, but had a rocky three and a third innings. Skyler Quam came on to quell a Franklin rally and then pitched a solid fourth and fifth innings.

Damien Chavez and Hank LoForte had key doubles for the Wildcats (2-1 in the DVC).

Elk Grove (2-1 DVC) will travel to Laguna Creek Thursday for another league contest. The Cardinals gave up two runs in the seventh and lost to Davis, 4-2, on Wednesday.

Franklin will face Davis Thursday.