Sunday, July 27, 2014

EG Ripken 9s Win; Laguna 12's Take Second At Ripken Regionals

Elk Grove Youth Baseball's 9-year-old All-Stars defeated the Laguna Youth squad, 15-5,  Saturday in the championship game of Cal Ripken Baseball's Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament in Panguitch, Utah.

The 12-year-old squad representing Laguna Youth Baseball came one game from qualifying for the World Series of Cal Ripken Baseball this past weekend. The Laguna team were defeated by Hanford, CA., 5-2, in the championship game of the Pacific Southwest Regionals played in Visalia.

Laguna was the Northern California State champions this season and went 3-1 in pool play to open the regional tournament early in the week. Laguna defeated Clovis, 10-3, on July 21. The next day they beat Somerton, AZ., 6-2. On July 23 Laguna squeezed by Heartwell, CA., 8-7.

The next day they lost their only game in pool play to Visalia, 10-6. However, Laguna qualified for the semi-final round and in that game defeated Hawaii, 8-6.

This particular tournament played on diamonds with base paths of 70 feet in length and the pitching mound was 50 feet from home plate.

Elk Grove Youth Baseball's Age 12, 60-foot diamond squad made it to the semi-finals of their regional tournament which was played in Tulare.

The EG squad won their pool play opener July 21, 11-0, over the Northern Utah team out of Rose Park. On the 22nd, Elk Grove lost to Bullard, 10-0, but the next day defeated Surprise, AZ., 16-1, to make it to the semi-finals.

In that game, they were thumped by the host Tulare squad, 13-2.

In the Age 11, 70-foot diamond regional tournament in Long Beach, the squad from Elk Grove Youth Baseball made it to the semi-finals before losing to Hawaii, 6-5.

On the 21st, the EGers opened the tourney with a 13-7 win over a squad from Taylorsville, UT. The next day they ten-runned Spanish Springs, NV., 12-2. Long Beach then defeated Elk Grove, 13-1, on July 23.

Another Elk Grove Youth Baseball squad represented Northern California in the Age 11, 60-foot diamond regional tournament. This event was in Fresno.

They lost to Visalia in the semi-finals, 15-2.

Elk Grove opened pool play on July 21 with a 19-2 win over Bullard. On July 22 they defeated Kerman Red, 8-5. Then Elk Grove completed pool play on the 23rd with a 4-3 victory over Bakersfield.

The Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament for 10-year-olds was in Toele, Utah. A squad from Laguna Youth Baseball represented northern California in that event.

Laguna lost to Taylorsville, Utah, 6-5 in the semi-final round to end their season. They lost their opener in pool play to Hawaii, then defeated Los Altos, 13-3. On July 24, Laguna defeated Rosevelt, Utah, 9-6. They finished pool play on July 25 with a 19-3 win over Toele.

Larson Takes 7th at the Brickyard

Elk Grove NASCAR driver Kyle Larson took seventh place at Sunday's Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. Larson started the race in the 15th position and actually led the race for five laps.

He has now nine top-ten finishes in his first year on the Sprint Cup series. To date, he's earned a little more than $2.7 million, according to, but that total includes winnings on NASCAR's Nationwide series of races.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Jr. Football Drills Underway

There are more football teams than the NFL clubs in camp this week. It's the opening week of drills for our area junior football squads. Below are some photos of the Elk Grove Jr. Thundering Herd Pee Wees, working out at their long-time practice field at Kerr Jr. High.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quick Hits

Lots of interesting notes on our local athletes:

David Freitas (Elk Grove H.S.) has been promoted to AAA-Norfolk by the Baltimore Orioles. He began the season with Double-A Bowie.

J.D. Davis (Elk Grove H.S.) was doing so well after being drafted in June by the Astros that he's already been promoted from Short Season A-Tri City in the New York/Penn League to Class A Quad Cities in the Midwest League. He's rejoined high school teammate Jake Rodriguez on that club. Davis is playing third base in the minors. Rodriguez is a catcher.

On Wednesday, Brian Detrick placed 1st in Men's Slalom in the 2014 Regional Waterski Championships at Laku Landing Lakes just outside of Denver.
Brian Detrick (middle) on the winners' stand

On Tuesday, Emelda Malm-Annan (Monterey Trail H.S.) of Golden State Throwers won the national Junior Olympic hammer throw title in Texas.

Jordan Johnson (Franklin H.S.) has signed a pro contract with the Giants, thus forgoing his final two years at Cal State - Northridge.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Larson To Race Sprint Cup, Nationwide AND Trucks This Weekend

compiled from stories written by Hollie Cain, NASCAR.Com

Saying he can't wait to "get mud all over my face" again Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson confirmed he will be competing in the Camping World Truck Series 1-800 CarCash Mudsummer Classic race at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway dirt track on July 23.
Larson finished runner-up to fellow 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Dillon in a dramatic last lap battle between Dillon, Larson and Sprint Cup veteran Ryan Newman in the inaugural event last year and Larson said he's already looking forward to testing his Turner Scott Motorsports truck this week.
"We're going to go test here pretty soon and get ready for that one because that's definitely a race I want to win,'' said Larson driver of the No. 42 Target Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series.
"We were close last year, so it's nice to get to go back and give it another shot."
In fact, when he was asked which NASCAR race he's most likely to win as racing schedule nears the midpoint, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver joked, "probably Eldora."
In its second year on the Truck Series schedule, the half-mile clay oval in Rossburg, Ohio has attracted some of racing's biggest names to join the truck series regulars in this points-race. Last year the legendary Ken Schrader competed in addition to Newman, who won the Brickyard 400 from the pole position at Indianapolis four days later. 
For Larson, whose background is in sprint cars, the opportunity to compete in the event looms large on his calendar.
"It was a blast last year at Eldora'' Larson said. "You know, a race that I looked forward to when it was announced last year, and then to get to race it and see how well the show was run and how great the racing was made me even more excited for this year. Getting beat last year made me really pumped up for this year's race. 
"I don't get to do a whole lot of dirt racing anymore, so to get back to kind of my roots makes it fun, too.
"I'm really looking forward to when we go test here. I think it's next week.  So it would be nice to get back in the dirt and get dirty and sweat a little bit and get mud all over my face and stuff."

This weekend Larson will be racing in both NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Indianapolis. The Sprint Cup took last weekend off, but Nationwide were in Chicago for the EnjoyIllinois 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway. 
Larson with girlfriend Katelynn Sweet

Larson finished in third place.

"I thought we had a real good car," Larson said. "I had some fun, just frustrating coming in third when I thought we had a real good chance to win."

Larson has two wins on the Nationwide circuit but is still awaiting his first win on the Sprint Cup circuit. He hopes that will end this weekend in the "Crown Royal presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard."

The race will be Sunday at 10 a.m. PT and will be televised on ESPN.

The Nationwide race, the "Lilly Diabetes 250", will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. PT, also on ESPN. 

Larson is currently 14th in the Sprint Cup points standings.

Gov Signs Bill To Limit Football Contact Practices

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation limiting full-contact football practice for California teams, it was announced Monday.
The legislation comes amid increasing concern about head injuries in football. Assembly Bill 2127, presented by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, prohibits middle school and high school football teams from holding full-contact practices during the off-season and limits them to no more than two full-contact practices per week during the preseason and regular season.
The Sacramento Bee reports today that 19 other states have banned full-contact high school football practices in the off-season. According to Will DeBoard of the Sac-Joaquin Section, the state of Texas has passed similar legislation that allows teams only 45 minutes of full contact drills a week during the season.
Locally, our almost all of the high school football teams participate in full-contact summer camps. Stripping them of this kind of workout is likely going to affect the teams, which use these camps to determine who their players are going to be and allow them to install their offensive and defensive schemes. Elk Grove head coach Chris Nixon thinks eliminating the summer contact camps will set back the younger players from developing their football skills quicker.
In talking today with not only Nixon, but Laguna Creek's head coach Dave Morton, as well, the two  practices a week rule is actually more than they currently do with their squads. Morton said once the season begins he has his players just make contact during drills but never bring down a ball carrier or receiver.

Nixon said he runs practices similarly once the season has begun. He's concerned, though, about the limitation of full contact drills during the pre-season and how that will affect the quality of play.

DeBoard admitted that this new legislation, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, needs to be more specific and that will be the job of the State CIF Board of Directors between now and then. As Nixon said, "How do you define 'full contact?' Is that actually hitting each other or does this mean a practice with everyone in full gear? That will need to be defined."

Morton quipped: "I think there's more important things for the government to do than tell me how many times my boys can hit heads every week." And, though he thinks the new law won't affect how he coaches football at Laguna Creek - he doesn't take his players to a team camp - Morton knows this is a good step in the right direction.

"It's good they are trying to bring back high school football as it should be instead of trying to make it a business," he said. 

Read more here:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cal Ripken 12's and 11's Prep For Regional Tournament

Two local Cal Ripken Baseball teams will spend the weekend preparing for the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournaments that start Monday.

The Laguna Youth Baseball's 12-Year-Old all-stars won their Northern California state tournament at Rau Park on July 11 with an 8-6 win in extra innings over the Woodland All-Stars. Laguna jumped out to an early three-run lead in the top of the first, but Woodland came back in the bottom half and tied it.  The game was back and forth with Woodland tying the game up in the bottom of the 5th on an error with the bases loaded.

Woodland lead off the bottom of the sixth inning with two singles. A passed ball moved the winning run to 3rd.  A strikeout and infield popup, brought the number-four hitter up with two outs.  Laguna intentionally walked him to load the bases and struck out the next batter on a 3-2 fastball inside for a called third strike.

Laguna first two batters got out quickly and the number 3 hitter doubled down the line.  The next batter up hit a 2-run homer to put Laguna up 8-6 for good.

Laguna now heads to the Pacific Southwest Regional tournament in Visalia, with their first game on Monday, 7/21, against Clovis. The winner of that tournament will advance to the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, MD.

To follow the Laguna squad live online here is the link:

The team is coached by Michael Marchant, Lee Burton and Mike Hardey. The players are Hilario Mata - #42 Chase Davis - #8 Ishmael Burton - #27 Cameron Walty - #24 Brandon Rundgren #23
Jake Pina - #55 Jeremy Daneluk - #1 Michael Hardey - #12 Jalen Carreon - #21 Jackon Leonard - #14 David Anderson - #11 Marshall Smith - #3 and  Jack Marchant - #25

Laguna Youth's Age 12 All-Stars, NorCal State Champions
 Elk Grove Youth Baseball's Age 11 All-Stars won its NorCal State Championship two weeks ago in Oakland. They open their version of the Pacific Southwest Regional next week in Bullard.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Synergy Fitness: Helping Young Athletes Get Better

Ask just about any elite athlete from high school through college and into the pros and they’ll tell you about the importance of having a personal trainer. This person won’t help the athlete perfect a curveball nor analyze the way they throw a football nor help find a flaw in their batting. In most cases these trainers help the athlete simply get stronger, faster and more agile.

Dave Von Ruden is one such trainer. Locally, he’s been working with athletes for nine years, the last couple of those years out of his western Elk Grove location near Elk Grove Blvd. and West Taron.

“I love the one-on-one interaction and to help people gain results,” he said.

Von Ruden, through his business, Synergy Total Fitness, helps young athletes, some as little at nine-years-old, right through the professional ranks not only strengthen their “core”- the main body muscles – but, also help them from getting hurt while playing their sport.
Synergy Fitness has a unique facility in West Elk Grove for personal training.

“I want to see these young athletes get faster, strong and prevent injury, as well,“ he said. “I see too many of these young people get injured. It’s because they over use their muscles all the time.”

Von Ruden helps the athlete to work what he calls a “pre-hab” program so that the chance of injury is minimized.

“We get them to build up their over-used muscles while getting them bigger and stronger, helping them get their agility up,” he said.

Von Ruden isn’t a big fan of athletes playing their sport year-round, either.

“They don’t take breaks,” he observed of many high school and college-aged athletes. “You see the professionals now (take a break). Professional baseball players, a handful may go to the winter leagues, but for the most part those guys let their bodies heal up from a long season.”

“This is one thing I want to instill in the young athletes – you won’t leave your skill. It will always be there, but if you can get your body built up –bulletproof and injury-proof – for the upcoming season, your performance is going to be so much better,” Von Ruden added. “I see too many kids get injured and that hinders the opportunities for them in their sport.”

One reason he likes coaching athletes one-on-one and in small groups is to help them build up the entire body. That’s why he also consults each athlete on what sort of food they are eating.

Detrick Working To Be The Best In Waterskiing

Brian Detrick was only four years old and already an accomplished water skiier. He was enrolled in Kindergarten and his father Steve, an avid skiier himself, knew of some local competitions and thought Brian might be ready to enter.

“My parents made a bet with me that year that they would take me to the Regionals if I qualified,” he recalled. “Hearing the stories now they said they thought there was no way I would qualify. I ended up qualifying. I had to miss some days of Kindergarten and went to the Regionals in Washington.”

He was the youngest person ever to compete in the Western Regional Championships.

Elk Grove pro waterskiier Brian Detrick
Brian doesn’t remember how he fared in his first competition, but now more than 20 years later water skiing events has become a big part of his life.

He attended St. Mary’s College after graduating from Elk Grove High School in 2007. While he was in college, Detrick helped to form a waterskiing club. His final year at St. Mary’s he was a part of the team that represented the U.S. at the FIFU University World Water Ski Championships in Santiago, Chile.

The U.S. won a gold medal at that event.

Detrick was also named a collegiate All-American and in 2009 was honored as the National Collegiate Water Ski Association’s Male Leader of the Year.

Detrick is now skiing professionally and doing quite well. The International Wakeboard and Waterskiing Federation recently ranked him the eighth-best skier in the world.

Frequently, Detrick is entered into a pro waterskiing event somewhere around the country. Earlier this year he traveled to Australia where he competed in a pair of that country’s best events. It was his 2nd place showing in the Australian Open and the 3rd place finish in the coveted Moomba Masters that springboard him into the world rankings. That has seemed to earn him a big spotlight in professional waterskiing.

But, unlike most professional sports, waterskiing just hasn’t seen the kind of money that would provide the big paydays to allow Detrick and other pro skiiers the opportunity to spend their lives only on the water where they can hone their skills.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cal Ripken State Champs Advance To Regional Tournaments

Local youth baseball squads were crowned Cal Ripken Baseball Northern California state champions and are now preparing for the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournaments, which are one step away from the Cal Ripken World Series in August.

The Age 12-and-under State Tournament was won this past weekend by the team representing Laguna Youth Baseball. This is the same basic squad that made Age 11 Pacific Southwest Regional a year ago and took first place

They will be playing at Visalia for their regional play beginning next Monday. Here is the link to their fundraising site,, any donations would help this club in their expenses.

At Age 11, the team representing Elk Grove Youth Baseball were state champions and will play their regional tournament at Bullard, July 20 - 25. If you can help with a financial donation to offset the costs of travel please go to:

The Ripken Baseball organization has constructed a baseball complex in Aberdeen, Md., where its World Series are held.

Watch here for more on each team in the coming days....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Larson Finishes Third (NSCS), Fourth (NNS) At New Hampshire

Kyle Larson had one of his better weekends thus far this season at NASCAR's races in New Hampshire. He placed fourth Saturday in the Nationwide circuit race and third Sunday in NASCAR's Sprint Cup dash.

"We made some good decisions that let us lead a few laps and then maintain our pace after that," Larson said of his showing in the Camping World 301 on Sunday.

The previous three weeks Larson had finishes of 28th or worse. He rebounded in a major way on Sunday thanks to an early gamble by crew chief Chris Heroy during the caution that came at Lap 113. The team stayed out in a gamble for track position and even took the lead for a bit. That decision paid off as Larson spent most of the afternoon up in the top 10 from that point on. 

"I want to thank the team for a great job," he added.

The NASCAR rookie led 14 laps of the race Sunday, the most he's done that yet this season. On Saturday he led the Sta-Green 200 for 11 laps.

Larson has now finished in the top five four times in this, his rookie season on the Sprint Cup circuit. He also has eight top ten finishes.

The Sprint Cup competitors have the coming weekend off before they head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for what used to be called the Brickyard 400. The new official name for the event is now, "Crown Royal presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard." The race will be Sunday, July 27.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Throwing Their Way To Nationals

The weighted ball thuds to the ground kicking up a cloud of dust with it.

On one side of a dry, weed-filled empty lot on the east side of Elk Grove’s city limits the boy who tossed this contraption, resembling a ball-and-chain device used years ago in the prison systems, steps out the steel-line ring and another big boy steps in ready to take his turn to do the same thing.

The next boy begins his preparation for his toss. 

He has his back to the open field, grabs the handle in one hand and lifts it above his head. A steel cable stretches out beneath the handle and on the other end, about 20 inches or so from the handle, is a round steel ball. He grunts a bit out loud as he swings the ball to his left, then directs its momentum to make a full circle around him. 
(from left) Jacob Cornelio, Steven Tofanelli, Coach Michael Curry, Cody Holt

As he begins to twirl the handle faster and faster around him the cable is fully stretched and on the end, the ball gains altitude. His arms are now fully stretched out to his side with both hands on the handle.

He then pivots on the left foot, making a full 360-degree spin himself and at just the right time, flings the contraption well into the air.  The steel ball ascends, peaking high in the air above the empty lot, the cable and handle wiggling in tow. For a while it looks like a golf ball in mid-air on a pitch shot onto a green.

The thrower stops with his toes buried into the steel-ringed launchpad from where he made the toss. He gazes after the ball; and in what seems like a good five seconds later, it crashes to the ground with a resounding thud.

Coach Michael Curry says, “Nice throw. That felt good, didn’t it?”

Steven Tofanelli just grinned.

“He threw that more than 180 feet,” Curry remarked eye-balling the landing spot of the ball and comparing that to a series of faded orange cones placed about the lot.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Petition Drive To Reinstate Gomes Gains Momentum

Officials at Cosumnes Oaks High School remain mum on the reason for the firing of head varsity football coach Ryan "Scooter" Gomes.  The school's athletic director Bill Kapp steered inquiries towards Elk Grove Unified School District athletic director Jim Smrekar on Wednesday.

Smrekar's response has been that the school wanted the football program to go in a different direction and in order for that to happen, a new coach was needed.

Gomes told the Citizen's Jon Gudel he wasn't really given by school principal Patrick McDougall a reason for the dismissal except that McDougall thought the football program at Cosumnes Oaks had grown too large and academics were taking a back seat. McDougall supposedly remarked the presence of college coaches on campus was becoming a big distraction to the students.

Gomes is well-known for effectively promoting his players to area college programs. More than 30 former Cosumnes Oaks players are playing football collegiately.

In the past couple days parents of Cosumnes Oaks football players have begun an online petition drive demanding Gomes' re-instatement. A copy of the petition was emailed to me this morning.

In it they question McDougall's desire to move Wolfpack football in a different direction.

"What new direction?" they write in the petition. "The direction of not being successful? Our team just won the league championship. Coach Gomes was named Coach of the Year ..."

The petition cites the fact that team has maintained a 3.25 overall GPA every year since the school opened in 2008.

"Coach Gomes has proven and demonstrated time and time again that he is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to do what is best for the kids," they also wrote.

People close to the school think the petition probably won't help re-instate Gomes that there are other factors went into the decision that led to his dismissal. These matters are probably why McDougall and Kapp aren't talking.

The school district posted the coaching vacancy on Monday. It is a possibility that one of the current Wolfpack assistant coaches could be named the interim head coach for the coming fall.

UPDATE (Sat. 7/12): Wolfpack Assistant Coach Derick Milgrim has been named the interim varsity head coach.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Detrick Moves Up In Waterskiing Ranks; Grubbs Joins CSUS Baseball

Professional Water Skier Brian Detrick has moved into the top ten of slalom skiing’s elite. Detrick, an Elk Grove High School graduate, is currently ranked eighth according to International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF).

Detrick’s performances have moved him up ten places on the IWWF Elite Skier List since the onset of the 2014 season. The Elite Skier List is determined solely by tournament performances. 

Brian Detrick
“Brian is skiing really well right now,” Paul Crawford, Centurion Boat’s Director of Three Event Skiing said. “I’ve watched Brian develop through the boys and junior’s ranks, always knowing that he had the talent and skills to make it as a top-notch professional slalom skier and he’s there now. Centurion is proud to have a quality skier like Brian using our boat to perform at such an elite level.”

During the 2014 season, Brian Detrick placed second at the Australian Open and at the prestigious Moomba Masters he took third, both scores helped him improve his Elite Skier World ranking.

Coming up this weekend, Detrick will be skiing in the AquaPlex July Record Invitational in Texas.

Grubbs Makes Sac State Baseball Squad

Sacramento State baseball coach Reggie Christiansen announced this week the names of eight incoming freshman players. One of them is Pleasant Grove grad Bronson Grubbs.

“Bronson  is a winner, plays the game extremely hard, and also brings flexibility to our roster as he can play all three positions in the middle of the diamond,” Christiansen said.

Grubbs is joined by Rocklin H.S. infielder Sam Curtis, Whitney H.S. infielder P.J. Floyd, Billy Rockefeller of Del Oro and Woodcreek’s Dylan Spezia as incoming Hornets for a program that competed for the first time in the NCAA Division I playoffs last spring.

Christiansen has the task of replacing six seniors from that team, including third baseman Will Soto, an Elk Grove High School graduate. Juniors Rhys Hoskins and Alex Palsha were drafted in June and will forego their final collegiate season.

Minor Leaguer Update

This city has been blessed with many excellent baseball players and there are many who call Elk Grove home that are still active in their sport on a professional level. Currently there one major leaguer that hails from Elk Grove - Arizona Diamondbacks' reliever David Hernandez. He's recovering from arm surgery and will return next season.

Here is a list of those who are toiling this summer in the minor leagues: (click on the player's name for the latest statistics)

Rowdy Tellez         (Elk Grove H.S.) Blue Jays
Dom Nunez            (Elk Grove H.S.) Rockies
Jake Rodriguez     (Elk Grove H.S.) Astros
J.D. Davis               (Elk Grove H.S.) Astros
Derek Hill              (Elk Grove H.S.) Tigers
David Freitas         (Elk Grove H.S.) Orioles
Jared Deacon         (Elk Grove H.S.) Giants
Brandon Pinckney (Elk Grove H.S.) Independent
Dwight Childs        (Elk Grove H.S.) Independent
Brady Dragmire     (Bradshaw Chr. H.S.) Blue Jays
Dylan Chavez         (Pleasant Grove H.S.) White Sox
Tyler Linehan          (Sheldon H.S.) Brewers
Cory Vaughn            (Jesuit H.S.) Mets
Danny Hayes           (Jesuit H.S.) White Sox 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Gomes Fired As Cosumnes Oaks' Football Coach

In a sudden move Monday, school administration at Cosumnes Oaks High School fired football coach Ryan "Scooter" Gomes. No reason for the dismissal was given by school officials.

Elk Grove Unified School District athletic director Jim Smrekar earlier tonight confirmed Gomes' firing, but added, "the (Cosumnes Oaks High School) administration has determined the program needs to go in a different direction and in order to accomplish that the program needs new leadership."

Smrekar denied reports earlier today that school district officials were responsible for Gomes'
Ryan Gomes talks to his team following a playoff loss three years ago at Whitney.

Moments after the announcement hit social media Gomes tweeted, "Want to be explicit
 clear: I love CO football (kids, coaches families). All of it. We built something great, a program to be  proud of."

He has not responded to texts from me, however, Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee tweeted Gomes was "devastated" and "shocked" that he was fired. Plus, there was no reason given for the action, according to Gomes.

The Wolfpack is coming off one of its most successful seasons where it was 7-4, but lost to Whitney in the opening round of the playoffs. In his five varsity seasons, Gomes coached Cosumnes Oaks to a 33-22 record.

He was known for placing his players in the eyes of college coaches with effectiveness. Prior to last year he told me that there were more than 30 of his former Wolfpack players who suited up at the collegiate level.

Prior to coming to the school when it opened six years ago, Gomes was an assistant coach at Laguna Creek High School. He brought former Cardinal co-head coach Lew Lassiter with him to Cosumnes Oaks.

There is, of course, no immediate word on who may replace Gomes, however, one intriguing name that might be available would be former Pleasant Grove head coach Joe Cattolico. He resigned his post with the Eagles earlier this year after nine seasons at the helm. Cattolico has not yet announced his future coaching plans.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Rinaldi Resigns as Baseball Coach at PG

Pleasant Grove High School baseball coach Rob Rinaldi has resigned.

He texted Elk Grove Citizen sports editor Jon Gudel Sunday afternoon with the announcement.

Earlier today Rinaldi told Gudel that he was burned out and needed a break. Like so many other high school sports, baseball has become a year-round affair and the task of running a program like this can be taxing.

He did tell Gudel that depending on who would be the next varsity head coach he might consider coaching the junior varsity or the freshman program at Pleasant Grove. Rinaldi said that he just no longer wanted to be in charge of the entire baseball program.

The past two seasons the Eagles had the best overall record of all EGUSD baseball squads but have been eliminated in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section's Division I playoffs by Franklin.

Rinaldi came to the school nine years ago when it opened. Every season he had the team in the post-season but could never grab a Section title despite several very talented teams.

He was the head baseball coach at Woodland High School prior to coming to Pleasant Grove.

With Rinaldi's sudden resignation that means Pleasant Grove has replaced its athletic director, football coach, boys' basketball coach and now will have to replace its baseball coach all in just the past few months.

Larson, Levin Out Early This Weekend

The Fourth of July was no celebration this weekend for Elk Grove pro sports stars Kyle Larson and Spencer Levin.

Larson was caught up in a 16-car crash on the 20th lap of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona Sunday. He was briefly knocked out of the race and officially finished in the 36th position after limping along for 69 laps.

The race was cut short by rain after 112 laps and was won by Aric Almirola.

Levin missed the cut at the PGA Greenbriar Open in West Virginia Friday by two strokes.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Davidson, Finnerty To Host H.S. Sports TV Show

Expanding on its tradition of covering High Schools sports, The Sacramento Bee will debut “The Bee Preps Show” on Aug. 26. Presented by title sponsor Save Mart and airing on Comcast SportsNet California, “The Bee Preps Show” will be the only show dedicated solely to high school sports in the Sacramento region.

Co-hosted by The Sacramento Bee’s Joe Davidson and Mike Finnerty of All-City Preps, the weekly, 30-minute cable TV program will feature video highlights of key athletes, coaches and teams. The new program will air during the school year – from late August to mid-June – at 4:30 p.m. every Tuesday, and repeat on Wednesday and Thursday. After airing on CSN, each show will be available at

“This new partnership expands The Bee’s commitment to covering high school sports in the Sacramento region and means that high school sports fans will have more content than ever – in paper, online and on TV,” said Tom Negrete, The Bee’s director of innovation and news operations.

The Bee’s partnership with All-City Preps also means that Finnerty’s team rankings, news of college signings and recruiting of local athletes will be available on The Davidson-Finnerty team is renowned in the region for extensive coverage of high school sports. Davidson, an award-winning journalist who has been involved with sports for more than 25 years, will be joined by Finnerty, a 10-year veteran of high school coverage. The CSN signal goes from the Bay Area to the Oregon border, with heavy emphasis on Northern California coverage, including the Bay Area.

“I am thrilled to have All-City Preps join forces with The Sacramento Bee, the region’s news and information giant,” Finnerty said. “We envision and exciting future for the coverage of high school sports in Sacramento and Northern California.”