Tuesday, January 23, 2018

It’s time now for Don Mico on the CRC diamond

It’s Don Mico’s turn at steering one of the top area community college baseball programs. After six years as an assistant at Cosumnes River College, Mico will now be the head coach.
The man he replaces is Tony Bloomfield, who directed the Hawks’ baseball program since 1999. Bloomfield has guided 23 playoff teams, including nine that reached the Super Regional Final Eight. He won nine Big -8 Conference championships and nine conference Coach of the Year honors. In 2012 received the national community college Coach of the Year award. That year, CRC won the state championship without a home game or home practice because of facility upgrades. 
Cosumnes River College's new
baseball coach, Don Mico

“We’re running everything just like normal,” Mico said of the recent transition period. “It’s Coach Bloomfield’s program that I am running. His program has been just so successful. We about making successful men, fathers and sons. That’s what we’ve been doing.”
And, just like Bloomfield, Mico wants to continue to win with homegrown talent, recruiting mostly in Elk Grove and Sacramento. His 2018 roster looks like an all-star team from area high schools.
He has just six sophomores and about 20 freshmen. Most of the Sophs are his pitchers starting with Josh Congress from Laguna Creek High School. Josh Caldwell, a freshman from Cosumnes Oaks, will also be a pitcher likely to see plenty of innings.
The infield will consist of Mico’s son J.D. who will play either shortstop or second. Alex Crouch from Bradshaw Christian will play short or third base. Also at third base is sophomore Damian Chavez from Franklin.
Behind the plate will be Jeremy Kolb of Elk Grove High School.
In the outfield, Burl Dixon of Sheldon will see time in leftfield.
“We want good students, of course, kids that want to compete,” Mico said. “We don’t over recruit. That’s one of Tony’s things. We want to keep things small here so that guys get plenty of reps here.”
Mico plans on keeping about 25 guys on the roster, which when you look across community college baseball rosters, is a pretty small number.
“We want to make certain they guys fit into our program,” he added.
Mico has had several years experience as a personal coach and a pro baseball scout before arriving at CRC. He’ll bring with him personal friend Randy Wong onto the staff alongside holdovers Jno Shuler and pitching coaches Ray Hernandez and Michael Hacker.

CIF proposed rule changes

An interesting email came across the Notebook a few days ago from the CIF. At the upcoming CIF Federated Council Meeting, February 2-3, there are nine proposed items that will be discussed as a first reading. One of them would clarify who CIF member schools are allowed to play.
In recent years, CIF member schools have been engaging in competition with schools from other state associations who have membership in their state, but are not allowed to play in their state playoffs. In some instances, these schools are not allowed to compete with member schools of their own state because they are not required to follow the same eligibility rules. This proposal would help to ensure that CIF member schools are playing other education-based high schools and not academy like programs.
Another proposal would continue to restrict full contact practice to two days per week as prescribed by law but would limit that full contact to no more than 45 minutes per day for a total of 90 minute per week. This time limitation applies only to full contact. The current bylaw limits full contact to no more than 90 minutes per day for a total of 180 minutes per week.
The proposal has the unanimous support of the CIF State Football Advisory Committee.
The 10 Section commissioners unanimously supported moving this proposal forward to the CIF State Executive Committee for their consideration.

Nicolos to sign with Santa Clara

St. Francis senior Marlee Nicolos will sign with Santa Clara soccer program next month during the NCAA National Signing Day for soccer.
“I am so excited about signing with Santa Clara,” said Nicolos. “It is amazing. I have been excited and a little nervous but after my official visit on Sept. 29, it made everything so much more exciting. I met the girls in my (recruiting) class, girls on the team and had team bonding. It was an amazing experience and one of the best nights I have had.”
Nicolos, who currently is the leading scorer for the Troubadour basketball team, is recognized as one of the top goalies in Northern California. She plays for the San Juan Soccer club and was a member of the St. Francis soccer program for two seasons.
She lives in Elk Grove.

Levin on Web.com Tour

Elk Grove golfer Spencer Levin lost his PGA Tour card because of a rotten 2017 season and right now he’s trying to work his way back by competing on the Web.com Tour. If he makes the top 25 money list there, he’ll gain back his PGA Tour card for next season. 
Elk Grove pro golfer Spencer Levin, now making his
living on the Web.com pro golf tour.

He recently told the Golf Channel that one big reason he had such a poor 2017, finishing 163rd in the  FedEx Cup standings, was that he went with a different club manufacturer and just plain didn’t like his set of clubs.
Levin described the Callaway clubs and staff as "top-notch," but added that he had trouble fitting the equipment to his game. He switched back to his old equipment mid-season, and went on to notch a top five finish at the Quicken Loans National that nearly earned him a spot in The Open.
"I gave them their money back and went back to my old TaylorMade driver and irons," Levin said. "It kind of sucked that I didn't like [the Callaway clubs]. Their guys were really cool. I just couldn't find a driver that I liked."
He was outside the top 140 on Tour in driving distance as well as strokes gained off-the-tee, approach-the-green and tee-to-green.
While he initially thought he was without a place to play this year, Levin will be fully exempt on the Web.com Tour by virtue of the fact that he had banked at least five straight fully-exempt seasons on the PGA Tour.
"At least I have a chance to get back within a year, which is pretty cool," Levin said. "If I play really well, maybe even sooner. The whole thing right now is about getting back on the Tour."

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