Sunday, August 26, 2018

Goodbye, Amy Hello, Marcus

Coming out of last week's activities and lost a bit under the news of Trump defectors and legal issues were two stories worth talking about.

First is the sudden departure of one of the top radio personalities in the market, Amy Lewis, from KFBK. For years she has graced the morning airwaves on AM 1530 and FM 93.1. She was reportedly told she was gone after she left the air last Wednesday. Replacing her is another familiar name in local broadcasting, Cristina Mendonsa, who for 21 years was the late night news anchor at News 10 (or ABC 10 as it is called today).

A few years ago, Amy came to talk to my journalism class at Burbank and was so graceful and kind. I had worked with her husband Stuart during my days as a traffic and news reporter at Metro Traffic more than 10 years ago. The two of them were very supportive of our Titan Media Productions career pathway.

Though her presence will be greatly missed, I bet she finds another place to land in radio here in Sacramento. I hope Capital Public Radio grabs her.

The broadcasting field, unfortunately, is a shaky area in which to work. Owners and managers way too often make programming decisions for the short-term, frequently reacting abruptly to down ticks in audience ratings. Dips in advertising revenue also figure into hasty decisions. I was blessed in my 27 years in broadcasting I was never fired, yet had many sessions with owners where I felt heat.

In today's broadcasting landscape, though, those who call the shots have never been behind a mic, produced a commercial, spun a disc or programmed a station. They peer into spreadsheets way too often.

Bagley's brother arrives

When Marvin Bagley III was drafted by the Sacramento Kings after one season at Duke, his dad said the whole family would be moving to town. Included in the family is a couple younger brothers. One of them, Marcus, a 6-7 forward, will be donning the turquoise and black of Sheldon High School, according to a report on Friday by the Bee's Joe Davidson.

I talked to a couple other high school basketball coaches over the past couple days who lamented that it's a matter of the rich getting richer with the arrival of Bagley. One coach said he thought the Huskies, state runner-ups a year ago in the CIF Open Division, would have been a better team this coming season, even without Bagley. Now, they definitely are in the discussion about who may have the best boys basketball team in the State, let alone Northern California.

Two years ago Marcus and Marvin were teammates at Sierra Canyon H.S. in Chatsworth. Reportedly, Marcus didn't play last year as the family moved to North Carolina when Marvin enrolled at Duke.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Davis tearing up PCL; Thoughts on prep football's Zero Week

J.D. Davis is showing baseball he's just too good for Triple-A. The former Elk Grove High School star drilled a three-run homer, was three-for-four Tuesday in the Fresno Grizzlies' 9-2 win over Sacramento in Pacific Coast League action.
J.D. Davis batting Tuesday at Raley Field, was the
Pacific Coast League's player of the week

His homer was another of his now-patented sky-high shots that landed atop the batting cage in left field at Raley Field. His family and friends, which included girlfriend Shelby Wisdom and former EGHS coach Zach Leach, let out a big roar which echoed across the silent River Cats' faithful (by the way, it's becoming a bit of a "thing" now in the minors to change uniforms and team nicknames for a game or two. The River Cats were the "Dorados" Tuesday and used a logo of the head of a masked wrestler. Even "Dinger" the River Cats' mascot worn a pro wrestling mask and had a cape on.)

WATCH J.D.'s 16th homer of the year and 8th in his last nine games

In the last nine games, since returning to the Grizzlies after his third stint this season in the Majors with Houston, Davis has eight homers. Last week he was named the PCL's player of the week for hitting a pair of homers in back-to-back games in Tacoma.
He's now played in 74 games for Fresno and has 74 RBIs after driving in three on that dinger Tuesday. Davis is on a seven-game hitting streak in which he is 15-for-27 (.556) with seven home runs and 16 RBI's.
Ben Davis

His dad Greg thinks J.D. will return to Houston for the fourth time this season come Sept. 1 and likely help the Astros who are battling the A's and the Mariners for the top spot in the American League West. Greg and wife Mary Jo will be racking up more airline mileage this fall not just following oldest son J.D. Younger son Ben should see plenty of action on the offensive line for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this fall.

It was good, too, on Tuesday to see former EGHS and CRC pitcher Ray Hernandez, now a developmental coach in the Astros' organization. He's spent much of the season with Fresno and he coached first base in Tuesday's game.

Ray Hernandez, on his way to the first base coaching box
for the Fresno Grizzlies

Prep Football's Zero Week

High School football kicked off the 2018 season last Friday, one earlier than usual due to a scheduling issue with the CIF State Bowl games in December. However, emotions were high as just about all locals played.


1. The margin of victory (41-6) of Monterey Trail's win over Sheldon. The Huskies may be in a rebuilding mode after a couple good senior classes, but the Mustangs have some really great players led by Ethan Larrier. Sheldon should have a better outing Friday when then host Burbank, however, the Titans looked solid in a 21-20 loss to Christian Brothers.
2. That Valley beat Laguna Creek. The 25-13 score indicates that the Vikings may be really good in the new Greater Sacramento League.
3. That Folsom was shut out for the first time since 2004. De LaSalle won 14-0, but no surprise, really that they won. Folsom is still good, folks.

No Surprises:

1. Inderkum beat Elk Grove, 37-13. The Tigers will be one of the best teams in the area and, frankly, the Herd, Cosumnes Oaks, Franklin and Pleasant Grove will be just ordinary teams this season. 
2. That Capital Christian came from behind to beat the Wolfpack, 47-39. Jacob Trach is our best running back and returner in Elk Grove Unified this season and showed it, but Cosumnes Oaks couldn't stop a club that now with Casey Taylor as the head coach, will be drawing outstanding players from all over Sacramento to play there, hoping to become another De LaSalle.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Media Day: Briggs named to SJ Section Hall of Fame

by John Hull,

Former Elk Grove High School linebacker and fullback Lance Briggs will highlight the 2018 class of honorees in the Sac-Joaquin Section's Hall of Fame. Briggs, along with former Philadelphia Phillies' pitcher John Vukovich of Amador H.S., Jesuit H.S. and MLB pitcher J.P. Howell, Laguna Creek H.S. discus thrower Chaniqua Ross and eight others, will be inducted Sunday, Oct. 21 in ceremonies at the Sacramento Hyatt Regency.
Lance Briggs, a 7-time All-Pro linebacker with the
Chicago Bears, will be added to the Sac-Joaquin Section's
Hall of Fame Oct. 21

This announcement along with some major changes in prep football playoffs were announced Thursday during the Section's annual Media Day. Will DeBoard, assistant Section commissioner, added that prep basketball playoffs, staged the past two seasons at University of the Pacific in Stockton, will be moved to Sacramento's Golden One Arena.

Those were two of many new nuances that will start with the 2018-2019 sports season, which begins Friday with a full slate of football and volleyball games.


Athletic Transfers

Click HERE to find out who relocated to
a new high school this season in the Sac-Joaquin Section


Section officials announced there will be 12-team brackets in Divisions I through VI football playoffs beginning this season. Division VII will be a six-team playoff. In a major change over the playoff system used the past five seasons, only first-place teams are assured of making the post-season. Section officials will use power ratings compiled by to populate the remaining slots to form the 78-team field.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Sports Corner Podcast: Mark Tennis

by John Hull,

Mark Tennis has for more than 35 years been covering prep sports throughout the state of California. On Aug. 7, he released his new book "High School Football in California" which recounts the many great players and coaches that have started their careers in the Golden State. On Monday, Mark joined the Sports Corner Podcast to talk about the book, a preview of the coming prep football season and some of the issues facing football in the State.'s Mark Tennis new book, now
available through

Friday, August 10, 2018

Notebook: Great to be back home to, uh, 100 degrees & smoke

by John Hull,

Yes, I missed my home, Elk Grove, but loved my few days in Wisconsin with family this past week, as we married off a nephew in Milwaukee, and then headed north to the old family resort just outside of Eagle River.

If you are a fisherman, you know what clear, clean water and biting fish mean to an outdoor experience. The quiet of the Northwoods is incredible and a hot day there is 80 degrees. Best place to vacation, if you ask me.
A foggy sunrise over South Twin Lake in Wisconsin

So, we're back and writing just one week away from the start of the high school football season. If you didn't know, CIF didn't want their State Football Championship games running into Christmas vacation any longer, so the 11-week regular season (ten games maximum, with a bye week) kicks off Aug. 17.

The big game regionally will be defending Division I champion Folsom playing at perennial power De LaSalle. Other interesting openers will be Elk Grove at Inderkum, Sheldon at Monterey Trail, Placer at Pleasant Grove and Franklin at McNair in Evan Boylan's coaching debut with the Wildcats.