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vol. 4. issue 77 bay area

December 1, 2013


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Phillip Walton

14 their turn: With players like DeOndre Otis of Sacred Heart Cathedral, the WCAL is wide open. Mitty has lost Aaron Gordon, but not the ability to contend. your first glance at our boys 22 Get and girls top 20 rankings. Bishop

easy to say ‘be confident’ but it’s 28 It’s another thing entirely to put that

pitch: We’ve been very 6 First good here at SportStars this year.

into practice. Erika Carlson will help you get there.

And if Santa doesn’t agree and fill our wish list, Santa’s gonna have to watch his back.

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room: If we had a real-life 8 locker Hunger Games we know some sports figures who could do well.

ON THE COVER: 1. Ayanna Edwards, Sacramento; 2. Joeseta Fatuesi, Wilcox-Santa Clara; 3. Kelli Hayes, Archbishop Mitty-San Jose; 4. Mandy Coleman, McNair-Stockton; 5. Mikayla Cowling, St. Mary’s-Berkeley; 6. Gabby Green, St. Mary’s-Berkeley; 7. Simone Sheppard, Sacramento; 8. Lexi Tubbs, Modesto Christian; 9. Desire Finnie, Berkeley; 10. Mariya Moore, Salesian-Richmond; 11. Natalie Romeo, Carondelet-Concord; 12. Tiara Tucker, McNair-Stockton; 13. Morgan Green, Pacific CollegiateSanta Cruz; 14. Ge’anna Summers-Luaulu, Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. Photo by Phillip Walton To see more photos and a behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot. Scan the cover with your Layar app, or visit SportStarsOnline.com/GBBcover

O’Dowd tops the boys list while the girls are crowded at the top. 4

of the week: 7 Sportstar Selina Haefke, Alhambra-Martinez

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Dear Santa: What’s topping our wish list this season In case you haven’t been bludgeoned over the head enough with this fact, it’s officially the holiday shopping season. And typically it’s around this time that my family starts requesting the ol’ “wish list.” So while I’ve been thinking about what I want under the tree, I got to thinking about what SportStars would put on its wish list. Here’s just a few things we came up with. 1. Support for Jeff Loving Working for several years covering high school boys basketball in the Bay Area, I came to know former Las Lomas-Walnut Creek coach Jeff Loving fairly well. I chronicled a number of his stronger teams and used him as a source for other stories on more than a few occasions. He always came off extremely friendly and gracious, and never failed to return a phone call. Loving and his wife Brenda were building a family, having adopted four orphaned children from Ethiopia. Not long after returning from Africa with the second pair of children, Brenda was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died on Nov. 9. Several former Las Lomas students have stepped forward to build support for Loving and the four children (ages 3-5). Donations from more than 700 people have helped raise a little more than $60,000 toward the goal of $100,000. If you’d like to help, check out the donation site at: www.gofundme. com/5dscyw 2. No More Confusion over CIF Divisions Last March, the excitement over the new Open Division state championship basketball tournament was inevitably overshadowed by the confusion as to the exact criteria that would be used to determine the field. The criteria offered up by the California Interscholastic Federation wasn’t overly specific and was never thoroughly explained — leaving a number of coaches surprised that they were selected for the tournament. Flash forward to Dec. 2 when CalHiSports.com reported on the Christian-El Cajon football program preparing to file a possible lawsuit to make sure that it can be considered in the selection pool for the Division IV (small school) State Bowl game, should it win the San Diego Section Div. III championship game against San Marcos on Dec. 7. Christian fits the enrollment requirement (under 500) for the small school bowl game, but the CIF has said it would consider it for the larger Division II bowl game because that’s where the San Diego Section Div. III section champion slots. Confused yet? See what we mean? We encourage you to check out CalHiSports.com’s story on the matter. They do a great job explaining it. 3. A Northern Section Revival As a former Northern Section athlete, it’s always been frustrating for me to see teams from my hometown region struggle to reach the state championship level. Or worse, get there and lose in lopsided fashion. But I think there may be hope on the horizon. The Yreka (city I was born in) boys cross country team won a CIF Div. IV state title on Nov. 30. Furthermore, the Enterprise-Redding (one of my high school’s league rivals) football team is an undefeated section champion, and looked impressive getting there. The Hornets deserve strong consideration to play in the CIF Div. II Northern Regional bowl game, and should they get the call, we believe they have a shot at winning it. ✪

what’s on your list?

What’s on your high school sports holiday wish list? Share with us on Twitter (@sportstarsmag) or at Facebook/SportStars.

join our team PHONE 925.566.8500 FAX 925.566.8507 Editorial Editor@SportStarsOnline.com Editor Chace Bryson • Chace@SportStarsOnline.com Staff Writers Jim McCue Contributors Bill Kolb, Mitch Stephens, Matt Smith, Clay Kallam, Ben Enos, Dave Kiefer, Liz Elliott, Tim Rudd, Trevor Horn Copy Editor Bill Kruissink Photography Bob Larson, Jonathan Hawthorne, James K. Leash, Norbert von der Groeben, Phillip Walton, Doug Guler, Dean Coppola, Berry Ivans, III Marketing/Events Intern Ryan Arter Creative Department Art@SportStarsOnline.com Production Manager Mike DeCicco • MikeD@ SportStarsOnline.com Publisher/President Mike Calamusa • Mike@SportStarsOnline.com Advertising Sales@SportStarsOnline.com, 925.566.8500 Account Executives Leslie Ellis • Leslie@SportStarsOnline.com Camps & Clinics: Ryan ArterCamps@SportStarsOnline.com Alameda County: Bobby Pope • BobbyTPope@yahoo.com Reader Resources/Administration Subscription, Calendar, Credit Services Angela Paradise • Info@SportStarsOnline.com Distribution/Delivery Phillip Walton • Mags@SportStarsOnline.com Information technology John Bonilla CFO Sharon Calamusa • Sharon@SportStarsOnline.com community SportStars™ Magazine A division of Caliente! Communications, LLC 5356 Clayton Rd., Ste. 222 • Concord, CA 94521 • info@SportStarsOnline.com www.SportStarsOnline.com

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your ticket to california sports admit one; rain or shine This Vol. #4, November 2013 Whole No. 77 is published by Caliente! Communications, LLC, 5356 Clayton Rd, Ste. 222, Concord, CA 94521. SportStars™© 2010 by Caliente! Communications, LLC. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: 24 issues, U.S. 3rd class $42 (allow 3 weeks for delivery). 1st class $55. To receive sample issues, please send $3 to cover postage. Back issues are $4 each. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission of Publisher is strictly prohibited. The staff and management, including Board of Directors, of SportStars™© does not advocate or encourage the use of any product or service advertised herein for illegal purposes. Editorial contributions, photos and letters to the editor are welcome and should be addressed to the Editor. All material should be typed, double-spaced on disk or email and will be handled with reasonable care. For materials return, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. SportStars™© and STARS!™© Clinics are registered trademarks of Caliente! Communications, LLC.

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selina

Got Send your nominations to: Next? Editor@SportStarsOnline.com or tweet us using #SSOTW

haefke Alhambra-Martinez - Weightlifting - Senior ›› After one of Haefke’s track and field coaches — Sam Viglienzone, also the Alhambra wrestling coach — suggested the shot and discus thrower try weightlifting, something clicked. It turns out, she was a natural. And after a summer of rigorous two-a-day training workouts, Haefke attended the International Powerlifting League World Championships in Las Vegas from Nov. 6-10 and promptly set a Junior World Record for the Women’s Under-17 division. Haefke set the record in the deadlift, a lift requiring the athlete to pick the weight straight up off the ground and bring it against his or her body until hips and knees lock. Her record lift was 330 pounds. She’d lifted that much weight one other time, but it was not a perfectly clean lift. ›› in her own words: “I did my warmup and got up there and didn’t think about it. I just lifted the weight. ... It dIdn’t really hit me that I had actually broken a record for a week or two.” ›› what you didn’t know: Haefke sleeps with a stuffed duck named Stanley. She admitted to even asking for footsie pajamas that have ducks on them so Stanley wouldn’t be lonely. “I’m not weird, I swear,” she laughed.

honorable mention Jalen Harvey: The El Cerrito senior had 86 yards receiving with two TD catches, and returned a punt 73 yards for a score in a 49-34 playoff win over Campolindo.

Julia Maxwell: The BransonRoss senior cross country star won her third straight CIF Div. V state championship on Nov. 30, winning her race by 25 seconds.

Aidan Goltra: The CampolindoMoraga senior won his second straight CIF Div. III state cross country title by one second. His time of 15:02 tied for the day’s fastest time across all divisions.

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Rapid Fire

justin priest Oak Ridge Football

brianna karsseboom Bishop O’Dowd Volleyball

What tops your xmas list New phone (current is cracked & old)

A trip somewhere

Favorite xmas song

Trending What’s hot this week in the world of stuff that’s hot GoldieBox, which ripped off the Beastie Boys in a video that went viral last week, and then sued the Beasties when they expressed their displeasure are now trying to play nice with the seminal rap group. In their efforts to empower girls, GoldieBox should teach girls about copyright law, conflict resolution and saying you’re sorry. Amazon said it’s exploring using drones to deliver packages, even if it’s years away and may never happen. In a related story, Barnes & Noble hopes to still exist in two years. Another Black Friday came and went. We were introduced to his little brother, Black Thursday. Nobody seems to like him. If we’ve all gotten that out of our system can we get down to the true mission of this season: arguing about whether or not there’s a War on Christmas?

Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy, Brad Paisley (Buck Owens)

Jingle Bells

favorite xmas movie Home Alone

The Polar Express

U.S. City you most want to visit New York

New York

Most used app on your phone iFunny

Instagram

Auburn beat Alabama with a miracle play just one week after it beat Georgia on a play that was no less miraculous. You might say you like the NFL better, but when it comes to professional football drama, it’s hard to top the SEC. Paul Walker died. The star of the “Fast and Furious films was lost in a fiery car crash. No snark this time. Just a bit of sadness and a movie marathon this weekend. The newest wave of cyber bullying is upon us. The culprit: . That’s right, it’s the period. Alias Black Dot. AKA the Pinpoint Scourge. According to an article in the New Republic, the use of periods in text messaging has come to be a sign of aggressiveness. ‘No’ isn’t as mean as ‘No.’ Pardon my French, but ……….. 8

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say what

“Those kids are sophomores, and I want them to play like seniors. It’s a learning curve, and I’m confident they’ll get there. ... There’s great upside to this team. By March, we could be really good.”

Top 5 athletes we'd least like to see in a hunger games arena

— De La Salle basketball coach Frank Allocco talking about the four sophomores on his varsity roster this season — three of which logged heavy minutes as freshmen a year ago.

count 'em It’s nearly Christmas. And you know what that means? Mortal combat. A fight to the pain. Nay. To the death.

We say to you, verily, “Welcome! We salute your courage and your sacrifice and we wish you Happy Hunger

Games!” Here are the top five current athletes with whom we’d LEAST like to compete in a tick-tock-to-the-… whatever- competition.

1. Alex Smith: Say what you will about the perfectly coifed hair. The chinstrap beard. The sub-par arm-

strength, and the San Francisco haterism. The kid just keeps coming back for more.

2. Chris Davis (Auburn football): Uh. What just happened? We think we blacked out for a sec-

ond. Or however long it takes to run 109 yards.

3. Pablo Sandoval: How does a guy that fat still have a starting job in Major League Baseball? We

don’t know, either. But he must know something. Something dark. Something lethal. Fear the panda. Fear it! 4. Mike Tyson: Long since retired boxer (try to keep up, kiddies). Long since declaimed weirdo. Self-

proclaimed child-eater and protector of pigeons. Look. He ate a guy’s ear, and went back for seconds. Pretty sure he ain’t afeard of no neoprene-clad teenage punks.

5. Andrew Luck: Yeah, yeah. We’re total Tree apologists. But look. He’s 6’4”. 240 pounds. Runs a 4.6

40. Scored, like, a bazillion on the Wonderlic. You really wanna match wits AND physiques against this guy? Cam? RGIII? Really? Well. May the odds be ever in your favor…

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— Bill “Haymitch” Kolb

943 Total yards of offense unleashed by Centennial-Corona during their 86-56 playoff victory over Upland on Nov. 29 — a new national record. It eclipsed the previous national record of 937, set last year by St. Stanislaus-Bay St. Louis (Miss.), and the previous California record of 917 (Happy Camp, 1967). Running back Tre Watson (currently committed to Cal) rushed for 519 yards and six TDs in the win.

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Monarchs Will Be Crowned In the first year of the CIF Open Division for boys and girls basketball, the first champions were Mater Dei-Santa Ana for the boys and Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland for the girls. This March, in the second Open Division finals, it’s very possible it will be a Mater Dei sweep. The Monarchs were placed preseason No. 1 in the state for both genders and have leading State Player of the Year candidates. BOYS: The Monarchs (34-2 last season) are an easy choice to pencil in at the top of the preseason boys state rankings and are California’s preseason No. 1 ranked for the third consecutive season. Long Beach Poly was the last team to begin No. 1 in 2010-11. Mater Dei is going for a unprecedented fourth straight state title in the CIF’s highest classification and it all starts with small forward Stanley Johnson (6-6, Sr.). Last year’s Cal-Hi Sports State Junior of the Year (and nearly the Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year just behind Archbishop Mitty’s Aaron Gordon) could go down as Mater Dei’s best player ever. If Mater Dei wins another state title, it will be hard to deny Johnson’s a place among the state’s all-time greats. He has just enough pieces around him to get the job done in Mario Soto (6-6, Sr.), transfer Rex Pflueger (6-6, Jr.) and center M.J. Cage (6-10, Soph.). Coach Gary McKnight (960-85) doesn’t have much depth, but his team’s experience and cohesiveness — because Johnson played in every summer and fall event with his teammates — cannot be underestimated. GIRLS: The Monarchs (30-2 last season) lose one Samuelson sister, but even with Karlie Samuelson graduating they still have 6-foot-3 all-everything Katie Lou Samuelson and her game is off the radar screen right now. Katie Lou, who still has one year to go after this one, led the U.S. Under-16 national team to the FIBA Americas U16 title in Mexico last summer with 24 points in the final game. Not only that, but other than the middle Samuelson sister leaving, coach Kevin Kiernan returns all the rest of his top players, including point guard Andee Velasco, 5-foot-11 power forward Peyton Langston, and rising sophomore Jayde Woods. The Monarchs are certainly better this year than last, and come Jan. 6, they’ll improve. Mater Dei has two underclass transfers coming in, most notably Neah Odom. The 6-foot sophomore led a 22-6 Los Alamitos team in scoring and rebounding as a freshman with 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. ✪

Louis Lopez/Cal Sport Media/ZUMAPRESS

Mater Dei senior Stanley Johnson is the unquestioned preseason favorite to win Mr. State Basketball for the 2013-14 season. He might help the Monarchs win an Open Division state title while he’s at it.

CalHiSports.com staff writers Ron Flores and Harold Abend contributed to this column.

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volleyball Rankings After games of Monday, Nov. 30; previous rank in parentheses 1. (1) — Granite Bay..............................43-0 2. (2) — Archbishop Mitty-San Jose.....40-4 3. (4) ▲ Santiago-Corona.....................39-0 4. (5) ▲ Los Alamitos.............................34-5 5. (6) ▲ Mater Dei-Santa Ana...............32-7 6. (3) ▼ Torrey Pines-San Diego..........30-4 7. (7) — Valley Christian-San Jose.......33-8 8. (10) ▲ Great Oak-Temecula...............27-2 9. (9) — Lutheran-Orange.....................23-9 10. (11) ▲ Francis Parker-San Diego.......26-5 11. (12) ▲ Redondo-Redondo Beach......29-6 12. (8) ▼ La Salle-Pasadena..................32-6 13. (13) — Corona del Mar-Nwprt Bch.....24-6 14. (20) ▲ Los Altos...................................33-6 15. (15) — Lakewood.................................26-6 16. (14) ▼ Branson-Ross..........................34-6 17. (17) — Menlo School-Atherton............31-5 18. (NR) ▲ St. Francis-Sacramento..........34-8 19. (19) — Mira Costa-Manhattan Bch.....22-9 20. (NR) ▲ Westview-San Diego...............29-8 Dropped Out: No. 16 Redwood-Larkspur and No. 18 Homestead-Cupertino Comments: If Granite Bay were to win the CIF Division I state title on Dec. 7, the Grizzlies would be an easy choice to be State Team of the Year. Granite Bay’s case would only get stronger if Mitty also were to win the Div. II state title since the Grizzlies own a head-to-head win over Monarchs. If Granite Bay loses, Mitty might then have a chance to be State Team of the Year, especially if the Monarchs were to beat undefeated Santiago-Corona in the final. The more difficult choice seems to be if both Granite Bay and Mitty don’t win state titles.

trevor bearden last man rushing

With the CIF Central Coast Section conducting its regular season in football one week longer than the rest of the state, it is possible for a CCS football player to end up as the regular season state leader in scoring, rushing, passing or receiving. Heading into the games of November 15-16, the one CCS player with a 10th game that had the best chance of being a state leader was running back Trevor Bearden from Live Oak-Morgan Hill. Bearden became the 2013 regular season state rushing leader with 27 carries for 300 yards and four TDs in a 35-26 win against Evergreen Valley-San Jose. Bearden’s total of 2,553 yards in 10 games moved him past Edgar Segura of Mendota, who ended with 2,494 yards. Segura won the regular season state title in scoring with 42 TDs and 261 points. The regular season receiving yards champion is Chris Davis from Oaks ChristianWestlake Village. He had 1,541 receiving yards in 10 regular season outings.

Football Rankings (Previous ranking in parentheses; through games of Monday, Dec. 2)

1. (1) — De La Salle-Concord 12-0 29th straight trip to the NCS finals was earned with win over Deer Valley-Antioch 2. (2) — St. John Bosco-Bellflower All facets are firing perfectly for Braves heading into section final

13-0

3. (3) — Folsom 13-0 Hold the presses. Jake Browning only had one TD pass in playoff win over Jesuit. 4. (4) — Serra-Gardena Defending D2 state bowl champs looking for Open glory this season

13-0

5. (6) ▲ Mater Dei-Santa Ana A 30-0 win over previous No. 5 Long Beach Poly elevates the Monarchs

11-2

6. (8) ▲ Centennial-Corona 11-2 Huskies set state record with 943 total yards in playoff win against Upland 7. (9) ▲ Chaminade-West Hills 11-2 This team looking for big upset of No. 4 Serra in CIFSS Western Division final 8. (10) ▲ Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills 12-1 Trojans vanquish tough Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove team for second time this year 9. (11) ▲ Serra-San Mateo Padres have advanced to the CCS Open Division final for the first time

10-2

10. (12) ▲ Mission Hills-San Marcos Winners of the first San Diego Open Division title, beating Oceanside

12-1

11. (13) ▲ Vista Murietta-Murietta 12-1 For third straight year, Broncos set to play No. 6 Centennial in section final 12. (15) ▲ Mission Viejo Diablos were No. 5 in the state before their playoff loss to Mater Dei

12-1

13. (5) ▼ Long Beach Poly 11-2 Wins over Centennial, Bakersfield, St. Bonaventure keep them in final rankings 14. (7) ▼ Alemany-Mission Hills Key results keep Alemany from dropping below Del Oro or Bakersfield

10-3

15. (16) ▲ Del Oro-Loomis Golden Eagles hope to run the table all the way to Div. I state bowl

11-2

16. (17) ▲ Bakersfield Drillers taking care of business in the Central Section

10-2

17. (19) ▲ Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 11-1 Could make big leap if it can avenge loss to No. 9 Serra in CCS Open Div. final 18. (18) — Elk Grove Defense saved the day in 22-14 playoff win over Rio Linda

12-1

19. (14) ▼ Oceanside 10-3 Pirates lost in first-ever San Diego Open Div. final vs. No. 10 Mission Hills 20. (20) — Narbonne-Harbor City Gauchos iced berth to L.A. City Division I final opposite Crenshaw-L.A

11-2

21. (21) — Marin Catholic-Kentfield Oregon-bound QB Morgan Mahalak named Under-Armour All-American

12-0

22. (23) ▲ Eastlake-Chula Vista Titans fell after 33-30 loss to Oceanside in SD Open Div. playoffs.

10-2

23. (24) ▲ Corona del Mar-Newport Beach Could be Corona del Mar vs. Marin Catholic in D3 state bowl game

13-0

24. (NR) ▲ California-San Ramon 11-2 Avenging win over Pittsburg in NCS D1 semifinals gets Grizzlies into the mix 25. (NR) ▲ Crenshaw-Los Angeles Preparing to face No. 20 Narbonne in L.A. City Div. I final

9-4

turkey day triumph Kyle Nelson entered the annual San Francisco Section AAA title game on Thanksgiving Day with 44 touchdown passes already attached to his name. The senior quarterback from Galileo then made sure his memorable season would end on a high note. He passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more to spark the Lions past defending champion Lincoln of San Francisco 34-30.

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2013-14 WCAL GLANCE Predicted Order of Finish

1. Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. 2. St. Ignatius-S.F. 3. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 4. Archbishop Riordan-S.F. 5. Serra-San Mateo 6. St. Francis-Mountain View 7. Bellarmine-San Jose 8. Valley Christian-San Jose Top players Trevor Dunbar (St. Ignatius, Sr., guard): Two-time first-team all-league point is nearly unguardable on the drive. DeOndre Otis (Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sr., guard): The Irish’s team leader will be depended on for 15 points a game and to establish the tempo. David Parsons (Sacred Heart Cathedral, Jr., wing): A scorer who can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. Connor Peterson (Mitty, Sr., guard): Shooting guard, who is one of two returning starters. Strong and a team leader.

Chiefy Ugbaja (Riordan, Sr., forward): A fast, high-energy player who will fill up a stat sheet. Sean Watkins (Serra, Sr., guard): A physical player who can shoot. Promising newcomers Ben Kone (Mitty, Soph., center): 6-foot-7 transfer played on Salesian’s NorCal Open semifinalist as a freshman last year. Karim Ndiaye (Riordan, Soph., post): Promising 6-8 boarding student from Senegal who missed last season with a knee injury.

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O

By dave keifer | Contributor

pponents wavered between awe and determined intensity when facing now-graduated Archbishop Mitty High basketball superstar Aaron Gordon last season. Serra guard Sean Watkins, like many others, had watched Gordon YouTube highlight videos before ever playing against him. And, finally on the court together, Watkins caught himself marveling at a pair of Gordon slams. “Playing against Gordon was a humbling experience,” Watkins said. However, awe has its limits in the West Catholic Athletic League. For all of Gordon’s achievements — three-time WCAL Player of the Year, two-time state champion, McDonald’s All-America Game MVP, Under-19 World Championship MVP, and unofficial title of greatest player in Central Coast Section history — WCAL opponents gave no quarter. In the same game in which Watkins caught himself watching, he also helped the Padres beat Gordon and the Monarchs, 65-59. The Serra gym was packed that night, in every conceivable inch of space, in front of doorways, in the corners, and along the baselines. The game ended not with courtstorming — that was not allowed at Serra — but rather with the Padre players leaping into the stands. The 6-foot-9 Gordon is now a freshman at University of Arizona and Mitty’s run of three consecutive league titles is in jeopardy. What’s left is chaos, in the best possible sense. Despite Mitty’s dominance during a 13-1 league season, six WCAL teams reached the Northern California playoffs, five reached the NorCal semifinals, four reached the CCS Open semifinals, three won CCS titles, and three played for state championships. Can any other league in California claim that five of its schools have won state championships? Or that seven have played in state championship games? Given the floor to tout the strength of the league, Sacred Heart Cathedral coach Darrell Barbour declined. “I don’t think we have to say anything,” he said. “It stands on its own merits.” The WCAL was created in 1967 out of circumstance. St. Ignatius was bullied out of the San Francisco’s Academic Athletic Association because the league made a stand against S.I.’s non-San Francisco residents taking part in league competition. Sacred Heart left soon after for the same reasons. Meanwhile, the East Bay-centered Catholic Athletic League was growing too large and the WCAL splintered as a subset of the now-defunct league. S.I. and Sacred Heart combined for seven AAA titles in the 1960s and arrived as the infant league’s hoops powers. However, for the first Score Digital Content: Scan SSM With LAYAR

Trevor Dunbar

Paul Ghiglieri/St. Ignatius

Jiday Ugbaja (Riordan, Sr., guard): Point guard is a top ballhandler who has developed knockdown jumper.

West Coast Athletic League teams held their own during Aaron Gordon’s dominant Mitty career. What can we expect as a new era dawns?

few years, there was little that truly distinguished it from other leagues, when future NBA players such as Kurt Rambis and Mark McNamara starred for area public schools. In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13, which resulted in reduced funding for public schools, which accelerated the growth and popularity of private schools, especially in affluent areas such as the Peninsula and South Bay, which enjoyed the fruits of the Silicon Valley high-tech boom. Each WCAL school also began to cast a wider geographical net. Upload photos and team stats! www.SportStarsOnline.com


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DeOndre Otis

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The league’s postseason success has a direct correlation. In 2004, WCAL schools won the CCS’s top four divisions. Nine times since 1998 has the WCAL won at least three. “The league does that for us,” St. Francis coach Mike Motil said. “When we get to a CCS final or play at a NorCal No. 2 seed in front of a full house, I don’t think our kids are really bothered by that.” Heading into the new season, there is no Gordon, but there remain no “off ” nights. Almost every team has a strong backcourt and a core of 2-3 veteran starters — with S.I.’s Trevor Dunbar, SHC’s DeOndre Otis, Mitty’s Connor Peterson, and Riordan cousins Chiefy and Jiday Ugbaja the biggest names. “Everyone’s going to be good,” Bellarmine coach Patrick Schneider said. “The question is: Who’s going to be special?” “It’s going to be like the wild wild west,” St. Ignatius coach Tim Reardon said. “Everybody has a shot.” Gordon-era single-team dominance seems to be over, but the Gordon legacy promises to live on. When recalling his memories of playing against Gordon and Mitty, Serra’s Watkins flashed back to the Open Division final at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Center. “I took a charge against Gordon in the CCS championship game,” Watkins said. “I got up and he patted me on the back and said, ‘Nice charge.’ That’s the one thing I’ll take out of playing against him.” Yes, the WCAL’s post-Gordon landscape looks different, but the big crowds and high stakes undoubtedly will remain the same. And, as Watkins learned, respect will be earned and given. That will not change. ✪

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Connor Peterson

Phillip Walton

The organization and competitiveness of Catholic grammar school basketball gave the WCAL a ready-made farm system. And as public schools were dropping ‘C’ and ‘D’ basketball and laying off on-campus coaches, WCAL schools were building full-scale programs with varsity, junior varsity, and two freshman teams — all matched to each school’s style and playing philosophy. The growing private-public differences came to a head in 1979 when a committee selected the at-large teams to the 16-team single-division CCS tournament. St. Francis and Riordan were clearly the best teams in the section. Their only losses were to each other, with St. Francis earning the WCAL’s automatic playoff bid by beating the Crusaders to win the league tournament. However, Riordan was shockingly passed over for the Peninsula region’s only at-large berth, by Aragon, the Mid-Peninsula League runner-up that would lose in the first round of the section tournament. Politics clearly were at play, but simmering resentfulness could not stop the WCAL’s momentum. St. Francis won the CCS title that season and beat Los Angeles champion Crenshaw on the way to the title game of the Tournament of Champions (the precursor to the state championships) before losing to Castlemont of Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. “The establishment of the WCAL mystique compounds itself year after year,” said CCS assistant commissioner Steve Filios, a Serra graduate who coached St. Francis to the 1995 state Division II title. “The value is that the players know they are competing at the highest level. There are no “off ” nights against a poor team. Nor did we want “off ” nights.”

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With senior leadership and its renown full-court press, Miramonte may never be better set-up for a state championship than right now

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here is no magic wand, no midnight ritual, no secret formula. Success takes time, and sometimes the steps are small. But at Miramonte, the five years of day-to-day work Kelly Sopak and his players have put in could result in a giant step for the school. Depending on the vagaries of the postseason selection process, the Matadors could wind up as the favorite to win a Division III state title, or be one of a host of contenders for the Open Division crown, but either way, a California championship is definitely within reach, and despite decades of success, that’s a missing banner on the gym wall in Orinda. Even more galling is that Lamorinda rivals Campolindo and Acalanes have both won state titles in girls basketball, despite the fact that Miramonte has been the most successful program in the past decade. All that may change this year, though, as a team led by five seniors, and spurred by sophomore star Sabrina Ionescu, looks primed to improve on last year’s 27-3 record, and be one of those opponents that no team, no matter how good, wants to face in postseason. One reason is the Mats’ ferocious 2-2-1 press, which Sopak installed when he arrived but which only now is really kicking into high gear. “The magic year is year four,” said Sopak, who had strong teams at Northgate before coming back to his home town to coach in 2009 — and that was last year. The press, coupled with Sopak’s up-tempo, free-wheeling offense, helped Miramonte average an amazing 76.7 points a game last year. The team’s only losses came to nationally-ranked powers Bishop O’Dowd, St. Mary’s-Stockton and Windward-L.A.. “In the past, I’ve never had a team goal,” said Sopak, “because I didn’t want to put a ceiling on what we might do. This year, though, we’ve talked about how a state championship team would practice, and how a state championship team would play.”

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That focus seems justified, as Miramonte is 58-5 in the past two seasons, and three of those losses were to O’Dowd, which lost an elite group of post players and its point guard to graduation. Breanna Alford, a 5-11 senior post, isn’t as cautious as Sopak when it comes to her thoughts about the season. “We’re going to win it all,” she said. “We’ve seen what we should do and what we shouldn’t do.” And yes, that’s right, a team with state title aspirations plays a 5-11 post. In fact, Ionescu, a guard, might be the tallest player on the team, but most of the roster is between 5-8 and 5-11, which is perfect for a pressing team that relies on traps all over the floor. “The front line applies the pressure,” said Ionescu, who starred with USA Basketball this summer and is widely considered one of the top five sophomores in the country, “but the second line is where you should get the most steals. “We all put 100 percent effort into the press, and we have full faith that the press will work.” “It takes 32 minutes to beat the press,” said Sopak. “There will be wins and losses throughout the game, but the press wears teams down.” “It doesn’t always come down to talent,” says senior Megan Reid. “It’s the system that we play.” OK, it might be disingenuous to say that talent doesn’t play a big

Breanna Alford

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role in success at this level, and in fact, Reid should know. She is one of the most talented athletes in Northern California. Her freshman year at Miramonte, she played water polo, soccer and basketball, and ran track — and actually she did more than run. Along with the 100 and 400 meters, she competed in the pole vault and shot put. Though she’s cut back, she still plays soccer and basketball, which is a particularly difficult trick as both sports are in the same season. But Reid not only splits her practice and game times, she excels at both sports (all-DFAL in each), and could wind up playing both at the collegiate level. Reid’s depth of athletic experience and understanding of what it takes to succeed makes her one of those senior leaders Sopak treasures. “There’s no way to possibly measure the value of seniors,” Sopak said. “When I started, I was teaching the ABCs, but now the seniors are teaching the other kids.” And seniors play with a sense of urgency, for most of them know this is probably the last time they’ll play organized sports. And unlike the seniors who were at Miramonte when Sopak took over, who had played for three coaches in four years, these seniors know the system backward and forward. “We love the fast-paced game,” said Reid, “Kelly made everyone very

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confident.” “It took a couple years to get the kids to buy in,” said Sopak. “The foundation is in place so we can focus on the finer fundamentals. The system lends itself to favorable plays for veterans. They’re comfortable and relaxed, and when you’re relaxed in basketball, you do good things.” But it’s not as if Sopak just expects his players to get better — he has built the Cal Stars’ AAU program into one of the best in the country in the past five years. His teams have been loaded with elite talent, and it’s impacted the way he coaches his high school team. “Coaching at that level forces you to coach up,” he said, “to coach to the highest player, which makes everyone better. Also, with major talent, you learn how to let players play. Too many times as coaches we try to micromanage the game and it constrains the players and their ability to make plays. “Coaching at the highest level with and against the best players has taught me how to effectively let kids play. In the end, it’s the players who make plays and win games, not me and my dry-erase board.” But Miramonte’s goal of winning a state title will be complicated by California’s evolving postseason system. Last year, the Open Division was introduced, which meant the top eight teams in Northern Cali-

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fornia were pulled out of their divisions and placed in a single bracket after the completion of section playoffs. Miramonte was one of those eight, and wound up losing in the first round in Stockton to nationallyranked St. Mary’s — by one point. Had the Mats been in Division III, where their enrollment would put them, they might well have been the favorite to win it all, and the same would be true this year. “You can’t help but think about it,” said Sopak. “I’m a proponent of the Open Division — but one of the frustrations is that it’s a subjective process (a committee picks the eight teams that are moved up).” But even though the players and coaches would like nothing more than to hang a state championship banner on the wall in that funky gym in Orinda, there’s no doubt Miramonte will have to overcome more than a few obstacles to make it happen. First, every team needs some luck along the way to reach its potential, but another challenge is that the Mats won’t be sneaking up on anybody. “We have a target on our back,” said Ionescu, a target that’s been five years in the making. Of course, Miramonte’s success has been five years in the making as well, and it would be no surprise to anyone if it all paid off in Sacramento next March. ✪

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Sabrina Ionescu

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1. Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland (26-4 in 2012-13) Despite winning three of the past four North Coast Section Div. III championships, the Dragons have spent the greater part of the past three seasons in the shadow of the school’s girls basketball program. However, there’s little doubt that the Dragons are set up to take center stage — not just on their own campus, but throughout Northern California. Bishop O’Dowd is led by five-star talent, Ivan Rabb. The 6-foot-9 junior forward is coming off a 2012-13 season in which he was named the CalHiSports.com State Sophomore of the Year. And while Rabb is the nationallyrecognized talent, his supporting cast is what should take the Dragons to the next level. Up-and-coming junior Paris Austin and senior Juwan Anderson comprise an experienced and solid backcourt, and joining Rabb in the post is developing junior Isaiah Thomas. One can naturally assume that the Dragons will have a fair amount of depth after graduating just three seniors from last year’s team.

Paris Austin

2. Newark Memorial (23-8)

All but set-up for a third straight NCS Div. II title behind experienced core.

With the difference between our top two teams practically razor-thin, it only makes sense to take a closer look at both. For the Bay Area’s Panthers, the X-factor is junior guard Ma’Ane Mosley, who did not play last year but showed tremendous potential as a freshman. If Mosley can step in and run the show, the rest of the lineup — including the Cal-bound duo of Gabby Green and Mikayla Cowling — falls into place. Depth and interior defense could be issues, but this is an experienced, talented team that went to the Open Division semis last year and is poised to take the next step. Potentially waiting for them in a NorCal final could be the Rams of Stockton. Even though they suffered some significant losses, the marvelously athletic Bri Moore and Arizona-bound Charise Holloway lead a deep team that’s well versed in Tom Gonzalves’ will-destroying array of presses. Kat Tudor is a serious outside threat and freshman point guard Sierra Smith could be the program’s next big star. The question though is inside play. There’s not a lot of height, and if opponents can handle the press (much, much easier said than done) and pound the ball to the block, the Rams could struggle. But don’t bet on it.

Bri Moore, St. Mary’sStockton

3. De La Salle-Concord (26-5)

3. Miramonte-Orinda (27-3)

4. Modesto Christian (29-4)

4. Carondelet-Concord (27-4)

5. Monte Vista-Danville (20-7)

5. Salesian-Richmond (28-8)

6. St. Mary’s-Stockton (20-8)

6. Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland (29-3)

7. El Cerrito (22-11)

7. Sacramento (27-5)

8. Capital Christian-Sacramento (26-5)

8. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (24-7)

9. Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. (21-12)

9. St. Ignatius-S.F. (21-11)

10. Sacramento (25-8)

10. Pinewood-Los Altos Hills (23-10)

The Spartans won 26 games last year starting three (!!) freshmen. Senior forward Anthony Townes leads re-vamped roster with no shortage of hype. Coach Nick Jones has Mustangs ready to take off in his second year UC Santa Barbara-bound guard Gabe Vincent leads Rams’ scoring machine

Michigan-bound forward D.J. Wilson leads talented defending SJS champs. Lost just five seniors (two starters) from last year’s Div. III NorCal champion Don’t get caught up in who Dragons lost. They certainly won’t. 11. St. Ignatius-S.F. (16-11) 12. Campolindo-Moraga (21-9) 13. Jesuit-Carmichael (13-14) 14. Salesian-Richmond (30-4) 15. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (28-5)

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Mikayla Cowling, St. Mary’sBerkeley

Five seniors, a brutal press and Sabrina Ionescu — one of the best sophs in the country. Natalie Romeo leads a veteran team that features depth and determination. Mariya Moore (Louisville), Zoe Correal (Colorado) could lead Pride back to state final. Plenty of incoming talent, but lack of experience will force a learning curve. Ayanna “Baby Shaq” Edwards is surrounded by Div. I talent.

Tyrell Alcorn takes over as the Gauchos’ main man

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1. St. Mary’s-Berkeley (30-5) 2. St. Mary’s-Stockton (31-3)

16. Montgomery-Santa Rosa (23-9) 17. St. Joseph Notre Dame-Ala. (24-12) 18. Moreau Catholic-Hayward (18-10) 19. Freedom-Oakley (20-10) 20. Sheldon-Sacramento (27-6)

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Monarchs and star Kelli Hayes may lose some early; but by March, they’ll be rolling. Quinci Mann, Sydney Raggio and Josie Little lead 11 returning players. All five starters are back for the Div. V NorCal champs, lead by Gabi Bade, Marissa Hing. 11. Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. (25-6) 12. St. Francis-Mountain View (24-9) 13. Vanden-Fairfield (28-5) 14. Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills (28-5) 15. Modesto Christian (22-10)

16. McNair-Stockton (26-5) 17. Marin Catholic-Kentfield (22-10) 18. Wilcox-Santa Clara (23-5) 19. Enterprise-Redding (29-2) 20. Gunn-Palo Alto (21-7)

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Thomas

Green

Moore

Romeo

Gabby Green

SCHOOL: St. Mary’s-Berkeley. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 6-2 / Guard THE DETAILS: One of the top players in the country, as proven by her success with the USA Basketball world champion U-19 team — where she played with elite college players such as Breanna Stewart (UConn), Morgan Tuck (UConn) and Bashaara Graves (Tennessee). Green, who signed with Cal, can play anywhere on the perimeter and is an elite players on both ends of the floor.

Kelli Hayes

SCHOOL: Archbishop Mitty-San Jose. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 6-1 / Wing THE DETAILS: The term “glue player” has drifted into cliché status lately, but Hayes embodies that phrase. Need a basket? She’ll get one. A rebound? No problem. A defensive stop? Show her who to guard. She’ll take those traits to UCLA next year, but in the meantime, she’ll be the, well, glue for a young Mitty team.

Mariya Moore

SCHOOL: Salesian-Richmond. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 6-0 / Wing THE DETAILS: Moore will go to Louisville, where coach Jeff Walz feels she will continue to be a player who gets her points one way or another. Moore is strong, skilled and tough, and is more than capable of leading Salesian to a state title.

Hayes

NEXT 5

Mikayla Cowling St. Mary’s-Berkeley, Sr., 6-0, Wing joeseta fatuesi Wilcox-Santa Clara, sr., 6-3, Post Desire Finnie Berkeley, Sr., 5-10, Wing Morgan Green Pacific Collegiate-Santa Cruz, Sr., 5-8, Guard Sabrina Ionescu MIramonte-Orinda, So., 5-10, Wing

Natalie Romeo

SCHOOL: Carondelet-Concord. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 5-8 / Point Guard THE DETAILS: Romeo doesn’t look as athletic as some players, but she’s athletic enough to find a way to score plenty of points, hand out lots of assists, defend top players and, oh yes, lead her team to win after win after win. She’ll play at Nebraska next year, which is the Pac-12’s loss.

Asha Thomas

SCHOOL: Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland. YEAR: Junior. HT./POS.: 5-5 / Point Guard THE DETAILS: Though the cupboard is far from bare at O’Dowd, it’s definitely a transition season — and part of that transition is a new emphasis on backcourt play. With all those major Div.-I posts graduated, Thomas will be the focus of a Dragon team that will look a lot different than recent editions, but probably win just as many games.

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Berkeley’s coaching hire of Mark DeLuca may be the first step in returning its boys program to a section power Story by Chace Bryson Photos by Phillip Walton

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ark DeLuca roams a basketball sideline like he’s the lead character in a “Hard Knocks”-style docuseries. The 47-year old is a spectator’s dream. He’ll pace. He’ll lean. He’ll motion wildly. He’ll disrobe (first the sport coat, then the tie. Sometimes, the shirt comes untucked as well.). He’ll toss sharp-witted barbs at players and officials, making all in earshot laugh in most cases. He’ll also coach. More often than not, he’ll win. And for the majority of his career, he’s done so at schools where there’s been little to no real history of winning before his arrival. That changes this season when the gregarious DeLuca begins a new chapter at Berkeley High. The Yellowjackets haven’t had a losing season since 2005-06, but the program has only won two North Coast Section titles since the modern era began in 1975 — and those titles were more than 25 years apart. Enter DeLuca, who needed just two seasons to turn a hapless De Anza-Richmond program from a two-win team to a playoff participant at 16-11 a year ago. “I’m not necessarily taking over a program that’s down,” DeLuca said on Nov. 26 prior to his team’s NCS Foundation Game exhibition against visiting St. Mary’sBerkeley. “I’m just trying to restore Berkeley back to its one-time greatness. And I’m excited about that opportunity” Basketball fans throughout the region should be excited too. “I think it’s going to be good for Bay Area basketball period,” said De La Salle coach Frank Allocco, a long-time friend of DeLuca. “I’ve always said that’s one of the best jobs. It’s a big school, with a lot of kids to draw from. It has had some good players over the years and it’s just a matter of getting the kids to buy into the team concept, and Mark is the guy for that.” DeLuca was born and raised in Indiana, but also spent parts of his formative years at both ends of California. It explains his strange allegiance to both the Cincinnati Reds as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lakers. He played high school basketball for renowned coach Don Lippi at St.

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Patrick High in Vallejo. DeLuca’s coaching career began on the West Coast, though, after attending UC Davis. In addition to De Anza, his coaching stops have included a decade-long stint as the boys coach at Pinole Valley, a two-year run as the women’s coach at Holy Names College in Oakland, and a stay at St. Elizabeth-Oakland where he coached varsity football and girls basketball. He took the latter to the California Interscholastic Federation Northern Regional Division V championship game in 1994, losing to Ripon 74-59. “That was like 100 years ago,” DeLuca joked. There’s no question the Berkeley job represents a new transition for the coach. “I think Berkeley is getting me at the right time of my career because I’m far more into the big picture of things,” DeLuca said. “As a coach who still doesn’t sleep after losses, the wins and losses are not as important to me as they once were, as opposed to teaching a young man something that’s going to help him the rest of his life.” DeLuca also pointed to the fact that his life outside of coaching has never been more stable. His five kids have grown older, with the youngest now 5-years old and the oldest now 21. He’s also in his seventh year as the Dean of Students at Salesian High in Richmond, a job that puts him literally five steps from the school gymnasium where one of his closest friends, Bill Mellis, runs a state-championship level program. DeLuca attended UC Davis with Mellis’ older brother and the two have known one another since the mid-80s. “His golf game is atrocious,” Mellis said, recalling a story in which DeLuca borrowed his driver and accidentally

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snapped it while leaning on it as an arm rest between shots. “He’s a terrific motivator, though, and his players really seem to not only like him, but they play hard for him.” As DeLuca prepared to coach his first game from the Berkeley gymnasium’s home bench, he talked about the non-basketball stuff that he wanted to instill in his new team from the outset. “The one thing I wanted to implement very early was to almost restore a culture of winning,” DeLuca said. “Berkeley has had some good teams, but they haven’t always necessarily won in the right way. ... I’m talking about little things, from how to dress at practice, how to meet and greet people. We’ve instituted a team fight song. We’re trying to build a team culture that the school and community can really be

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proud of.” There’s a good chance the Yellowjackets are going to win, too. DeLuca has just five returning varsity players, but the majority of the remaining spots on the 15-man roster went to players from a junior varsity team which went 22-3 a year ago. And there’s also one freshman on the team, Sean Spikes, who DeLuca is expecting to make starts at forward. “We’ve got a great group of guys,” junior captain and point guard, Khari Campbell-Wright said. “We’ve got a couple cats who can jump out of the gym. A couple cats who can really shoot the ball. We’ve got all-around players, and dirty-work players. And there’s really good chemistry so far.” Berkeley won its Foundation Game against St. Mary’s, a game which doesn’t count in the standings, and then notched its first official victory four nights later with a 71-54 win over Fremont-Oakland. Not a big believer in tournaments, DeLuca has built a nonleague schedule that will include January tests against Heritage-Brentwood and defending Div. I state champions, Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove. When it comes to the West Alameda County Conference-Foothill League, national- and state-ranked Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland will be the team to beat. DeLuca won’t worry about opponents for awhile, however. His focus is on molding the Yellowjackets. “We won’t have any secrets,” DeLuca said. “We’ll pressure full court and try to get the game going up and down and make it a game of depth. I’ve told all our players, you need to grease your elbows and grease your knees because you’re going to be running and shooting.” ✪

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Smith

Canty Rabb

Briggs

Yussuf

Ivan Rabb

SCHOOL: Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland. YEAR: Junior. HT./POS.: 6-9 / Center THE DETAILS: Few Bay Area players enter the 2013-14 season surrounded by more hype than Rabb. And for good reason. A year ago he averaged 22 points and 13 rebounds and was named the CalHiSports State Sophomore of the Year. He’s one of the most-recruited juniors in the country and is a big reason why the Dragons are a major state-title contender.

Jalen Canty

SCHOOL: St. Patrick/St. Vincent-Vallejo. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 6-7 / Forward THE DETAILS: Canty has accepted a scholarship to play football at Washington, but he uses his muscular 6-foot-7 football frame to a major advantage on the hardwood too. He averaged 21 points and 12.5 rebounds a game as a junior. Joined in the post by 6-8 junior Ryan Stewart, the Bruins will be as tough as anyone in the paint.

Elliot Smith

SCHOOL: Freedom-Oakley. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 6-6 / Wing THE DETAILS: We’re not sure if there’s a more vertical player in the Bay Area than Smith. The three-year varsity starter seems to constantly play above the rim — and shows his versatility with a nice outside game as well. Smith averaged 15.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.

NEXT 5

Tyrell Alcorn El Cerrito, Junior, 6-0, Guard Trevor Dunbar St. Ignatius-S.F., Senior, 5-8, Guard Joey Frenchwood Newark Memorial, Senior, 6-0, Guard Jonathan Galloway Salesian-Richmond, Senior, 6-10, Center A.J. John Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa, Senior, 6-7, Forward

Temidayo Yussuf

SCHOOL: St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda. YEAR: Senior. HT./POS.: 6-6 / Forward THE DETAILS: Yussuf helped lead Pilots to three straight CIF Div. V state finals, winning in 2012. St. Joseph lost the 2013 final 47-46 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Had they won, Yussuf would’ve been the unquestioned MVP after his 20-point, 19-rebound effort.

Shonn Briggs

SCHOOL: Heritage-Brentwood YEAR: Senior HT./POS.: 6-6 / Wing THE DETAILS: Don’t be surprised if the 6-6, 240-pound Briggs spends time at every position this season. He has the size and skills to score in the post with his back to the hoop, and can just as easily hit an 18-foot jumper or find the open man while leading a fast break. He should be in a two-man race with Smith for Bay Valley Athletic League MVP.

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Building confidence is a lot like building revenue, and there’s more than one source of income

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get mental: Erika carlson Confidence is an athlete’s belief in their ability to succeed in a sport. Getting off to a confident start in preseason can make all the difference. A lack of confidence will keep you off the court and reduce playing time, which can be tough mentally. There are many ways to build confidence, however, many athletes make the mistake of relying too heavily on past experiences — what happen in yesterday’s game, or what happened a minute ago. If your performance is strong, great! Your belief is fierce and you will probably continue to play well. But what if it’s not going well? Where does confidence come from then? Let’s look at the business world for a minute. How is confidence like money? Both are earned through hard work and discipline. And, both are fragile and easy to lose, no matter how much you start with. Successful businesses (those who make steady profits) often have several products and/or services to make money. The idea is when one service (or product) isn’t selling well, another is. That way, profits remain steady and the business can grow. The same model applies to building confidence. If your defense wasn’t great yesterday, you have four days to get more prepared for the next game. The more “streams” of confidence you have, the more stable the “profits” and your confidence can grow. Let’s examine the “streams” of confidence you need to be

building to get off to a good start and to allow yourself to grow throughout your season. PREPARATION — Great athletes often say the hardest work is completed during the preseason. This is when you have time and energy to dedicate to getting stronger and faster, jumping higher and improving your defense or jump shot. Now it’s time to focus on getting prepared for each practice and game. Make a list of all the things you do to prepare to play. For example: Drills, weight-lifting, good nutrition, rest, mental training. Also, write down what you need to be doing that you’re not doing already. Preparation is highly controllable and is the most significant factor in building your confidence every week. PERSONAL STRENGTHS — What are your unique talents and developed skills that make you the player that you are? College coaches are looking for distinctive players who know and exploit their strengths. Make a list and continue to leverage your strengths. PAST SUCCESS — “I’ve done it before, so I can do it again!” As a high school athlete, you’ve had some success — hopefully a lot of success — to reflect on. Be mindful to pay attention when things go right. This is the time to analyze and pick apart WHY you were successful. (Reminder: Delete the mistakes quickly!) Make a list of your best successes. Include top finishes and

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personal bests. PRAISE – Guys, you get this. You know how to take praise, hear it, use it and believe it. Good for you! Girls, you MUST hear it, feel it and believe it. If you choose not to, you’re wasting one important stream of confidence and therefore your confidence won’t be as stable as it could be. Praise is not controllable, receiving it is completely dependent on someone else choosing to give it to us. Coaches with different coaching styles give it out in different amounts. Remember this: If you have a coach who doesn’t give out a lot of praise, it will mean more when you do get it. Therefore, the responsibility is on you to hear, use and believe it. Make a list of the best praise you have received from others (coaches, teammates, family) and be sure to include who gave it to you. Each of these lists should grow with you through your season. Walk on the court every time knowing you have completed everything required to help you to play well. A strong, stable foundation made of multiple revenue streams will set up for a great season. And who knows, it may teach a thing or two about how to make good profits in the future! ✪ Erika Carlson is a certified mental trainer and owner of Excellence in Sports Performance in Pleasanton.

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Today I’m going to share two powerful strategies for improving your athlete’s aerobic base as discussed in the last three issues. These are just two of many strategies and one piece of the conditioning puzzle for improving your athletes on-field performance. I also highly recommend Joel Jamieson’s book “Ultimate MMA Conditioning” for a more complete understanding of the principles and strategies for improving your athlete’s conditioning. Don’t be fooled by the title as the book spans all sports. METHOD #1: Cardiac Output Method Why It’s Important: This is a highly effective method for improving how much blood your heart can pump to all working muscles and veins with each beat. Why It Works: Results in a larger left ventricle of the heart capable of pumping out more blood per beat. Also a lower resting heart rate and greater cardiac efficiency. The less work the heart has to do to pump blood, the better your aerobic energy production will be because more oxygen can get to your muscles for faster recovery. Guidelines: Heart rate between 130-150 BPM, 30-90 minutes sessions. Increase volume over time (20 percent weekly increase). Use 2-3 times per week. Exercises: Any low-intensity exercise such as jogging, biking, swimming, jumping rope, low-intensity circuits; as long as the heart rate is in the correct range. METHOD #2: High-Resistance Intervals Why It’s Important: Improves the aerobic qualities of the fast twitch muscle fibers responsible for strength and power. Athletes will improve their ability to maintain their power longer without gassing out. How it works: Recruits the highest threshold motor units (power/strength) and increases the oxidative (oxygen) abilities of these fibers by supplying them with constant oxygen. Guidelines: Each rep is at maximal intensity, using both high resistance and short duration. Resting heart rate 130140 for recovery between reps, 5-7 seconds per rep with 10-20 reps per workout, 1-2 times per week. Exercises: Short sprints up a very steep incline, dragging sled loaded with weight, band-resisted sprints, or a spin bike with the resistance cranked up as high as possible. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.

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Strategies that can help you improve your aerobic base and get results training time; tim rudd for iyca

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back pain: dr. hunter greene

Spondylowhatsis? An overview of spondylolysis, a condition which leads to lower back pain Low back pain is a fairly common complaint among adolescent athletes. In many cases, this low back pain is a symptom of spondylolysis, a stress fracture of an area of the lower spine called the pars interarticularis. Typically, spondylolysis is caused by repetitive hyperextension (arching) and rotation of the back in sports. Muscle tightness and strength imbalances of the back and core muscles may also contribute.

WHO IS AT RISK?

This condition mainly affects young athletes who participate in sports in which the back is repeatedly hyperextended with either excessive rotation or repetition. We see spondylolysis in many different sports, including gymnastics, football, diving, weightlifting and dance. Poor strength and flexibility, inadequate warm-up, genetics and poor technique are also risk factors.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Athletes with spondylolysis may feel pain and stiffness in the center of the low back that is worse with hyperextension and twisting. They may also feel tightness in the hamstring muscles. Symptoms typically get worse with activity and better with rest.

PREVENTION

Taking a few simple precautions can reduce your risk of spondylolysis: ›› Use proper technique ›› Wear proper protective equipment and ensure correct fit ›› Warm up and stretch appropriately before practice or competition ›› Maintain appropriate conditioning, back and hamstring flexibility, back and core strength, and cardiovascular fitness

TREATMENT

An X-ray of the lower back will determine whether or not there is a stress fracture. Initial treatment for spondylolysis involves rest from activities that cause the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are sometimes recommended to ease discomfort. Occasionally, a back brace and physical therapy may be prescribed. In most cases, athletes can gradually resume activities with few complications or recurrences. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the back and abdominal muscles can help prevent spondylolysis from occurring again down the road. In rare cases, surgery is needed for athletes who have persistent back pain after several months of conservative treatment. ✪

Hunter Greene, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Summit Orthopedic Specialists in Carmichael.

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health watch: suzanne becker

Recognizing and preventing

Stress Fractures

Just like a car, the human body has a springloaded shock absorbing mechanism built into the foot to disperse force. The human foot has 33 joints that allow 26 bones to move freely during impacts such as walking, running and other activities. When your foot hits the ground, the impact can be spread across all 33 joints lessening the overall stress in any one specific area. If this shock absorption system is altered, due to muscle weakness, faulty foot mechanics, or poor technique, the long foot bones (metatarsals), are at great risk for developing a stress fracture. The most common stress fracture in the foot is in the 2nd metatarsal bone, which bears increased weight when the foot’s inside arch collapses. This faulty foot pattern is called over-pronation and is extremely common. In contrast, when the foot rolls to the outside, called over-supination, increased stress is placed on the 4th and 5th metatarsal bones, putting them at risk for a stress fracture. If you have pain in your mid-foot region with weight bearing, suspect a stress fracture in your foot, and immediately schedule an appointment with your orthopedic doctor. Imaging tests may help your doctor confirm your diagnosis. Stress fractures are difficult to see on X-rays until they have actually started to heal. Your doctor may recommend a bone scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, which are more sensitive than an X-ray and can detect stress fractures early. It typically takes six to eight weeks for a stress fracture to heal. During that time, switch to exercise that places less stress on your foot, such as swimming and cycling. During or after the healing process, consult with your physical therapist to have your mechanics evaluated. You may be over-pronating or over-supinating which can cause increased force through the metatarsal bones. A simple fix may be buying over-the-counter orthotics or begin specific core, hip, knee, and ankle strengthening exercises, which provide dynamic arch stability. Remember, the greatest weapon of defense against stress fractures is prevention. Run smart, eat healthy, listen to your body, and don’t hesitate to ask the advice of professionals. ✪ Suzanne Becker is a physical therapist for Children’s Hospital Oakland, which also treats athletes at its sports medicine facility in Walnut Creek.

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1-To-1 Pediatrics..............................................................................................................30 All Out Sports League.......................................................................................................35 Army National Guard Recruiter...........................................................................................5 Athletic Placement Services.............................................................................................34 Back Forty Texas B B Q Roadhouse & Saloon.....................................................................25 Big O Tires Northern California/ Nevada.............................................................................2 Bigfoot Hoops............................................................................................................12, 40 California Family Fitness...................................................................................................17 Cascade Sports Camp.......................................................................................................36 Championship Athletic Fundraising.................................................................................34 Cheergyms.Com...............................................................................................................10 Children’s Hospital And Research Center...........................................................................31 Club Sport........................................................................................................................16 Club Sport Renaissance....................................................................................................33 Community Youth Center.................................................................................................38 Core Performance.......................................................................................................34, 36 Core Volleyball Club..........................................................................................................34 Crowne Plaza...................................................................................................................38 Diablo Futbol Club............................................................................................................35 Diablo Rock Gym..............................................................................................................36 Diablo Trophies & Awards.................................................................................................36 East Bay Bulldogs Basketball............................................................................................35 East Bay Sports Academy.................................................................................................20 Excellence In Sport Performance......................................................................................35 Fit 2 The Core....................................................................................................................30 Franklin Canyon Golf Course.............................................................................................38 Gregg Jefferies Sports Academy ......................................................................................23 Halo Headband................................................................................................................38 Impact Soccer Club...........................................................................................................36 Jr. Optimist Baseball / Softball League ( J O B L)...............................................................34 Kangazoom......................................................................................................................24 Lone Tree Golf Course.......................................................................................................38 Modesto Magic................................................................................................................35 Mountain Mike’s Pizza......................................................................................................13 Muir Orthopaedic Specialists............................................................................................29 National Scouting Report.................................................................................................35 Nor Cal All Sports Clinic....................................................................................................27 Pro Hammer Bat...............................................................................................................36 Rhino Sports Of Northern California.................................................................................26 Rocco’s Pizza...............................................................................................................24, 30 Sky High Sports................................................................................................................36 Sport Clips........................................................................................................................21 State Farm Jimmy Harrington Agent................................................................................15 State Farm Kelly Sopak, Lisa Truesdell Agent....................................................................26 Stevens Creek Toyota........................................................................................................17 Summit Orthopedic Specialists..........................................................................................3 Surewest Sports Show.....................................................................................................14 Sutter Delta......................................................................................................................32 T D P Sports.....................................................................................................................30 The First Tee Of Contra Costa.............................................................................................38 The Sports Authority........................................................................................................20 Tri Valley Orthopedic Specialists Inc..................................................................................28 U S Cryotherapy................................................................................................................31 U. S. Baseball Academy....................................................................................................25 United States Youth Volleyball League.............................................................................37 Uno Chicago Grill..............................................................................................................35 West Coast Jamboree.......................................................................................................39

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BA Issue 77, Dec. 1, 2013