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26 another title: The problem with being as good as De La Salle is that it’s easy to overlook the guys in the trenches which make things go. even a loss in the last game 22 Not can take the shine off what the El Cerrito football team accomplished this season. 4

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might have heard you are 33 You what you eat. In exercise, you are what you drink, so make sure you’re drinking the good stuff

pitch: At SportStars we’re 6 First always finding ways to improve. 2014 promises some exciting new content. Our Editor, Chace Bryson, lets you in on the fun. Overcoming the 31 clipboard: elements on the road. Score Digital Content: Scan SSM With LAYAR

of the week: 8 sportstars David Ortega, De La Salle football

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Raising our game

W

hen the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, and we roll into 2014, we will essentially be turning 3.5-years old (SportStars, Issue #1 released on June 10, 2010). This makes us only slightly older — and slightly less susceptible to meltdowns — than my son Connor, who turned 3 in mid-October. But it does mean we’re still relatively young. And that means we’re still trying to figure things out. And part of figuring things out is how we can properly blend our detail- and story-driven print editions, with a desire to be slightly more current with a stronger web presence. We think we just might have found the answer. We’re calling it the SportStars Digital Weekly, and the first edition will be available on Jan. 9 — one week before our first print edition of the new year. The Digital Weekly edition, which will be available at SportStarsOnline.com or through a free email subscription, will be a smaller version of our print product. It will include exclusive features, up-to-date rankings, timely news and notes and a handful of the other items that you’ve grown accustomed to seeing in our pages. It will have a different look from any digital publication we’ve put out to date. We’re launching this project in conjunction with a leap to the online magazine platform, Ceros. This means a lot more bells and whistles are at our disposal, including animation and a variety of dynamic layout options that we can’t attempt currently. And because we’re producing this content on a weekly basis, we’re rearranging our print schedule so that we can produce larger issues. Our 2014 print schedule will begin Jan. 16 with a string of 12 editions, which release at the top of month. We’ll also sprinkle in four special-edition double issues: Our Camps and Clinics Resource Guide (March 20), the Yearbook Special Edition (June 19), the Football Preview (Aug. 21) and Basketball Preview (Nov. 20). So what can you expect in the first SportStars Digital Weekly on Jan. 9? Well, we believe in coming on strong or not coming at all. So we thought we’d kick it off with the first ever SportStars All-NorCal Football Team. We’ll also throw in a recap of the West Coast Jamboree girls basketball tournament, which will draw multiple nationally-ranked teams to the East Bay during the last week of December. If you’re interested in joining us on this new adventure, and we hope you are, you can subscribe to the Digital Weekly right now for free at the following URL: http://www.sportstarsonline.com/promotions/index.php Once you’re signed up, you’ll begin receiving the new edition each Thursday (starting with the Jan. 9 debut issue) directly to your email account. Until then, everybody have a safe and happy holidays! ✪

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, December 2013 Whole No. 78 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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david

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

ortega de la salle • football • senior ›› Facing the state-record holder for passing touchdowns in Folsom’s Jake Browning, Ortega and his defensive teammates helped the Spartans win the California Interscholastic Open Division Northern Regional bowl game 49-17 by executing a solid game plan against the Bulldogs’ spread attack. It went so well that Ortega came up with a pair of interceptions in the contest. His first interception of the night came midway through the third quarter as Folsom was trailing 25-3 and trying to stay in the game. The senior linebacker read Browning’s eyes from the middle of the field and picked it off in stride before returning it 50 yards to the Folsom 2-yard line. De La Salle punched it in for a score two plays later for a commanding 31-3 lead. Ortega tacked on his second interception midway through the fourth quarter. This game came on the heels of the Div. I NCS Championship where he had two more interception, one of which was negated by a penalty. ›› in his own words: “We were really focusing on getting pressure from Browning. He was having time to pick defenses apart (all season). We really put a lot of pressure on our defensive backs to cover and be really physical, too. It was about reading your keys, play physical, don’t hesitate.” ›› what you didn’t know: Despite growing up in Moraga and having played football since 5th grade, Ortega didn’t even know about De La Salle’s existence until he was in eighth grade and attended an open house.

honorable mention Natalie RomeO: The CarondeletConcord senior got two triple doubles in the Cougars first tournament. She finished the tourney with 65 points, 31 assists, 19 rebound, 16 steals.

Adarius Pickett: El Cerrito’s UCLA-bound running back and defensive back carried the ball 20 times for 255 yards as the Gauchos won their first ever NCS title, topping Marin Catholic 54-38.

Blair Hurlock: The De La Salle cross country star finished eighth overall at the Foot Locker National Championship in Balboa Park. He was the top California finisher in 15 minutes, 24 seconds.

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Rapid Fire

brooke hershberger Granite Bay Volleyball

breanna Alford Miramonte Basketball

favorite personal moment of 2013 Winning the state title w/my volleyball team

Playing AAU, earning scholarship to Loyola Marymount

new year's resolution To keep my room clean for more than a day

Trending What’s hot this week in the world of stuff that’s hot Beyoncé, the attractive person to your right, released a surprise fifth album — Ghost — that appears to be a hit with critics and fans. It has 14 tracks and 17 videos and it was all a surprise. In related news, Soulja Boy is playing at a local YMCA for gas money.

Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. You can’t know enough about him. Go read a book about this man. We’ll be here when you’re done.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News insists that Santa is white. Read the item right above this one and then tell us why it matters. The World Cup draw was held and the US was placed in one of two dozen Groups of Death. You know, in 2002 the US played a heavily favored Portugal with a No. 7 that couldn’t be stopped. Same thing is happening in 2014. The US won 3-2 in 2002. Just sayin’.

Work harder to prepare for college

candy canes: yum or yuck Yum!

Yum!

favorite tv show Family Guy

Teen Wolf

celebrity you'd most want to meet Miley Cyrus. She seems like she'd be fun to have dinner with

Kobe Bryant

Adam Sandler topped a list of most overpaid actors. He also topped a list of ‘People Who You Can’t Call An Actor Without Snickering.’ Twitter changed how it’s blocking function works. People complained. Twitter changed it back. In response to this development, Mark Zuckerburg rolled his eyes, muttered something about ‘amateurs’ and dove into a pile of money. 10

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say what?

Top 5 gifts we'd like to give to bay area sports teams Merry Christmuhquanzakkuh, and a Happy Festivus to the rest of us! We here at SportStars are overcome with the spirit of the season, and we’re feeling in a giving mood. So we won’t make you wait for any jolly, redclad, white-bearded offensive linemen to come hurtling through your HVAC unit to start doling out the holiday cheer. Here are the top five gifts we’d give to local sports franchises. 1. The Warriors: Consistency. Any chance we could get Klay Thompson to just post his 20 and 4, as opposed to, say, 35-7 one night and 5-1 the next? And would it be too much to ask to go through one flippin’ season without a significant injury to a big man? Really? 2. The 49ers. Consistency. Are we a running-and-defense team? Or are we a light-it-up, zone-read-pistol team? Who’s got identity-crisis better than us? Nooooo-body! 3. The Raiders. Consistency. Sensing a theme, are we? Well, aren’t you clever. Howzabout we pick a quarterback. And settle on a coach. General Manager anyone? Frankly, the only thing consistent about the Silver-and-Black right now is in the loss column. 8+ for 11 years and counting. Just whatnow, baby? 4. The Giants. Consistency. Next thing you know, Sabean will be snapping up aging, injury-prone outfielders and overpaying for past-their-prime starting pitchers… oh. Wait. Nevermind. 5. The A’s. Consistency. Well. Okay. You’ve got us there. If there is one constant with the A’s, it’s change. And boy did Billy throw us for a loop already this offseason. Smith, Balfour, Blevins, Weeks, Choice, Anderson. Gone, gone, gone, gone, gone, gone. Welcome Gregerson, Johnson, Gentry, Punto, Kazmir. Did we trade Stomper yet? Pretty sure we couldn’t be more surprised if he announced that they were moving to Lodi and changing their colors to chartreuse and saffron. — Bill “the hobgoblin of little minds” Kolb. Ho ho freakin’ ho.

“We’re almost playing more games than the NFL. It’s nice to go to the state game, but how much can your kids take? Some of these kids played 16 games last year, and now they’re going to play 16 again? We’re happy! Don’t get me wrong, but we’re human, and you get tired.”

— Central Catholic-Modesto football coach, Roger Canepa, after his team defeated McClymonds-Oakland 17-14 to win the CIF Div. IV Northern Regional championship on Dec. 13. The win allows the Crusaders (14-1) an attempt at defending their CIF Div. IV State Bowl title on Dec. 21 against Bakersfield Christian (12-2).

count 'em

249

The number of consecutive football games that De La Salle has played against Northern California opponents without a loss. With its CIF Open Division Northern Regional victory over Folsom on Dec. 14, the Spartans improved to 247-0-2 against NorCal opponents since a December 1991 loss to Pittsburg. De La Salle will put a 67-game winning streak against California opponents on the line when they face St. John Bosco-Bellflower in the CIF Open Division State Bowl on Dec. 21.

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greatness of the grizzlies With a 45-0 final record, Granite Bay certainly can join the discussion of top teams in state history for girls volleyball. Here is a list of teams with the best dual match records in state history (according to the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book): Record Team Year

St. Mary’s Dynamic Duo

T

here was much speculation last season in the San Francisco Bay Area about the boys basketball duo of Marcus Lee and Kendall Smith at Deer ValleyAntioch. Were they the best twosome from one team at the same time? This season, the same question can be asked at St. Mary’s-Berkeley with the duo of Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green. And the early answer is yes — especially if you look at various recruiting rankings. The latest ESPN player rankings had Cowling at No. 11 with Green at No. 13 for the Class of 2014. Others have Green in the top 10 with Cowling lower. In the first Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year tracker, Cowling was No. 3 behind Jordin Canada of WindwardLos Angeles and Katie Lou Samuelson of Mater Dei-Santa Ana. Green was No. 4. Looking ahead, if both players shine and St. Mary’s as a team does well this season, how would one player be picked as a player of the year above the other? Some would quickly respond that it’s a perfect time to choose co-players of the year. That could be the case for Cowling and Green, except that in the 35-year history of Cal-Hi Sports we’ve never had a tie in the rankings and have never had co-players of the year. Our philosophy is to dig deep for research, watch as

many games as possible and break the tie. An easier solution to this problem also could present itself. Just up the road from St. Mary’s at Salesian-Richmond, Mariya Moore will be starting her fourth season. She’s not as high as the other two on recruiting lists, but she’s generally in the top 50 and postseason high school honors are different. She could lead the Pride to a memorable season and then become a great option to avoid choosing between the St. Mary’s teammates. There are two more legitimate Ms. Basketball State Player of the Year candidates in the Bay Area. Kelli Hayes (Archbishop Mitty-San Jose) is a two-time San Jose Mercury-News Player of the Year headed to UCLA. Natalie Romeo (CarondeletConcord) is one of the top point guards in the state and is going to Nebraska. So, just for the sake of sanity in not having to make such a difficult choice: Let’s go Pride, let’s go Monarchs and let’s go Cougars. ✪

45-0

Granite Bay

2013

40-0

Bonita Vista-Chula Vista

2000

39-0

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose

2009

38-0

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose

2012

37-0

Mira Costa-Manhattan Beach

2007

33-0

Valley Christian-Cerritos

1998

32-0

Corona del Mar-Newport Beach

1978

28-0

Mira Costa-Manhattan Beach

1982

28-0

Mira Costa-Manhattan Beach

1989

26-0

South San Francisco

1984

26-0

La Habra

1990

Mark Tennis is the co-founder of Cal-Hi Sports, and publisher of CalHiSports.com. Cal-Hi Sports is the authority in state rankings for football, basketball, baseball and softball, as well as the recognized state record keeper for all high school sports. Contact him at markjtennis@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter, @ CalHiSports.

gabby green

mikayla cowling

Taylor Nelson, GraniteBay 12

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volleyball Rankings After CIF title games of Saturday, Dec. 7 1. (1)

— Granite Bay.............................45-0

2. (2)

— Archbishop Mitty-San Jose.....42-4

3. (4)

▲ Los Alamitos............................35-6

4. (3)

▼ Santiago-Corona.....................40-1

5. (5)

— Mater Dei-Santa Ana..............33-8

6. (6)

— Torrey Pines-San Diego..........33-4

7. (7)

— Valley Christian-San Jose.......35-8

8. (8)

— Great Oak-Temecula...............27-2

Football Rankings Previous ranking in parentheses; through games of Saturday, Dec. 14 1 (1)

De La Salle-Concord

14-0

2 (2)

St. John Bosco-Bellflower

15-0

3 (5)

Chaminade-West Hills

13-2

4 (6)

Serra-Gardena

13-1

5 (4)

Centennial-Corona

12-3

6 (3)

Folsom

14-1

Mater Dei-Santa Ana

11-3

Mission Viejo

12-1

Long Beach Poly

11-2

Bakersfield

12-2

Del Oro-Loomis

13-2

Serra-San Mateo

11-3

Mission Hills-San Marcos

12-2

Domination of Northern California rolls on after 45-17 victory over Folsom.

Unlike Narbonne last year, much-hyped SoCal team plays DLS in state bowl game. Both losses (one to Serra, one to Hart) have both been avenged. Cavaliers beat Chaminade 36-0 early in the season; lost 38-35 later on.

It’s like a video game with this team: 943 yards in one game, over 9,000 for season. Jake Browning’s numbers vs. DLS not quite like they are against everyone else. 7 (8)

9. (10) ▲ Lutheran-Orange.....................23-9

Two of the Monarchs’ losses are to St. John Bosco.

10. (9) ▼ Francis Parker-San Diego......29-5

8 (10)

9 (11)

10 (12)

11 (13)

12 (7)

13 (9)

14 (14)

Alemany-Mission Hills

10-3

15 (16)

Oceanside

11-2

16 (20)

Eastlake-Chula Vista

10-2

17 (15)

Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills

12-2

18 (18)

Elk Grove

12-1

19 (17)

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose

11-2

20 (21)

Vista Murietta-Murietta

12-2

21 (22)

Corona Del Mar-Newport Beach

15-0

22 (23)

Crenshaw-Los Angeles

10-4

23 (19)

Hart-Newhall

12-3

24 (24)

St. Augustine-San Diego

11-2

25 (NR)

Enterprise-Redding

13-0

11. (11) — Redondo-Redondo Beach......29-6 12. (12) — La Salle-Pasadena..................32-6 13. (13) — Corona del Mar-Nwprt Bch.....24-6 14. (14) — Lakewood................................26-6 15. (17) ▲ St. Francis-Sacramento..........34-9 16. (15) ▼ Mira Costa-Manhattan Bch.....22-9 17. (NR) ▲ Marymount-L.A........................24-9 18. (18) — Menlo School-Atherton...........32-6 19. (19) — Homestead-Cupertino............27-8 20. (20) — Los Altos..................................34-7 Dropped Out: No. 16 Branson-Ross

norcal bowls

best teams left out 1. Miramonte-Orinda 12-2: The Mats beat 13-0 Casa Grande-Petaluma in the NCS Div. II final. If they had been able to keep playing, QB Drew Anderson may have broken the NCS single-season passing yardage record of 4,451 set in 2010 by Concord’s Ricky Lloyd. 2. Los Gatos 10-3: This was another team on the board, like Miramonte, for the Div. II bowl game. The Wildcats beat St. Francis-Mountain View in the CCS final and St. Francis had a regular season win over Serra-San Mateo. 3. West Valley-Cottonwood 12-1: The Eagles, who lost only to 12-0 Enterprise, were seriously considered for the D3 North berth opposite El Cerrito but lost out to Sacred Heart Prep-S.F. *Note: Team must be a section champion to play in a CIF regional bowl so a runner-up team like Oak Ridge in Sac-Joaquin Division I or Marin Catholic in North Coast Division III wouldn’t be eligible.

The Diablos lost by just 21-14 to Mater Dei in CIFSS Pac-5 playoffs.

Head coach Raul Lara resigned after 13 seasons on Dec. 6. Drillers beat Mission Hills in CIF D1 South bowl game.

Golden Eagles too much for Serra-San Mateo in CIF Div. I North bowl game.

Loss to Del Oro doesn’t diminish winning school’s first CCS Open Division title.

Loss to Bakersfield came after Grizzlies won first San Diego Open Division title. Another strong season for coach Dean Herrington’s program.

When QB was on, the Pirates beat Eastlake and nearly beat Serra-Gardena. One loss was 33-30 to Oceanside; the other was to AZ power Hamilton.

Trojans had to drop couple of spots with Folsom losing by that much to DLS.

The Thundering Herd had 19-0 lead on Del Oro in third quarter of SJS D2 final.

Both losses for the Monarchs were to Serra-San Mateo.

For the fourth straight year, Broncos played Centennial-Corona in CIFSS final. Sea Kings could become first team in state history to finish 16-0 A win over Narbonne gave the Cougars the L.A. City Section title. This is where the Indians fall after their loss to Chaminade.

San Diego D2 champs had win over SD D1 champ Cathedral Catholic. Hornets given Top 25 shout out heading into final game vs. Chaminade. Dropped Out: No. 25 Cathedral Catholic-San Diego.

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Granite Bay and Mitty lead historic NorCal showing

ABOVE: Granite Bay celebrating its SJS Div. I title. (James K. Leash). left: Valley ChristianSan Jose huddles during a midseason match. (Norbert von der Groeben)

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Winning isn’t easy, but it is always fun. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose ran through the Central Coast Section playoffs, and after beating Los Altos in the CIF Northern California Regional Championship, the Monarchs steamrolled past Santiago-Corona 3-0 to capture the California Interscholastic Federation Div. II state title. It marks the program’s second consecutive Div. II state title and sixth in the past 11 seasons. It was also the Monarchs’ staterecord 10th state crown overall, giving Mitty a solid claim as the marquee volleyball program in the state. “Winning never gets old,” Mitty coach Bret Almazan-Cezar said. “You just keep doing your job. When you do it, the accolades and the championships will come.” Mitty was absent from the state title match for two season in 2010-11 after reaching the finals in Div. II every season from 2003 to 2009. The 2009 Mitty team that was led by Rachel Williams (Stanford), Kristina Graven (Saint Mary’s) and Shannon Flemming (UC Irvine) became the first Monarchs team to go undefeated at 39-0. That feat was replicated again last year with a 38-0 record. This season, after the Monarchs dropped matches to Kamehameha-Hawaii, Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F., Granite Bay, and a 3-2 league loss to Valley Christian-San Jose on Oct. 15, the Monarchs regrouped as a unit. Mitty finished the season 17-0 after losing a 2-0 finals match to Granite Bay in the finals of the Stockton Classic on Oct. 15. “We didn’t have that big monster to go to,” Almazan-Carter said. Outside hitter Clare Powers, headed to Saint Mary’s, led Mitty with 16 kills. Powers, Alexa Dreyer (12 kills) and Shriin Tooloee (11 kills) combined for 39 of the Monarchs 50 kills, beating Santiago 25-20, 25-21, 26-24 in the finals. The loss was the first of the season for Santiago. Setter Kelsey Crawford finished her high school career with her 1,000th assist in the finals. Crawford is headed to Yale. Mitty finished the season No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports. DIVISION I: Granite Bay finished what may well be considered the greatest season ever in state history with a 3-1 victory over Los Alamitos. Led by a terrific trio of seniors in setter Taylor Nelson and outside hitters Maddy Deters and Nicolette Pinkney, the Grizzlies’ 45-0 record is the best in state history, according to Cal-Hi Sports. It’s also just the 11th time a team has finished with a perfect record in the 35-year history of the CIF state tournament. Nelson was named Gatorade State Player of the Year on Dec. 12. Granite Bay, under first-year coach Tricia Plummer, defeated Mitty 2-0 on Oct. 19 in the Stockton Classic. The Grizzlies also beat 2012 Div. I state-runner up St. Francis-Sacramento four times this season, including in the Sac-Joaquin Section and NorCal championships. Granite Bay dropped just six sets all season and is just the fourth state champion from the Sac-Joaquin Section and the first in Div. I. DIVISION III: Playing in the Div. III finals for the first time since 1986, Valley Christian-San Jose defeated Central Valley Christian-Visalia 3-0 for the Warriors first state title. Valley Christian beat Sacred Heart Cathedral twice in the playoffs for the section and NorCal title before breezing through the state finals, led by Ronika Stone’s 15 kills. Kirsten Mead and Ella Lajos both served five aces in the state finals. The trifecta marked the first time NorCal teams have captured the Div. I, II and III titles in the same season. “I think that’s huge,” Almazan-Cezar said. ✪ — Trevor Horn

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JamSeason Once again, the East Bay becomes a girls basketball wonderland this Dec. 27-30 as the West Coast Jamboree tournament embarks on its 14th year. A little more than 100 teams will take part across 13 brackets. Here’s a glance at what to watch for in each tournament field

PLATINUM DIVISION

DIAMOND DIVISION

This marquee division will have one of the strongest fields ever in the 14-year history of the tournament. As of mid-December, three of the teams are nationally-ranked in the MaxPreps Excellent 25, and all seven of the California teams are ranked in the Cal-Hi Sports Pre-Season Top 35. Leading the bunch is Mater Dei-Santa Ana (No. 2 nationally, No. 1 in the state). The Monarchs are making their second appearance at the Jamboree, bringing a deep and talented roster led by the junior duo of Katie Lou Samuelson and Andee Velasco. The 6-foot-3 Samuelson, last year’s Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore of the Year, shined this past summer for the Gold Medal-winning USA U16 team. Velasco was a Cal-Hi Sports All-State selection a year ago. Two other players to look for are 5-11 sophomore Jayde Woods and 5-11 senior Peyton Langston. The second nationally-ranked team in the Jamboree is perennial-power Malcolm X. Shabazz-Newark (N.J.). The defending state champion is No. 4 in MaxPreps.com’s national rankings. The Bulldogs, who return all five starters from a 33-1 team a year ago, will play their season-opener in the first round of the Jamboree against Salesian-Richmond. Shabazz is led by 6-1 Georgia Tech-bound senior Zaire O’Neill. Last season she led the team in scoring and rebounding with 14.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. De’Ashia Jones (11.6 points/7.1 rebounds) is a solid Div. I prospect who returns as a 6-1 wing. Daniyah Cliney returns as a 6-0 wing and the other two returning starters are guard Acestra Robinson and forward Altiliyah Butler. Shabazz and Mater Dei may be favorites in this field, but the Northern California contingent will be a more than worthy challengers. That list starts with St. Mary’s-Stockton (No. 16 nationally). What the Rams lack in height they make up for with speed, a vise-like press and constant bombardments from 3-point range. Junior guard and All-State selection Bri Moore leads and is flanked by Arizona-bound senior guard Charise Holloway and sophomore sharpshooter Kat Tudor. As a freshman, Tudor made 112 3-pointers and shot 51-per cent from beyond the arc. Two local Bay Area teams could make strong showings. Carondelet-Concord has arguably the best backcourt in the tournament. Nebraska-bound senior Natalie Romeo returns after averaging 21.3 points, 6.5 assists, 6.2 steals and 5.6 rebounds per game last season. Her backcourt mate, Loyola Marymount-bound Makenzie Cast, averaged 14 points a year ago. Shabazz’ first-round opponent Salesian features Louisville-bound wing Mariya Moore and Colorado-bound post Zoe Correal. Mater Dei’s first round opponent Sacramento has five Div. I-level players, including Arizona Statesigned Ayanna Edwards and UNLV-signed Simone Sheppard. Two other local teams, Berkeley and Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco, round out the eight-team field. University of Pacificbound guard Desire Finnie and speedy point guard Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman lead the Berkeley attack. Sacred Heart Cathedral is led by Pacific-signed guard Ge’anna Summers-Luaulu.

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Host Deer Valley-Antioch leads the Diamond Bracket behind Nevada-bound post Alejandra Cephas and returning senior guard Maranne Johnson. The Wolverines are one of the top contenders in the North Coast Section Div. I field. Other Northern California teams are Santa Rosa, led by UC Davis-bound post Morgan Bertsch, 2013 CIF Open Division-participant and two-time Sac-Joaquin Section-champion Brookside Christian-Stockton, as well as Oakland Tech and Vanden-Fairfield. The Vikings boast Nevada-bound wing Mariah Williams. Top players to watch include Brookside Christian’s Ra’Kyra Gabriel and Oakland Tech’s Elayshia Woolridge. The local contingent could produce as many as three section titles by season’s end. Brea Olinda-Brea saw its six-year run of at least 25 wins snapped in 2012-13. However, there will be a familiar name on the bench with Jeff Sink returning as the head coach. He has a 480-74 record with four state titles at Brea Olinda before leaving to coach the boys program for two years. Joining Brea Olinda from Southern California is Narbonne-Harbor City, which has won at least 22 games each of the last four years and junior Latecia Smith is off to a fast start at 24 points per game through Brookside Christian’s Brianna Smith the first four contests. Bishop ManogueReno (NV.) was 23-2 a year ago, including three wins at the West Coast Jamboree last December.

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GOLD DIVISION

SAPPHIRE DIVISION

Seven of the eight teams in the bracket were playoff teams a year ago, and at least five of them at least reached their section semifinals, three reached the final. Christian Brothers is the only defending section champion, taking the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III title. Florin-Sacramento was the SJS Div. II runner-up and Heritage-Brentwood was the North Coast Section Div. I runner-up. Christian Brothers graduated just four seniors from its 25-8 team a year ago, but three of them were captains. Heritage is also re-booting its starting lineup as well, but should still be very formidable as respected coach Dan Swan enters his third year at the helm. Florin’s Dalayna Sampton might be the most impactful player in the field. The 6-1 post player was averaging 14.3 points and 13 rebounds through the Panthers’ first four games. Scotts Valley, a Div. IV semifinalist in the Central Coast Section last year, opened the year 3-0 as 6-foot-1 post Nadene Hart (15.0 ppg) lead three Falcons averaging double figures in scoring. Modesto Christian had the slowest start of any of these teams, but it comes with an asterisk. The Crusaders opened December 0-5 with all five losses coming to teams ranked inside the state’s Top 25.

As a spectator, you could do a lot worse than spending your West Coast Jamboree days watching these teams battle at Valley Christian High in Dublin. Five of the eight teams in this field made the CIF state playoffs a year ago. Presentation-San Jose made it the furthest, losing to LynbrookSan Jose 39-35 in the Northern Regional semis. The first-round matchup between Clayton Valley Charter-Concord and Montgomery-Santa Rosa is actually a rematch of an NCS Div. II semifinal which Clayton won 58-49. The Eagles were knocked out of the CIF playoffs a week later by Presentation. Two of the most dangerous teams in this field are teams which missed out on the state playoffs a year ago, McClatchy-Sacramento and Piedmont Hills-San Jose. McClatchy won 22 games and returns plenty of experience, including Gigi Garcia who averaged 10 points/8 rebounds as a freshman last season. Piedmont Hills started three sophomores a year ago while posting an 18-10 record. Also keep an eye on Dublin. The Gaels are powered by the duo of Milan Moses and Jojuan Carrington. Courtney Seams leads an Amador Valley team which should be heavy on experience.

CORAL DIVISION

ONYX DIVISION

This bracket is pretty much split between teams that had huge success a year ago but lack the experience of a big returning nucleus, and teams which were a bit too young a year ago and are primed for a breakthrough. Campolindo-Moraga, at 26-5, had the most successful 2012-13 season. The Cougars are led by senior Ashley Ewing, but have several other players which will have to grow into roles. Encinal-Alameda (22-6) and Ripon (23-5) look as though they may pick up right where they left off last year. Encinal already has a win over Campolindo, and Ripon opened its season 3-0 without allowing an opponent to score more than 33. Windsor was 15-11 last season and graduated just two. They may have the most dynamic player in this bracket in junior point guard Kerianne Noonan. El Camino-Sacramento has a strong scoring tandem in Jasmine Bernardo and Madalyn Bates, and Chico sophomore Jessi MicKow is a top player.

Mt. Diablo-Concord has a 4-0 record as of Dec. 13 and returns five players from last year’s squad. One of the four wins was a 49-44 victory against DeAnza-Richmond, which it faces in the first round of the Onyx field. Daidria Tidwell is a player to watch for DeAnza. Waldorf-S.F. has seen balanced scoring during its 3-0 start, but the Wolverines went 1-2 at the West Coast Jamboree last season. Their first-round opponent, Point Arena, has won 41 games the past two seasons. However, it graduated its top two scorers. Oakland Military Institute faces Orestimba-Newman of the SacJoaquin Section on the opposite side of the bracket. Orestimba will have a new look team this year after graduating 11 of 13 players. In the final matchup, Redwood Christian-San Lorenzo will face St. Helena. The Eagles graduated just one player from last year’s squad. St. Helena stumbled to a 3-19 record last year with a 1-2 showing in the Jamboree.

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TURQUOISE DIVISION

A wide array of teams will compete at College Park High, headlined by Northwestern-signee Morgan Green, right, and Pacific Collegiate-Santa Cruz. She received scholarship offers from around the country before deciding on the Wildcats. The Pacific Collegiate point guard is considered one of the top point guards in her class and makes the Pumas a team to watch, perhaps as major contenders for the Div. V state playoffs. The rest of the Northern California representation features three teams from the North Coast Section (College Park, Acalanes-Lafayette and University-S.F.) and two teams from the Sac-Joaquin Section (Rosemont-Sacramento and Buhach Colony-Atwater). Venice-L.A. has struggled through six straight losing seasons. The Gondoliers last appeared at the West Coast Jamboree in 2011. Redmond (WA.) completes the field and will face off with the host Falcons. This is a wide-open division, which should create for some fun games between unfamiliar opponents.

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AMETHYST DIVISION

Tennyson-Hayward is off to a 3-0 start through the first two weeks of December and starts the West Coast Jamboree against Thurgood Marshall-San Francisco. The Phoenix have struggled since a 25-win season in 2004. Mira Loma-Sacramento squares off with California School of the Deaf-Fremont in the second of four first-round games. Drew-S.F. will try to turn its 0-3 start around when it opens up play against Corcoran out of the Central Section. The Panthers have fallen off a bit in recent years, but return nine of 10 players from last year’s squad and could be poised to take the Amethyst Division. To finish the first day, host Ygnacio Valley-Concord takes on Rio Vista from the Sac-Joaquin Section. The host Warriors went 0-3 at the Jamboree last year and take on a Rams program looking for its first winning season since 2007.

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AGATE

If her first seven games are any indication, Los Banos’ senior Jacquline Arretche is poised for a stellar all-around season. As of Dec. 15, the shooting guard was averaging 22.3 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals during the Tigers’ 6-2 start. Arretche’s presence, along with 5-10 senior post Savanna Pena, make Los Banos a real threat in this field. Freedom-Oakley has a chance to make some noise too. Bria Greenhouse returns after averaging just over 12 points a game a year ago, as does sophomore Cydnee Kinslow. The 6-1 post averaged 6.6 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2 steals over 19 games as a freshman. Liberty-Bakersfield opened the year 6-4 after winning just seven games in 2012-13. The Patriots graduated just one senior and feature a strong trio of Nikki Bragg, Riley Helmgren and Paxton Lozano. San Lorenzo has a potential all-tournament player in 5-9 sophomore Di’Jour Ledbetter. She was averaging almost 14 points and 10 rebounds through the Rebels’ first six games. Berean ChristianWalnut Creek will be a wild card in this field. The Eagles went 13-14 a year ago but had seven freshmen on the roster. Their top rebounder, Madi West, graduated, but top-scorer Rona Chavez returns.

RUBY

Enochs-Modesto, which began its season 9-2 through Dec. 15, looks like it could be the top dog in this field. The Eagles went 19-7 a season ago and graduated just two seniors. Sophomore guard Katie Dillon has averaged 12 points/game through the team’s 11-game start and junior post Akaysha Simpkins has averaged 9 points and 8 rebounds. Mercy-San Francisco may have one of the best players in the field in 5-10 senior Nia Ilalio. Through the team’s first six games, Ilalio was averaging 16.8 points and 12.4 rebounds. San Domenico-San Anselmo features just seven players on their roster, but they began the year 5-0 behind guard Rachele Nagler and 6-3 center Aminat Oladunjoye. Paradise reached the Div. III state playoffs a year ago, and returns top scorer Cassidy Burnett, who averaged 16 points through the Bobcats first six games. Petaluma went 24-5 a year ago and graduated just three. Granada-Livermore won just nine games in 2012-13, but is looking better this year behind junior Delaney Gill-Summerhauser and senior Hannah Mata. ChristopherGilroy (16-7 last year) is lead by senior guard Cydney Caradonna.

EMERALD

If there’s a theme to this field, it centers on teams which begin the year with high expectations after seasons in which they had promising records with rosters full of underclassmen. Of the eight teams, six of them lost just four players or less to graduation. Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove and West CampusSacramento should make for an intriguing first-round matchup. Both teams went 20-9 a year ago and combined to graduate just three seniors. Pleasant Grove is led by senior post Aaliyah Pena who averaged 7 points, 8 rebounds a year ago. West Campus has long distance sharpshooter, Barbara Keomany. Through six games this season, Keomany was averaging 18.5 points and had connected on 15 of her 31 3-point attempts. Defending NCS Div. V-champion Valley Christian-Dublin won 31 games a year ago. The Vikings opened the year 5-0. Skyline-Sammamish (WA.) makes the trip south after a 20-7 campaign a year ago and are led by senior Bryn deVita who averaged a double-double of 13.5 points and 10 boards through the Spartans first five games. Pleasant Valley-Chico is a perennially strong Northern Section team which lost just two seniors from a 17-win team a year ago.

JADE

KIPP King-San Lorenzo is the team in this bracket which had the most wins a season ago with 19. They did so with just two seniors on their roster, and will be lead this season by a good-sized backcourt tandem of 5-9 Doris Jones and 5-8 Sydnie Thomas. Emery-Emeryville (18 wins last year) returns its leading scorer from a season ago, Antuanisha Wright (19.1 points/game). However, they will be looking to replace the double-digit rebounding figures they got from Antonea Frasier. Head-Royce-Oakland posted 16 wins last year, and did so with half of it’s 10-player roster comprised of freshmen. This year they’ll be led by senior guard Haley Wiley. Las Lomas-Walnut Creek has been a good story so far this season, beginning the year 5-1 after winning just seven games all of last season. The Knights are lead by senior guards Jenn Saelio and Zoe McGlynn. St. BernardEureka opened its season 5-2 under new coach Matt Tomlin. The Crusaders are led by Joslynn Silvers. Concord (10-15 a year ago) is getting a shot in the arm from freshman guard Alyssa Pluth. Alhambra-Martinez and Escalon are both teams trying to rebuild this season.

PEARL

Just a four-team field to be played in round-robin format, the Pearl Division should still feature competitive games. Bentley-Lafayette has begun the season 5-2 and returns Sydney Adams, who averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds as a freshman a year ago. Delta Charter-Tracy will look to senior guard Asia Harris to be its go-to scorer, and Livermore Valley Charter-Livermore will do the same thing with junior Taiyana Murray. John Oliver-Vancouer (B.C.) may have the best mascot of the tournament — the Jokers. They are led by Alexis Agbonmwandolor, who was recently named to the all-tournament team of Oliver’s own tournament in late November.

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Pride Matte El Cerrito’s bid to reach the CIF State Bowl games fell one win shy, but the Gauchos accomplished much more by winning a section title

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hen El Cerrito High football coach Kenny Khan uses the phrase Gaucho Pride to describe what it’s like to be the coach of the first North Coast Section football champions in school history, he does so with great respect. As he watched his team celebrate its 54-38 win over Marin Catholic-Kentfield at Burrell Field in San Leandro, Kahn stood in the rain and reveled. He celebrated with his coaches, most of whom wore that Gaucho green as high schoolers just as he had. While the coaches celebrated, players hugged one another and gathered at the 40-yard line to receive their championship plaque. Off to the side of the scrum stood El Cerrito athletic director George Austin, and it was easy to see the longtime Gauchos coach fighting the emotion of the moment. He plans to retire at the end of the school year, and has coached at El Cer-

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rito since 1982 as both an assistant and head coach. He’s been a teacher at the school since 1988, and remains a favorite for hundreds of former students thanks to his ability to reach all types of kids, no matter their background or story. At that moment in time, Gaucho Pride wasn’t a theory. It was a truth written all over the longtime educator’s face. “I can tell you how big it is,” Austin said, one week after that landmark win. “It’s been a whole week of people from different generations calling us and telling us ‘Thank you’. It was always that last thing that was unfulfilled.” Austin has talked of retirement for a few years now, but he’s hung around long enough to watch his former pupils take flight as accomplished coaches in their own right. Kahn now provides the direction of a thriving program, taking after his mentor and making his mark not only on the gridiron but also as an on-campus teacher who helps guide his youngsters day in and day out. So, what made this year’s group different? For starters,

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Kahn and his coaches have never gotten the credit they truly deserve. Mentions of El Cerrito football seem to always start with the word “athletes,” and while the Gauchos certainly have their share, longtime observers of the program know that’s not a new phenomenon. Kahn and his sideline mates challenged their team with one of El Cerrito’s toughest schedules ever, and the players responded. They won the Tri-County Athletic League Rock Division easily, and avenged an earlier loss by beating Campolindo-Moraga 49-34 in the NCS semifinals. This year’s group also embraced the past, and a large portion of that history lesson came from last year’s NCS Div. III final. A great performance by Marin Catholic’s Jared Goff, now the starting quarterback at Cal, helped the Wildcats pull out a 31-28 win and deal El Cerrito a crushing loss. Suddenly, this collection of talented athletes became just another anecdote in the larger history of El Cerrito football. It joined the 2006, 1998, 1984 and 1983 Gauchos as another

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ers “I can tell you how big it is,. It’s been a whole week of people from different generations calling us and telling us ‘Thank you’.” — George Austin, El Cerrito athletic director after his team won its first NC football title Adarius Pickett, right, rushed for 255 yards on 20 carries in El Cerrito’s win over Marin Catholic Phillip Walton

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El Cerrito coach Kenny Kahn team of heralded recruits that couldn’t quite climb the ultimate mountain. When the Gauchos got another shot at Marin Catholic this season, a sense of destiny came alongside. Told by those who came before them that yes, this could be the year the title finally came El Cerrito’s way, the Gauchos had only to look at those who came before to find the belief they needed to take that next step. “I could give a list of names but it was a community that came behind us and said you can do something that’s never been done before,” Kahn said. “We have a lot of good athletes who’ve come out of the program who have gone off to college and played in the NFL but never as a team at the high school level have we done something this incredible.” UCLA-bound Adarius Pickett led the way in the victory, rushing for 255 yards on 20 carries. That he played a starring role seemed fitting considering his father, Antoine, was a key contributor on one of El Cerrito’s most storied teams, the 1983 baseball team that went 27-1 and is universally hailed as one of the best high school baseball teams in California history. Pickett’s big-play mates were right next to him every step of the way. Keilan Benjamin threw three touchdowns, all to his twin brother, Keith. Arizona State-bound receiver Jalen Harvey scored on a 35-yard fumble return. Harvey’s future Sun Devil teammate, Derik Calhoun, patrolled the middle on defense and delivered several hits from his post at linebacker. The road certainly hasn’t been straight for El Cerrito. The final deviation came one week after that momentous win as, with a chance to play in the California Interscholastic Federation Division III state bowl game on the line, the Gauchos lost 42-7 to Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton before a capacity crowd at De Anza High in Richmond. But, even though the season ended with a loss, the learning continued. Players shed tears and consoled each other, all the while knowing the storybook season was over. They’d already gone farther than any other El Cerrito football team, but the pain still stung all the same. “They finally heard the things we were trying to tell them about behaving and about character and sportsmanship,” Austin said. “It’s kind of hard to teach kids who are fighting and scraping, so-called urban kids, that they should turn the other cheek because they’re not the kind of kids who turn the other cheek. It’s a real lesson they’re learning that has ramifications above and beyond the field.” No matter the outcome of that game, the Gauchos ended the 2013 season with their place in history secure. Maybe more importantly, they walked off the field with something Kahn, Austin and hundreds of fellow Gaucho football alums consider even more important. Gaucho Pride. ✪ 24

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De La Salle returns to a fifth-straight CIF Open State Bowl showing the same characteristics that’s lead them to win the last four Story by Chace Bryson • Photos by Phillip Walton

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ourteen games into his head coaching career, and perhaps the best compliment that De La Salle High football coach Justin Alumbaugh could receive is this: Nothing’s changed. Taking over the lead coaching role from his mentor, legendary coach Bob Ladouceur, the Spartans haven’t skipped a beat on the way to a 14-0 record and another berth to the California Interscholastic Federation Open Division State Bowl game on Dec. 21. But more than that, De La Salle has looked every bit the part of its predecessors, especially — and not surprisingly — its early predecessors, which Alumbaugh himself was a part of in the mid-90s. Physical. Grinding. And an offense that relentlessly — and seemingly with little effort because of its efficiency—thrives in the rushing game. “Coach Alumbaugh told us at the beginning of the year that there was going to be a lot more ‘old school De La Salle Spartans football,’” standout two-way lineman Sumner Houston said. “I think we’re getting there.” The one constant that ran throughout the dominant history of the Ladouceur Era has been the program’s line play. Especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Spartans win at the point

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De La Salle’s John Velasco tumbles into the end zone for one of his four touchdowns. of attack, with quickness, precision and grit. All of which has been on display for much of the season from the 2013 line, seemingly reaching a crescendo in December. In its North Coast Section Div. I championship victory over California-San Ramon on Dec. 7, De La Salle needed just eight passing yards from quarterback Chris Williams thanks to a ground game that posted 534 yards and seven touchdowns. One week later — in a 45-17 CIF Regional Bowl win over Folsom — Williams delivered 84 yards passing while the rushing attack produced 381 yards. Both wins were vintage De La Salle efforts that were sure to elicit a sly grin from the team’s newest assistant coach, Ladouceur. “We (coaches) took a look at some of our rushing totals and compared them with the last couple years,” Alumbaugh said. “Overall, we’re not a real stat driven group, but we can’t remember putting up this many rushing yards. There’s no new coaches on this staff, and all of us put our heads together and couldn’t remember a time when we’ve rushed like this.” The Spartans eclipsed the 5,000-yard rushing plateau in the win over Folsom, increasing their average to 365.8 yards over their first 14 games. Senior John Velasco has 1,997 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground, and sophomore Antoine Custer has added 1,141 yards and 14 rushing scores. Williams has 15 rushing touchdowns to go with the eight that he’s thrown. And it all starts with the line comprised by juniors Blake Ogburn (right tackle), Drew Sullivan (right guard), and seniors Brian Joyce (center), Larry Allen Jr. (left guard) and Houston at left tackle. Add in junior super-sub lineman Matt Mederios and tight ends Devin Asiasi and Joe Gervolino and you get the majority of Spartans blocking force. Support Your Local Business • Say You Found Them In SportStars™

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“We were mainly playing scared. They were shifting around a lot and we were coming off the ball slow and not as intense as we’re supposed to be. That was a big factor in how that game turned out.” — Sumner Houston, left It’s a unit that has only got better since things went awry in the second game of the year, a high-wire-act 2114 win at Serra-San Mateo. “We were mainly playing scared,” Houston said. “They were shifting around a lot and we were coming off the ball slow and not as intense as we’re supposed to be. That was a big factor in how that game turned out.” Houston is the emotional center of the team, and the anchor for both lines. He was named the East Bay Athletic League’s Most Valuable Player and would almost assuredly get the “old school Spartan” stamp of approval from Alumbaugh. “He plays with a lot of toughness and a lot of physicality,” the coach said. “Last year he played the whole season with a torn labrum in his shoulder, which is pretty remarkable for a two-way lineman. He came back this year stronger than ever. There’s just a lot of grittiness to him. He’s just a tough kid, and he wants to be good and he wants to do things well.” He’s also very much the opposite of his older brother, Bart, who was primarily a quiet leader as the quarterback

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for three state championship teams from 2009-2011. His play and passion can overflow and sometimes remind his coaches of a former excitable Spartans lineman, current Oregon State starter Dylan Wynn. So much so that Alumbaugh admits to having to ask Houston to work on being a little less vocal at times. That being said, ask Houston about his offensive line mates and he gushes. On Ogburn, who replaced Boss Tagaloa at right tackle a few weeks into the season so that Tagaloa could focus more on his defensive line duties: “He’s smaller (than Boss), but quicker. ... We go head-to-head in one-on-one drills and earlier in the year I’d just beat the crud out of him. Now it’s much more of a fight.” On Sullivan: “He’s improved a lot from last year. He’s been very reliable all year long.” On Joyce: “He’s a grinder. He’s the smallest guy on the offensive line, but he’s probably one of the best grinders on the team. He’s never afraid and always keeps his feet driving. On Allen: “He’s probably one of the quietest, meanest,

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angriest persons I know. He doesn’t talk much but he does his job and he rarely has any technical flaws.” The line as a whole has also benefitted from having Larry Allen Sr., a recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, on staff. And aside from the obvious help he provides the offense, Houston says he’s equally improved the defensive line. “He’s helped make our offensive line so much better, and in turn that has forced our defensive line to pick up it’s play in practice, too,” Houston said. De La Salle will line up opposite of St. John Bosco-Bellflower — which has spent the majority of the season ranked No. 2 in the state behind the Spartans — for an Open Division Championship which will likely determine the CalHiSports.com State Team of the Year. De La Salle has held that honor each of the last four season after winning each of the last four CIF Open titles. It will be Houston’s third trip to play at the StubHub Center in Carson. “My first year was my brother’s team,” he said. “Last year was (All-State linebacker Michael Hutching’s) team along with all those other seniors. Now it’s my team. It’s my senior year, and I’ve got to bring it home.” A typical old-school Spartan response. ✪

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Despite season ending loss, Serra’s re-invention pays off Records are through Dec. 14

1. (1)

— De La Salle-Concord

14-0

3. (6)

Del Oro-Loomis

13-2

2. (2)

4. (3) 5. (4) 6. (5) 7. (9)

8. (18) 9. (10)

— Folsom ▼ ▼ ▼ ▲ ▲ ▲

10. (12) ▲ 11. (14) ▲ 12. (19) ▲ 13. (20) ▲ 14. (7) 15. (8)

▼ ▼

16. (NR) ▲ 17. (NR) ▲ 18. (17) ▼ 19. (19) ▼ 20. (NR) ▲

Serra-San Mateo

Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills Mitty-San Jose Elk Grove

California-San Ramon Pittsburg

Deer Valley-Antioch

Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove Enterprise-Redding El Cerrito

Marin Catholic-Kentfield Campolindo-Moraga Miramonte-Orinda

Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton

Clayton Valley Charter-Concord Valley Christian-San Jose Central Catholic-Modesto

14-1 11-3

12-2 11-2

12-2 11-3

10-3 11-2

10-3 13-0 12-3 12-1 11-1

12-2 13-1 11-2 8-4

14-1

Serra’s Kava Cassidy

DROPPED OUT

No. 13 St. Francis-Mountain View, No. 15 Bellarmine- San Jose and No. 16 Granite Bay

CINDERELLA STORY

Three new teams played their way into our penultimate rankings, and the one that most impressed us was Miramonte-Orinda. The Matadors petitioned up to Division II and stormed their way to a title behind the arm of quarterback Drew Anderson. On the way, they knocked off then-No. 17 Clayton Valley Charter (on Clayton’s home turf) in the semifinals, and then traveled to the North Bay to defeat an undefeated Casa Grande-Petaluma team in the championship. They were passed over for a CIF regional bowl berth, but we still slotted them one spot ahead of Div. III regional bowl winner Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton. The Gators are newcomers as well, but Miramonte’s strength of opponents gave them the nod for us. If Sacred Heart Prep goes on to win the Div. III State Bowl, we’ll have to reconsider.

BIGGEST MOVER

California-San Ramon got to take the biggest jump after the NorCal playoffs concluded, leaping 10 spots to No. 8. The Grizzlies followed up their first ever East Bay Athletic League title with a run to the NCS Div. I final where they played De La Salle very tough for a little more than a half. They lost 4517, but it was a vastly improved effort than the 55-0 loss they suffered to the Spartans just five weeks earlier.

TEAMS STILL RANKED FROM PRESEASON TOP 20: 12

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The Serra High School weight room was bustling. Serra’s 2012 football season ended the night before with a 17-12 loss to Bellarmine-San Jose in the Central Coast Section Open Division semifinals. But this Saturday morning was about a new beginning rather than a disappointing ending. With each bench press repetition, each squat, each pull-up, and each painful abdominal crunch, the 2012 season was being exorcised and a new focus was developing. The 2013 season would be different, and each drop of sweat was in pursuit of that goal. Coach Patrick Walsh understood the need for change. Serra had never won a CCS title in the top division or played in a state bowl game. It is true Serra was experiencing its most sustained success since future NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann led the Padres to league titles in 1968 and 1969. In Walsh’s 12 seasons, Serra won three league championships and the 2011 CCS Division I crown. But Walsh wasn’t satisfied. He took a long look at the program, and at himself. Change starts now, he said, and it begins with me. Not only did Walsh examine his offensive philosophy — he always ran the Wing-T and called the plays — but he realized he needed to improve himself. Walsh rededicated himself to his health, lost 30 pounds, and surrendered control to newly hired coordinators Steven Lo (offense) and Chris Vassuer (defense). Walsh also took a chance on Matthew Fa’aita, who had never played quarterback. The left-hander completed 13 of 27 passes for 213 yards in his debut against mighty De La Salle. Serra was missing six starters to injury — including lineman Matt Dickerson, a Notre Dame recruit who did not play all season — but heralded itself as a power despite the 21-14 loss. Serra (11-3) beat Archbishop Mitty, 31-7, to force a co-league title and again in the CCS Open championship, 21-7. Hamilton Anoa’i, a receiver/safety, was the WCAL co-Player of the Year and running back Kava Cassidy gained 1,459 yards on 227 carries and scored 19 touchdowns. On Dec. 13, after Serra lost to Del Oro-Loomis, 28-20, in the Northern California Division I championship game at San Jose City College, Walsh considered the journey. “We started lifting the

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James Leash

day after our season ended just to be here playing on this night,” Walsh said. “I remember sitting in the weight room today just thinking about that. We have nothing to be disappointed about.”

DIVISION III

In the week leading up to his team’s CIF Div. III regional bowl matchup with El Cerrito, Sacred Heart Prep-Atherton coach Pete Lavorato told one reporter that he’d be introducing his players to the David and Goliath story. He, and may others, assumed the Gators would be playing the role of David against an El Cerrito team loaded with Division-I college talent. As it turned out, Sacred Heart looked like Goliath. Behind the rushing efforts of Ben Burr-Kirven, the Gators built a 21-0 halftime lead and rolled to a 42-7 win to punch a ticket to the CIF Div. III State Bowl game on Dec. 21. “I think they probably overlooked us a bit,” said Burr-Kirven, who rushed 15 times for 163 yards and four touchdowns. “We obviously aren’t as physically imposing as them, but our coaches put is in the right position, and we knew we could win this game.” El Cerrito, which had won 10 straight and was coming off its first ever North Coast Section title, ran into trouble early when quarterback Keilan Benjamin suffered a game-ending injury. Arizona State-bound receiver and defensive back, Jalen Harvey, took over behind center and was also knocked out due to injury. The Guachos were never able to force their way back into the game. “I knew their names,” Burr-Kirven said referring to El Cerrito’s college recruits like Harvey, linebacker D.J. Calhoun (Arizona State) and running back/safety Adarius Pickett (UCLA). “I hope they know mine now. ... This is the greatest feeling I’ve ever had. This is the pinnacle of high school sports. There is nothing better than this.” — David Kiefer and Chace Bryson

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We went to a tournament and stayed overnight, and we did OK, but the refs were so biased. We played local teams twice and each time, they got all the calls. Our best player fouled out in one game. Does that always happen when teams go on the road? T.M., Concord

H

ere’s my favorite story about getting homered: One year at Campolindo, we traveled to Winslow, Arizona, to play in a tournament on the Navajo reservation. We were very good, and got to the finals. The night before, one of our parents asked me how we would do. I said, “We’re probably going to lose because they’re going to foul out our best players.” She was shocked. So when we come into the gym the next day, I notice one of the refs walking into the opposing coach’s office (we were playing Winslow), and he stayed there for 20 minutes. When the game started, the whistles started blowing, and our top players were all in foul trouble. Winslow was pretty good, so going into the fourth quarter, we were down 13 in front a packed gym of Native Americans screaming for the home team. Our little suburban enclave of parents and players was huddled around our bench, frustrated and beaten down. But then the referees lost focus, and we came storming back, and managed to send the game into overtime. The crowd is going crazy the whole time, and once in OT, our remaining top players fouled out and we lost.

After the game, people were coming up to me and saying “Winslow never loses at home,” or “Great game,” or “Too bad your girls fouled out.” Finally, one old Native American comes up next to me, puts his arm around me and says “Now you know how Custer felt.” Or, to answer your question another way, any time you’re playing far away from home, you’re likely to get hosed. Even in your own gym, you need to be at least 10 points better to guarantee a win because high school officials, like high school players, work hard but may not be all that talented. But when you’re playing in a situation where the officials know the other coaches by their first names and have never seen you before, you should plan on playing 15 points better if you expect to win. Or maybe 20. It’s not that anyone’s cheating, it’s just human nature — and that’s why it’s the mark of a superior team to be able to go on the road and beat a quality opponent. So don’t whine about the officiating; just play better. ✪ Clay Kallam is an assistant athletic director and girls varsity basketball coach at Bentley High in Lafayette. To submit a question for Behind the Clipboard, email him at clayk@fullcourt.com

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Overcoming

the Elements Winning on the road requires sharper focus and better play, because often the breaks — and whistles — fall to the home team

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nutrition: dr. mo mortazavi

What Fuels You FILLING THE TANK

Nutrition and hydration recommendations before, during and after exercise are as follows:

PRE-EXERCISE:

›› Fluids: Pre-hydration with water ›› Carbs: 4g/kg 3-4 hrs before exercise; then 0.5-1g/ kg 1-2 hrs before exercise ›› Choose familiar foods, low-fat and low-fiber foods to minimize stomach upset

DURING EXERCISE:

›› Fluids: Water (if less than 1 hour exercise); Sports drink (if more than 1 hour exercise or heavy sweating), 12 oz. every 20-30 minutes. ›› Carbs: 30g every 30 minutes

AFTER EXERCISE:

›› Fluids: Sports drink and water, 15-20 oz. per 1 pound of body weight lost during exercise event. ›› Carbs: 1-1.5g/kg every 2 hrs; begin immediately after event and through 4 hrs after event. ›› Protein: 0.2-0.4g/kg every 2 hrs; begin immediately after event through 4 hrs after event.

Every athlete is limited by one common factor: You are only as good as what fuels you. A complete and diverse diet is critical to provide optimal nutrition to every athlete. Although suboptimal nutrition can lead to poor performance, many athletes suffer from nutritional deficiencies that also lead to poor health. Nutritional deficiencies can be caused by inappropriate caloric intake or limited dietary diversity. With the right balance of quantity and quality, a complete balanced diet is all that is required for athletes to perform at their best. Despite this, the following myths about the optimal athletic diet still exist: › One must use supplements › Protein-dominant diets are needed to gain muscle › Stimulants are needed for optimal energy › Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) sold in stores must be safe and without serious side effects Optimizing your diet begins with knowing how many calories you need. Highly active athletes need about 15-20 times their weight (in pounds) of total calories per day. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of these calories should come from complex carbohydrates, which include non-processed foods such as whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fats also serve a critical role in optimal nutrition, contrary to the belief that athlete’s diets must be low in fat. Up to 20-25 percent of their diets should come from healthy unsaturated fats, such as plant oils. These fats are rich in antioxidants, micronutrients and energy production. Although proteins help with muscle building, only 15-20 percent of all calories need to come from proteins. Protein requirements are 1-2g/kg of protein daily. Endurance athletes may only need 1-1.2g/kg, while power athletes may need 1.5-2g/kg. Protein in excess of this is burned as fuel or excreted by the kidneys. Meat, dairy, fish, poultry, beans, nuts and soy are great sources of protein. Micronutrients, hydration and electrolytes are also an important part of an athlete’s diet. Iron, vitamins B, C, D and calcium are critical micronutrients that are commonly deficient in athletes. Diets rich in fresh non-processed foods, dairy and produce with a variety of colors typically are richest in these micronutrients. Dietary supplementation should only be considered when a complete diet is not possible through natural foods, such as athletes not able to consume enough calories or tolerate a diverse diet. When considering supplementation with additional calories, protein or micronutrients, one should consult with a nutritionist or physician. Other supplements that have been marketed to enhance performance include creatine phosphate, stimulants and anabolic aids. These supplements come with significant risks and may be contaminated with other supplements that are banned or more dangerous to your health. These supplements are not well regulated and many athletes have suffered liver failure, sudden cardiac death, and strokes after using these marketed substances. For these reasons, the PEDs are not medically recommended and high caution is advised. ✪ Dr. Mo Mortazavi is a pediatric sports medicine physician for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

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weightlifting: anthony trucks

Three tips to help you prevent lifting injuries I recently made a trip to Russia, where I spent seven hours teaching at a huge fitness convention in Moscow. While there, I met trainers from several countries and learned a great deal about strength training and its uses around the world. One thing that made a significant impression on me was Americans’ view of taking care of the body while strength training over extanded periods of time versus the rest of the globe’s perception. The common thread was, they didn’t seem to think that far ahead. After hearing that, I spent time educating and teaching them tips and tools toward avoiding lifting injuries. I will share the tips with you now. ›› Warm up the muscle groups you will be using specifically to increase blood flow and joint fluid to allow proper motion when increasing weight ›› Use de-load weeks in your training periodically. This is where you keep the same program going but modify the weights way down and focus on stability and range of motion. This actively recovers the muscles and allows the nervous system to recover. ›› Include multi-joint, and multi-planar movements into your training to maintain range of motion, and minimize muscular compensation which could lead to injuries to other muscles by overuse in the incorrect pattern. For example, get a PVC or wood stick and put it above your head, then perform an over head squat. In the down position, lower the stick behind your head, raise the stick, then raise your body. You’re body will only last if you take care of it. So make sure to focus on longevity and training with the “law of the harvest” concept. When you plant seeds you don’t get the crop tomorrow, you get it over time with careful attention to the plants. ✪

facility in Brentwood Anthony Trucks is the owner of Trucks Training tars. SportS for g trainin

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and covers weight

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training time: tim rudd for iyca When you see an athlete who is agile and quick you never forget it. They look as though they are effortlessly floating across the field or court of play. They can cut and change directions faster than anyone else in the game, and do so with great body control. Here are four qualities that an athlete must posses to have the ability to control their bodies with such precision:

First key

The athlete must have great proprioceptive awareness. This means the athlete’s nervous system — the nerves in the muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments that feel pressure, speed, and other forces — tell the body how to regulate its position all the time. This allows the athlete to make subtle to massive adjustments quickly and accurately resulting in a high level of control.

second key

The athlete must have great force absorption (stopping strength) as well as force production (starting strength). This is critical when changing direction. When the athlete puts on the brakes it isn’t usually just to stop; it is to get going in a new direction quickly. Athletes that can quickly go from the “stopping” to the “going” or deceleration to acceleration will be quicker overall.

third key

The athlete must have a great ability to reposition the feet in any direction around his or her center of mass. This means the athlete should be able to replace the feet on angles that promote a positive deceleration or acceleration angle.

fourth key

The athlete must understand how to maintain proper levels, or be able to go in and out of level changes so it doesn’t disrupt the quickness of acceleration. I like to use the term “staying in the tunnel.” This simply means the athlete understands staying low in order to create optimal acceleration and deceleration angles without any unnecessary up or down movement of the body. Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.

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tristeps: liz elliott

Stay Warm Build strength

You can keep out of the cold and still train for the upcoming season Strength work done with good form helps support your joints, and helps your muscles perform better as a team. In less than two months there will be plenty of swimming, biking and running. Use these cold months to get in lots of strength work.   Make sure you are not hurting your joints in the process. The purpose of strength workouts is to strengthen the muscles above and below and/or surrounding the joints, so that: 1. You’ll be stronger, and... 2. There will be less stress on your joints when you add more load. If you are doing a strength move and feel tension or pain, in your joint, then you are probably going too far with the move. Small movements are just fine. If you are doing a move and are shaking, that muscle is probably weak. You will probably experience one side being weaker than the other as well. For example, walking lunges: Make sure your knee never goes more than 90 degrees (which means you may need to step out further), and concentrate on your weight coming down instead of forward. And you do not need to touch your back knee to the ground. In fact, that is not really helping. Do them in the mirror to see what you are actually doing.  Attend an aerobic strength circuit class to learn how to perform simple strength moves correctly to incorporate into your workouts. ✪ Liz Elliott was an All-American collegiate swimmer and is the head coach at Tri-Valley Triathlon Club.

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specialization: travis moore At what age should someone specialize in a given sport? This question is a hot topic today; from parent to researcher, everyone has an opinion. Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal answer. Past research suggests that 10,000 hours are needed to be elite at a skill, while current research states that this is inaccurate. Some individuals might need 2,000 hours, while some may devote 15,000 hours and never reach an elite level. The current tide of opinion is shifting to promoting multiple sports before the age of 15, not just for injury prevention but also for overall performance. In order to make the best decision, there are some things that should be considered: Rest is necessary. Overuse injuries are becoming an epidemic, especially in young athletes. When injuries occur muscles do not work well, which means less strength for the athlete. There should be a break to let the body recover from a specific sport. This does not have to be complete rest, but rather a different sport or cross training. The dangers from playing one sport year-round are due to the overloading of specific muscles. If one switches from soccer to baseball, they will be using a whole different group of muscles. Assessment by a trained professional can help performance and keep us healthy. Some aremore susceptible to injury than others; for example, baseball pitchers who have shoulder weakness or soccer players with hip weakness. Any female who has participated in youth soccer probably knows someone who has suffered the dreaded ACL tear. However, studies have shown the application of training programs referred to as PEP (Prevent injury and Enhance Performance) can reduce risk by as much as 75-80 percent. We all think that in order to be elite, we have to be specific. There are many elite athletes who were not sport-specific until they reached high school or even college. This list includes: Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, and Lebron James. The experts are still unsure about how to make it to the top, but playing through injury and pain is certainly not the way. ✪ Travis Moore is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Sports & Orthopedic Leaders, PT Inc.

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get mental: erika carlson

Commitment matters. It’s a factor in your sport enjoyment, in your long-term sport success and your life skill development. Research tells us that long-term participation in sports help is more psychologically beneficial than with intermittent participation. However, it’s not unusual to see a mismatch between how committed a player thinks he/she is and how committed his/her coach thinks he/she is. Jeff Janssen’s book, “The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual” offers an excellent measurement tool, “The Commitment Continuum,” which can be used for both self-assessment and in a unique way to get extra feedback from your coach. First, rate yourself. How committed are you?

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COMPLIANT

Compliants will do what they are told by their coaches and team leaders. They are obedient soldiers who do what is expected, but they lack the initiative to go above and beyond the call of duty.

committed

Committed people willingly go the extra mile in order to reach their goals. They are self-motivated, meaning that they do not need someone else to tell them what to do, or watch over their shoulder to make sure they are doing it.

ARE YO

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compelled

No matter what obstacles, adversities, or distractions might stand in their way, compelled people are going to find a way. They won’t rest until they get the job done. They prepare, train, and compete at the highest level. This means they never go through the motions or skip workouts, they eat well and get their proper rest, and they take advantage of every opportunity to get better. Now that you’ve assessed yourself, ask your coach to rate your commitment and give you a brief explanation. Be brave. This is an excellent opportunity to open a conversation with your coach about your commitment. If you and your coach disagree — you feel you’re “committed” and coach says you’re “compliant” — then ask how you can better demonstrate your commitment. This may be the difference maker in your career. ✪ Erika Carlson is a certified mental trainer and owner of Excellence in Sports Performance in Pleasanton.

OU ALL IN?

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Heidi-ly Ho! ››› ››› Looking good isn’t enough if you can’t look good while you’re at the gym trying to look good. Good? Look, I know it’s confusing. But Heidi Hat is the perfect product for the active fashionista. These is a custom handmade collection of yoga inspired attire. Plus they have winter gear: ski, snowboarding, skating hats and accessories. Seriously, is there anything Heidi Hat can’t make look good. Did we mention that it looks good? Good. Look here: www.HeidiHat.com

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Happy Merry-Mas Holiday Season to one and all! We’ve been good this year — oh so good. If you’re like Impulse, and we hope you are, you’ll be expecting some good loot this year (even if that’s not what the season is all about ... but c’mon). And what more can you ask for that what Uncle Impulse brings to the party? Nothing. That’s what.

Play Ball! U.S. Baseball Academy, which operates a national network of affordable hitting, pitching, catching, field and base running camps for players in grades 1-12 will be hosting camps this winter and spring — chances are, there’s one near you. I mean, they’re hosting camps at 200 sites. No excuses. Be a better ball player. Camps range from 4-6 weeks and take place on weekends. Find a camp near you at www.USBaseballAcademy.com

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oh, you dirty rat ››› ›››

It’s that time of the year. No, not the goodwill to man stuff. The part where we get a wee bit chunky because of the holiday parties. And then comes New Year’s where we’ll vow to go to the gym. Then comes February where we stop going. Dive into the seedy underbelly of the gym world in Max Hawthorne’s new book ‘Memoirs of a Gym Rat.’ He tells you how to get ripped without getting ripped off. Available at your local bookstores.

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clean h2o

We all have our favorite water bottles. Meet your NEW favorite water bottle — The Eco Vessel. Not only is this made from 100% recyclable, light-weight materials but each bottle has a unique filtration system built in that will filter your water while you drink. Plus, when you buy an Eco Vessel they’ll donate to Water for People. No downside, just clean water. Get some. www.Ecovessel.com

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❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒

Ajax East Bay Soccer Club.......................................................................................................43 Army National Guard Recruiter................................................................................................7 Athletic Placement Services...................................................................................................42 Bears Bitty Youth Basketball League & Academy...................................................................22 Big O Tires Northern California/ Nevada...................................................................................2 Bigfoot Hoops.................................................................................................................. 15, 48 Boomers!...............................................................................................................................27 C Y C Soccer............................................................................................................................45 Championship Athletic Fundraising.......................................................................................31 Cheergyms.Com.....................................................................................................................26 Children’s Hospital And Research Center................................................................................35 Club Sport Renaissance..........................................................................................................37 Community Youth Center.......................................................................................................29 Core Performance............................................................................................................ 42, 44 Core Volleyball Club...............................................................................................................43 Crowne Plaza.........................................................................................................................45 Diablo Futbol Club........................................................................................................... 42, 44 Diablo Trophies & Awards......................................................................................................44 Diablo Valley Futsal................................................................................................................44 East Bay Bulldogs Basketball.................................................................................................42 East Bay Sports Academy.......................................................................................................28 Excellence In Sport Performance............................................................................................36 Fast Break Basketball Camps..................................................................................................44 Fit 2 The Core.........................................................................................................................41 Garaventa Enterprises............................................................................................................38 Gregg Jefferies Sports Academy ............................................................................................38 Halo Headband......................................................................................................................45 Heritage Soccer Club..............................................................................................................47 Image Imprint.......................................................................................................................36 Impact Soccer Club................................................................................................................24 Kangazoom............................................................................................................................27 Livermore Downtown..............................................................................................................3 Lone Tree Golf Course.............................................................................................................45 Modesto Magic......................................................................................................................43 Mountain Mike’s Pizza............................................................................................................14 Muir Orthopaedic Specialists.................................................................................................39 National Scouting Report.......................................................................................................43 Passthaball............................................................................................................................45 Pro Hammer Bat....................................................................................................................44 Rhino Sports Of Northern California.......................................................................................24 Rocco’s Pizza.................................................................................................................... 24, 44 Saint Mary’s Athletic Summer Camps....................................................................................25 San Ramon Soccer Club..........................................................................................................39 Sport Clips.............................................................................................................................23 Sports And Orthopedic Leaders..............................................................................................41 State Farm Jimmy Harrington Agent......................................................................................34 State Farm Lisa Truesdell, Kelly Sopak Agents........................................................................20 Stevens Creek Toyota................................................................................................................9 Summit Orthopedic Specialists................................................................................................5 Surewest Sports Show...........................................................................................................20 T D P Sports...........................................................................................................................44 The First Tee Of Contra Costa..................................................................................................45 Tpc / The Pitching Center........................................................................................................41 Tri Valley Orthopedic Specialists.............................................................................................40 United States Youth Volleyball League...................................................................................32 Uno Chicago Grill...................................................................................................................29 West Coast Jamboree.............................................................................................................17 West Coast Soccer Club..........................................................................................................44

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De La Salle running back Antoine Custer gets his thoughts in order in the Dublin High locker room prior to the Spartans’ NCS Division I championship game against California-San Ramon. PHOTO BY Bob Larson

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BA Issue 78, Dec. 19, 2013  

Bay Area Issue 78, December 19, 2013

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