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get drafted in first pitch. Pg. 6

vol. 3. issue 43

march 29, 2012

FREE bay area

get knee-deep in prevention. Pg. 14 el cerrito is rockin' & firin'.

5

Pg. 24

our top wishes for baseball.

Pg. 9

endure | excel | achieve


Perry van eckhardt and el cerrito baseball are hoping april brings warmer days at the plate. Pg. 24

not easy: Just because they sometimes have to make cuts, doesn’t mean coaches like it. Pg. 9 GET BUSY: Summer is on the way and we have the perfect camp for you. Find it starting on page 31. Jonathan Hawthorne

CORONATION: MITTY GIRLS LAST TEAM LEFT STANDING. AS USUAL. PG. 16

James K. Leash

whip the hip pain: Where that pain is coming from and what you can do. Pg. 27

PHONE 925.566.8500 FAX 925.566.8507 Editorial Editor@SportStarsOnline.com Editor Chace Bryson. Ext. 104 • Chace@SportStarsOnline.com Contributors Bill Kolb, Erik Stordahl, Mitch Stephens, Doug Gardner, Matt Smith, Clay Kallam, Jim McCue, Eric Gilmore, Dave Kiefer, Liz Elliott, Tim Rudd, Jonathan Okanes Photography Butch Noble, Bob Larson, Jonathan Hawthorne, Darryl Henick, Norbert von der Groeben, Phillip Walton Creative Department Art@SportStarsOnline.com Production Manager Mike DeCicco. Ext. 103 • MikeD@SportStarsOnline.com Publisher/President Mike Calamusa. Ext. 106 • Mike@SportStarsOnline.com Advertising & Calendar/Classified Sales Sales@SportStarsOnline.com, (925) 566-8500 Account Executives Erik Stordahl • Erik@SportStars Online.com, Phillip Walton • PWalton@SportStarsOnline.com Sac Joaqin edition: Breck Phillip • BreckPhillip@gmail.com, Dave Rosales • DaveRosales64@gmail.com, Finn Jensen • finnjensen1@mac.com. Reader Resources/Administration Ad Traffic, Subscription, Calendar & Classified Listings info@SportStarsOnline.com • Deb Hollinger. Ext. 101 • Distribution/Delivery Mags@SportStarsOnline.com Distribution Manager Butch Noble. Ext. 107 • Butch@SportStarsOnline.com Information technology John Bonilla CFO Sharon Calamusa • Sharon@SportStarsOnline.com Office Manager/Credit Services Deb Hollinger. Ext. 101 • Deb@SportStarsOnline.com Board of advisors Dennis Erokan, CEO, Placemaking Group Roland Roos, CPA, Roland Roos & Co Susan Bonilla, State Assembly Drew Lawler, Managing Director, AJ Lawler Partners Brad Briegleb, Attorney At Law 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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Behind the Clipboard........................ 9 AAA SportStars of the Week........11 Training Time.....................................14 TriSteps...............................................23 Health Watch....................................27 Impulse...............................................30 Camps + Clinics...............................31

ON THE COVER: Archbishop Mitty’s Emily Dinger, left, and Kelli Hayes. Photo by James K. Leash. Salesian’s Jabari Bird. Photo by Butch Noble.

your ticket to bay area sports admit one; rain or shine This Vol. #3, March 2012 Whole No. 43 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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Getting into the spirit of draft season O

h, the final weeks of March. A culminate in a two-day hoops fest in the sacred time for all sports fans. state’s capital. NCAA Tournament brackets No. 3: Wrestling — Didn’t see this one are either laminated in glory, or used to coming, did you? Writers who take on a ceremoniously start spring’s first mound wrestling beat are quickly smitten with a of charcoal. Speaking of spring, baseball sport that has a passionate following within season looms just around the corner, and its community. Also, few things can make Augusta National (No golf course looks the adrenaline pump faster than the CIF better on your HD flat screen. Not even state wrestling finals when it boils down to Pebble Beach. Yeah, we said it.) prepares one mat and a single spotlight. to host The Masters. No. 4: Baseball/Softball — It’s not a state But if there’s one other thing the end of championship sport, but let me ask you this: March is known for, it’s this: Drafts. Wouldn’t you raise your hand for a gig that Fantasy baseball drafts are everywhere puts you in the sunshine eating sunflower this time of year. There is a good chance seeds three days a week? Thought so. that if you’re reading this between the daylight hours of March 29 and April 8, No. 5: Track & Field — This is not a job there is a sports bar, pizza joint, backyard for a writer who doesn’t like multi-tasking. or man cave within a 10 mile radius host(Probably why it falls to the second round). ing a draft right now. There can typically be a lot going on at Fantasy football has exploded over the once. But those who can sift through the years, but no sport begets more fantasy chaos will meet some incredible athletes leagues than baseball. And so, in the spirit accomplishing amazing things. It’s a state of draft season, I thought I would have championship sport and a lot the stories get a little fun by imagining a mock fantasy to focus on breaking records. Which is fun. draft featuring high school sports. No. 6: Volleyball — A bit of an underapI’m not talking about drafting indipreciated sport by some writers because vidual high school athletes. Even their the girls season — despite being a state own coaches would tell you that projectchampionship sport — takes a backseat ing high school athletes’ performances to King Football in the fall, and the boys from day to day is a crapshoot. Their lives season happens indoors in the spring when are whirlwinds of stress and emotion and everybody wants to be outside. Still, a good confusion. 30-40 hit rally during a state playoff game So this isn’t a draft of high school can convert anybody. athletes. This is a draft of high school No. 7: Golf — Sleeper pick alert! Not sports, as I would imagine it to play out if Chace@ only does it feature state championship I gathered three of my closest high school SportStarsOnline.com events in two different seasons, the fall for sports-writing friends and said, “The four girls and spring for boys, but writers are of us are gonna start a new high school (925) 566-8503 often given keys to a golf cart and allowed sports website in California, and we’re to drive around finely manicured country going to hold a draft for the sports we’ll be clubs. And there’s no rule against showing up early to use the reporting on.” driving range. (Note to my boss: This is all VERY hypothetical.) No. 8: Water polo — By this point, most of the sexy state In the true spirit of all drafts, and all sportswriters, this championship sports are gone and there are a number of event would begin with food. Delicious food. Unhealthy different sports that could be taken here based on the writer’s food. Then we would get down to business. Here are the first two preference. Water polo is gaining steam in popularity, though. The pace of the action is fast in most cases, and the quality of rounds (eight picks) with some brief analysis. play at the high school level has drastically increased in recent years as it’s become a more specialized sport as opposed to one that keeps out-of-season athletes in shape. No. 1: Football — Writers claim to love all sports, and Some quick thoughts on some sports not selected in the many do. But nine out of 10 high school sports writers who top two rounds. Soccer: We don’t hate it. It’s just that in some claim they would pick anything other than the pigskin here sections it happens during the winter when writers want to are bold-faced liars. The action is non-stop, and sideline access gives writers unique views and insights that are unpar- be warm, dry and consuming unhealthy food. Cross-country: A state-championship sport that has a devoted following alleled in other sports. It’s also the sport most consumed by much like wrestling, only it’s a tad harder for writer’s to emthe readers. bellish on specific performances because we only see athletes No. 2: Basketball — Hoops has two really good things during one-third of their competition at best. Lacrosse: This going for it. The excitement of the state tournament and the was a toss-up with water polo at the No. 8 position. fact that it’s an indoor sport during a time of year when it’s What would you take No. 1 if following high school sports often very cold outside. State championship sports can not was your job? ✪ be undervalued in a draft like this, especially when they

Second Round:

First Pitch Chace Bryson Editor

First Round

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How many NCAA brackets did you fill out

1

Pro athlete with which you would most want to play

Superhero you’d most like to be a sidekick for

rapidFIRE One company you’d want to endorse

LeBron James

Nike

Kobe Bryant

Nike

Kemba Walker

Nike Free Run

Parker Uu, Jesuit-Carmichael, hoops

0

but I picked Duke upset

Which charity is your favorite

Loaves and fishes

Another time/ place you’d like to live

1980s California

1980s & 90s, California

Kelli Hayes, Archbishop Mitty-SJ, hoops

0

but I helped a few others Rachel Howard, Berkeley, hoops

Breast cancer

America in the Roaring 20s

(shoes)

sayWHAT “The strength of this team IS the team. I don’t know if there is another team in the state that can claim to have played all of its players in every postseason game.” — Bishop O’Dowd girls basketball coach Malik McCord after all 11 Dragons players scored during a 62-24 landslide win over Laguna Hills that claimed the program’s first state title. 8

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Jonathan Hawthorne

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No job is tougher for coach than making roster cuts What’s the hardest part of coaching? A.L., Carmichael

T

hat’s an easy one: Cutting young athletes. It’s especially difficult for me because I was one of those who wasn’t good enough. I like to claim it was because I was just five feet tall as a high school freshman, or that I had a bad knee, but the hard truth is that I just wasn’t very good. Still, that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow, especially when all you want is a chance to play. (A digression: Everyone once in a while, you hear somebody say “I wish it were like the good old days, when kids could play three sports. Now, they specialize and only play one.” That’s just fine and dandy if you happen to be an elite athlete and make all three teams — but what if you’re not? I went to high school when all the jocks played every sport, and basically it meant the same 10 guys played varsity all year round. Now that might make for wonderful nostalgia, but if they had each played one sport, that would have opened up another 20 spots, at least, for other boys to get a chance to play. And if the experience of playing a high school sport is valuable, then shouldn’t as many people as possible get that chance? And how again does having three-sport athletes give more kids an opportunity to learn the lessons of competition?) When a school program is rebuilding, it’s actually easier on the coach, because usually she’s just trying to get kids to come out. There might be just enough girls for a varsity and junior varsity, and the roster sizes are small enough so that almost everyone gets a chance to play — and no one has to be cut. But a successful program draws more kids, and now the competition for spots gets tougher and tougher. A girl who’s worked hard for two years to earn a spot on varsity suddenly is competing with a much more talented freshman who has been attracted by the team’s success — and the inexorable logic of sports suggests how that competition will play itself out. So every coach dreads the conversation with the player who’s worked hard and given everything she has — but everything she has isn’t quite good enough. You try to sugarcoat it, and make the bitter pill as easy to swallow as possible, but there’s no hiding what’s happening: A young person is taking a knife to the heart, and everyone in the room has to watch it slide in. Of course, some cowardly coaches dispense with that scene by just posting a list on the gym wall — which to me is just horrible. If you’re going to cut a young person, have the courage to do it face-to-face. Coaches expect athletes to stand up and be counted in difficult situations, and that’s what coaches should do, too. Ducking the painful conversation about cuts is, as mentioned above, a coward’s way out — and though some may feel “coward” is too strong a word, I don’t. Yes, it’s the hardest thing a coach has to do, but every young person deserves the courtesy of a face-to-face explanation — and every coach needs to have the guts to do so. ✪

Behind the Clipboard Clay Kallam

Oakland A’s second baseman Jemile Weeks Anda Chu/ Oakland Tribune/ Zumapress. com

Wishes for MLB outcomes in 2012

The Major League Baseball season is hard upon us, people. Check the calendar! The A’s and Mariners open in the Far East, like, yesterday. So. What would we like to see out of this year’s baseball season? Try these Top 5 baseball outcomes on for size… 1. 60. Anything. Really. Steal 60 bases. Hit 60 home runs. Get hit by 60 pitches. Throw 60 wild pitches. Do SOMETHING in a quantitative sense that will make us sit up and take notice. Please. We find the pabulum of the post-PED era a pip ponderous. 2. A Yankee-Red Sox-free post-season. Is that so much to ask? C’mon, Tampa Bay! C’mon, Toronto! C’mon… Baltimore? Um. Well. Nevermind. It was worth a shot. 3. Purity. You know what would be sweet? A full season absent the specter of performance enhancing anything. Howzabout we play the game straight, lads? Alrighty then, it’s agreed. No PEDs. No steroids. No shenanigans. Let’s do this! 4. Parity. Tell you what, fellers, the NFL has this one nailed. Anyone, at any time, could jump up and bite you right in the dynasty. Watch out. Maybe this is the year that the Nats/nee Expos score the all-too-coveted NL East playoff bid. Maybe the Cubs matter. Maybe the Astros come out of nowhere to seize a wild-card spot and shock the world. Maybe los Atleticos stun the Goliath-ian Angels and Rangers. Hey. It’s spring. Maybe springs eternal. 5. Paucity*. In keeping with our ‘maybe’ theme, maybe, just MAYBE, this is the year that there is one clear-cut obvious choice for the coveted MVP awards. Like a triple-crown kind of obviousness. So we don’t have to feel like, ‘yeah-but…’ For the record, our ‘straight-cash-homey’ guesses are on Pujols in the AL (how weird is THAT?) and Joey Votto in the NL. Could we have double triple-crown winners? Put it on the board! *a.k.a. Scarcity. For those of you who don’t like to play the alliteration game. — Bill Kolb

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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 Coach Kallam at clayk@fullcourt.com

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No surprise here. When you score 33 points, grab 20 rebounds and live up to endless hype as your team just wins its second straight state championship, it’s tough not to make you the AAA SportStar of the Week. Aaron Gordon came up big against La Costa Canyon-San Diego as the Monarchs won 7857 on March 23. SportStars Magazine: You’ve had a great career so far, what’s your favorite highlight? Aaron Gordon: Winning that second state title. Scoring 33 points and getting 20 boards and winning by 21. We had that target on our backs all season and we were still able to win. That was pretty good. SSM: This must’ve been the most stressful time in your life (battling mononucleosis, basketball season, recruiting, national spotlight, etc.), how did you rise above it all? AG: (laughs) No, man. High school’s pretty stress-free. SSM: What advice did your older brother Drew, star player for the University of New Mexico, give you about the recruiting process? AG: Don’t go through all the glitz and glamour. Just look for a coach that’s looking out for your well being. SSM: What are your summer plans? AG: Playing with the Oakland Soldiers and going to Lithuania with the USA team.

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aaron gordon archbishop mitty-san jose . soph . basketball

honorable mention

kc waters The junior forward posted game-highs in points (14) and rebounds (13) in the CIF Div. III state final as she helped Bishop O’Dowd beat Laguna Hills 62-24 on March 24.

cody blick The San Ramon Valley senior golfer won the Gambetta Invitational shooting a 2-under 70 on March 5 and the San Francisco City Championship (match play) over Weston Payne of Menlo Park at Harding Park on March 11.

rachel howard

James K. Leash AARON’S QUICK HITS Favorite athlete: LeBron or Magic Johnson Favorite team: Knicks Favorite ice cream flavor: Mint chip

The senior got a double-double (13 points, 12 boards) in Berkeley’s NorCal final win over Kennedy-Sacramento and a teamhigh 12 points in a loss to Mater Dei-Santa Ana in the state final.

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Longfellow Middle adds to its title history in boys hoops By erik stordahl | SportStars

Longfellow Middle School-Berkeley coasted to another championship when they defeated King Middle School-Berkeley at the City of Walnut Creek Basketball Invitational on March 16. The tournament was hosted by Foothill Middle School of Walnut Creek and featured eight middle schools from the East Bay. Longfellow was heavily favored entering the invitational. “We’re nine deep,” coach Wallace Johnson said. “All those kids can play.” Zachary Fleming, who was named tournament MVP, Bryant Monroe, also named All-Tournament, and Calvin Randolph paced the Tigers in each of the three games. But they didn’t expect their first game to be their toughest test. “We played WCI (Walnut Creek Intermediate) in the first round,” Johnson said. “And I think we underestimated them, and you can never do that in a tournament.” Indeed, in a tournament like this one, any team was capable of running the table. After all, Joaquin Moraga and Stanley-Lafayette, seeded No. 2 and No. 3 respectively, lost in the first round. Longfellow held it together and beat WCI comfortably by 12 points. From there it was smooth sailing for the Tigers as they beat Albany “by at least 30 points” in the semis then King-Berkeley “by at least 30 points” in the finals. Even with some of the top seeds ousted in the first round, why did Longfellow dominate? “They come to work hard every day,” coach Charles Blackwell said. “And if they don’t work they run. … It’s a team thing or else they have to sit on the bench. I you’re out there being solo, then you’re on the bench.” After getting out to a big lead on King in the finals, the Tigers were able to play their subs the entire fourth quarter. “Everybody loved it,” Blackwell said. “Cause the starters are rooting on the bench guys to score. So, it’s a team effort.” Basketball is just one of the sports in which these schools compete. There’s also girls volleyball, golf, flag football, soccer, cross country and track. “This was the 12th year I was involved in hosting (the basketball tournament),” said Wes Allnutt, program coordinator for the City of Walnut Creek. “The league has been 12

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March 29, 2012

Phil Walton

running it for quite a few years beyond that. I’d say 25-plus years.”

SOFTBALL: San Ramon Slammers tryouts Tryouts for the San Ramon Slammers Select/Travel summer girls fast pitch softball teams are coming up on April 28-29 at San Ramon Central Park, Field 3. The season starts in June and goes through August and entails summer tournament play — roughly two per month — with possible play into late fall. San Ramon Softball prides its organization in fielding experienced and professional level coaches, who focus on developing each player by teaching skills to get each and every player throughout our system ready for high school softball and beyond, regardless of their age. Rosters are age appropriate and as small as possible to maximize playing time. San Ramon SELECT Softball is a non-profit (501c) organization that offers reasonably priced, highlevel softball for players 9-16. The programß strives to keep costs affordable, only needing to charge a reasonable break-even fee. San Ramon SELECT Softball is co-sponsored by the City of San Ramon and has access to San Ramon City Parks and private fields for practices and home games. For those who want to participate in the 2012 softball season you need to attend tryouts. Prospective players can RSVP via email to sales@cardozaandcompany. com to reserve your time. Here’s a breakdown of teams: 10u (girls born in 01, 02); 12u (birthdates in 99, 00); 14u, 13 & 14 year old (birthdates in 97, 98); 16u (birthdates in 96, 95) For more info, visit.sanramonfastpitchsoftball.com, facebook.com/sanramonbaseball. ✪

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Six tips for ACL injury prevention for young female athletes

I

n celebration of the release my new book due out March 29, “The Definitive Guide To Youth Athletic-Strength, Conditioning and Performance” I wanted to cover Female ACL inury prevention strategies, which has it’s own chapter of the book called “Six Strategies For Preventing ACL Injuries Among High School Aged Female Athletes”. This book is in coordination with the IYCA and 21 other leading experts in the youth strength and conditioning field. When it comes to ACL injuries both genders can be injured, this isn’t just a female thing. Still, female ACL injuries do occur at a greater degree, especially at the high school level. The fact is that there are more than 100,000 ACL injuries per year in the United States alone, and 30,000 of these are females of high school age. That’s 30% of all ACL injuries in the U.S.! This is a scary stat that can’t be ignored, and as a parent or coach this should be of great concern to you. So why are young female athletes so prone to ACL injuries? And what prevention strategies must be taken to ensure your young athlete doesn’t become another ACL injury statistic? Let me quickly cover the gender factor, something that is God given and can’t be changed. Female athletes have wider hips, putting a higher valgus stress angle on their knees (knees inward), a stress that is the major factor of most non-contact ACL injuries. Now without an appropriate training program, this genetic factor can be a major factor in the unusual high number of ACL injuries. Females, who are weak due to bad training programs, tend to be more quadricep dominant, something we don’t want when talking about protecting the knee. So basically the front leg muscles (quad muscles) of the leg are much stronger than the back muscles of the legs and hips (hamstring and butt muscles) which are important for knee stability and the ability to safely and efficiently change direction. When we’re talking ACL injury reduction strategies, all of the components below must be integrated into your young athletes training programs. You will find that a great training program is a great ACL injury prevention and rehab program. Here are the six strategies I use with all my young athletes, male or female… 1) Active Warm-up 2) Power and Stability- Eccentric as Foundation i.e.: Landing Skills 3) Strength 4) Change of Direction Concepts 5) Change of Direction Conditioning 6) Nutrition Basically, it comes down to functional training — a much misunderstood term. Trainers must understand how the body works and apply that knowledge to their young female athletic training program. Sports are played on a single leg, and a trainer must understand the functional anatomy on a single leg and the needed pelvic stability to properly prepare your young athlete for the demands of their sport, not only for increased speed, power and agility, but most importantly for injury prevention. Power is not gender specific. Trainers lower the bar for female athletes resulting in bad eccentric strength, which in turn makes them bad decelerators and greatly increases potential for an ACL injury. Trainers need to stop lowering the bar for female athletes. They would be surprised what female athletes are capable of by empowering them to get stronger and more powerful. By implementing these strategies, you can be confident your athlete won’t become another ACL injury statistic. ✪

Training Time Tim Rudd for IYCA

Tim Rudd is an International Youth Conditioning Association specialist in youth conditioning (level 3), speed and agility (level 2), and nutrition specialist (level 1). For more information on anything you read in Training Time, email him at tim@fit2thecore.com.

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mitty's Mitty's m M No stranger to state, a versatile and gritty Archbishop Mitty girls team knew when to shine brightest

“I

By mitch stephens | Contributor

t’s like clockwork,” Archbishop Mitty girls basketball coach Sue Phillips said. Around the third month of each year, ninth-year assistant Joe Guerra makes the pronouncement to any and all who want – or don’t want – to hear. “Don’t bet against us in March,” he says. Said Phillips: “He loves to say that to the team and coaching staff. I guess it truly came to fruition this year.” He just forgot to add February as well. The Monarchs, showing off a uniquely interchangeable, skilled and versatile squad — not to mention tenacious — especially for such a young team, rolled to their fifth state title with a 56-54 triumph over equally tough J.W. North-Riverside in the Division II championship game at Power Balance Pavilion on March 23. The week before, Mitty pulled out an even more impressive victory, 53-51 over three-time defending state champion and nationally-ranked St. Mary’s-Stockton, also at Power Balance. The pair of two-point victories capped a banner 28-5 season and completed a 13-game win streak that started following a painful-but-beneficial 55-49 loss to St. Ignatius on Jan. 27. The Monarchs, with just three seniors on the team, took some lumps early against top caliber competition, but gradually picked up steam to win 23 of their final 24. As many of Phillips’ teams do, this Mitty steam train powered through its final destination hitting full speed. Phillips is now 557-96 in her 19-year career. Along with the five state crowns, she’s won nine Northern California titles. “All of them are wonderful and I don’t take any for granted,” Phillips said. “This team believed in one another and bought into what we’ve tried to teach from day one. It’s a very special group.”

Versatility reigns Besides team chemistry — “One of the best I’ve ever been around,” Phillips said — what made these Monarchs so special was their ability to adjust. And boy did they need to when starting 5-foot-8 point guard Vanessa Garner, a Division I college prospect, went down with a knee injury in a 54-51 NorCal semifinal win over CarondeletConcord. 16

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march March Mitty had to maneuver on the run — literally. Garner went down early in the game and the Monarchs fell behind by double digits. But 6-1 sophomore forward Kelli Hayes moved to guard. Combo guards Emily Dinger (5-10) and 5-9 Kalyn Simon handled the point. Amanda Lovely, a 6-3 forward who is headed to Pepperdine, helped share the ball-handling duties. Though not as symmetrical or complete with Garner in the lineup, Mitty seemed to get tougher. It bore down on defense, which led to a 17-0 run over almost six minutes, against a very quick and skilled Carondelet, who averaged more than 70 points per game during the regular season. It didn’t hurt that Hayes, one of the top sophomores in the country, had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Simon had 10 points. A concerted effort to hold down super-quick point guard Natalie Romeo was also key. She averaged more than 17 points per game, but finished with six. “If all else fails or goes wrong, we can always play defense,” Lovely said.

Ultimate test – St. Mary’s Three days later, Mitty’s mettle, defense and ball skills would be put to the ultimate test against St. Mary’s, ranked as high as No. 8 nationally. These Rams bend opponents in half with stifling pressure, long-range 3-pointers and a deep and endless bench. They put every foe and coaching staff on edge, with a relentless, unyielding attack that has led to seven state titles, 30 straight playoff wins and 27 consecutive wins in 2011-12. In the early going, the St. Mary’s pressure was stifling. It caused 11 Mitty turnovers in the first quarter and it trailed 11-8. But the Monarchs clawed back thanks largely to a tenacious, switching defense that allowed just 31 percent shooting (17 of 55), and aggressive board work (51 rebounds to 32). They also took care of the ball the last three quarters, utilizing short, high percentage passes and keeping the ball up high against the shorter Rams. Furthermore, they held St. Mary’s leading scorer Courtney Range to just eight points. It all added up to a historic win for the Monarchs, who fought back from a nine point deficit and scored the game winning basket on a perfect touch pass from senior forward Courtney Lisowski to a streaking Hayes down the middle of the court. Hayes laid the ball in with 25.9 seconds left to break a 51-51 tie. “The pass was surreal,” Hayes said. “I was cutting down the middle and it was 50-50 whether she could get the pass there.” Mitty had to make a couple more stops, which they did, capping a remarkable fourth-quarter defensively. St. Mary’s, which averages more than 75 points per game, was held to eight in the final stanza and 24 points below its season average. Hayes was everywhere with a game-high 23 points and Lovely was befitting of her name with 12 points and 12 rebounds. “This is my senior year,” she said after the game. “This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of. We’re so together. This feels amazing.” Said Hayes: “It was a total team effort. We all had to pick it up without Vanessa.” Said Phillips: “Defense and rebounding told the story.” It certainly helped to have Phillips directing the action every moment. From the sideline, she constantly reminded the team to look “forward. Look up. Attack.” Even with the game on the line. Lisowski, dribbling hard up the left sideline, certainly could have hung on to the ball and slowed things up. But she followed Support Your Local Business • Say You Found Them In SportStars™

“This is my senior year. This is the best team I’ve ever been a part of. We’re so together. This feels amazing.” Amanda Lovely

LEFT: Archbishop Mitty sophomore Kelli Hayes drives to the basket during the Division II state final on March 23. Hayes’ play at the guard position was a huge factor in the Monarchs’ state title run. Butch Noble photo

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her coach’s season long instruction to be aggressive. Fearless. “We always try to be the aggressor,” Hayes said. “No matter what time of the game it is.” And no matter how big a win St. Mary’s was, Hayes said, “we can’t celebrate too long. We have one more to get.” That was JW North.

Going South Things didn’t exactly go according to plan against North. Many plans went South, in fact. Simon was supposed to be the defensive stopper. She tied for game-high honors with 16 points and added four steals. Dinger, who was just 2-for-14 against St. Mary’s, missed five early 3-pointers. She came back to hit three 3s in the second half to also score 16. “She’s got the shooters mentality,” Phillips said. “Even when they aren’t going in you have to keep shooting and she did and it paid off for us.” Lovely had trouble shooting, making just 2 of 13. But she made four clutch free throws down the stretch and a key jumper in the fourth quarter. She also had a game-high 12 rebounds. Then there was Hayes, brilliant all season, especially in the postseason, who couldn’t hang on to the ball. She had eight turnovers. But she also had 13 points. They needed every one of them to hold off

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James K. Leash

Coach Sue Phillips, left, pumps her fist in excitement as the Archbishop Mitty bench erupts in elation upon winning the Northern Regional final 53-51 over St. Mary’s-Stockton on March 17. a resilient North team that fought back from an eight-point fourth quarter deficit to make it close. But the Monarchs were too battletested, too smart, too good to let that lead slip

away. Two free throws by Dinger, four by Lovely and two by Hayes down the stretch, kept the Monarchs in front.

“It’s a young team, but a composed team,” Phillips said. “They learned how to win. They learned how to persevere.” They needed all that resolve and perseverance to knock off North, which made one of the greatest turnarounds in state history. Last season, North was 4-19, but quickly improved to 30-6 thanks largely to three transfers and a new coach. “JW North lived up to all its billing,” Phillips said. “They were resilient and tough to the finish. I feel very fortunate we came out on top.” North coach Leonard DeCoud agreed and guaranteed a win in next year’s state championship. “Going from 4-21 (last year) to where we are now, this was a total win no matter what it says on the scoreboard,” he said. “I’ll tell you what, we’ll be back here next year. I guarantee you that.” Phillips would never make such a claim. She knows the road is far too bumpy and weather too unpredictable. But with all but Lovely, Dinger and reserve Margaret Sun returning, the Monarchs are a good bet to return to Power Balance Pavilion next season. As long as the tournament remains in March. ✪ Mitch Stephens is a national columnist for MaxPreps.com.

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Not In the Script Confident St. Joseph Notre Dame nearly repeats as state champs

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St. Joseph senior Gemeny Givens was part of three Pilots teams to reach the state final in his four-year varsity career. Jonathan Hawthorne photo

By Chace Bryson | Editor

emeny Givens couldn’t speak with enthusiasm, but he didn’t have any problem finding perspective following his final game in a St. Joseph Notre Dame High uniform. After four years in the Pilots’ program, he was walking in the catacombs of Power Balance Pavilion after playing in the state final — the third time he’s been able to experience such a walk, but the second time it’s come following a loss. “I’m just blessed,” he said while fixing his stare on the concrete as he walked. “To say three out of four years I went to state, and to have the pleasure of winning one last year. And to play on four great teams and get a chance to play for Coach (Don) Lippi who got his 700th win and I got to be a part of that — it’s a beautiful thing and I just feel blessed.” Such a beautiful thing was supposed to finish with one more victory. After rolling through the California Interscholastic Federation Northern Regional playoffs with lopsided wins of 73-29, 66-45 and 77-53, the defending Division V state champions couldn’t have been more confident heading into the 11:30 tip-off time on March 24. Especially seeing as how the night before, the Pilots watched as fellow Bay Shore Athletic League foe Salesian won the Division IV championship. However, St. Joseph’s Southern California opponent, Village Christian-Sun Valley — playing in its first state final — had one thing the Pilots didn’t. Size. Lots of it. The Crusaders boasted a three-man front court of 6-foot-7 Maquis Salmon, 6-foot-7 Marsalis Johnson and 6-foot-6 Andrew English. They also started 6-foot-5 sophomore guard Bryant Alberts. St. Joseph held just one lead the entire contest, a 9-8 margin with 5:40 left in the first half. They trailed 20-18 at halftime and 37-35 after three quarters. Village Christian pushed its lead to seven early into the fourth quarter and the Pilots were never able to get closer than four the rest of the way. The Crusaders won their 32nd game of the season 62-51. “We talked about how their are four things you have to do win a championship,” Lippi said. “One, you got to get there. Two, you got to make your layups. Three, you got to make your free throws. And four, you have to believe you worked harder than the other team to get there. I think everything was good except maybe the free throws.” St. Joseph made just 12 of 21 shots from the foul line. Givens wasn’t about to fault his team’s effort. “I think we gave it our all,” said the senior, who with 14 points was one of just two Pilots to score in double figures. Sophomore center Temidayo Yussuf lead St. Joseph with 15 points. “I don’t think anybody held anything back. You have to give credit to the other team. They came out and wanted it probably just as bad as we did.” Four Crusaders players finished in double figures. The size advantage also led to 11 blocked shots. Moments before Givens took his last walk through the depths of the NBA arena, he offered the final phrase of the Pilots’ postgame press conference. “We didn’t get our movie ending like we would’ve liked,” he said. “But this ain’t Hollywood.” ✪

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takingflight With a second chance at his first state title, Jabari Bird didn’t blink

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By erik stordahl | SportStars

abari Bird grabbed the ball and raced up the floor. With nobody between him and the basket, the Salesian-Richmond forward threw down a ferocious dunk. It’s hard to call anything a breakout performance when one is ranked among the top juniors in the nation, but Bird’s dunk capped off a sizzling 24-point effort that clearly served notice of his arrival. One minute later, Salesian captured its second California Interscholastic Federation Division IV state championship as they knocked off Price-Los Angeles 70-56 on March 23. The venue was a familiar sight to Bird and the Pride as Power Balance Pavilion hosted Salesian in the 2011 Div. IV state final when they were upset by Windward-Los Angeles 63-57. With the bitter taste of that defeat still lingering, Salesian exalted in its opportunity to dance at half court when the game ended this time around. “Last year, when we lost in this game there were definitely some nerves,” Salesian head coach Bill Mellis said. “I think when you play this game the first time it’s a big stage. We felt like this year we scheduled our non-conference schedule a certain way. “We went to Florida, we played really good games in front of big crowds down there. And then a couple games down the stretch in our non-league season, Sheldon (of Sacramento, a 63-61 Pride win on Feb. 4), St. Joe’s Notre Dame (an 87-48 Pride win on Feb. 18), we beat two teams that are representing D1 and D5 (respectively).” The trial-by-fire schedule paid off as Salesian’s only two losses came against Florida powerhouses, Montverde Academy and Blanche Ely-Pompano Beach during the City of Palms Classic in December. That experience sharpened the team and helped spark its impressive run against California teams, which culminated on this Friday afternoon leaving Bird emotional when the buzzer sounded. “It was a combination of things … last year’s game and winning it all this year,” Bird said of his unabashed emotions right after the final buzzer. “It really means a lot to me and the rest of my teammates.” After first quarter jitters wore off, Salesian found itself trailing 16-10 and buckled down as it applied its signature defensive pressure on Price. When all was said and done, the Pride had forced eight steals — including four from junior Mario Dunn — and Price was left with 19 turnovers for the game, several of which created fast break opportunities and easy buckets. “We felt like we had opportunities to get out and run” Mellis said. “A lot of that had to do with going back to the rebounding thing. If we’re not securing the defensive rebound then we can’t really get out and run.”

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Butch Noble

ABOVE: Freddie Tagaloa, center, embraces teammate Jeffrey Parker while Davion Mize looks on during the moments immediately following the Pride’s state final victory on March 23. RIGHT: Salesian’s nationally-ranked junior standout Jabari Bird drives to the rim for two of his game-high 24 points against Price-L.A.

Salesian was able to secure those boards thanks in large part to senior big man Freddie Tagaloa. A massive 6-foot8 and 300 pounds, the Cal-bound offensive lineman inhaled a team-high nine rebounds and limited secondchance opportunities for Price. He and fellow senior Davion Mize were freshmen on the Pride squad that shocked Bishop Montgomery-Torrance, led by current Cal guard Justin Cobbs, in the 2009 Div. IV state title game on a buzzer-beating layup by Kendall Andrews. How does this championship compare with that one? “We had a lot of good talents that year like Jabari Brown and Dominic Artis,” Mize said. “And this year I feel like we had something to prove for losing last year.” After losing in the state final in 2011, Artis, the team’s

highly-recruited point guard, transferred to national powerhouse Findlay Prep-Henderson, NV., for his senior season. But the Pride never skipped a beat. In fact, since losing to Blanche Ely on Dec. 20, Salesian reeled off 27 consecutive victories to close out the season. That streak included wins over the aforementioned Sheldon and St. Joseph – both of which lost their respective state championship games on March 24 – along with Sacramento at the MLK Classic on Jan. 16. The Pride didn’t simply beat its opponents in the North Coast Section playoffs and CIF Northern Regionals, they steamrolled them. Salesian outscored its postseason competition by an average of 38 points per game, which led to Mellis and his players answering questions the whole week wondering if they were battle-tested enough for Price. “We’ve been hearing all week about how we weren’t battle tested down the stretch of the season,” Mellis said. “We had to answer that question a million times and I respectfully disagree. And I think that was a motivating factor for us. We were reading articles from all over the place. … To say that we weren’t (battle tested), I’m not so sure about that.” The turning point in the game occurred in the third quarter with Salesian trailing 32-31. The Pride went on a 9-0 run capped by a Bird dunk at the 5:49 mark to give them a lead they would never relinquish. In the fourth quarter, Salesian clamped down on defense yet again, drawing three charges in the final eight minutes. Mize drew two of them. “Rebounds and defense are the most important things for us,” said Mize, who scored four points and grabbed four rebounds in his final high school game. “Our coaches told us to take charges and that’s a good thing most of us do, and that’s a big (momentum) turnaround.” Since Salesian had both boys and girls teams playing in back-to-back state finals that Friday afternoon, school administrators canceled classes for the day and transported students to Power Balance Pavilion. So even though the game was played at a neutral site, the Pride’s cheering section made it feel like a home game. “It’s the most our school ever supported us this whole year,” Mize said of the school holiday. “And our football team won the championship this year, so our faculty’s feeling good about us.” And with little personnel turnover (only Tagaloa and Mize are graduating), there’s no reason to believe Salesian couldn’t end up at Power Balance Pavilion again next year, especially with Bird leading the way. “(Bird’s) a really good player. We knew that coming in,” Price head coach Michael Lynch said. “We didn’t think that we could stop him, we just wanted to contain him a little bit.” ✪ Upload photos and team stats! www.SportStarsOnline.com


Boys FINAL Top 20 Rank (Last Wk.) School Record 1. (1) Salesian-Richmond..................................34-2 2. (3) Archbishop Mitty-San Jose ......................31-3 3. (5) Sheldon-Sacramento...............................29-6 4. (6) Jesuit-Sacramento....................................27-7 5. (2) De La Salle-Concord................................28-3 6. (12) Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F...................28-6 7. (4) Newark Memorial-Newark........................28-5 8. (7) Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland..........................26-6 9. (13) Serra-San Mateo....................................24-7 10. (19) McClymonds-Oakland..........................19-11 11. (14) Deer Valley-Antioch..............................28-9 12. (NR) St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda......29-5 13. (13) Foothill-Sacramento.............................29-4 14. (NR) Chico....................................................27-4 15. (8) Antelope..................................................30-2 16. (NR) Center-Antelope..................................23-9 17. (16) Bella Vista-Fair Oaks............................26-6 18. (8) Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove.....................24-7 19. (NR) Piedmont Hills-San Jose.....................28-4 20. (17) Freedom-Oakley...................................21-8 girls FINAL Top 20 Rank (Last Wk.) School Record 1. (2) Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland..........................30-3 2. (8) Archbishop Mitty-San Jose.......................28-5 3. (1) St. Mary’s-Stockton...................................30-4 4. (4) Berkeley....................................................27-3 5. (3) Carondelet-Concord.................................27-4 6. (7) Miramonte-Orinda.....................................31-2 7. (5) Sacramento...............................................26-7 8. (9) St. Ignatius-S.F..........................................26-6 9. (14) Salesian-Richmond................................31-5 10. (10) Modesto Christian................................27-7 11. (12) Casa Grande-Petaluma.......................31-3 12. (6) St. Mary’s-Berkeley................................27-8 13. (20) Brookside Christian-Stockton..............30-4 14. (13) Dougherty Valley-San Ramon.............21-10 15. (NR) Kennedy-Sacramento.........................26-9 16. (16) Deer Valley-Antioch..............................22-9 17. (18) Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove...................22-10 18. (NR) Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills..................25-9 19. (NR) McNair-Stockton..................................28-5 20. (19) Lincoln-Stockton...................................22-6

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Salesian girls leave first state finals ready to “get tougher” After a magical run in the North Coast Section and CIF Northern Regional playoffs, the SalesianRichmond girls basketball team succumbed to La Jolla Country Day 72-41 in the CIF Div. IV state championship on March 23. Still, Pride head coach Stephen Pezzola was smiling afterward. “We will sorely miss our seniors, but we are a very young team,” Pezzola said. “I think we will come back and be a better team next year, and we’ll be ready for more challenges. It’s a good learning experience.” Make no mistake, La Jolla is a powerhouse. They’re nationally ranked – some media outlets have them as No. 1 in California and Top 3 in the country – and loaded with talent. Junior sharpshooter Kelsey Plum tied the CIF girls record with five 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 32 points. Because of Plum’s hot start, Salesian found itself in familiar territory when it trailed 18-3 after the first quarter. “We were down, I think, 22-7 against St. Mary’s (of Berkeley) in the NCS final,” Pezzola said. “So getting down is something we’re used to on the scoreboard, but we don’t get down on ourselves.” Although she had never played at Power Balance Pavilion before, Plum knew she’d fit right in. “I think as a shooter you can’t doubt yourself,” Plum said. “And the biggest thing with shooting is confidence. But I think the reason I got open shots, my teammates set great screens and they happened to put a lot of focus on Maya (Hood) and Malina (Hood).” The Hood twins are both headed to the University of San Diego next season. Maya posted a doubledouble with 19 points and 13 rebounds and Malina added 10 points. Mariya Moore, the Pride’s sophomore forward and undisputed leader, started clicking offensively in the third quarter by scoring 12 of her team’s 14 points. But by then it was too late. She finished with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals. “We definitely will toughen up our schedule. I think that that did help (La Jolla Country Day),” Pezzola said. “But being very young, our schedule this year was much tougher than it was the previous year. ... But, yeah, we will toughen it up.” ✪ — Erik Stordahl

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Kian McNair, left, and her Salesian teammates found it tough to get anywhere offensively against the defense of nationallyranked La Jolla Country Day. The lopsided state final loss should still serve as valuable experience to players like McNair, who is only a freshman for the Pride. Butch Noble photo

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Acclimating and adjusting to swimming in open water

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pring is here, and it’s time for open water swimming! If you are new to triathlon, swimming in open water can be a daunting idea.  However, open water swimming should be, and is, a fun aspect of triathlon training.  First, know that swimming in open water is very much like swimming in a pool: you use the same strokes, you breath the same, you swim the same. However, there are a few tips and strategies that will help you swim more effectively and efficiently in open water. But for the most part, swimming is swimming, whether in a pool or other body of water.   Basic Skills for first-time open water swimmers 1. COLD WATER ACCLIMATION. In the pool, the first 5-10 minutes is spent with a “warm up” meaning actually swimming laps. In open water, you must ease in. You should always plan for at least 5-10 minutes before you even swim to acclimate to the cold water.  Cold water can be shocking, especially on your face. Each time you enter a body of water, take the time to just be in the water. Liz Elliott Feel the water on your body, put your face in, and relax. Figure out the best methods for you to become comfortable and acclimate to cold water, and practice them at each open water swim. You will find that acclimating for at least 10 minutes before a race will make you more comfortable, and will make the race experience more pleasant. Acclimation steps: Dunk you head. Get your face wet. Scoop water into the front of your wetsuit. Pull on the arm openings of the wetsuit to allow water in through the arms. Pull the arms up so you have room in your chest area. Pull on the leg openings on your lower legs to allow water in through the legs. Pull up the legs to have more room in your groan area, and so that the wetsuit is pulled up, and fits snugly against your body — no sagging. After each step, take a moment to feel comfortable with that one change before moving slowly into the next phase. You will find that the water in the wetsuit actually warms within seconds, creating better insulation between the wetsuit and your skin. All the adjusting will allow better range of motion while swimming.  2. RESETTING. The first way to get over a fear is to face it, but most importantly, to know what to do after. If you are new to swimming in open water, and even if you’ve been doing it for years, there is what I like to call, the “freak out factor.” You are in, well, open water. It’s okay to be a little freaked out. Just like the first time you got on your bike, or used clip pedals. It’s what you do after the freak-out to reset that matters.   Many factors can distract or throw you off your game when swimming in open water. Something may touch you, you may run into a lane line, or you may have trouble seeing under the water. After you’ve had “a moment” learn the best way to “reset”.  Find a way to reset your mind, and your body position. The best body position to reset is streamline position, face down with arms above your head, and kicking. This will reset your actual swimming position, and prepare you for the next phase of the swim. If you are newer to open water, you can also try a back float.  Mostly, relax, have fun, and swim like you do in the pool. 3. Open water safety and comfort. You will need a wetsuit. Even if you are planning to compete in a warm-water, non-wetsuit race (races with water temperature 77 degrees or higher) you will need a wetsuit for practice in your local swimming venues. A wetsuit will keep you warm and comfortable in cooler water, aide in floatation. It will help by making you more buoyant, and staying in correct posture more easily, but you still must maintain your head position in line with your spine, just like in the pool.   A brightly-colored swim cap should always be worn when swimming in any open body of water. Heat escapes from your head and your feet. A swim cap, even just a latex cap, will keep heat from escaping so rapidly. Wearing a brightly colored cap will help others see you. If you are wearing a wetsuit material neoprene cap, wear a second, brightly colored swim cap on top so you are more easily visible.  Always swim with a buddy, and in a supervised area. For swimming in water 55 degrees or below, a “squid lid” — a swim cap made of wetsuit material and booties of wetsuit material are recommended.  ✪

Tri Steps

Liz Elliott is the Head Coach of the Tri-Valley Triathlon Club based in Dublin, CA. She specializes in preparing beginner triathletes for their first race(s). TVTC is an all inclusive endurance club for adults and features a summer high school team to debut in June2. Contact her at Liz@TriValleyTriClub.com. Find previous TriSteps columns at SportStarsOnline.com

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El Cerrito baseball gears up for ACCAL, Easter Classic By Chace Bryson | Editor

All records through March 26 Rank (Last wk) School............................... Record 1. (1) Valley Christian-San Jose......................11-1 2. (2) St. Mary’s-Stockton.................................6-3 3. (4) Campolindo-Moraga...............................4-1 4. (5) St. Francis-Mountain View.....................12-0-1 5. (6) Jesuit-Carmichael...................................3-2 6. (7) Palo Alto..................................................11-2-1 7. (9) De La Salle-Concord..............................4-1 8. (3) Elk Grove................................................2-2 9. (10) Davis.....................................................4-2 10. (11) St. Ignatius-S.F....................................9-2-1 11. (14) Granite Bay.........................................6-0 12. (8) Foothill-Pleasanton...............................7-1 13. (12) Deer Valley-Antioch............................6-1 14. (16) Monte Vista-Danville..........................4-2 15. (NR) Bellarmine-San Jose.........................7-6 16. (15) Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills.................3-2 17. (18) James Logan-Union City....................4-3 18. (19) San Ramon Valley-Danville...............4-2 19. (20) Acalanes-Lafayette.............................5-2 20. (NR) Granada-Livermore...........................5-3 DROPPED OUT: No. 13 Archbishop Mitty-San Jose; No. 17 Serra-San Mateo BIGGEST MOVER: Bellarmine, which was the last team cut from our preseason poll, jumps into the rankings at No. 15 after a tough 1-0 loss to No. 1 Valley Christian on March 20 and a blowout win over previous No. 13 Archbishop Mitty on March 23. Keep an eye on new No. 20 Granada, which enters on the heels of back-to-back wins over No. 12 Foothill and No. 13 Deer Valley. TEAMS REMAINING FROM PRESEASON TOP 20: 14 KNOCKING AT THE DOOR: Alameda (3-2), Casa Grande-Petaluma (6-2), Tracy (8-3), Castro Valley (6-3), Northgate-Walnut Creek (7-1), College Park-Pleasant Hill (3-2).

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It was a loaded question, but to his credit, El Cerrito High baseball coach Brian Nichols fielded it with a lighthearted chuckle. Are your hitters and pitchers having a contest to see who can post a lower number? “Hitting-wise, it just seems that everyone is in a slump at the same time right now,” the Gauchos coach said. “I don’t expect that to continue, but at the same time it’s really frustrating.” However, it’s a frustration that’s a little easier stomach since El Cerrito is still winning — primarily because the team’s pitching has been so good. Through March 26, Gauchos pitchers have allowed just eight earned runs over eight games for a clean ERA of 1.00. Adding that effort to a strong defensive lineup has helped cover up an offense which is still trying to claw it’s way above .200. All in all, Nichols can still smile as his team prepared for its Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League opener on March 28 after a 5-2-1 start to its season. Even if it’s not quite the way he expected to reach such a record. “I thought we would pitch pretty well but maybe not this well,” the coach said. “I thought we’d play really good defense, and we’re playing better than I thought. And I thought we’d be a team who would hit around .280 or .300. So I’m surprised that we’ve come out of the gate this slow. That’s really all we’re working on at practice, is hitting.” El Cerrito will have four league games to try and get all three phases clicking before it’s usual visit to the Alhambra Easter Classic in Martinez. First round games will be played on April 7. El Cerrito’s half of the bracket includes three teams that entered the last week of March with strong records, including Salesian (5-1-1) and the host Bulldogs (7-3). The Gaucho\ s open the tournament against St. Joseph Notre Dame, a team which has struggled to begin the season with a lot of close

Jonathan Hawthorne/SSM file

Shea Harrison leads an El Cerrito pitching staff that was extremely productive over the first month of the season. Harrison posted a 1.27 ERA over his first six appearances. The Gauchos staff as a whole carried a 1.00 ERA through March 26. losses. But before Nichols can worry about the tournament field, he’ll be focused on getting a jump on the ACCAL competition for a league title race that he thinks could feature as many as four teams. “I think Alameda is probably the team to beat again,” Nichols said. “Anytime you win the league and feature the

Stampede!

If softball is your cup of tea, then the only tournament you need to know about is happening at Robertson Park in Livermore from April 5-7. The 18th Annual Livermore Stampede will feature an impressive collection of teams, as always. The 16-team field will feature four defending section champions, including Krista Williams (pictured) and Amador Valley (North Coast Section Div. I champs in 2011), state-ranked Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (Central Coast Section Div. II champs), Alhambra (NCS Div. III) and Rodriguez-Fairfield (Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III).

Butch Noble

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returning MVP (David Elzig) and Pitcher of the Year (Trent Yee), you’ve got to be the favorite. Berkeley has played a tough preseason schedule, and I expect them to battle for it. ... Pinole Valley is improved, too. “If we don’t hit, it’s going to be tough for us. But if we start hitting a bit, we have a chance.” Pitching and defense will continue to keep the Gauchos in games, however. Over his first 22 innings of work on the year, El Cerrito’s No. 1 starter Shea Harrison is allowing an opponents’ batting average of just .122. The senior had struck out 17 and walked just five. In fact, avoiding free passes has been a huge factor in the pitching staff’s success to this point. The Gauchos surrendered just 14 walks over their first 53 innings of action. “We make the team put it in play and play really good defense,” said Nichols, making sure to note his belief that senior Charlie Caccamo is one of the best shortstops in the East Bay. “In high school baseball, if you don’t walk anybody, a team usually needs to get three hits in an inning to score on you.” Three of El Cerrito’s first five wins were shutout victories. And, not unexpectedly based on their hitting woes, but both of their first two losses were of the same variety. “We’ve just got to work our way out of it,” Nichols said. “We need to keep working on their swing. The ultimate goal is to try and get them to be better players.” In the meantime, they’ll make it a point to keep their pitchers healthy. ✪

Mark The Calendar Aside from the Alhambra Easter

Classic, here are three other baseball tournaments taking place in

the Bay Area as we head toward mid-April.

■ Willie Stargell Memorial Classic, March 31-April 2 at Encinal ■ Knights of Columbus

Tournament, April 2-5 at Serra-San Mateo

■ Crown Classic April 9-12 at Valley Christian-San Jose

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A glimpse at the guys behind the dish Northern California is one of the most plentiful regions for producing professional baseball players. Take a look at the big league rosters and you will find all-star caliber players such as Dustin Pedroia (Woodland), Jimmy Rollins (Alameda), and CC Sabathia (Vallejo) and of course many players who are not stars but solid, well established big leaguers. However, one position that is not well represented is catcher. In fact, the only one that comes to mind is former Castro Valley High and Stanford catcher Jason Castro, who is expected to be the starter for the Astros. Maybe the high school classes of 2013 and 2014 will change that, because at Bay Area World Series 2012 (BAWS) there are going to be quite a few catchers who will get strong attention from Division I colleges, and eventually develop into professional prospects. Among the seniors, the top catcher is Paddy O’Brien of Miramonte High. O’Brien signed with Santa Clara University last fall and participated at BAWS 2010 after his sophomore year. He has the arm strength, raw power and size that has earned him the attention of scouts. Collin Theroux of Serra is a talented senior catcher who signed with the University of Nevada. Theroux has the tools and size (and passion) for the pro game but college will give him time to polish his game. Daniel Comstock of Petaluma and Tyler Kiefer of WilcoxSanta Clara both remain uncommitted after making the transition from third base to catcher for their senior years. Both are college caliber players who can hit. Comstock could follow in the footsteps of a former Petaluma catcher who was unsigned until late into the summer after his senior year yet still got his chance at the D1 level: Chadd Krist of Cal. Theroux, Comstock, Kiefer and Krist were all BAWS performers. The consensus top junior catcher in the region, from a scouting perspective, is Francis Christy of Casa GrandePetaluma. Christy is a prototypical prospect. He is big, strong, has a plus arm and good raw power. Even better: he’s a lefty. A few more top juniors to be aware of are Jacob Tonascia (San Benito-Hollister), Cody Snider (Dougherty Valley-San Ramon), and Dylan Isquirdo (Foothill-Pleasanton). All three of these outstanding juniors will be at BAWS 2012. There are also a couple of sophomores in the area who are already standing out, both of whom play in the West Catholic Athletic League: Tim Susnara (St. Francis High) and Jackson Thoreson (Bellarmine Prep), both of whom will be at BAWS 2012. ✪

Scout It Out Loud

Blaine Clemmons

Blaine Clemmons is the founder and director for the Bay Area World Series showcase. He has been a Bay Area scout for several years, spending time as the recruiting coordinator for USF and the Northern Californa scouting supervisor for the Atlanta Braves. For more information on the Bay Area World Series, visit www.bayareaworldseries.com

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Getting hip to hip pain, and where it’s coming from A s a former collegiate long jumper and 400 meter runner, I had my share of hip pain while competing. The usual advice I got from my coaches was, “Oh, it’s probably a muscle strain. Put some ice on it and it will get better.” As I transitioned to coaching track athletes after my competing days (before I started my surgical training), I felt there had to be a better explanation than a muscle “strain” for the varying degrees of hip pain my athletes were experiencing. Over the past decade, our knowledge of the athletes’ hip has exponentially increased. The hip is at risk for athletic injuries because it not only gives tremendous mobility to the lower body, but it also has to be able to handle loads which are several times one’s body weight during running and jumping. The hip is a complex “ball and socket” joint. The “ball” is the top part of the long bone in the thigh called the femur. This top part of the bone, or “ball,” is also referred to as the femoral head and neck. The “socket” is the acetabulum which is one part of the pelvic bone. Within the acetabulum is a cartilage structure called the labrum which deepens the “socket” and increases the surface area and strength of the hip. The femoral head and neck “ball” fit into the acetabular / labral “socket.” In addition, multiple structures including muscles, ligaments, and tendons are located on or around the hip joint. The general clinical rule which is utilized is that hip pain located near or in the groin region is generally coming from a source inside the hip joint (intra-articular). Pain located outside of the groin area is generally coming from a source outside of the hip joint (extra-articular). The one exception to this rule are strains of the adductor muscles, which are the muscles on the inside of the leg that are injured in a groin “pull.” Muscular injuries are the general source of non-articular hip pain. Lateral-sided upper thigh pain is generally coming from the illiotibial (IT) band. It is a band of tissue which runs from the top part of the pelvic bone all the way down to the knee. It not only can be a source of pain from overuse/inflexibility, but can also give athletes a snapping sensation which feels like the hip is “dislocating” when it is tight. In addition, multiple other muscles originate around the hip joint including the adductors (inside of leg), hamstrings and glutes (back of leg), and quadriceps (front of leg). Not only can they get injured around the hip joint (rather than further down the leg—more common) but they can also pull off pieces of bone (i.e. avulsion fractures) when injured. The majority of the time these muscular injuries can be treated with rest, activity modification, and physical therapy. Pain located in the groin can be a bit more concerning since it may mean something is wrong intra-articularly. Long-distance runners can potentially have a stress fracture of the femoral neck which cannot be ignored, and can be devastating if they progress to a complete fracture. Patients may need to be on crutches for several weeks, and in rare cases need surgery. Patients who have had a twisting injury or engage in sports which place their hip in extreme ranges of motion such as dancers, martial artists, or hockey goalies can tear their labrum. If after a period of rest and rehab the pain continues, labral tears may need to be addressed through surgery. Finally, some patients may have a condition called femoral-acetabular impingement (FAI); especially if they have groin pain and decreased motion. This is a condition in which there is a small extra “bump” of bone on the top of your femur (called a “cam” lesion) or on your acetabulum (called a “pincer” lesion) that causes pain when your hip moves. Once again, if activity modification and rest do not relieve the pain, surgery may be necessary. With our current knowledge, hip pain doesn’t need to be brushed off anymore in our young athletes. Accurate diagnosis and treatment is becoming readily available. ✪

Health Watch Nirav K. Pandya

Dr. Nirav K. Pand ya is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon specializing in pediatric sports injuries at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. He sees patients and operates in Oakland and the facility at Walnut Creek. If you have any questions or comments regarding the “Health Watch” column, write the Sports Medicine for Young Athletes staff at Health@ SportsStarsOnline.com.

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SportStars’ early glance at NCS boys golf

A

s boys golf nears the halfway point of the season, we thought we’d take the time to offer up our thoughts on who has shown the most promise and what to expect the rest of the way in the North Coast Section.

TEAM TO BEAT: FOOTHILL The defending North Coast Section Division I champion Falcons are basically a runaway freight train at this point. Fueled by an incredibly deep and consistent roster, Foothill opened its season by winning two of its three tournaments — Marin 28

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Catholic’s Wildcat Invitational and Liberty’s Aiello Invitational — and going 6-0 over its first stretch of dual matches. The won tournament Foothill didn’t win, the De La Salle Invitational, it came in second and was still the top Northern California team in the field. The Falcons’ five-man score of 390 at Diablo County Club was only bested by the 380 of Santa Margarita-Rancho Santa Margarita. Foothill didn’t lose its first dual match until it traveled out of the section to face Central Coast Section power Robert Louis StevensonPebble Beach at Spyglass Hill on March 26. RLS won the match 193-197. Just four days earlier, though, the Falcons put on a clinic in

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their first showdown with fellow East Bay Athletic League power (and defending NorCal champs) De La Salle. Travis Rowney, Brett Thawley and Nico Galletti all shot 1-under par 34’s at Diablo Country Club as the Falcons actually finshed 1-under par as a team with a 174 to win eight strokes. Other standouts for the Falcons include Roshan Chekuri and Tanner Hughes. Chekuri was the medalist for Foothill at the Wildcat Invitational.

SLEEPER TEAM: SAN RAMON VALLEY

during the summer. He’s been lights out so far in 2012, winning medalist honors at the De La Salle Invitational with a 69.

Five more GOLFERS to keep an eye on 1. Justin Pagila, De La Salle 2. Brandon Dizon, San Leandro 3. Jaskaran Sihota, Deer Valley 4. Travis Cullimore, Las Lomas 5. Jon Shaw, Redwood-Larkspur ✪

We know we’re not going too far out on a limb picking a team from the loaded EBAL, but the Wolves don’t get nearly the kind of hype that Foothill and San Ramon Valley get. However, with the Blick Brothers — Cody and Connor — leading the way, this team has a chance to make some noise and post some low numbers in the postseason. To see how close the Wolves are to breaking through, one just needs to look at the De La Salle Invitational results where they finished with a 410, just one stroke off the pace of the host Spartans to finish fourth. Johnny Metz and Chris Parkinson combine with the Blicks to make a pretty consistent foursome.

— Chace Bryson

INDIVIDUAL TO BEAT: WILL BRUECKNER, ACALANES Chris Scott/SSM file

LEFT: Nico Galletti is part of a deep Foothill roster that makes the Falcons a favorite to repeat as NCS Division I champs. ABOVE: San Ramon Valley’s Cody Blick is one of a strong quartet of golfers which will make the Wolves a threat in the postseason.

The Dons’ sophomore sensation has done nothing but deliver on his own hype since the moment he took a tee box for Acalanes. Brueckner is the defending NCS champion after fighting through damp conditions at Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill to win by a stroke last season — as a frehsman. He made the realization that he was spending too much of his time scrambling and really went to work on his short game

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Welcome to Impulse, your one-stop shop for gadgets, gizmos and gear. Compiled by staff writer Erik Stordahl, Impulse provides you with what’s currently hot on the market. This week we dive even further into camps with a gym right in our backyard, Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness. They’ve got enough camps going on to turn you into a Navy SEAL by summer’s end. For more info, hit ‘em up at www.wcsf.net. Let’s get into it…

TRX Team Training Grab your teammates and sign up for

this six-week intense program. Whether you’re a noob or you’re set on the pros, this is what you want. Increase your

strength, body control, coordination, core/ strength stability, endurance and power.

It’s limited to eight athletes so you get the attention you need.

Gravity Get a highly toned body by using just one piece of equipment. It’s all about incline resistance where certified trainers will

show you how to get it done. They’ll take you through a series of eight different

levels from beginners to the madly skilled. This is ideal if you’re in post-rehab so you can get back to feeling 100 percent.

Studio Cycle

Hardcore Golf Fitness

Train for the Tour de France or get in a

Yes, we know it sounds like an oxymoron but it is indeed real. Unless you’re John Daly, joining this camp makes all the sense in the world for golfers of all levels. Generate more power, drive the ball farther and more accurately on a consistent basis after this four-week program. It’s led by Tom Hart who’s a Certified Golf Conditioning Specialist. Camps start in April.

serious workout with RPM, the indoor cycling workout where you ride to powerful

music. You’ll pedal through hills, flats and mountain peaks so you can reach that endorphin high.

Hardcore Boot Camp Hart will run you through the ringer in

this intense, four-week program. Rain or

shine, you’ll work out twice a week doing military calisthenics, athletic drills, Yoga, Pilates, jogging and more so that you’ll

Pilates for Sports

Taking your game to the next level requires hours of practice and going over the fundamentals. It also means signing up for this program. Pilates is all about maximizing your body’s potential with emphasis on body alignment, total body integration, core strength, joint stability, muscle balance, breathwork and more. Seriously, gain an advantage on your competition by signing up for this one. You won’t regret it.

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break out of your comfort zone. Do the homework exercise assignments and

stick to the healthy eating tips and you’ll get a total body transformation.

Circuit Training This program runs the gamut on all

fitness levels: strength, cardio, balance

Gobble gobble

and core work. It involves boxing, intense

The Turkey Trot 5K/10K Kids’ Fun Runs for Education is the granddaddy of races in Walnut Creek. Last year, nearly 4,600 participants joined the fun on Thanksgiving morning, and in the process helped benefit the Walnut Creek Education Foundation and P.E.A.K. Education Foundation. Because of their efforts, $60,000 was donated to public schools! The Turkey Trot will be back again this year, so start training now and trot with the best of ‘em.

treadmill, rowing, stair climbing along with strength training and TRX Suspension

training. Circuit Training is all about pushing yourself to the next level.

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BASEBALL/SOFTBALL Blankenship Baseball We are a year-round competitive baseball program based in Danville. The Camp focuses on teamwork, hustle & sportsmanship. We also offer small group training as well as one-on-one training. Info: lancerblankenship@ sbcglobal.net or 925-708-3173. Cabernet Baseball Club The Livermore-based club hosts The Pitching Center’s Spring Break Baseball Skills Camp 2012, for players ages 8-14. Lil’ Baseball also offered for ages 3-7. 925-4161600, www.thepitchingcenter. com. EJ Sports EJ Sports provides individual, group, team, coaching & manager clinics. The Spring Clinic, Summer Clinic & the Fall League for children of Little League age have proven to be successful, instructional & fun for the kids. Contact EJ Sports for a list of upcoming clinics, or contact your local little league to see if they participate in our coaches & managers training program. Info: 925-866-7199, www.ejsports.com. The Pitching Center To develop players to their full potential, The Pitching Center has become the Total Player Center (TPC), a full-service baseball/softball training academy. We provide comprehensive, fully-integrated training programs that evolve based on the best research & information in areas from health/safety, peak performance, education techniques & more. Age& skill-specific programs available for students age 8-high school. Info: 925-416-1600, www. thepitchingcenter.com. City of Walnut Creek Baseball is Fun Beginner Camp. July 25-Aug. 4, 9 a.m.-noon, Mon.-Thur. at Tice Valley Park; Extended day/week available with Deluxe Sport Option. Ages 5-9. $35/$75. Registration: 925952-4450, www.walnutcreeksportsleague.com. BASKETBALL CalStars The Stars Basketball Academy youth & high school summer camps are a fundamental based skills development camp for kids in 3rd grade-high school. We offer three youth (3rd-8th) sessions & two high school (9th-12th) sessions. Go to www. calstars.org for more info. Golden State Warriors The Warriors welcome players of all levels to participate in a variety of spring camps that will be held in April & May. The camps are typically for boys & girls ages 7-15, & there’s a “parent/child camp” for adults & their kids as young as 5. Info: camps@gs-warriors.com; 510986-5310. Mike Allen Sports Learn the basics of basketball, sharpen your skills & improve daily at the Ballin’ Ambassadors basketball clinics! Hosted by MIke Allen Sports in the South Bay,

registration is easy. Go to www.mikeallensports. com to reserve your spot. 408-279-4123. City of Walnut Creek Basketball is Fun beginner camp. July 11-21, 9 a.m.-noon, Mon.-Thur. at Tice Valley Park; extended day/week available with deluxe sport option. Ages 5-12. $35/$65 per week. Registration & info: 925-952-4450, www. walnutcreeksportsleague.com. CHEER CheerGyms.com Six camps are offered from June through July: Coaches Camp, Freedom High School 2-day Cheer and Dance Camp, 2-Day Cheer Camps at ALL Cheergyms.com facilities, Jr. High/High School Cheer Camp-California Session 1, Individual/Group Stunt Cheer Camp, Jr. High/High School Cheer Camp (Elite)-California Session 2. For more info: 925685-8176, 866-685-7615, info@cheergyms.com; www.cheergyms.com. East Bay Sports Academy East Bay Sports Academy offers the best in gymnastics & cheerleading training. Our top-of-theline recreational & competitive programs earned us the exclusive “Best in the East Bay” award for Best Gymnastics Classes 2011. You can bring your team to be a part of the excitement, as our talented & motivated coaching team becomes your team’s best support system. All of our team camps are custom-built for your coaching needs & team goals. Info: 925-680-9999, www. EastBaySportsAcademy.com. ENRICHMENT Dianne Adair Programs Come join any of our eight Dianne Adair sites for our fun & exciting summer program. Each week campers will be able to choose from several camps, including sports, fashion, drama, CSI, science & so many more. In addition to our weekly camps, we have weekly field trips to places like an A’s or Giant’s game, museums, the Jelly Belly Factory, Six Flags, the pool, the movies, parks & the Zoo. We also offer many “in-house” field trips like Games2U Mobile Entertainment, the Bubble Lady, Furs, Skins & Tails, magicians, clowns, singers & many more. Field trips & camps vary by site. Bring in this article & receive half off our $40 summer registration fee. Info: www.dianneadair.org. FITNESS Aspire Pilates Dramatically increase core strength, power, flexibility, balance, focus & joint stability, while preventing injury. Aspire prides itself on helping propel athletes to the next level by addressing muscular imbalances, helping athletes increase body awareness, correcting faulty body mechanics & accessing untapped strength. Info: 925-680-4400, www.AspirePilatesCenter.com. Children’s Hospital “Learn What It’s Like To Be An Athletic Trainer.” This workshop for high school students is April

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13-14. The workshop includes: Overview of careers in sports medicine; ankle injuries & taping techniques; wrist, hand & thumb injuries & taping; knee injuries & RICE Therapy; stretching techniques; low back injuries & CORE Training; sports concussions; shoulder injuries & rehabilitation. Some of the perks: class credit, certificate of completion, reference materials & box lunch provided on April 14. It will be facilitated by Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine staff & it will take place at the Children’s Hospital Outpatient Center Auditorium. Fee is $99/student. Reserve your spot, call the Sports Medicine Center at 510-428-3558. Fit 2 The Core As a Youth Conditioning, Speed/Agility & Nutrition Specialist with the International Youth Conditioning Association, Fit-2-The-Core Training Systems offers an innovative approach to getting your young athletes back on the field post-rehabilitation. For F2C’s Back to Sports programs we offer training weekdays, with 2 days/week or 3 days/week program options. Sign up today for your two-week free pass at www. fasteryoungathletes.com, or call 925-6390907 for more information. Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness is offering a wide range of different sports fitness camps & classes in 2012. Here are three we’re featuring. ■ Pilates for Sports — Pilates is an ideal form of fitness for athletes to improve performance & prevent injuries. With emphasis on body alignment, total body integration, core strength, joint stability, precision movement patterns, muscle balance, flexibility, breath work & concentration, Pilates forms a solid foundation for improved athleticism & performance. You can take your game to the next level with our four-week reformer classes that prepare your body to excel. Maximize force production while minimizing overuse injuries &/or injuries caused by muscle imbalances. ■ Hardcore Golf Fitness — This 4-week golf-specific fitness camp is the ultimate physical conditioning program for golfers of any age who want to take their game to the next level. With the use of the latest golf fitness drills, Certified Golf Conditioning Specialist Tom Hart, will help you improve your posture, flexibility, core strength, balance, & stability to help your generate more power, drive the ball further & more accurately on a consistent basis, all while helping to make your body injury resistant. ■ TRX Team Fitness —This cutting-edge six-week small group personal training program is a team-sports inspired program for athletes of all levels who want results in a challenging, motivating environment. Our highly trained TRX TEAM coaches deliver progressive workouts guaranteed to increase strength, body control, coordination, core strength/stability, endurance & power. We train movements, not muscles because we underst& that it’s

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not about how good your body looks, it’s about how it performs. TEAMs are forming now in April. We limit our each TRX TEAM to eight athletes to maximize personal attention at an affordable price. For more information, contact Bob Boos, Personal Training Director. Phone: (925) 932-6400 or email: bob@wcsf.net FOOTBALL Acalanes Football Dons Camp The Acalanes coaching staff invites you to be the best football player you can be. At our camp you will learn skills, techniques, rules & how to perform to the best of your ability. There are daily camp awards. All athletes receive a T-shirt. This is a non-contact camp focused on having fun while learning the game of football. Staff members are coaches, teachers & parents. Info: contact Mike Ivankovich at mivankovich@acalanes.k12.ca.us. Black Diamond Football Camp Black Diamond Football Camp is a fourday contact team camp from June 18-21 running from 4 p.m.-7:15 p.m. each day. Cost is $1000 per team. This camp is designed to strengthen team concepts within YOUR program. It allows for individuals & teams to polish their skills & timing to get ready for the upcoming season — all at an affordable cost! It’s hosted by Pittsburg & Concord High Schools & will take place at Pittsburg High. There will be Individual drills & team periods to install your offensive/defensive schemes. There will be a 7-on-7 passing competition against other schools along with pass protection/blitz pickup session & team goal-line challenges. Of course, there will be controlled, full-contact scrimmages against other schools as well. Info: Contact Coach Victor Galli at (925) 473-2390 ext. 7736. Football University From the creators of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl comes a one-of-akind football training experience exclusively for the nation’s most elite youth & high school players. Born out of the appreciation that the most successful & skilled football players have mastered great technique, & that for many younger players this level of coaching is simply not available, the Football University (FBU) experience focuses on intense positionspecific technique training taught by our expert faculty of former & current  NFL coaches who have a passion for sharing this experience with young athletes. NorCal Football Camps Space is available in all of this year’s camps & Flag Football leagues. Led by Ken Peralta, Norcal Football Camps are focused on serving youth ages 7-14. Norcal Flag Football Leagues serve kids entering grades 2-6. Info/registration: Ken, 650-245-3608, norcalyouthfootballcamp@ yahoo.com; www.norcalfootballcamps.com. GOLF The First Tee-Contra Costa The First Tee Summer Camp is a youth

development Golf program for boys & girls ages 7-18. Participants will learn about golf & the life skills & values inherent to the game. In addition to golf skills, rules & etiquette, participants are introduced to The First Tee Nine Core Values - honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy & judgment. Our Summer camps are four days a week, 4 hours/day @ Diablo Creek Golf Course, Concord. We have several weeks & facilities from which to choose. Fee assistance available. Info: Angela Paradise, 925-686-6262, Ext. 0, angela@thefirstteecontracosta.org; www. thefirstteecontracosta.org. See you on The First Tee! The First Tee-Oakland The First Tee of Oakland participants receive a minimum of 12 hours of instruction over an eight-week period. Instruction is conducted at three City of Oakland affiliate golf courses. Each of the golf courses donates their range, golf course & classroom use. We introduce the game of golf in a way that allows participants to progress with the mechanics required, & that teaches the values of the game, celebrates the fitness aspect of playing, & is offered at little or no cost. Info: 510-3522002, info@thefirstteeOakland.org; www. thefirstteeOakland.org. The First Tee-Silicon Valley The First Tee of Silicon Valley develops youth through the game of golf throughout Silicon Valley. We impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values & promote healthy choices though the game of golf. Participants learn to appreciate diversity, resolve conflicts, build confidence & set goals for their future. Spring classes begin March 13 & continue through May 12. Seasonal classes are offered at Rancho del Pueblo Golf Course (San Jose) & Palo Alto Golf Course. We welcome participants ranging from second to twelfth grade. Scholarships are available upon request. www.thefirstteesanjose.org. The First Tee-Tri-Valley We’re a youth development organization using golf & its etiquette to teach important life skills & core values. We offer seasonal The First Tee Life Skills Experience Classes & Summer Camps for youth ages 7-17, held at the Pleasanton Golf Center on the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Life Skills Experience Classes - The Spring Classes begin the week of March 19. Once a week Summer Classes will be held Monday-Saturday, beginning the week of June 11. Junior Golf Summer Camps - Summer Camps will be held 8-10 a.m., Tuesday-Friday for seven

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weeks this summer. Camps begin on the following Tuesdays: June 11, June 18, June 25, July 9, July 16, July 23 & July 30. Info: Call our office, 925-462-7201; www. TheFirstTeeTriValley.org. HORSEBACK RIDING Earthquake Arabians Spring & summer camps are around the corner for Earthquake Arabians! Registration is OPEN. Log on to www. earthquakearabians. com for more info. 925-360-7454. Franklin Canyon Stables A well structured riding program housed at Franklin Canyon Stables in Martinez which provides two covered arenas & easy access to trails. Kim Bredehoft teaches riders of all levels with an instruction program that builds confidence & enables clients to reach personal goals that benefit them in all parts of life. Info: 925-228-1801; www. kimshorsetraining.com/franklin_canyon. html. Kelly Maddox Riding Academy Summer Camp, July 16-20, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. daily; ages 5-16. Enjoy a week of fun-filled learning as you develop new friendships with other horse-crazy kids like yourself. Learn basic handling & grooming techniques, as well as how to saddle & bridle your horse. Activities include learning horse colors, markings & breeds; art & crafts; a farrier demonstration & human horse show; bareback riding & more! Info: 925-575-4818, www.KellyMaddoxTraining. com. LACROSSE Atherton/Vitality Lacrosse Join Atherton Lacrosse & learn the basics of the game in their spring, summer & fall camps. Each Spring Break camp session runs weekdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Session rates are $235/week (sibling discounts available). Every camper receives access to the best high school, college & professional lacrosse coaches in the Bay Area in a setting with an extremely low coach to camper ratio. Every camper receives a free Atherton Lacrosse T-shirt. Every camper needs a lacrosse stick - we have partnered with Sling It! Lacrosse to bring the best value possible. Go to www. athertonlacrosse.com for more info. Sign up with Vitality Lacrosse to join one of their summer leagues in the Peninsula, Marin, East Bay, Petaluma & San Francisco. We serve the entire Bay Area! Go to www. vitalitylacrosse.com for more info. MARTIAL ARTS USKS Adult & children’s programs, kick box fitness, mixed martial

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Diablo Futbol Club With a history that goes back two decades, the Diablo Futbol Club has proved to be the premier training ground for youth soccer players in the area. Diablo FC alumni have gone on to play for the United States Men’s National Team, US Olympic Team, Major League Soccer, MLS Cup champions and finalists, NCAA Championship and Final Four teams, professional teams in Europe, Central and South America, as well as about 70 universities and colleges in 18 states. Much of the credit for this success in player development goes to the coaching staff and unique training program the club offers. The coaching staff features four members of the St. Mary’s College men’s and women’s staff, the United States Men’s National Team and Cal Berkeley goalkeeper coach, three former MLS players, a Brazilian Olympian as well as highly-decorated youth team and high school coaches. Director of Coaching Brian Voltattorni (5-time NCS champion coach at De La Salle) and his staff provide an excellent training program for girls and boys from under 6 to U23 age groups. Diablo FC training includes Elite Performance Program featuring SAQ (speed-agility-quickness) along with club and positional training along with weekly goalkeeper training. Premier boys teams compete in the Western College Development Association while both gender’s premier teams compete in National Premier League. These teams also play in a series of high-level tournaments and

arts. Providing excellence in martial arts instruction & services for the entire family. 925-682-9517; www.usksmartialarts.com. OUTDOOR/ADVENTURE Bear Valley Mountain Bring the entire family to mountain summer camps. This summer, Bear Valley has residential & day camps for soccer, archery, climbing & a variety of outdoor adventures including kayaking, tennis, cycling, hiking, camp fires & so much more. Bear Valley’s summer camps offer outdoor recreation programs for the whole family & is a great place to visit. Info: www.bearvalley.com. City of Concord Skate & Swim Concord’s Skateboard Camp provides a way to learn from experienced instructors & improve their skills. Participants learn skateboard safety, care of their skateboard, & all the essentials from dropping in, kickflips, the Ollie & more. All skill levels. The full-day camp combines half-day skateboard camp with half-day at the Concord Community Pool. Info: www. concordreg.org ,925-671-3404. CYO Camp We’re located 60 miles north of San Francisco near the historic town of Occidental, & have provided summer camp to youth of the Bay Area for over 60 years. Our seven-day traditional camps, for

College Showcase events throughout the year. Diablo FC hosts seven invitational tournaments in the Concord area for all levels of play. The club began a year-round U8 Academy in 2011 for boys and girls eight years and younger. Headquartered in Concord, Diablo FC has premier, gold, silver and bronze level teams with players from throughout Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda counties. Tryouts for U15-U18 girls and boys teams are April 15-22. For complete info, call (925) 798-GOAL or visit www.diablofc. org.

participants entering grades 3-9, focus on cultivating friendships, personal values & outdoor skills. Info: www.cyocamp.org. CYO Sports Camps/Leagues CYO summer recreation leagues begin in May. CYO offers coed volleyball, boys & girls basketball & tennis. Camps are also offered in basketball & volleyball. Info: http://athletics.cyo.org. Diablo Rock Gym We will be offering kids summer camps every week starting June 19, ending August 18. Sign up for a week at a time or multiple weeks. Ages 6-12; multiple kid &/ or week discounts. Call for pricing, 925602-1000. Keigwins@theTrack We conduct motorcycle schools & practice events (“track days”) at famous racetracks in the Western U.S. Events are for experienced motorcyclists looking to improve skills & build confidence while having enormous fun riding in an ideal, expertly-managed environment. Riders provide their own motorcycles & protective gear. Keigwins@theTrack takes care of everything else: Info: www.keigwin.com; 650-949-5609. RUGBY Diablo Rugby Youth rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the U.S. Both non-contact &

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contact versions are popping up in summer leagues, physical education classes, after school programs, YMCA’s, Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs & backyards all over the country. Based in Clayton, our club is dedicated to providing a positive rugby experience for boys at high school, jr. high school & Youth levels. 925-381-5143, diabloyouthrugby@gmail.com; diabloyouthrugby.clubspaces.com. SOCCER Heritage Soccer Club HSC will not only offer a members-only summer soccer camp, but will offer two separate soccer camps — one for boys (June 25-28) & one for girls (July 9-12) – that will be open to the community. HSC will conduct their annual 6v6 BlowOut tournament in June & the Harvest Cup Tournament in October. HSC is based in the Pleasant Hill/Martinez area. Info: www. heritagesc.com. Walnut Creek Soccer Club The Walnut Creek Soccer Club provides a proper coaching & playing environment for all members. We will promote a positive learning environment for our players & families as we work to provide the highest level of coaching & coach’s education. Info: wcsc_info@wcsc.org; www.wcsc.org. West Contra Costa Youth Soccer League Our program caters to competitive players ages 8-9 regardless of race, creed, gender or religion. The main focus is not on winning, but on the development of the total soccer player within the framework of a team. We also offer specialized training for strikers & goalkeepers. 510-758-5288, http://wccysl.com. SWIMMING-DIVING Sherman Swim School Our year-round schedule allows children & adults to learn, retain & improve their skills. Lessons are usually offered on M-W-F’s & T-Th’s in sessions of 3-4 weeks. (During the slower months of fall, winter & spring, schedules can be more flexible, such as M-W, W-F, or only one day/ week.) We teach from age 9 months to adults, from non-swimmers to competitive. Since our lessons are private, they are tailored to each student’s age, ability & readiness. We also offer beginning & competitive diving classes. Info: 925-283-2100, www.ShermanSwim.com. Walnut Creek Swim Club 2012 spring practice are Mon., Wed. & Thur. evenings, April 16June 7, @ Larkey Pool for 6-unders through 13-up. 2012 Summer practice sessions are 7:30-10 a.m. daily beginning June 11 @ Las Lomas High School. Info: www.walnutcreekswimclub.org. TENNIS ClubSport Valley Vista ClubSport Valley Vista has been hosting camps in the Walnut Creek area for 33 years with expert instruction. Tennis pro Dale Miller & his team of pros teach the fundamentals or help them improve their skills for recreation or competition. Camps touch on every aspect — stroke production, conditioning, strategy, footwork, psychology & most importantly, fun! Players will be grouped according to level of play & age. ClubSport is located at 3737 Valley Vista Road in Walnut Creek. ClubSport Valley Vista members receive discounted rates. Info: 925-9344050. VOLLEYBALL Pacific Rim Volleyball Through private lessons, & the opportunity for year-round skills classes, athletes of any age or level can learn & improve the skills needed to gain a competitive edge. For those athletes with limited experience, we will develop solid fundamental skills, as well as a passion for the sport. Our advanced training, for junior levels (12th grade & below), will provide athletes the opportunity to excel in preparation for high school &/or collegiate volleyball. Info: www. pacificrimvolleyball.com.

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Advertiser index ❒❒ A A A Northern California, Nevada & Utah..................10 ❒❒ All World Sports.........................................................38 ❒❒ America’s Navy.............................................................6 ❒❒ Army National Guard Recruiter.....................................7 ❒❒ Atherton Lacrosse......................................................35 ❒❒ Big O Tires....................................................................2 ❒❒ Black Diamond Football Camp...................................37 ❒❒ Blankenship Baseball.................................................36 ❒❒ Cabernet Indoor Sports..............................................39 ❒❒ Cal Athletic Camps.....................................................32 ❒❒ Championship Athletic Fundraising...........................26 ❒❒ Cheer Gyms................................................................14 ❒❒ Children’s Hospital And Research Center.....................29 ❒❒ Club Sport Renaissance..............................................26 ❒❒ Community Youth Center...........................................36 ❒❒ Crowne Plaza.............................................................35 ❒❒ De La Salle High School..............................................18 ❒❒ Delta Sign-A- Rama...................................................27 ❒❒ Diablo Car Wash & Detail Center.................................35 ❒❒ Diablo Futbol Club......................................................12 ❒❒ Diablo Rock Gym........................................................31 ❒❒ Diablo Trophies & Awards...........................................31 ❒❒ Dianne Adair Enrichment Programs...........................25 ❒❒ Dream Courts U S A....................................................13 ❒❒ Earthquake Arabians..................................................32 ❒❒ East Bay Sports Academy...........................................28 ❒❒ East Bay Summer Camps 2012...................................33 ❒❒ Fit 2 The Core..............................................................23 ❒❒ Halo Headband..........................................................35 ❒❒ Head First Baseball.....................................................25 ❒❒ Heavenly Greens........................................................40 ❒❒ Home Team Sports Photography................................27 ❒❒ Image Imprint............................................................34 ❒❒ Kinders B B Q................................................................3 ❒❒ Lone Tree Golf Course.................................................29 ❒❒ Mc Coveys..................................................................23 ❒❒ Mountain Mike’s...........................................................5 ❒❒ Niles Personal Fitness.................................................31 ❒❒ Pacific Rim Volleyball Academy..................................32 ❒❒ Passthaball.................................................................36 ❒❒ Rocco’s Pizza...............................................................31 ❒❒ Rockin Jump...............................................................22 ❒❒ Saint Mary’s Athletic Summer Camps.........................36 ❒❒ Scandia Family Center................................................36 ❒❒ Sherman Swim School...............................................34 ❒❒ Simply Selling Shirts..................................................31 ❒❒ Sky High Sports..........................................................31 ❒❒ Slammers Baseball.....................................................35 ❒❒ SportStars Magazine..................................................36 ❒❒ State Farm - Kelly Sopak.............................................25 ❒❒ USKS Martial Arts.......................................................36 ❒❒ United States Youth Volleyball League.......................36 ❒❒ Velocity Sports Performance......................................19 ❒❒ Velocity Sports Performance......................................31 ❒❒ Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness....................................15 ❒❒ Walnut Creek Swim Club............................................35 ❒❒ West Contra Costa Youth Soccer League.....................12

U.S. Youth Volleyball League The USYVL is the leader in developing & maintaining youth volleyball leagues for boys & girls ages 7-15. USYVL summer camps are typically three days, three hours per day. Camps are for beginner, intermediate & advanced players. Info: 888-988-7985, www.USYVL.org. WRESTLING Community Youth Center The CYC program offers young athletes opportunity to participate in one of the world’s oldest sports. The program trains, challenges wrestlers from kindergarten through high school, from beginner to champion. The program is nationally recognized under the guidance of head coach Mark Halvorson. Info: 925-671-7070, Ext. 229, www. communityyouthcenter.com. Creighton School of Wrestling CSW was established to provide a successful youth program in the Palo Alto/Mid-Peninsula area that serves all ages. Info: 650-219-6383; creightonschoolofwrestling@ yahoo.com. MULTI-SPORT De La Salle Camps De La Salle offers the following sessions: football, track & field, lacrosse, wrestling, quarterback & wide receiver, lineman, volleyball, baseball, soccer, water polo & strength & conditioning. In addition to serving local athletes, the camps also benefits De La Salle students by contributing to The Bishop John S. Cummins Scholarship Program. Week-long sessions will run June 9-June 28. For more info: summercamps@dlshs. org; 925-288-8100, Ext. 7090. Velocity Sports Camps Our Spring Break Sports Specific Summer Camps provide a fun-packed environment where kids can increase their athleticism & develop a wider range of skills. Programs is for boys & girls ages 8-14. Our Team Training programs deliver a challenging workout that is organized, educational, progressive & customized. Info: 925-833-0100, velocitydublin.com. Cal Camps Camps are offered in a variety of sports for girls & boys ages 5-19, with week-long, half-day, fullday & overnight options. Most camps will take place in Berkeley from June through August. Baseball, boys & girls basketball, boys & girls rowing/crew, field hockey, football, boys & girls golf, girls gymnastics, rugby, boys & girls soccer, softball, boys & girls swimming, boys & girls tennis, boys & girls volleyball & girls water polo. Adult camps are also offered.Info: CalBears.com/camps. Email calcamps@berkeley.edu. City of Concord Skyhawks Sports Camps include skateboard & swim combo, soccer & swim combo, soccer camp, basketball,

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Visit our Virtual CampSite at SportStarsOnline.com flag football, lacrosse & more. Ages 4-teen. Info: www.concordreg.org, 925-671-3404. Saint Mary’s College Camps Boys, girls overnight, day, team & specialty athletic camps for ages 4-18. Multi-Sport Camp — badminton, basketball, flag football, h&ball, paddleball, soccer, softball, street hockey, swimming, tennis, volleyball & more. Individual sport camps — Baseball, boys basketball, girls basketball, golf, rugby, girls lacrosse, strength & conditioning, boys soccer, softball, tennis & volleyball. Info: Info: www.smcgaels.com, smccamps@stmarys-ca.edu, 925-631-4386. SportForm Based in Concord, SportForm provides individual & team instruction in baseball, softball & lacrosse. Info: 925459-2880. City of Walnut Creek We offer 9-13 yearolds a fully-staffed & supervised recreational athletic camp. The

program consists of eight weeks of sessions with your choice of two different sports for each of the sessions with a ninth week session offering bowling. Our camp is specifically designed to teach & develop training skills, basic individual skills, sportsmanship, team strategies & concepts as well as building confidence & self discipline. Focus is also on having fun & enjoyment of the sport. Swimming (M,W, F), recreational games & field trips on Thursday are all part of each session. Sports to choose from include: Tennis, Baseball, Multi-sport, Flag Football, Soccer, Lacrosse, Basketball, Golf, Volleyball & Bowling. Drop-Off/ Pick Up: Campers are dropped off at Foothill Community Gymnasium in the morning. They are transported to Heather Farm Park each afternoon. Pick up is always at Heather Farm Park. Early registration has begun, camp offerings start the week of June 18th & run through August 17th. Full & half day programs are available along with morning & late afternoon extended care. Info: www. walnutcreekrec.org or call 925-943-5858. ✪

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Always something on-deck with ALL WORLD sports

March Events calendar BASEBALL 31-01: Wild Wild West Jackpot I, 9U-14U, Golden Eagle/Sparks 31-01: March Mayhem, 9U-14U, Antioch/Martinez FASTPITCH 31-01: All World Foolz, 10/12/14 A/B, Sacramento 31-01: All World Foolz, 10/12/14 A/B, Livingston SOFTBALL 31-01: March Mayhem, Men’s/Coed, Sacramento April Events calendar BASEBALL 07-07: Santa Cruz Easter Saturday, 8U-13U, Santa Cruz

07-08: 7th Annual Easter Classic, 9U-14U AA only, Martinez 07-08: Easter Blast, 10U-12U, Concord 14-15: Santa Cruz Tax Tournament, 8U-13U, Santa Cruz 14-15: Baseball Foolz, 9U-14U, Redding 14-15: Baseball Foolz, 9U-13U, Sacramento 14-15: Baseball Foolz, 9U-14U, Fremont 21-22: All World NIT AA-AAA, 9U-14U, Elk Grove 21-22: All World NIT AA-AAA, 10U-14U, Martinez 28-29: East Bay Fling, 9U-12U, Concord 28-29: Santa Cruz April Finals, 8U-13U, Santa Cruz/South Bay 28-29: Bay Area Bombers AA only, 9U-14U AA only, Martinez/Antioch

28-29: Sac Area Bombers 7, 9U-14U, Mather Field 28-29: Kool April Nights, 9U-14U, Redding FASTPITCH 07-07: Easter Explosion, 10/12/14 A/B, Sacramento 14-15: FaSTPITCH fOOLZ, 8U-14U, Redding 14-15: Weekend Warriors, 10/12/14 A/B, Sacramento 14-15: Weekend Warriors, 10/12/14 A/B, Martinez 14-15: Weekend Warriors, 10/12/14 A/B, Livingston 21-22: Battle of the Bats, 10/12/14 A/B, Sacramento 21-22: Battle of the Bats, 10/12/14 A/B, Livingston 28-29: Turf Wars, 10/12/14 A/B, Sacramento 28-29: Turf Wars, 10/12/14 A/B, Pleasanton

SOFTBALL 07-08: Suisun City Invitational, Men’s/Coed, Suisun 07-08: Easter Egg Challenge, Men’s Open, D, E, EE/Women’s C, D, E, Fremont 14-15: Softballs Best, Vacaville 14-15: Bounty, Men’s E/Women’s/Coed, Lodi 21-22: Suisun’s Mash HR Series, Men’s/Coed, Suisun 21-22: Sac Bombers, Men’s/Coed, Sacramento 21-22: Fremont 4GG, Men’s E Open/Coed, Fremont 21-22: Mdnght Mdnes Prelim, Men’s E/Women’s D, E, Santa Cruz 28-29: Worth Warriors, Men’s E, D/Coed, Elk Grove 28-29: Spring Fling, Men’s Open, E/Coed, Fremont


BA Issue 43, March 29, 2012  

Bay Area Issue 43