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Pg. 9

sportstars’ gotta-go games Monte Vista quarterback Nikita Zamora


hungry for more PHONE 925.566.8500 FAX 925.566.8507 Editorial Editor@SportStarsOnline.com Editor Chace Bryson. Ext. 104 • Chace@SportStarsOnline.com Staff Writers Erik Stordahl, Jim McCue Contributors Bill Kolb, Mitch Stephens, Matt Smith, Clay Kallam, Bryant West, Dave Kiefer, Liz Elliott, Tim Rudd, Jonathan Okanes Photography Butch Noble, Bob Larson, Jonathan Hawthorne, James K. Leash, Norbert von der Groeben, Phillip Walton, Doug Guler Intern Ryan Arter 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, Tommy Enriquez • Tommy@SportStarsOnline.com Sac Joaqin edition: Dave Rosales • DaveRosales64@gmail.com

Norbert von der Groeben

First Pitch.....................................................6 Locker Room..............................................8 Behind the Clipboard................................9 AAA SportStars of the Week............... 11 Training Time............................................ 14 10 To Go................................................... 30 Tri Steps.................................................... 31 Impulse...................................................... 32 Health Watch .......................................... 34

Catherine Wes, left, and Chloe Lott lead a determined St. Francis volleyball team plyo ... what now?: Even though their athletes could benefit from plyometrics, many high schools can’t provide the right training. Pg. 14 works both ways: Coaches can take as much from a job as their athletes. Pg. 31 don’t be torn: We all know ACL injuries could eventually happen, but you can reduce the risk. Pg. 34 on the cover: Monte Vista quarterback Nikita Zamora. Photo by Phillip Walton

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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your ticket to bay area sports admit one; rain or shine This Vol. #3, October 2012 Whole No. 54 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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Teachable Moment When everything clicks between a teacher and student, it can change lives — don’t be afraid to make it happen

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ore often than not with this column, I try my best to write to our magazine’s dual audience — high school students as well as their parents and the community of adults who follow high school sports. This week won’t be one of those times. This one is for the students. On Oct. 5, I took a drive back to my old high school. I had been informed by my parents earlier that week that a high school teacher of mine had passed away suddenly of a heart attack at age 63. His name was Dwight Evans. He was two-years retired from Red Bluff High School where he served as a freshman English teacher and the longtime advisor for the award-winning student newspaper, “The Bluffer.” Outside of my parents, he was the single biggest reason why I’m writing this column and work in the profession that I do. I struggled mightily with whether I would want to write about his passing, or whether doing so would appear selfish, forcing SportStars readers to share my grief about a person they probably didn’t know. His memorial was attended by an estimated 300 current and former students and faculty, many of whom took a chance to share a story about how Mr. Evans impacted their life. Though I didn’t speak, I realized that I would need to write something. (I mean, for someone who taught writing and specifically produced a handful of journalists into the profession, it wouldn’t seem right if some of us didn’t use written word to honor him.) More importantly though, as I listened to others speak of their experiences with Mr. Evans, I also realized the message that I could send in his honor. The student-teacher relationship is meant to be a two-way street. It’s not always accomplished. Sometimes that’s the fault of the student, the teacher, or both. When it is accomplished, it can be enlightening and rewarding — even life-changing, as some of Mr. Evans’ former students attested. It can also be taken for granted. I don’t believe I ever took it for granted. I always remembered and appreciated the encouragement and avenues Mr. Evans provided me as an aspiring sportswriter, and for a time, a photographer as well. In June of 2010, I proudly sent him the first two issues of SportStars and thanked him. He, predictably, responded with further encouragement. As a quick aside: A very big reason for what gave me the opportunity to build upon my relationship with Mr. Evans was the mere existence of a school journalism program. In an education system that is always ravaged by budget cuts, school newspapers like “The Bluffer” are constantly on the chopping block. However, just like athletics, they are very much worth supporting and saving. Many of the things I learned as an athlete, I had reinforced as a member of the school newspaper staff. Now, though, back to the message I wanted to deliver to the students who read this magazine. If there’s a teacher with whom you’ve developed a connection with, or one who may have inspired you, it’s time to make sure that teacher knows. The same can be said for a coach. Because in the end, the best coaches are also teachers. You can be too cool for school tomorrow. But today, reach out. You’ll be glad you did. ✪

First Pitch Chace Bryson Editor

Chace@ SportStarsOnline.com (925) 566-8503

The student-teacher relationship is meant to be a two-way street. It’s not always accomplished. Sometimes that’s the fault of the student, the teacher, or both. When it is accomplished, it can be enlightening and rewarding — even life-changing, as some of Mr. Evans’ former students attested. 6

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rapidFIRE What Best thing to get Worst thing to family member in a trick or treat get in a trick or screams loudest Favorite basket treat basket at your games movie villain

The Joker

Last TV show to make you laugh out loud

Lollipops and Starburst

Milky Way

Grandma

Definitely the football game

Modern Family

Kit Kat

Candy Mom Corn

The girls

Ed, Edd n Eddy

Annika Jensen, Campolindo-Moraga

The Joker

Best part of Homecoming week

656

count’EM

Trevon Lampley, Franklin-Elk Grove

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Number of career victories for Jesuit-Carmichael boys soccer coach Paul Rose as of Oct. 10, according to the Sacramento Bee. Rose is the winningest high school boys soccer coach in state history, and he was one of 43 new inductees to the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame on Oct. 14. Other coaches inducted included Sheldon-Sacramento softball coach Mary Jo Truesdale (597 career wins), El Camino-Sacramento girls basketball coach Bill Baxter (601 wins) and the winningest SJS football coach Max Miller (255 wins). You can find the full list of inductees at www.cifsjs.org.

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Three-sport athletes are a thing of the past — and that’s OK My dad can’t understand why I only play one sport. He says that things were better when there were three-sport athletes and kids didn’t focus so much on one thing. Should I really try to play three sports in high school? K.D., Piedmont

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his a complicated question in some ways, but it’s simple in the most obvious: No, you shouldn’t try to play three sports in high school. It’s possible, and probably even beneficial, to play two, at least for a couple years, assuming you’re good enough. But things have changed since the good old days your dad seems to want to go back to. The proliferation of summer leagues and workouts means that young athletes are almost forced to specialize to some degree in order to keep up (except for the truly elite athletes who can do pretty much everything better than everyone else with three days of practice). In short, the sport you focus on in the summer is the sport you’ll be good at — and that needs to be a conscious choice. At the same time, though, playing another sport isn’t a bad idea, even though your coaches might not want you to. For example, football players can benefit from running track, even if they’re not pounding away in the weight room. And volleyball players, who are in a sport prone to repetitive stress injuries, should ignore those club coaches who make a lot of money by having them play 12 months a year, and do something else in the winter or spring. Nine months a year of volleyball, or any sport, is plenty for a 15-year old — and very likely too much for a 12-year old. And three-sport athletes? A horrible idea, but not necessarily from the perspective of the kid who can play three sports. Let’s start with this: There are benefits to athletic participation, or schools wouldn’t sponsor sports and there wouldn’t be magazines like this. I could run through the arguments in favor, but let’s just assume we’re convinced that it’s a good thing to do. It’s a fact, however, that there are only so many spots on varsity and junior varsity teams, so there’s a limit to how many high school students can take advantage of the benefits of interscholastic sports. But what if the same 12 boys, or the same 12 girls, play three varsity sports, as they did back in the day? Do they get three times the benefit of playing one sport? And even if they do, that means that 24 other kids, presumably, don’t get any benefits at all. So if participation in high school sports is good for students, at a certain level it makes sense that as many students as possible should get that opportunity — but if the same group of athletes hogs three sports’ worth of spots, then opportunities are lost for others. And of course, in today’s more focused and competitive world, seasons of sport overlap, summer competition is ferocious (and sometimes more important than high school) and pressure to succeed is greater. So not only is it physically demanding to play three sports, it’s a mental crusher as well. There’s just not enough time to do everything well, get good grades, have a social life and sleep nine hours a night (which might be the single most important thing you can do to improve athletically). The halcyon days of the three-sport athlete are as gone as the one-dollar gallon of gas, and even playing two varsity sports is asking a lot, so tell your dad to chill. We’re in the 21st century now, and things have changed — and two sports is way more than enough. ✪

Behind the Clipboard Clay Kallam

Randy Pench/MCT/ZumaPress.com

Top 5 Stages to the Fan’s Emotional Roller-coaster

sayWHAT

If you are a baseball fan in Northern California, please consult your physician. There is a good chance that the past couple of weeks have shortened your life expectancy measurably. Giants fans by hours or days. A’s fans, by as much as a year. But what a year, right? The words ‘emotional roller-coaster’ barely begin to describe the ride we’ve been on of late. So we’ll try to elaborate.. 1. The Ascent. We are doing this. On our way. Slowly, slowly rising. Inexplicably climbing the standings, defying gravity. What’s that ratcheting sound? We’re clicking, baby! This is gonna be AWESOME! 2. The Initial Drop. Ohmybob we’re all gonna die! Why are we doing this? How can this all have gone so suddenly, horribly wrong? This was a terrible idea! Who did this to us? This is NOT what we signed up for! 3. That Part Where You’re Sure You’re Going to Hurtle Off Into Space. Things seem really bad right now, what with the impending doom and all. Our hearts hurt. But just remember, we’re in this together. We can get through this. Solidarity. 4. The Loop-de-Loop. WHOA! We survived! We’re on our way back up… and around? We’re back in this thing! This is kinda fun. We feel a little queasy, and our lungs and small intestine may have just switched places, but we think we like it. 5. Return to the Boarding Platform. Awww. It’s over? So soon? Can we go again? *Editor’s Note: Please keep arms and legs inside the car until the ride comes to a full and complete stop. Also, line-jumping and classless acts (we’re looking at you, Al Alburquerque…) may be cause for ejection from the park. — Bill Kolb

“We bent but didn’t break. Well, we broke, but mended things back together in time to make a play at the end.” — Freedom-Oakley football coach Kevin Hartwig following his team’s 49-48 win over Pittsburg. Freedom’s defense surrendered 365 yards rushing, but forced two key turnovers in the fourth quarter, including an interception that clinched the victory with 30 seconds to go.

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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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Overcoming demons early in the year is good mojo for a team looking to make a deep postseason run. After its season was ended by Marin Catholic-Kentfield each of the last two years, the St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo girls volleyball team got a little payback on the Wildcats with a 2-1 win on Sept. 8. Paige Reed leads the charge for a Bruins squad — who were 26-4 as of Oct. 15 — that’s eyeing more than just an NCS championship. SportStars Magazine: You won 17 of your first 18 matches. What’s the secret to the hot start? Paige Reed: In the beginning of the season, we didn’t know what kind of team we were gonna have. There are lot of underclassmen on the team, and going through the season I just had an open mind, especially because over the summer I was so busy. Our team didn’t work together over the summer. When we got together for tryouts, we knew we were gonna be a good team. That first win gave us confidence — beating Marin Catholic. Also, we’re not a very tall team and our defense is awesome. SSM: The NCS semis is as far as you guys have gone the last two years. Why will you go further in the playoffs this year? PR: This year, with having beaten Marin Catholic, and knowing we can beat top teams, like going five (sets) with (2011 Div.

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honorable mention

Paige reed st. patrick/st. vincent-vallejo . volleyball . senior

kendall stuscavage With a time of 21:43, the College ParkPleasant Hill senior runner set a Castle Rock Park record in the 3.2 mile race by 15 seconds on Oct. 10.

karris johnson The CaliforniaSan Ramon senior RB racked up 347 yards and four TDs on 26 carries as the Grizzlies won a 41-38 slugfest against San Ramon Valley on Oct. 12.

joe mixon Butch Noble III state runner-up) Albany, we believe. … Individually everyone on this team knows how good we can be and how far we can go. PAIGE’S QUICK HITS Favorite subject: Civics Favorite athlete: DeAndre Jordan Favorite Starbucks item: Hot White Mocha

The junior RB for FreedomOakley played a part in five of his team’s seven TDs in a 49-48 win over Pittsburg on Oct. 12. He caught three TDs, rushed for one, and also threw for a score.

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Most high school athletes aren’t equipped to benefit from plyometrics

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energy is wasted as heat and the power release his week I’m going to throw you for a loop and tell you that plyometric training from the spring is compromised. So to take full means absolutely NOTHING for a lot of advantage of the energy stored and created in the high school athletes. compressed spring, it must compress and release Why? Let me first give a very simple descripquickly for an explosive jump, which requires a tion of plyometric activity: It’s basically defined as strong stiff spring. movement that enables a muscle to reach maxiWeak athletes need to have the strength (and mum strength in as short time as possible. rate of force development) to decelerate with Plyometric activity involves three distinct control in order to allow for fast eccentric and phases: amortization phases to occur. 1. Eccentric (deceleration, preloading) — Think I’d estimate that 95% of the young athletes about a basketball player who drives for a slamTim Rudd for IYCA who walk through my door on their first day to dunk. As the player takes the last step toward the train are nowhere near strong enough to derive basket, the supporting leg must take the full bodyconsiderable benefit from advanced progressions weight and stop the horizontal force of the run up. This loads of plyometrics. the leg by rapidly forcing its muscles to stretch and undergo Sure, young athletes need to learn deceleration and landrapid eccentric contraction (Just think of compressing the ing mechanics as well as change of direction techniques. But coils of a strong and stiff spring). the true progress comes from the resistance training they do 2. Amortization (isometric, pause) — This is the transition in an appropriately progressed program with respect to longterm development. from the eccentric to concentric phase of the jump and takes The fact is many high school athletes (especially females) place within hundredths of a second. Elite athletes usually don’t have the underlying strength to effectively make use of are on the ground for a mere .12 seconds! (How long the the reactive training that typifies the training presented to spring stays compressed before releasing) them by a lot of trainers and coaches. 3. Concentric (propulsion) phases — This is the release These same trainers erroneously start them with advanced of the stored energy from the eccentric loading phase. The levels of plyometrics without truly understanding how inefenergy stored in the spring is then released as the athlete fective and dangerous it can be. There seems to be no respect leaves the floor. or understanding given to assessments, proper strength If the coil is compressed for too long or is not strong,

Training Time

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training and the long-term development of high school athletes. When athletes are put through inappropriate plyometric programs, or do a lot of jumping and change of directions in their sports, they have somewhat of an injury predisposition. They aren’t strong enough (relative to their body weight) to get much out of advanced levels of plyometrics, and would benefit more from strength training, bilateral jumping variations, and single-leg low hops with an emphasis on landing with reduced gravity, and eventually progress to a true plyometric program. The shortcomings of plyometrics occur when coaches and trainers don’t understand how to appropriately assess the current status of the athlete. Problems kick in when this misunderstanding leads to ineffective prescriptions of exercises that are not only ineffective, but also can lead to decreased performance and increased injury potential. So what does all this mean? Well if your athletes don’t have a decent foundation of strength along with progressive reactive force development training, then jumping right into a plyometric program is a waste of time. ✪ 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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Dr

ABOVE: Chloe Lott leads St. Francis with energy and ferocity, much in the image of her dad, NFL Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott. Dean Coppola photo

far RIGHT: The Lancers gather around coach Leahi Hall Leon during an Oct. 15 practice. Norbert von der Groben photo

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riving

FORCE

St. Francis-Mountain View volleyball has the talent for another big playoff run — especially if Chloe Lott has anything to say about it

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By mitch stephens | Contributor

hloe Lott tried to find the right word and ultimately came up with “amazing.” That’s the moment a volleyball is set softly 11 feet into the air and one foot in front of Lott’s wide and focused eyes. That’s the moment Lott transforms into a different species, the moment she trains diligently three hours a day and 12 months a year for, the moment she dreams about. That is when the St. Francis High School senior bends her sturdy and fit 5-foot-10 frame at the knees, springs close to 30 inches into the air and at the top of her leap unfurls a vicious right arm swing that requires a 180 degree body rotation and basically punishes a perfectly innocent ball in half. And when the white leather sphere slams directly down and hits the wooden floor — roughly the same time Lott’s feet do — this amazing moment is complete. Kill for Lott. Point St. Francis. “It’s one of the best feelings in the whole world,” Lott said. Around Northern California few do it any better. Certainly not with the tenacity or authority.   “She just hammers the ball,” St. Francis coach Leahi Hall Leon said. “For whatever reason, there are just some players who get good hand contact every time they swing. Chloe is that player. She is a hammer. She’s the terminator.” Just like her father — NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott — was on the football field. Like father, like daughter Unlike many children of celebrity parents, Chloe doesn’t hide or diminish her father’s athletic impact. Quite the opposite. Besides her reputation as the team’s “hammer,” Chloe’s work ethic and competitive team spirit parallels her father to the bone. Not necessarily the pinkie bone – yes, Ronnie Lott’s greatest “tough guy” moment was when he cut off part of his own dislocated pinkie because it was just in the way — but Chloe is nails in all regards. “Nobody could possibly compete harder than Chloe,” Hall Leon said. “At practice, in the weight room, conditioning. ... She sets a great example for others but doesn’t expect anyone to be as tenacious as she is.” She won’t pass the eye test during warm-ups, but that all changes once a match starts.

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“She doesn’t say much on the court. She looks too small to be effective in the biggest matches. Then she forces you to ask, ‘Who is that?’ because the ball just goes down,” said John Tawa, owner and publisher of PrepVolleyball.com. “There are some players who don’t appear to hit the ball harder or smarter than anyone else, but the ball doesn’t get dug up. That’s when you know you’re watching a special player, because she scores when the vast majority of her peers don’t.” The youngest of three children — sister Hailey, 20, is at Loyola Marymount and brother Isaiah, 19, is at Northern Illinois — Chloe knows exactly where that competitive gene comes from. She said her dad never pushed her into sports. Though, according to Hall Leon, Ronnie Lott attends just about every match. “After every match he comes up and gives me tips even

though he never played volleyball,” Chloe said with a laugh. “Mostly it’s just about competing. He knows just what to say after a tough loss.” Through Oct. 13, the Lancers (15-9) have a lot more than is the norm. St. Francis has won more state titles in girls volleyball (nine) than any team and has made 11 state-final appearances. The Lancers won that ninth crown when Chloe was a starting right side hitter in 2010, 3-1 over Troy-Fullerton. She had 11 kills on a very experienced team. Her role has expanded greatly since that time. She plays through the entire rotation now and is the team’s leader in kills and digs and energy. “Her personality is infectious,” Hall Leon. “She creates a lot of drive and a lot of joy just by being Chloe. She cares deeply about her teammates and our team success. All of that creates a very nice balance.”

Now if the Lancers could just play their best, this would be a perfect capper to a superb prep career. After losing in last year’s Northern California Division II finals to Presentation-San Jose, the Lancers had to replace five seniors including three-year starting setter Taylor Formico, who is now at UC Santa Barbara. Three-year setter Haley Roe was penciled in to replace Formico, but she’s been out with an injury. Last year’s JV setter MacLaine Westendorf has filled in nicely, but the Lancers, loaded with defensive specialist, have yet to click consistently offensively. “We have everything we need,” Hall Leon said. “This team is capable of just about anything. In every defeat, we’ve had something just a little bit off. It’s not one thing. All of it is fixable.” Especially with the team’s superb attitude and camaraderie, she said. “Honestly the best thing about the team is that we have some of the nicest girls you could ever want to be around,” said Hall Leon, a two-time national champion from 2001-05 at Stanford as a starting libero. “They’re great to be around and they’re great to each other, so I have no doubt we’ll get these initial hiccups out of the way.” It’s not like St. Francis has been losing to pushovers. The West Catholic Athletic League has produced more state team champs than any volleyball league. The Lancers dropped two matches to perennial national power Archbishop MittySan Jose twice, four-time NorCal champion Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. and up-and-coming Valley Christian-San Jose. “I feel very lucky to be part of such a great league,” Hall Leon said. “It’s no wonder our teams have such success in the playoffs because we are so well prepared.” The Lancers got more preparation in San Diego last week at the Torrey Pines Tournament where they went 3-3. It’s regarded as one of the toughest tournaments in the state. “We’ve just run into some small road blocks,” said Chloe, who has yet to name her college finalists. “We’re not focused on what has happened, but where we’re going and how we can get better next time. We’ll get there.” The strength of the squad is on defense, with a remarkable four defensive specialist: returning seniors Catherine Wes (58) and Kelly Wimmer (5-9), along with newcomers Tatiana San Juan (5-7) and Hannah Aguirre (5-7), both juniors. Wes has already committed to Columbia University and Wimmer is headed to USC. Wes is the team’s libero. “It’s been a long time since I can remember a high school team with the sheer numbers of talented backrow players,” Hall Leon said. “It’s quite a luxury. I feel very comfortable with any of them in at any time. But I feel that about the entire team. I don’t feel we have six starters but 15 starters.” Stephanie Kellogg is the team’s 6-1 senior middle blocker and is headed to Brown. She’s a returning first-team AllWCAL member. “Very few middles can hit off one leg as well as she can,” Hall Leon said. “She’s also a lethal setter.” Kellogg teams with senior Emily Rose (6-2) in the middle. “She’s a great blocker and is fantastic connecting with her teammates,” Hall Leon said. On the outside, 5-10 junior Alexandra Espinosa is a big scorer and often hits off line. “She has good range, swings hard and is a great competitor,” Hall Leon said. “She wants to take big swings and rises to the occasion.” Which sounds a lot like Chloe, who said she fell in love with the sport and St. Francis volleyball because of teamwork. It’s the ultimate payoff for the kill. “It feels so good because you’re doing it for the team,” she said. “Everything we do is for each other, for St. Francis, for our teammates and coaches. That makes it very, very cool.” ✪  Mitch Stephens is a national columnist for MaxPreps.com

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Jonathan Hawthorne photos

Acalanes’ Megan Dietrich

NCS GIRLS WATER POLO Acalanes has a real shot at its first NCS title in Division II, if it can vanquish its perennial thorn Campolindo

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By Chace Bryson | Editor

calanes High girls water polo coach Misha Buchel didn’t come right out and say it, but he didn’t have to either. It’s all about Campolindo. Ever since the Dons let their late lead slip away in an eventual 10-9 overtime loss to the Cougars in the North Coast Section Division II semifinals a year ago, Acalanes’ path to a championship season — league or section — was going to have to go through Campolindo. When the NCS playoffs get underway on Oct. 30, there’s a very good chance that the two programs will be on a collision course for another semifinal or championship meeting. “As far as Campolindo is concerned, it’s a mental hurdle that we have to get past,” Buchel said on the eve of the Dons’ regular-season Diablo Foothill Athletic League meeting against Campolindo. The two teams met in a tournament earlier in the season with the Cougars winning 9-4. “They are the last team in the area that we haven’t beaten yet in my seven years here. It’s just about getting over that mental hurdle.” Campolindo is not the defending NCS Division II champion. Last year’s Cougars were tripped up in the final by a

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senior-heavy Las Lomas squad. And with Las Lomas rebuilding in 2012, the Cougars and Acalanes have established themselves as the top teams in the competitive Diablo Foothill Athletic League, and are each likely to gain a Top 4 seed when the tournament brackets are drawn up on Oct. 28. Acalanes has been on a tear since that loss to Campolindo on Sept. 26, defeating its last three opponents by a combined score of 51-13. They carried a 12-4 record into their league showdown with the Cougars. “We lost a lot from last year’s team and we were kind of wondering what was going to happen as a result,” Buchel said. “We knew a lot of people were going to need to fill bigger roles, but that our defense was going to be very good. Offensively, we’re a work in progress, but defensively we’re really tough to break down.” Leading the defense is senior goalkeeper Katie Ramm, who Buchel said he could “make a case for as the best goalie in the section.” Offensively, the team is fueled by senior Megan Dietrich, a three-year standout for the Dons. “She does everything for us,” Buchel said. “ She is probably our best defender, too, but we try to spare her from that role because we use her so much on offense.” While Campolindo — who built a record of 15-1 through Upload photos and team stats! www.SportStarsOnline.com


Campolindo’s Sam Flower its first 16 games — continues to be the team to beat, the Division II field won’t be a twoteam race. Fellow DFAL program Miramonte has given Acalanes a pair of tough matches already this season. Buchel also pointed to Sir Francis Drake-San Anselmo as a team which could make a strong run. “They are really disciplined and don’t beat themselves,” Buchel said of Drake, who Acalanes defeated 8-7 on Sept. 14. “Campo-

linodo, Miramonte, Drake and us. Those four on any given day can beat each other, I think.” At some point, though, it’ll come down to Campolindo. “We didn’t quite do enough to beat them (in the semifinal) a year ago,” the Dons coach said. “But this year we’ve really talked about not beating ourselves in close games, and taking pride in not making game management mistakes. We have confidence in those types of games, and that’s what it’s going to take.” ✪

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Monte Vista faced few expectations after replacing another highly-recruited QB. That’s not the case anymore

N

By Chace Bryson | Editor

ikita Zamora knew. He knew it as the Monte Vista High junior varsity quarterback a year ago, and he certainly knew it in mid-August when he was anointed the starting varsity job after a grueling camp battle with senior Anders Turner. Playing quarterback for the Danville program comes with expectations. Over the past decade, four of the Mustangs five quarterbacks have earned scholarships to toptier Division-I college programs. The most recent departure was Jeff Lockie, a two-year starter who now suits up at the University of Oregon. “You can’t help but think about that,” Zamora said of the pedigree of his predecessors. In fact, as a program that has averaged 8.8 wins over the past 10 years, just suiting up in the scarlet red and black carries a fair amount of expectations. Until this year, anyway. For the first time in several seasons, the Mustangs weren’t at the top of the preseason lists of teams to watch. Graduation brought about the exit of several starters along with Lockie, and the incoming junior class expected to fill the gaps had not had overwhelming success as freshmen and sophomores. So the preseason hype was focused across town where Monte Vista rival San Ramon Valley was sporting the new quarterback with big expectations. None of this bothered Zamora, or the rest of the Mustangs. In fact, it might’ve been the best possible scenario for the team. Bob Larson “We used that as motivation to practice hard every day and get ABOVE: Monte Vista junior Nikita Zamora better,” senior tight end and safety drops back to pass in an Oct. 5 game at Mason Melin said. “And (the unCalifornia-San Ramon. derdog role) has been fun. There’s RIGHT: Zamora, center, has thrived thanks in part a lot less pressure. ... We don’t get to senior offensive talents Mason Melin, left, and caught up in what everyone is sayZack Chang, right. ing about us, and it keeps us focused.” That focus has put Monte Vista on the fast track to a potential top-four seed in the North Coast Section Division I playoffs in November. The Mustangs opened the year with a 6-1 record after a 44-14 dusting of Livermore on Oct. 12 — featuring a 247-yard, four-touchdown effort by Zamora. That performance came on the heels of arguably the Mustangs biggest win of the season, a 44-26 road win over then-undefeated California-San Ramon. Zamora threw for a career-high 312 yards in that victory. “Everything just worked in that game,” Zamora said of his performance against Cal. “We got into that rhythm where everything just clicked.”

NEXT IN LINE “We knew he had talent,” Monte Vista coach Craig Bergman said of Zamora, “and that there would be a learning curve.” 22

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Phillip Walton

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Bergman has been the architect of the Monte Vista quarterback parade, which began with Kyle Wright from 20002002. Wright was a national recruit who eventually landed and started for the University of Miami. The Mustangs quarterback tree would go on to produce Drew McAllister (2007 graduate, USC), Brett Nottingham (2010 graduate, Stanford) and Lockie in 2012. And while the outside spotlight didn’t shine on Zamora once he was named the starter, the internal spotlight was. “I know at the beginning of the year everyone wondered if he was going to have a enough confidence to fill those shoes,” Melin said of Zamora. That doubt ended pretty quickly though. Now with 14 touchdowns and just six interceptions in his first seven games,

it appears as though Zamora is ahead of the curve. Bergman admits they’ve brought him along slowly to keep from information overload. “At this point he’s not handling the same load as some of the predecessors,” the coach said of Zamora’s knowledge of Monte Vista’s pro-style offense. “Next year he probably will be. We don’t like to put too much on them or their head will start to spin. He’s really come a long way in managing the game.” But it’s not like he’s doing it alone, either. Melin has been a consistent target with 27 catches for 419 yards and five touchdowns. Jalen Avery, a senior receiver who drew praise across the board from Bergman and players as someone who has really stepped up to surprise this year, has caught 23 passes for 511 yards and a team-leading eight

scores. Marco Zamora, a junior of no relation to Nikita, has also eclipsed 500 yards receiving Utilizing their talents was one of the biggest early lessons learned by Nikita Zamora. “For me, one of the hardest parts was having confidence in other players,” the quarterback said. “It was a matter of trusting other guys and trusting that we have a lot of great players on the field that I can rely on.” That was a lesson driven home in a 21-0 win against Berkeley on Aug. 31, just his second start behind center. “That was probably my worst game so far,” Zamora said of the night which accounts for half of his season’s interception total. “Three picks. I didn’t have trust in players and I was trying to do too much.” He’s over that now. And the rest of his teammates continue to reciprocate that trust. “He’s confident in the huddle,” senior running back Zack Chang said. “He looks in your eyes and he tells you the play, and you know that he’s going to get that play done.”

FINISHING IT OFF Chang is yet another weapon at Bergman and Zamora’s disposal. The 5-8, 170-pound back was the primary ball-carrier behind Lockie a year ago, rushing for a little more than 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns. He opened the season gaining 340 yards over his first two games before hitting a stretch of three straight games without reaching 100 yards. In the Mustangs lone loss of the season, a 21-14 result against Foothill-Pleasanton, Chang had just 17 carries for 42 yards. “Zack wasn’t running north and south or hitting the hole like he always had,” Bergman said. “We really critiqued the film hard with him. He’s not going to run away from guys. He has great vision and he finishes runs well, and he’d kind of went away from that for a couple of games.” Chang responded with a 171-yard, three-touchdown game as Monte Vista put the Foothill loss behind them and stunned California on its home field. “We learned (against Foothill) that every single time we get the ball near the end zone we have to think that it means the game, and we have to get it in,” Melin said. “A few times we didn’t think that. We thought it would happen, but didn’t make it happen. And it cost us.” And now with a 6-1 record, the Mustangs can not only talk about finishing off games and scoring drives. They can talk about finishing off the season. The team’s final three games are more than treacherous. It starts with a road game at the state’s No. 1-ranked team, De La Salle-Concord, on Oct. 19. It finishes with home against against Amador Valley-Pleasanton on Oct. 26 and cross-town rival San Ramon Valley on Nov. 2. The heated rivalry could be ramped up a notch, too, with the Wolves — the Danville team that HAD the preseason hype — potentially needing a victory to guarantee itself a postseason berth. Chang and Melin both pointed to keeping a vigilant focus as the key to a strong finish. Zamora’s answer may give an even better glimpse into the type of quarterback and leader he can become for the Mustangs — or perhaps, already is. “Just getting better every week,” he said. “We work hard in practice. We take care of business. Keep taking steps forward. Never be satisfied and never get complacent with ourselves. Keep looking forward and never looking back.” Besides, they won’t be able to play the underdog role much longer. ✪ 24

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party crashers Surprise Broncos buck

mediocre expectations, enter DVAL title race By Bill kolb | Contributor

Shorten an age-old football adage by one word and you’ve got yourself a pretty fair explanation for Northgate’s 2012 emergence as a reckonable force. Defense wins. The Broncos have ridden their tenacious, bend-don’t-break defensive philosophy to a 6-1 record and a stunning 2-0 mark in the tough Diablo Valley Athletic League. The signature moment (in what is becoming a season full of signature moments…) thus far was the Oct. 5 home victory over then-unbeaten and highly-touted Concord. The Minutemen entered the contest as the No. 2-ranked Division II team in Northern California, once again squarely in the middle of the conversation surrounding the California Interscholastic Federation bowl games at the end of the season. And in the first half, it looked for all the world like the Minutemen would continue to roll. The Broncos trailed 20-6 at the break, then shut out the Concord offensive juggernaut in the second half, slapped a 22-spot on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, and pulled out a stunning 28-20 victory. Northgate clamped down on Concord running back Olito Thompson, holding one of the state’s best rushers to 62 yards and no touchdowns on 20 carries. His only score came on a 2-point conversion after Danny Golden’s 83-yard punt return in the second quarter. The defense actually only allowed 12 points against Concord. Thompson entered the game with 894 yards on 121 carries, an average of more than 7 yards per carry, and nearly 180 per game. “We tried to put Olito in a box in the first half, and we did, but they hurt us with the pass,” Northgate coach Justin Lowell said. “We made some adjustments at the half. The defense came to play.” The defense ALWAYS comes to play.

northgate-walnut creek

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Phillip Walton photos

Northgate’s leading wide receiver Brandon Lee sprints upfield against Mt. Diablo on Oct. 12. Upload photos and team stats! www.SportStarsOnline.com


“We had two weeks to prepare for Olito Thompson. We knew that was going to be the best battle we’d had all season, and it was. We knew it was our time, time to take the next step up toward the top of the mountain. Now we’ve got to stay hungry.” — Defensive lineman Max Moore After a 64-0 pasting of Mt. Diablo on Oct. 13, Northgate hasn’t allowed a point in six quarters of play. The Red Devils were held to a somewhat alarming 9 rushing yards and just 129 total offensive yards in the loss. Northgate forced two fumbles and intercepted three passes. The Broncos defense also came up huge in their first signature win of the season, a gritty 29-19 victory over cross-town rival Las Lomas in the Battle of the Creek in which they held the Knights to just 59 rushing yards on 24 attempts. Lowell credits the dedication of the defensive unit and the preparation of defensive coordinator Ben Ballard for the high level the Broncos are achieving this season. “We had two weeks to prepare for Olito Thompson,” standout defensive lineman Max Moore said after the improbable victory. “We knew that was going to be the best battle we’d had all season, and it was. We knew it was our time, time to take the next step up toward the top of the mountain. Now we’ve got to stay hungry.” Moore looked like he couldn’t possibly be any hungrier vs. the Minutemen. He spent a goodly portion of the night stuffing the middle against Thompson or in the backfield disrupting quarterback Wyatt Morrow. He’s joined in his efforts by partners-incrime Sean Cremin and Joe Pelletier on the front-line of the Broncos’ defenses. Pelletier, incidentally, does unlikely double duty as Northgate’s quarterback. And then there’s Fisi Tavake. At least Moore, Cremin and Pelletier look the part of defensive stalwarts. Moore is 6-4, 275; Cremin 6-3, 212; Pelletier 6-1, 210. Tavake, all 5-10, 170 (maybe 175 with the hair) looks like a better fit for the track team. But he never fails or fears to stick his nose in against a larger opponent (Thompson, for example, who clocks in at 5-10, 210) and make a play. And he makes a LOT of plays with his long, wild hair flying behind him. “Fisi’s all over the field,” Lowell said. “He had the interception (against Morrow), and he’s flying around making tackles.” “He’s a great guy,” Moore said of his oddcouple opposite number. “He’s not the big-

Fisi Tavake is known by teammates as “Mini Troy Polamalu.”

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gest guy, but he runs hard and makes great cuts. And on defense, I know he’s got my back. We call him our mini Troy Polamalu.” Tavake ground out 60 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries vs. Concord to help the Northgate three-headed rushing monster forge ahead for 277 yards on 54 carries. Jimmy Sharpe (16-129) and Eric Haynes (6-24) round out the running back team, with Pelletier (13-35) chipping in key yards from quarterback. Pelletier also found senior wide out Bran-

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don Lee for a 25-yard scoring strike and junior Jake Smith for an acrobatic 29-yard score in the fourth quarter before Tavake notched the final touchdown. “Joe was under pressure all night, but he made plays with his arm and his feet,” Lowell said. “Brandon was great and Jake is a stud. He came up big.” Back to the defense. Northgate stoned the Minutemen twice from inside the 5-yard line, picked Morrow twice, and recovered a forced fumble. And

the special teams managed to recover a crucial onside kick immediately after Lee’s score to set up Smith’s. “Our boys did not crack under pressure,” Lowell said. “They kept their composure. Just kept grinding it out. The offensive line came up big, the three running backs kept the chains moving and the clock running. We got goal-line stands. We played hard on every play.” Northgate has a shot at yet another signature win when it heads to Concord to take on Clayton Valley on Oct. 26. The Eagles are a run-first, run-often, big-play offensive machine, featuring another of the area’s most devastating runners in Joe Protheroe. Clayton Valley trounced Ygnacio Valley 69-22 and College Park 49-7 in the past two weeks to move to 6-1 and stay tied atop the DVAL standings with the Broncos. The Eagles will be tested by the host Minutemen on Oct. 19 in the topsy-turvy league. The Broncos are at Diablo Valley College taking on College Park that night in what could be something of a trap game. “Not for us,” Moore said. “Not this year. There’s too much leadership, too much focus. We are out to prove people wrong. No one ever counts Northgate in. We’re going to make sure they don’t count us out.” ✪

Broncos senior quarterback Joe Pelletier (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) also plays a key role on the defense as a starting linebacker.

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SportStars NorCal Top 20 All records through Oct. 13 Rank (Last Wk.) School 1 (1)

De La Salle-Concord

2 (2)

Elk Grove

4 (4)

Franklin-Elk Grove

3 (3) 5 (6) 6 (5) 7 (7) 8 (8) 9 (9)

10 (10) 11 (11)

12 (12) 13 (13) 14 (14) 15 (15) 16 (16) 17 (17) 18 (18) 19 (19) 20 (20)

Record

Bellarmine-San Jose Folsom

Serra-San Mateo Placer-Auburn

Marin Catholic-Kentfield St. Mary’s-Stockton

Burbank-Sacramento Monte Vista-Danville Oakdale

Deer Valley

Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose Oak Grove-San Jose

California-San Ramon

7-0 7-0 5-0 7-0 7-0 5-1 7-0 7-1 5-2 7-0 6-1 6-1 6-1 6-1 4-2 6-0 6-1

Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa 7-0 James Logan-Union City El Cerrito

6-1 7-0

Top 20 Facts-Figures-Fallout ■ DROPPED OUT: None ■ BIGGEST MOVER: Everybody held serve this week, except for Serra-San Mateo who drops just one spot to No. 6 after an overtime loss to No. 3 Bellarmine PrepSan Jose. That opened the door for Folsom to climb one more rung into the Top 5. ■ TOP 20 MATCHUPS TO WATCH: One week after having a 3 vs. 5, we’ll get a 2 vs. 4 when Elk Grove hosts Franklin-Elk Grove in a Delta Valley League showdown on Oct. 19. Top-ranked De La Salle plays No. 11 Monte Vista on the same night. No. 18 Cardinal Newman faces its toughest test of the season against unranked Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park (7-0) on Oct. 26. ■ TEAMS REMAINING FROM PRESEASON TOP 20: 10 ■ KNOCKING AT THE DOOR: Stagg-Stockton (7-0), Clayton Valley-Concord (6-1), Concord (6-1), West Valley-Cottonwood (6-1), Palo Alto (4-2), Buhach ColonyAtwater (5-2), Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove (5-2), FreedomOakley (5-2), Granite Bay (4-3).

Not So Fast New-look Bellarmine is back in the State Bowl picture

Reports of Bellarmine Prep High’s football demise have obviously been greatly exaggerated. The Bells, who graduated all but five starters from last season’s magical 12-2 season, were left for a “rebuilding season” following an unfair 41-7 opening-game defeat to De La Salle. It was unfair that such a young and inexperienced team had to open with the nationally-ranked Spartans, who feature four Division I-college seniors on defense alone. “(Bellarmine) will be OK,” De La Salle coach Bob Ladouceur said of the San Jose program afterward. “That’s a great program and (Mike Janda) is a very good coach.” The Bells licked their wounds from that night, went back to work and following an absolute stellar 35-34 overtime win at Serra-San Mateo on Oct. 13, they are right back in the state bowl picture. It was Bellarmine’s fifth straight win and second straight WCAL barnburner, the previous a 14-10 triumph over Archbishop Mitty-San Jose on a 46-yard TD pass from K.J. CartaSamuels to Jared Vallner with 2:14 remaining on Oct. 6. Against Serra, the Vanderbilt-bound Carta-Samuels was absolutely brilliant, completing 12 of 15 passes for 201 yards while accounting for all four of Bellarmine’s offensive TDs. The other score, which proved decisive, came right before halftime when Curt Calomeni blocked a punt and Daniel Fields returned it five yards for a touchdown. “Our motto all year is for our defense and special teams to give our team a chance to win,” Janda said. “They came up huge with that block.” The defense’s other big play came on the game’s final play when Serra coach Patrick Walsh decided to go for the win on a 2-point conversion play in overtime. Eric Redwood, who had burned the Bells with 187 yards rushing and four touchdowns, was met at the line of scrimmage by linebacker Austin Changras and a sea of Bellarmine defenders for no gain. Changras scored on the first play of overtime on a 10-yard pass from Carta-Samuels. Joey Sanfilippo had Bellarmine’s other touchdown on a 17-yard reception and Vallner set up three of the scores with four catches and 125 yards. “We’ve heard all season how we graduated so many seniors from last year’s team,” Carta-Samuels said. “We proved today we can still move the ball. We’re still Bellarmine.” Said Janda: “Serra’s a great team. We didn’t expect them to go away. But that didn’t break our backs either. … We’re still a work in progress. But this was a very good win.”

FOOTBALL GROVE

There was a time when the mention of football in Elk Grove meant only one thing — the Elk Grove High Thundering Herd. But, with the population boom of the 1990s, the city quickly expanded and so did the Elk Grove Unified School District.

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Norbert von der Groeben

Bellarmine junior quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels

Where there was once just a single high school serving the entire community, a total of nine high schools— Cosumnes Oaks, Elk Grove, Florin, Franklin, Laguna Creek, Monterey Trail, Pleasant Grove, Sheldon, and Valley—are in the school district. The city’s growth and subsequent development of new schools has resulted in a distribution of the community’s football talent among the schools. Despite the fear that new schools would water down the strength of the City’s football programs, Elk Grove boasts a large number of top schools that contend for Sac-Joaquin Section supremacy year in and year out. “It is amazing that schools that are so close together can all produce great programs,” said Chris Nixon, head coach at Elk Grove High School. His Thundering Herd is currently the top-ranked team in Elk Grove, but Franklin is on their heels with the two programs set for an October 19 showdown at Elk Grove. In 2011, more than half of the teams from Elk Grove qualified for the playoffs, with Pleasant Grove advancing to the Division I title game. The Eagles won the D-I championship in 2010. But Elk Grove High remains the target, especially this year as the city and region’s top-ranked program through the first eight weeks. “Everyone’s rival in town is Elk Grove,” said Franklin head coach Mike Johnson, who has led the Wildcats since the school opened 10 years ago. “Some rivalries exist with other teams, but you are nothing until you beat the Herd.” — Mitch Stephens and Jim McCue

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GIRLS GOLF: North Coast Section Tournament of Champions, Windsor Golf Course, Oct. 29, 8 a.m. shotgun — The top female golfers in the section will go North this year to battle it out for CIF Northern Regional Championship berths. Defending NorCal champion Mission San Jose-Fremont will be considered a top contender to take the NCS title this year after finishing second a year ago to Amador Valley-Pleasanton. Other teams that could play a factor include Foothill-Pleasanton, Granada-Livermore and Acalanes-Lafayette. Kathleen Scavo of Justin-Siena-Napa will be looking to defend her individual NCS crown from a year ago, as well.

sac joaquin Must Go

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FOOTBALL: Franklin-Elk Grove vs. Elk Grove, Oct. 19, 7:15 p.m. — There will be a lot more than city pride on the line when the Wildcats pay a visit to the Thundering Herd in this Delta Valley League showdown. The winner will not only have an inside track to the DVL crown, but will also gain an edge in the seeding for a potential Open or Division I Regional Bowl championship berth. Both teams rely on powerful running games fueled by multiple backs. This should literally play out to a last-man-standing type of finish.

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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Las Lomas-Walnut Creek at Campolindo-Moraga, Oct. 23, 6 p.m. — Campolindo hasn’t missed a beat this season under new head coach John Vuong. The perennial DFAL powerhouse is on pace for another league crown and top NCS playoff seed thanks to seniors Annie Shurtz and Sophie Seiberth, right. Las Lomas is the up-and-comer, though, and the Knights think they just might have the firepower to make this match interesting. The first meeting between the teams on Sept. 27 went 3-0 in favor of Campolindo, but the first two games were decided by a total of five points.

3

FOOTBALL: Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa at Rancho Cotate-Rohnert Park, Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m. — A North Bay League title and a top seed in the North Coast Section Division III playoffs will ultimately be on the line when these two rivals clash. As of Oct. 14, the teams were a combined 14-0. Cardinal Newman has been especially dominant behind a defense led by Arizona-bound LB Rancho Cotate’s AJ Davidson, right Phil Wright. The Cardinals posted three shutouts in their first six games.

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Christian Fonbuena, Franklin

October 18, 2012

As die-hard high school and teen sports enthusiasts, we realize that you face many tough choices on what games to see, which athletes to watch and everything in between. 10 To Go is our attempt to lend a hand with such quandaries. Behold our list of the Top 10 things to put on your prep sports bucket list through the end of October.

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WATER POLO: Bellarmine Memorial Cup Invitational, Oct. 26-27, Bellarmine Prep HS, San Jose, all day — The two-day boys tournament not only brings in some of the top programs in the Bay Area, but the state as well. The defending champion, Newport Harbor, went on to be a semifinalist in the Southern Section Division I tournament a year ago. Matches begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.

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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Northgate Invitational, Northgate HS, Walnut Creek, Oct. 27, all day — Michelle Lawrence (pictured) and her teammates host the last of the big East Bay tournaments before North Coast Section playoffs get under way two weeks later. Therefore, it’s also the last chance for some of the top East Bay programs to gain some seeding priority over other playoff-bound programs. Typically the semifinals and finals feature some playoff previews which are well worth the price of admission.

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GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Granite Bay at Del Oro-Loomis, Oct 29, 6 p.m. — The Grizzlies rolled to a convincing 3-0 win over Del Oro in the teams’ first Delta River League meeting on Oct. 8, but the Golden Eagles are sure to target their chance at redemption. Both teams have more than established themselves as the DRL frontrunners as well as strong SJS contenders. Following Granite Bay’s win over Del Oro, the teams were a combined 41-8 overall.

GIRLS GOLF: Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament, The Reserve at Spanos Park, Stockton, Oct. 29, 8:30 a.m. shotgun — This will be the fifth consecutive year that the SJS has held it’s section championship tournament at the renown Stockton course. St. Francis-Sacramento won the first three held at The Reserve, and Christian Brothers won in 2011. Teams expected to make a run at this year’s title include Granite Bay, behind standout Paige Lee, right, St. Francis-Sacramento, Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove and Rocklin.

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BOYS SOCCER: Sac-Joaquin Section Divisions I-III playoffs, first round, Oct. 30 — Action on the pitch gets serious as the brackets in the top three divisions get underway. Among the favorites for each division are Jesuit-Sacramento (Div. I), Bella Vista-Fair Oaks and Granite Bay (Div. II) and Lincoln (Div. III).

Bay Area Must Go

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BOYS/GIRLS WATER POLO: North Coast Section playoffs, first round, various sites, Oct. 31 — It would be awfully hard for the NCS water polo tournament to deliver a more exciting postseason than what we saw in 2011. Three of the four championship matches were decided by one goal; two were decided in overtime. In the Division II boys bracket alone there were seven matches decided by three goals or less. The level of play in the pool continues to rise each postseason, and we expect nothing less this year.

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Coaching dedicated young swimmers reinforces what I’ve learned from sport

I

possible. have been an endurance athlete for most of my life — a swimmer for over 20 years, Think big.  and approaching 10 years as a triathlete. Discover what you want from life.  In the past 20 years, I’ve also When to socialize and when to taught and coached thousands put my head down and work.   of athletes of all levels and ages. When to be an athlete and From both sides of the water, I when to be a coach.   have learned the most valuable Make your own luck.  lessons of my life, and continue Fail.  And come back from to do so as I work with different failure.    types of athletes.   To be humble.   For the past 10 months I’ve been Remember that I am only huprivileged to work with a group of man.   high school swimmers who barely Re-focus (a skill I notice is make a blip on the radar of most most difficult at times).  people outside the swim world. Liz Elliott Forgive.   For the swimming world, they are I also picked up integrity: in a powerhouse: the Senior Elite myself, my work and when I regroup of the Pleasanton Seahawks. quest it from others. Also, time management, What makes them elite? It’s not just that planning and a whole host of other life skills they are extremely talented and can swim that have helped me in business and personal fast. It’s not that they are in high school that relationships. While I do not exhibit all these grants them access to this group. To be in qualities 100 percent of the time, they help to this group, they have to want to be there.    bring me back to reality quickly and send my Being a top athlete is not just about bemind into the clouds at the same time. ing fast or talented. Being fast doesn’t just I am the group’s substitute coach for happen. The Senior Elite is a training group morning workouts. At first, the kids would about building character. The philosophy for thank me for being there, but not understand the group that has sent multiple swimmers why I prefer to coach the 4 a.m. practice. I to Olympic Trials and on to swim for top make a choice Tuesday, Thursday and Friday college swimming programs for the past 25 mornings to slog down a cup of coffee at 3:40 years is, “Character is what you do when no a.m. so I can open the pool by 4:10. I believe one is looking.” These kids live it every day.   in this program. I believe in the individuals it They swim nine times a week, upwards of creates and sends into the world.   6,000 strokes per practice, week in and week   Character is what you do when no one is out through pouring rain, beating sun, AP watching. Character is about constantly makclasses and just trying to be normal kids. ing a choice. It may not always be the right They travel the world swimming. They are choice, but that is how we learn. Thank you the definition of dedication.   Pleasanton Seahawks Swimming for teaching The question that each has to decide is ‘Why do I want to be in this group?’ They are me as a youth, and reminding me as an adult, that I benefit every time I stand on the deck in defining their character every time they get the pouring rain. ✪ out of bed for practice. Watching these young, talented, hard working individuals, I’ve been reminded that the most valuable lessons I’ve learned have been from sport.     From sport, I have learned how to:  Respect — others, and myself.   Follow a plan.  Trust in a plan.  Win the adoration of others.  Patience.  Focus.  Do math by multiples of 25.  Build stuff.  Create.  Not worry about the adoration of others.    Use my mind.  Exert my mind beyond what I thought

Tri Steps

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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. As the football season kicks into high gear, fans get more passionate and start tailgating like there’s no tomorrow. We highlight some of the tailgating essentials and also take a look at some cool bike products. If you want more info on these products, reach ‘em online.

Ion Tailgater AM/FM

This thing plays your whole rockin’ Bieber or Lady Gaga collection, but it also plays your favorite radio station too. Convince mom and dad that this is a must-have for tailgating and that all the cool kids have one, too. That argument usually works to perfection.

CyFy WristView Riding a bike in traffic is about as death-defying as the Running of the Bulls in Spain. You gotta be safe out there and this gadget is the first of its kind. It’s a rearview mirror that slaps around your wrist. Oh yeah, we can get behind this.

BioLogic PostPump 2.0

We couldn’t possibly think of anything snazzier (Yes, that’s a word. Well, at least the red squiggly line didn’t come up…). Grab one of these so you don’t have to lug a stupid bike pump around.

ICEdot Crash Sensor

There are times when you definitely know you’re gonna bail big time. Like when your brakes give out and you’re heading for a concrete truck. Or when you’re going full speed into your mom’s rose bushes. Other times it might not be so clear, so get the ICEdot Crash Sensor. This thing will save your life, or if you’re a daredevil like us, it might do it multiple times.

Blacktop 360 Party Hub Grill-Fryer

Suction Coozies

No more spilling alcoh-- err, soda on your dad’s truck! Insert one of these suction coozies around your drink and LIKE MAGIC it doesn’t move. It comes in tons of colors too. Boo yah!

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Get your grill on (get it?) at the next Raiders or Niners game and cook for everyone in attendance (or even people that just wander by). That’s not asking too much, is it? We like our steaks medium rare with BBQ sauce and potato salad on the side. Thanks!

Bean Bag Baseball Toss Game

Get one with your favorite team’s logo and start piling up those homers! Great for tailgating or good old-fashioned fun in the living room.

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October 18, 2012

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ACL Tears, Part II: How to reduce the risk Editor’s note: This is the conclusion to a two-part look at ACL tears in young athletes. Part I was written by Dr. Nirav K. Pandya and can be found in Issue 53 at SportStarsOnline.com

I

n Part I, Dr. Pandya discussed the intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors associated with ACL injuries. In Part II, we will discuss ways to reduce some of the intrinsic risk factors with this devastating injury. ■ Everything BUTT the quads Next time you watch a professional athlete, take a look at their backside. Some of the fastest, strongest, and most successful athletes have learned that the key to decreasing injuries is to train their posterior muscles. On the other hand, many of the athletes we see for physical therapy have overdeveloped quadriceps and underdeveloped gluteus and hamstring muscles. The reason this imbalance occurs is that most of the activities of life favor the front. The way to counterbalance this is to perform exercises such as bridges, clamshells, and deadlifts. ■ The CORE can give you more Improved stability of the muscles that make up the core, i.e. abdominal, spine, pelvis, and hip, is very important to injury risk reduction. The core forms the foundation for the movement of your legs. Exercises such as planks, supermans, and laces can improve your core stability. ■ Soft landings are good landings

Faulty landing mechanics are a major contributor to ACL injuries. Many athletes land with their knees collapsed inward and forward past their toes or with their knees completely straight, both of which puts increased stress on the knees. Proper landing involves keeping the knee in line with the second toe, hips and knees slightly flexed, and trunk upright. Practice must be done with double and single leg landing, as well as in game-like situations. ■ The importance of a dynamic warmup Proper warm up is key to getting your muscles and nervous system ready for the demands of your sport. Jog for 5-10 minutes to get your blood flowing to the muscles, followed by active stretches such as walking lunges and Frankenstein marches. ■ Practice makes better The key to any injury reduction program is practice. Your neuromuscular system needs repetition so that you don’t have to think before you move. Performing exercises and learning how to land properly requires constant attention. This is especially true in the young athlete since their bodies are undergoing regular changes. Remember that over 70 percent of ACL injuries are noncontact injuries. That means that changing the way you train and move can help reduce your risk and keep you in the game. If you have questions about exercise or technique, contact your school’s certified athletic trainer or a licensed physical therapist. ✪

Tuan Mai is a physical therapist, certified athletic trainer and a certified strength and conditioning specialist for Sports Medicine For Young Athletes, a division of Children’s Hospital Oakland with a facility also located in Walnut Creek. If you have questions or comments regarding the “Health Watch” column, write the staff at Health@SportStarsOnline.com.

Health Watch Tuan Mai

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Choose your favorite categories or advertisers for special offers and killer deals, then mail or fax it to us! Or drop it off at SportStars HQ! ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒

Apparel Automotive Camps & Clinics Endurance/Outdoor/ Adventure Events Fun/Entertainment Fundraising Golf/Tennis Gyms/Health Clubs Health & Nutrition Home Improvement Martial Arts Restaurants Sporting Goods Teams/Clubs/Leagues Travel & Leisure

❒❒ A A A No. California, Nevada & Utah......... 10 ❒❒ Home Team Sports Photography.............. 37 ❒❒ Antioch’s Great Family Entertainment

❒❒ Image Imprint.......................................... 27 Centers..................................................... 35 ❒❒ Kinders B B Q............................................ 13 ❒❒ Army National Guard Recruiter................... 7 ❒❒ Midway Paintball Park............................. 34 ❒❒ Back Forty B B Q....................................... 31 ❒❒ Mountain Mike’s Pizza.............................. 19 ❒❒ Bay Area Blast Volleyball Club............ 33, 35 ❒❒ Bay Area Golf Show.................................. 38 ❒❒ Big O Tires.................................................. 2 ❒❒ Blaze Volleyball........................................ 33 ❒❒ Championship Athletic Fundraising......... 21

❒❒ Nor Cal Grizzlies........................................ 35 ❒❒ Pacific Rim Volleyball Academy................ 34 ❒❒ Passthaball............................................... 36 ❒❒ Rocco’s Pizza............................................. 32

❒❒ Cheergyms.Com....................................... 20 ❒❒ Rockin Jump...................................... 35, 39 ❒❒ Children’s Hospital And Research Center... 14 ❒❒ Roddy Ranch............................................ 28 ❒❒ Club Sport................................................ 12 ❒❒ Sheldon Jr. Huskies Youth FB & Cheer....... 33 ❒❒ Club Sport Renaissance............................ 18 ❒❒ Sky High Sports........................................ 32 ❒❒ Community Youth Center......................... 36 ❒❒ Sport Clips................................................ 12 ❒❒ Core Volleyball Club.................................. 34 ❒❒ Sports Stars Magazine.............................. 36 ❒❒ Crowne Plaza........................................... 36 ❒❒ St. Elizabeth High School Mustangs......... 24 ❒❒ Diablo Car Wash & Detail Center............... 36 ❒❒ Stevens Creek Toyota................................ 15 ❒❒ Diablo Futbol Club.................................... 35 ❒❒ ❒❒ Diablo Rock Gym...................................... 31 ❒❒ ❒❒ Diablo Trophies & Awards......................... 32 ❒❒ ❒❒ Diablo Valley Futsal.................................. 25 ❒❒ ❒❒ E J Sports Elite Baseball Services.............. 35 ❒❒ ❒❒ E Teamsponsor......................................... 34 ❒❒ East Bay Sports Academy......................... 33 ❒❒

Sutter Delta................................................ 3 The First Tee Of Contra Costa..................... 34 The Golf Club At Roddy Ranch.................. 28 The Sports Authority................................ 40 Tpc / The Pitching Center.......................... 37 Trucks Training......................................... 28

❒❒ Excellence In Sport Performance.............. 27 ❒❒ U C Merced................................................. 5 ❒❒ Fit 2 The Core............................................ 31 ❒❒ U S K S Martial Arts.................................. 36 ❒❒ Halo Headband........................................ 36 ❒❒ Velocity Sports Performance...........6, 32, 33 ❒❒ Heritage Soccer Club................................ 21 ❒❒ Wingstop Restaurants.............................. 16

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BA Issue 54, Oct. 18, 2012  

Bay Area Issue 54, October 18, 2012

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