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DiSanto Got Next?

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MENLO-ATHERTON-ATHERTON - VOLLEYBALL - SENIOR DiSanto helped put the Bears back in the CIF Division I State final by posting 15 kills, 14 digs, three aces and going 15 of 16 on serve receives in a 3-1 victory over Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills in the Northern Regional championship on Nov. 27. The big night pushed the Michigan-bound hitter’s season totals to 423 kills, 438 digs and 70 aces. She’s also mixed in 35 assists and 11 blocks. Menlo-Atherton (30-5) is returning to the state championships for the second straight year, and will be hoping the experience of last year’s 3-0 Div. I state final loss to Redondo Union-Redondo Beach will benefit them when they take on Edison-Huntington Beach (35-8) at 4 p.m. on Dec. 2. The Bears are one of four Central Coast Section teams representing NorCal at the state championships at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. See the full schedule on Page 24.


Championship Pedigree Aside, Olivia O’Keeffe’s State Cross Country Title Was A Welcome Surprise For The Davis Blue Devils

BLUE That an O’Keeffe from Davis Senior High claimed a third CIF State Cross Country Championship for her school and family was not surprising. That it came in 2016 and was claimed by junior Olivia O’Keeffe was a bit of a shock. Many running experts and observers figured that Fiona O’Keeffe would win her third state Division I title last year, but nagging injuries kept the senior from capping her high school career with an individual championship. Younger sister Olivia joined the team as a sophomore in 2015 and climbed the team ladder to reach a top three position with the Blue Devils this season before surprising even her coach with the victory in the Division I girls final at Fresno’s Woodward Park on Nov. 27. “I was stunned to see two white (Davis) jerseys together when the leaders came into view with 300 or 400 meters left to go,” Davis coach Bill Gregg said. “When I saw Olivia start to kick, I knew that she could win the race.” “Call it coach’s intuition, but I knew when she started to take off for the finish that the race was hers to win.” O’Keeffe out-kicked Martin Luther King-Riverside’s Lauren Peurifoy and a small pack that included senior teammate Sofia Castiglioni to cross the finish line first with a personal best time of 17 minutes, 28.9 seconds. Castiglioni, who was Davis’ No. 1 runner all season long and one of the team’s senior leaders, finished fifth to help the Blue Devils earn a second place team finish behind perennial power Great Oak-Temecula. “Olivia winning the race wasn’t really on the radar,” Gregg said. “The race plan was made around Sofia, and for the group all together to try to win the team title.” Davis’s top three finishers were dead even with Great Oak’s top runners, but the Blue Devils’ other runners could not keep up with the champion’s pace despite personal bests from sophomores Sophia Lodigian and Aniela Mitchell. The pair finished 18th and 25th, respectively in the Division I race while beating their previous best times by more than 10 seconds. Senior Abigail Fisk was the Blue Devils’ fifth finisher (31st overall) and is one of just two runners from the first seven Davis runners that will graduate. Sophomore Charlotte Mitchell and junior Sage Taylor rounded out a solid group of runners that Gregg called one of his “tightest groups” on the course and, more importantly, off of it. “As a team, I think that we did as much as we could have asked for at state, but I think that


they can run better at the Nike Nationals.” Castiglioni and Fisk will conclude their high school cross country careers in December at the 13th Annual Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon, but the Blue Devils’ underclassmen can add the prestigious race to a resume that will certainly be enhanced beyond 2016. Delta League rival St. Francis-Sacramento also showed well at the state meet and appears to have a bright future with young legs to carry the Troubadours beyond this season. Freshman Isabella Fauria finished 10th in the girls Division II race to lead St. Francis to a fourth-place team finish in the division. The high finish marked the fifth consecutive year that the Troubadours finished in the top 10, and the third time in five years they finished fourth or better. Junior Sydney Vandegrift finished just three spots behind Fauria to help pace St. Francis. Granite Bay senior Alexandra Beitia was the top Sac-Joaquin Section finisher in Division II with a fourth-place finish in 17:30.4. Davis was also well represented on the boys’ side as senior Michael Vernau finished second in the Division I race. The only runner faster than Vernau for the entire day at the CIF State Cross Country Championships was unfortunately in the same race. Armijo’s Luis Grijalva took the Division I and overall boys individual championship with an impressive 14:50.1 time on the 5,000 meter course. The senior, who finished 14th in the Division I race last year, shaved more than 30 seconds off of his time at Woodward Park from one year to the next. ✪ — Story by Jim McCue | Photos by James K. Leash

Team and individual champions for each of the five boys and girls divisions at the CIF Cross Country State Championships at Fresno’s Woodward Park on Nov. 27. BOYS Division Team Individual Time I................. Great Oak-Temecula ............................Luis Grijalva (Armijo-Fairfield) ....................................14:50.1 II................ Claremont .............................................Owen Bishop (Claremont) ..........................................15:14.6 III............... Cathedral Catholic-San Diego ..............Erik Gonzalez (Rubidoux-Riverside) ...........................15:03.3 IV .............. Foothill Tehnology-Ventura ...................Callum Bolger (San Luis Obispo) ................................14:57.4 V ............... Desert Christian-Lancaster ....................Cooper Teare (St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda) ........14:58.5 GIRLS Division Team Individual Time I................. Great Oak-Temecula ............................Olivia O’Keeffe (Davis)................................................17:28.9 II................ Claremont .............................................Elizabeth Chittenden (Mira Costa)...............................17:25.6 III............... Palos Verdes ..........................................Glennis Murphy (Redwood-Larkspur) .........................17:27.2 IV .............. Foothill Technology-Ventura .................Claudia Lane, pictured left, (Malibu)...........................16:45.0 V ............... Flintridge Prep-La Canada Flintridge ....Kiera Marshall (St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda) .....17:40.3

Armijo’s Luis Grijalva


return CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Freedom-Oakley guard Andrew Mork fire a shot from the corner in the Falcons’ win over San Leandro; Oakland Tech guard Marvin Hill drives to the rack against James Logan-Union City’s Edra Luster; San Leandro’s A.J. Bramah takes his defensive stance; Pittsburg wing Seu Kuka heads to the basket against McClymonds; David Wolwidge of McClymonds looks to score in the paint; James Logan’s Edra Luster grabs a rebound; El Cerrito’s Tre Gray scans the floor for an open teammate in the Gauchos game against Mt. Eden-Hayward.

Saturday, Nov. 27, marked the first day of hoops season for several basketball teams across the state. SportStars was a title sponsor for the Guy Emanuele East Bay Tip-Off Showcase hosted by James Logan High in Union City. There were six varsity boys games and we had SportStars photographer Berry Evans III on hand for the last four. Here are some of his best images from the event.

Tournament Season Arrives In Placer Valley, Highlighted By 8th Annual Titan Classic Hoops As the high school basketball season is getting underway, Antelope High knows just how to kick into high gear with their annual Titan Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament taking place Dec. 8-10. This year marks eight great years of this highly competitive tournament and 2016 is the biggest year yet! Freshmen, junior varsity and varsity players will be competing and they have nine top-notch teams from each division coming from throughout Northern California and the Bay Area to participate. The team list includes: Antelope, Bella Vista, Davis, Inderkum, Kennedy, Oak Ridge, Saint Mary’s, Woodcreek and Yuba City high schools. Titan Head Coach, Rob Richards explained that this is one of the top Northern California high school basketball tournaments because of the caliber of teams competing. “The quality of basketball is phenomenal,” Richards said. “And the fans won’t be disappointed, as there are several stand-out players competing that will make for some nail-biting games.” All the junior varsity and varsity games will be played at Antelope High located at 7801 Titan Drive in Antelope, and the freshmen bracket will be competing at Wilson C. Riles Middle School at 447 PFE Road in Roseville. Spectator cost will be $6 for adults, and students will pay the discounted price of $3. Mark your calendars because the Titan Holiday Classic promises the best in high school hoops! ✪

No Guts! No Glory! Wrestling Tourney Returns To Usher Out 2016 In A Big Way The 11th Annual No Guts! No Glory! Wrestling Tournament will close out 2016 with a bang! Placer Valley Tourism, in conjunction with Natomas High, is thrilled to bring this incredible tournament back to Hardwood Palace in Rocklin on Dec. 29-30. Year after year this tournament has proven to be one of the largest and most competitive in the state. This year will undoubtedly be more of the same, with a projected 150 teams expected to hit the mats. Varsity, junior varsity and girls divisions will be competing in various weight classes. Natomas wrestling coach Jeremy Arsich explained that this is one of his favorite events of the year. “We love the venue,” he said. “Hardwood Palace has a great layout for this style of tournament and the competition is just outstanding. Every year some of the best high school wrestlers in the nation compete in No Guts! No Glory! We have state finalists and semi-finalists, and it turns up the heat for all the wrestlers - bringing the best out in every competitor,” added Arsich. Along with the high-caliber competition, the tournament awards are truly top-notch. Special awards are given to all champions, high-quality medals are awarded to top finalists, the top teams in varsity and girls are also given special awards and most outstanding wrestler awards are presented as well. It’s not too late to get your wrestlers signed up. Go to to register today! ✪ —All copy and photos provided by Placer Valley Tourism

north coast section open division

A SportStars Glance At The NCS and SJS Section Title Matches of Dec. 2-3

As we dip our toes into December football, the North Coast Section and Sac-Joaquin Section will provide NorCal’s last set of section championship games. There will be nine total games. Today, we offer up a quick inside look at seven of them while predicting scores for all nine. Dig in and feel free to tweet us @SportStarsMag to tell us how wrong we are.

De La Salle’s Kairee Robinson

MATCHUP: No. 1 De La Salle-Concord (10-1) vs. No. 2 FreedomOakley (11-0), 7 p.m., Dec. 2 at Dublin HS HISTORY: De La Salle is seeking its 25th consecutive NCS title and 32nd overall. Freedom, which opened in 1996, is in its first ever NCS final. DE LA SALLE KEYS TO VICTORY: Control the line of scrimmage on defense and protect the football on offense. The Spartans should be able to move the ball effectively against Freedom, but they must avoid the costly fumbles which have hurt them in their closer games this season. Defensively, if the line can repeat the performance it had in the semifinal shutout of Clayton Valley-Concord, that will spell trouble for the Falcons. FREEDOM KEYS TO VICTORY: Stay in the moment, and get Ronnie Rivers the ball in space. First and foremost, the Freedom players have to do their best to stay even keel and block out everything that’s not between the lines. Secondly, there hasn’t been a better playmaker in the Bay Area this season than Rivers. They have to design different ways to get him the ball with a chance to succeed. PREDICTION: De La Salle 35, Freedom 21


division i

MATCHUP: No. 1 Monte Vista-Danville (11-1) vs. No. 3 Antioch (8-4), 7 p.m., Dec. 3 at Dublin HS HISTORY: Monte Vista is seeking its 6th NCS title overall and its first since 2002. Antioch lost the only other NCS final its ever been to, 35-26 to Mission San Jose-Fremont. That was in 1977. MONTE VISTA KEYS TO VICTORY: Let the defense work. For all the attention QB Jake Haener and the Mustangs offense gets, it was their Colorado-bound LB who was their league’s MVP. Nate Landman is a two-way star for Monte Vista, but he leads a defense that has allowed 17 points or less in eight of the team’s 11 wins. Landman and the Mustangs won’t stop Najee Harris, but if they can keep the nation’s top recruit to a minimum of big chunk plays, they’ll be in good shape. ANTIOCH’S KEYS TO VICTORY: A big night from Willem Karnthong. The sophomore QB has to be effective early to keep Monte Vista from stacking the box against Harris. An effective passing game will also keep Harris more rested. Defensively, the Panthers must get pressure on Haener. PREDICTION: Monte Vista 33, Antioch 30

Antioch’s Najee Harris

division ii

Campolindo’s Brandon Bocobo

MATCHUP: No. 1 Campolindo-Moraga (9-3) vs. No. 2 Windsor (9-3), 7 p.m., Dec. 2 at Diablo Valley College HISTORY: Campolindo has a chance to become the first East Bay team other than De La Salle to win three consecutive NCS titles. The Cougars won Div. III titles in each of the past two seasons and have four overall. Windsor’s lone title was a Div. II triumph in 2011. CAMPOLINDO KEYS TO VICTORY: Lean on the senior QB. Jake Westphal has a very good chance to eclipse the 3,000-yard passing mark for the season in this game, and he’s been extremely protective of the football with just four interceptions in 12 games. He’s also played in big games. WINDSOR KEYS TO VICTORY: Disrupt the Campolindo passing game. Without a workhorse tailback, the Cougars will struggle if Westphal and his strong receiving corps can’t find a rhythm. Windsor has two elite pass rushers in juniors Bas Osborn (21 sacks this season) and Jairo Mejia (10 sacks). PREDICTION: Campolindo 27, Windsor 17

stand division iii

MATCHUP: No. 2 Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland (12-1) vs. No. 4 Marin Catholic-Kentfield (11-2), 7 p.m., Dec. 3 at Diablo Valley College. HISTORY: Bishop O’Dowd is in its first NCS final since beating Campolindo 35-21 in the 2004 2A East Bay final. They have three NCS titles. Marin Catholic is looking to earn its 11th overall banner. The Wildcats were the Div. IV champion last season. BISHOP O’DOWD KEYS TO VICTORY: Stay opportunistic. The Dragons are plus-10 in turnover differential through 13 games, and they’ve had eight different players combine for 15 interceptions. Teams that win the turnover battle win title games. MARIN CATHOLIC KEYS TO VICTORY: Rely on experience and make someone other than Austin Jones beat them. Many of the Wildcats have been to the dance before, and that should give them a mental edge over O’Dowd early. Their defense will need to contain Jones, the Dragons’ sophomore tailback who has 26 touchdowns on the season. PREDICTION: Bishop O’Dowd 24, Marin Catholic 21

Bishop O’Dowd’s Austin Jones

bonus predictions

DIV. IV: No. 1 Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa 40, No. 2 St. Bernard-Eureka 24 DIV. V: No. 5 St. Patrick-St Vincent-Vallejo 34, No. 2 Fort Bragg 28

last stand

sac-joaquin section division i

MATCHUP: No. 1 Folsom (12-1) vs. No. 2 St. Mary’s-Stockton (12-1), 6 p.m., Dec. 3 at Sacramento State HISTORY: Folsom is seeking its fifth consecutive SJS title and St. Mary’s will play in its fifth SJS title game. The Rams won Div. I titles in 2004 and 2008, and appeared in the 2014 Div. II final against Grant-Sacramento. The two teams faced off in an epic semifinal last year in which the Bulldogs held off the Rams, 56-49. FOLSOM KEYS TO VICTORY: QBs have been key to the Bulldogs’ success in section finals, and Joe Curry gets his turn to take center stage this year. If the vertical passing game is clicking with Drake Stallworth (1,141 yards, 18 TDs) and Eric Davis (815 yards, 9 TDs), then Folsom can win another shootout. ST. MARY’S KEYS TO VICTORY: The Rams’ balance on offense must be effective to control the tempo and keep the ball away from the potent Folsom offense. The power running of junior Dusty Frampton (1,534 yards, 33 TDs) and ball-hawking capabilities of senior SS Aaron Jenkins III (77 tackles, 6 INTs, 4 fumble recoveries) can be the difference. PREDICTION: St. Mary’s 35, Folsom 31

St. Mary’s stars, from left, Keaton Hampton, Jake Dunniway, Popo Aumavae and Dewey Cotton.

division ii

division iii

MATCHUP: No. 2 Del Oro-Loomis (11-2) vs. No. 8 Inderkum-Sacramento (11-2), 7 p.m., Dec. 2 at Sacramento State HISTORY: Del Oro has won 10 SJS championships, including four in the last six years. The Golden Eagles followed up their Inderkum’s Trajon Cotton 2015 SJS Div II title with an improbable run to the CIF State Division I-AA championship. Inderkum has won at least 10 games in 11 consecutive seasons, but the Tigers have never won a section championship, falling three times in the SJS finals. DEL ORO KEYS TO VICTORY: The triplethreat backfield of QB Stone Smartt and RBs Dalton Gee and Camrion Davis has been difficult for opponents to stop. The run game sets up big passing plays, most often to senior WR Mason Hurst (1,275 yards, 12 TDs). Despite an improved record from a year ago, head coach Casey Taylor has his team playing with a chip on their shoulder. INDERKUM KEYS TO VICTORY: The Tigers are the hottest team in the playoffs as owners of a 10-game winning streak and 43 points per game in the postseason. Senior QB/DB Trajon Cotton and TE/LB Josh Falo are confident and can bring the elusive SJS banner back to campus if they live up to their Div. I recruiting profiles. PREDICTION: Del Oro 28, Inderkum 21

MATCHUP: No. 1 Oakdale (11-2) vs. No. 3 Christian Brothers-Sacramento (11-2), 7 p.m., Dec. 2 at Lincoln-Stockton HISTORY: Oakdale has reached the SJS finals in five of the last six years and claimed the Div. III title in 2012 and 2014. Christian Brothers’ Tyler Vander Waal Christian Brothers has not been to a section title game in 30 years and won the program’s only two SJS championships in 1981 and 1983. OAKDALE KEYS TO VICTORY: As it always is with head coach Trent Merzon’s Mustangs, running is key. Senior workhorse RB Will Semone has carried the load, grinding for 825 yards in three playoff wins, including a 46-carry, 266-yard effort in the semifinal. Just as important for Oakdale is stopping the run, and the defense has allowed 30 points in only two games this season. CHRISTIAN BROTHERS KEYS TO VICTORY: The Falcons have won 11 straight games largely due to the evolution of their offense. Senior QB Tyler Vander Waal will need to stay hot and avoid turnovers as he has done during the team’s winning streak. If multi-threat RB Jamarri Jackson and WR Matt Marengo can help keep the offense balanced, Christian Brothers can claim its first championship in decades. PREDICTION: Oakdale 28, Christian Brothers 27

Divisional Dizziness

Jim Rael photo

Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa QB Jordon Brookshire could lead his team to an NCS Div. IV title before likely ending up in CIF Div. II regional bowl.

Whether you are a football player still going in the postseason, or a hoopster just starting out, it’s becoming more obvious not to pay too much attention to the division number your school is shown for in the playoffs. In these days of competitive-equity postseason brackets in which results from most recent seasons have yet to impact particular divisions — or whether your CIF section still uses enrollment totals to help determine postseason placement — the bottom line is that a team from a so-called lower division can often find itself placed above some from higher ones. Going to the first CIF Sac-Joaquin Section football playoff game this year for Manteca proved that point and showed that the athletes themselves can easily get confused with all of the playoff guidelines for determining which divisions teams get placed in. The Manteca players actually felt slighted and disappointed for being in this year’s SJS Division IV playoffs instead of Division III. “The kids don’t want to be down, and they wanted to be in D3, same as Oakdale,” Buffaloes coach Eric Reis said after his team defeated Dixon 42-13 in a first-round game at Gus Schmeidt Field. “They wanted the bigger challenge. I’ve told them it’s about enrollment, but many still took it as a slight. It’s been a sell job.” To the players, yes it was completely about enrollment in the SJS divisional system. It all depends on which teams qualify for the playoffs and then how many are Div. I, II, III, etc. If strongly favored Manteca does indeed go on to win the section title, the division number won’t have any bearing on where the Buffaloes get placed in the CIF NorCal bowl board when the CIF section commissioners meet Dec. 4 to choose regional bowl matchups. What will continue to be most important, will be factors such as head-to-head results, common opponents, strength of schedule and more. The same will be true for the football teams from the CIF North Coast Section. Division IV-favorite Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa, for example, has been ranked higher than any Div. II or III team throughout the region this season. Even in the CIF Southern Section — where competitive equity-based divisions have greatly diminished the level and scope of first-round playoff blowouts that have become so uncomfortable to follow in many other places of the state — a team from a lower division number can be placed in a higher division. The best example from there is Calabasas football, which is Div. V but may be in a higher SoCal bowl game than CIFSS teams that win Div. III or IV section titles. Then there’s Ventura girls volleyball, which won the section’s Div. II title but has a head-to-head win over NorCal Open Div. top-seed Archbishop Mitty-San Jose. If Ventura were to win the CIF Div. I state title and Mitty wins the Open, it’ll be hard not to rank Ventura higher than Mitty and higher than all of the other Southern Section Div. I teams. For the kids, the best advice is simply to enjoy the ride no matter where it takes you and let the adults worry about the details. “All we know is that we have a max of four games left after tonight, if we were to go to state,” said Manteca junior quarterback Gino Campiotti after the first playoff game against Dixon. “Our guys just love playing football together and we just want to keep playing.” ✪ Mark Tennis is the co-founder of Cal-Hi Sports, and publisher of Contact him at markjtennis@ and follow him on Twitter, @CalHiSports.




t’s a rare occasion when a team — in any sport — can find its way to a state final without encountering some adversity along the way. When questioned about their season-long journey, players and coaches will often mention a team meeting as the turning point for shedding such adversity. The Acalanes-Lafayette girls volleyball team had such a meeting in late October. And first-year Dons coach Ernie Rodriguez wasn’t entirely sure what would come of it. “I wasn’t sure which way it would go,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve done it with other teams that I’ve coached and it hasn’t always gone well.” This one did. “We weren’t playing our best at the time and it was about the players getting their feelings out, and teammates being honest with each other,” Rodriguez said. “The senior leaders did a great job, and we came out of that meeting with more initiative and more drive — and we caught fire.” A few days after, the Dons closed their regular season by sweeping five matches to win the San Ramon Valley Tournament in Danville. In fact, the only loss since that meeting came in the North Coast Section Division III semifinals against well-known league foe MiramonteOrinda. Acalanes still earned an at-large berth to the CIF Div. III Northern Regional Tournament and clawed its way to the program’s first ever state final. The Dons (30-9) will face Crossroads-Santa Monica (27-4) at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. Following the tournament title at San Ramon Valley, Rodriguez said his team held a belief that it could compete against the best. But reaching the state final was

A Team Meeting In Late October Helped Light A Fire That’s Carried Acalanes Volleyball To Its First State Final Story by Chace Bryson | Photos by Dennis Lee Theresa Nevins (left on facing page) and Alex Matson celebrate a point during the Dons’ NorCal Championship win over Sonora. Above, Acalanes’ star hitter Parker Jones goes up for a kill.

CIF STATE VOLLEYBALL FINALS Six state volleyball champs will be crowned between Dec. 2-3 at Santiago Canyon College in Orange. Following is the complete schedule. FRIDAY, DEC. 2 DIVISION I: MenloAtherton-Atherton (30-5) vs. Edison-Huntington Beach (35-8), 4 p.m. DIVISION V: HeadRoyce-Oakland (33-1) vs. Immanuel-Reedley (27-15), 6:30 p.m. SATURDAY, DEC. 3 DIVISION IV: Menlo School-Atherton (24-8) vs. Point Loma-San Diego (24-12), 11 a.m. DIVISION III: AcalanesLafayette (30-9) vs. Crossroads-Santa Monica (27-4), 1:30 p.m. DIVISION II: Valley Christian-San Jose (28-12) vs. Cathedral CatholicSan Diego (28-10), 4 p.m. OPEN DIVISION: Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (37-4) vs. Santa Margarita-Rancho S.M. (38-4), 6:30 p.m. Above right, Madi Risch (from left), Melissa Elliott and Parker Jones elevate for a block in the regional final.

never voiced as a goal. “We talked about NCS and NorCals, but never mentioned state,” the coach said. “But they committed to a focus and we’re really playing our best volleyball of the year right now.” Outside hitter and top attacker, Parker Jones, leads a quartet of senior leaders that also includes middle blocker Melissa Elliott, libero Devin Grobeck and hitter Alex Matson. Other key members of the rotation include juniors Sarah Nelson (opposite hitter), Theresa Nevins (middle blocker) and Maddie Kalil (setter). But Jones drives the bus. “She’s the one that makes us go,” Rodriguez said. “She provides the big blocks, big swings and big serves. She’s a great defender, a great passer and a great teammate. She’s our backbone.” Jones proved that in the team’s five-set regional final victory over Sonora on Nov. 27. She finished the match with 25 kills, 15 digs and four blocks. The Dons fell down two sets to one in that match, and were forced to defend against match point two different times in the fourth set. They would eventually win the set 28-26, and that’s when Rodriguez believed they were going to win.

“That was the pivotal moment,” the coach said. “Once the fifth game started, I could just see they were more comfortable.” Crossroads — an arts and sciences school which features an enrollment less than half of Acalanes — was placed into the Div. III Southern Regional field based on competitive equity, and proved it belong by storming to the SoCal title as a No. 11 seed. The Roadrunners defeated No. 6 Westview-San Diego, No. 3 Culver City and No. 2 West Hills-Santee each in straight sets. The 8th-seeded Alemany-West Hills was the only team to win a set against Crossroads during regionals, falling 3-1 in the SoCal final. “I had to scour the internet to find some video of them,” Rodriguez said. “They have two really good middles, some good outsides and tremendous defense. I know they’re very well-coached.” There won’t be a ton of scheming. At this point, Rodriguez is simply prepared to trust the groove his team has found. “If we serve well and block well, everything will fall into place behind that,” he said. “The girls know we belong now. We’re here.” ✪

HOOPS & Ankle Sprains health watch: ryan sargent Looking at ways to combat ankle injuries on the hardwood Basketball is in full swing, and with this sport comes the high incidence of ankle injuries due to the game’s dynamic nature. The demands of basketball require an athlete to have good strength, flexibility and dynamic balance control in the lower extremities to allow for running, jumping and cutting maneuvers. The ankle is a common site for injury, and sprains are the most common musculoskeletal injury in athletes, and account for 75 percent of all ankle injuries While ankle injuries do account for 25 percent of all musculoskeletal injuries, there are things you can do to work on preventing such injuries. The following are just a few tips for you to keep in mind when lacing up those sneakers! Preseason conditioning: How in shape am I? Dynamic warm-up prior to activity Pay attention to surfaces (slippery, dirty or cracked) Wear supportive shoes Daily static stretching routine after activity Strengthening and balance program Monitor game time and fatigue to prevent injury When turning on the television to your favorite sports channel, you will most likely be bombarded with a slew of commercials for the latest and greatest footwear. Many questions seem to pop-up regarding footwear, especially after an ankle injury. So, regarding shoes: ›› 1. High-top shoes alone do NOT decrease risk for ankle sprain. ›› 2. There is no strong relationship between shoe type and ankle sprains. ›› 3. Shoes with air cells in the heels are four times more likely to allow ankle sprains. After deciding what shoes to pull out of the closet, you then wonder if you should wear a brace or get taped. Here are some facts regarding both taping and bracing. Taping can prevent injury, but it loosens within 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes, it may provide little or no measurable support to inverting the ankle. As for bracing, it provides external support, may enhance proprioception, and it’s more adjustable than tape. It may limit range of motion and mobility which may lead to compensations at other joints, especially the knee. However, there is little evidence to support definitive recommendations. One of the most important components to preventing an ankle injury is incorporating a balance program. Balance training is a great way to restore proprioception, to regain stability in the ankle and orientation to both static and dynamic activities. The goal of balance training is to improve your reaction time and improve the awareness of an injured joint. Studies have shown a 38 percent reduction rate in ankle injuries in high school basketball players with a balance program. ✪ Ryan Sargent is a certified athletic trainer for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland and its Sports Medicine for Young Athletes division.

go the dis A Pair Of Scenic And Fun Running Events Highlight The Onset Of 2017 In The Redding And Shasta Lake Region

Affectionately referred to as “26.2 With A View,” the Redding Marathon returns for another year of distance running among some of Northern California’s most scenic landscapes and landmarks. January 15 is the date circled by several distance running enthusiasts who will line up near the Shasta Dam for the start of the Redding Marathon, an event that features a breathtaking 26.2 mile jaunt across some of Northern California’s finest landscape. Competitors can take a free bus to the start of the Redding Marathon. Enjoy the warmth of the Visitor‘s Center located near the start of the race and be ready for an 8 a.m. start. Runners enjoy a scenic journey downstream along the Sacramento River on paved running trails. Watch for bald eagles, osprey and other wildlife. Athletes

competing in the Redding Marathon will cross over the Shasta Dam, through an old railroad tunnel and across the historic Diestelhorst Bridge, the Ribbon Suspension Bridge and to the finish line located on the famous Sundial Bridge. The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay crosses the Sacramento River in the heart of Redding. Opened on July 4, 2004, the bridge links the north and south campuses of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and serves as access to Redding‘s Sacramento River Trail system. Not quite prepared for marathon distance? That’s fine. Take part in the three-leg marathon relay, or participate in the Sundial 5K which begins at 9 a.m. Also, for those serious runners, it’s worth noting that the Redding Marathon is an official qualifier for the Boston Marathon.

Competitors can register online right now at

CLIKAPUDI TRAIL RUNS Just two weeks before the Redding Marathon takes place, outdoor enthusiasts can spend New Year’s Day taking part in the Clikapudi Trail Runs which occurs along the shores of Shasta Lake. The Trail Runs offer a variety of distances: a 5K, 10K and half-marathon. Races begin at 10 a.m. at the the Jones Valley Boat Ramp approximately 10 miles north of Bella Vista. The trail is a seven-mile loop on the south shore of the lake. Runners begin on a one-mile stretch of road to the trail crossing where 5K runners turn right, and 10K and half-marathon runners go left. The road portions of the race feature gently rolling hills. The 5K portion of trail is relatively flat single track and the 10K por-

stance ›››› tion is mostly flat with three medium climbs along the way. All races have a 1:30 p.m. cut-off time and half-marathon participants must finish the first lap by noon or they will only be given credit for a 10K. Walkers and hikers are each welcome in the 5K and 10K. Registration is open and greatly favors those who sign up early. Competitors who register before Dec. 1 will receive the greatest discount ($17 for 5K, $22 for 10K and $33 for half-marathon). Registering between Dec. 1-30 will still save you some money ($24/$33/$44). Prices will be $30/$40/$50 on Dec. 31 and race day. Visit to sign up now. ✪

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Digital Weekly 52, Dec. 1, 2016  
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