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NORCAL EDITION

JANUARY 2018 VOL. 9 ISSUE 143


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New seeding method is coming to state hoops. Is it good or bad?

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Cal-Hi Sports exclusive state Top 10 boys & girls basketball rankings

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Salesian boys basketball is built for a deep playoff run with a title the only goal

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EXCLUSIVE: SportStars NorCal boys basketball Top 20 rankings.

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Maya Doms is a big deal in NorCal soccer circles. The rest of the country is next. SportStars

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Zachary Chappell CAPITAL CHRISTIAN-SACRAMENTO - BASKETBALL - SENIOR The Cougars’ senior led his team through a challenging early season schedule that included finals appearances in the Gridley Invitational and Rancho Mirage Holiday Classic and a consolation championship at the Tarkanian Classic. Chappell earned Open Division All-Tournament honors at the MaxPreps tourney in Rancho Mirage, and has helped Capital Christian to an 11-5 record that includes wins over local powers Folsom and Sheldon. The Cougars have not lost to any Sac-Joaquin Section teams yet and have started the Golden Empire League schedule with three consecutive wins. The 6-foot-3 guard is a four-year starter, and is averaging double figures in scoring in each season. Capital Christian is the defending SJS Division III champion, and is expected to challenge for another section title and CIF State Open Division berth this year.

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JOIN OUR TEAM PHONE 925.566.8500 FAX 925.566.8507 EDITORIAL Editor@SportStarsMag.com Editor Chace Bryson • Chace@SportStarsMag.com Assistant Editor Mike Wood Staff Writer Jim McCue • JimMcCue16@gmail.com Contributors Bill Kolb, Matt Smith, Clay Kallam, Dave Kiefer, Tim Rudd, Trevor Horn, Mark Tennis, James G. Kane, Harold Abend, Jill Daniels, Anthony Trucks, Erika Westhoff Copy Editor Bill Kruissink Photography James K. Leash, Phillip Walton, Doug Guler, Berry Evans III, Samuel Stringer, Jim Johnson, Dennis Lee Interns Joshua Howser, Krishna Gomatam Marketing/Events Ryan Arter CREATIVE DEPARTMENT Art@SportStarsMag.com Production Manager Mike DeCicco • MikeD@SportStarsMag.com PUBLISHER/PRESIDENT Mike Calamusa • Mike@SportStarsMag.com

Let’s Get It Started

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appy New Year, sports fans. In fact, ‘New’ is a big theme this year with SportStars. This is technically the second of 35 planned publications for 2018, which currently includes our standard 16 NorCal issues, six SoCal issues and 13 SportStars Now (formerly SportStars Extra) issues that will feature a blend of both NorCal and SoCal coverage over the course of the year. Our first SportStars Now debuted Jan. 10 and featured a cover story by Ike Dodson on the current strength of girls wrestling in Northern California. Which reminds me, wrestling fans should definitely be keeping tabs on SportStarsMag.com for Dodson’s bi-weekly boys team rankings and his weight-by-weight NorCal wrestler top 20 rankings. Also, in addition to the planned issue schedule I laid out, we’re hoping to sprinkle in some web exclusive stories and videos. And we might even dip our toes into some live game stories for some of the biggest games over next five months. In terms of our upcoming schedule, here’s a few things to be looking out for — you know, after you digest this awesome edition. Our All-NorCal Football Awards will appear all in one edition this year — as opposed to being split into offense and defense the past two seasons. That comes your way in our Feb. 1 NorCal issue. One day later, our first SoCal issue of the year releases with stories on Damien-La Verne boys hoops and Harvard-WestlakeNorth Hollywood girls hoops, among other items. Our

NorCal Baseball/Softball Preview is slated for Feb. 22 and our first SportStars Now focused solely on wrapping up the CIF State Wrestling Championships is set for March 7. We hope you’ll be looking forward to those things as much as we’re looking forward to putting them together. Now, before turning you loose to read the rest of the issue, a quick solemn note. Jim Keck, the longtime College Park wrestling coach who’s been a consistent supporter of SportStars from our very first days, called us with a heavy heart on Jan. 15. He wanted to alert us of a tragic injury to College Park sophomore lacrosse player and wrestler, Ryan Joseph. Joseph, 16, suffered a life-changing C4 spinal cord injury during a junior varsity wrestling match on Jan. 10. As of the time Keck spoke to us, Joseph was paralyzed from the neck down and was being treated at the John Muir Medical Center ICU in Walnut Creek, where he was still needing assistance to breathe. Keck said Joseph is “well known by friends, teachers, and coaches for his charm, exceptional wit and humor.” Ryan was a first-year JV wrestler at 160 pounds and was a captain on the JV lacrosse team as a freshman in 2017. We wanted to help spread the word of a Go Fund Me account that’s been set up in Joseph’s name. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/ help-our-teammate-ryan. The family can also be contacted through Ryan’s uncle, Mike Halket at helpryanjoseph@gmail.com. ✪

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YOUR TICKET TO CALIFORNIA SPORTS ADMIT ONE; RAIN OR SHINE This Vol. #9, January 2018 Whole No. 143 is published by Caliente! Communications, LLC, 5356 Clayton Rd, Ste. 222, Concord, CA 94521. SportStars™© 2010-2014 by Caliente! Communications, LLC. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: 16 issues, U.S. 3rd class $35 (allow 3 weeks for delivery). 1st class $55. To receive sample issues, please send $3 per copy, or $6 total for bulk. 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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Behind the Clipboard by Clay Kallam

Don’t Be Relentless On Refs Why are the refs so terrible? They’re wrong more than they’re right. It’s awful. — G. H., Milpitas

S

o let’s start with the obvious: 1) The players are in high school 2) The coaches are working at a high school 3) The parents go to high school games. So what would make anyone think that the officials should perform any better than high school-level players or coaches? OK, 1 percent of the players (or less) will go on to success at the next level, but 99 percent of them will stop playing after high school because — wait for it — they’re not that good. Very few coaches move from high school to college. Some could, but choose not to, but for most, high school is as high as they’ll go because — wait for it — they’re not that good. Now, does that mean players don’t work hard, don’t have skills and don’t compete? Of course not. Does that mean high school coaches are idiots who couldn’t organize a two-car parade and can’t tell the difference between a 2-3 and a 3-2 zone? Of course not. But it’s a huge jump from high school to college, just as it’s a huge jump from college to pro, and high school refs are no better and no worse, relatively speaking, than the players and coaches they officiate for. Oh, and by the way, ask college fans about college officials (better than high school refs), and what will the answer be? “They’re terrible.” Check with Warriors fans about NBA officiating. “It’s awful.” High school officials work hard for their skimpy paychecks. They go to preseason meetings, they take rules tests, they are evaluated and instructed, and then they go out — just

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like players and coaches — and do the best they can. Sometimes their best (that night) isn’t very good; sometimes players miss shots and make dumb turnovers; sometimes coaches have the wrong kids in the game playing the wrong defense. Here are some other reasons officiating isn’t as good as it could be: Knownothing fans, emotional players and coaches who have never read a rule book (and there are many) heap abuse on officials that is almost always undeserved. Sure, refs make bad calls, but if an official hustles to get in position, has a good look at the play and blows the whistle, his or her judgment on the play is a thousand times more likely to be accurate than the coach at the other end of the floor or the loud-mouthed parent in the top row of the bleachers. And after a while, this constant barrage of negativity wears refs down, and they finally just give up. Or, to put it another way, the available talent pool of officials is shallower than it needs to be thanks to the unwarranted criticism that refs must endure — even when they make the right call in pressure situations. So here’s step one to make officiating better: Grab a whistle and go do some games yourself. “Oh,” you say, “I’d never do that. It’s too hard.” OK, then do everyone a favor, in the stands and on the court, and keep it to yourself when you think a bad call is made. If you’re not willing to take the heat yourself, then how is it fair for you to dish it out? If you think you can do the job, then sign up. The more good officials, the better for everyone, right? Of course no one would ever, ever call you a terrible ref. ✪ Clay Kallam has been an assistant athletic director and coached numerous sports at a handful of high schools throughout the Bay Area. To submit a question for Behind the Clipboard, email him at clayk@fullcourt.com.

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Burning The Fields F

or those of you who have attended CIF State Basketball Championship games in Sacramento over the years, there have been outstanding teams in divisional finals lower than the Open Division, lower than Division I and even a few in Division IV and Division V. James Harden (Artesia-Lakewood) and Klay Thompson (Santa Margarita) both played on boys teams that won Div. III state championships. For the girls, Piedmont’s back-to-back Division IV state titles in 2004 and 2005 with the Paris twins (Courtney & Ashley) were both for teams that were among the highest-ranked in the nation. Even last year, Mission High’s historic run to the Div. III boys state title (pictured at right) that earned the city of San Francisco its first-ever public school state title, and Eastside College Prep’s repeat in Div. V girls, showed off rosters from teams that were arguably top 25 overall in the state. This season, though, anyone thinking that there will be teams in the Div. III, Div. IV and Div. V brackets that will be close to even the top 100 in the state better start getting used to what’s going to happen with competitive equity seeding. This new way of seeding teams into the Northern California and Southern California regional playoffs began in November for girls volleyball. If you use what happened in that sport as a barometer for how it may work in basketball, the results were less than stellar. Competitive equity seeding is the process of putting teams into divisions with no regard whatsoever to enrollments or with section playoff alignments. Each section essentially ranks all of the teams that are qualifying for the regional playoffs based on competitive equity, and then the CIF will base its regional divisions on those rankings. A good example in volleyball is what happened for teams from the Marin County Athletic League in the North Coast Section. League champ Marin Catholic went to the NorCal Open Division as expected, but Branson-Ross, a team that has won multiple Div. V state titles, was placed into NorCal Div. I. In that tougher bracket, Branson had no chance. A middle of the road MCAL team, San Marin-Novato, did get into NorCal Div. V and then actually won the NorCal D5 title before losing in the state final. Sure, the competition between the teams in the lower divisions of the new competitive equity based placements is fine. It’s just that in volleyball there clearly wasn’t a single team from Div. III or lower that probably would be among the top 100 overall in the state. Presentation-San Jose, which was battling for the cellar in the West Catholic Athletic League this season, won the Div. IV state title — and still had a losing record. For the Open Division in girls volleyball, competitive equity seeding made no difference for the goal of the top overall teams in the state playing each other. Archbishop Mitty-San Jose repeated with a 3-0 victory over Mater Dei-Santa Ana. The Div. I bracket in girls volleyball also featured a lot of other strong

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January 2018

teams, but with the same problem that basketball has had in recent years and that’s that the fifth or sixth-best overall teams from the CIF Southern Section that don’t get into the SoCal Open Division teams have tended to be a lot better than other non-Open Division teams from the rest of the state. Once you started getting into Div. II, however, some of the weaker state volleyball teams began to emerge and then in Div. III and lower there wasn’t even a State Top 20 bubble team close to be found. The CIF will point out that this new method will provide experiences for some of these schools and student-athletes that they would never have gotten before. That’s true, it’s just that the teams themselves actually aren’t that good and certainly aren’t close to being as strong as those teams many of us have gotten used to watching in some of the lower divisions. The CIF football games in the last three years have been determined by the same competitive equity factors. It’s just that in football we’re only dealing with section championship teams (with a few runner-up exceptions). When this system gets extended into 16-team Open Divisions and more 32-team brackets, there’s just not enough qualified, strong teams to fill them out. The deeper you go, the weaker the teams get. We’ll still heartily attend and support the CIF state championships this March. The Open Div., Div. I and hopefully Division II finals will be worth watching. Based on what happened in volleyball, however, the opportunities to take breaks during the other games will be much more frequent. ✪ Mark Tennis is the co-founder of Cal-Hi Sports and publisher of CalHiSports.com. Contact him at markjtennis@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @CalHiSports

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BASKETBALL STATE TOP 10 1. (2)

Boys Basketball

Girls Basketball

Through games of Jan. 15

Through games of Jan. 15

Bishop Montgomery-Torrance

17-0

1. (1)

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose

16-0

Last year’s CIF Open Division state champs haven’t played a

Haley Jones had 33 points and 10 rebounds as the Monarchs

national schedule, but haven’t lost and haven’t even been at

maintained all of their No. 1 rankings (state & nation) with a

full strength. Junior guard Gianni Hunt is slated to return soon.

63-49 win at home on MLK Monday. At this point, it will take

2. (3)

Salesian-Richmond

17-1

Salesian is also moving in front of previous No. 1 Mater Dei. The Pride looked impressive on MLK Monday with a 76-62 win over previous No. 10 Modesto Christian behind 35 points from UConn-bound James Akinjo. 3. (5)

Etiwanda

the years is in first-place in tough Baseline League over Chino Hills and Damien-La Verne. ▲

Westchester-Los Angeles

regular season. 2. (2)

St. Mary’s-Stockton

17-2

The Rams impressed over the MLK weekend with wins against Centennial-Las Vegas and Ribet Academy-Los Angeles. Their

18-1

Team known as “Clamp City” for its defensive intensity over

4. (6)

a monumental upset for them to lose during the rest of the

rallying cry will be to get the No. 2 seed for the NorCal Open Division and then take another crack at No. 1 Mitty in the final. 3. (3)

Windward-Los Angeles

11-3

It was almost a huge upset but the Wildcats hung on and beat 16-3

The Comets move up two spots after defeating arch rival Fairfax-L.A., 62-53, in the first of their two annual Western League showdowns. Kaelen Allen went to work with 24 points

host Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland in OT on MLK weekend. Two of the losses are to nationally ranked teams as well as a split with Harvard-Westlake. Harvard-Westlake-North Hollywood

for Westchester, which also has a game coming up against No.

4. (7)

1 Bishop Montgomery.

We’re throwing out a loss to El Camino Real since it came after

5. (4)

Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth

12-3

It was an up-and down week for the Trailblazers, who fell one spot after defeating previous No. 7 Fairfax, 76-57, before losing to nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas in a road game on MLK Monday. 6. (16)

St. John Bosco-Bellflower

a long Holiday road trip and are ranking the Wolverines for having a split with Windward, getting a win over previous No. 5 Salesian on MLK weekend and showing well in a 10-point loss to nationally-ranked Centennial-Las Vegas. 5. (8)

15-2

16-4

Clovis North-Fresno

17-2

There’s a new kid on the block in the CIF Central Section,

The Braves have to get huge rankings credit for ending the

but to prove they really belong the Broncos will need to beat

69-game league win streak of previous No. 1 Mater Dei, and

Clovis West on Jan. 23.

then getting a 75-70 win over No. 15 Santa Margarita. One of

6. (10)

St. John Bosco’s losses is to No. 3 Etiwanda.

The defending CIF Open Division champs have unleashed ju-

7. (1)

Mater Dei-Santa Ana

11-6

Clovis West-Fresno

18-3

nior Maddie Campbell (the coach’s daughter) and have not yet

All of the Monarchs’ losses before the one suffered to St. John

lost to an in-state opponent. The schedule hasn’t been nearly

Bosco were to nationally-ranked opponents in a schedule that

as tough as last year, but the lineup is gelling.

was set up when they thought they were going to have 7-foot2 Bol Bol this season. 8. (8)

Rancho Christian-Temecula

7. (6)

Pinewood-Los Altos Hills

13-1

The Panthers only have a one-point loss to Salesian-Richmond 17-2

on their resume so far, and while they’re now ahead of Salesian

The resume for coach Ray Barefield’s club is starting to look

in the rankings, they have dropped behind the two Clovis

real good, as the win over No. 3 Etiwanda (by a 78-54 margin)

schools.

will gain significance if both teams keep winning. The loss to No. 6 Bosco (73-66) is not looking all that shabby, either. 9. (7)

Fairfax-Los Angeles

11-6

This team has an outstanding backcourt with Jamal Hartwell

8. (9)

Mater Dei-Santa Ana

13-3

Watch out for freshman Brooke Demitre, who is the latest top player to check into the Monarchs’ program. Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth

and Ethan Anderson, but didn’t get much from its frontcourt in

9. (11)

a loss to No. 4 Westchester. The Lions also will get a crack at

The Trailblazers got a huge win over Folsom during MLK week-

No. 1 Bishop Montgomery at the end of the month.

end, but then got upset by McClatchy-Sacramento. They get

10. (11)

Harvard-Westlake-North Hollywood

16-2

14-4

to play No. 3 Windward next week. Folsom

Sophomore Johnny Juzang has been one of the most impres-

10. (4)

sive performers in SoCal so far this season. The Wolverines

McDonald’s All-American McKenzie Forbes led the Bulldogs

must play well to maintain this ranking since they’re in one of

to a runner-up finish behind Mitty in top division of the West

the state’s toughest leagues.

Coast Jamboree.

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best coast

Women’s West Coast Wrestling TOC Goes Big The third installment of the Women’s West Coast Tournament of Champions proved to be the biggest and most competitive yet. The action took place on Dec. 15-16 at Hardwood Palace in Rocklin with 478 female wrestlers competing. Sixty-four high schools and 18 colleges were represented, which meant the 2017 WWCTOC more than doubled in size from the previous year. Placer Valley Tourism and Cliff Keen Wrestling teamed up again to host this exciting and growing event that is the only all-female wrestling tournament in the nation that showcases both college and high school wrestlers. Ten states and British Columbia, Canada, were represented at the two-day event. Donna Dotti, who serves as the Director of Sales for Placer Valley Tourism, was committed and successful with her efforts in expanding the tournament. “The WWCTOC really exploded in 2017; my focus was to build the college showcase because it offers high school girls an opportunity to further their education through wrestling,” Dotti said. “Based on the numbers, we succeeded and I can’t wait to see the growth of our 2018 WWCTOC!” The WWCTOC provides an avenue for college recruitment that is beneficial to both the colleges and high school student-athletes, with a dedicated area at the venue for the college recruiters and coaches. This allows the wrestlers to talk oneon-one with college coaches and see what each school has to offer athletically and academically. It also gives colleges a great opportunity to see some of the top female high school wrestlers in the nation competing live. Clearly the 2017 WWCTOC was a huge success. PVT would like to give a shout-out to Menlo College for their first-place finish in the college division, Northview High School for their blowout victory, coming in nearly 100 points ahead of any other high school, and also to Alex Liles from Allen, Texas, who was named the most outstanding high school wrestler. For a list of the full 2017 results, please go to www.wwctoc.com. ✪

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Collegiate Golf Swings Into Placer Valley On February 11-13 the Mikuni Sushi Shootout Women’s Collegiate Golf Championship will take place at the Catta Verdera Country Club in Lincoln. Holy Names University from Oakland serves as host college, bringing this exciting NCAA Division II event to Placer Valley. HNU coach Chris Oetinger said this is the inaugural year for the Shootout, and is hoping to make this an annual event that grows to encompass many colleges from the western states. Colleges from California and Hawaii will be represented. “We have eight women’s collegiate golf teams coming and each team will bring five players,” Oetinger said. “The focus is on the team score, although we will award the top individual golfers as well.” On Feb. 11 the teams will arrive and have practice rounds. On Feb. 12 the golfers will begin the competition using a 36-hole format and finish on Feb. 13. The tournament will start at 8 a.m. both days with players on the course until mid-afternoon. Catta Verdera Country Club is located at 1111 Catta Verdera in Lincoln. Mark your calendars and come see some potential future LPGA players. ✪ — All photos and copy provided by Placer Valley Tourism

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Plucking Stars From The 2018 Girls Hoops Radar Watch Taisia Fleming (Salesian-Richmond) Lexie Romero (San Ramon Valley-Danville) Mikaela Bismillah (California-San Ramon) Gabby Edmonds (California-San Ramon) Madison Baxter (Foothill-Pleasanton) Mikaila Wegenke (Heritage-Brentwood) Regan Wiedenfield (Livermore) Celeste Almendarez (Edison-Stockton) Lea Anderson (Davis-Modesto) Bailey Jones (Castro Valley) Bianca Greer (Castro Valley) Vivian Woo (Castro Valley) Aubrey Wagner (Campolindo-Moraga) Raina Smith (Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F.) Shardee Williams (Antioch) Aliz’e Roland (Ygnacio Valley-Concord) Ikeysha Smith (Elk Grove) Kelsey Forrester (Davis) Delia Moore (Golden Valley-Merced) Rachael Rogers (Los Molinos) Chanel Stuart (Brookside Christian-Stockton) Tiana Lowery (River City-West Sacramento) Leah Walton (Carondelet-Concord) Grace McGuire (Campolindo-Moraga) Ashley Johnson (Pittsburg)

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SHADOWS Carondelet-Concord’s Leah Walton Is First Subject For New Column FLYING UNDER THE RADAR BY PARIS WALTON Editor’s Note: Flying Under The Radar will be a new recurring element to our various publications, highlighting those players who may be performing at high levels, though just outside of the spotlight. Author and sports psychologist Paris Walton pitched us on the idea, and it sounded like a winner.

E

very year there are players putting in a ton of work that still go virtually unnoticed. There is a need to try to help those who were being under appreciated, over looked, under served, and perhaps under respected. So, with the support of SportStars Magazine, a new on-going column “Flying under the Radar” was created for the underdogs. In this first column, I’m going to highlight the inspiration for this column by acknowledging my own daughter, Leah Walton. She has been a hard-working dedicated basketball player since the third grade. Leah went on to star win AAU championships with Cal Stars, Lafayette Lightning, Orinda Magic and, finally, the East Bay Tigers. In high school, Leah has been a solid team player for Carondelet-Concord. She has performed at a top level against many of the top teams in the nation. Leah led the charge in one of Carondelet’s few upset victories in recent history — going into nationally-ranked St. Mary’sStockton last season and pulling out the win. Leah is just one of many girls basketball seniors throughout NorCal who deserve a closer look from fans and recruiters alike. Be sure to get out to see why she and many others on our list below should no longer be flying under the radar. ✪

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James Akinjo (11) greets teammates Jaden (0) and JoVon McClanahan prior to their Jan. 15 game. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!

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Story By Mike Wood Photos By Samuel Stringer

I

JoVon McClanahan

n watching the Salesian High-Richmond boys basketball team, the magic is very evident right now. The Pride (17-1) is doing the right things to beat other good teams, and that was the case on Jan. 15 in a 76-62 win over Modesto Christian in the finale of the MLK Classic at Saint Mary’s College. It certainly was all right that night for senior guard James Akinjo, who scored 35 points — the most of any player that day in the showcase that featured many of the state’s top teams. And right at the top is the Pride, at No. 1 in SportStars’ Northern California rankings. The Crusaders (13-3) came into the game No. 3 in NorCal. Many viewed this matchup as a slice of what CIF NorCal Open Division playoff life will be like. “This is a big win; Open Division playoff implications,” Akinjo said. “They are a really good team and they are going to be in the Open Division. So we want to set ourselves up for the best seed in the Open Division playoffs.” Early on, Salesian seemed on the way to a potential blowout win, up 15-4 after a 13-0 run punctuated by a flurry of Modesto Christian turnovers. Then Crusaders coach Brice Fantazia called what had to be termed a good timeout. From there, Modesto Christian got its game on and earned a 22-19 lead early in the second quarter. “When they were down and called that timeout when it was 15-4, they picked up the intensity and we couldn’t match it,” Salesian coach Bill Mellis said. “And then at least in the fourth quarter we were kind of able to re-establish ourselves and pulled away. A 14-point game, but I don’t think it was really a 14-point game. It was a lot closer than that.” It was close at halftime, with Salesian up 31-28, and the Pride maintained a slim margin through most of the third quarter. But that quarter finished with a 3-pointer by Shane Bell as the clock ran out, pushing a six-point lead to nine. It was the second time Salesian beat the buzzer with a score — the half ended on a JoVon McClanahan scoop layup. “Those were big plays,” Mellis said. “When you play a team like this, it often comes down to little things like that. And whether it’s an extra rebound or two, or maybe an extra shot you make at the buzzer, it often comes down to stuff like that. Those are the types of things, you add them together, and you get out to a double-digit lead.” The Pride has been showing this may be the year to fully realize its potential. Salesian — owners of seven North Coast Section championships, mainly in Division IV — has landed in the CIF NorCal Open Division the previous two seasons, exiting with narrow losses to De La Salle-Concord each time. But this season, Salesian has piled up impressive wins — James Logan-Union City, Capital Christian-Sacramento, Sacramento High, St. Mary’s-Stockton and now Modesto Christian. Its lone loss was 69-63 in the Tarkanian Classic to Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas, ranked 39th nationally and No. 1 in Nevada by MaxPreps. With its core of Akinjo and the junior combo of twins Jaden and JoVon McClanahan

Home Run

Elijah Hardy

Finally Back In NorCal, Bishop O’Dowd Is On A Roll Bishop O’Dowd High’s boys basketball team needed a week like this. It added up to four games in six days, with the finale coming on a bigger stage as part of the 21st annual MLK Classic at Saint Mary’s College on Jan. 15. The Dragons needed it for two reasons: ›› To get through the grind and reinforce the Oakland program’s commitment to being an elite conditioned team. ›› And to finally show its abilities and potential over an extended stretch in their home region — and especially so in a showcase event in front of a larger crowd of NorCal spectators. After a Nov. 25 season-opening win over Fairfax-L.A. in the NorCal Tip-Off Classic in Newark, Bishop O’Dowd didn’t play another game in Northern California until Jan. 5. “The best thing is when you can play in front of a home crowd,”

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said senior guard Ross Williams, who led the Dragons with 19 points behind five 3-pointers in a 64-54 Martin Luther King Day win over Pleasant Grove of Utah. “Having traveled all over the place to play big-time teams and not have a place to call home or have a side that’s going for you no matter what, (today) was super important. We just wanted to give people here near our hometown a show.” The win gave the Dragons a 4-0 mark on their stretch of four games in six days, which also included an overtime win at St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda. It was O’Dowd’s fifth straight win overall after closing 2017 with a 5-5 overall mark. Now at 10-5, they have a tenuous hold on the No. 2 spot in the SportStars NorCal Top 20 rankings behind No. 1 Salesian-Richmond. Pleasant Grove (15-4) was certainly up to the challenge of facing the Dragons. Bishop O’Dowd led by just three at halftime, and briefly 40-39 midway through the third quarter. But an 8-0 run spurred by

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Joshua Jefferson (3) and JoVon McClanahan work together to box out Modesto Christian’s 6-foot-6 forward Aaron Murphy during the MLK Classic at Saint Mary’s College on Jan. 15.

Through Games Played Jan. 15

now in their third year playing together, the Pride by all indications is poised for bigger things. Mellis noticed that early on. “I think that happened a little early,” he said. “The chemistry is really good this year and I think things came together really early, earlier than usual. It really came together in Gridley. We won the Gridley Tournament and played really well. Hopefully, it’s not too early.” So what’s different this year? “Our defense and our focus.” Akinjo said. “Every year, coach (Mellis) does a great job of getting us focused, but especially this year. This team, we’re really mature. All the credit to my team.” That maturity has led to a calm confidence. Said Akinjo: “We know how good we are. So there is not a team that can come out and rattle us. We are always this calm.” Often it’s the opponent that’s rattled, such as when Modesto Christian was plagued by those early turnovers. “It’s the little things that win games,” said Akinjo, who also had six assists. “Everyone focuses on scoring and stuff like that. But it’s the little things like rebounding, playing good defense, stopping their best player. Those are the things that win games.”

a pair of Williams’ 3-pointers gave the team a lead it wouldn’t give up the rest of the way. “He’s making his name as one of the best shooters in Northern California,” Bishop O’Dowd coach Lou Richie said of Williams. “People are going to start guarding him differently.” Williams certainly benefits from sharing a backcourt with a pair of Pac 12-bound guards in Elijah Hardy (Washington) and Naseem Gaskin (Utah). Gaskin scored 11 points and added 14 rebounds in the win over Pleasant Grove. Hardy, despite struggling with turnovers, finished with 14 points. “After 15 games, I think we’re in a great spot,” Williams said. “We’re sharing the ball really well. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so we just try and pick up for each other in areas we know how.” Richie is happy with the direction his team is pointed, but

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In that critical fourth quarter, the Pride held Crusaders guard Junior Ballard scoreless. Ballard, playing in just his fifth game with Modesto Christian after transferring from Lathrop, had scored 34 against Clovis North-Fresno. He finished with 13 against the Pride. “The reality is, we could face them again in March, there’s no doubt,” Mellis said. “And that’s the important game. Who knows how the seeds will fall? Win or lose, the good thing about this event is you get better. And when you play Modesto, you get better, win or lose.” Getting better will help during the stretch run into postseason. The Pride left McKeon Pavilion to get ready for Tri-County Athletic League Rock Division games against El Cerrito and St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo, the defending Division IV state champion. As Ballard gets more acclimated to his new surroundings, any potential Modesto Christian rematch with Salesian might unfold differently. “We have to be playing better basketball in March, and they’ll be playing better basketball in March, for sure,” Mellis said. ✪

still wants to see more. “Great bunch of kids, love ‘em to death,” the coach said. “Three things. We have to execute offense better. We’ve got to be the best defensive team around, and we have to rebound better. Those are going to be our focus areas in practices over the next 60 days.” They’ll also get to turn their attention to league play in the West Alameda County-Foothill Division. Their biggest threat to taking the crown is a Berkeley team which was 14-3 through Jan. 15. The Dragons and Yellowjackets won’t meet for the first time until Feb. 2, however. “We have a really good group of guys,” Gaskin said. “We’re all tough and we can get down defensively. … I think we’re in a good spot.” ✪ — Chace Bryson

1. (1)

Salesian-Richmond

17-1

2. (2)

Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland

10-5

3. (3)

Modesto Christian

13-3

4. (4)

Capital Christian-Sacramento

11-5

5. (5)

Folsom

15-3

6. (6)

Sheldon-Sacramento

12-3

7. (7)

Bellarmine-San Jose

12-2

8. (8)

St. Francis-Mountain View

12-2

9. (10)

Clayton Valley-Concord

16-0

10. (9)

Las Lomas-Walnut Creek

15-1

11. (11) —

Berkeley

14-3

12. (12) —

Dublin

14-3

13. (17) ▲

St. Ignatius-S.F.

10-4

14. (13) ▼

Jesuit-Carmichael

12-3

15. (14) ▼

St. Mary’s-Stockton

13-4

16. (16) —

Heritage-Brentwood

15-2

17. (NR) ▲

Menlo School-Atherton

11-1

18. (NR) ▲

Moreau Catholic-Hayward

13-4

19. (19) —

Campolindo-Moraga

13-4

20. (NR) ▲

Palo Alto

12-2

DROPPED OUT: No. 15 Serra-San Mateo, No. 18 College Park-Pleasant Hill and No. 20 Lincoln-Stockton. 5 TEAMS KNOCKING (alphabetically): College ParkPleasant Hill (12-3), Piedmont Hills-San Jose (13-1), Sacramento (12-3), Serra-San Mateo (9-5) and UniversityS.F. (17-1). FAST BREAKDOWN: Despite all the high-profile games over MLK weekend, nearly every ranked squad took care of business over the second week of 2018. Previous No. 9 Las Lomas was the only Top 10 team to lose, falling to unranked St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo in a morning tipoff at the MLK Classic in Moraga on Jan. 15. We dropped the Knights just one slot behind Clayton Valley, since the two will be playing each other on Jan. 19.

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January 2018

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NorCal’s Soccer Community Knows The Name

Maya Doms Now a national audience is on the brink of learning it, too

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Story by Steven wilson Photos by James k. leash January 2018

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‘S

pecial.’ It’s the first word most people utter when it comes to Davis High junior midfielder Maya Doms — an Under-17 U.S. National Team contributor and the top prospect on the Blue Devils soccer squad. ‘Impactful,’ ‘smart,’ ‘technical’ and ‘fast’ aren’t too far behind, but they pale in comparison to her coach’s cartoon comparison for her. “Maya is the Energizer bunny,” sixth-year Davis coach Sara Stone stated. “There’s no down time with her. She’s in every game, 100 percent, and she prepares like we’re playing the top team every game. Her drive is relentless.” That persistent ambition translated to her first qualifier for the U-17 National Team in April of 2017, after a handful of strong performances at elite camps across the country. It took just two showings for Doms to prove her worth as she scored one of four goals against Mexico in the team’s 4-0 victory. “I tapped it in with my stomach into the goal off a cross,” Doms explained. “But after that tournament in Italy, I noticed how much it meant to me to play on the national team.” Living out her dream on the international stage, Doms came to a cold realization. Nothing is guaranteed for these players, despite past achievements. “They’re called non-negotiables,” she explained. “They tell us, ‘You can’t take any opportunity for granted’ and ‘You can’t leave anything to chance.’” But Doms left a lasting impression, earning a starting spot and scoring a pair of goals in the tournament final against Italy — a 6-0 victory for the U.S. “She just has a complete skill set,” Stone added. “Anybody could play her on the backline, outside back, on the front line — she defends, she attacks, she’s incredibly fit, and her first three steps — not too many people can stay with her.” That skill set has also helped Doms at the local level. As of Jan. 16, her high school team owned a 58 match unbeaten streak spanning three seasons. In fact, the Davis Blue Devils haven’t lost a game with Doms on the team. There have been five ties during the streak, including two this season. And two Sac-Joaquin Division I championships. “There are so many things about her that can simply change a game,” Stone said. “She’s strong, she’s fast, she’s technical, she’s aggressive — she brings that energy for us, so if she has the ball, good things happen.” Specifically, 63 good things; that’s how often she’s found the back of the net over the last three seasons. Two of those came against Davis’ rival, St. Francis-Sacramento, on Jan. 9 as the Blue Devils earned a 5-3 win. “She’s probably the most impactful player I’ve ever coached, and she has been like that since she was a freshman,” Stone added. “But she’s very humble. She doesn’t draw attention to herself in any way, and she’s very easy to coach.” Despite her national spotlight this summer, and her notoriety around campus, her coaches and teammates rave about Doms’ down-to-earth personality. Where some players might get big-headed from such attention, Doms shifts focus to her team’s accomplishments over her own, and always takes time for questions from the media and fans. “I think our entire city knows who she is,” said Alex Park, Doms’ former club soccer coach and current Davis High boys soccer coach. “She’s on the U.S. National Team, she’s a homegrown player and she has a twin brother who goes to school here, so everybody knows her name. But what makes her great is she’s very approachable. “(When she was 14) you could just tell she was a special player,” Park added. “Just her commitment, her passion — even at age 14, it was there — so she’s been amazing to watch.” The Davis coaches haven’t been the only ones noticing her outstanding play. Opposing squads have seen Doms take over games and change the outcome with a number of impressive moves and jukes en route to a game-deciding goal. That’s led to a heavy focus from defenders this season. “From last year, they scouted, so they always have a player on me, or a few players,” Doms said. “They definitely pay more attention to me this year… High school (soccer) is always physical, but you just have to be aggressive and not let people push you off the ball. It’s harder when it’s two defenders, but since I’m a smaller player, I can use skill and fakes to get around that.” At 5-foot-5, Doms doesn’t impose her will on defenders, but her smaller stature makes it

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easy for her to fool her foes. She inherits the genes of a collegiate track athlete and a high school two-sport athlete as both her parents showcased skills on the hardwood, football field and track. Neither competed in soccer. Maybe that’s one reason they aren’t helicopter parents when Maya’s on the pitch. “They don’t get super involved to the point where it’s annoying,” Maya admitted. “They never yell at me on the field — they just let me go do my thing, and they’ve always been really supportive.” Rocky and Clariza Doms are saying goodbye to their daughter once more as she embarks for another U.S. team qualifying practice in Florida in January — the next of many stops leading to the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship, where the top three teams will qualify for the U-17 Women’s World Cup. “Every time I come back from the national team, I feel like I can bring something else to my game, and build on it here,” Doms said, referencing the Blue Devils program — a place she feels comfortable experimenting with new moves against live competition. The biggest criticism for Doms at the start of national team training wasn’t on offense. It was on defense. Her size made it easy for opposing players to bully her, but she learned new ways to be aggressive on the ball, shadow defenders and intercept passes to flip the momentum. She’s progressed rapidly, and her coaches agree. “They say I’m one of the best defending midfielders now, so now I want to perfect final passing and finishing on close goals.” One of the perks of being on the national team roster is the training regimen they assign players. Doms was given a gap plan for her “off weeks,” which consists of six days of drills and routines to hone specific skills, such as finishing penalty kicks, which some national team games come down to. If she’s not in school, or practicing with her high school or club team, chances are you could find Doms practicing at a field near her house. Everything from dribbling to shooting, she is out there for hours honing her craft. That sort of dedication has elevated her game. Beyond her national team contributions, Doms has practiced with teams from the Women’s Premier Soccer League and competed against boys teams in the area. She says “They’re definitely faster, but most of them aren’t as technical,” she admitted. “I can keep up, but I wasn’t the best one out there. They really challenged me and that made me better.” Her opportunities with the U.S. National Team are still ahead, but following her career with the Blue Devils, Doms will join the No. 1 program in the country after accepting an offer from her ‘dream school,’ Stanford — as a freshman — during the fall of 2016. “At first, I couldn’t believe it,” she acknowledged, recalling the day she got that phone call offer. “I knew I wanted to commit there, and even though I was looking at other schools, like Santa Clara, right when Stanford offered, I knew I had to take it.” Beyond athletics, Doms is a standout in the classroom as well. Last year, she registered a 4.3 GPA and is currently enrolled in two honors classes. Although her international training schedule makes classwork tough, she says her teachers have been accommodating with tests and homework. “I always heard that Stanford was the best school in the nation growing up,” Doms said. “I didn’t really think it would be possible, but once I partook in some (U.S. Club Soccer) ID-2 camps, I met the assistant coaches from Stanford and they came out to watch some of my games.” Coach Park helped establish that connection as well by inviting the Cardinal out to a game. Yet that was all he needed to do as Doms showcased her big-play ability and drew an offer from the school on her own merit. “They came out for State Cup in 2016 and, usually when I know people are watching I get a little nervous. But I ended up playing really well,” Doms said. Before she can join the storied Stanford program, she’ll look to complete history at Davis High. The team is in line to contend for a third straight Sac-Joaquin Section title and Doms has her eye on the prize. “We definitely want to win sections and get the three-peat,” Doms said. “But this year, we can go past sections and move on to regionals. So we’re hoping to win that this year, too.” ✪ Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!

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January 2018

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building NCVA’s Steps Toward Ensuring A Safer, Healthier Team Space

A

ll coaches are different, and while philosophical differences some times come into play, parental concerns around coaching start at the most basic level: Is my son or daughter safe in his or her care? It’s a question the USA Volleyball and the NCVA take very seriously. General info about NCVA’s background checks usually amount to this line from the USAV Parent Guide: “Every adult over the age of 18 working with USAV juniors has a comprehensive background check performed biannually.” But what information screened on all applicants — social security verification, address search, county courthouse and/or statewide search, national database and sex offender registry search — disqualifies a potential coach? The following automatic disqualifiers are listed in the USAV Screening Policy: All sex offenses and homicides, regardless of time limit; felony violence and felony drug offenses in the past 10 years; any misdemeanor violence offenses in the past seven years; any multiple misdemeanor drug and alcohol offenses within the past seven years; or any other crimes (not listed) against children in the past seven years.Furthermore, individuals found to have pending court cases for any disqualifying offenses will be disqualified. If the disposition of the pending case does not meet the criteria for disqualification as listed above, the individual would be cleared and reinstated. But how are crimes collected? Are these background checks effective to filter out people unfit to work with minors? Who performs these background checks for NCVA? The answer is SSCI: Southeast Security Consultants, Inc. SSCI’s motto is ‘Information is protection.’ Committed to finding the best methods for accurate and complete data, they also seek the cost of its absence. SSCI found in their 2016 case study by Randy Rodebaugh that other companies offer national database-only search to screen applicants as a cost-cutter for volunteer-driven organizations. As a result, 23 of the 56 individuals disqualified by SCCI throughout the 2015-16 screening period would have slipped through the cracks using a database search only. Pending cases will not appear on a national database, another reason courthouse investigations are imperative. “We choose SSCI for their comprehensive background checks that include local and statewide search,” NCVA CEO Donna Donaghy said. “We feel it is imperative to use the best services out there as the first line of defense to minimize safety risks for our players and community.” Unfortunately, some offenders may not have a criminal record, breaching this defense; so it is the community’s responsibility to help ensure the safety of players. In addition to background checks, USA Volleyball’s SafeSport program is a collection of specific policies,

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the better coach training, supervision and grassroots feedback to help ensure the community identifies and reports abuse. SafeSport also helps coaches be self-aware to not commit misconduct, clearly defining standards for them to conduct themselves. SafeSport policies define sexual, physical and emotional misconduct; bullying, threats, harassment and hazing to provide a comprehensive picture of abuse, and how to identify as well as report it. USA Volleyball provides training on these. “It is important to be able to coach the game and recognize issues on the court, but it is equally important for coaches to address situations off the court,” Aftershock Volleyball Club Director Craig Hardesty said. “SafeSport training allows them to do that properly.” Additionally, the SafeSport Handbook has two proactive policies to reduce risk of abuse: The Social Media and Electronic Communications Policy and Travel Policy. If a club does not develop its own policy, these policies become their default; they are designed to involve all levels of the community. For example, the Communications Policy limits all electronic correspondence topics between adults and minors to team activities, and all content must be readily available to the public ensuring transparency. Plus, minors must copy or include their parents in all electronic correspondence. This multifaceted approach ensures coaches and the community actively create an environment that deeply minimizes abuse and maintains professionalism. We owe our children a life free of violence; together, it is possible through active diligence. ✪ — Kim Lampi for NCVA

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January 2018

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BIGGER AND BIGGER Sacramento Area Set For Massive Rugby Tournament

W

hat started back in 1983 as a humble preseason scrimmage between seven fledgling Sacramento Valley high school rugby clubs, has developed into the largest youth and high school rugby tournament in the Western Hemisphere (at least as far as vwe can tell). In fact, the Kick-Off Tournament has been so for nearly 10 years now. The 34th annual KOT (as it has been affectionately nicknamed) will be held for the sixth consecutive year at Cordova High on Jan. 27-28. With at least nine different competitive levels, the event will once again feature as many as 130 sides competing in over 200 matches. Full contact. No pads. Catching, passing, kicking, tackling, scrummaging, rucking and mauling! This year, the tournament is expecting schools such as multiple time national champion Jesuit-Carmichael to enter as many as four sides to compete at different levels. Single clubs like Sierra Foothills (Roseville/Rocklin), Granite Bay, Mother Lode (El Dorado Hills), Solo (Solano/Yolo), Lamorinda, Pleasanton and Danville are all likely to be present as well. The format will feature boy and girls divisions at U-10, U-12 and middle school, as well as JV and varsity. Many of these larger clubs enter as many as 12 sides. Smaller clubs like Chico, Gridley, Elk Grove and Marin enter closer to six sides. The competition is dynamic; changing and growing every year. We expect several visiting clubs from the Seattle and Los Angeles areas, as well from across Northern California. The KOT has become the legitimate harbinger of a new Northern California youth and high school rugby seasons to come. The winner of the boys Varsity Gold competition, held on Saturday, is often found still standing at the high school national championship final each May. The KOT has proven to be an outstanding structure in our reoccurring Rugby NorCal calendar, one that challenges with the outstanding opportunity for club, squad, coach, administration and even referee development. We like to call it Game Development. The opportunity to compete at the KOT has allowed KOT organizers to set the bar a little higher with each passing year. In fact, an argument could be made that the high level of professional volunteerism on display at the KOT helped create Rugby NorCal, the leading state-based rugby organization in USA Rugby. Competition starts early on both Saturday and Sunday, with kickoffs usually starting at 9 a.m., possibly earlier. Play continues until sunset both days. A precursor to the event is a free rugby referee clinic at Sacramento State on Friday, Jan. 26. Coach and referee certification courses are offered throughout the region each fall and into January. Rugby (or rugby union football as it is more accurately called) just recently returned to the Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro 2016. Gold Medals from the 1920 and 1924 Olympics are on display at the UC Davis Shields Library. Colby “Babe” Slater of Woodland captained the 1924 team that beat France, in Paris, for the Gold. USA men and women both turned in credible performances in Rio, and will certainly be competing for medals in the years ahead. Come out to Cordova High at the end of January and enjoy the competition. Each side entered plays three 30-minute matches per day. Rugby is exhausting and exhilarating, but most of all it is a fantastic display of sportsmanship and camaraderie. ✪ — Ray Schwartz for the Sacramento Kick-Off Tournament

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Story by Clay Kallam Photos by Ed Oswalt 28

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JUMP’S

GIANT

LEAP

Pinewood Star Hitting On All Cylinders

H

aley Jones has seen Hannah Jump launch 3-pointers as an opponent (since middle school) and as a teammate (CalStars in the summer). “When she shoots,” says Jones, who is the star of Archbishop Mitty-San Jose’s No. 1 team in the country, “I’m surprised when it doesn’t go in.” But Jump isn’t your traditional 5-foot-5, camp-behind-the-arc sharpshooter. First, she’s 5-11, which allows her to get her shot off when smaller players can’t, and she’s also much more versatile than her reputation suggests. Of course, the same could be said of Pinewood-Los Altos Hills. Many casual fans believe the Panthers are a one-trick pony that rely only on a barrage of 3-pointers for its success under coach Doc Scheppler. But opponents have learned that Pinewood not only rains 3s, but defends, rebounds and gets into the paint as well as any team in Northern California. Jump fits the Pinewood mold, and has worked to improve her game to do so. “Her defense has gotten better,” Scheppler says, “and she rebounds better,” but he feels there’s still more Jump can bring to the court. “She needs to work on her finishes,” he says, “and learn to play with fatigue. You can’t just be designated a shooter. You need to be a complete player.” Still, Jump is awfully good right now, averaging 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.2 steals Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!

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January 2018

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29


“When somebody shoots that well you’re basically playing four-on-four.” — Coach Doc Scheppler

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a game — and of course shooting like a female Stephen Curry. She makes 42 percent of her long distance attempts, 54 percent of her shots inside the arc and 81 percent of her free throws — and all that despite constant defensive attention. And that defensive attention, like the NBA focus on Curry, opens up the court for her teammates. “When somebody shoots that well,” says Scheppler, “you’re basically playing four-on-four.” But don’t think that the notably persnickety Scheppler is totally happy with Jump’s shooting. “It’s a constant daily battle to keep her ball flight down,” says Scheppler, which translated means that Jump’s shot sometimes leaves her hand at an angle greater than 45 degrees — which Scheppler, one of the elite shooting coaches in California, if not the country, thinks is ideal. Jump, like most Pinewood players, has had to adjust to Scheppler’s perfectionism, but then again, she’s a perfectionist herself — which is sometimes a problem. “You can’t let perfection get in the way of being very good,” says Scheppler. Jump understands the process at Pinewood, and what her coach is trying to do for her and her team. “He has my best interests at heart,” she says, and he concedes he didn’t have to do much more than tinker with her shot once she arrived in the program. Rometra Craig, the daughter of former 49ers star running back Roger Craig, who starred at Archbishop Mitty and Duke University, saw Jump play in a middle school tournament and was immediately impressed. “She started working with me on my shot,” says Jump, and Jump applied those lessons daily in her backyard basket. OK, lots of kids have a backyard basket. What made it unusual for Jump to have one is that she was born in England — which one would think would make it more

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“We’re young and I think we’re going to be really good.” — Hannah Jump Through games played Jan. 15

likely this Manchester City fan would have a soccer goal instead of a hoop and net. Jump, though, never really played soccer, and when she came to California at age 9, she started out playing softball. But basketball, oddly, was in her blood, as her father Danny played for Blackburn College in England and quickly steered his tall daughter to his favorite sport. “He drilled me every day on my right and left hand,” she says, and he and her older brother Sam would play her oneon-one. It took her until seventh grade to beat Sam, now 18, and they still go at it when he’s home from college. “He gives me a run for my money,” says Jump, “but I get him.” Jump remains an English citizen, and though she will almost certainly play college basketball in the United States, she’s already played for England internationally. Danny sent a highlight video to Basketball England, and they invited her over for a tryout with the Under-16 team in 2015. “At first it was difficult,” says Jump. “They all knew each other” — but Jump’s outgoing personality soon won everyone over, and she settled in as one of the top players, even though she was the youngest on the team. That said, English basketball is not exactly elite, as soccer and cricket are far more popular. “At first it was old-school basketball,” says Jump, “but now we drive and kick.” Unfortunately, Jump’s first experience in international competition — she’s played in Romania and Portugal — resulted in Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!

enough losses that England was relegated to Europe’s B competition in 2016. Things went better in year 2, but England still has a long way to go to match European powers such as France and Spain. Still, Jump hopes to play for Great Britain again, though right now her focus is solely on Pinewood. Pinewood is one of the top teams in Northern California (No. 4 in the SportStars rankings) and on track to qualify for the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs — and perhaps the NorCal Open after that. (Thanks to the new NorCal format, however, Pinewood’s days of Division V titles are over. If the team doesn’t get picked for the Open, it will undoubtedly be placed in the NorCal Division I bracket.) “We’re young and I think we’re going to be really good,” says Jump, but she realizes that the No. 1 team in the nation resides just down the road in San Jose. Archbishop Mitty stands in the way of a CCS title and any NorCal Open success, but perfectionist Jump is undeterred. “We’re chasing perfection,” she says, “and perfection is Mitty.” And remember, Pinewood has caught perfection before, knocking off No. 1 in the nation St. Mary’s-Stockton in the 2016 NorCals, though that group fell short of a California Open title. This year, however, might turn out perfectly — and really, it would be no more of a surprise than Jump draining another 22-foot 3. ✪

1. (1)

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose

16-0

2. (2)

St. Mary’s-Stockton

17-2

3. (3)

Folsom

15-3

4. (4)

Salesian-Richmond

11-3

5. (5)

Pinewood-Los Altos Hills

13-1

6. (7)

St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda

12-2

7. (8)

Carondelet-Concord

8-5

8. (10)

Miramonte-Orinda

12-4

9. (6)

Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa

14-3

10. (15) ▲

McClatchy-Sacramento

11-4

11. (11) —

Castro Valley

14-1

12. (12) —

California-San Ramon

14-3

13. (13) —

Foothill-Sacramento

15-2

14. (14) —

Bear Creek-Stockton

16-2

15. (16) ▲

Antelope

11-3

16. (NR) ▲

San Ramon Valley-Danville

13-2

17. (19) ▲

Eastside College Prep-E. Palo Alto

11-4

18. (18) —

Heritage-Brentwood

8-5

19. (NR) ▲

Pleasant Valley-Chico

10-4

20. (NR) ▲

Dublin

16-1

DROPPED OUT: No. 9 Presentation-San Jose, No. 17 Valley Christian-San Jose and No. 20 Enterprise-Chico 5 TEAMS KNOCKING (alphabetically): Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland (7-9), Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove (13-2), Enterprise-Redding (15-2), James Logan-Union City (14-1) and St. Ignatius-San Francisco (11-4) FAST BREAKDOWN: The irresistible force and immovable object seem well on their way to a NorCal finals’ rematch, as Archbishop Mitty and St. Mary’s of Stockton continue to roll. After that one-two punch, though, there are a lot of very good teams that are just inconsistent enough to get beat if they don’t play well. That happened to both Folsom and Salesian last week, but since Folsom beat Salesian, and Salesian beat Pinewood, the order couldn’t really change. McClatchy got a big boost by beating SoCal power Sierra Canyon by two at the St. Mary’s MLK event, and vaults into the top 10.

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AIRING OUT IT

Popular 7-on-7 Football Event Plans Stop In Concord Just when you were sure that high school football was over, and you were trying to cope, Concord is coming to the rescue as host to the Quick 6 Football “Air To The Throne” 7-on-7 event on Sunday, Feb. 18, at Mt. Diablo High. Air To The Throne is the season kick-off event and the first of four qualifiers for the Quick 6 Golden Great 7-on-7 Championship on April 22 at the College of San Francisco. There are four qualifying spots up for grabs at this first event. Concord will also host a second qualifier in March, as well. Both events are sponsored by Visit Concord, SportStars Magazine, Gamebreaker head gear, Football University, Adam Dailey Clothing and Drip Drop hydration drink. These events will feature the top high school football players (ages 14-18) from throughout California. A quick guide to 7-on-7 football: ›› Each possession starts 40 yards from the end zone, and first downs can be attained by reaching the 25-yard line and the 10-yard line. However, the offense only gets three

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downs to convert, instead of the typical four. A quarterback has just 3.7 seconds to pass from the time he gets the ball or it’s considered a sack. ›› An offensive player is down when a defensive player completes a one-hand touch on the receiving player’s torso. Head touches or touches below the butt are not considered a tackle. There is also no blocking allowed. ›› Touchdowns are six points (duh.), and offenses can try a 1-point conversion from the 3-yard line or a 2-point conversion from the 10-yard line. ›› Defenses can score as well. Interceptions are three points and forcing a turnover on downs earns 2 points. Each team is guaranteed at least three games in the events. Two pool play games and at least one game in single-elimination bracket play. Pool play games last 20 minutes and bracket play games are 22 minutes, each with running clocks. Learn more about 7-on-7 football and the various Quick 6 events by visiting Quick6.org. ✪

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ALSO HAPPENING IN CONCORD ›› There’s still time to ice skate at the Veranda Shopping Center. The ice rink is open 7 days a week, weather permitting. Tickets are $14 for 90 minutes of skate time, but be sure to check out the Discount Nights! Start off your week with “Locals Night” on Mondays and skate for $10, bring your family on Wednesdays for the $35 “Family 4 Pack,” or skate 2 for the price of one for “Cheap Skate Night” on Thursdays. The ice rink is open now through February 18th. The Veranda Shopping Center is located at 2001-2003 Diamond Boulevard. ›› Also, Visit Concord is excited to present the first ever Comfort Food Restaurant Week in Concord. The foodie scene in Concord offers a diverse flavor for everyone, and everyone has the perfect food that comforts them. From Jan. 19– 28 you will be able to enjoy authentic cuisines at over 15 participating restaurants. When dining, ask for the Comfort Food Restaurant Week menu and beg. For a complete list of restaurants and menus, head to VisitConcordCa.com/ comfort-food-restaurant-week/

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Know What To Do When You Witness A Sudden Cardiac Arrest health watch: tuan mai Imagine that you are at your neighborhood gym or your child’s soccer match and someone suddenly collapses to the floor. Do you know what to do? Unfortunately, that exact scenario happened to me on the basketball court and not one of the twenty or so bystanders knew how to perform CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. However, they did call 911 and someone came in from a different part of the gym and began life-saving CPR on me until the paramedics arrived and shocked my heart back to rhythm. I survived that day without any significant medical issues due to the heroism of a bystander. Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, is different than heart attacks, occurring abruptly with the loss of mechanical activity in the heart. According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest occurs more than 300,000 times each year in the United States, with a survival rate of 10-12 percent. Although SCA is rare in young people, 25 percent of the time it occurs during interscholastic sports and is a leading cause of death in young athletes. Many national and international studies indicate that bystander CPR can increase the survival rate of SCA between 50 to 500 percent. Not only does bystander CPR improve the likelihood of survival, it also improves the odds that the victim will also have favorable brain function. Some of the barriers to bystander assistance include inability to recognize a sudden cardiac arrest, a lack of training and concerns about liability. Although the signs and symptoms of an SCA include sudden collapse — no pulse, no breathing, and loss of consciousness — other symptoms of SCA can be confusing to bystanders, including abnormal breathing or gasping and seizure-like activity. According to a 2014 study, less than 5 percent of the US population receives formal CPR training. With regard to liability, California Health and

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Safety Code Section 1799.102 says, “No person who in good faith, and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical care or assistance at the scene of an emergency shall be liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission other than an act or omission constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.” Although CPR is an important step in saving the life of a person with sudden cardiac arrest, only defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator may reverse the condition. Next time that you are in a public venue, note the location of the nearest AED. Even if you are not the person performing the life-saving measures, you could be an integral part of the life saving team by bringing the AED to the scene. For many of the young athletes in the East Bay, Certified Athletic Trainers, highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals are on hand daily during practices and games. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland employs nearly 20 trainers to provide medical services to high schools throughout the region and to championship events hosted by the North Coast Section. Each of them are trained in the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers. In addition, they also carry an AED. These trainers are key to protecting the lives of young athletes while they participate in athletic events. Even with athletic trainers roaming the sidelines, the individual cannot be everywhere at once. You can make a difference for a family member, friend, or stranger by making sure that you are trained in CPR and the use of an AED. It’s time to be a hero! For more information or to register for a community CPR class, go to www.bitly.com/bch-cpr or call 925-979-3420. ✪ Tuan Mai is a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

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getSMART

Spelling Out A Strategy For Setting Goals

nutrition: jill daniels Are you ready to set some goals for the year, but unsure if you’ll really follow through? New year’s resolutions typically don’t have lasting results because people don’t formulate a realistic plan. There are several successful ways to do some planning. One model for setting goals is called SMART and can be very simple yet effective. Creating SMART goals can help you implement the changes you desire. Here are a few tips on setting SMART nutrition goals: ›› S — Specific. Be as specific as possible about what your goal is and why you’d like to reach it. “I’m going to eat breakfast every day so my body gets the nutrients it needs for muscle repair and energy during the morning,” or “I’m going to fuel my body during practices so I can stay mentally focused and energized; finishing each practice strong, which will help me for games and tournaments.” ›› M — Measurable. Being able to measure your progress lets you know how you’re doing, and whether you are on track, or if you need to step up your game. “I’m going to consume at least 300 calories of carbohydrates during each two-hour practice.” ›› A — Attainable. Keep it real. If you’re setting a goal to gain 10 pounds of muscle in two weeks, or to eat seven servings of fruits and veggies every day when currently you don’t eat any, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment. Double-check to see if you have the energy, time, knowledge and focus to attain your goals. ›› R — Rewarding. If you are fueling your body better during practices, and that transfers over to better performance during competition, you’ll find yourself enjoying your sport even more, and may even find yourself with faster times, and a few more wins. ›› T — Time-based. Setting a goal with a deadline can help create a sense of urgency, or add a level of accountability that could be helpful. Achieving small milestones along the way can help you stay encouraged and committed. “I’m going to eat breakfast four times a week by Jan. 31; 6 times a week by Feb. 14; 7 times a week by Feb. 28.” There are several nutrition-related goals you can set that will help you improve your performance this year. Whether you want to increase muscle mass, improve energy levels, recover faster or something else, take time to write down some SMART goals and make this year your best one yet. ✪ Maximize your athletic performance by seeking personalized advice from Nutrition Coach Jill Daniels, MS, RD, CSSD, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. www.JillDanielsRD.com

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PULL UP

POWER PLAN powerd by Trucks: anthony trucks

It’s the new year and with that comes new goals to set and achieve. For instance, I’m looking forward to a chance at being on the American Ninja Warrior TV show once again. That means training as hard as I can to compete against some of the best athletes on the show. The training is a little different than most people’s everyday workouts but they’re a ton of fun. The biggest difference is the need to be able to powerfully pull yourself up and even launch your body, by your hands, from one structure to another. I recently ran into someone who competed with me on the show and he had a great question that can help anyone trying to try this craziness. “Anthony, how do you increase your pull-up power to swing better?” Well, it’s actually quite simple. I’m not going to go too in-depth into the obvious, but firstly increase your grip strength. Then keep in mind that the equation for power {(force x distance) / time} calls for a few things that you can train for. One is force, which in lifting terms is strength. You first have to increase your strength. This can be done by starting with full-range cable pull downs, progressing to pull-ups, then weight pull-ups. When you start with cable pull-downs you increase the full-range strength you have, which you’ll need to slow yourself down when you launch yourself and grab the next structure. The pull-ups allow you to get used to your own body weight, which is what you’ll naturally use when swinging around. Finally, the added weight allows your body to feel lighter to you as you increase your strength, much like when a baseball player swings a donut before he bats to increase his bat speed. Two is increasing the speed of your muscle contractions by using bands or lighter weight to move faster. The faster you can make your muscle contract, the more speed they’ll produce. When you merge increased strength with increased speed, you’ll find that you boost your overall power. This allows you to literally launch yourself around by just your hands. The final thing is to practice and get coordination. Just like a baseball player, you still have to fine-tune the technique. When you do you’ll be all set to take on the ninja warrior challenges. Then you can swing around like a monkey and possibly join me on the show this year. Will I see you there? ✪ Anthony Trucks is an IYCA-certified trainer who covers strength training for SportStars.

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feed the MACHINE training time: tim rudd Do you know what types of things athletes must to do to improve their health, body composition and performance? Everything I teach my athletes is based on the 3S criteria, developed by Precision Nutrition. 1. Simple: Are the rules easy to follow? 2. Science-based: Are the rules based on sound scientific principles? 3. Successful: Have the rules produced success in others like your athletes? A system based on those three things is absolutely critical. To help you out, here are the exact strategies I’ve used with my athletes for years: 1. EAT EVERY 3-4 HOURS: Now, they don’t need to eat a full meal every few hours – some of them can be smaller snacks. But every few hours they should be getting a dose of good food that follows the other rules below. 2. INCLUDE PROTEIN-DENSE FOODS IN EACH MEAL AND SNACK: The most protein-dense and high-quality proteins come from animal foods (chicken, beef, fish, dairy etc.) Females should get one palm size and males two palm sizes. 3. INCLUDE VEGETABLES IN EACH MEAL OR SNACK: One of the best and easiest things they can do to improve their health and performance is to include veggies in each meal or snack. Get at least one fist size in, but the more the better! 4. EAT MOSTLY UNPROCESSED CARBOHYDRATES: This includes things like rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. These should come from whole food sources that contain no more than 3- ingredients if packaged — and they should control their portions, limiting them to a one cupped palm size for females and two cupped palm sizes for males with each meal. 5. INCLUDE A GOOD BALANCE OF HEALTHY FAT IN YOUR DIET: There are three types of fat: ›› Monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts, olives and olive oil. ›› Polyunsaturated fat should come from flaxseed oil, fish oil and mixed nuts. ›› Saturated fat come from animal proteins, butter and coconut oil. Eating all three kinds in a healthy balance can dramatically improve their health, performance and body composition. 6. MAKE SURE TO GET HALF YOUR BODYWEIGHT IN OUNCES OF WATER PER DAY. Our bodies are made up of 60 percent water, and water is absolutely essential for a variety of physiological functions. Your health, performance and body composition will suffer if you don’t drink enough of it. These six strategies will have athletes eating better — and performing better — than much percent of their competition. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA-certified specialist in youth conditioning and the owner of Fit2TheCore.

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NorCal Issue 143, January 2018  
NorCal Issue 143, January 2018  
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