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ISSUE 13 SOCAL EDITION FEBRUARY 2017


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ason Kidd may have been fired recently as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, but with his 19-year NBA career that began with the Dallas Mavericks in the 1990s and ended as a member of the New York Knicks five years ago he’s a sure-fire Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer. The St. Joseph Notre DameAlameda grad should be officially announced as an inductee into the Hall of Fame on NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. He, along with Steve Nash and Ray Allen, are now eligible for induction and those three will all be hard to deny as first-ballot inductees. Like many Northern Californians, of course, we can think back like it was only yesterday when Kidd was firing those trademark bullet passes for the Pilots. Those were the years when the school wasn’t called St. Joseph Notre Dame. He’s still the best high school player in California that I’ve ever seen in person (sorry LaVar Ball) and still would have to be regarded as the best in Northern California history. It all began when St. Joe’s head coach Frank LaPorte (who died of cancer in 1997) approached me one year at the CIF state finals and told me to be ready for this eighth grader who was going to be a freshman starter for him the following season. That player, of course, was Kidd and, as LaPorte predicted, he was mesmerizing. The highlight of that freshman year was when a crowd of nearly 8,000 packed into the Spanos Center in Stockton to see Kidd and his St. Joseph teammates battle 33-0 St. Mary’s-Stockton in the NorCal playoffs. He was the best player on the court and had no trouble performing in that “hostile” environment. The Pilots won, but didn’t win their first state title until Jason’s junior year. Before that junior season, when Cal-Hi Sports was the title of a monthly magazine, we were working out of an office at the Anaheim Hilton. We got LaPorte to fly down to Orange County with Jason for a cover shoot. Kidd would end up being on the cover of our magazine (later changed to the more national name Student Sports) three times, more than anyone else, but was never by himself. When the prep career was complete, Kidd was the first four-time All-NorCal choice, had led St. Joe to two CIF Division I titles, set national and state records for career assists and career steals and was a two-time Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year. In his final game at what was once called Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, he

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had scored more points in the first three quarters than the entire team from Mater Dei-Santa Ana. Ironically, longtime Mater Dei head coach Gary McKnight also is a semifinalist on this year’s Naismith Hall of Fame ballot. McKnight, who is the only coach in California history with more than 1,000 wins and has won 11 CIF state titles, could become the fourth high school coach in the nation to be in the Hall of Fame. The other three are Morgan Wootten of Maryland, Robert Hurley of New Jersey and Robert Hughes of Texas. Looking back on all the years in which Cal-Hi Sports has covered the CIF state finals in person (we’ve only missed one day since 1980), Kidd rates just ahead of John Williams of Crenshaw-Los Angeles as the best high school player we’ve ever seen. But is Kidd the best player to ever come from a Northern California high school? If you are looking at it from the standpoint of players who are from a California high school and may not have developed yet at a young age, then the answer is a definite no. This is because the legendary Bill Russell, who led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons, would be first. Russell, who is from McClymonds-Oakland, didn’t really get going until he went to USF and then later the 1956 U.S. Olympic team. If you consider both high school accomplishment and what players did later, Kidd would be up there with the best in California history along with Bill Walton of Helix-La Mesa. Although Kidd should have been MVP of the league at least once during his years with the New Jersey Nets, he wasn’t, while Walton did get one MVP honor. Walton also led a team to an NBA title (Kidd got a ring, too, but he wasn’t the best player on the 2011 Dallas Mavericks team that won it all) and he was such a dominating force at UCLA. The only bittersweet aspect of when Jason does get into the Hall of Fame this summer is that not only will coach LaPorte not be there but neither will his father, Steve, who died in 1999. We’ll be watching, though, just like we were when he was in the ninth grade. ✪ 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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Jeffery Washington/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com

No Kidding

Bay Area Legend Is A Sure Fire Hall-Of-Famer

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Behind the Clipboard by Clay Kallam

A Point About Points

We were watching the JV game before we played and one guy said that ball handling was the most important skill in the game because without a ball handler, no one would get a shot. (He’s a guard, by the way.) Another guy said it was rebounding, and somebody else said 3-point shooting. What is the most important thing in basketball? G.A., Oakland

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he most important thing is teamwork, as the Warriors have shown. It’s one thing to be skilled; it’s another to blend those skills in with the rest of the roster. OK, that’s the coachly answer, but that really doesn’t get to the heart of your question, which is more about what skill will help a player most at the high school level. The answer was right there while you were watching the JVs run the offense: Look at the scoreboard. The operative word? Score, because how do you determine which team wins the game? Not by the number of rebounds. Not by the least number of turnovers. Not by the number of dunks. But by which team puts the round thing in the orange circle more often. If the winner of the game was the team with the most rebounds, then rebounding would be the most important skill. If the winner of the game was the team with the highest free-throw shooting percentage, then free-throw shooting would be the most important skill. But since the determining factor is points, the player who can score points is always going to have a head start on getting his or her name announced when the game begins. Here’s another way to look at it: Which team is more difficult to beat, the team that can put 75 points on the scoreboard any given night, or the team that relies on holding the opposition to 45 or fewer? Sure, each can be a load, but to beat the team that can score, you have to be able to score. And to go back to the Warriors, if they have one of those nights when they put up 125, then

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your only chance to win is if you can put up 126. Another reason the team that relies on defense is more vulnerable is that it’s much harder to come back from a big deficit if your offensive weapons are limited. A run-and-gun team down by 10 is within striking range, even with just four minutes left; but that walk-the-ball-up zone team is going to have to work a lot harder to erase that deficit. To be clear, a kid who shoots every time and thus racks up a lot of points isn’t necessarily going to help you win, but a relatively efficient offensive player who can create his or her own shot is incredibly valuable. (And of course, making free throws is a critical skill as well.) As a coach, I’d rather look out on the court and see four scorers who struggle to defend rather than four defenders who struggle to score — if nothing else, it’s a lot more fun to lose 84-80 than it is to lose 38-36. But again, basketball is a team game, and really the most important skill is this one: The willingness to accept your role, and give your team what it needs most from your collection of skills and abilities. You may feel you could make five 3s a game, but if your team needs you to rebound and guard the other team’s best player, then that’s what you need to be willing to do. Though, I have to say, if you can make five 3s a game, the coach will probably let you shoot a little, too. ✪

Clay Kallam has been an assistant athletic director and has 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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RE LENT LESS Cameron Shelton Plays With A Fire That’s Been Burning Long Before He Became The Star Guard For Damien High Story by DEVIN UGLAND | Photos by SAMUEL STRINGER

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RELENTLESS

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ameron Shelton’s unmitigated desire to win goes back as far as he can remember. In elementary school, the blacktop courts would be buzzing with kids hooping at recess and lunchtime, but Shelton often found himself alone, playing on a court by himself because nobody wanted to deal with the consequences if they beat him. “When I was a kid I was the worst loser ever,” Shelton recalls. “In elementary school no one would want to play with me because they knew I would go too hard all the time. I hated losing so much I would throw a fit. I would be so mad, I’d be crying.” Shelton’s outbursts became so turbulent that family members had to intervene before and after recreation league games to make sure he kept his cool if things didn’t go his way. “My parents and grandparents would always have to have a conversation with me about being a good sport,” he said. His father, Lafayette, broke out in laughter when asked to describe how his son responded to losing as a child. “I was okay with it because he wasn’t a bratty kid,” Lafayette said. “My dad made it a bigger deal. He would try and give Cameron these pep talks after games and my mom and my wife and I would just laugh because Cameron wasn’t listening to it at all. Losing was the end of the world.” But as Shelton continued to grow and mature, he turned that bad energy into a ferocious spirit to become one of the most versatile and productive high school basketball players in California. The 6-foot-2, chiseled 185-pound combo guard has an unparalleled work ethic that earned him a spot on the Chino Hills varsity as a freshman — a team featuring current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball and his brother, LiAngelo Ball — which was a spot that was far from guaranteed. “The summer before he enrolled at Chino Hills as a freshman, they brought in all the eighth graders to a summer league and they were grooming him to play freshmen basketball because they had two other freshmen pegged to play varsity,” Lafayette remembers. “When Cam came into the mix, he worked his way on to varsity and he was the freshman that made it and actually started.” Shelton helped Chino Hills reach the CIF State Division I championship game during his freshman season and was the sixth man on the Huskies record-setting 35-0 team that won the Southern Section Open Division and CIF Open Division championships during his sophomore campaign. Lafayette credits the Ball family and their training regiment with helping his son turn the corner from a maturity standpoint. “When he got in to the Ball brother’s household, they just took his mindset of hating to lose to another level,” he said. “He went to a more mature level because he got a chance to see how Lonzo and Gelo responded to winning and losing. I’m so glad that he trained with LaVar and the Ball brothers because they really catapulted that mindset.” But It wasn’t until Shelton transferred to Damien High in La Verne for his junior season that he was able to fully realize his basketball potential. “I think being at Chino Hills was the best thing I could have done, but I think leaving was too,” Cameron said. “They definitely taught me how to work and what it takes to compete at a championship level. I’ve been trying to bring that to every team I’m on.”

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The work ethic and competitive spirit Shelton has developed over the course of his prep basketball career, along with the way he has his hands in every statistical category, earned him the “Russell Westbrook of high school basketball” moniker for his all-around impact on the game. All of which is a direct result of the ruthlessness and relentlessness in which he plays with. Shelton, who lives in Inglewood, rises at 4:30 in the morning and makes the 50-mile trek into La Verne where he gets up between 300 and 600 shots on the shooting gun before school starts. After school, he heads directly to practice, lifts weights after that, then makes his way to his individual workout with trainer Keith Howard. “I don’t really know how to describe it, but I think it’s just my pride and the fact that I’m so competitive,” Shelton says of why he works so hard. “Every time I step on the court I know guys are coming at me and I don’t want to ever have someone say they were better than me when stepping on the court. I always try and be the most dominant player on the court.” Shelton’s high school coach at Damien, Mike LeDuc, expressed sheer bewilderment at how hard his senior guard pushes himself. “His work ethic is ridiculously good and positive,” LeDuc said. “He probably works out more than he should between being physically fit with his weight lifting and conditioning to basketball where he works on his shot and skills. He’s such a fierce competitor. He does not give in or give up to anybody— and he wants to win tremendously bad.” Shelton’s club coach with West Coast Elite, George Zedan, mirrored LeDuc’s thoughts on his work ethic. “Honestly, we ask him about how he never gets tired,” Zedan said. “He plays with a relentlessness and toughness, both mental and physical, that is very impressive. He’s the ultimate competitor.” Shelton’s passion for winning, improving his own game and bringing those around him up to his level paid immediate dividends for Damien. 

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The Spartans posted a 31-5 overall record during Shelton’s junior campaign, reaching the CIF Southern Section Open Division quarterfinals and CIF State Division Southern Regional semifinals as Shelton stuffed the stat sheet, averaging 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals a game. This season, Shelton has the Spartans sporting a 20-5 record as the playoffs near and Damien is on the fringe of the eight-team Open Division field. Shelton is again posting stellar numbers scoring 25.5 points per game to go along with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. “I do think that it’s infectious when we can get guys in the gym who have that kind of mentality,” LeDuc said of Shelton’s ability to raise the program’s level of drive and determination. “There’s competition for everything and our guys strive on competition. I think he leads that on our team.” Still, despite posting a 115-16 overall record so far as a high school varsity player, and producing game-in and game-out at the highest levels of high school and club competition, Shelton was recruited lightly at the Division I level. He signed with Northern Arizona in the fall even though many thought he should have been recruited at a much higher level. Some of the questions surrounding Shelton’s game were and are still things like: what position will he play at the next level? Does he handle it well enough to be a point? Does he shoot it well enough to be a two guard? But instead of those doubts making Shelton revert back to the immature kid who would’ve let them get inside his head in a negative way, the grounded senior is using them to light a bigger fire underneath him. “I’m going to play with a chip on my shoulder no matter what,” he said. “I’m always going to come out and play hard whether I went to the top school or to the lowest school, because that work ethic never goes away.” ✪

“Honestly, we ask (Shelton) about how he never gets tired. He plays with a relentlessness and toughness, both mental and physical, that is very impressive. He’s the ultimate competitor.”

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— George Zedan

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Thinking about hosting a 2018 sporting event in the Bay Area and looking for the right location? Perhaps it’s time to take a look at Concord, where several other event organizers have found great success over the years. Concord and the East Bay have proven themselves as ideal locations for hosting a great event — abundant fields for multiple teams, comfortable lodging and easy access for travelers near and far. Off the field and away from the stands, the dining and entertainment scene will keep players, their families and other sports fans well fed and lively. Center yourself in Concord and enjoy all of this and more, without breaking the bank. Here’s just a few key reasons why event organizers choose Concord. ›› Accessibility. No matter where the teams are coming from, Concord is well-connected. Nestled in San Francisco’s East Bay, players are sure to find reasonable flights in and out of Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose’s airports. ›› Lodging. Concord’s nine hotels offer 1,300 rooms in close proximity to sporting amenities, providing plenty of space to host teams of any size. Entourages are welcome, too. ›› The right venue. Competing in state-of-the-art facilities is part of the thrill for athletes of any age. Whether you’re competing in a softball, basketball, bocce or badminton tournament, Concord has the right venue to accommodate plenty of sweaty athletes and riled-up spectators. ›› Affordability. We offer competitive pricing and are willing to work with

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your group to create an offer that meets your needs. Affordability doesn’t stop with our services — athletes and spectators can enjoy the delights of the East Bay with a reasonable budget. ›› Nearby amenities. Concord offers dining and entertainment options fit for a victory celebration or recovery from a tough loss. Hop on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system and explore San Francisco, dine at one of Concord’s 40 restaurants and breweries, and enjoy the best of the Bay — without Bay Area prices. ›› This isn’t their first rodeo. You don’t sub in your rookie player in the final quarter — and this shouldn’t be your host’s first time off the bench, either. Concord hosts the West Coast Jamboree, the largest high school girls basketball tournament in the nation, featuring more than 128 teams from around the country. “The hotel staffs at participating properties have made every effort to meet the hospitality needs of the large number of teams that travel to the West Coast Jamboree,” said Harold Abend, the associate executive director of the Jamboree. Concord is looking to assist you in your planning needs to make your next sporting event a home run. Go to VisitConcordCa.com for more information. — Copy provided by Visit Concord

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HarvardWestlake’s 2017-18 Narrative Involves Several Storylines — But The Wolverines Are Still Working On The Most Important One

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Jayda Ruffus-Milner, left, and twin sister Jayla await a chance at a rebound. Courtesty of Harvard-Westlake Athletics

Story by Harold Abend

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he unfolding story of this year’s Harvard-Westlake girls basketball team has more twists and turns than a Shakespearean play, but in reality the facts about the Wolverines’ season up to this point makes a very strong case for it to be a tale of its own. Where do we start? Is it with the Cal-Hi Sports No. 4-ranked Wolverines or with record-setting Coach Melissa Hearlihy? A lot of folks in the girls high school basketball community in California know about the current Harvard-Westlake team, mostly because of the prominence of the Pepperdine-signed Ruffus-Milner twins, Jayla and Jayda, who helped lift the Wolverines to the CIF Southern Section Open Division final last season before they lost 62-58 to Long Beach Poly. There’s a lot more to Harvard-Westlake than the twins this season, with some very solid role players and a freshmen group that includes a potential future superstar. But it really all starts with Hearlihy. A native of Los Angeles who was raised in Texas, Hearlihy came back to the West Coast to attend the University of San Francisco where she graduated in 1983 after starring as a power forward. Hearlihy went back to Southern California immediately after graduation and took a position as a graduate assistant at UCLA under legendary women’s coach Billie Moore. After a year under Moore’s wing Hearlihy got a job as a varsity assistant at Bishop AlemanyMission Hills. When the head coaching job opened up for the 1985-86 season, she got the position along with a teaching job and began a career that is now in its 33rd season. Hearlihy was at Alemany until the 1999-2000 season. The next year she moved across the San Fernando Valley to North Hollywood and Harvard-Westlake, where she also teaches seventh and eighth grade in the middle school. Almost astonishingly, and until just recently, Hearlihy herself didn’t even realize how amazing a career she has had. Back in 2010 when her team which starred Nicole Hung, who went on to Princeton, Nicole Nesbitt (UC Santa Barbara) and Sydney Haydel (Hawaii), went 34-1 to win the CIF Division IV state championship, Hearlihy was asked to get her overall record together for inclusion in the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book. At the time she had been coaching for 25 years and clearly had more than the 400-wins needed to qualify for the career wins list. Seven plus years passed and it never happened. When compiling her career record was suggested again for this feature, Hearlihy hesitated and thought for a moment. “I have it all in an envelope at my office at the middle school and I’ll add it all up and text it to you but I think I’m around 600,” Hearlihy said. What she came back with was mind-boggling. Not only has Hearlihy won a CIF Southern Regional and Div IV state title, she’s won 17 league titles and six CIF Southern Section championships at the two schools combined. Coming into this season her 345-86 record at Alemany added to her 346-166 record at Harvard-Westlake meant she had a career coaching record of 691-252. After a 65-45 defeat of Fairmont Prep-Anaheim on Feb. 1, the Wolverines moved to 21-4 and Hearlihy to 712 career

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coaching victories. And incredibly she assumes the No. 3 spot all time behind Joe Vaughan who had a 761-112 record from 1976-2007 at Buena-Ventura, and the 744 current career wins of still-active Mater Dei-Santa Ana coach Kevin Kiernan. “I knew she was up there but didn’t realize she was this high up on the list,” said Cal-Hi Sports Editor/Publisher Mark Tennis, who very shortly will be adding Hearlihy to the Record Book. When the Santa Barbara area fires caused the cancellation of the Santa Barbara tournament the Wolverines were scheduled to play in, Hearlihy hastily arranged her own event and invited the displaced teams from the Santa Barbara event. Ironically, had she known what her record was, it would have made for a humongous celebration when Harvard-Westlake won the tournament with a 60-55 victory over Cal-Hi Sports No. 6 Clovis North-Fresno — her 700th win. “Thanks, it would have been nice, but just get me an (CIFSS) Open title for the twins and I will be ecstatic,” was Hearlihy’s response when we did the arithmetic. Personal accolades are great, but part of the reason it’s been so hard to get Hearlihy to accept the tributes over the years is it has always been about the girls — and the past four years a lot of the focus of her love and admiration has been for the Ruffus-Milner twins. “You can’t help it,” Hearlihy said with a chuckle. “They’re laughing all the time and they’re always the life of the party with constant positive energy. “They have such a positive outlook on life in everything they do. They’re always trying to be the best they can be in everything. They hold teammates accountable because they have expectations. They welcome the competition and take on whatever comes their way. They have that ‘it’ factor.” There is no question the Ruffus-Milner twins are the heart and soul of the Wolverines, but will their talent and drive be enough to propel Harvard-Westlake to an Open Division title? So far, it has not been an easy road. They opened the season with a 68-67 overtime loss to Windward-L.A., but came back 10 days later to beat the Wildcats 67-54 in the title game of the Redondo Union Battle at the Beach Tournament. Then after winning four games at their impromptu home tournament, Hearlihy and her girls went to the Dallas suburb of Duncanville, Texas, for the Sandra Meadows Classic. There they won their first four games before losing the final 45-30 to host Duncanville (ranked No. 8 nationally by MaxPreps as of Feb. 1). Not only did they lose to Duncanville, Jayla separated her shoulder. From Texas they returned home but after 10 games in 10 days and all the travel involved going to Texas, the team was beat, and Jayla couldn’t raise her arm. In their next game, the bottom fell out. The Wolverines lost 53-49 at an El Camino-Woodland Hills team they beat by 20-points in the Redondo tourney. Hearilhy’s squad would quickly regroup and win eight of nine, despite Jayla playing through her shoulder pain and playing a pair of MLK showcase games in the Bay Area without their best outside shooter, Melanie Hirsch. The senior that is No. 3 on the team in scoring at 10 points per game was sick with the flu and could not travel. Jayda, who is No. 2 on the team in scoring and rebounding at 10.7 points and 7.6 rebounds a game, and Jayla (8.7 points, 7.1 rebounds a game) did play in the MLK games at St. Mary’sFollow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!

Stockton. The 5-foot-11 twins impressed, but the girl who really turned some heads was 6-foot-1 freshman Kiki Iriafen. She had 22 points and 16 rebounds against Salesian-Richmond while outplaying the Pride’s 6-foot-5 junior post Angel Jackson and earning a very positive review from respected ESPN analyst Dan Olson. “She has a lot of natural talent and knows her limits, but even so she was the best player on the floor,” Olson said. Having the twins has helped Iriafen, who according to Hearlihy is just starting to develop. If she’s already leading the Kiki Iriafen state’s No. 4-ranked team with 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game averages, the sky is the limit. “Kiki has a long way to go but the fact this kid has not played much organized basketball and is doing what she’s doing is phenomenal,” Hearlihy remarked. “She’s coming out of her shell. The twins are grinders and do all the little things, and that’s allowed Kiki to grow.” Hearlihy says the hop and agility in Iriafen’s game is also improving and thinks she’ll be able to dunk a tennis ball by the summer. If she grows a couple of inches, she may be able to dunk a basketball. “She’s so athletic and quick, and now she’s starting to shoot threes in practice and getting excited about it,” Hearlihy said. Getting back to the twins and Jayla in particular, a burning question is how can someone play with a separated shoulder and the pain that must come with it? “I have to thank the trainers. They make my shoulder stable enough to play in games but I have to play with extreme caution,” Jayla said. “But being at 50-percent on the court is better than not at all.” The twins have not only excelled on the court, but in the classroom as well. At a school considered in some academic rankings as the No. 1 private school in the state and among the top 10 in the nation, both Jayda and Jayla are right at a 4.0 grade point average. “They’re prolific readers, and all they talk about are their grades,” Hearlihy said. “And they’re doing all this while being raised by a single mom, LaQuette Milner. It’s pretty unbelievable.” Only Jayla was interviewed for this feature, but when asked if Jayda would have most of the same answers, she giggled and said “for sure.” It’s not just about the twins and the freshman. To be where the Wolverines are at so far this season takes a complete team. Besides the twins and Hirsch, 5-7 guard Ashlee Wong provides 5.8 points a game and intangibles that come with being a senior leader. Kimiko Katzaroff, another freshman, averages 8.2 points from the guard position. “Kimiko is a crafty little scorer and I haven’t had one of those in a while,” Hearlihy said. But does this Harvard-Westlake group have what it takes to win a Southern Section Open title and possibly a trip to Sacramento in March? Jayla only wanted to talk about the Southern Section Open playoffs. “Last year when we went to the championship it was a bit of a shock. This year it would be a shock if we don’t make it. I truly believe we do have what it takes to get to the championship and win. State is a long ways off.” Who knows, along the way the two top active winningest coaches, Hearlihy and Kiernan, might meet. That would be a ticket worth having. ✪ Support Your Advertisers — Say You Found Them in SportStars!

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NorCal TOC Wrestling TURNS 50 On March 10 the Northern California Tournament of Champions Wrestling Tournament, commonly referred to as the NorCal TOC, will celebrate 50 years — wow! This exciting event showcases the best middle school wrestlers in the state from sixth through eighth grade, all of whom had to prequalify to compete. The tournament takes place at Del Oro High School where they utilize both gymnasiums for the nearly 550 young athletes competing. Reaching this incredible milestone would not have been possible without the outstanding leadership from longtime tournament director Rod Hedlund. “It’s exciting to celebrate the 50th Annual TOC. When I became the tournament director in 1973 I never envisioned that this would take place on my watch,” Hedlund said. “It has been an amazing journey to say the least; the tournament has gone through many changes and the evolution has been so much fun to be a part of over

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the years.” Hedlund explained that he has always strived to make each year better by focusing on both the parents and the wrestlers. “I think we’ve been able to do just that because I’ve had such great help and support from a group of colleagues and friends who have been with me for, in most cases, more than 30 years,” added Hedlund. “We take a lot of pride in being considered by most in the California wrestling community as the most prestigious youth tournament in Northern California.” All you wrestling fans come celebrate and see these top youth wrestlers leave it all on the mats in hopes of being crowned champion of the 50th Annual NorCal TOC! Del Oro High School is located at 3301 Taylor Road in Loomis and the doors open at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 10. Admission prices are $7 for adults, ages 12 to 19 and seniors over 60 are $3, children under 12 are free! ✪

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Barrel Bonspiel Curling Event Likely To Gain Olympic Boost Placer Valley Tourism is thrilled to be teaming up again with the Wine Country Curling Club to bring the Barrel Bonspiel back for the second year in a row to the Skatetown Ice Arena in Roseville. This three-day curling tournament will take place on March 23-25 and the timing couldn’t be better with the Winter Olympics in South Korea having just showcased this unique sport from Feb. 9-25. For those of you unfamiliar with what the sport of curling actually entails, it is an ice sport where players slide a 42-pound stone over a long sheet of ice that is 150 feet long and 15 feet wide. The goal is to hit the target at the other end, which is called the house. Often it is referred to as a hybrid between bowling and shuffleboard, but on ice. WCCC President Katie Feldman explained that curling is a sport anyone can do as all ages and skill levels are welcome. “In 2017 WCCC taught approximately 150 people to curl with our learn-to-curl sessions and we are anticipating that number to double during the first half of 2018 with the excitement and buzz from the Winter Olympics.” “Many of you will see it on TV in February and then want to try it yourself. We can help with that,” Feldman said. “Come to the Barrel Bonspiel and you’ll get to experience live the fun and quirkiness that this incredible sport delivers.” The Barrel Bonspiel will feature several curling teams from throughout the country and include the popular “Hot Shot” contest that allows curlers the chance to be crowned the trick-shot master. Mark your calendars and come on down to Skatetown at 1009 Orlando Ave. in Roseville. We hope to see you there! ✪

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three step ladder

TO SUCCESS

powered by trucks: anthony trucks In the next five minutes you’re going to find out three specific steps you can take to get the most out of each training session for the rest of your life. No matter who you are, you’re in training mode at this time of the year. Athlete or active adult, this time of the year is when you’re trying to make sure you stick to your New Year’s resolution, or stick to your training regimen to give yourself the best edge to succeed. In my experience there are a few things that people have to do to make sure the work they’re doing in the weight room is the best use of their time. Without these three things in place, you’re setting yourself up for failure without even knowing it. First, ask yourself this question and if you can answer it in two seconds or less, then you’re good. If not, you can check the first box of three that you need to improve. Do you know exactly what your next workout is going to be? See, very few people take the time before a workout to make the most of their time during the actual workout. They walk into a gym and wander around assuming that their body will wander into being stronger or looking better. The absolute first step is to get yourself a program designed specifically to get you from point A to your desired point B. This program should go through stages that build upon the previous stage so you can track the progress and make adjustments when you need to push closer to your goal. Without a program built for you that you actually follow, you’re wasting time. Secondly, I’m just going to come right out and say it: The goal you have is going to take daily effort that is very far out of

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February 6, 2018

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your comfort zone. Most people’s goals are at an effort level of, let’s say, 10. But their level of “max effort” is at a lowly six. So no matter how hard you want to reach your goal you never will until you’re willing to push your max effort up every day until you reach that 10. So you are not allowed to use the statement, “I’ve worked as hard as I can and nothing’s working” if you really have a goal you want to reach. Lastly, and absolutely most important, you have to stop sacrificing form for weight. One thing that still seems to be plaguing every weight room I go to is people using more weight than their body should handle for that specific movement. Just picture the last person you saw adding too much weight to a bar before they squat and watching them do heavy knee pumps. This forces your body into compensation and makes other parts of your body take on loads they’re not supposed to, which can lead to injury. The other part is that you fail to work the desired muscle you’re trying to target. This means that even with the perfect program, you’ll still fail to get the results you want out of your training. So lighten the weight. Use full range. Then increase things over time to improve. These three steps are easy to follow but hard to implement. At the end of the day we know you don’t want easy, you want results. So take the time to implement these three steps and watch your training take your results in the weight room to the next level. ✪ Anthony Trucks is an IYCA-certified trainer who covers strength training for SportStars.

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think the

RIGHT THOUGHTS The goal of any skill-based training session is to put information into action. Whether it’s a new skill or tuning up fundamentals, intense training requires thinking. That’s right, I said it … thinking! If you follow my articles, you know I’m always talking about less thinking, miminal thinking, no thinking. Less thinking is ideal once you’ve learned your skills. This allows you to move with seamlessness and speed and the game feels easier … the brakes are off and you are comfortably cruising at high speed. This is what’s also referred to as “the zone.” Training, however, is a different story. This is the time to think through what’s being asked of you. Slow down. Be thorough. Think about it. Work thought it. Visualize it. Execute it. Speed it up. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Here are three tips for your ideal training mindset: ›› 1. Use instructions — When you’re thinking through what you’ve been asked to do, take a moment and boil it down to its bare bones. Here’s how: Take your coach’s instructions and put them into the fewest words you can. For example, if your coach asked you to dribble to the cones, turn back, switch hands, dribble back, that can translate to, “cone, turn, switch, back.” Imagine how much quicker you can process the latter vs. the former statement! With some awareness and practice, you will find that translating statements is helpful throughout your training sessions … and games, too! ›› 2. Stay calm — Keeping emotions in check will allow for a more efficient learning process. It’s not unusual to become frustrated when learning new skills or trying to take your skills to the next level. Being the awesome athlete that you are, I know you’re hard on yourself. You expect a lot out of yourself and put lots of pressure you put on yourself to get it right immediately. You may also know that is a double-edged sword … it pushes you to be better AND it’s how you get in your own way. Training, unlike games, allows you to take breaks, breathe, think it through and get another rep. Acknowledging that practice is the perfect time to make mistakes and work through them will help you keep a level head. Skill development happens through repetition and new skills will get mixed results. Staying cool, calm and collected will help you get there faster. ›› 3. Breathe with purpose — This is the simplest, yet most effective tool you have to help you get through the grind, keep things simple and keep emotions in check. Breathing slow and deep temporarily takes your focus off what’s challenging you and allows your stress to drop so performance can improve. You can do this before, during or after training. … Whenever you need to take the edge off, breathing with purpose will help. Play hard and have fun! ✪

get mental: erika westhoff

Erika Westhoff is a CEO and certified mental trainer at EW Performance in Pleasanton.

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growingPAINS Ways To Treat Knee Pain After Growth Spurts health watch: david arakawa We have many young athletes come into our clinics complaining of site-specific knee pain. A fair amount of them point to a prominent bump below the kneecap on a bony structure called the tibial tubercle. This condition is commonly known as Osgood-Schlatter Disease. This is not a true disease, but a traction injury to the growth zone of where the front thigh muscles attach to the bone in front of the knee (at the tibial tubercle). The athlete’s knee pain may be due to overuse/chronic microtrauma, direct trauma to the tibial tubercle, poor biomechanics or muscle imbalances. Usually occurring in young males between ages 12-14, the athlete frequently reports a recent growth spurt and/or an increase in intensity of play. He or she may be very limited in activity and sports secondary to the persistent knee pain. Fortunately, there is an arsenal of treatments for addressing the athlete’s symptoms. Following the below phases can assist in maximizing the young athlete’s sport participation to ensure a safe and effective return to sport: PHASE I — Restriction and/or modification of jumping and other activities below the level of pain, ice massage, patellar tendon strap for decreasing loads on the patellar tendon, flexibility exercises for the hamstrings, quadriceps and Iliopsoas muscles, muscle balance/strengthening exercises for the back and front of knee. PHASE II — Backside muscle strengthening exercises emphasizing the gluteal muscles (e.g. bridge progressions, clamshell progressions, plank and hands/ knees progressions). PHASE III — Systematic and progressive squatting exercises, analysis of the athlete’s running and jumping technique followed by appropriate corrective exercises/ drills. PHASE IV — Education and focused work on a proper dynamic warm-up and a return-to-run program, functional tests including dynamic balance, hopping and agility with increasing speeds. To summarize, Osgood-Schlatter Disease is just one more common condition we see in the young athlete. However, it does not need to equate to shutting it down for the season. Follow the above mentioned phases of treatment and you can effectively manage that “No Good” knee pain. ✪ David Arakawa is a physical therapist for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland and works for its Sports Medicine For Young Athletes unit.

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response ROUTINE training time: tim rudd

The most ignored truth in the strength and conditioning industry is that you don’t get better by training. You get better by recovering FROM training. Training is a stressor. It breaks the body down, and the body responds by first becoming weaker (or worse) and then adapting and “super-compensating” over time. Obviously, you can’t train seven or even 14 hard sessions a week and expect to improve if you’re not giving your body the time and resources it needs to create that adaptation. The harder and longer the training session, the deeper and longer that recovery curve is. So part of our goal as coaches is to move our athletes’/clients’ super-compensation curves up (better response) and to the left (faster recovery time,) which equals better outcomes in speed, strength, power and bodycomposition. Here are a few methods we implement at Fit-2-The-Core to help with that. ›› 1. Smart, structured, progressive training programs Working harder or longer often means that the recovery period takes longer. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t train hard, but doing more than necessary to get the training response slows down your results. Randomly adding an extra set or extra exercise to your program without considering its impact on the next workout/next week/next month is the usual culprit and the reason why we have an excellent understanding of program design; it’s vital to your success. ›› 2. Basics Adequate rest, hydration, protein intake, overall energy intake and sleep. These are still extremely important especially for improving performance — you need to have an understanding of fueling the body, not depriving it. ›› 3. Supplementation Always controversial, but the best description I’ve heard for supplements is “nutrients without calories,” for example, vitamins. Yes, things like protein powder and omega-3s have calories, but I like to think of them as “food” more than as supplements. ›› 4. Attention to soft tissue I think Epsom salts baths, foam rolling, massage, dedicated flexibility/mobility sessions, cryotherapy and compression recovery are extremely useful tools that tend to get ignored. ›› 5. Low intensity activity While we can agree that adequate rest is important, and at least one full day off per week from training makes sense, there comes a time when total inactivity “rest” isn’t fast enough. Imagine doing a hard-lower body squat and deadlift session on a Friday evening, then spending all day Saturday just lying down. Trying to get up to move on Sunday will be pretty rough. It sounds almost counter-intuitive, but an additional training session (if programmed appropriately) can speed up recovery. Low-level aerobic work in heart rate zones of 130-150, additional foam rolling work, mobility work and even sled pushing (no eccentric, less stress) can be useful here. Remember, you do not get better by training. You get better by recovering FROM training. More training is only better if you can recover from more training in the same time frame. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.

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Mater Dei-Santa Ana quarterback JT Daniels scrambles for a big gain in the Monarchs’ CIF Open Division State Bowl win over De La Salle-Concord. Daniels was named Cal-Hi Sports’ Mr. State Football in January. Visit our partners at CalHiSports.com to read the story on Daniels and view all of their All-State Football teams. Photo by James K. Leash 26

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SoCal Issue 13 Feb. 6, 2018  

SoCal Issue 13 Feb. 6, 2018  

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