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vol. 4. issue 74 sac-joaquin

october 17, 2013


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pitch: The Bay Area has 6 First better football. Clearly. No, wait.

14 rio knows keepers: Sophia Burgess, left, and Gavin White take their turn between the posts for Rio Americano.

your mind spinning with too 27 Ismuch concussion jargon? Let’s make it simpler.

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October 17, 2013

Sure, coaches who 12 Clipboard: yell and scream used to get

room: You can mess with 8 locker a lot of things, but don’t you dare touch our favorite movies. zone: Not everybody is pass22 red happy. Some are still old school.

results. Times are changing.

BREAKDOWN: Serra 10 STATE football coach Patrick Walsh is focused. You better believe it.

4

We mean Sac-Joaquin clearly has better football. Oh, heck. Now we’re confused. What say we all dive into the debate together? Grad hold of a buddy and jump.

of the week: 7 Sportstar Sara Hibbs, Bella Vista-Fair Oaks

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on the cover: Del Oro’s Tyler Meteer & Deer Valley’s Malik Hutchings. Photos by James K. Leash and Phillip Walton.

Fence: Tryouts, sign-ups, 35 The fund-raisers and more!

38 Advertiser’s index

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Six years after the Grant/DLS debate, we find common ground

T

he seeds of this issue’s cover story, which I and the rest of the SportStars staff is quite proud of, were first planted back in 2008. That was the first year the California Interscholastic Federation expanded its State Football Bowl games setup. After two years of playing three games (Div. I, II and III), the CIF added two more games to the mix — a Small School (now known as Div. IV) and an Open Division game that it hoped would essentially serve as the unofficial state title game, pitting the top Northern and Southern California teams regardless of division. This obviously created a sufficient amount of buzz among prep pundits throughout the state. But no more so than the Sunday after section championships had concluded and the 10 section commissioners of the CIF held their closed-door meeting to choose the bowl participants. In a bold and controversial choice, the selection committee chose Grant-Sacramento to represent NorCal in the first Open Division game — a spot most assumed was reserved for De La Salle-Concord, which was instead slotted to play in the Division I Bowl that year. The resumés of both teams were endlessly scrutinized during the week leading up to the bowl games. Grant was 13-0 with out-of-state wins against Idaho and Utah state champs (which many debated the strength of), while De La Salle was 12-1 with its only loss to nationally-ranked Don Bosco Prep (N.J.). I fully admit to being skeptical of the CIF’s choice at the time. Ben Enos, who makes his SportStars debut with this cover story, was a colleague of mine at the Contra Costa Times during that season. We were co-creators of an online weekly video series named “Two Geeks and a Pigskin.” As part of our CIF Bowl preview episode, we heavily mocked the Grant decision. Shoes were thrown. And we were wrong. As were many others. Grant showed they belonged. The Pacers upset Long Beach Poly 25-20 in a thrilling inaugural Open Division Bowl the day after De La Salle lost the Div. I bowl 21-16 to a CentennialCorona team which some thought could have represented SoCal in the Open game. The Grant victory was a huge breakthrough for a region that had spent several years wanting to prove itself outside the Bay Area and beyond. And in the years following, more intersectional battles have begun to play out during the regular season. It’s become very clear that the Sac-Joaquin Section is on equal footing with Bay Area football. When Enos and I began talking about what his first project would be with the magazine, we thought it would be fun to look back at the last five years and see just how close these two regions have become. You may or may not be surprised at what we found. And depending on which region you represent and pull for, everyone can agree that NorCal football is in very good shape. ✪

ABOUT OUR COVER PLAYERS

Malik Hutchings, LB/DE, Deer ValleyAntioch: With a 6-0 record through Oct. 11, the Wolverines are off to their best start since 2009. They feature plenty of offensive weapons, but the defense is fueled by Hutchings. The senior leads the team with 66 tackles (40 solo) and has added 2 fumble recoveries, 1.5 sacks and an interception. And it’s just his first season of football. Tyler Meteer, LB/TE, Del Oro-Loomis: The senior impacts both sides of the ball for the 4-2 Golden Eagles, having already recorded 22 receptions for 300 yards and 6 TDs. On defense, he’s made 65 tackles, recorded 3 sacks, and recovered one fumble. As a junior, Meteer caught 47 passes for 652 yards and 6 TDs while making 74 tackles. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect has not yet committed to a college, but is receiving increased attention from Division I schools.

join our team PHONE 925.566.8500 FAX 925.566.8507 Editorial Editor@SportStarsOnline.com Editor Chace Bryson • Chace@SportStarsOnline.com Staff Writers Jim McCue Contributors Bill Kolb, Mitch Stephens, Matt Smith, Clay Kallam, Ben Enos, Dave Kiefer, Liz Elliott, Tim Rudd Photography Bob Larson, Jonathan Hawthorne, James K. Leash, Norbert von der Groeben, Phillip Walton, Doug Guler, Dean Coppola Marketing/Events Intern Ryan Arter Creative Department Art@SportStarsOnline.com Production Manager Mike DeCicco • MikeD@ SportStarsOnline.com Publisher/President Mike Calamusa • Mike@SportStarsOnline.com Advertising & Calendar/ Classified Sales Sales@SportStarsOnline.com, 925.566.8500 Account Executives Phillip Walton • PWalton@SportStarsOnline.com Leslie Ellis • Leslie@SportStarsOnline.com Reader Resources/Administration Subscription, Calendar, Credit Services Info@SportStarsOnline.com Distribution/Delivery Mags@SportStarsOnline.com Information technology John Bonilla CFO Sharon Calamusa • Sharon@SportStarsOnline.com community SportStars™ Magazine A division of Caliente! Communications, LLC 5356 Clayton Rd., Ste. 222 • Concord, CA 94521 •info@SportStarsOnline.com www.SportStarsOnline.com

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your ticket to california sports admit one; rain or shine This Vol. #4, October 2013 Whole No. 74 is published by Caliente! Communications, LLC, 5356 Clayton Rd, Ste. 222, Concord, CA 94521. SportStars™© 2010 by Caliente! Communications, LLC. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: 24 issues, U.S. 3rd class $42 (allow 3 weeks for delivery). 1st class $55. To receive sample issues, please send $3 to cover postage. Back issues are $4 each. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission of Publisher is strictly prohibited. The staff and management, including Board of Directors, of SportStars™© does not advocate or encourage the use of any product or service advertised herein for illegal purposes. Editorial contributions, photos and letters to the editor are welcome and should be addressed to the Editor. All material should be typed, double-spaced on disk or email and will be handled with reasonable care. For materials return, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. SportStars™© and STARS!™© Clinics are registered trademarks of Caliente! Communications, LLC.

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Got Send your nominations to: Next? Editor@SportStarsOnline.com or tweet us using #SSOTW

Sara

Hibbs Bella Vista-Fair Oaks - Senior - Volleyball ››The middle blocker/outside hitter paced the Broncos to a 12-game winning streak that included a 3-1 win over defending Capital Valley Conference and Division III section champion Oakmont-Roseville. The captain has led the team to a 22-9 record with a perfect 4-0 mark in league play through an Oct. 14 victory over Del Campo-Fair Oaks. This has all come despite the Broncos graduating five starters from their 2012 roster. The lone loss suffered by Bella Vista since Sept. 24 was a 2-0 setback to Div. II power Gregori-Modesto in the Carmichael Invitational Tournament (CIVT). As a junior, Hibbs was the team’s second-leading hitter with 209 kills in a 31-9 season that finally ended in the section Div. I semifinals with a loss to champion St. Francis-Sacramento. She has picked up where she left off despite the roster turnover and a new head coach in Zara Budenbender. ›› in their own words: “We like being the underdog. We feel like we have nothing to lose and just go out and give it our all every game. The team has come together and we are just going out and having fun.” ›› what you didn’t know: The San Jose State commit admits to having a “weird obsession” with sloths, the slow-moving, tree-dwellers from the jungles of Central and South America. A friend even gave Hibbs a birthday gift of an adopted sloth through the World Animal Foundation.

honorable mention Marcus Gilbert: The InderkumSacramento senior rushed for a season-high 166 yards and scored twice in a 2718 victory over Yuba City in a key league showdown.

Nicolette Pinkney: The Granite Bay senior helped the undefeated Grizzlies win the Nor Cal Classic, including a 2-0 victory over PresentationSan Jose in the final. The outside hitter had 39 kills.

Aaron Kropp: The senior QB for Consumnes Oaks-Elk Grove returned from a broken wrist to lead the Wolfpack to a 63-0 rout of Galt. Kropp was 7-for-8 passing with three touchdowns.

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count‘em The number of sacks Archbishop Mitty-San Jose linebacker/defensive end, Chandler Ramirez, logged in a 51-7 win over Riordan-S.F. on Oct. 4. The Monarchs have begun the year 5-0, and moved into the Top 10 of the SportStars NorCal Top 20 rankings this week (Page 22).

Your mid-season golf glance (in Issue 73, Oct. 1) shows you did very little research. ... Hailey White (of Monte Vista-Danville) should be included on your list of top players. This team deserves some coverage, starting two freshmen, two sophomores, a junior and a senior. — Bob K., email ◆ We did have Hailey under consideration for our Players to Watch list, but when your list is meant to include all of the Bay Area you eith er have to list 50 great golfers — or get very specific. We regretted not having room for her. But credit where credit is due! Hailey and the Mustangs did go out and finish the East Bay Athletic League dual meet season tied for first with Carondelet. Both had 12-2 records and split their two head-to-head matchups. They each finished one game ahead of Amador Valley-Pleasanton (11-3) which we named as a team to watch. Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Bob!

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Top 5 Movies Which Should Never Be Rebooted probably cast someone like Peter Dinklage as the Sicilian. Which would be the third classic blunder, if you’re scoring along at home. 3. True Romance — We defy you (That’s right. Defy. What are you gonna do about it, tough guy? Stab us in the foot with a corkscrew?) to posit a more impressive assemblage of talent than Slater, Arquette (Patricia, not that dope David), Hopper, Walken, Kilmer, Pitt, Oldman, L. Jackson, Gandolfini, Sizemore, the late Chris Penn, Rapaport and Bronson freaking Pinchot. Go ahead and try, you’re so cool. 4. The Natural — We don’t care if the ending did totally deviate from Bernard Malamud’s novel. It deviated BETTER. With exploding light stanchions. Remake it? Say it ain’t so. 5. Batman — Wait. What? Again? Really? Oh, we give up. — Bill “We’re gonna need a bigger list” Kolb

We heard there’s a rather nasty rumor flying around Hollywood that some knucklehead is proposing to reboot Jaws — the movie. One of the top five greatest films of all time. Yeah. We can upgrade that. Because Liam Neeson and some CGI would be even better than Robert Shaw and a clunky mechanical shark (nicknamed Bruce) that didn’t even appear until the movie was half over. Maybe Simon Pegg could play Hooper. We just threw up in our mouths a little bit. Anyway. Here are our top five movies (besides the one with the fin) that should be considered sacrosanct. 1. Blazing Saddles — First off, you could never make this move in the 21st century. The PC police would string you up by the church bells. Second, no one could ever reprise Alex Karras’ virtuoso performance as Mongo. He is only a pawn in game of life. And aren’t we all? 2. The Princess Bride — It’s just not that easy to find a six-fingered actor. Plus, they’d

say what

“I can still remember that game like it was yesterday. We were just taking shots at each other in a back-and-forth game, and we were able to win on a miracle play. Tanner threw the perfect ball, and JJ played the ball perfect to get us the win.” Folsom coach Kris Richardson recalling his team’s 49-46 win over Deer ValleyAntioch on Sept. 16, 2011.We chose the game as one of our Top 5 Bay Area vs. Sac-Joaquin games of the past five years.The full list can be found on page 21 as part of our story on the two regions’ battle for football respect. Support Your Local Business • Say You Found Them In SportStars™

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T

here is only one player in all of the years we’ve been doing Cal-Hi Sports who’s gone from being in one of our old magazine cover shoots to a prominent head coach. That’s Serra of San Mateo’s Patrick Walsh. Who knows, someday one of the cover boys or cover girls for SportStars will eventually become an outstanding coach. But Walsh has already traveled that road with us. The year was 1992 and Walsh had just rushed for 2,029 yards and scored 38 touchdowns in leading his team at De La Salle to an unbeaten record. It was, of course, the start of something special, which was the Spartans’ national record 151game win streak. As a player, Walsh set the tone for many DLS running backs to come in that he’d break tackles on just about every play. He and his teammates also set the tone for just about every DLS team that has followed. They knew what it felt like to lose when Pittsburg toppled the Spartans in the 1991 CIF North Coast Section final. They weren’t going to take any chances in 1992. They put in the extra work, cranked up their determination, focus and desire and didn’t come close to losing. We were based in Anaheim in those days so Patrick was flown down from Northern California for the shoot. We did a magazine at the time that later went national and was called Student Sports. The cover concept was to bring together several top players from top teams from throughout the state and then debate which team was the best. In those days, remember, there was nothing close to the CIF bowl games and top teams from Northern California hardly ever played top teams from the South. As part of that story, I took Patrick to the press box at Anaheim Stadium to see Bishop Amat-La Puente play its championship game. It’s funny to think about it now, but writers from Southern California kept coming up to Patrick and asking him, “So do you really think your team can play with these teams out here?” He’d just smirk, be polite, and say, “I have no doubt we’d be fine.” After Walsh went to play football and baseball at San Jose State and at the University of Texas, he soon became interested in coaching. He spent three years learning at De La Salle, and in 2001, at age 26, he was given the reigns at Serra. It didn’t take long for the Padres to become among the best in the Central Coast Section despite their membership in the ultra-rugged West Catholic Athletic League. Walsh had an 87-49-1 record before the start of this season and should guide Serra to its 12th playoff berth in 13 years. And judging from the juniors and sophomores on the Serra roster when the Padres only lost to De La Salle 21-14 in their first game this season, and when they beat Bellarmine-San Jose 17-7 on October 4, the only place Walsh’s program is headed is toward the top. This includes CIF bowl games that Walsh sure wishes were in place when he was a teenager squirming in his seat at Anaheim Stadium. ✪

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socal team to watch

Serra receiver Kavapele Maka (7) celebrates his TD catch in the Padres seasonopener. Serra has won four straight since losing that game to De La Salle, and is now ranked No. 7 in the state.

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hart-Newhall

Driven

When it comes to motivation, Serra’s Walsh has never been lacking This program was a model of success for many years in the Southern Section during the 1990s and much of the 2000s. One of its greatest accomplishments was fielding an All-Southern Section QB for 19 consecutive years, including former Cal starter Kyle Boller. Coach Mike Herrington’s team may be back this season as a regional powerhouse. Hart moved up to No. 10 in the state in Week 6 and has benefitted from a wild and crazy 54-53 overtime win from early in the season against Chaminade-West Hills. There is a chance that Hart could elevate itself into the CIF Open Division Bowl conversation in the south, especially if Chaminade were to beat Serra-Gardena. It’s more likely, though, to be a leading contender to grab one of the South’s Div. II bowl berths. Junior QB Brady White completed 39 of 56 passes for 508 yards and seven TDs in the win over Chaminade and also had a 400-yard outing against SantiagoCorona. He’s blessed with having one of the state’s top junior receivers to throw to, Trent Irwin, and highly-recruited senior tight end Davis Koppenhaver.

White

Irwin

Koppenhaver

did you know? ›› Over the last 10 years, Hart has had 23 players make the All-CIF team, but none since 2009. ›› Hart won the Foothill League every year from 1991-2003, but has only won the league once since (2007)

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volleyball Rankings

Football Rankings (Previous ranking in parentheses; through games of Saturday, Oct. 12)

1. (1)

— De La Salle-Concord 6-0

2. (2)

St. John Bosco-Bellflower 6-0

3. (3)

Folsom 6-0

4. (4)

Serra-Gardena 6-0

5. (5)

Mater Dei-Santa Ana 6-0

6. (6)

Mission Viejo 6-0

7. (8)

Serra-San Mateo

8. (10)

9. (11)

10. (7)

11. (9)

12. (12)

Elk Grove 6-0

13. (13)

Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove 6-0

14. (14)

Rancho Cucamonga 6-0

mr. football

15. (15)

Granite Bay

state player of the year tracker

16. (16)

Mission Hills-San Marcos 6-0

With five to six games in the books for most players, here is how the race was stacking up heading into the middle of October for the Mr. Football State Player of the Year honor:

17. (17)

Losses to Serra-Gardena and Chaminade were both close.

Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks 5-2

18. (18)

Oaks Christian-Westlake Village

6-1

19. (19)

Bellarmine-San Jose

4-1

2. Jake Browning (Folsom) QB Jr.

20. (21)

▲ Centennial-Corona

3. John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach Poly) WR/ KR/DB Sr.

After games of Monday, Oct. 14 Previous rank in parentheses 1. (1) — Torrey Pines-San Diego 15-1 2. (2) — Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 22-2 3. (3) — Los Alamitos 22-4 4. (15) ▲ Mater Dei-Santa Ana 20-4 5. (4) ▼ Lakewood 18-5 6. (7) ▲ Francis Parker-San Diego 10-3 7. (8) ▲ La Salle-Pasadena 14-2 8. (9) ▲ Redondo-Redondo Beach 15-5 9. (10) ▲ Granite Bay 22-0 10. (12) ▲ Mira Costa-Manhattan Bch 14-5 11. (13) ▲ Dana Hills-Dana Point 13-4 12. (17) ▲ La Costa Canyon-Carlsbad 13-4 13. (10) ▼ Corona del Mar-Nwprt Bch 13-4 14. (6) ▼ Valley Christian-San Jose 21-5 15. (16) ▲ Santiago-Corona 27-0 16. (19) ▲ Redwood-Larkspur 28-2 17. (18) ▲ Menlo School-Atherton 17-4 18. (5) ▼ Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F. 19-5 19. (14) ▼ Lutheran-Orange 12-6 20. (20) — St. Mary’s-Stockton 21-3 Dropped Out: No. 15 Marymount-L.A. and No. 16 St. Francis-Sacramento. Comments: These rankings were compiled just a few hours before the Oct. 15 match between San Jose rivals Archbishop Mitty and Valley Christian. The Warriors were No. 6 in the state before they went to the ASICS Challenge at Torrey Pines and lost twice ... Granite Bay remained unbeaten after the NorCal Classic at Folsom. The Grizzlies were hoping to prove their worth at the Stockton Classic on Oct. 19 where a much stronger field (including Mitty) was awaiting.

Win over Servite-Anaheim (35-10) in SoCal says a lot about this team.

Nov. 1 game vs. Mater Dei-Santa Ana could be matchup of unbeatens.

Defense outshines offense for a change in 35-0 win vs. Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills. Cavaliers will battle No. 9 Chaminade-West HIls for Mission League title. Coach Bruce Rollinson’s 25th season could end up very memorable. Barring major upset, Diablos will be 10-0 heading to playoffs. In two-week span, Padres went from No. 19 to No. 7.

4-1

Hart-Newhall 6-0

Huge win in Week 2 over Chaminade continues to pay off. Chaminade-West Hills

6-1

Huge wins over Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks & Oaks Christian-Westlake Village. Servite-Anaheim 3-3

Losses are to De La Salle, Mater Dei & Bishop Gorman-Las Vegas. Long Beach Poly

Only loss is to Servite with a win over Centennial-Corona.

6-1

Does team want Folsom in SJS Div. II, or would Folsom in Div. I be better? Last two regular season games for Eagles: Oak Ridge, then Folsom.

New leader of the Southern Section Inland Division (same one as Centennial).

1. Adoree’ Jackson (Serra-Gardena) WR/RB/ DB Sr.

Grizzlies will have to deal with Del Oro-Loomis in Sierra Foothill League.

5-1

This team took over as No. 1 in San Diego with big win vs. Oceanside.

Lions have win vs. Bakersfield, 10-pt loss to Chaminade.

Bells bounce back from loss to Serra-San Mateo, beat St. Francis-Mountain View. Win over Norco may have gotten Huskies back on track.

4-2

Edison-Fresno 6-0

21. (24)

4. Royce Freeman (Imperial) RB Sr.

Tigers have terrific one-two RB combo in Blake Wright, Kevin Nutt.

5. Damien Mama (St. John Bosco-Bellflower) OL Sr.

22. (NR)

6. Brady White (Hart-Newhall) QB Jr.

23. (NR)

7. Donovan Lee (Chaminade-West Hills) RB Sr.

Only loss was to Arizona powerhouse Hamilton-Chandler.

8. John Velasco (De La Salle-Concord) RB Sr.

24. (NR)

9. Brandon Dawkins (Oaks Christian-Westlake Village) QB Sr.

Impressive 45-10 win over Liberty-Bakersfield does trick for Drillers. 25. (NR)

10. Harris Ross (Pittsburg) RB Sr.

Losses to Mater Dei and Servite with MD loss by just seven.

Lutheran-Orange 6-0

Lancers grabbed new ranking after win over 5-0 JSerra-San Juan Capistrano.

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East Lake-Chula Vista

5-1

Bakersfield

4-2

Edison-Huntington Beach

4-2

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ScreamingShame NOTE: The next couple Behind the Clipboards are going to vary from the usual Q&A format because I feel the topic of coaching styles and methods deserves some in-depth examination after a few recent events triggered my interest enough to dig into the issue.

M

ost sports fans are familiar with the firing of Rutgers’ men’s basketball coach Mike Rice, as the videos of him swearing at his players and throwing balls at them were widely distributed last spring. Less well known was the recent firing of Georgetown women’s coach Keith Brown after tapes of his verbal abuse of his players became available. (For details, plus the recording, visit the online version of this column at SportStarsOnline.com.) The lineage of this kind of coaching style, of course, goes way back. The fiery, demanding coach who inspired his charges to rise above his constant criticism and learn to “be a man” goes back, at least, to ancient Sparta and the cruel, if not vicious, discipline that made the Spartans one of the greatest fighting forces in the ancient world. Vince Lombardi exemplified this style in the early ’60s, and Bobby Knight carried on the tradition in basketball — and speaking of basketball, I’m going to stick to that sport for my examples, though I certainly could expand the topic to

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Why old-school coaches who yell and berate are growing extinct, for good reason

all sports. Author Malcom Gladwell approached the same topic from another angle in his 2009 New Yorker article, “How David Beat Goliath,” and that’s a modern update of theme that drives this method of leadership — which is that winning is all that matters. Gladwell’s article discusses the success of a girls’ youth club team in the South Bay. The coach, Vivek Ranadive, now owns the Sacramento Kings, but he didn’t know that much about basketball when he took over his daughter’s team. He realized his players weren’t as skilled as their opponents, but were much more athletic. The obvious solution? Use his superior athletes to erase the superior skill of the opponents by pressing, trapping and forcing young basketball players (around age 12) to make decisions under pressure while being harassed by taller, stronger and quicker girls. Naturally, it worked very well, but Ranadive — and Gladwell — were confused, if not upset, because of the criticism they received from other teams. After all, Ranadive’s teams won, didn’t they? And isn’t that what it’s all about? In a word, no. That isn’t what it’s all about. Ranadive didn’t teach his team about basketball; he didn’t increase the skill level of his players so that they could move to play in high

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school; he didn’t help the opposition develop either, as since they couldn’t break the pressure, they couldn’t play basketball. They just were overwhelmed by superior athletes, and their skills were rendered irrelevant. So how important is winning? Rice and Brown would say it’s important enough that they felt verbally abusing their players to get them to play at a high level was the best way to go. And it is true that some players will respond to this kind of negative reinforcement, and in the short run, teams will improve. The question, though, is how important — at what point does the drive to win collide with the use of negativity, humiliation and what many would call abuse? And when that collision occurs, what’s more important? Those who believe driving performance with a kind of abuse is fine, because performance is the most important thing. Or, to put it another way, treating a player, an individual, simply a chess piece to be pushed forward in whatever manner as possible is fine as long it improves the team’s chances of winning. Unfortunately, that is precisely the kind of logic that also pushes football players back on the field with concussions — they are not really worth treating as independent human beings with feelings and values, but rather as pieces that can be sacrificed, in whole or in part, for the greater good of winning. ✪

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With a focus on strong goalkeepers, Rio Americano may have two more SJS titles on the horizon

E

veryone remembers the big play, whether it is the winning shot or the huge block to keep the ball out of the cage. But the key to the most important position in the pool —the water polo goalkeeper — is to forget everything. “I tell (goalkeepers) to play with no memory,” Rio Americano High School goalie coach Joey Frantz says of the message he constantly conveys to his net minders. “You can’t dwell on the last play because you can’t get too high or too low as a goalie.” Frantz, a Chicago native who played Division I water polo at the University of the Pacific from 2007-2011, has spent the last two seasons helping Raiders coach Tyson Frenn solidify the dominance of the boys and girls programs from the cage out. With solid goalkeeping a mainstay, the girls team has won 10 of the 11 Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championships and the boys have collected four Div. II section titles. Both teams are defending SJS champs with the boys having won the last three. This year’s teams are again considered favorites in Div. II, and goalkeeping is among the top advantages the Raiders hold over opponents. The success in goal is even more impressive considering both teams are featuring new starters in the cage.

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Rio Americano’s newest standout goalkeepers, Sophia Burgess (left) and Gavin White. Score Digital Content: Scan SSM With LAYAR

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Junior Sophia Burgess replaces Avery Dotterer while senior Gavin White has gotten his chance to shine after the graduation of Wally Harmon. Burgess and White have their own styles and personalities, but both are leaders in maintaining the program’s dominance in the pool. Burgess played on the junior varsity squad as a sophomore to log maximum minutes in the water, but saw action in the section playoffs to start the transition to varsity goalie for 2013. Frenn and Frantz have been impressed by the young goalkeeper’s fearless nature in being the team’s last line of defense. “She is the most aggressive female goalie that I have seen in the section,” Frenn said. “She will go out and attack the shooter and force opponents to shoot into her blocks. And, if the ball is on the water, she is coming to get it.” Frantz’s goal with the aggressive Burgess is to improve her positioning and increase her leg strength to explode out of the water to cover more of the net. He sees great potential in her. “Ever since I first started working with Sophia, she has had

BOYS

Brinnley Barthels (St. Francis), Sr., UT The senior captain is just as capable of putting the ball in the cage as she is setting up teammates. Barthels is one of nine seniors on the roster seeking the program’s first Div. I section crown since 2008.

Alek Dendall (Granite Bay), Jr. Dendall was more of a set-up guy for senior scorers in 2012, but will be relied on for more scoring this season. He tallied 40 goals and added 48 assists as a sophomore, but has 36 goals and 21 assists in 15 games already in 2013.

Heather Johnson (Davis), Sr. The returning Delta Valley Conference MVP is one of several seniors seeking the program’s fifth consecutive Division I section championship. Johnson is a potent offensive weapon and a key to the Blue Devils’ aggressive defense.

Nick Giancanelli (Jesuit), Jr. The Cadet National Team selection has come out fast for the Marauders with 26 goals and 18 assists in his first 13 games. Giancanelli is one of 26 juniors on Jesuit’s 32-man roster. Josh Jordan (El Camino), Sr., DR As a junior, he found the back of the cage 90 times and set up another 31 goals for teammates as the Eagles finished as Div. II section runners-up for the second consecutive year. Jordan is El Camino’s top scoring threat this year with eyes on earning another trip to the section final.

Will Peterson (Jesuit), Jr. Peterson tallied 34 goals and 14 assists as a sophomore on a young Marauders’ team in a rebuilding phase. This year, he has 22 goals and 18 assists through 13 games, and should mature with the team into serious Div. I section contenders.

Jeff Stark (Davis), Jr., GK A three-year starter in the cage, Stark will anchor the Blue Devils’ strong defense as opponents strive to knock the 2012 Div. I section champions off of their perch. His leadership and experience will be key to another Davis title run. Austin Stevenson (Bella Vista), Sr. The senior leads a rising Broncos squad with big-time playoff aspirations. Stevenson is a powerful swimmer and sharp shooter that could lift Bella Vista to new heights in 2013.

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girls

Ian Brady (Rio Americano), Jr., UT As a sophomore, he was the second-leading scorer for the Div. II section champion Raiders with 35 goals and eight assists. He will be the primary weapon for a potent offense driving toward a fourth straight section crown.

Nic Carniglia (Lodi), Sr. After his junior season in which the Flames advanced to the Div. I section semifinals, Carniglia was named to the National Development Squad. He will power a Lodi program hoping to make its first section final appearance since 1991.

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great recognition of the ball,” Frantz said. “She constantly has her eyes on the ball and can immediately react to shots. She sees where the ball is going and does not just rise up blindly to cover the goal.” White is more of a technician in the net who relies on his length and wingspan to cover the net as well as painstaking attention to the details of goalkeeping technique. His competitive nature and attempt to refine and perfect his technique does not stop when the games start. Frenn said he has looked back to his net when the Raiders are on the attack to see White working on specific techniques or drills after a goal or situation to be better prepared for a certain shot later on in the game. “We are not as strong defensively this year as we have been in the past,” Frenn said, “but Gavin can erase some of our mistakes with one save that turns the momentum around.” Despite seeing little time in the cage while backing up Harmon, White understood that he would be assuming the role of

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Celeste Brown (Rio Americano), Sr., UT As a junior, Brown was relied on to command the 2-meter position at both ends, and helped the Raiders to their 10th Div. II section title in 11 years. She will be relied on more as a scorer this year and has already surpassed her 2012 totals of 21 goals and 6 assists.

Grace Reego (Granite Bay), Sr., UT An All-Sierra Foothill League selection as a junior, Reego found the cage 73 times and added 19 assists for the Grizzlies in 2012. Her swimming skills earned her a trip to the section meet in the pool, and make her a force in transition. Colby Stapleton (Davis), Jr. Slowed by a concussion suffered during summer play, Stapleton hopes to be contributing to her high standards during league play and into the postseason. In all, Davis has appeared in the last 14 Div. I section finals, winning 10 titles.

Shelby Stender (Oakdale), Jr., UT Stender has scored in every game but one in the early season, amassing 33 goals and a team-leading nine assists in the Mustangs’ first 12 games. She is one of three underclassmen for the two-time Div. II section runners-up with more than 30 goals before league play. Sara Warix (Bella Vista), Sr., DR The captain leads a rising Broncos’ program that last reached the Div. II section semifinals in 2006. Warix is a powerful driver who will challenge opposing defenses. Marisa Zanobini (St. Francis), Sr., UT Zanobini is a powerful swimmer and consistent scorer that will be a major contributor to the Troubadours’ balanced offense under new head coach Heather Moody. Her experience will be key against a tough nonleague schedule.

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anchor and team leader as “the man” in goal for his final high school season. “I know that I have to be a leader back there,” he said. “You have to lead the offense by getting the ball where it needs to go, and lead the defense by getting guys in the right spots.” “I always try to be super vocal in the pool because the goalie has to be in people’s ears.” Frantz has been a constant in the ears of Burgess, White, and the rest of the Raiders’ goalies. He coaches the girls’ junior varsity team in addition to the countless hours that he spends sharing his goalkeeping knowledge and experience — a luxury that few high schools enjoy. Most programs have a head coach who may have played in the field before moving into coaching or have teachers of the game with a mind for offensive prowess. Frantz brings a unique perspective as a former goalkeeper and demands a higher level of play from his pupils. “Having a goalie coach to teach you instead of just getting instructions of what to do in goal is significantly better,” Burgess said. “With a coach that never played in goal, you don’t get the same interaction that we get with Joey.” “He is focused on getting you as close to perfection as you can get.” Frenn appreciates being able to teach what he knows best — playing in the field — while leaving the goalie position to Frantz. “I can rely on him to get them what they need, and I can spend time with the other players,” Frenn said. “I know that my goalies will be ready. That was the best hire I have ever made.” The Raiders are poised to add even more hardware to their alreadyfull trophy case, but their leaders want more than just section titles this year. “We have goals to not give up counter-attacks and not give up goals,” Burgess said of the girls’ team’s aspirations. “We want to win sections again and to work back up to our previous streak of 10 consecutive championships.” That would certainly be a legacy for people to remember. ✪

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Joey Franz, a former standout goalkeeper for the University of the Pacific, now makes his mark teaching Rio Americano goalies like Gavin White, left, and Sophia Burgess. He has particularly high praise for both juniors.

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Tyler Meteer, Del Oro 18

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Football in the Bay Area and Sac-Joaquin regions has never been better, making bragging rights on either side harder and harder to claim

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S

omewhere, perhaps at a truck stop along Interstate 80, just south of a fruit stand on the Yolo Causeway or maybe in the middle of a field watered by runoff from the Delta, sits a line. It isn’t straight and it can’t be found on a map. In fact, there is no physical manifestation of that line anywhere. But, rest assured the line exists. Somewhere, the line between the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley has been drawn and people are asking a simple question. Which area plays better football? First, it helps to define the scope of the inquiry. The Bay Area will be defined as the North Coast (from Santa Rosa to its southern-most point), San Francisco, Oakland and Central Coast Sections. The Sac-Joaquin Section represents itself, extending as far west as Benicia and Vallejo with a large number of member schools calling the Sacramento-metro area home. These days there is plenty of sample size to draw from. Over the past five years (this season included), the two areas have played a shade more than 200 games against each other. That includes some of the smallest schools in California, and also takes into account powerhouses like Del Oro-Loomis, Pittsburg, BellarmineSan Jose and Granite Bay. From a pure numbers standpoint, the SacJoaquin Section holds the edge with 114 wins to the Bay Area’s 90. The raw data might be misleading in some ways, but what becomes apparent right away when comparing results between Support Your Local Business • Say You Found Them In SportStars™

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“The philosophy we’ve taken is by the time league starts, we’re pretty battle-tested. Playing top talent from the Bay Area meant playing in playoff-like atmospheres.” Del Oro coach Casey Taylor LEFT (GRAPHIC): Del Oro’s Tyler Meteer turns the ball up field during an Aug. 30 game. RIGHT: Granite Bay’s Tony Ellison hauls in a pass in front of Pittsburg’s Ceja Daniel. FAR RIGHT (GRAPHIC): De La Salle coasted to a 49-15 win over Folsom in last year’s CIF Open Division Regional bowl.

the regions is just how similar the areas have become. The mystery hanging over such comparisons is gone, because teams are playing each other with greater regularity than ever before. It isn’t enough to just claim a school like Elk Grove is better than a school like Serra-San Mateo because chances are they have a common opponent or two. And, of course, those engaging in this debate can always use the California Interscholastic Federation bowl series as a barometer. In the last five years, each region has participated in 10 bowl games. Each has won five. Want one big difference? The SJS has sent 10 different schools, while the Bay Area has only sent five. In reality, there isn’t much of a rivalry anymore. Northern California is more united than ever when it comes to seeking out good competition because, for teams that cling to visions of a state bowl appearance, preparation doesn’t just come from within one section. “Just seeing where we’re at from a NorCal perspective, we’re always trying to play quality teams,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “The philosophy we’ve taken is by the time league starts, we’re pretty battle-tested. Playing top talent from the Bay Area meant playing in playoff-like atmospheres.” Taylor’s squad has been one of the most active in cross-region battles, having played five of them over the past five years. They’ve only lost once, and that didn’t come until earlier this season. That one loss on the Golden Eagles’ ledger brings the discussion to the elephant in the room, because the trump card for the Bay Area has, at least for the better part of the last 35 years, resided at the corner of Winton Drive and Treat Blvd. in Concord. That’s where De La Salle has run roughshod over the North Coast Section, to the tune of 21 straight section titles. Taylor and his crew got a chance to test themselves against the Spartans this season, dropping a lopsided 41-3 decision to the defending CIF Open Division champions. It served as a valuable learning experience for the Sacramento-area power, and carried a valuable purpose as far as Taylor is concerned. “Playing De La Salle this year was an eye opener for us. They were on another level,” Taylor said. “But, it’s great for us to see what that level’s all about. It just shows us how far we are away from being an Open state champ.” While Taylor looked at that matchup as an opportunity to test his squad, De La Salle’s neighbors see it differently. As the Spartans’ section dominance has piled up, so has the apathy for NCS Division I teams. At the end of the day, De La Salle will always be waiting for the standout Div. I team that has aspirations of reaching a bowl game because a section title is necessary to qualify for a spot in Carson. Deer Valley coach Rich Woods speaks from experience. In his tenure at the Antioch school, he’s had more than his share of talent. He has also coached in the Sac-Joaquin Section, coming to Deer Valley after a lengthy and successful stint at Vanden-Fairfield. Now, he battles along with every other NCS Div. I team for the right to, ultimately, line up against the Spartans in the NCS Div. I championship. “There’s no other way, unless you beat (De La Salle), to go out and compete (for a state berth) because you’ve got to win the section championship to get to a state game. I think that makes it difficult,” Woods said. “It’s a wide-open game in the SJS because they always have a Division I and Division II champ. They’ve elevated their play and their commitment to their programs because they have that opportunity.” Taylor agrees that the visibility of Sac-Joaquin Section teams has increased lately because of the section’s success in bowl games. But don’t assume the success of recent seasons is a new phenomenon. “I think over the last five years, the bowl (series) has helped. There was a perception that Sacramento didn’t play good football,” Taylor said. “I think by playing those games against Cal High (San Ramon) and James Logan (Union City), I think it’s brought some attention to our area. I don’t think we’re trying to make a statement or anything but we’ve always had good football here in Sacramento.” Woods said he began scheduling Sac-Joaquin teams as a way to play good competition without having to square off with teams he’d eventually hope to see in the playoffs. Taylor’s story is similar, having agreed to participate in a few charity-based events and landing matchups against Bay Area foes. What they have in common is a healthy respect for one another. And, that feeling extends to the playing field as well. Neither Taylor nor Woods feels the players read much into regional rivalry, and a recent game between Pittsburg and Granite Bay served as a perfect example. After both teams left everything on the field in a 39-35 Grizzlies win, Granite Bay receiver Marc Ellis chose not to claim regional dominance, but instead praise a worthy foe. “Two years ago we got blown out. They were way bigger than us. Tonight, we just came to play,” Ellis said. “It’s always huge. We’re always out there to compete and they’re a great team.” The debate over which region plays better ball will likely continue forever. As long as the debate remains though, each area continues to get better and better as a result. And, that line that separates the two? It gets just a bit blurrier each season. ✪ 20

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Bay Area vs. Sac-Joaquin, Madden-style! Now that you have our choice for the Top 5 actual games that were played, visit the online version of the story to see us breakdown two matchups that we wish we could’ve made happen. Only at www.SportStarsOnline.com!

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Old-school football can still be winning formula California High coach Eric Billeci bears little resemblance to Hank Stram in appearance or demeanor. What the Grizzlies head man does have in common with the legendary Kansas City Chiefs coach is his approach to offensive football, because if Cal’s 24-7 win over Foothill on Oct. 11 is any indication, Billeci might be at his happiest when matriculating the ball down the field is the order of the day. Yes, this is the era of high-flying offensive attacks. The spread, the pistol, the run and shoot, call the current offensive trends anything you’d like. At Cal, those words take a backseat to power running in the lexicon of football jargon. “That’s Cal High history and we’re going to keep going with it as long as we can,” Grizzlies running back Blake Bierwith said. “That’s Cal High’s game plan, to pound the ball. I’m lucky to be a part of it.” Against the Falcons, the ground and pound approach proved the best defense that Billeci could have ever devised. With drives as long as 16 plays, the Grizzlies kept the ball out of the hands of Foothill’s talented offensive core, featuring Kyle Kearns, Isaiah Langley and Jamirr HolPhillip Walton land, which is known for making big plays. California running back Bierwith got his Blake Bierwith loves playing touches, doing his part old-school football. with 79 yards and a touchdown. But it was junior fullback Simi Hingano, playing a position long forgotten by most coaches, who made the biggest impact with a bruising 16 carries for 106 yards and two scores. He was aided by an offensive line that paved the way all night, leaving Billeci effusive in his praise for the biggest men on the

Records are through Oct. 12 field. “They work so hard and they did their job up front tonight,” Billeci said. “They’re the hardest working line out there. They just work, man.” Though the old football adage might need to be updated to include rubber pellets, Billeci and the Grizzlies aren’t giving up on their three yards and a cloud of dust approach anytime soon.

FOLSOM GETS DEFENSIVE Normally, the key to victory for the Folsom Bulldogs is simple — let Jake Browning and the offense pass the ball all over the field and outscore opponents. In a 35-0 shutout of Delta River League rival Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills, the defensive unit earned much of the credit. “The pressure has always been on the offense to score points for us to win,” Folsom co-head coach Kris Richardson said, “but our defense came up big and played outstanding.” Defensive coordinator Lou Baiz said the Bulldogs stuck to the basics to keep a very potent Trojans’ offense off the scoreboard. “We maybe made things a little more simple,” Baiz said of Folsom’s defensive game plan. “We mixed our coverages a little and put in a few new things during the bye week that they would not have seen on tape. ... Maybe we were able to do that because we did not have to think as much.” Defensive end Lukas Hendricks applied pressure to Trojans’ standout sophomore quarterback Ian Book and knocked down several passes while linebacker Eddie Flores and defensive backs Calvin Gardner, Cole Thompson, and Mike McCuaig kept Oak Ridge’s receiving threats in check. Browning still got his numbers (383 yards passing and three TDs to increase his section-leading tally to 33), but also struggled in throwing four interceptions as the Folsom offensive machine sputtered at times. The junior was quick to take the blame for the struggles while crediting his teammates on the other side of the ball. “I definitely had my worst game of the season, but the defense played great tonight,” he said. “We didn’t put up a lot of points on offense, so for us to ‘goose egg’ them was really good.” ✪ — Ben Enos and Jim McCue

1. (1)

— De La Salle-Concord

6-0

2. (2)

— Folsom

6-0

3. (3)

— Serra-San Mateo

4-1

4. (4)

— Elk Grove

6-0

5. (5)

— Bellarmine-San Jose

4-1

6. (6)

— Granite Bay

5-1

7. (7)

— Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove

6-0

8. (8)

— Marin Catholic-Kentfield

7-0

9. (9)

— Deer Valley-Antioch

6-0

10. (11) ▲

Archbishop Mitty-San Jose

5-0

11. (12) ▲ Campolindo-Moraga

6-0

12. (13) ▲

Del Oro-Loomis

4-2

13. (10) ▼

Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills

5-1

14. (15) ▲

St. Francis-Mountain View

4-1

15. (16) ▲

Pittsburg

4-2

16. (17) ▲

California-San Ramon

5-1

17. (18) ▲

St. Mary’s-Stockton

4-2

18. (19) ▲

El Cerrito

4-2

19. (NR) ▲

Casa Grande-Petaluma

6-0

20. (20) — Clayton Valley Charter-Concord

5-1

DROPPED OUT

No. 14 Foothill-Pleasanton

WEST CATHOLIC CARNAGE

There’s no question that the one league with the most influence on the rankings down the stretch will be the West Catholic Athletic League. Mitty became the third WCAL team to breach the Top 10 this week after a gritty 14-13 win over a Valley Christian-San Jose team which was already ranked once this season and seems bound to pull off an upset in the near future. Bellarmine, one week after suffering its first loss to Serra, barely outlasted then No. 15 St. Francis. In fact, the Lancers played so well in the 21-14 loss, we didn’t hesitate in giving them a bump to No. 14. With four teams ranked and Valley Christian still in play, it could get messy over the last month.

TEAMS STILL RANKED FROM PRESEASON TOP 20: 14 KNOCKING ON THE DOOR

(alphabetically) Analy-Sebastapol (6-1), Burbank-Sacramento (4-2), Capital Christian-Sacramento (5-1), Carmel (5-0), Central Catholic-Modesto (6-1), Grant-Sacramento (4-2), James Logan-Union City (5-1), Milpitas (4-1), Northgate-Walnut Creek (6-0), San Ramon Valley-Danville (3-3) and Valley Christian-San Jose (3-2)

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After three years of near-misses and close calls, Whitney golfer Kelsey Ulep swings for one last run at an SJS and state title

K

elsey Ulep is used to being successful on the golf course. So, it was particularly difficult for the Whitney High school standout to fall short of reaching the CIF State Golf Championship Tournament in 2012 — the odd player out in a three-person playoff for the last two qualifying slots. But, rather than get down on herself for missing her goal in a playoff, Ulep got busy. She began working toward fulfilling her dream of playing in another state tournament, to take a shot at claiming the individual title in her final high school season. “I normally don’t feel pressure, but that was my first time in a playoff, so I felt some,” she said of her elimination on the second playoff hole. “I was sad that day, but knew that it was something that I could use as a learning experience. “I think that it may have been a blessing in disguise, and that I can learn from it. The next day, my thoughts were on staying positive and moving on.”

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Ulep’s steady demeanor and mental toughness have progressed throughout her golfing career to the point where they have caught up to her natural talents with a golf club. “She has some very good skills, but her demeanor and attitude are what make her successful,” said Tim Berg, Ulep’s personal coach for nearly five years. “Kelsey is a mellow player who always appears calm, and that even emotional status on the course is very good for a player.” While the mental side of her game has developed over the years, Ulep’s physical gifts were apparent from the first time she hit the links. As a youngster, she was developing as a good softball player until she was hit in the face by a pitch at age 8. Ulep said that the traumatic incident “scarred her for life” and halted her softball playing days. Kelsey’s father, Clyde, suggested that his daughter give golf a try because she was a good hitter and he enjoyed the game. She immediately picked up the game and won the first tournament she entered just one month after the father-daughter golf experiment was launched. Clyde encouraged Kelsey to continue playing golf and taught her what he could before getting her the professional training necessary to advance her career as far as she wanted to take it. Despite playing regularly and watching golf constantly, Clyde’s game was quickly surpassed by Kelsey’s, according to her, but she gives him much of the credit for the golfer she has become. “My Dad taught me everything I know about golf,” Ulep said. “He has made me who I am and he deserves a lot of credit.” Berg took over where Clyde Ulep’s golf expertise stopped and has helped Ulep move to the next level as the golf pro at Cherry Island Golf Course. He recognized the natural abilities Ulep possessed, including a “natural lag” that has been ›› CLOSE, BUT NO TITLE: the basis for her length off the tee and sound ball-striking. Kelsey has finished as Sac“Like many young players, she was swinging with her Joaquin Section Masters arms and not using the rest of her body,” Berg said of his runner-up twice. As a freshearly assessment of Ulep. “When she got her body into her man, she fired a 71 to finish swing to compliment that lag, her club speed and hitting got one stroke behind champion even better.” Shawnee Martinez of EnochsBerg says that he primarily checks in on Ulep to fine tune Modesto. Last year, Ulep shot her game, as needed. The pair are working on her swing an even-par 72, finishing two plane and toward a more consistent and better short game strokes off of the pace of indito match her big hitting. vidual medalist Sara Scarlett “I feel that I can be stronger around the greens,” Ulep of Woodland. said.” If I can have my long and short game working well at ›› FAVORITE COURSE: the same time, I feel that I can be unstoppable, but I try to Pebble Beach stay humble because I know there are always things I can ›› BEST 18-HOLE ROUND: improve upon.” 65 Improving upon last year’s near-miss and working to›› DREAM FOURSOME ward getting the Wildcats qualified as a team for the CIF (including herself): Phil Northern Regional Tournament are among the top goals for Mickelson, Annika Sorenstam, George Lopez Ulep. She has twice finished as the individual runner-up at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championship, including an impressive freshman run where she was just one shot off of the pace at the section tournament before eventually qualifying for the state tournament. Ulep has not made a return trip to state in the last two years, but has high hopes for saving her best for last. “I really want to be a state champion,” she said confidently. “I went in my freshman year, and I just want to finish this out. I know that I am still that player who can go to state and I’ll be back this year.” After concluding her high school career this fall, Ulep will continue to hone her game as a Division I collegiate golfer at the University of Oregon. She eyed several Pac-12 programs before making the decision to head to Eugene. “I visited several schools and they were all great, but when I went to Oregon, it felt like home.” “Oregon blew me away. I loved the small college town feel and the facilities are amazing. I felt that that’s where I could improve myself and my game the most.” For now, Ulep will seek to improve in Capital Athletic League matches and tournaments before turning her attention to a final run at the section, regional, and state tournaments. Regardless of the size of the stage or the magnitude of the event, an even keel is key in Ulep’s mind to be successful. “I think that it’s important for my appearance to be the same whether I just made an eagle or a double bogey,” she said. “I always try to be positive and happy on the course and not let people know if I am playing well or having a bad round by looking at me.” Berg believes Ulep is capable to playing well at any level, and that the senior’s abilities can carry her to great lengths. “Her attitude is great because she does not take it too serious, but puts in the practice and work to be successful,” he said. “She can take it to whatever level she wants to go to.” ✪

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concussions: dr. mo mortazavi

Concussions are written about constantly from every angle, but sometimes you just want the nuts and bolts Sports concussions have received significant attention over the last decade due to advances in research and education. Improved understanding of this neurologic phenomenon has led to more accurate identification of previously missed cases. An astounding 2 to 3.5 million sports concussions are estimated to occur every year. The incidents continue to rise annually, despite efforts to make sports safer. Sports with the greatest risk for concussions are hockey, football, wrestling, soccer, basketball and lacrosse. And it’s not only boys who get injured. Although boys have a higher total number of concussions, a higher proportion of girls get concussions in sports. SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS A concussion is defined as an “immediate and transient post-traumatic impairment of neural function” by the Zurich Consensus, a document developed primarily for use by physicians involved in the care of injured athletes. Concussions can manifest with a variety of symptoms and no two concussions are the same. A concussion is not a structural brain abnormality, thus advanced imaging with CT or MRI usually is not used. Associated injuries, such as bleeding, brain swelling or skull fractures, are not part of the definition of a concussion and, therefore, require advanced imaging. The most updated Zurich Consensus guidelines state that with an injury to the head or neck, one or more of the following symptoms should be suspected as a concussion until evaluated by a physician: physical (headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness), balance, cognitive (thinking, processing, memory), mood and sleep symptoms. Thus, loss of consciousness is not required and, in fact, is observed in less than 25 percent of concussions. Any athlete with a suspected concussion should be removed from the game without same-day return until evaluated by a physician. Red flags, such as seizures, prolonged loss of consciousness or confusion, severe persistent headaches, focal neurologic abnormalities or deterioration of symptoms, need immediate medical attention. TREATMENT OPTIONS The staples of concussion management are cognitive rest and rest from all physical activity

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until cleared by a physician. A school accommodation plan is often necessary to help athletes get back to full academic workloads, which may take one to two weeks. Headaches should be managed with Tylenol alone and one should seek evaluation if headaches are severe. Sleep, nutrition and hydration are key factors to concussion recovery and should not be underestimated. The graded return to play protocol (per Zurich Consensus guidelines) is a stepwise, five-day, gradual return to sport that is to be instituted only when the player is symptom- free for 24 hours. Most young developing brains will recover from concussion within 10 to 14 days. However, every case is unique and it is difficult to predict prognosis based on initial symptoms. If symptoms persist beyond four to six weeks despite appropriate management, consult a concussion specialist for further testing and therapies. Athletes are beginning to ask questions about the short- and long-term impacts of playing with a concussion or returning to play too early. Concussed athletes, who are not removed from competition, risk prolonging their recovery time or can suffer post-concussive syndrome or, in worst-case scenarios, second-impact syndrome. Second-impact syndrome is a rare phenomenon only seen in young athletes with developing brains, leading to catastrophic neurologic outcomes. It is believed that poor auto-regulation in the brain’s blood vessels after a concussion can trigger brain swelling if subjected to a second impact, which can cause severe permanent neurologic damage or death. Most concussions have no long-term consequences once resolved. However, a single concussion does increase the risk of future concussion by six to eight times. Although researchers are still studying “how many is too many,” athletes have reported suffering from long-term consequences such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) when many concussions were sustained. Athletes with a history of multiple concussions, concussions with prolonged symptoms, concussions with associated injuries, or a developed low threshold for recurrent concussions, should discuss the risks of continuing contact sports with a concussion specialist. ✪ Dr. Mo Mortazavi is pediatric sports medicine physician for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

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foot health: dr. david e. oji

Pain, tenderness in midfoot area could mean a Lisfranc injury A Lisfranc injury is the result of bone or ligament injury or combination of both in the middle of the foot, usually due to a twisting injury, fall, or high-energy trauma. The severity of the injury can vary from a pure ligament injury to disastrous fracture dislocations. Many times, a Lisfranc injury is mistaken for a simple midfoot sprain. However, injury to the Lisfranc joint is in fact a serious injury that requires close clinical scrutiny and possibly surgery. If not properly identified, the injury can result in long-term disability. The midfoot is defined as a region of the foot where the long bones of the toes meet the cluster of small bones in the middle of the foot. A ligament called the Lisfranc ligament stabilizes a portion of this area along with other soft tissue structures. As stated above, injury usually occurs from a twisting injury of the foot, many times while playing football, or a fall from height onto the foot. Most common symptoms are pain and swelling on top of the foot, bruising on the bottom of the foot, pain that worsens with walking or standing, and continued pain despite rest and elevation. Any athlete reporting these symptoms in the middle of the foot should be carefully evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon. After discussing your injury and symptoms with your orthopedic surgeon, he or she will carefully examine your foot. Radiographs will be obtained of your foot to evaluate for bony injury. If injury occurred with a simple twisting of the foot, then the orthopedic surgeon may ask the patient to take a weight-bearing standing radiograph and possibly image the uninjured foot for comparison. Further advanced imaging such as a CT or MRI might be needed. Treatment will depend on the level of injury to the Lisfranc complex. Simple partial injuries can be treated with weight-bearing restrictions in a boot or cast. Regular follow-up is essential to evaluate for any changes. More severe injuries, such as a complete tear, joint dislocations, or fractures, will require surgery. If proper treatment is not initiated, long-term disability and even permanent damage can result that can prevent the athlete from returning to his or her sport. A Lisfranc injury is a serious condition that requires a careful evaluation. Any athlete with pain, swelling, and bruising in the midfoot should be evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to rule out this condition. Early recognition and treatment can minimize damage to the joint and reduce the risk for future disability. âœŞ David E. Oji, MD is an orthopedic surgeon, foot and ankle fellowship trained. He works in Tracy, Pleasanton, and San Ramon

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get mental: erika carlson

mid-season mental grind

It’s mid-season. You are grinding through five-plus days per week of practice and games. You’re getting physically exhausted, and mentally you may be slipping into negative thinking as you try to keep up with all the sport and academic demands. Here’s a list of very common mid-season mental struggles: ›› Finding balance between school, sport, and social life ›› Feeling tired and sore from daily practice ›› Feeling the mid-season “blahs” = lazy work ethic ›› Frustrated with wanting more playing time ›› Managing injuries that have cropped up earlier in the season ›› Frustrated with a difficult team environment Sound familiar? There are many strategies that can help you successfully work through the mid-season grind. Remember, your physical and mental game go hand-in-hand. If you’re struggling mentally, it’s tough to dominate physically. Try these mental training strategies to help get through your season successfully: ›› Check your self-talk — If you’re thinking too much about being tired, sore or frustrated, you need to change it up and get out of your head. Focus on the simple instructions, one drill at a time. (e.g., “dig!” “accelerate” “look, pass”) ›› Refocus your attention — When you think too much, your attention is stuck inside your body. Get your head and eyes up and pay extra attention to the external game (the ball, the setter, see a route around through the defense). ›› Build your game confidence all week long — Start your week by setting your health goals (sleep, diet, hydration), practice goals (“play with intensity” “talk on defense”), game goals (“complete 80 percent of passes.”). Mental toughness is a must have resource to get through the mid-season mental grind. Always remember, a strong mental day allows you to physically dominate on game day. ✪ Erika Carlson is owner of Excellence in Sports Performance in Pleasanton.

training time: tim rudd for iyca

what is conditioning?

I think there is a misconception on what conditioning really is and how to improve it for young athletes. People tend to use words like “conditioning” and “cardio” without having a full understanding or definition of what they actually mean. So what is conditioning? Conditioning is a measure of maximum sustainable power output over a given duration. For example, how much power an athlete can generate without fatiguing throughout a game. Each sport requires a different combination of power (the ability to produce energy very fast — low efficiency) and endurance (the ability to produce energy slowly for a long period of time — high efficiency). Most team sports require a constant variation of higher power output and endurance. If an athlete focuses too much on the power side, his endurance suffers. If he focuses too much on the endurance side then power output will suffer. If he tries to improve both at the same time, both will suffer. So it basically comes down to how well the system of an athlete’s body is able to create the energy their muscles need to perform the skills of their sport throughout a game. If the systems involved in energy production can generate ATP (the fuel muscles run on) fast enough and for long enough, then an athlete has good conditioning. If not, the athlete will gas out. Rely too much on the anaerobic processes (high power output that is very inefficient) then an athlete will undergo larger performance decrements during a game, increasing the amount of fatigue, which will negatively affect performance. Rely too much on the aerobic processes (higher efficiency = lower power output) then the athlete’s speed, power and agility will suffer; all the qualities that are required to optimally perform the skill of their sport. Trying to improve both anaerobic processes and aerobic processes at the same time will lead to very little improvement in either, if any at all. So in a nutshell, improvement in both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems are required for optimal conditioning in team sports. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.

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proper warm-up: hunter greene, m.d.

WARM

Regards A successful race almost always starts with a dynamic warm-up

The warm-up is one of the most important components of a successful race and is also one of the most overlooked aspects of pre-race preparation. The warm-up helps prepare you for the physical demands of the race and also improves your muscles’ dynamics so that you are less prone to injury. Start out with some slow running to elevate your core body temperature and lubricate your muscles, allowing them to contract and relax more efficiently. A warm-up jog should last between 10-25 minutes, depending upon your experience and fitness level. After your jog, it’s time for some dynamic exercises that take your joints through a full range of motion. Performing some dynamic exercises such as walking lunges, high knees, skipping, karaokes, neck rolls and shoulder rolls, prepares your body to run fast. Do each dynamic movement for about 20 seconds. Cap your warm-up with a set of four to six strides, run for 20 seconds at race pace. Strides serve three purposes. They help you get into your target race pace, complete the neuromuscular activation process, and make the start of the race less psychologically shocking. Try to run your strides as close to the start of the race as possible. Finally, be careful about warming up too long or intensely as it can be counterproductive. Do the same warm-up on race day that you do before any hard workout in training. ✪ Hunter Greene, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with Summit Orthopedic Specialists in Carmichael.

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tri steps: liz elliott

It’s your bike Make sure it fits YOU

Choosing a bike can be overwhelming and time consuming, but can also be really fun if you know what you are looking for. Choosing the best bike for you is exactly that: choosing the right bike for YOU. It’s a lot like choosing a great pair of jeans you will wear for years. There are lots of fancy brands and components. Should I get carbon or steel? Trek, Cervelo, Specialized? Do I need to spend spend $3,000 for the “best bike?” Oooh, that one looks pretty, but rides up in my you-know-where. The bottom line is you want the most comfortable ride.   You don’t have to spend a lot to get a bike you will love to ride. You want the most comfortable bike. Comfort equals power. Power equals speed and fun. Most of all, you want to want to ride your bike.   1. GO RIDE BIKES. Ride lots of different brands and different sizes. Go to different stores in your area. Make sure to take your helmet to every store so you are ready to go. Narrow down the brand of bike that is most comfortable for you.  2.  GET “SIZED.”  Once you’ve decided on a brand you like, ride different sizes. Find the right frame size for you in the brand you like. Just like when trying on and buying jeans, each brand of bike has it’s own

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frame sizing, and most do not compare directly to any other brand. For example, Specialized uses XS, S, M, L and XL, and their M says it’s comparable to a 54cm. What does that mean? Most other brands just use cm. (46, 48, 51...) Again, what does that mean? Well, each bike store will also give you a different spiel on sizing. The basic idea of frame size depends on leg length, and torso length. Seat, handlebars, cleats and stem length can all be adjusted for more comfort, but frame size should not be too big or too small. 3. GET “FIT.” Think of the “fit” as the tailoring. A bike should be adjusted to you, not the other way around. Make sure to be fit by a reputable establishment, and one that allows at least one month to a year for adjustments. And one that will take and give your measurements on your bike when you are in the most comfortable position.   4. RIDE FOR A GOOD 100 MILES. It doesn’t have to be all at once, obviously. Or even in a month. But after about 100 miles on your bike, you’ll know if there is any discomfort or pain that can be resolved with some minor adjustments.  ✪ Liz Elliott was an All-American collegiate swimmer and is the head coach at Tri-Valley Triathlon Club.

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powered by trucks: anthony trucks

lifting yourself up

If you are a fan of this column then you know that I usually write about weight lifting, power training, and all that is involved with training the body for strength. I am not going to stray from that topic too much with this article, but I want to go just a little bit deeper on this one. Many people who don’t lift weights or strength train see what I do as a waste of time, or a useless hobby, so to speak. I once heard a great saying while watching a TED talk that hit home so many years ago: “So many human beings see their body as a simple a way to carry their brains around.” Man has always yearned for improvement, so why not improve the one thing that you cannot replace, your body? For many, the weight room is more than a place with music, grunts, weights, sweat, and all the visceral accompaniments that you would usually attach to the act of weight lifting. Instead, it is where they find themselves. It is where they release their stress to gain clarity to better themselves and those around them. It is where they go to feel uplifted both mentally and physically from accomplishment. It is for some, like me, where you get vulnerable enough to have your most heartfelt moments, as if the weight room is their “church.” Or better yet, their sanctuary from a cold world. It’s a place where you can get the STRENGTH to decide to make it better, by making YOURSELF better both physically and mentally. ✪ Anthony Trucks is the owner of Trucks Training facility in Brentwood and covers weight training for SportStars.

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health watch: caitlin r. mouille

Knee pain slowing you down? Have you had to stop running because of pain in the front of your knee? If so you are not alone. You could be experiencing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) or more commonly known as “runner’s knee.” PFPS represents 16-25 percent of all running injuries and is the most common overuse injury in young athletes. Patellofemoral pain is caused when the athlete places too much stress on the front of the knee joint. This can usually occur due to overuse, trauma, faulty technique, muscle dysfunction and tight quadriceps (the muscle on the front of the thigh). Achy or sharp pain can be felt “around” or “underneath” the knee cap when running, bending the knee, squatting, jumping, up/ down stairs, changing direction or sitting with the knee bent.

CAUSES

›› Muscle Imbalance: The quadriceps muscles are working overtime, while the back hip muscles (gluteus muscles) are weak. This imbalance places too much stress on the front of the knee. There is increased workload for the front of the thigh and the back hip muscles aren’t helping control movements. ›› Tightness: Increased tightness of the quadriceps muscle leading to decreased flexibility which compresses the patellofemoral joint. ›› Faulty Technique: It’s common for the knee to rotate or “cave in” while running, jumping or changing direction. This usually occurs because of decreased strength in the ankle or hip. These muscles aren’t able to help support the movements of the knee, thus leading to an increase of stress on the joint.

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(Forces on the patella range from half a person’s body weight when walking, to three times body weight walking up stairs and up to seven times body weight while squatting). ›› Overuse: The training program has progressed too quickly. This can lead to the above causes or lead to fatigue due to a lack of rest and recovery.

TREATMENTS

>> P.R.I.C.E (protect, ice, compression, elevation) to decrease pain and inflammation. ›› If you are over training: If running is causing pain, alternative activities such as swimming or bicycling. ›› If you have a muscle Imbalance: Strengthen those weak muscles! Strengthen your hips abductors, gluteus muscles, hamstrings and calves. ›› If you are tight: Stretch the quadriceps muscle on the front of your knee by pulling your heel towards your buttocks. You can perform this by lying on your stomach to reduce twisting of the knee or arching of the back. ›› Rehabilitation: Physical therapy has been found to be the treatment of choice for PFPS. The physical therapist will give you exercises to help with strengthening and stretching. ✪ Caitlin R. Mouille is a Doctor of Physical Therapy for the Sports Medicine Center for Young Athletes, a division of Children’s Hospital Oakland.

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oooohhH

shiny!

Amazon’s Kindle is Impulse’s trusted friend (we’re trying to get out more, though) and the new Kindle Fire HD tablet is a killer addition to the lineup. Starting at just $139 for an 8GB tablet, this 7 inch device packs quite the wallop. Movies, games, social media, email ... and BOOKS! Oh, Kindle ... is there anything you can’t do. www.Amazon.com

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Welcome to Impulse, your one-stop shop for gadgets, gizmos and gear. Come for the thingamajigs, stay for what-nows. Compiled by Mike DeCicco, Impulse provides you with the latest and greatest in the market along with upcoming events. It’s important for our readers to know we’ve got yer back. Who’s your buddy? Impulse is your buddy. That’s who.

Get fixed Our friends at Made in America/Made in Japan (just Sacramento’s finest auto repair facility, don’t you know) love to support the community and their latest offer is great. Get your car fixed there and they’ll donate 10 percent of your bill (parts & labor) to the school or sports program of your choice.

CAn tonezspeakers audio bluetooth Stop right there. If it’s bluetooth, we’re in. Every thing’s better with bluetooth. These speakers make it easy to play music off any bluetooth enabled phone. Take them anywhere. www.tonezaudio.com

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❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒ ❒❒

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1-To-1 Pediatrics..............................................................................................................30 Army National Guard Recruiter...........................................................................................5 Athletic Placement Services.............................................................................................36 Bay Area Blast Volleyball Club..........................................................................................25 Big O Tires Northern California/ Nevada.............................................................................2 Blaze Volleyball................................................................................................................36 Championship Athletic Fundraising.................................................................................26 Cheergyms.Com...............................................................................................................15 Children’s Hospital And Research Center...........................................................................29 City Beach Sports Club.....................................................................................................40 Club Sport Renaissance....................................................................................................31 Community Youth Center.................................................................................................38 Core Volleyball Club..........................................................................................................36 Crowne Plaza...................................................................................................................38 Delta Patriots Youth Football & Cheer...............................................................................22 Diablo Rock Gym..............................................................................................................32 Diablo Trophies & Awards.................................................................................................36 Diablo Valley Futsal..........................................................................................................35 E J Sports Elite Baseball Services......................................................................................37 East Bay Bulldogs Basketball............................................................................................36 East Bay Sports Academy.................................................................................................12 Excellence In Sport Performance......................................................................................28 Fit 2 The Core....................................................................................................................30 Franklin Canyon Golf Course.............................................................................................38 Gregg Jefferies Sports Academy ......................................................................................14 Home Team Sports Photography......................................................................................37 Image Imprint..................................................................................................................28 Kangazoom......................................................................................................................25 M L B Scout......................................................................................................................37 Made In America / Made In Japan....................................................................................40 Modesto Magic................................................................................................................35 Mountain Mike’s Pizza......................................................................................................39 Muir Orthopaedic Specialists............................................................................................34 National Scouting Report.................................................................................................35 Nor Cal All Sports Clinic....................................................................................................16 Northgate High School.....................................................................................................38 Pacific Rim Volleyball Academy........................................................................................31 Pro Hammer Bat...............................................................................................................36 Rhino Sports Of Northern California.................................................................................25 Rocco’s Pizza...............................................................................................................17, 36 Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.......................................................................................32 San Ramon Slammers Baseball........................................................................................38 Sky High Sports................................................................................................................36 Sport Clips........................................................................................................................17 State Farm Jimmy Harrington Agent................................................................................24 Stevens Creek Toyota........................................................................................................23 Summit Orthopedic Specialists..........................................................................................3 Surewest Sports Radio Show............................................................................................26 T D P Sports.....................................................................................................................32 The First Tee Of Contra Costa.............................................................................................38 The Golf Club At Roddy Ranch..........................................................................................37 Tpc / The Pitching Center..................................................................................................37 Tri Valley Orthopedic Specialists Inc..................................................................................33 U S Cryotherapy................................................................................................................23 United States Youth Volleyball League.............................................................................13 Velocity Sports Performance......................................................................................35, 36

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SJ Issue 74, Oct. 17, 2013