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head on: concussion concerns in h.s.

vol. 3. issue 52


september 13, 2012

Pgs. 6, 33

best in prep sports


to go


life moves pretty fast, we’ll make sure you don’t miss a moment

superior talent, unmatched depth: St. Francis VB takes aim at state

teed off: granite bay wants SJS girls golf crown

state or bust

PHONE 925.566.8500 FAX 925.566.8507 Editorial Editor Chace Bryson. Ext. 104 • Contributors Bill Kolb, Erik Stordahl, Mitch Stephens, Doug Gardner, Matt Smith, Clay Kallam, Jim McCue, Eric Gilmore, Dave Kiefer, Liz Elliott, Tim Rudd, Jonathan Okanes Photography Butch Noble, Bob Larson, Jonathan Hawthorne, James K. Leash, Norbert von der Groeben, Phillip Walton, Doug Guler

Don’t let the smiles fool you. The girls of St. Francis mean business. Pg. 16

Creative Department Production Manager Mike DeCicco. Ext. 103 • Publisher/President Mike Calamusa. Ext. 106 •


Advertising & Calendar/Classified Sales, (925) 566-8500 Account Executives Erik Stordahl • Erik@SportStars, Phillip Walton • Sac Joaqin edition: Dave Rosales •

Dean Coppolla

close to home: Placer coach guides his team but there’s more to him than just the sidelines. Pg. 25

game on: Football’s here and we have all the latest must-haves for the fall, including new faces in new Madden places. Pg. 29 First Pitch................................................6 Behind the Clipboard...........................8 Locker Room.......................................10

top volleyball teams

AAA SportStars of the Week...........13

only the best of the best have made our list Pg. 20

10 To Go...............................................30

Club Scene............................................15 Impulse..................................................29 TriSteps..................................................32 Health Watch ......................................33 Powered by Trucks..............................35 on the cover L to R: Loni Kreun, Hannah Liserra, Allie Wegener and Gabrielle Pameri of St. Francis-Sacremento. Photo by James K. Leash

Reader Resources/Administration Ad Traffic, Subscription, Calendar & Classified Listings • Deb Hollinger. Ext. 101 • Distribution/Delivery Distribution Manager Butch Noble. Ext. 107 • Information technology John Bonilla CFO Sharon Calamusa • Office Manager/Credit Services Deb Hollinger. Ext. 101 • Board of advisors Dennis Erokan, CEO, Placemaking Group Roland Roos, CPA, Roland Roos & Co Susan Bonilla, State Assembly Drew Lawler, Managing Director, AJ Lawler Partners Brad Briegleb, Attorney At Law community SportStars™ Magazine A division of Caliente! Communications, LLC 5356 Clayton Rd., Ste. 222 • Concord, CA • 94521




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your ticket to bay area sports admit one; rain or shine This Vol. #3, September 2012 Whole No. 52 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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September 13, 2012

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Concussion safety has improved, but still needs vigilance


his story begins with me sitting at my desk on Friday, Sept. 7, counting down the hours (ahem!)... working diligently, prior to heading out to the football game I’d be covering between James Logan-Union City and San Ramon Valley-Danville. Friday is typically the day our columnists will email their recent submissions. When the newest “Health Watch” offering arrived from the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes staff, I opened it up to take a peek. The topic was, appropriately enough, on recognizing concussions. And while most of us who follow sports regularly have been drilled that concussions happen across all sports, the poster sport is clearly football. Tom Clennell, a physical therapist and the author of this issue’s “Health Watch” — which I urge you to check out on page 33 — writes of the obvious severity of the injury, the fact that they can be very hard to detect, and that they can be caused “from a ‘ding’, ‘getting your bell rung,’ or even a milder bump to the head.” So with Clennell’s column on my mind, I hopped in the car and headed toward Danville. With the radio tuned to the A’s pregame show, much of my drive then consisted of reports and discussion on the health of A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy. He had been struck in the head by a line drive two days prior and was still in intensive care after he needed surgery to repair an epidural hemorrhage and skull fracture. So. Head trauma. Definitely on my mind as I hit the sideline. Which takes us to the second quarter with James Logan already leading 14-0 and playing very physical defense against the team which knocked it out of the playoffs a year ago. San Ramon Valley Justin Bangay caught a 5-yard pass over the middle on first down, and was immediately hit by Colts safety Khari Thomas. This was an “Oh” Hit. What’s an “Oh” Hit? It’s the type of hit that when you see it, and you’re a football fan, you subconsciously react by saying (or sometimes, yelling) “Ohhhh.” Thomas’ hit was textbook and legal. Leading with his shoulders, he met Bangay right as the receiver was turning around. Thomas’s shoulder struck Bangay in the sternum first and then their helmets clacked second. Bangay’s feet went out from under him and he landed flat on his back. The crowd yelled, “Ohhh.” Bangay, to his credit, held on to the ball and popped back up immediately. He stayed in the game and would later catch one more pass for a 12yard gain in the fourth quarter. The California Interscholastic Federation and the state legislature have been very pro-active in trying to raise concussion awareness. In fact, new CIF Commissioner Roger Blake was a driving force behind instituting CIF Bylaw 313 in May 2010. That bylaw mandates that a student-athlete suspected of sustaining a concussion/head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time for the remainder of the day. Once removed, the athlete may not return to play until he/she is evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in concussion management and receives written clearance to return. I fully support this bylaw, but I wonder how it protects guys like Bangay. I’m not saying Bangay was concussed by the hit he took. He may not have been. But what if he was? Sometimes it just takes a “mild bump to the head,” right? For the guys like Bangay, who pop right back up after a violent hit, it may not trigger concern from their sideline. Furthermore, coaches want to keep their productive players on the field if they continue to appear healthy from a distance. And if it’s obvious they are removing them to check for a concussion, then Bylaw 319 would mandate that the kid stay out the rest of the game. In this new era of concussion awareness, kids are undoubtedly safer than their predecessors. But every time I see an “Oh” Hit from my vantage point on the sideline — and trust me, it always looks and sounds more violent from the sidelines — I wonder. Last year, Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy took an ‘Oh” Hit from the Steelers’ James Harrison. He popped right back up, finished the game, and then told his dad during a postgame phone call that he couldn’t remember anything that happened over the last quarter of the game. The NCAA has a new rule that if a player’s helmet comes off at any point during a game, he must exit for at least one play. It seems that the CIF could encourage a similar rule that would allow referees or coaches to send a player who’d been violently hit to the sideline for at least one play — just to have a quick look from a trainer. The trainer can then make the call if Bylaw 319 should be followed. Football will always be violent, and concussions won’t go away completely. The high school game is safer, but it doesn’t mean more can’t be done. ✪



September 13, 2012

First Pitch Chace Bryson Editor

Chace@ (925) 566-8503

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Fair or not, football will always cast a big shadow on campus Our cross country team is great but the only sport anyone seems to care about in the fall is football. Why is that? It’s just not fair. J.M., Moraga   s my particularly annoying history teacher back at Acalanes used to point out with depressing regularity, life isn’t fair. Yes, football gets all the glory, and football players get all the glory (and many of the girls), and it’s not fair. After all, I don’t imagine too many defensive linemen could make it through a cross country practice without calling their mom for a ride to finish the warmup run. Then again not a lot of cross country runners would survive a tackle from a 200-pound linebacker who had a 15-yard running start. All sports have their weaknesses and their strengths, but the thing about football is simply this: People watch it. Now maybe the freshman girls in the stands don’t watch (or the senior girls, for that matter), but 99.9% of American sports fans like to watch football. And of that 99.9%, a large percentage loves football, and many will wander on down to the high school on Friday night to see a local team play. I can guarantee they will not wander on down to watch a cross country meet, and many fewer will come watch a girls’ basketball game or even a baseball game. This interest does not go unnoticed by school administrators, who not only realize that a good football team can get an entire community excited in ways that a good cross country team, or good wrestling team, will not, but also understand that whatever “school spirit” might be, a good football team will make it better. Yes, there’s more to life than spirit — all those folks buying tickets to the game are doing so with cold hard cash that the athletic director can then turn around and spend on other sports that don’t generate any revenue at all. (And yes, cross country falls into the latter category.)


Behind the Clipboard Clay Kallam

All those folks buying tickets to the game are doing so with cold hard cash that the athletic director can then turn around and spend on other sports that don’t generate any revenue. On top of that, booster clubs are a huge part of school sports’ budgets in these days of education cuts and inflated pension plans. And boosters get more excited about football than any other sport. Now in terms of the athletes, and the dedication it takes to succeed at a high level, football is no different than any other sport. It might be more painful, and players need to learn to love the weight room, but no athlete and no team gets really good without putting in the time. So on a purely moral, ethical plane, all outstanding teams at a given school should receive the same level of student, administrative and community support. But you know, even SportStars’ devoted and hard-working advertising sales staff couldn’t sell enough ads for a cross country preview issue — or one for girls’ volleyball or boys’ golf. But they can for football, and just as football’s following allows this magazine to write about cross country, so football’s impact on the school you attend has a lot to do with having a cross country team. At one level, it isn’t fair, granted — but you probably learned a long time ago life wasn’t nearly as fair as people made it out to be. ✪ Clay Kallam is an assistant athletic director and girls varsity basketball coach at Bentley High in Lafayette. To submit a question for Behind the Clipboard, email Coach Kallam at



September 13, 2012

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Top 5 Ways to Absorb September Sports Overload It’s a confluence. A cornucopia. A conundrum. A coruscating quagmire of confustication. The A’s and Giants are deep into meaningful playoff runs. The Niners and Raiders just kicked off what promise to be compelling seasons (for varying reasons…). Stanford football entered the season ranked in the Top 25 despite the departure of the best college quarterback we can remember watching play in person. Cal opened its first season in a new stadium with a resounding THUD, but should be a factor in the Pac12 when the dust settles. Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, the Bay Area is home to the best high school football, water polo, volleyball — well, high school sports in general — in the country. So what’s a sports fan to do? You can’t watch it ALL. The Bay Area is like the AM/PM of sports markets. (Think about it… too much good stuff… try to keep up, huh?) How do you choose? Here are our top 5 ways for prioritizing your sports viewing and attendance. 1. Darts. Cut out little pictures of all the logos or helmets or what have you, and let the universe guide your dart, and your decision. Or just play darts while the game is on. You know, which ever. *Editor’s note: Do not, under any circumstances, throw darts at your television. We won’t be held accountable. 2. Phone a friend. I recommend your mom. You know you don’t call her enough, and she misses you. She’s also worried you’re not eating right. And she would totally tell you which game was the most important one to watch. Some of you may still be living with your mom. In which case, you can call us. 3. Fanhood. You know yourself better than anyone (other than your therapist). You know, deep down, that even though you like the Niners and Cal, it’s the A’s. It’s always been the A’s. How could you even LOOK at another team? 4. Abdicate. Just skip it. Go have a nice dinner and watch a romantic comedy with your significant other. Sports aren’t the most important thing in the world, you know. 5. Yeah, right. No. 4 is an idiot. DVR everything. Put yourself in sports information lockdown to eliminate the possibility of spoilerism. Watch until your eyelids peel away from your skull. Repeat. — Bill Kolb

49ers quarterback Alex Smith Tim Warner/




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rapidFIRE Who will be most tweeted ahtlete this year?

back to the NFL

Athlete from another sport who could play in NFL?

Best food at the game?

Super Bowl prediction

What team has the best uniforms?

49ers beat whomever they play

St. Louis Rams

LeBron James, tight end


Garlic Fries

Michael Ravens Vick over 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

LeBron Cowboys James, wide receiver

Garlic Fries

Robert Griffin III Dante Mayes, Freedom-Oakley, FB

Michael Hutchings, De La Salle-Concord, FB

random act of FACTNESS

Best stadium?


Julia Maxwell, a junior on the Branson-Ross cross country team, set a blazing pace during the 28th Annual Ed Sias Invitational on Sept. 9 in Martinez. The pace was so fast that it nearly broke a course record that’s stood for 15 years. Maxwell finished the Small School Varsity Girls race in a time of 11 minutes, 28.2 seconds. The second-place finisher was her teammate Anna Harleen, crossing the finish line 83 seconds later at 12:51.9. Maxwell came in just twotenths of a second shy of Kristen Gordon’s girls course-best 11:27 set in 1996. Gordon won a state title for Carondelet-Concord that season.

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“I think we took the heart out of them and got a little fire of our own. And we stayed up there. We always say that if you go up, you gotta stay up, you can’t go up and down. We got up, and that was our level for the rest of the game.” — James Logan-Union City linebacker Ryan Bua on the Colts defense stopping San Ramon Valley-Danville’s 60-yard, game-opening drive and proceeding to shut out the Wolves 35-0 on Sept. 7.

left: James Logan QB Jeffrey Prothro looks for a receiver during the 35-0 rout of San Ramon Valley. Photo by Bob Larson. September 13, 2012





September 13, 2012

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Browning passed for a Northern California and Sac-Joaquin Section record 689 yards and tied a modern-era national record with 10 touchdown passes in his first varsity start, a 68-28 road victory over Woodcreek-Roseville on Aug. 24. Browning kept the passheavy Bulldogs’ offense rolling along, seamlessly transitioning the spread formation from Tanner Trosin’s state record-setting season a year ago to the current version of high-scoring precision. He followed up his record performance with 387 yards passing and four more TDs in a 31-20 home win over San Ramon Valley-Danville on Aug. 31. SportStars Magazine: What were your expectations or goals heading into your first varsity start? Jake Browning: I didn’t really have any expectations going into the game. I just wanted to make sure that I went through my reads right and helped the team win. Obviously, what happened was more than I could have expected. SSM: Do you feel any added pressure following the quarterbacks that have preceded you at Folsom? JB: I just look at this as a completely new season. It’s a new year and I don’t try to compare myself with other guys who played before me. My job is to just go out and try to win games. SSM: At what point during the first game did you realize the offense was clicking as well as it was?

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jake browning folsom . football . sophomore

honorable mention

Mikayla Lopez As a sweeper for the U15 49er United Gators, Lopez anchored a defense that did not allow a goal in earning a first-place finish at the soccer club’s own 49er United Gold Rush Classic.

David Parker The WhitneyRocklin junior helped the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Volleyball Team to a thirdplace finish at the 2012 NORCECA Boys’ Youth (U-19) Continental Championship in Mexico over the summer.

Doug Guler JB: After two of my first four passes went for touchdowns, I knew that things were going well. And when we were still moving the ball after they had a chance to make adjustments at halftime, it was clear that it was working. SSM: What is the most important thing for a quarterback in Folsom’s spread offense? JB: Decision making. I just have to make the right decisions on the field once the game starts. Every single thing I do is something I have been prepared for. I am not being asked to do anything that I can’t do.

emilee hoffman The Vista del Lago-Folsom freshman captured medalist honors in the Eagles’ dual matches against Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove and Galt. She carded a 34 at Bartley Cavanaugh GC and a 37 at Empire Ranch, respectively.

September 13, 2012



Three effective strategies for proper game day nutrition


y far the number one question I get from athletes and parents is, “What do I eat on game day?” They basically want to know how they can fuel themselves or their athletes for optimal performance on the day or weekend when they are going to compete. The fact is if your athlete or athletes wait until Game Day to follow a sound nutritional practice of sports nutrition, then they have waited too long. Good nutrition is “training nutrition.” This is the food they should be eating day in and day out while preparing for game day. On game day there are three strategies that will guarantee athletes optimal energy to fuel optimal performance: ■ Do what they practiced: Athletes of all ages should rehearse their game day routine. Then they should do a trial run well before game day. Wake up at the same time, eat the same foods, and perform the same athletic feat. If they haven’t practiced, they’re leaving things up to chance. This is a big mistake. On game day, they need to show up and do what they practiced, simple as that. ■ Supply their bodies with energy for game day: During game day, your athlete’s main goal should be to make sure that their nervous system is stimulated for optimal performance and that they have a steady supply of blood glucose (sugar) to prevent them from



September 13, 2012

gassing out. So the competition feeding strategy is as simple as this: Eat small, easily digestible foods every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Snacking is the best policy. Snacks should contain some protein, fats and most importantly, quality carbohydrates. Also, your athletes should eat foods they are familiar with, something they’ve been doing all along to get them ready for game day. Certain sports supplements can help with carbohydrate energy. Liquid nutrition can be very useful for sipping between events if an athlete is going to have several games or heats during the day. Liquid protein and carbohydrates best assist fluid replenishment and are often better tolerated. ■ Avoid foods that make them uncomfortable: Many athletes are over-stimulated on game day. If this is the case, they will find it more difficult to tolerate large meals or slowly-digested foods. They should eat foods that make them feel good, that don’t aggravate their stomachs and make them feel light. During their practice run they should experiment with different foods until they find a routine that works well. Here are some guidelines for proper eating: Daily: Make sure each meal contains a Lean Protein (Chicken, fish, lean meat), Complex carbohydrate (whole grain rice, potato or fruit) and good fats (avocados, walnuts, olive oil etc.). The plate should

be divided into 1/3, which will be filled with each of these Macronutrients. Some good pre-competition or practice meal examples:

2 hours or less before competition: ■ Homemade smoothie (frozen fruit with low fat milk or yogurt) ■ Banana with peanut butter ■ Greek yogurt with fruit

2 hours or more:

Training Time Tim Rudd for IYCA

■ Oatmeal and piece of fresh fruit ■ Sandwich with lean meat, like turkey or ham ■ Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with glass of low fat milk ■ Whole wheat pasta with chicken, marinara sauce Taking care of your athlete’s nutrition is all within your control, as a parent. Ensuring that they follow and implement the three strategies above will enable them to perform at their highest level on game day. ✪ Tim Rudd is an International Youth Conditioning Association specialist in youth conditioning (level 3), speed and agility (level 2), and nutrition specialist (level 1). For more information on anything you read in Training Time, email him at

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September 13, 2012

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tunnel VISION Loaded with talent, experience, a senior-laden roster at St. Francis is thinking state title


It’s not always an all-business approach with the Troubadours. Clockwise from bottom left, Gabrielle Palmeri, Hannah Liserra, Allie Wegener and Loni Kreun.

espite capturing the school’s 11th Sac-Joaquin Section championship, the St. Francis girls’ volleyball team was not satisfied with how its 2011 season ended. The Troubadours’ loss to Menlo-Atherton 3-0 in the second round of the Northern California playoffs left a sour taste in the mouths of the players who remain as the 2012 season starts. “We felt bad about the way the season ended for Paige Folger,” said Loni Kreun of the team’s lone senior on last year’s roster. “We have talked as a team about not wanting the seniors to have that kind of feeling at the end of the season.” A program as accomplished and steeped in tradition as that of the Sacramento all-girls school acquires a greater taste for success through years of accomplishments that include a CIF state championship in 2005. Coach Allyn Wright, in her 22nd year at the school, has experienced the highs and lows of great expectations, and is a firm believer in things happening for a reason—like the NorCal loss to Menlo. “I believe that the girls needed to feel what they felt last year in order for them to hunger for it more and go after it,” she said. “Having to work for that goal after having failed makes it all the more sweet if you succeed.” There is no doubt the goal for this year’s team is a state title, but everyone from the head coach to the last player listed on the roster shares the same approach for achieving the goal. “Our goal is State, but our focus is only on the next game,” Wright said. “We are all on the same page that State is an attainable goal, but we know that it will take a lot of work and focus from everyone. I’m real excited to see what happens.”

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September 13, 2012



Allie Wegener elevates for an attack during the 2011 SJS Division I championship match against St. Mary’s-Stockton at UC Davis. Wegener was one of three Troubadours to have at least 10 kills in the three-game match.



September 13, 2012

So far, the Troubadours have not lost a single game in compiling a perfect record that includes a spotless run through the Reno Invitational. They travel to the Bay Area on Sept. 14-15 to test their perfection against top competition at the Archbishop Mitty Invitational, including the host Monarchs, defending Division II state champion Presentation-San Jose, and Menlo as well. “Last year we didn’t do as well as we hoped,” senior Allie Wegener said of the Bay Area trip. “So we would like to make a statement.” St. Francis certainly has the weapons to make a statement in San Jose and throughout the season thanks to a core group of seniors as familiar with each other as they are with success. Kreun, Wegener, Gabriella Palmeri, and Hannah Liserra are four of nine seniors on the roster and part of a group of players who have been playing together since they were 12-years old. “The girls know each other well and get along so well,” Wright said. “They really like each other and play for each other. They are excited for each other when things are going well, and encourage each other when there are challenges.” That closeness and familiarity makes Liserra’s job as a setter much easier. With big hitters like Palmeri (447 kills in 2011) and Wegener (335 kills), to go along with clutch hitting from Kreun who emerged as a star in the postseason last year, the senior setter doesn’t worry about the ball going down after she sends it up. “Whenever I set the ball, I know that I can trust them to put the ball down,” she said. “It allows me to just watch the defense to see where to put the ball and not worry about who it’s going to.” In addition to the team bond and firepower, St. Fran-

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play at UC Davis in the fall. “We want to get out fast and take a lead and not let them into the match.” Wegener is not alone in her pursuit of volleyball beyond high school as Palmeri (Pepperdine University) and Liserra (Seattle University) have also committed, and Kreun is attracting attention from recruiters along with other players. Of course, college will have to wait, especially in the structured goal-setting world that Wright oversees at St. Francis. “It has been fun for me to be part of the process for these girls to get a chance to play in college and to achieve their goals,” the vet-

eran coach said. “This group has put in the work on the court, off the court, and in the classroom. They have chosen to chase the dream and this is just one of the stepping stones in that process.” For the seniors on the St. Francis volleyball team, their plan has a clear process and a distinct end point. “We have a great group of seniors and it has been a great experience to grow up as players and people together,” Wegener said. “Our goal is to win State in our final season together. “We know we can do it. We want to go out with a bang.” ✪

“Whenever I set the ball, I know that I can trust them to put the ball down. It allows me to just watch the defense to see where to put the ball and not worry about who it’s going to.” — Hannah Liserra, above left cis is extremely versatile. The Troubadours are rightfully feared for their offense, but the team is capable of frustrating opponents with a strong defense and capable passing. In a recent match against 2011 Division II section runner-up Rocklin, the St. Francis lineup got mixed up, causing players to be out of position for a full rotation. However, the well-rounded Troubadours held their own and did not yield the advantage. Much of the credit for the program’s tradition and reputation can be given to Wright, but the coach is quick to deflect the praise and direct it instead to her players through the years. Her coaching style has always been to allow her players to set goals and hold each other accountable, but she emphasizes a series of goals to lead to a final objective. “This team has set the goal for how they want the season to end and that is with a state championship,” Wright said. “But we set up stepping stones to accomplish that final goal. We have goals for the preseason, the (Delta River) League season, and the postseason, and

they are all just part of the process of achieving that end goal.” The Troubadours even have goals for each practice and the players hold each other accountable for working hard and playing hard, whether it is a section finals match or a preseason scrimmage with nothing more on the line than extra running for the losers. “These girls are very competitive,” Wright said. “They push themselves and push each other so hard. The scrimmages we have in our gym are amazing, and some of the toughest play we, as coaches, see all year.” To think that what opponents on the St. Francis schedule might see this season is less intense than what goes on in the campus gym is a scary thought for players looking to be a part of the program, especially when you consider the mentality that a senior star like Wegener takes to the floor whenever the Troubadours don their red and gold. “We want to take the hope away from other teams,” said Wegener, who has committed to

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September 13, 2012



We name our top-rated Sac-Joaquin Section teams for 2012, beginning with an in-depth look at the Top 5.

1. St. Francis-Sacramento

■ COACH: Alynn Wright ■ 2011 RECORDS: 38-6, 10-0 Delta River (first) ■ KEY RETURNERS: OH, Gabriella Palmeri, Sr.; OH/DS Allie We-

gener, Sr.; S/DS Hannah Liserra, Sr.


Kreun, Sr. ■ OUTLOOK: The Troubadors captured their 11th section title last year, and bring back plenty of weapons to make a run at an unprecedented dozen championships. Senior OH Gabriella Palmeri is a three-year varsity star who will lead the offense and attract plenty of attention from blockers. Senior setter Hannah Liserra will distribute the ball to a full complement of attackers, including fellow seniors Allie Wegener and Loni Kreun. St. Francis opened the season with a perfect run through the Reno Invitational field. Barring unforeseen circumstances, coach Alynn Wright’s squad is the clear favorite to win the Division I section crown and challenge the Bay Area’s best for a CIF state berth.

■ OUTLOOK: The Eagles are two-time defending Div. III section champs, but will face some adversity early in their run toward a threepeat. Senior OH Caroline Sipiora suffered a serious knee injury in the offseason and is expected to be out until October. Her recovery and the replacement of setter Faith Smith, who moved out of the school district, will be key as Vista del Lago faces tough nonleague foes including Rocklin and St. Francis before starting another Sierra Valley League battle with Union Mine, whom they have shared the league title with the last two years. Senior OH/ OPP Kelsey Sampson will be asked to burden much of the hitting load in Sipiora’s absence and sophomore setters Kylie Altman and Kaitlin Hughes will be charged with running the Eagles’ offense.

4. St. Mary’s-Stockton

■ COACH: Angela McShane ■ 2011 RECORDS: 27-10, 10-0 Tri-City (first) ■ KEY RETURNERS: OH, Melissa Brum, Sr.;

S, Elizabeth Hoover, Sr.

■ KEY LOSSES: MB, Lauren Kissell ■ BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: MB, Jane Held, Jr. ■ OUTLOOK: The Rams have faced St. Fran-

cis in each of the last two Div. I section finals, and return two vital offensive weapons in setter El Camino-Sacramento ■ COACH: Martin Soyama Elizabeth Hoover and OH Melissa Brum. The ■ 2011 RECORDS: 37-4, 15-0 Capital (first) senior leaders will look to junior Jane Held to ■ KEY RETURNERS: OH, Cassidy Denny, Jr.; OPP, Marissa Mattos, Sr. anchor the middle for another run through the Tri-Valley League sched■ KEY LOSSES: OH, Natalie Riddering; MH, Nicole Hareland ule and into the postseason. Coach Angela McShane scheduled early ■ BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: OH, Mikaela Nocetti, Soph. tests against Nevada Union-Grass Valley, Granite Bay, and El Camino ■ OUTLOOK: The Eagles lost plenty of firepower with the graduto measure her team’s chances at a third straight trip to the SJS finals. ation of Natalie Riddering, but Cassidy Denny appears ready to assume control of the net. The senior OH will be the focus of opposing ■ COACH: John Grix defenses, but her power and experience make her an offensive force. ■ 2011 RECORDS: 30-11, 12-3 Capital (second) Newcomer Mikaela Nocetti, a sophomore OH, will be key in taking ■ KEY RETURNERS: MB/OH, Maddie Cannon, Sr.; pressure off of Denny and OPP Marissa Mattos. Coach Martin Soya■ KEY LOSSES: S, Ariana Garner; RS, Erika Tabor; OH, Lauren ma’s veteran players are playoff-tested as the Eagles have appeared Kirschke in the last two Division II section finals, winning the title a year ago. ■ BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: S, Maddie Merlino, Soph. With tests from Rio Americano-Sacramento in Capital Athletic League ■ OUTLOOK: The Raiders lost significant pieces from their Div. II play, El Camino is likely to be primed for another deep playoff run. section semifinalist team, but the return of senior MB/OH Maddie Cannon could offset all losses with a little help. Cannon has opened the season well against top competition, but will need teammates Michala ■ COACH: Patrick Sanders Merlino, a junior OH, and Madison Hunziker, a sophomore OH/OPP, ■ 2011 RECORDS: 36-10, 11-1 Sierra Valley (T-first) to take on some of the offensive workload and keep opponents from ■ KEY RETURNERS: OH/OPP, Kelsey Sampson, Sr.; OH/DS Carofocusing solely on her. Sophomore Maddie Merlino’s handling of the line Sipiora, Sr. offense could determine if Rio Americano can challenge for a league ■ KEY LOSSES: S/DS, Faith Smith and/or SJS title. ■ BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: L/DS Jordan Cryderman, Sr.

2. El Camino-Sacramento

5. Rio Americano-Sacramento

3. Vista del Lago-Folsom



September 13, 2012

6. Rocklin ■ COACH: Dave Muscarella. 2011 RECORDS: 34-8, 9-1 Sierra Foothill (first) KEY RETURNERS: OPP, Sara Sheehy, Sr.; S, Kallie Elder, Sr. KEY LOSSES: OH, Katelyn Ivy; OH, Cailyn Prewitt; MH, Erin Davis. BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: OPP, Kate Mitchell, Jr. 7. Granite Bay ■ COACH: Jamie Ingram. 2011 RECORDS: 20-11, 8-2 Sierra Foothill (second). KEY RETURNERS: S, Taylor Nelson, Jr.; OH, Nicolette Pinkney, Jr. KEY LOSSES: MH/OH, Lindsey Nelson. BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: OH, Maddy Deters, Jr. 8 (tie). Bella Vista ■ COACH: Troy Songer. 2011 RECORDS: 26-9, 8-2 Capital Valley (second). KEY RETURNERS: OH/ MB, Kyndra Trevino-Scott, Sr.; S, Megan Hernandez, Sr.; OH, Scarlett Loving, Sr. KEY LOSSES: MB, Shelby Stepper. BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: MB, Sara Hibbs, Jr. 8 (tie). Del Oro ■ COACH: Stuart Kageta. 2011 RECORDS: 20-11, 7-3 Sierra Foothill (third). KEY RETURNERS: OH, Morgan Lees, Sr.; S, Amy Heyn, Jr. KEY LOSSES: MB, Tatum Jungsten; DS, Megan Hentschke; MB, Amanda Heyn. BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: OH/S, Stephanie Solich, Sr. 8 (tie). Bear River ■ COACH: Matt MacDonald. 2011 RECORDS: 27-11, 9-1 Pioneer Valley (first). KEY RETURNERS: S, Kaya Johnson, Sr.; OH, Sara Schell, Sr. KEY LOSSES: OH, Katie Tomkiewicz. BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: OH/MB, Kirsten Pereira, Jr. 10. Placer ■ COACH: Jennifer Wright. 2011 RECORDS: 22-9, 8-2 Pioneer Valley (second). KEY RETURNERS: OH, Lauren Collins, Sr.; S, Kirstin Schauble, Sr.; MH, Kellyn McDonald, Sr. KEY LOSSES: S, Michaela Leonard. BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: OH, Becky Matthews, Jr.

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Caroline Sipiora

SCHOOL: Vista del Lago-Folsom YEAR: Senior. POSITION: OH/DS WHY SHE’S HERE: A four-year starter, Sipiora (right, top) has her sights set on leading the Eagles to a third consecutive Div. III title. She posted team highs with 357 kills (36.2% hitting) and 433 digs. Sipiora (a U. of Utah commit) plays at her peak in the postseason, including a match-high 29 kills in Vista’s four-set victory over Christian Brothers-Sacramento in the 2011 SJS final. An offseason knee injury will sideline her for the start of the season.

Maddie Cannon

SCHOOL: Rio Americano-Sacramento YEAR: Senior. POSITION: MB/OH WHY SHE’S HERE: Cannon (right, bottom) led the Raiders to a 30-11 record as a junior with 330 kills and an amazing 63.5% hitting percentage. The Santa Clara-commit added 73 digs, 72 blocks, and 32 aces in 2011. Her all-around game helped her Northern California Volleyball Club (NCVC) 17-1 squad to qualify in the Open Division of the USA Junior Nationals, and will be key to Rio Americano advancing deep into the Division II playoffs this season.

Gabriella Palmeri

SCHOOL: St. Francis-Sacramento YEAR: Senior. POSITION: OH WHY SHE’S HERE: The Pepperdine commit was a major contributor to the Troubadours’ 2011 Div. I championship with 447 kills, 448 digs, 79 blocks, and 48 aces. She will look to continue the school’s volleyball success as a senior captain on a team loaded with talent. She was outstanding in helping the NCVC 18-1 team to a bronze medal in the National Division at the Junior Nationals this past summer, but will seek gold in her final high school season.

Hannah Liserra

SCHOOL: St. Francis-Sacramento YEAR: Senior. POSITION: S WHY SHE’S HERE: The senior quarterbacked the Troubadours’ offense last year and will have plenty of options to set in 2012. Liserra distributed 1062 assists (8.9 per game) as a junior, and added 244 digs, 42 aces, 34 kills, and 34 blocks from her setter position. She has committed to Seattle University to continue her volleyball and education, but her first volleyball priority is another Div. I title this fall.

Kaya Johnson

SCHOOL: Bear River-Grass Valley YEAR: Senior. POSITION: S WHY SHE’S HERE: As a junior, Johnson handed out 935 assists at a clip of 9 per game. She coordinated the Bruins’ offense as they advanced to the Div. IV final before losing to eventualstate champion Union Mine. Teamed again with OH Sara Schell, Johnson could eclipse 1000 assists and earn another shot at a section championship in 2012.

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Photos by James K. Leash

Cassidy Denny

SCHOOL: El Camino-Sacramento YEAR: Senior POSITION: OH WHY SHE’S HERE: The Eagles will look to Denny to fill some of the void left by star hitter Natalie Riddering in their quest to repeat as SJS Div. II champions. Denny recorded 265 kills (38.9% hitting), 571 digs, and 77 aces as a junior. With more opportunities, she is likely to increase her offensive numbers significantly in 2012.

September 13, 2012



SJS Girls Golf Season Preview

Paige Lee, Granite Bay won’t rest until they land SJS title






September 13, 2012

By jim mccue | Contributor

or accomplished junior golfers, high school team practices could be easy to take for granted. Offseason schedules filled with travel and tournaments to face some of the best young regional, national, and even international golfers can trigger a lackadaisical practice round with classmates. Granite Bay senior Paige Lee cannot be counted among those who take an occasional “day off ” during the high school season. “Paige’s greatest strength is her work ethic,” said Jason Sitterud, who has been the Grizzlies’ girls’ golf coach since the program started 16 years ago. “She is meticulous in practice every day and tries to get the most out of her practice sessions.” Sitterud credits Lee’s work ethic and attention to detail in practice for her lack of mistakes when it counts. Lee has played for the Granite Bay varsity team since her freshman year and has yet to lose a match in three years. “I have a mindset and a purpose every time I practice,” she said. “I have a purpose and plan for everything I want to do for the day whenever I go out to practice or play.” That attention to detail has led to success on the junior amateur circuit and dominance at the high school level. Lee qualified for the CIF State Championships in each of the last two years and finished with the low score for underclassmen at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament, CIF/NCGA Northern California Championship, and at the CIF State Tournament in 2011. As the low-scoring returning individual, Lee understands that plenty of eyes will be on her and plenty of golfers will be looking to beat her any time she plays. But, the senior is familiar with pressure and unafraid of being a target on the golf course. “There is always pressure, whether it is

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“Getting to state is always in the back of my mind, but I know that I have to be focused for every match before that to reach that goal.”

from the outside or from yourself, so you just have to go out and play,” she said. “If it’s not your day, then you try to learn from it and move on.” Lee’s unflappable nature has developed from playing against top golfers ever since she dedicated herself to the sport at nine years old. Facing competition at The First Tee, on the junior amateur tour, and in international events such as the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships at Torrey Pines, Lee has experienced enough highs and lows to understand that a mental balance in the middle is necessary to succeed. Sitterud sees that balance regularly. He also sees an eagerness for Lee to improve the team, rather than just herself. “She enjoys being around the other girls and seeing her teammates get better,” he said. “She plays so much outside of high school that I think this helps her to be more wellrounded and to enjoy being a teenager.” While having fun during her senior year is no doubt a personal goal for Lee, she undoubtedly still eyes a state tournament berth with cold calculation. “I think that (reaching) state is always her goal,” Sitterud said. “She has the skills to do it and understands what it takes to make it there and to be successful at State.”

This year’s CIF tournament will be held at Red Hill Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga where Lee made her state tournament debut as a sophomore in 2010. A return trip to Southern California for a shot to be this year’s top girls’ golfer could provide an advantage for Lee and others getting a second shot at the course. Lee’s practical nature keeps her from thinking beyond the next round or match, but the senior admits that long-term goals are necessary. “Getting to state is always in the back of my mind, but I know that I have to be focused for every match before that to reach that goal,” she said. So, as the 2012 high school golf season begins, Lee if focused on the consistency of her tee shots, particularly with her driver, and keeping her solid short game in order. “She is still in the process of growing up and is getting stronger,” Sitterud said. “She has the ability to hit the ball further now, which is necessary to compete at the highest levels.” And you can be sure that Lee has a plan and a purpose to succeed at the highest levels, including the LPGA Tour that includes lots of practice. And no days off. ✪

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■ THE STATS: Lee led all Section underclassmen in 2011 at the Section Masters (72), NorCal Tournament (73), and CIF State Championship (76). She is undefeated in match play in three years at the varsity level and led the Grizzlies to an undefeated Sierra Foothill League season last year. ■ FAVORITE COURSE: Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey – “It is the best course with the best views.” ■ LOW SCORE: 66 – Micke Grove Golf Links (Lodi) and Torrey Pines Golf Course (La Jolla) ■ DREAM FOURSOME: Lee, Tiger Woods, Yani Tseng, and Bobby Jones ■ THE FUTURE: Lee is committed to play golf at UC Davis next year and hopes to one day play on the LPGA Tour. Photos by James K. Leash

September 13, 2012



SJS Girls Golf Season Preview: The Best of the Rest Other than Paige Lee, here’s a list of some of the top SJS talent to watch during 2012, plus three teams that join Granite Bay among the top contenders.

TOP individuals

■ Madelin Gedeon, Oakmont-Roseville, Sr. — Gedeon recorded top 10 finishes at the SJS Masters, CIF NorCals and state tournaments in 2011. Her 76 at state shares top SJS honors with Lee. ■ Kelsey Ulep, Whitney-Rocklin, Jr. — Over a very successful summer, Ulep captured the Sacramento City Junior Championship in August. She will attempt to qualify for her second NorCal tournament this season. As a sophomore, she finished second at the Masters Tournament with a 71. ■ Virgie Velazquez, Roseville, Sr. — After missing a trip to the NorCal tournament, the Tigers’ senior is focused on qualifying for the regional and state tourneys in 2012. She won the 45th Annual David Oxley Memorial Tournament at Diamond Oaks in June. ■ Emily Laskin, St. Francis-Sacramento, Jr. — Laskin is the top returner from a Troubadours’ team that qualified for the NorCal tournament. She shot 82 at the Masters and carded an 85 at NorCals. ■ Camille Wagg, Rocklin, Jr. — An up-and-coming star, Wagg finished fifth at the Sacramento City Junior Championship to emerge as a legitimate SJS contender. Her well-rounded game could make the Thunder a surprise in 2011.



September 13, 2012

■ Sara Scarlett, Woodland, Sr. — Scarlett burst onto the scene with a 76 at the Masters Tournament to qualify for the NorCal tourney where who finished in a tie for eighth place with a 74. She recently carded a third-place finish at the State Fair Championship at Haggin Oaks. ■ Hannah Gregg, Placer-Auburn, Sr. — A fouryear player for the Hillmen, Gregg has earned Pioneer Valley League MVP honors in each of her first three years. She shot an 81 at the Masters Tournament and is likely to be among the top finishers at the divisional and sectional levels in 2012.


■ St. Francis-Sacramento —The Troubadours won the Delta River League and Division I North titles before advancing as a team to NorCals despite just two seniors on the roster in 2011. ■ Granite Bay — Paige Lee is perhaps the area’s top individual, but the Grizzlies are not a one-girl team by any stretch. Senior Chiyoh Arai and juniors Deedra Dollesin and Amber Ly all return to a team that finished fifth at Masters. ■ Rocklin — The Thunder are very strong at the No. 1 spot with junior Camille Wagg, and return a host of underclassmen that gained experience last year. Senior Devyn Peterson joines Wagg and four sophomores in Taylor Sims, Serena Straub, Rachel Thorstenson, and Kelly Whelan. ■ Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove — The Eagles halted St. Francis’s long Delta River League winning streak and captured the Delta River League crown last year, so another year of experience could lift the team to section contender status.

Kelsey Ulep

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Placer coach savors win while championing cause close to home

SportStars NorCal Top 20 All records through Sept. 8 Rank (Last Wk.) School


1. (1)

De La Salle-Concord


2. (2)



3. (3)

Elk Grove


4. (4)

Bellarmine-San Jose


5. (5)



6. (6)



7. (8)

Serra-San Mateo


8. (9)

James Logan-Union City


9. (7)

Marin Catholic-Kentfield


10. (10)



11. (11)

Pleasant Grove-Elk Grove 2-1

12. (12)

Palo Alto


13. (15)



14. (16)



15. (13)

Del Oro-Loomis


16. (14)

Granite Bay


17. (18)



18. (NR)



19. (NR)



20. (NR)

Central Catholic-Modesto


Top 20 Facts-Figures-Fallout DROPPED OUT: Freedom-Oakley, Buhach ColonyAtwater, St. Mary’s-Stockton

BIGGEST MOVER: Nobody moved more than two spots this week, so we’ll give the nod to Campolindo who jumps into the rankings after a 3-0 start. The Cougars only loss since 2010 came in last years CIF Division III championship bowl game.

KNOCKING AT THE DOOR: St. Mary’s-Stockton (2-1), Nevada Union-Grass Valley (2-1), Chico (2-0), CaliforniaSan Ramon (3-0), Monte Vista-Danville (3-0), Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (3-0).

Placer High School improved to 2-0 with an impressive 4214 victory over Northern Section power Foothill-Palo Cedro on Sept. 7, but the Hillmen’s explosive wing-T offense and suffocating defense were not alone in increasing their profile. The game was one of seven varsity showcase games at Oak Ridge High that made up the Football for Families event, which raises awareness for the foster care system. “We have had two convincing wins over very good football teams,” Placer coach Joey Montoya, right, said of his team’s fast start. “And I couldn’t see playing for a greater cause. Helping those who are orphaned or homeless in our world is something I wish we could find a way to do better.” Montoya is intimately familiar with the plight of foster kids, especially those that are nearing the end of their time in the system. Montoya and his wife have taken in two high school students in recent years and seen first-hand the challenges of young adults with no full-time parents or caretakers. “It is both alarming and heart-wrenching,” Montoya said of foster kids nearing adulthood and facing the world on their own. “The college system offers some great perks to kids in the foster system, but the percentage of kids that get to that point to take advantage of that support if very low. The cards are really stacked against them.” Montoya said that he made it a point to share the cause with his players before they took the field to address the business of winning football games. While Placer has taken care of business with quality wins over Foothill and Central Catholic-Modesto, Montoya’s work is not done. In addition to spending time at the second day of the Football for Families event to help the cause, the coach was also taking time to scout Placer’s Week 3 opponent, Casa Roble-Orangevale. “I was out there to support the cause and to check out Casa (Roble) because we play them next,” Montoya said Saturday afternoon from his office on the Auburn campus. “Unfortunately, as a football coach, there are no real days off to enjoy the wins.”


Las Lomas’ Adam Wood boasts the improbable position listing of wide receiver/quarterback/linebacker. He also plays special teams. He’s pretty much on the field for every play. And in Friday night’s 35-21 loss to visiting Foothill-Pleasanton, it seemed like he was in on all of them, too. He intercepted Falcons sophomore quarterback Kyle Kearns in the second quarter to turn back a promising drive. He promptly gave it back, forcing a wobbly throw into the end zone with 34 seconds left in the half that Foothill defensive back Nick Mendonca nabbed to prevent the Knights from getting within a touchdown. Wood rallied, leading the Knights on an impressive 12-play, 68-yard, 5-minute drive before plunging straight ahead on a quarterback keeper for Las Lomas’ second touchdown. He also completed 8 of 11 pass attempts for 104 yards.

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Doug Guler/photo

He sacked Kearns on the ensuing Foothill possession, forcing a punt. Then, in the fourth quarter, when Greyson Bromstad came clean off the left edge of the defense to block Ray Hudson’s punt, the ball shot straight to — you guessed it — Adam Wood. Wood plucked the ball out of the air with a full head of steam heading the other direction, tucked into a phalanx of Knights blockers, broke at least two tackles, and rumbled 40 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown. “When the ball came to me, I thought, ‘Oh my god! We’re gonna score!’” Wood said between deep breaths after his busy night. “Honestly? I wasn’t thinking about tacklers at all, I could just see the wide open end zone. All night, guys were making plays, and I just kept being in the right place at the right time.” ✪ —Jim McCue/Bill Kolb, contributors

September 13, 2012



James K. Leash/photos

Franklin senior Kyran Harris is part of a Wildcats rushing attack that has seen six different players score TDs.

Wildcats’ pass and flash offense undergoes a true power surge By jim mccue | Contributor When Franklin-Elk Grove concluded its 2011 season, the program was on the rise and looking toward a promising future with 17 starters returning for the next season. The continuity and experience were sure to make opponents and observers take a hard look at the Wildcats as a legitimate contender in Division I of the Sac-Joaquin Section in 2012. While recognizable faces have brought the look of a champion, Franklin’s look on the field has been anything but familiar. “We returned 17 starters, but we have done a lot of tweaking to our system, so we still don’t know our identity,” coach Mike Johnson said after the Wildcats recorded a 38-28 season-opening victory over Thousand Oaks at the Battle for Veterans on Aug. 24. The Wildcats, who finished 8-4 with a quarterfinal loss



September 13, 2012

Franklin-elk grove to top-seeded Lincoln-Stockton in the Div. I playoffs, ran a spread offense built on speed. Johnson’s 2011 squad ran the ball twice as much as it passed the ball, but Franklin was known as a passing team with great outside speed. After the playoff loss, Johnson took a hard look at his offense and decided it was time to make some changes. “We saw what successful playoff teams did on offense and felt that we needed to add the dimension of running between the tackles well in order to go further this year,” he said. When the players returned to the field for workouts and practices over the summer, Johnson began to install a new version of the offense in an attempt to mimic the success of

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Wildcats quarterback Trent Spallas has still enjoyed some aerial success despite Franklin’s new commitment to the ground game. Through three games, Spallas has completed 20 of 37 passes for 276 yards and three scores.

perennial playoff contenders such as Del Oro-Loomis and powerful Div. I contenders that the Wildcats will have to face in the postseason. The offensive tweaks, while accepted by the offensive players, did not click right away. Johnson said it was a continual learning and adjustment process right up to the last days before the Wildcats’ season started against Thousand Oaks. In the opener against the Southern California power, Franklin struggled to find a rhythm early and appeared stagnant in the first quarter. But, rather than panic when a first quarter fumble gave the Lancers the ball deep in Franklin territory, the experienced Wildcats clamped down on defense to give the offense the boost it needed to kick start the new system. “We have so many senior leaders that we weren’t worried about the score,” said Trevon Lampley, who intercepted a pass in the end zone to shift the momentum in favor of his team. The new look Wildcats lined up almost exclusively in power formations for most of the remainder of the first half and outscored the Lancers 24-0 in the second quarter. “We know that we can pass and have been a pass-first team,” Johnson said. “We have not run (two tight end) sets before, but it seemed like that was all we were doing for a while.” That’s not to say that speed on the outside did not play a role in Franklin’s opener. Lampley, a senior speedster and a playmaker on both sides of the ball, took advantage of his teammates wearing down Thousand Oaks with inside handoffs to explode for four touchdowns, including a rushing score (sweep around end), an 87-yard punt return,

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September 13, 2012



Trevon Lampley has established himself as one of the most exciting players in the section in 2012. In the Wildcats’ season-opening game against Thousand Oaks, the senior scored four touchdowns and added two interceptions. and a pair of receiving scores capped off by a 48-yard hitch-and-go that left the Lancers defensive back helplessly in Lampley’s wake. The pounding continued a week later in Franklin’s home opener against Tracy. After 48 carries produced 245 rushing yards against Thousand Oaks, the Wildcats gouged Tracy’s defense to the tune of 315 yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries. Quarterback Trent Spallas, who attempted 19 passes in the opener, needed only 10 throws to gain 86 yards and one touchdown through the air. In the 33-0 shutout of Tracy, senior running backs Steven Rogers and Christian Fonbuena combined for 206 yards on 23 carries. Rogers had an economical 110 yards on just eight carries for a 13.7 yards per carry average, but scored on relatively short runs of 12 and 2 yards. Fonbuena, Franklin’s punishing backfield bruiser, racked up 96 hard-fought



September 13, 2012

yards on 15 carries. The new system seems to be working for Franklin, but Johnson is more concerned about how his offense’s ability to run between the tackles will translate later in the season, especially the playoffs. A challenging nonleague schedule to prepare for the grind of Delta Valley League play against the likes of Elk Grove, Grant-Sacramento, Monterey Trail-Elk Grove and hopefully beyond, is at the root of the Wildcats’ new system. “We still need to polish our game up,” he said. “We are trying to follow what guys like Coach (Ernie) Cooper (of Granite Bay) and Coach (Casey) Taylor (of Del Oro) do with scheduling these early games to be ready for the games at the end of the season.” With continued work and further tweaks, the Wildcats can become a familiar face among perennial playoff contenders. ✪

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Welcome to Impulse, your one-stop shop for gadgets, gizmos and gear. Compiled by staff writer Erik Stordahl, Impulse provides you with what’s currently hot on the market. Feast your eyes on a gridiron full of football goodies to get you ready for another season.


Asking us what our favorite brand is for gloves is an exercise in futility. Probably because no matter the grip, we’d STILL drop the ball. At any rate, have at it with Under Armour, Nike or Adidas.


Whether you need one to throw through a tire swing in your backyard like you’re on the set of Friday Night Lights, or if you’re about to play in the Super Bowl and you need to get your reps in, we recommend going with the Under Armour UA Gripskin 495.

Madden ‘13

When yours truly first played this series, the Buffalo Bills just reached their first of four straight Super Bowls. Needless to say, the Madden franchise has come a long way. In addition to buying and running your own franchise, which includes setting ticket, merch and hotdog prices, drafting players and negotiating their deals with agents and contending for a Super Bowl, you can still actually PLAY A FOOTBALL GAME. The latter’s become so realistic, it feels like Jim Harbaugh’s gonna sub you in on the next play. Don’t blow it!


Just like gloves, it’s nearly impossible to pick a brand of cleats and stick with it. For us it’s like picking our favorite issue of SSM. Nike, Under Armour and Adidas lead this race but it gets more nuanced than that when you get down to the nitty gritty. Cleats nowadays are specifically designed and engineered for speedsters WRs and RBs, woolly mammoth linebackers, and Joe Cool QB’s.

Fan gear

Once you’ve gotten all your rah-rah gear and you’ve draped yourself in school spirit, run out and buy jerseys, hats, T-shirts, earmuffs of your favorite NFL team. The season is here! Just don’t buy any Cowboys stuff because nobody will like you.

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NCAA Football ‘13

Now you can play as RG3, Tebow and other college legends on their rival teams. Grab a copy today and see it with your own eyes. The latest in the EA Sports franchise comes with a blitz package of all-new graphics, rosters, and rankings.

September 13, 2012



As die-hard high school and teen sports enthusiasts, we realize that you face many tough choices on what games to see, which athletes to watch and everything in between. 10 To Go is our attempt to lend a hand with such quandaries. Behold our list of the Top 10 things to put on your prep sports bucket list through the end of September. JAKE BROWNING: Deer Valley-Antioch at Folsom football, Sept. 14, 7 p.m. — The sophomore quarterbacking sensation has quickly established himself as Folsom’s newest spread offense superstar. He tossed 16 TD passes in his first three games (including a recordsetting 10 on Aug. 24). And speaking of records, when Folsom faced Deer Valley in Antioch a year ago, thenquarterback Tanner Trosin set a Northern California record with 597 passing yards. Browning torched that with 689 in his 10-TD performance, but unless Deer Valley has vastly improved its defense, more records could fall.


FOOTBALL: Archbishop Mitty-San Jose at Palo Alto, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m. — This might very well be a preview of a CCS Open Division semifinal, or possibly even championJake Browning ship. Mitty has made a strong Photo by Doug Guler showing in the early going after somewhat of a rebuilding year in 2011. Palo Alto entered the year on everyone’s radar as a team to beat in the CCS, thanks in large part to junior quarterback Keller Chryst.


CROSS COUNTRY: Nike Invitational, Sept. 15, Newhall Park, Concord, all day — Arguably the premier early-season cross country event, hosted by Concord’s De La Salle and Carondelet High prepares for its 18th running. The Invitational is known for drawing the Bay Area’s top-rated teams and individuals. Last year’s winner of the varsity girls race, Carrie Verdon of Campolindo-Moraga, went on to win a state title. Two of the top four varsity boys finishers a year ago ended up placing in the top six at state. Amador Valley’s Jena Pianin (pictured) returns after finishing third at the Nike Invite a year ago.

Bay Area Must Go




GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: Archbishop Mitty Volleyball Invitational, Sept 14-15, Mitty High, San Jose — Mitty, which has risen to the Top 10 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings, doesn’t just bring in the best teams from the Bay Area for its tournament, it brings in the best teams from across the state. This year’s field of 16 includes CampolindoMoraga, Presentation-San Jose, St. Francis-Mountain View, Santa Barbara, Vista del Lago-Folsom, Frontier-Bakersfield and Santa Margarita-Rancho Santa Margarita. There’s even one out-of-state team, Bishop Manogue-Reno (NV). No pool play, either. This is a straight-up 16-team, double-elimination tournament. Play begins at 2 p.m. on Sept. 14 and continues at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15 with the championship slated for 6 p.m. that evening.


Jonathan Hawthorne

September 13, 2012

Sophie Seiberth, Campolindo

Photo by Phillip Walton

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GOLF: Deer Valley Girls Golf Invitational, Sept. 17, Lone Tree Golf Course, Antioch, 12:30 shotgun — Always considered a strong tournament, the Deer Valley Invite typically hosts some of the best Northern California programs. The top five finishing teams at this tournament tend to consistently end up at the North Coast Section Tournament of Champions. Last year’s DVI champion, Foothill-Pleasanton, is likely to be back featuring the talented Sborov Sisters, Alex (pictured right) and Katie.


GOLF: Dan Ashley’s Friends of Camp Concord Tournament, Sept. 24, Round Hill Golf Club, Alamo, 11:30 a.m. shotgun — The ABC7 news anchor will host the 16th Annual playing of this tournament to raise money in support of Camp Concord-Lake Tahoe, a children’s summer camp established in 1967, that currently serves up to 100 young people each week throughout the summer. Rather than be a spectator, this one of the rare 10 to Go items that is open for participation. You can register to participate in the tournament at The registration cost includes a wine reception, dinner, raffle and a putting contest with a prize of $10,000. Not too shabby.


Norbert von der Groeben

sac joaquin Must Go FOOTBALL: Lincoln-Stockton at St. Mary’s-Stockton, Sept. 21, 7:15 p.m. — In a battle of extremely talented Stockton teams, this one boils down to the new guard vs. the old guard. After St. Mary’s represented Northern California in the 2009 CIF Division II state championship bowl game, the Rams have been in a rebuilding mode. And filling their shoes as Stockton’s powerhouse has been Lincoln. Lincoln went 11-2 a year ago behind the rising talent of RB Justin Davis and QB Zack Greenlee (pictured). However, St. Mary’s can lay claim to one of those two losses, beating the Trojans 35-27 last September.

BOYS WATER POLO: NCS/CCS Challenge, Sept. 28-29, multiple sites — Some of NorCal’s top programs plunge into a tournament featuring the best teams in the North Coast and Central Coast Sections. The tournament typically features 32 teams and is played out over four pools on multiple campuses. It’s a lot of water polo. First five rows may get wet.



James K. Leash

SOCCER: South Kent SchoolSouth Kent (CT.) at JesuitCarmichael — Jesuit is no stranger to being in the national spotlight, and after opening their season with a 6-0 record, the Marauders find themselves James K. Leash inside the Top 5 in the national rankings. Jesuit is also no stranger to hosting top tier programs from across the country, and South Kent is definitely one of them. South Kent went 19-0-1 in 2011 and closed its seasonwith an unbeaten streak of 28 matches. They did graduate star player Tre Ming, however.


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FOOTBALL: Salesian-Richmond at El Cerrito, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. — In all likelihood this game ought to end up crowning the champion for the new Tri-County League-Rock Division. Salesian entered the season on a 21game win streak after winning back-to-back NCS Division IV championships. But they are no longer in the comfort of the Bay Football League, and a talented El Cerrito team should have a legitimate chance to defeat the Pride if it can stay disciplined.


September 13, 2012



Beat the winter blues and keep in shape S o, the weather has begun to change, you’ve cleaned and put away the bike, and your wet suit is in the closet. Maybe you’ve raced three or fives races this season; maybe just one. But you’re physically and mentally tired. You don’t want to even look at most of your triathlon gear, especially in the area that you feel is the most challenging. The offseason has begun! What do you do now? Most people think, “Yes, ‘offseason!’ I get to sit around, watching TV and eating whatever I want!” Well, you could do that. But the offseason is not really off from the healthy lifestyle that you have started. You have spent months building your fitness, gaining strength and abilities, maybe even losing some weight — why waste all that work just to build it all again starting in February?  

Set a Positive Focus Really, the offseason is about a different focus. What you really need during the offseason is a physical, but mostly mental, break from triathlon training and racing. Triathlon takes a lot of equipment and a lot of mental focus. It’s tiring.  During the fall and winter, focus on your weakest link, like improving your swim form. With no distance or intensity needed for an upcoming race, you can enjoy swimming and focus more on form and feel. Or reward yourself by focusing on what you like to do best. We are lucky here in California to have nice weather through fall and most of winter. So you can go out for a bike ride just to enjoy being on the bike because you want to, not because you have to.   What I do is focus on running. During the winter when the weather is not so great, running is perfect. Running can be done just about anywhere and at any time. It can be done on a treadmill or outside. It takes the least amount of time for a quality fitness workout, relieves stress and keeps you in shape. Instead, you enjoyed fun winter training and have a better fitness and strength base. The only real piece of equipment you need is your running shoes.  

Indulge, You Deserve It!

But don’t lose what you’ve worked so hard to build. Fall and winter mean the holiday season is here. Kids are off from school, preparations are being made and family is in town; or you are traveling to visit relatives. Make sure to pack your running shoes! Your schedule may be off over the holidays, but make sure to schedule your workouts. You have put in so much time and effort, so keep up the good work and don’t put yourself in a place where you will have to rebuild your fitness. Have a great time, enjoy your time off from work, game nights with Liz Elliott the family, and just a break from the norm — but continue to enjoy the fitness you have built. Remember, even if you just have 20-30 minutes, get out for a run! Especially with more people in the house, a little “me time” may be just what you need.    If you need any extra motivation, include your family and friends. The kids will enjoy mom or dad time while riding a bike on a crisp autumn morning.    As far as eating: turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin or pecan pie — whatever most entices you, EAT IT! We all need a little break, so don’t be hard on yourself if you over-indulge. Enjoy what you love; it’s the holidays. Just keep in mind how the beginning of next triathlon season will feel.  

Tri Steps

Work on Form and Strength The winter is a perfect time to work on form and gain leg and core strength. During the actual triathlon season more focus is on distances, intensities and actually swimming, biking and running. Form, as well as leg and core strength, get squeezed, but mostly thrown to the wayside in lieu of a long bike ride.  

Stay Motivated by working out with people Training in winter can be tough. It’s cold and dark when you get off work, and Saturday morning is so chilly you see your breath — it’s not easy to crawl out of bed. Include your friends and family. Now that you can relax a bit with no impending race, some easy rides, runs and swims with a friend or family member not only introduces others to a fit lifestyle, but will make working out fun.  Mostly, have fun with fitness during the offseason, so you come back to triathlon with a better base and are refreshed mentally to reach new goals. ✪ Liz Elliott is the Head Coach of the Tri-Valley Triathlon Club based in Dublin. Liz specializes in preparing beginner triathletes for their first race(s). She was an All-American swimmer in college, and has over 20 years experience in teaching and coaching swimming. Contact her at Liz@



September 13, 2012

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Treating concussions starts with understanding what they are


ere we are at the start of the fall sport season and with it comes the start of football. The hottest topic in football these days is concussions. Whether it is in the NFL or at the high school level or down to Pop Warner, concussions are being discussed. In reality, studies have shown that most people don’t really know what a concussion is. On average, athletic trainers report 5-6 percent of athletes suffer a concussion each year. However, when athletes were educated on what a concussion is defined as, about 45 percent of them admit to having one in the past year. Why the discrepancy? Because when athletes don’t know what constitutes a concussion, they are unable to explain what they are feeling. So what is the definition of a concussion? A concussion first and foremost is a brain injury. It is caused by a blow to the head OR body that results in the brain moving rapidly inside the skull and hitting the inside wall of the skull. Picture throwing Jell-o at the wall, the brain is the Jell-o and the skull is the wall, not a pretty picture. It can result from a “ding”, “getting your bell rung” or even a milder bump to the head. Important points to remember are: ■ A concussion is a BRAIN INJURY ■ All concussions are SERIOUS ■ Concussions can occur WITHOUT loss of conscious-

ness ■ Concussions can occur IN ANY SPORT What to look for in young athletes who you believe may have suffered a concussion: ■ Appear dazed or confused ■ Confused about assignment or position ■ Forgets an instruction ■ Is unsure of game, score or opponent ■ Moves clumsily ■ Answers questions slowly ■ Loses consciousness at all ■ Shows behavior or personality changes ■ Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall ■ Can’t recall events after hit or fall It is important to remember that evidence shows no young athlete recovers the same day as a blow to the head. If there is any doubt regarding a concussion, there is no doubt. Seek immediate medical attention from a professional trained in concussion management. Information provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. For free materials visit ✪

Health Watch Tom Clennell

Tom Clennell is a physical therapist for the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes, a division of Children’s Hospital Oakland, with a facility also located in Walnut Creek. If you have questions or comments regarding the “Health Watch” column, write the Sports Medicine For Young Athletes staff at

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September 13, 2012





September 13, 2012

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Program design: Having a goal is good, knowing how to get there is better


ave you ever gotten into a car to go somewhere, realized you have no idea whatsoever how to get there, then started the car and drove off hoping to get there? I would think not. I ask this only because people start training every day expecting to get results, but have NO IDEA what path to follow to get there. So they spend countless hours, days, months, and years wandering around the gym expecting to somehow “arrive” at their destination. Modern science has allowed our species to gain more information about itself physiologically, which means we understand how to use specific stimuli OVER TIME to elicit a desired result with our bodies. The problem is that people, and even trainers, are too lazy to take the time to seek out this information. When that happens, the goal is to simply “get tired” while hoping you stumble upon a positive result. When it comes to program design, here are some basic guidelines in understanding how to structure your training program: First, choose a desired goal. Once a goal is chosen, understand how to get the body to REACT to a stimulus in a way that reflects your goal (example: a result/reaction of weight loss in a body comes from a stimulus of an increased heart rate and a strength training program to increase lean muscle mass and the testing metabolic rate) ■ Weight Loss = Increase heart rate during workouts and strength train to increase lean muscle mass to increase the metabolic rate, and in turn burn more calories to burn fat. ■ Weight/Mass Gain = Increase lean muscle mass by increasing caloric intake, and by a program design structure of 4-6 sets of 10-15 reps with weights between 55-75 percent of your 1 rep max in the selected exercise. And no more than 45-90 seconds rest between sets. ■ Strength Gain = First, build a greater muscle mass because more muscle allows a better ability to gain strength (“You can’t flex bone”). Next, use a program design structure of 5-8 sets of 1-6 reps with weights between 75-95 percent of your 1 rep max and approximately 2-3 minutes rest between sets. ■ ower Development = Gain strength first, because power’s most important attributing factor is strength. Next, use a program design structure of 3-6 sets of 4-12 reps with weights between 65-85 percent of your 1 rep max with 1:30-2:30 minutes rest — all while moving the weight as explosively as possible using IMMACULATE form and technique. Trying to work on power using poor form can quickly cause injury. Have a progression or structure of phases to build up to. This is called periodization. This can come in multiple forms and has been coined “Muscle Confusion” most recently in a popular program. All it means is that you must consistently change the program you follow so the body continues to make changes and not plateau. Once the program is created, FOLLOW IT THROUGH using the law of the harvest. That means put the work in CONSISTENLY over time and reap the rewards later, because no one plants a seed and grows a tree over night. BE PATIENT. If you keep jumping around you’ll NEVER see the results you want. This information is the most basic foundation to understanding how to create a program for yourself. Follow it consistently and watch your body make great changes over time. ✪

Powered by Trucks

Anthony Trucks

Anthony Trucks was a decorated football player for Antioch High and the University of Oregon before spending time on multiple NFL rosters. His Trucks Training facility has been operating since 2008. Powered By Trucks runs once a month in the magazine and will include additional content at Send your weight training questions to Anthony at

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September 13, 2012





September 13, 2012

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Support Your Local Business • Say You Found Them In SportStars™

September 13, 2012



Advertiser Index ❒❒ 3rd Annual Baseball With The Pros......................................35 ❒❒ Hyatt Place Sacramento / Roseville.....................................36 ❒❒ A A A Northern California, Nevada & Utah...........................12 ❒❒ Image Imprint.....................................................................38 ❒❒ All World Sports..................................................................39 ❒❒ Kinders B B Q.........................................................................5 ❒❒ Army National Guard Recruiter..............................................7 ❒❒ Midway Paintball Park........................................................34 ❒❒ Back Forty B B Q..................................................................35 ❒❒ Mountain Mike’s Pizza.........................................................15 ❒❒ Bay Area Blast Volleyball Club.............................................33 ❒❒ Norcal Courts.......................................................................28 ❒❒ Bay Area Golf Show.............................................................22 ❒❒ Big O Tires.............................................................................2 ❒❒ Passthaball..........................................................................37 ❒❒ Cal Bears.............................................................................36 ❒❒ Rocco’s Pizza........................................................................34 ❒❒ Championship Athletic Fundraising....................................38 ❒❒ Rockin Jump..................................................................33, 40 ❒❒ Cheergyms.Com..................................................................37 ❒❒ Sheldon Jr. Huskies Youth Football & Cheer.........................34 ❒❒ Children’s Hospital And Research Center..............................27 ❒❒ Simply Selling Shirts...........................................................34 ❒❒ Club Sport...........................................................................18 ❒❒ Sky High Sports...................................................................34 ❒❒ Community Youth Center....................................................37 ❒❒ Star Sports..........................................................................31 ❒❒ Core Volleyball Club.............................................................34 ❒❒ Crowne Plaza......................................................................37 ❒❒ Stevens Creek Toyota.............................................................9 ❒❒ Diablo Car Wash & Detail Center..........................................37 ❒❒ Sutter Delta...........................................................................3 ❒❒ Diablo Rock Gym...................................................................8 ❒❒ The First Tee Of Contra Costa................................................37 ❒❒ Diablo Trophies & Awards....................................................34 ❒❒ ❒❒ E J Sports Elite Baseball Services.........................................34 ❒❒ ❒❒ E Teamsponsor....................................................................34 ❒❒ ❒❒ East Bay Sports Academy..............................................14, 33 ❒❒ ❒❒ Excellence In Sport Performance.........................................33 ❒❒ Garaventa Enterprises.........................................................32 ❒❒

The First Tee Of Contra Costa Match Play..............................24 Tpc / The Pitching Center.....................................................36 Trucks Training......................................................................8 U S K S Martial Arts.............................................................37 Umigo Indoor Kart Racing...................................................19

❒❒ Halo Headband...................................................................32 ❒❒ Velocity Sports Performance...................................... 6, 8, 33, ❒❒ Home Team Sports Photography.........................................36 ❒❒ Wingstop Restaurants.........................................................26



September 13, 2012

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SJ Issue 52, Sept 13, 2012  

Sac-Joaquin Issue 51, September 13, 2012

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