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SSNOW ISSUE 64 MARCH 1, 2018


The High Schools Boys VB Stars And The Clubs They’ve Powered To Nationals NATIONAL BAKER’S DOZEN Thirteen Northern California Volleyball Association teams qualified for the USAV Boys Junior Nationals in the 15U18U divisions. The tournaments take place in Phoenix this summer. 18 OPEN DIVISION Bay to Bay VC 18-1 Mountain View VC 18 Red Northern California VC 18-1 Aspics 18 USA DIVISION Mountain View VC 18 Black Pacific Rim Volleyball Academy 18 Orange 17 OPEN DIVISION Bay to Bay VC 17-1 Mountain View VC 17 Red

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17 USA DIVISION Apache VC 17-1 Mountain View VC 17 Black 16 USA DIVISION Mountain View VC 16 Black Slainte VC 16-1 Platinum 15 OPEN DIVISION Bay to Bay VC 15-1 Mountain View VC 15 Red

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As the high school boys volleyball season nears, here’s a look at some of the top high school players in the area whose club teams are qualified for the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships, which take place July 1-9 in Phoenix. BRETT ALLEN (pictured above) School: Bellarmine-San Jose Club: Bay to Bay VBC 18-1 Height/Position/Grade: 6-2, OH, Sr. Allen was a force for a Bells team which went 31-11 and finished as NorCal Division I runners-up in 2017. He posted 312 kills and 37 aces for Bellarmine. COLTON BROOKS School: Amador Valley-Pleasanton Club: Bay to Bay VBC 17-1 Height/Position/Grade: 6-4, OH, Jr. The Dons were quite a story in 2017, improving 16-14 to 36-1. Brooks helped Amador win its first 36 games, claiming EBAL and NCS Div. I titles along the way. DOUG DAHM School: Monte Vista-Danville Club: Pacific Rim VB Academy 18 Orange Height/Position/Grade: 6-4, OPP, Jr. Dahm was a standout for the Mustangs team as he logged 156 kills and 129 digs over 67 sets played. WILL DOMINGUEZ School: Mountain View Club: Bay to Bay VBC 17-1 Height/Position/Grade: 7-1, MH, Jr. At 7-1, if Dominguez got a set for the

Spartans it was all but assured to find the deck. He had 106 kills in 186 attempts and also added 26 solo blocks. DAWSON FUGATE School: Del Oro-Loomis Club: Northern California VC 18-1 Asics Height/Position/Grade: 6-5, OH, Sr. The Long Beach State-bound hitter was the SportStars All-City Team Volleyball Player of the Year in 2017 after posting 393 kills, 41 blocks, 266 digs and 82 assists for the Golden Eagles. JEROD NELSEN School: St. Francis-Mountain View Club: Mountain View VC 18 Red Height/Position/Grade: 6-5, OH, Sr. Nelsen posted 381 kills, 36 aces and 37 blocks to help lead St. Francis to a 34-3 record and CCS Div. I championship in 2017; He also competed for Team USA in the FIVB U19 World Championships. DANIEL LIEN School: Lynbrook-San Jose Club: Bay to Bay VBC 18-1 Height/Position/Grade: 5-7, DS, Sr. The talented back row player was a cocaptain for a Vikings team which went 19-6 in 2017. He posted 178 digs and

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more than 300 serve receives. BRIAN ROSS School: Bellarmine-San Jose Club: Bay to Bay VBC 18-1 Height/Position/Grade: 6-2, S, Sr. Ross was the primary setter for the Bells in 2017, posting 763 assists at an average of 7.7 per set. He also added 151 digs on the season. ZACHARY SMITH School: Serra-San Mateo Club: Mountain View VC 18 Red Height/Position/Grade: 6-1, S/OH, Sr. Smith is a versatile weapon for a Padres team which went 20-13 a season ago. He’s already a two-time All-West Catholic Athletic League honoree, earning First-Team honors as a sophomore in 2016. ANTHONY WONG School: Bellarmine-San Jose Club: Mountain View VC 17 Red Height/Position/Grade: 6-2, OH, Jr. Reached 102 kills while seeing action in 70 sets during his sophomore year with the Bells. He should see even bigger numbers as a junior.

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March 1, 2018

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Opening Up The Open A

recent column in this space looked at CIF boys and girls basketball playoffs this season that probably won’t include the types of talented teams we’ve been used to seeing in the divisional state title games, especially from Div. III and below. It’s now time to go over some changes that the CIF’s section commissioners approved in January that relate to the Open Division regional playoffs. This year’s NorCal Open Division pairings will be announced March 4, but the changes are not just for basketball. They apply to any CIF playoff in any sport with an Open Division. It appears not that many basketball coaches are aware of those changes. According to CIF Director Cici Robinson during a conversation with Cal-Hi Sports on Feb. 16, the CIF section commissioners voted in January to abolish the 50 percent section rule for all state divisions and also voted to eliminate the often confusing criteria for teams that could be moved up from any division into the Open Division. The bottom line is it will allow the CIF to choose a fifth or even a sixth team to be moved into the Open Division (in the north or south) from any one section. There would no longer be a limit of four, and every team is eligible to be moved up. One misconception has been that the limit of just four teams from any one section has only applied to the Open Division. “It was 50 percent from any one section in any division,” said Robinson, who is in her first year at the CIF state office as a director and is doing the job for the boys and girls state playoffs that was done the last few years by Senior Director Brian Seymour (he’s still at the CIF state office but directed wrestling this year). “And it’s obviously been a priority and will continue to be a priority for each (CIF) section to be represented at each division level of the playoffs.” The CIF would still prefer to fill Open Divisions from all sections as much as possible. It’s just that they don’t have to do that anymore. The criteria for the Open Division prior to this winter season forced coaches and media members alike to check how each team fared in the previous four seasons (including the current season) to see if that team was eligible for the Open Division. Teams also could declare if they wanted to be considered for the Open Division or decide not to move up if they didn’t qualify. Without all that criteria, the CIF can now just look at various rankings (including Cal-Hi Sports and MaxPreps), head-to-head results and use common sense and choose whichever teams it wants for the Open Division. For this year’s NorCal Open Divisions in boys and girls basketball, those changes probably won’t matter. On the boys side, teams like Salesian-Richmond from the CIF North Coast Section, Modesto Christian, Folsom and Sheldon-Sacramento from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section would all be Open Division possibilities, but it doesn’t look like any one NorCal section has four or more Open Division teams. For the girls, the math is even easier as state Top 15 teams Archbishop Mitty, St. Mary’s-Stockton, Pinewood-Los Altos Hills and Carondelet-Concord are all from different sections. There have been plenty of seasons from the past, however, in which the NCS has had more than four legit NorCal Open Division teams for both boys and girls. Those two rules being eliminated may have a bigger impact in a sport like girls volleyball. It’s been a running joke in the West Catholic Athletic League that because of the limit of four in the NorCal Open Division that the fifth-place team from the league is the one with the best

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odds of winning a state title. That’s because the top four all tend to be in the NorCal Open. Keeping with girls volleyball, since the CIF doesn’t have that Open Division criteria to deal with any more, the discontinuance of the two rules wouldn’t have made a difference in Turlock’s controversial appearance in the NorCal Open Division. In that case, the CIF committee simply could have said it was moving up the Bulldogs because of their head-to-head win against St. Ignatius-San Francisco. Robinson added that when the CIF commissioners meet to seed the boys and girls basketball playoffs they will continue to make it a priority not to have two teams from the same section that just played each other in a section final play again in the regionals. “When avoidable, we never want to repeat a section playoff that just happened,” she said. The Open Divisions in CIF regional and state playoffs are here to stay, but it’s likely that more changes to how they are conducted will happen. There are those in the CIF who would like to see a process in which a first-round loser of an eight-team Open Division bracket is able to bounce back down to Division I so that its season isn’t over just like that. Such a team would essentially have a bye in that first-round of D1, but if the Open Division truly is for the eight best teams then the CIF should give preferred treatment to those same teams. One of the biggest criticisms of the Open Division in the CIF is that the state and sections that have them tend to conduct their playoffs as if the Open Division was just the same as all of the others. It’s not. Those teams are supposed to represent the best of the best and should be presented to the public that they’re the best of the best. Not the same as a Div. III or IV team that any of the Open Division qualified teams would crush. The good news is that having an Open Division guarantees that if the Mitty and St. Mary’sStockton girls qualify for the NorCal Open Division, the likelihood is that the two top-10 national powers will play each other in a regional final. Under the old system of enrollments, it would not have been guaranteed. ✪

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CLASHIN 1. (1) 2. (2) 3. (3) 4. (4) 5. (6) 6. (5) 7. (7) 8. (8) 9. (9) 10. (11) 11. (10) 12. (12) 13. (14) 14. (15) 15. (NR) 16. (13) 17. (16) 18. (18) 19. (20) 20. (NR)

1. (1) 2. (2) 3. (3 4. (4) 5. (5) 6. (6) 7. (7) 8. (8) 9. (9) 10. (11) 11. (12) 12. (13) 13. (14) 14. (NR) 15. (15) 16. (16) 17. (NR) 18. (18) 19. (19) 20. (20)

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BOYS TOP 20 Records through Feb. 26 — Salesian-Richmond 28-1 — Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland 23-5 — Modesto Christian 26-3 — Sheldon-Sacramento 25-4 ▲ Bellarmine-San Jose 22-3 ▼ Dublin 25-4 — Capital Christian-Sacramento 22-7 — Folsom 25-4 — Clayton Valley-Concord 25-2 ▲ Berkeley 23-5 ▼ St. Francis-Mountain View 19-6 — Heritage-Brentwood 26-2 ▲ Palo Alto 23-2 ▲ Las Lomas-Walnut Creek 26-2 ▲ Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 10-15 ▼ Menlo School-Atherton 23-2 ▼ St. Ignatius-S.F. 16-9 — De La Salle-Concord 21-8 ▲ Moreau Catholic-Hayward 21-6 ▲ St. Mary’s-Stockton 21-8 GIRLS TOP 20 Records through Feb. 26 — Archbishop Mitty-San Jose 25-0 — St. Mary’s-Stockton 24-2 — Folsom 26-3 — Salesian-Richmond 24-5 — Pinewood-Los Altos Hills 24-1 — St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda 25-4 — Carondelet-Concord 20-8 — Miramonte-Orinda 24-4 — Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa 26-4 ▲ Bear Creek-Stockton 27-2 ▲ Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland 17-10 ▲ Heritage-Brentwood 22-6 ▲ Eastside College Prep-East Palo Alto 20-5 ▲ Presentation-San Jose 21-4 — Pleasant Valley-Chico 19-4 — San Ramon Valley-Danville 25-4 ▲ Edison-Stockton 23-6 — Dublin 24-5 — Piedmont 23-5 — Castro Valley 21-5

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California’s road map to a state high school basketball championship will be drawn out in earnest over what is sure to be a long Sunday, March 4, for the California Interscholastic Federation’s 10 section commissioners and its basketball regionals selection committee. The first order of business for the commissioners and selection committee will be to select 32 programs — eight boys and girls teams from the North and eight of each from the South — to compete for the Open Division championships. The Open Division is theoretically comprised of the most elite teams in the state regardless of school size. This will be the first year the Open Division participants will be selected without any specific criteria, or restrictions on how many teams can be selected from any one section. Also, there’s no opting in, or out, of this division. Once a team is selected, its only choice is lace up those sneaks and try to win it all. One would think things would get easier on the selection committee after the Open brackets are set, but that’s unlikely. This will also be the first year that competitive equity is the sole factor in creating the Division I through V tournament fields. Enrollment is no longer a factor. Strength of schedule, recent play, and even notable injuries, will more likely be the driving force in where teams wind up and what seed they draw. We’re not entirely sure as to what those committee individuals are thinking as Selection Day nears, but we can offer a glance at 10 of the NorCal section championship we think members may be watching closely on Friday and Saturday (March 2-3). — By Chace Bryson

›› CENTRAL COAST SECTION BOYS OPEN DIVISION MATCHUP: No. 7 Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (11-15) vs. No. 1 Bellarmine-San Jose (23-3) DETAILS: 8 p.m., March 2 at Santa Clara University LOWDOWN: Mitty is a special kind of bracket buster. They enter the final having won nine of their last 12, but the Monarchs aren’t just a team that got hot at the right time. They are a championship caliber team whose record doesn’t really do them justice. Six of their 15 losses were to SoCal or out-of-state opponents, and five of their nine losses to NorCal opponents were by four points or less. Perhaps most importantly here is that their recent tear includes a 67-56 win over visiting Bellarmine on Jan. 30. Bellarmine is likely a CIF Open team win or lose, but it’s hard to see Mitty being placed there even with a victory. GIRLS OPEN DIVISION MATCHUP: No. 2 Pinewood-Los Altos Hills (25-1) vs. No. 1 Archbishop Mitty-San Jose (26-0) DETAILS: 6 p.m., March 2 at Santa Clara University LOWDOWN: Pinewood enters this matchup on a 20-game win streak — its only defeat of the season a 53-51 loss to SalesianRichmond on Dec. 7. And despite facing the undefeated No. 1-ranked team in the nation, the Panthers won’t be considered a heavy underdog by any standard. In fact, the gap between the two teams narrowed when Mitty senior post Nicole Blakes (14.5 points, 6.6 rebounds) recently suffered a season-ending knee injury.

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Hannah Jump, Pinewood

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NG for CLARITY ›› NORTH COAST SECTION

James Akinjo, Salesian

Garrett Pascoe, Clayton Valley DIV. I BOYS MATCHUP: No. 3 Heritage-Brentwood (27-2) vs. No. 1 Clayton Valley Charter (26-2) DETAILS: 8 p.m., March 2 at Saint Mary’s College (Moraga) LOWDOWN: This game features everything good about high school hoops. Both teams are in the midst of easily their best seasons ever. Both teams are chasing their first section title. Heritage is in its first final, and Clayton Valley is in its first in 14 seasons. Both public schools will have massive student body turnout, creating an electric vibe for an evenly matched affair. The winner likely earns a ticket to the Open. Maybe the loser too?

DIV. II BOYS MATCHUP: No. 2 Las Lomas-Walnut Creek (27-2) at No. 1 Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland (24-5) DETAILS: 5 p.m., March 3 at Saint Mary’s College LOWDOWN: Bishop O’Dowd comes into the game as SportStars’ No. 2-ranked team in NorCal, a win in this game certainly places them in the Open Division and likely as a top four seed. Las Lomas, even with a win, feels like a longshot for the Open. The Knights, who are seeking their first title in 10 seasons, do have a win over Clayton Valley this season. Their overall strength of schedule isn’t quite on par with some other Open contenders, though. DIV. III BOYS MATCHUP: No. 2 Campolindo-Moraga (19-9) vs. No. 1 SalesianRichmond (29-1) DETAILS: 1 p.m., March 3 at Saint Mary’s College LOWDOWN: Campolindo is the other team to claim a win over Clayton Valley this season, a 100-98 double-overtime thriller in January. Despite that, the Cougars will be considered a significant underdog against a Salesian team which enters as the Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 1 team in the state (as well as SportStars’ NorCal No. 1). Salesian should win and secure the top seed in the NorCal Open bracket.

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Emily Howie, Carondelet DIV. I GIRLS MATCHUP: No. 2 Heritage-Brentwood (236) vs. No. 1 Carondelet-Concord (21-8) DETAILS: 6 p.m., March 2 at Saint Mary’s College LOWDOWN: This is a rematch of last year’s Division I final which Carondelet won handily, 56-31. There’s reason to think that a more experienced Heritage team will have closed the gap this time around, but likely not all the way. Still, the Patriots enter with confidence having won 13 straight. Meanwhile, Carondelet has consistently stayed amongst the top 8 in SportStars’ NorCal rankings throughout the season. They enter the weekend at No. 7 and moderate-to-strong Open candidates.

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DIV. II GIRLS MATCHUP: No. 2 Bishop O’DowdOakland (18-10) vs. No. 1 Miramonte-Orinda (25-4) DETAILS: 7 p.m., March 3 at Saint Mary’s College LOWDOWN: Miramonte won the Div. II section championship by 40 points over Montgomery-Santa Rosa last season. It won’t have that easy of a time against Bishop O’Dowd. Both teams are on a relatively dominant stretch. Miramonte enters having won 15 straight and O’Dowd has won nine in a row. The top-seeded Matadors are likely on the bubble of making the Open Division. A win would probably cement that. The Dragons are on the outside looking in, but could perhaps change perception with a convincing victory.

DIV. III GIRLS MATCHUP: No. 2 Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (27-4) vs. No. 1 Salesian-Richmond (25-5) DETAILS: 3 p.m., March 3 at Saint Mary’s College LOWDOWN: Cardinal Newman enters as our No. 9-ranked NorCal team and has won 13 straight. It will be the sentimental favorites over the NorCal No. 4 Pride after what happened to the school’s campus and surrounding neighborhoods during the North Bay Wildfires in October. Cardinal Newman guard Maiya Flores was one of approximately 100 students and faculty members who lost homes. Salesian is the defending Div. III champion (defeating Bishop O’Dowd 46-42 last season) and should be an Open team regardless based on its strength of schedule and quality wins.

›› SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION DIV. I BOYS MATCHUP: No. 2 Modesto Christian (27-3) vs. No. 1 Sheldon-Sacramento (26-4) DETAILS: 8 p.m., March 3 at Univ. of Pacific (Stockton) LOWDOWN: This is a showdown between No. 3 and No. 4 in NorCal. They will certainly both be Open teams, so this game is not only about a title, but who would get to host if they meet again later. Modesto Christian (NorCal No. 3) has just one loss to a NorCal team this season (to Salesian, 76-62 on Jan. 15). Sheldon has won 19 straight and has only one NorCal loss as well, a Dec. 8 loss to Capital ChristianSacramento that they would later Michael Pearson, Modesto Christian avenge on Jan. 20. DIV. I GIRLS MATCHUP: No. 2 Folsom (27-3) vs. No. 1 St. Mary’s-Stockton (25-2) DETAILS: 6 p.m., March 3 at Univ. of Pacific LOWDOWN: This is another matchup where both teams are essentially playing for a better seed in the Open Division. St. Mary’s is ranked No. 5 in the nation by MaxPreps and hasn’t lost in 2018. A win would unquestionably make them the No. 2 Open seed behind Mitty (assuming the Monarchs beat Pinewood). Folsom is home to NorCal’s only McDonald’s All-American: star guard McKenzie Forbes. The Bulldogs are a worthy opponent for the Rams, but still underdogs. 12

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CIF Wrestling Championships By Ike Dodson

Waterford senior Kyle Brown peered onto the center floor at the Stockton Arena last week and gestured toward the semifinal bouts taking place during the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Wrestling Championships. “You know that 195-pounder from Oakdale,” he said, referring to state gold medal favorite Colby Harlan. “I beat him once.” His own coach, Rick LaFerriere, and coach Glen White of rival Ripon, turned in bewilderment. “When did you do that?” LaFerriere asked. “When we were 10 years old,” Brown said with an ear-to-ear grin. “Still counts,” White said with a smile. When you are as good as Colby Harlan, even a fifth-grade triumph over you is a worthy conservation starter. It’s the kind of lore that wrestling breeds. You know

Blake Frederickson

106 POUNDS

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Antonio Lorenzo

113 POUNDS

Overview: Two wrestlers undefeated in state competition, Richard Figueroa (freshman) of Selma and Blake Fredrickson (junior) of Windsor, are an undisputed top-2 here, since they both beat No. 3 Carlos Negrete of Clovis North-Fresno. Figueroa, ranked fourth in the nation, has the better pedigree out-of-state, and is expected to contend for four straight state titles in his career. NorCal’s best hope: Central Coast Section champ Jayden Gomez of Gilroy and Sac-Joaquin Section winner Jake Stone of Oakmont-Roseville could meet in the second round of the tournament. The winner of that match would see Fredrickson in the next round, leaving NorCal’s best eggs in the same quarterfinal basket. Upset special: Don’t be surprised if No. 3 seed Johnathon Prata of Downey repeats his state championship. Will Giron of Turlock, a junior seeded 11th, is still smarting from a semifinal round defeat to Stone last week, and may take his issues out on No. 6 Ramiro Castillo of Central-Fresno in the round of 16. 14

someone, somewhere is telling a “I beat Dan Gable in middle school” story, or perhaps even a “I scored a point on Cael Sanderson” story. To be worthy of legends, you have to achieve greatness, something the California Interscholastic Federation hands out in medal form at the CIF State Championships Saturday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. The two-day tournament, featuring 14 weight classes, pits the best wrestlers in the state, regardless of enrollment or division, in thrilling 40-man brackets that unfold before the most boisterous prep sports fans on the planet. Below is a preview of the action to come, broken down by weight, with a special look at NorCal’s best shots at greatness, upsets to anticipate and our final NorCal rankings, featuring only the qualifiers of this tournament. Who will emerge a legend?

March 1, 2018

Nicolas Aguilar

Overview: Former Del Oro-Loomis wrestler Antonio Lorenzo, now at St. John Bosco-Bellflower, is ranked 10th in the nation and a big-time favorite here. He could draw Central Section champ Maximo Renteria in the semifinals. NorCal’s best hope: Caydin Wickard of Golden Valley-Merced was dominant at SJS Masters, and is Northern California’s best chance of bringing home some state hardware. He’s seeded eighth and would draw Lorenzo in the quarterfinals. CCS champ Eric Sanchez of Silver Creek-San Jose (No. 11) has a good chance to make the quarters and see No. 2 seed Jason Miranda of Poway. Upset special: Look out for Jimmy Heryford of Sutter, a three-time Northern Section champ and state qualifier who hasn’t won his first state match, but can do it in style against state No. 12 Amuro Easton of Calvary Chapel-Santa Ana in the opening round.

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120 POUNDS Overview: The first good shot at a NorCal state title falls upon Nicolas Aguilar of Gilroy, a four-time state qualifier and two-time runner-up. Aguilar has narrowly beaten his toughest competition and will need to wrestle tough to maintain his top seed. Aguilar could draw Jacob Allen of Poway in the semifinals. Aguilar has won two of their three head-to-head matches this season. NorCal’s best hope: This is a good weight class for NorCal wrestlers. Brenden Johnson (Del Oro-Loomis), Henry Porter (Oakdale), Antonio Margiotta (Las LomasWalnut Creek), Dakota Unpingco (Freedom-Oakley) and Jacob Peralta (Vacaville) are all seeded in the top 16. Any of them could medal. Upset special: Porter dropped a match to Johnson in the SJS finals, but he’s beaten six-seed Cole Reyes of Frontier-Bakersfield, who was fourth in state a year ago. Expect Porter to upset someone, possibly seven-seed Brandon Paulson of Clovis in the round of 16. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!


126 POUNDS Overview: Cleveland Belton of St. John Bosco-Bellflower is so good, he pinned No. 3 seed Ethan Leake (Buchanan-Clovis) in 23 seconds. He enters as one of the biggest favorites after winning the Southern Section. NorCal’s best hope: Angelo Martinoni of Folsom is destined for that podium, it’s just a matter of where. Martinoni has won six straight tournaments, including the Tim Brown, MidCals and the SJS Masters. He’s seeded fourth and faces a tough draw with Aaron Perez of James Logan-Union City in his third match. Upset special: Martinoni, Chase Saldate (Gilroy), Kyle Parco (De La Salle-Concord), Lokahi Tonge (Elk Grove) and Jose Fernandez (Upper Lake) have the 5-9 seeds in consecutive order and will all be in serious medal contention. Look out for Devin Holman of El CapitanMerced, who has a knack for falls. He pinned four of his opponents at the SJS Masters.

Alex Felix

132 POUNDS Overview: National No. 4 Jesse Vasquez of Santiago-Corona is one of three nationally-ranked wrestlers in this class. He likely awaits winner of a highly-anticipated semi between No. 2 Chase Zollmann of Poway and No. 3 Alex Felix of Gilroy. Zollmann beat Felix in an overtime tiebreaker to win MidCals at the end of January. NorCal’s best hope: Felix hasn’t lost to Vasquez, and he could get past Zollmann to win that first meeting and make his fourth state medal at 132 a gold.

Peyton Omania

145 POUNDS Overview: The second weight with a top NorCal seed drops in the lap of Peyton Omania of De La Salle, who has split with Jake Ryan of Oakdale (No. 3 seed). NorCal’s best hope: Omania has an easier road to the finals, but nothing comes easy at state. Whoever has the best tournament can win this bracket. Upset special: Sanchez O’leary of Lowell-S.F. is a rare San Francisco Section wrestler who finishes in the top 10 after a regular season of nearly 30 wins. He could roll up a few wins in consolation.

Upset special: Eli Blake of Del Oro, seeded 11th, already defeated the No. 6 seed, Robert Areyano of Selma, in a 4-3 thriller back in December. Blake could repeat that feat to reach the quarterfinals and see Felix.

Noah Blake, left

160 POUNDS Overview: The three returning state medalists, topseeded Joshua Kim of Santiago-Corona, No. 2 Noah Blake of Del Oro and No. 3 Joel Romero of BuchananClovis all won their sections and should reach at least the state semifinals. Blake beat Romero by two points and set his sights on Kim when the Santiago senior bumped up to 160 and took over the top ranking. NorCal’s best hope: Blake wrestles at a furious pace, and finished all his SJS Masters opponents by pin, in a maddening three minutes and 28 seconds of mat time. His cardio is superb and he should hustle his way to a thrilling showdown with Kim in the finals. Upset special: Anderson’s Rodney Kincaid would be seeded in the top 15, if not for surprising defeats the first week he cut to this weight class. Expect a welladjusted Kincaid, a three-match winner at state last year, to be all No. 6 seed Michael Goldfeder of BuckleyShermen Oaks can handle in the round of 16.

138 POUNDS

170 POUNDS

Overview: National No. 5 Jaden Abas of Rancho Bernardo-San Diego was second at the prestigious Walsh Ironman-Ohio and is a two-time top-3 finisher in state. He’s only lost one match this season, but he hasn’t faced Vacaville’s Lawrence Saenz (second seed), who is unbeaten at 138 and won a fourth-place medal at state last year. NorCal’s best hope: Saenz is Vacaville’s best chance at state gold and can win the finale if he can get past Buchanan’s Matt Olguin, the Central Section champ, in the semifinals. Upset special: Michael Mello of Oak Ridge-El Dorado Hills, the 13 seed, could upset No. 4 Dawson Sihavong of Bullard-Fresno, considering he already pinned him once this year. Northern Section champion Dalton Lakmann (Foothill-Palo Cedro) and runner-up Ricky Landeros (Orland) should medal here. Don’t be surprised if Thomas Grey of Oakland Tech gets a win here.

Overview: Christian Rodriguez of Selma is a big favorite to win his second state medal. He was fifth at the same weight class a year ago. He beat No. 2 seed Mark Cardwell of Monache in the finals of last week’s Central Section tournament, and could beat his rival for a third time this season in the bracket final. NorCal’s best hope: No. 5 seed Gabe Martinez was beaten by Rodriguez by only one point this year, in the finals of the Bakersfield Rumble for the Rig in December. To get a rematch, Martinez needs to get by No. 4 Dylan Miracle of Madera South, who was fourth in the stacked Central Section last week. Upset special: Hussien Abbushi of Arroyo-San Lorenzo wasn’t on any radars during the regular season, but he finished 21-6 before consecutive wins to take the NCS championship. He landed a good draw in a winnable grouping of five and could steal the No. 8 seed’s trip to the quarterfinals.

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JT Stinson

152 POUNDS Overview: Dominic Mata of Poway is the top seed and favorite, but this is a wide-open class that includes No. 2 seed Trey Munoz of Trabuco Hills, the SS champ, and No. 3 seed Johnny Fox of Gilroy, the CCS champ. Mata has twice beaten Fox by a narrow decision. NorCal’s best hope: Fox can avenge his prior losses, and also expect fireworks from SJS winner JT Stinson of Del Oro (seeded 8th) and CCS runner-up Daniel Woo (seeded 10th), who Fox beat by one point last week. Upset special: Look out for Stinson, a known giant killer. He beat national No. 11 Cole Matthews of Pennsylvania this season. If he solves the trouble with Mata that led to a flurry of points and a 17-5 defeat earlier this season, he could add another upset to his resumé.

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182 POUNDS Overview: National No. 8 Anthony Montalvo of BuchananClovis is the undisputed favorite here. He’s landed a pin or major decision over every state foe he has faced at 182, and could continue that trend this weekend. NorCal’s best hope: MidCals champ Matthew Martinez of Alvarez-Salinas was the CCS champ and took a No. 6 seed at state. He only needs one upset, against No. 3 Escobedo Guillermo of Bishop Amat-La Puente (SS champ), to reach the semifinals and lock up a top-6 medal. Upset special: Watch out for the pin specialists at state. That’s something Shasta’s Quin Simard is known for. He stuck No. 2 seed Nathan Tausch of Poway at MidCals, and he’s only lost three matches this season. Castlemont’s Denzel Mabry should represent the Oakland section well here.

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195 POUNDS Overview: Oakdale’s Colby Harlan, Gilroy’s Antonio Andrade and Ryan Reyes of Clovis West-Fresno may occupy the national rankings from No. 7 to No. 10, but this is Harlan’s weight class. He’s beaten both rivals and is hungry for state gold after finishing second last year. Harlan didn’t allow a point against him at the SJS Masters last week. NorCal’s best hope: After Harlan and No. 2 seed Andrade, NCS champ Adrian Chavez, whose only bracket losses are to Reyes and No. 5 seed Jacob Good. Chavez should find a way to medal here. Upset special: Chris Island of Vacaville snuck into a No. 14 seed, and could drop a big blow by beating Reyes in the second round. They have never faced, and Island can be explosive early.

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Colby Harlan

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Jake Levengood

220 POUNDS Overview: The last real chance at a NorCal title will fall on the broad shoulders of Victor Jaquez (Bellarmine-San Jose), an undefeated junior who posted a 7-3 win over No. 2 seed Trevor Erwin of Buchanan. NorCal’s best hope: NorCal could see an all-NorCal semifinal if Isaiah Perez (Pitman-Turlock) continues to wrestle healthy and aggressive. Perez, a four-time state qualifier who wrestled his first tournament at 113 pounds, can beat anyone in this bracket. Upset special: The Northern section always brings it in the upper weights, and both No. 6 seed Tony Rogers (Chester) and No. 4 Jacob Christian (Durham) can land upsets here. They are in the same semifinal bracket that contains Perez.

285 POUNDS Overview: It’s really saying something when perhaps the pound-for-pound best wrestler in the state is a heavyweight. Top-seed and national No. 3 Seth Nevills of Clovis is on the cusp of his fourth straight state title. He has won every match by pin this year, albeit for a narrow defeat to national No. 2 Cohlton Schultz of Colorado. NorCal’s best hope: In any other season, Vacaville’s Jake Levengood would be a monster contender for state gold. He mowed through the SJS Masters bracket last week and should see Nevills in the final if he can get past SS champ Tony DaCosta of Torrance. Upset special: Levi Markey of Del Campo-Fair Oaks, who weighs 205 pounds (soaking wet), was an unbelievable story at the SJS Masters, dispatching a pair of state-medal hopefuls to the consolation bracket. Look for him to shine here. ✪ Track the action in Bakersfield as it happens by following @Ike_Dodson in Twitter. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!

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hopeful Samaya Beatty 20

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After Falling In The Section Playoffs, McClatchy Lions Wishing For A NorCal Berth Follow us on Twitter & Instagram, like us on Facebook!


lPRIDE Nia Lowery

F

ew tears were shed Thursday night, but the group of McClatchy High-Sacramento girls basketball players looked dejected and disappointed. Although the fifth-seeded Lions had to hit the road in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, the group felt confident going into Thursday night’s test against No. 4 Edison-Stockton. McClatchy had dropped a previous matchup to this same team, 53-31, in the Pittsburg Shootout tournament, but they were missing two of their starters that game. “I wasn’t able to play in the first game because I had a concussion,” said McClatchy’s junior guard Kamryn Hall. “So watching that game and not being able to help my team, was rough.” The rematch was supposed to be different. With Hall back — the team’s point guard and best post defender — and a full roster, McClatchy hung with Edison early but fell behind by double digits in the second quarter. Despite a comeback in the third period, the Lions couldn’t finish the deal and fell 64-58, ending their hopeful playoff run. “They killed us on the boards — I think they had 28 points in the paint and we only had 12,” Lions coach Jeff Ota said. “There’s no excuse — they beat us.” McClatchy was fresh off a 78-50 win over Brookside Christian-Stockton in the opening round, led by a strong performance from Hall. “She’s our big, but she’s also our point guard,” Ota acknowledged. “She sees the floor well, she can shoot, but she also has to guard the opponent’s big on the other end.”

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“Everyone at school asks us about going to state. They’ll ask a couple times a week, especially during playoffs, ‘How many points did you win by?’ So they assume we’re just going to win every game.” — Guard Kamryn Hall But Hall got in foul trouble early and her teammates couldn’t match Tuesday’s performance in their rematch with the Vikings. In fact, Hall was held scoreless in the game — a rarity for her. It could have been the road atmosphere that caused some early jitters, or the team’s lackluster second quarter when they struggled to hit open 3s that cost them the game. Or maybe it was the pressure; living up to state title expectations. “Anytime you lose 16 players and half of them were starters, it’s going to be hard on the team,” Hall admitted. “Everyone at school asks us about going to state. They’ll ask a couple times a week, especially during playoffs, ‘How many points did you win by?’ So they assume we’re just going to win every game.” The loss drops McClatchy to 23-6 this season and ends their shot at a section championship. The 26 wins ranks fifth in school history over the past decade, but there’s still a chance at a berth in the state playoffs, which begin in two weeks. Jenna Waki “We were disappointed, but I’ve seen worse locker rooms,” Ota admitted. “They seemed to take it in stride, because when we win, we try not to get too high, and when we lose, we don’t get too low. “We may still have an outside chance at NorCals. It’s a little funky, but because a couple of teams may get pulled up to Open Division, and they’ll need to fill the Division 1 bracket, we may get in. We won’t know until the section playoffs end.” 22

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Thus, Thursday’s game could be the last of the season, but the team will continue practicing until it’s confirmed by the bracket. “We just want to be thankful for what we have because you never know when your last practice will be,” Ota confessed. “So we always tell them, ‘We don’t want this to be our last practice.’ And ‘Don’t take it for granted.’ “If we get another chance, we’ll make the most of it.” If, for instance, the Lions aren’t selected for the state tournament, the program will return 11 players next year. That includes Hall and fellow guard Nia Lowery, who has the potential to be the program’s next big recruit following last year’s collegiatebound players Courtesy Clark (San Jose State), Jordan Cruz (Utah), Sara Shimizu (Hawaii-Hilo) and Kamaree Donald (College of Southern Idaho). “It was hard to replace those players, but this group did a good job,” Ota added. Lowery was one of the standouts Thursday despite the loss. She had 19 points to lead the Lions group and made a handful of defensive plays to help her team climb back in the game. If she gets another shot at a title this season, you can bet she’ll be ready. “I just want to do anything I can to help my team win,” Lowery added. “That’s all we want — just to win.” ✪ — Story by Steven Wilson, Photos by James K. Leash

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Kamryn Hall

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was just cer County la P th u o S uool. wing comm ek High Sch to Woodcre et to this gro t ss n a r ce ja jo a d a m a lle cs facility as West Rosevi inent aquati Complex in m cs ro ti p a teractive u a q n A o children’s in to envisi Roseville a t , e h e g th si id d sl re e r n fo e te e ot wa sson opad th ville op try, a 150-fo ty officials h ty of swim le n City of Rose ci e e ri e ily le va th ty ck a 5 -s lu 9 s, 9 d ch e 1 a m ack in t growth an ro depth be onal swim ti d. e significan pool with ze ing, recreati n m o ti im lly year-roun a a e sw u cr t rt h starting to se re vi ig a d n l, se cility is main o ily u o . m p is e fa n m C o the RA al that the fa rs to co mpetiti nity with ci s, u u co m m cr e ra m iz is g -s co it ro ic , e p p n nity for yea c th e ti eter Olym nue to happ ore. Serving ensive aqua jasts a 50-m events conti School’s ext shack and m h se ck e ig a H th sn ool. This pro k The RAC bo a re e e s, su cr n er to e er room mpetition p d Wood rd ck co n o a lo e s , in th a m d g a re n n a a te ri y e im AC last water pla eld at the R mpetitive sw ck and re-p meets are h ll as local co the pool de im g n sw ci l an, the la a p n o re ti tions as we Dion Louth elp with h al and na id n sa to io g ,” lle re le vi r ib a se orts tourof Ro n poss Every ye to the City t also area sp d renovatio standards. u e 0 b 0 d st e ,0 e . th e 0 h in u n 0 a ig 5 yo g h ch $ l a u e ca ted tained at th made this m immers once enefit our lo cently dona urism which ready for sw ill not only b y Tourism re To w w o y lle n C a se. lle V A is a r R l V o e r ce o th la p ce P Pla the its home ba nts at pleted and nership with improveme the RAC as m rt a s e co p h se T u st exte “ t . ju a re va s a ri lle th a t vi ect w s tha team f Rose public-p lity standard competitive r the City o a ited for the u g fo q xc in s e e h m ri ig re im ra h a b w e e S t th “W ation and Li rra Nevada es will mee s Parks, Recre ar-round Sie ese upgrad ye th e f o th , tes, coache th cs o Director of ti B a . of our athle reboard 8. pital Aqu o 1 rt a 0 o sc C 2 p d p D h ia n rc a su rn LE a o s s w it M lif and d by to Ca g block d a ne ism.” lley Tourism e art startin g blocks an ill be installe d $120,000 a in w th V te fr rt s a a n -o ck ce o st la te lo d a P te b o f f a st g ls o w o-d rtin ity o PVT a appreciative ovations, ne d fund up-t ard and sta ets to the C nt deck ren ution helpe thankful and the scorebo imming me ce w th lly S re a o e A u B h S n . T ti U ts “ n l n . This contrib leve is co g eve r said ringing high r Valley area a Culpeppe SA Swimmin in the Place forward in b ector Denn y pected at U ir it d ve n o u ve m t competitive ti m e m cu w ing co ing exe bids as s for a grea r m ke u a im o m w re S y a cu lit d “The swimm ci se lp h fa rra Neva RAC will he a top- notc in SNS,” Sie its oard at the le that with b p u re o and teams co sc just starting to ic d n n e electro Swim Team is area a h th th ig to in H s 0 k ts e 0 e e d e ,0 e ra 1 dcr to gm upg ith the Woo when hostin nging close as perfect w nd to none rch 9-10, bri w a co g M se in n Roseville.” m is o ti A e ce C la th added: “C that takes p the blocks!” eb. 15, and Culpepper Invitational alley Tourism Thursday, F T – you rock n V im o P w , d S u te k e yo ra e k b by Placer V n cr le a d d h o e ce T o d s . vi a W re w ro e g p h C in m atmosp of the RA and photos y at the upco Re-Opening — All copy n full displa o e b ill The Grand w s tion new renova season. The the RAC. ✪ to rs e l swimm o o h sc h ig h

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Behind the Clipboard by Clay Kallam

Reading Between The Blowouts I play basketball on the boys varsity, and it seems to me there are a lot more lopsided games for the girls. Why is that? J.R., Sacramento

T

hat’s a good question, though a bit of a loaded one in the present climate — but it’s worth discussing. First, lopsided scores are important because no one wants to be on either end, at least after the first couple of times. Boys teams don’t often get an 80-25 blowout, so the novelty is entertaining, but when it happens on a regular basis, as it does with the girls, it’s no fun. (And it’s also a potential problem for the winning coach, who will be asked why she ran up the score even though she played her entire roster in the first quarter.) So why does work it out that way? Why aren’t the lesser girls basketball teams as competitive with the better girls teams in the same way the lesser boys teams are competitive with the better boys teams? Here’s a one-word answer: Volleyball. OK, that’s a bit simplistic, but it’s really an issue for girls and women’s basketball. To begin with, the athletic toolkit for

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success in volleyball and basketball is much the same — both sports favor long, tall, explosive athletes who have good hand-eye coordination. On the boys side, the volleyball culture is more hang-loose (in most schools, at least) than the basketball one, and in general, the better athletes will almost automatically play basketball instead of volleyball. For girls, though, volleyball has become more and more attractive in recent years, and participation studies show that while volleyball participation is steadily increasing, basketball participation is about the same as always. What this means is that more girls who are suited for both sports are choosing volleyball than in the past — and in turn, this means that there’s less talent to go around in girls basketball than a decade ago. And here’s a simple fact that doesn’t reflect the temper of the times: Girls are less interested in sports than boys. Culture plays a big role in this, clearly, but regardless of the reason, if you have 100 athletic boys, 95 will play sports. If you have 100 athletic girls, that number will be fewer. In addition, girls don’t enjoy contact sports as much as boys — again, for whatever reason — and basketball is definitely a contact sport.

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So with a smaller pool of talent to begin with (because some athletic girls don’t participate) and with more of that pool drifting towards non-contact volleyball, girls basketball is suffering from a slow but steady talent drain. Of course, the really good teams are still really good. And at the elite levels, girls basketball is played at a higher level than ever. But as you go down the basketball food chain on the girls side, the less talent there is, and less success. This becomes a negative feedback loop, as talented athletes don’t want to play on bad teams. So when they see the basketball team isn’t very good, they choose something else — and so the basketball team gets even worse. And now that postseason has arrived, you’ll probably see even more of those lopsided scores in the early rounds of sectional and NorCal play, but don’t think that means the top teams aren’t any good. Remember, Archbishop Mitty-San Jose has the No. 1-ranked girls team in the entire nation, and St. Mary’s- Stockton is No. 6. Just because some teams don’t have much talent doesn’t mean the elite teams don’t. ✪ Clay Kallam has been an assistant athletic director and has coached numerous sports at a handful of high schools throughout the Bay Area. To submit a question for Behind the Clipboard, email him at clayk@fullcourt.com

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BASEBALL TOP 20 1. VALLEY CHRISTIAN-SAN JOSE (22-11-1 IN 2017) The defending Central Coast Section Open Division champions were a relatively easy choice to open the year as NorCal’s No. 1. The Warriors have six of their top seven leaders in hits returning from a year ago, including junior Nick Marinconz, who led the team with 48 last season for a cool .414 average. Marinconz is also part of a stout defensive lineup that includes senior shortstop Dawson Brigman (Santa Clara signee), junior outfielder Cole Brigman and senior catcher Ryan Belluomini. But pitching is the ultimate factor behind this ranking as Valley Christian boasts a staff led by Arkansas-bound Patrick Wicklander (8-1, 1.92 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 80.1 innings in 2017). The Warriors also return four more arms with experience from last season, and will add highly touted freshman Jonathan Cymrot to the mix.

2. ELK GROVE (23-10) Even though we gave the nod to Valley Christian, we wouldn’t fault anyone who opened the year with the Thundering Herd as NorCal’s team to beat. Our No. 2 ranking is exactly where Elk Grove finished up last year after winning yet another Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I title. Nearly the entire starting lineup returns from that squad, including standouts Tanner Carlson (Long Beach State) and Jake Jordan (UC Davis). Jordan and Brian Freitas will lead the pitching staff after combining to go 11-0 in 23 appearances last season.

3. DE LA SALLE-CONCORD (21-8) The defending North Coast Section Div. I champion has a few more questions than usual for this time of year, but no less talent. Trace Tammaro (Portland) and Austin Elder (CSU Northridge) return after combining for 50 RBI in 2017. Pitching is where the Spartans will need to make their strides, as Nick Cirelli (5-1, 2.38 ERA) is the only returning arm who logged more than five innings last season.

4. ST. MARY’S-STOCKTON (20-11) Utah-bound 1B Christian Almanza (.467 with 16 doubles, 3 HR, 27 RBI) leads a Rams team which didn’t include a single senior on its roster a year ago. The program will be breaking in new head coach Randy Ortega, an assistant on the staff the past few seasons. Senior IF/C Tyler Lozano is also a name to note.

5. FOOTHILL-PLEASANTON (19-5-1) The Falcons return their six top run producers from 2017, including Stanford-bound all-state multi-purpose selection Brett Hansen. Hansen hit .321 with 26 batted in and also went 7-1 with a 1.38 ERA on the bump.

››› › 6. DAVIS (23-9)

No. 2 Elk Grove’s Tanner Carlson

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Arizona-bound two-way star Ryan Holgate (.371, 31 RBI, 7-2, 2.07 ERA) will lead a daunting batting order and an experienced pitching staff.

7. SACRED HEART CATHEDRAL-S.F. (22-8)

The CCS Div. II top seed a year ago before being upset in the quarterfinals, the Irish return three of their top four hitters, as well as a quartet of pitchers who combined for 19 wins in 2017.

8. MONTE VISTA-DANVILLE (21-9)

Senior Santa Barbara-commit Andrew Howard (.330, 30 RBI) returns to anchor the offense and support junior ace Josh White (6-1, 1.75 ERA, 75 strikeouts in 60 IP)

9. BELLARMINE-SAN JOSE (21-9)

Pitching is ahead of the hitting for the Bells to start the season thanks to Cal-bound senior Joseph Ammirato (8-2, 1.59 ERA). Fellow starter Wade Harper (5-3, 1.68, 21 RBI on offense) also returns.

10. BENICIA (25-5-1)

Defending SJS Div. II champs will feature senior ace Elijah Birdsong (8-0, 0.75 ERA) on the hill and junior SS Joey Daini (.398, 25 RBI) anchoring the lineup. 11. Amador Valley-Pleasanton (19-7)

16. Miramonte-Orinda (27-1)

12. Serra-San Mateo (17-14)

17. College Park-Pleasant Hill (17-10)

13. Palo Alto (25-7)

18. San Ramon Valley-Danville (20-11)

14. Vacaville (24-4)

19. Vanden-Fairfield (20-9)

15. Jesuit-Carmichael (13-15)

20. McClatchy-Sacramento (22-10)

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SOFTBALL TOP 20 1. SHELDON-SACRAMENTO (30-2 IN 2017) Sticking the Huskies dynasty right back where we last left it seemed an easy call. Though Sheldon graduated the 2017 Sac Bee Metro Player of the Year, Maci Fines (.496, 61 hits, 47 runs, 25 extra base hits), and the SportStars All-City Team Female Athlete of the Year, Taliyah Miles (.422, 25 RBI, 21-1, 1.33 ERA, 174 strikeouts), there’s still an embarrassment of riches. Seven of the team’s top hitters return, including senior infielder Shea Moreno (.430, 43 hits, team-best 38 RBI) and sophomore outfielder Sam Oliver (.405, 34 hits, 35 RBI). Replacing Miles in the circle will be junior Grace Owen, who just happened to go 7-0 and allowed only three earned runs over 47.2 innings for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champions.

2. FOOTHILL-PLEASANTON (26-4) Virtually all the big guns are back for the defending North Coast Section Div. I champions. That includes the all-sophomore battery of catcher Courtney Beaudin (.453, 10 HR, 37 RBI) and Oklahoma-committed ace Nicole May (.460, 10 HR, 36 RBI, 0.84 ERA, 293 strikeouts in 191 innings). Mix in a middle infield of junior shortstop Hope Alley and sophomore second baseman Hailey Hayes, as well as a senior DH/INF Lauren Hermes who hit .409 a season ago, and the Falcons look especially daunting.

3. ARCHBISHOP MITTY-SAN JOSE (22-6) Bay Area News Group Peninsula Player of the Year Lauren Lopez (.469, 45 hits, 27 runs) graduated, as did RBI leaders Rebecca Ortiz and Lauren Lozano. But ignore three-time defending Central Coast Section champs at your own risk. Junior two-way star Hannah Edwards (.391, 22 RBI, 11-2, 1.67 ERA) and senior slugger Mariah Dewey (.327, 17 RBI) lead the way.

4. JAMES LOGAN-UNION CITY (23-4) Lost in the narrative of how young the NCS Div. I champions from Foothill were last year, was just how young the runners-up were. Legendary coach Teri Johnson returns seven players who had 10 RBI or more in 2017, which includes senior Aliyah Yates (.403, 31 hits, 25 RBI). All three pitchers return as well, including Camille Rodriguez (18-3, 1.15 ERA).

5. TRACY (28-4) Oregon-bound senior shortstop Rachel Cid may very well be the most electric player in the SJS. She hit .593 with 54 hits, 38 runs and 55 RBI in leading the Bulldogs to a Div. I runner-up finish (to Sheldon) last year. Tracy lost just five seniors from that 18-player roster. Two were pitchers, but junior Karina Faasisilla went 10-2 with a 1.08 ERA in 77.2 innings.

6. AMADOR VALLEY-PLEASANTON (23-5) Missouri-commit Danielle Williams (.382, 17 RBI, 17-1, 0.34 ERA, 231 strikeouts) returns for her fourth and final season with the Dons. That alone makes them very dangerous.

7. CARLMONT-BELMONT (26-3) A Cal-Hi Sports multi-purpose All-State selection a year ago, Mailey McLemore (.483, 43 hits, 34 runs, 34 RBI, 13-1, 1.39 ERA) returns to lead the Scots in 2018. She’ll have quite the returning supporting cast as well.

8. ST. FRANCIS-MOUNTAIN VIEW (23-8) The Lancers’ 2017 worst-to-first storyline was as feel-good as it gets. The CCS Open Div. runners-up (to Mitty) won’t sneak up on anyone this season thanks to junior tandem Hannah Damore (.373, 42 RBI) and Jordan Schuring (.359, 22 RBI, 14-6, 1.71 ERA).

9. BENICIA (29-2-1)

SJS Division III defending champs have plenty of returning talent. Seniors Grace French and Adriana Chavez, and junior Amanda Ajari each hit .460 or better in 2017. Ajari and French combined to go 10-0 and allow just five earned runs.

10. CONCORD (22-7)

The Minutemen started five freshmen in an NCS Div. II final that they won 17-1 last season. Their window to domination could be open for quite some time. 11. East Union-Manteca (28-5)

16. San Marin-Novato (23-2)

12. Elk Grove (22-6-1)

17. St. Mary’s-Stockton (25-6)

13. San Benito-Hollister (23-5)

18. Heritage-Brentwood (18-5)

14. Freedom-Oakley (16-7)

19. Sierra-Manteca (16-9)

15. Napa (21-8-1)

20. Livermore (17-8)

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No. 3 Archbishop Mitty’s Hannah Edwards

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a FEAST of FOOTBALL

Concord To Host Variety Of Gridiron Events Through May

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o, football never ends. When the games end, there’s always a clinic, combine, tournament or event quickly scheduled for the eager players ready to prepare and better themselves for the next fall. The staff at Visit Concord has figured this out. That’s why offseason football events offered by Quick 6 Football and Junior Prep Sports California will be showcased in Concord from March through May. JPS began offering its Player Development Lineman Camp on Feb. 17 with Saturday gatherings throughs March at Clayton Valley Charter High. Youth Camps for 4th-8th graders runs 8-9:30 a.m. and High School Camps run from 9-11 a.m. The camps, which allow for walk-up registrations, are progressive and focus on the fundamentals of the game specific to the various offensive and defensive line positions. Instructors are typically area high school coaches. The registration fee is $25 and includes a t-shirt and instruction for that particular day. The camps lead up to Concord and Clayton Valley Charter High hosting the West Coast Invitational-Battle Of The Unsung Heroes, a three-day linemen challenge combine from May 18-20. Information about both of these events can be found at http://jrprepsportsca.com/. Meanwhile, Quick 6 Football will be holding the second of two 7-on-7 events in Concord with “Dimes Vs. Defense” on March 25 at Mt. Diablo High. Dimes Vs. Defense is the third of four qualifiers for the Quick 6 Golden Great 7-on-7 Championship on April 22 at City College of San Francisco. There are four qualifying spots up for grabs at each of the four events. Concord also hosted the first one, “Air To The Throne,” on Feb. 17. That event sold out by attracting the maximum 20 teams. Dimes Vs. Defense is expected to do

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the same. Both events are sponsored by Visit Concord, SportStars Magazine, Gamebreaker Headgear, Football University, Adam Dailey Clothing and Drip Drop hydration drink. These events will feature the top high school football players (ages 14-18) from throughout California. A quick guide to 7-on-7 football: ›› Each possession starts 40 yards from the end zone, and first downs can be attained by reaching the 25-yard line and the 10-yard line. However, the offense only gets three downs to convert, instead of the typical four. A quarterback has just 3.7 seconds to pass from the time he gets the ball or it’s considered a sack. ›› An offensive player is down when a defensive player completes a one-hand touch on the receiving player’s torso. Head touches or touches from the legs on down are not considered a tackle. There is also no blocking allowed. ›› Touchdowns are six points, and offenses can try a one-point conversion from the 3-yard line or a two-point conversion from the 10-yard line. ›› Defenses can score as well. Interceptions are three points and forcing a turnover on downs earns two points. Each team is guaranteed at least three games in the events. Two pool play games and at least one game in single-elimination bracket play. Pool play games last 20 minutes and bracket play games are 22 minutes, each with running clocks. Learn more about 7-on-7 football and the various Quick 6 events by visiting Quick6.org. ✪

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Motion Video Analysis Is A Leading Tool In ACL Tear Prevention

jumping into technology health watch: neeraj baheti These days is seems almost every teenager who plays sports, such as soccer, lacrosse, basketball and volleyball, knows of someone who has torn their Anterior Cruciate Ligament. These sports all have something in common —

they all require the athlete to perform sharp cutting, pivoting and jumping motions. The existing literature shows that females are 3-7 times more likely to have an ACL tear compared to males. Secondly, those who have suffered an ACL tear are 3-5 times more likely to have another ACL tear compared to those who not. The lifetime cost of an ACL tear is over $38,000, not including the pain and suffering incurred. Given the high social and financial burden of the ACL tear, there is a huge effort to try and prevent these injuries from occurring and/or reoccurring. The big question is then, how might we work to prevent these injuries? One of the tools which can be utilized to help answer this question is Motion Analysis, which can be performed in a specialized lab containing cuttingedge technologies, such as motion-capture camera, force plate and isokinetic dynamometer. Motion Analysis can help us identify those at higher risk for injury, create injury prevention plans and assess return to play readiness. Studies have suggested that an ACL tear occurs within the first 40 milliseconds of the foot coming in contact with the ground, so it is extremely important that we are aware of the athlete’s cutting and pivoting mechanics during this timeframe. Using specialized high speed cameras, various athletic movements can be recorded for the purposes of injury screening and determining if an athlete is ready to return to playing sports after surgery. This video data can also be integrated with force-plate data to analyze ground reaction forces, which helps identify if an athlete is using correct body mechanics. The most common movements tested are depth jumping, cutting (changing directions), lateral shuffling, single-leg hopping and decelerating (stopping suddenly). Not only can this information help prevent an athlete from having to go under the knife, but it can also give us a dynamic assessment of when an athlete is ready to return to play. There is only so much information a clinician can obtain by performing a table exam or imaging such as X-ray or MRI. The technology used in the Motion Analysis Lab allows us to have hard criteria which can be viewed by the athlete, parent and all those involved in providing the care to address the risk of injury. Let’s look at a simple example: The goal of Motion Analysis is to put an athlete through their sports-specific motions and give the athletes feedback on their performance. This feedback is critical to create an individualized injury prevention and performance training program geared towards breaking the bad habits while reinforcing good motor skills. This training includes predictable scenarios, as well as unpredictable scenarios, which are closer to the real-world situations. Prior to giving the athlete a clean bill of health, they are re-analyzed to ensure that they meet all the criteria, which will enable the athlete to play confidently and injury free in the future. ✪ Neeraj Baheti is a physical therapist for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and its Sports Medicine Center For Young Athletes.

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SportStars™

March 1, 2018

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SportStars Now Issue 64, March 1, 2018  

SportStars Now Issue 64, March 1, 2018  

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