SPORTSTARS EXTRA 54
FEBRUARY 16, 2017
ST. JOSEPH NOTRE DAME-ALAMEDA BASKETBALL - SENIOR The Pepperdine-bound point guard posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists as the Pilots won their 23rd straight game by taking down a red-hot St. Patrick-St. Vincent-Vallejo team on Feb. 11. The Bruins, then-ranked No. 13 in the SportStars NorCal Top 20 rankings, were coming off an upset win over previous-No. 3 Salesian. Now itâ€™s Smith and St. Joseph in the No. 3 spot after they improved to 25-1 with the 75-68 win over SPSV. The Pilots are the CIF Division V defending state championships but will be in Div. IV when the North Coast Section playoffs begin on Feb. 21.
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An Obvious Truth Every Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Girls Soccer Program Is Coming To Grips With: To Win A Title, They Must
he Davis High girls soccer program has been in the conversation regarding the top teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section for at least the last decade, and more than a few Blue Devils players have graduated to higher levels of competitive soccer. So, when head coach Sara Stone, in her sixth year at the helm, calls this year’s team the best she has had, it has real meaning. “I have been lucky to have had some real good teams, but this team has more talent, depth, and versatility than I have ever had before,” Stone said. “Just being talented is one thing, but these girls have a competitive fight as a team that sets them apart.” The talent starts up front for the Blue Devils, who have outscored opponents 110-8 while compiling a 17-0-1 record through Feb. 14, a record that will almost certainly earn the defending SJS Division I champions a No. 1 seed in their quest to repeat. Sophomore Maya Doms, junior Brooke Rubinstein, and senior Julia Curtis possess speed, ball skills, and an ability to finish that very few, if any, can counter. The Blue Devils’ three-headed attack forces opponents to pick who they will try to shut down, leaving at least one of the trio to seemingly score at will. The three forwards are as unselfish as they are talented, and take as much pleasure in setting up their teammates as they do in putting the ball in the back of the net. “The girls on the front line complement each other well and have a good balance,” Stone said.
story by Jim McCue â€¢ photos by James K. Leash
Brooke Rubinstein Rubinstein is the fastest of the three while Curtis thrives on physicality and being challenged with the ball. Doms, although the youngest of the trio, is the most complete player up front for the Blue Devils — and the best individual player Stone has coached. “She is incredibly smooth and does everything with such ease that it looks like she is floating out there sometimes,” Stone said of her young star. “She is as fast with the ball as she is without it, is crafty with the ball, a great finisher and very humble.” The superlatives are not reserved just for the offense, though. Junior defender Ava McCray leads a defense that has contributed to 26 shutouts during a 41-game unbeaten streak that goes back to the start of the 2015-16 season. The back line has held firm while the Blue Devils’ potent offense fills the net to break the will of their opponents. Senior captain Sidra Bugsch quarterbacks the team from her midfield position, and plays the set-up role to near perfection. “Sidra’s role is to play the ball on to the front line and make the final serve,” Stone said. “She has incredible ball skills and has the ability to thread the ball to our scorers.” Davis earned the top seed in the Div. I playoffs in each of the last two years, but it was the Blue Devils’ disappointing shootout loss to rival Franklin-Elk Grove in the 2015 SJS final that has fueled the unbeaten streak. This season, Davis won its first game at Franklin under Stone, showing just how difficult it is for the Blue Devils to maintain their impressive streak. Since 2003, Delta League rivals Davis, Franklin, and St. Francis-Sacramento have won 13 of the 14 SJS Div. I championships with St. Francis owning eight of those titles. Davis’s section championship last year was its first under Stone, but the Blue Devils’ current streak points to a potential dynasty in the making despite the challenging league slate. Captains Curtis and
Bugsch are joined by seniors Camille Renaud, and Andrea Zheng as the only players leaving after this season, as seven juniors and nine sophomores could return to continue to build on the Davis tradition. “Davis is such a soccer town, and the atmosphere helps us thrive,” said Curtis, who will play at Santa Clara after four years on the Davis varsity team. “We all play club together, and all of us have high expectations for ourselves and the team.” Bugsch pointed to the tradition of Davis soccer — both at DHS and the Davis Legacy Soccer Club. The club was created by former Blue Devils’ boys coach and current girls assistant Ashley Yudin, who is also Stone’s father. “The culture that (Yudin) brings is a family culture, and one where they are creating better players and better people,” Bugsch said. “The mentality established at the club level translates to high school, and the players have an expectation and attitude to compete and win.” Training sessions can be more competitive for the Blue Devils and allow for the players to stay sharp and focused on the team’s goals. “The competition in practice keeps us in check,” Bugsch said. “We are always thinking long-term in every practice and game. We all know that we need to uphold our standards as individuals and as a team.” With the playoffs in sight and a target firmly placed on the Blue Devils’ backs, Stone and her charges have a plan on what they can improve each game to remain focused until the season’s final whistle. “Most of the team from last year is back this year and we have been focused on carrying over the success from last year and improving on that,” Curtis said. “We all know what we can do and want to live up to those expectations.” ✪
ith four NCAA-sized lighted fields over 22 acres, Redding Soccer Park has built a reputation as one of NorCal’s top destinations for youth and adult soccer teams alike. The family-oriented venue sits at the top of the Sacramento Valley, and is an all-weather soccer complex that allows for events and tournaments year-round. The park was built to offer much more than just four playing surfaces. The goal is to offer a full experience. That experience is noticeable immediately upon entering. Guests are treated to paved walkways, elevated seating around the fields, a full-service restaurant and over 2,000 square feet of covered seating, equipped with ceiling fans and misters for the hot summer and fall climate. The covered seating area provides views of all four fields. There is also a large play structure for younger attendees that includes climbing walls, slides, ladders and more. As one may expect, the park has a heavy spring planned. The SoccerKraze Tournament is an adult tournament that will take place on March 4-5. The tournament is capped at 32 teams and entry will be based on a first-come, firstserve basis. Available divisions include: Open, Co-ed Over 30 and Co-ed Over 40. Entry Fee for all teams is $400. Each team in the tournament plays a minimum of three preliminary games, two on Saturday and one on Sunday. The number of teams per division is determined by the tournament committee, depending upon the number of qualified teams accepted per division. On April 1-2, the park plays host to the first of two weekends belonging to The Border Classic — a tournament-style league for boys and girls ages U9, U10, U11, U12, U13 and U14 — built on partnerships with California Youth Soccer Association Districts 5 and 9, along with Oregon Youth Soccer. The teams can return for more play on May 6-7. The Park officially rolls into summer with its annual party, Celebrate Soccer, on May 20. This year’s event includes an appearance by the U.S. National Women’s Team’s Megan Rapinoe, a Redding native and graduate of Foothill High of Palo Cedro. The festivities will also include a car giveaway. A Kia Sedona valued at $28,000 will be raffled off at $10 per ticket. Information on the event and how to purchase a raffle ticket can be found at ReddingSoccerPark.com. One can also find information and registration links for both SoccerKraze and The Border Classic at the site as well. ✪
NET RUSH Rancho Cordova Front And Center As Girls Club Volleyball Hits Full Swing
hen the CIF Girls Volleyball State Championships concluded in early December, it essentially marked the beginning of a new season — the girls club season. And club volleyball in NorCal occurs as part of the Northern California Volleyball Association.
With the arrival of 2017, the much-respected NCVA began its 34th year of providing high-level volleyball com-
petition for Northern California from Bakersfield to the Oregon border as well as Northern Nevada. NCVA strives to deliver competition opportunities for every athlete, regardless of age or background. It offers its high-caliber Power League for age groups 12 through 18. The Power League consists of a two-day qualifier event and a two-day regional championship as well as three league tournament days in between. The Power League is designed to feed teams to the top levels of the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships each summer. In addition, the NCVA features a Premier League (for age groups 11 to 17/18) that includes a one-day qualifier, four league tournaments and two-day regional championship. The organization also produces non-league options, a variety of special tournaments, and one of just 10 Junior Nationals qualifying events nationwide. That Far Western National Qualifier is held annually over two weekends at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The NCVA is extremely active in the Rancho Cordova region, utilizing the 73,000 Square-Foot, nine-court Rancho Cordova Sports and Events Center as a site for league tournaments as well as the upcoming Spring Classic Tournament on March 4-5. The Spring Classic is spread among six NorCal sites, and Rancho Cordova will be home to the 16-year-old age group. Prior to the tournament’s arrival, the Events Center will be the host site to various divisions of the Premier League Tournament #2 taking place on Feb. 25-26. For more information on the Spring Classic, or to see schedules, standings and results from any of the various leagues, be sure to visit NCVA.com. The Rancho Cordova Sports and Events Center is located at 2561 Mercantile Dr. in Rancho Cordova. For more information on the facility and its numerous events schedule, visit rcsportscenter.com. ✪
How To Play; How To Score; And What’s A Scrum?
ast month, we discussed the history of the sport of rugby, the very basics on what the sport is and where it is played. This month, we explain HOW you actually play the game and what some of the laws of the game are. STARTING THE GAME — Just as in American football, rugby begins with a kickoff to the opponent from midfield. Provided that the ball travels beyond the 10-meter line, any player from either team may gain possession of the ball. MOVING OR ADVANCING THE BALL — Rugby, like soccer, is continuous. There is no blocking in rugby. The person with the ball leads the attack. There are only three ways to move the ball in rugby: a player may carry (run), pass or kick the ball. When a player is tackled or the ball hits the ground, play is not stopped unless there is some sort of infraction or the ball is considered dead or buried in a ruck or maul (explained later). Running: When running the ball, players may continue to run until they are tackled, step out of bounds or run beyond the goal line. Players run the ball to advance toward the opponent’s goal line. Passing: The ball may be passed to any player. However, it may only be passed laterally or backward, never forward. Players pass the ball to an open teammate to keep it in play and further advance it. Kicking: Any player may kick the ball forward at any time. Once the ball is kicked, players of either team, regardless of whether or not the ball hits the ground, may gain possession. Players typically kick the ball to a teammate in an effort to advance it or to the opposing team to obtain relief from poor field position. SCORING — There are four ways for a team to score points in rugby: Try: Five points are awarded to a team for touching the ball down in the other team’s in-goal area. This is much like a touchdown in American football but requires the ball actually be grounded. Conversion: Following a try, two points are awarded for a successful kick through the goal posts. The attempt is taken on a line, at least 10 meters from the try line, straight out from the point where the ball was touched down. This is like an extra point in American football, but often at an extreme angle to the goalposts. Penalty Kick: Following a major law violation, the attacking team, if in range, has the option to “kick for points.” Three points are awarded for a successful penalty kick. The kick must be from the point of the penalty or anywhere on a line straight behind that point. The ball is considered live and can be played if the kick fails. Drop Goal: Three points are awarded for a successful drop kick. A drop kick may be taken from anywhere on the field during play. A drop goal is similar to a field goal in football; however, in rugby the kick is made during the course of normal play. The ball is alive if the kick fails. RESTARTING PLAY — There are three methods of restarting play following a stoppage caused by either the ball going out of bounds or because of an infraction of the laws. Line-Out: If the ball goes out of bounds, it is restarted with a line-out. Except for a penalty kick out of bounds, the team that kicks or runs the ball out of bounds turns over the possession to the other team. Both teams form a line perpendicular to the touchline and one-meter (three feet) apart from one another. A team taking possession calls a play and throws the ball in the air in a straight line between the two lines. Players of each team may be supported in the air by their teammates to gain possession of the ball. This is similar to a jump ball in basketball. Scrum: This method is used to restart the game after the referee has whistled a minor law violation. A bound group of players from each team (the forward pack) form a “tunnel” with the opposition. The offensive team’s Scrumhalf puts the ball into the tunnel by rolling it in where the Hooker tries to drag the ball back (hook it) with his foot to his teammates, while each team pushes forward to try and gain an advantage. The ball works its way back through the forwards and then the Scrumhalf retrieves the ball and generally passes it to the backline. Penalty Play: After a major violation called by the referee, a team can be awarded a penalty kick. The offending team must retreat 10 meters. The awarded team can quickly tap the ball through the mark set by the referee and run it, or they can kick the ball directly out and be awarded the line-out where the ball crosses the sideline. TACKLES, RUCKS AND MAULS — A player tackled to the ground must make the ball available immediately so play can continue. Supporting players from both teams converge over the ball on the ground, binding with each other in an attempt to push the opposing players backwards in a manner similar to a scrum. This situation is known as a ruck. The ball may not be picked up by any player, until the it emerges out of the back of the ruck. A maul is formed with a similar gathering of players, except the player in possession of the ball is simply held up, and not tackled. The maul ends when the ball emerges. If you have any questions in the meantime, or would like more information on how to get involved yourself; contact Mark Carney at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rugbynorcal.org ✪
Photo by Harold Abend
rior to Saturday, Feb. 4, only 13 girls basketball players in the country had ever registered 4,000 career points. Then McDonald’s All-American Destiny Littleton of The Bishop’s School-La Jolla dropped in 35 points in a 75-41 win over Lincoln-San Diego. And just like that, California’s all-time scoring queen become No. 14 on a list compiled by the National Federation of State High School Associations. But the senior didn’t stop there. The following Tuesday she went for a blazing 62 points in a 92-60 win over Horizon Christian-San Diego. That put her at 4,090, which moved her past Brittany Johnson (4,031 points at Olney East Richland, Illinois from 2004-07), Kendra Neal (4,044 points at Pelican, Louisiana from 1989-92) and current Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey. She had 4,075 points from 1977-80 at Hammond, Louisiana. In the President’s Day Shootout at Mater Dei Catholic-Chula Vista on Feb. 11, Littleton went to the No. 10 spot on the NFHS all-time list after netting 30 points (nine rebounds, four assists) in limited action of a running-clock win over Granite Hills-El Cajon. That effort got her past current Vanderbilt junior guard Rebekah Dahlman who had 4,131 points from 201013 at Braham, Minnesota. With one game remaining in the regular season on Feb. 16, and four to five games in the playoffs — depending on how well the Knights do in the San Diego Section Open Division and the CIF Southern Regional playoffs — Littleton may very well get as high as No. 7. She did not play in Tuesday night’s game at Rock Academy-San Diego, but will certainly play Friday at cross-town rival La Jolla Country Day. At 4,152 points, she needs 168 points to pass No. 8 Katie Anthony and her 4,319 points from 2000-03 at Anacoco, Louisiana. “Looking at it, 4,000 points is a lot of points,” Littleton reflected. “Some people would say who did you score it against? What difference does it make? “When I hit 3,000 I was like – wow! That was a lot for me. Now, to be up there on that list is a milestone.” According to MaxPreps, Littleton is the nation’s leading scorer (46.8 ppg) and has made the most baskets (394) of any player. She’s over 300 points ahead of the second-leading scorer in that category. She’s also currently first in 3-pointers with 139, and third in free-throw percentage at 90 percent. Littleton has now missed two games due to nagging injuries but she still had 1,217 points so far this season entering this week, and the all-time California record according to the Cal-Hi Sports Most Points (Season) list is 1,300 by Danielle Viglione in 1992 at Del Campo-Fair Oaks.
CAL-HI SPORTSTOP 10 STATE BASKETBALL RANKINGS Through games of Saturday, Feb. 11 BOYS 1. (1)
Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth............. 25-1
Chino Hills..................................... 27-1
Bishop Montgomery-Torrance....... 23-2
Mater Dei-Santa Ana..................... 28-1
Birmingham-Lake Balboa.............. 24-3
Alemany-Mission Hills.................. 24-3
10. (10) —
Santa Margarita-Rancho SM.......... 20-6 GIRLS
Archbishop Mitty-San Jose............. 20-2
Clovis West-Fresno........................ 26-2
Long Beach Poly............................ 21-3
Mission Hills-San Marcos.............. 24-2
Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland............. 21-3
Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa...... 23-3
8. (10) ▲
Sacred Heart Cathedral-S.F............ 14-7
9. (14) ▲ Windward-L.A............................... 21-3 10. (7) ▼
Sierra Canyon-Chatsworth............. 20-4
ANOTHER MILESTONE California’s exclusive club of boys basketball coaches to achieve 600 varsity wins improved by one on Feb. 9 when Mike Murphy of Sonora-La Habra guided his team to a 77-48 triumph over Fullerton in the Raiders’ Freeway League finale. The team had already wrapped up its fifth straight league title and improved to 25-3 heading into the CIF Southern Section playoffs. Murphy, who began his career at now-closed Southern California ChristianAnaheim, is in his 27th season of coaching. He was the Orange County Register’s Coach of the Year after the 2014-15 season when Sonora went 29-5 and won the CIF Southern Section 3AA title. In the win against Fullerton, Kevin Marlow led the way with 24 points and four assists. Making the 600th win more memorable for Murphy also was the fact that his son, Sean, is on this year’s team. According to our own Cal-Hi Sports record book, Murphy is the 34th coach in state history to reach 600 wins. The last one to get there was Doug Mitchell of Bishop Montgomery-Torrance early last season. Mitchell just won his 650th game two weeks ago.
Souley Boum and Oakland Tech have a 19-game winning streak through Feb. 15.
GETTING STREAKY A pair of NorCal boys teams are on quite a roll since mid-December. St. Joseph Notre Dame-Alameda extended its winning streak to 23 games on Feb. 11. The Pilots (25-1) suffered their one and only loss to Modesto Christian in the Island Classic at St. Ignatius-S.F. on Dec. 3. Barring a major upset, St. Joseph could conceivably extend the streak to 28 or 29 leading up to the CIF Northern Regional playoffs in March. The Pilots will be heavy favorites to win two league playoff games on Feb. 16 and 18, and will likely be the top seed in the North Coast Section Div. IV playoffs where they could potentially play up to four contests. In the Oakland Section, Oakland Tech (23-3) pushed its winning streak to 19 games with its 76-55 regular season-finale win over Castlemont on Feb. 15. The Bulldogs will be heavy favorites in the four-team Oakland Athletic League Championships on Feb. 17-18. ✪ — Harold Abend, Mark Tennis, Chace Bryson
Cal-Hi Sports’ Most Inspirational Football Player 2016 Scotts Valley Senior Tyler Stow Learns Through Tragedies — And Stands Taller A quiet evening of watching TV with his mother and stepfather last April turned into a horrific experience in an instant for Scotts Valley High football player Tyler Stow. Tyler’s stepdad, Sammy Kain, was sitting in his chair when he was hit with a massive heart attack. He was not a small man at 6-foot-5 and approximately 250 pounds, but Tyler and his mother, Jackey Kain, lept into action. They were able to get Sam onto the floor. With an ambulance on the way, Jackey quickly started chest compressions. Tyler then took over when it looked as if his mother was tiring. Unfortunately, all efforts to save Sammy, including those of the paramedics, did not work. He died from the heart attack in the living room, which may have been brought on by medicines he was taking from a recent testicular cancer diagnosis. He was only 49. Tyler already knew he was going to be Scotts Valley’s starting quarterback as a senior, taking over for graduating senior Nick Reyes. He told head coach Louie Walters on the night that his stepfather died, basically right in front of him, in whose memory he would be dedicating his season. “From that point on, in the midst of everything else in his life, there was not a day that went by that Tyler wasn’t working toward the season,” said Walters, who has been Scotts Valley’s head coach since the school opened in 1999 and fielded the first team with strictly sophomores in 2000. “I think it may have taken his mind off of the grieving process, but he was lifting and working every day. And I think the team knew what he was going through and they rallied around him.” “My stepdad was an awesome influence on me,” Stow said. “One lesson he always instilled in me was patience. When there’s a temptation to get upset about something, he’d say take a step back. That helps a lot.” Stow was very little when his mother and father divorced, but it’s obvious what trait Tyler learned from his father: never give up when there are difficulties. And his father has faced difficulties hard to imagine. Tyler Stow, you see, also is the son of Bryan Stow, a longtime San Francisco Giants’ fan who went to Opening Night for the 2011 season to see the Giants play at Dodger Stadium. After that game, Stow was attacked by two other fans and wound up on the ground with a serious head injury.
He also had other facial injuries from the beating, which included being kicked in the head. The incident drew nationwide attention and there were rumors of more trouble erupting the following week when the Dodgers went to San Francisco. Both organizations helped quell further incidents, but Stow remained in critical condition. “When I practiced, and it was hot outside, and I was struggling, I’d think about him and how much worse it was for him,” Tyler said. “He was in a coma for nine months and woke up not knowing what happened. He had to re-learn how to do everything. Knowing what he’s done allows me to push past the limit of what I thought was difficult.” On their own, perseverance from pops, and patience from Sammy, probably wasn’t enough for Tyler to have the senior season he enjoyed. Inheriting some athletic ability from mom may have been equally important. Jackey, who also grew up in Scotts Valley, was a Division I college athlete in softball at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is currently the head coach of the Scotts Valley softball team, which last year was in the CIF Central Coast Section Division III playoffs. “She’s gone through so much that most people just could not bare,” Tyler said of his mom, who cleans houses for a living in addition to coaching softball. “She’s given up everything for myself, my sister (Tabatha) and my brother (Mathew, Sam’s son).” By the end of the season, which ended at 8-3 with a Central Coast Section Division V playoff loss to eventual-champion Half Moon Bay, Stow had 1,932 yards of passing with 25 TD passes. Senior receiver Ryan Johnston, also was outstanding after being a non-starter as a junior. He finished with 50 catches for nearly 1,017 yards and 17 TDs. He and Stow were named Co-Offensive Players of the Year by the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “We have never had a kid make an impact like that who was a nonstarter from the season before at any position,” Walters said of Stow. “He was dealt a hand that the average kid just does not get dealt. For him to even have played at all would have been an inspiration to all of us.” ✪ — Mark Tennis
op youth tennis players from throughout Northern California are getting ready for the annual Johnson Ranch Junior Singles Championships taking place over President’s Day Weekend. Placer Valley Tourism will join forces with Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville to once again host this three-day event on Feb. 18-20. Girls and boys ages 12 to 18 will be competing in this United States Tennis Association sanctioned event, and the competition promises to be fierce. This tournament traditionally brings in a very advanced level of play. Cris Bacharach, Tournament Director and Johnson Ranch Racquet Club Head Tennis Pro, explained that many of these players are quite serious and often travel with their coach to the tournament. “Last year we had 253 competitors,” Bacharach said. “Which means quite a few kids had to be turned away as only the best 32 applicants for each age division are accepted.” Matches start early Saturday morning and continue well into the evenings on both Saturday and Sunday. The NorCal champions in each age division will be decided in the final match-ups that take place on Monday, Feb. 20. Mark your calendar and come down to the courts at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club located at 2600 Eureka Rd in Roseville to see these junior tennis athletes take their swing at becoming NorCal champions. ✪ — All copy and photos provided by Placer Valley Tourism
Roseville Hosts Fledgling High-Level For Younger Swimmers
he South Western Age Group Regional swim meet is splashing into the Roseville Aquatics Complex on March 16-19 when California Capital Aquatics and Placer Valley Tourism host this exciting swimming event. “This is only the second year this event has ever been held, and Clovis Swim Club hosted the inaugural event in 2016,” Executive Director for Sierra Nevada Swimming Denna Culpepper said. She explained that the concept of this meet was a collaborative effort of two local swim committees, SNS and Central California Swimming, who joined forces to provide a higher level meet for the 14-and-under age groups. “SWAGR was created as a bridge for those swimmers who were much faster than the standards of a Junior Olympics meet, and may not be fast enough to be competitive for the standards of a Far Western Championship,” CCA Meet Director Alex Ongaco elaborated said. More than 400 swimmers are expected to participate, all of whom had to qualify by meeting a certain time standard in each event. Swimmers will be coming from as far as Arizona for this competition and records will undoubtedly be broken. There are three local stand-out swimmers from CCA that were invited to attend the Sierra Nevada Swimming Age Group Elite Camp based on exceptional performance. All three will compete at SWAGR and are expected to do well. Matthew Ng, 11, is ranked No. 7 in the nation for his age group by USA Swimming in the 200-meter butterfly. He will be setting his sights on a first-place finish. Bianca Ignacio, who is the 10-and-under SNS record-holder for the 500-yard freestyle, is another swimmer to watch. Matthew Crouch holds the 2016 SWAGR meet record for the 500-yard freestyle (12-year-old boys division) and is actively preparing to ensure he is at the top of the leader board this March. The RAC is located at 3051 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd in Roseville, so make sure to check out these sensational youth swimmers. ✪
built like a HOUSE
training time: tim rudd
Athletes Need To Approach Training Thinking Foundation First Many athletes spend so much time just playing in the hopes of becoming the next Steph Curry, Madison Bumgarner or Derek Carr that they undervalue working on physical preparation which can help them develop the athletic qualities that could have a much bigger impact on their game. What I’m alluding to is movement quality, which I believe is the most underrated athletic quality in our young athletes today. Athletes spend so much time playing, that they spend very little time preparing — and in the long run their performance and health suffer. Let me use a great example that we can all relate to. The foundation of a house has to be solid as it supports the floor, walls and the ceiling. If the foundation is weak or uneven, the joints that hold the flooring, walls and celling together will start to wear. Eventually they give, causing structural damage such as cracks throughout all the support systems. Now let’s get back to our athletes, we tend to do the opposite: We try to lay power, endurance, speed and strength on a compromised foundation. In this case, the athlete’s movement foundation. If athletes have stiffness in joints that should be mobile, and mobility in joints that should be stable, then wear and tear begins to take place in these joints and an injury becomes much more likely. Secondly, if athletes lack movement, their ability to produce the athletic skills necessary to optimally perform, the sport specific-skills required of them will be greatly diminished.
I see it time and time again with athletes who come to me with knee, back, hip and shoulder injuries. They all lack movement in the joint below or above the injured joint. In fact, in Steph Curry’s early years in the NBA he struggled with foot and ankle injuries, which greatly affected his ability to excel like we see now. The culprit was he lacked hip mobility, and the ability to hinge his hips. Lack of hip mobility most likely created mobility in Curry’s knees, which affected the joint below, his ankles. In his case, it was his ankles; for other athletes, it could be their knees or lower back. Unfortunately, athletes who are not as genetically gifted don’t have as much resiliency as Curry and other elite athletes. They will get injured at much younger ages, most likely ending their high school or college careers too soon. This is the importance of making sure athletes are assessed and evaluated through fundamental movement patterns to uncover any movement issues that need to be addressed — before blindly adding other athletic qualities such as strength, power, speed and endurance on a weak foundation ill prepared to handle the stress required to optimize their health and sport performance. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
Protein Planning nutrition: jill daniels
Seek strong, less expensive protein sources Here’s a question that I’m asked quite often. “I know protein is important for an athlete, but I can’t afford to buy protein powder all the time. What are some other good sources of high-quality protein?” When it comes to protein, there are plenty of healthy and affordable choices. On a trip to the local grocery store, I priced out the weekly cost of protein foods for a 160-pound athlete (based on 110 grams of protein/day). In the top chart is what you can get for about $25. Compare that to these engineered products in the second chart and you’ll see how much more affordable it is to meet your needs through whole foods. There is a time and place for these products, since they travel well, are convenient, and are good for emergencies. As much as you can, however, keep those supplements on the shelf and strive to eat a balanced diet including foods with protein at most meals and snacks. Remember that a good nutrition plan is just as important as a good training plan. ✪ Jill Daniels, MS, RD, CSSD is a Registered Dietitian in the Bay Area of Northern California who specializes in sports nutrition and weight management. wShe works with people of all ages. Visit her at JillDanielsRD.com
Grams of protein
1 pound ground beef
1 gallon 1% milk
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cans refried beans
1 jar natural peanut butter
1 pkg of string cheese
2 cans albacore tuna
16 oz low-fat cottage cheese
8 oz sunflower seeds
12 egg whites
Grams of protein
1 can whey protein powder 4 Clif Builder’s bars
4 Power Bar Protein Shakes Totals
120 $13.28 775 $40.23
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St. Francis-Sacramento senior Savannah Tijerino-Santos reacts after her first-half goal during a Feb. 2 match at Davis. The Troubadours would lose the match 2-1. Through Feb. 14, St. Francis was 13-4-4 and Tijerino-Santos has scored nine goals. Photo by James K. Leash