Scouring the region from Elk Grove and Stockton to the foothills and Marysville plus Ames, Iowa, and Europe
Elk Grove football coach Chris Nixon had an emotional return to his old stomping grounds in Grass Valley on Friday night, leading his Thundering Herd in Nevada Union's homecoming game.
Before the kickoff, Nixon was touched that the public address announcer acknowledged his playing days at Nevada Union. Nixon said he was amused when it was announced that he was the son of the "late Marshall Nixon," who coached the Miners to championship success a generation ago.
"My dad's still alive I think," Nixon cracked. "He was in the stands."
Then Nixon's Thundering Herd beat Nevada Union 23-7. But after the game, Nixon's smile turned into a frown when he was verbally dressed down by a parent in the parking lot in front of players, fans and his two young sons over playing time. Four security guards had to restrain the dad, who let loose with a profane tirade.
Ah, the gloss of a 5-0 start.
Parents confronting coaches is nothing new, but isn't there a better time and place than in front of a crowd?
After Grant lost at Lincoln of Stockton on Sept. 17, a Pacers parent got into a heated discussion with Pacers assistant coach Rob Alberghini, the son of Grant head coach Mike Alberghini, with the dad jumping a railing in pursuit of Rob.
Mike Alberghini suggested restraint and told the pursuer, "You're better than that. You don't want to go over there. It'd be a wreck."
He was talking about Grant's crew of assistant coaches, built like nose guards.
Call him a winner
Steele Jantz from Nevada Union has helped Iowa State to a 3-0 start with steady play at quarterback. His Cyclones have trailed a total of 10 times before beating Northern Iowa, Iowa and Connecticut. Unusual names run in the family: His brothers are Truck and Broughan, and his father, Foxx, has one brother named Stig and another Wolfe.
Retired Elk Grove and Sheldon football coach Ed Lombardi might return to the sideline someday. But for now, he's on the travel circuit, delivering on a promise to his wife, Jeannie. This week, they're in Europe. Said Ed, a retired history teacher, on the eve of the trip: "I thought we already traveled trips to Fresno."
A night after Isaiah Saunders scored on a 52-yard sprint for Pleasant Grove against Roseville, brother Jalen Saunders had five catches for 142 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown, to help Fresno State beat Idaho 48-24. The week before in a victory over North Dakota, Saunders had scoring receptions of 86 and 56 yards.
After going 3-7 last year, Yuba College is 3-0 after beating Sacramento City 14-7. Leading Yuba is quarterback Jon Garcia, who lasted just three games as a freshman in 2009 because of a concussion and missed last season with a bad back.
When Boise State football coach Chris Petersen learned of the death of Cosumnes Oaks junior varsity player Jurrell Davis last week from an asthma attack, he called varsity head coach Scooter Gomes. "That's his character," Gomes said. The Cosumnes Oaks marching band formed a 26 in honor of Davis' jersey in a moving pregame tribute.