Sometimes you have to look toward the high schools to find a feel-good story, away from college hazing or player expulsion for brawling or NFL concussions.
Two unsung people in Sacramento have been honored by Character Combine, a California-based firm that works with coaches and athletes of all ages and levels in developing character and team commitment.
The Character Combine Regional High School Coach of the Year is Johnson girls basketball coach Jeanie Huizar. The Warriors did not win a game this past season, but the award recognizes accomplishments beyond the scoreboard. Huizar kept the Warriors together and inspired despite players having home problems and/or academic woes.
Huizar's effort spoke volumes to the award's selection group headed by Jason Harper, a powerful motivational speaker. Harper said Huizar "is exactly what we're all about."
The Regional Athlete of the Year Award went to Brian Payne of Grant. The junior, who competed in football and track, was recognized for his accomplishments off the field. For the past 11 months, Payne has taken a bus to cook, clean house, bathe and read to his great-grandfather, who has dementia. All while maintaining a 3.0 grade-point average.
Character in its truest form.
What to watch
NBA, Memphis at L.A. Clippers, 6 p.m., ESPN: Grizzlies try to avoid elimination, force Game 7.
What to do
Baseball, River Cats vs. Omaha, 7:05 p.m., Raley Field: As weather warms up, Cats try to stay hot.
What troubles you most about prep sports?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comment field; Or, go to www.sacbee.com/sports
How will the Giants finish this season?
World Series champs: 10%
No playoffs: 57%
Total votes: 326
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Read more articles by Joe Davidson
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