Jerry Haflich crashed into fullbacks as a linebacker at Sacramento State in the early 1980s, absorbing his share of bell ringers before they became commonly known as concussions.
Well before his days as American River College's football coach, Haflich didn't ease off the accelerator in his 20s. He craved the adrenaline rush, so he challenged agitated steers on the rodeo circuit, suffering cracked ribs, chipped teeth and hoof imprints all over his body.
Haflich isn't even safe on a serene golf course. Two years ago, he was struck in the forehead by a wayward club.
The impact left him with a railroad track-like gash. So one can imagine why Haflich's teams compete ferociously.
Today, ARC steps into the ring with the proverbial community college bully with a chance of redemption and a program-defining moment. The Beavers (8-2) visit City College of San Francisco (9-1) in the Northern California Football Association championship contest with a trip to the state title game in Southern California at stake. The Rams have won 12 NorCal titles and seven state and national championships since 1994 under coach George Rush.
CCSF beat ARC 52-33 in a nonconference game in September.
ARC is powered by running back Devontae Booker, who will play at Utah next season, and a defense headed by linebacker Samson Faifili, who's headed to Kansas, and defensive back Zane Petty, off to Illinois.
"They're the standard," Haflich said of the Rams. "We want to get to that level, and to do it, you have to be physical."
Haflich said he is inspired by the lessons of his former Sac State coach, Bob Mattos, who passed away in 2010.
"I think about him all the time," Haflich said. "He's still with me, a lot of us."
Malcolm bows out
Malcolm Floyd has stepped down as the football coach at McClatchy High School to concentrate on obtaining a graduate degree.
"I loved the challenge of working with inner-city kids, helping them, relating to them, because I was one," said Floyd, a football and basketball star at McClatchy in the late 1980s when he went by Malcolm Seabron.
Change of heart?
Placer High defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, who verbally committed to USC, is on a recruiting trip to crosstown rival UCLA this weekend. Like many prospects, Vanderdoes is exploring his options while the schools offering scholarships also continue to scout the country.
He also will visit LSU, Washington, Cal and USC.
Let's get ready to dribble
The Sheldon boys basketball team, with three scholarship signees and ranked in the state's top five by MaxPreps.com and CalHiSports.com, opens its season at 8 tonight against San Leandro at Cosumnes River College.
The Huskies led by combo players Dakarai Allen (San Diego State), Darin Johnson (Washington) and D'Erryl Williams (San Diego State) host Granite Bay on Monday and national power and two-time defending state Division II champion Mitty of San Jose on Dec. 8.