Foundation to honor 36 football players
Thirty-six high school football players, including five from CIF State Bowl champion Granite Bay, will be honored at tonight's annual National Football Foundation, Sacramento Valley Chapter's scholar-athlete awards dinner at the Sacramento Elks Club in south Sacramento.
Former El Dorado High School football standout Skip Vanderbundt, who played at Oregon State and with the 49ers, will be the guest speaker.
Granite Bay's honorees are Grant Caraway, Parker Doyle, Beau Hershberger, Aaron Knapp and Taft Partridge.
Other area athletes to be honored are Capital Christian's Anthony Garza, Brandon Roznos and Quinton Kirk; Jesuit's Andrew Endicott and Garrett Strohmaier; Placer's Isaac Brache and Stone Sander; Oakmont's Taylor Laird and Tino Loconte; Del Oro's Dalton Hudec, Zachary LaBar and Skyler Rand; Woodland's Joshua Cardoza; Del Campo's Kyle Evanski; Mesa Verde's Alex Johnson; Woodland Christian's Tyler Maszk; Folsom's Lucas Owan; Whitney's Jordan Powell; Cosumnes Oaks' Kyle Saxelid; Roseville's Kyle Schwartz; Rio Linda's Riley Smith; and Union Mine's Sean Tow.
Sac High girls welcome spot in Open Division
The first CIF Open Division boys and girls basketball selections and seedings have been criticized by coaches and media pundits.
Cal-Hi Sports, for example, called Sheldon's low No. 4 boys seed "borderline criminal" and the decision to have eight girls teams, including Sacramento High, in the NorCal and just seven from much larger and more competitive Southern California a "travesty."
But Sacramento High's Allie Green and Chaya Durr think its an honor to be selected to play in the much-debated new division.
"I'm really excited. I like competition," said Durr, whose Dragons play at St. Mary's of Berkeley on Friday.
Added Green: "It's not fun if you don't take on challenges."
But they agreed it would be disappointing if they lose in the first round while Metro Conference rivals Kennedy (Division I) and Florin (Division II), whom the Dragons beat five times combined in the regular season and section playoffs, advance in their divisions.
"That would (hurt)," Durr said. "I wouldn't like that feeling at all."
Bear River getting big boost from Reina
Bear River's 5-foot-9 junior forward Kaitlyn Reina has become a go-to player this season, a bit of a surprise to coach Jeff Bickmore.
"She missed all of last season because of back surgery," said Bickmore after Reina's 19 points and nine rebounds in Bear River's 50-40 loss to Bradshaw Christian in the D-IV girls section championship Saturday. "I expected her to help us this season, but not this much, considering how much time she missed. She has carried us all year."
Reina, who leads the 26-4 Bruins in scoring (13.5 points) and rebounding (9.5), is the younger sister of former Bruins football player and track athlete Joey Reina and softball standout Alyssa Reina, a two-time Bee All-Metro first-team selection who now plays at North Dakota State.