The sixth annual Sheldon-Trail Summer Jam, Northern California's largest high school boys basketball tournament featuring 60 teams, tips off Friday with 170 games scheduled at Sheldon, Monterey Trail and Elk Grove high schools and Smedberg Middle School.
The three-day tournament, which concludes Sunday, offers numerous story lines:
New-look Sheldon The Huskies graduated 10 seniors from last season's CIF Northern California Open Division runner-up team, including Dakarai Allen and D'Erryl Williams (both headed for San Diego State), Darin Johnson (Washington) and Ryan Manning (Air Force). But coach and tourney co-director Joey Rollings returns Ian Miller and Devin Greene, who contributed on varsity as freshmen last season; has transfers Trey Belton of Capital Christian and Isaiah Brooks of Bradshaw Christian; plus a slew of young and untested players. "Right now, I've got 25 players in the mix," said Rollings, whose Huskies have won the last four Sac-Joaquin Section Division I titles. "I think we have enough talent to compete for another section championship."
Reloading or rebuilding? Division I state champion Pleasant Grove lost starters Malik Thames, Cole Nordquist, Matthew Smrekar and Matthew Hayes (though 6-foot-8 returnee Marquese Chriss is garnering national attention) to graduation, while two-time reigning D-II section champion Antelope graduated its imposing front line of 6-8 Isiah Quintero, 6-7 Isaiah Ellis and 6-5 Gabe Bealer.
Is Folsom the real deal? The Bulldogs recently went 8-0 in winning the Sacramento State Team Camp championship with incoming sophomore Jordan Ford and junior Josiah Deguara leading the way. "They're good they beat us by 11 in the semifinals," said Monterey Trail coach and Summer Jam tournament co-director Ken Manfredi.
Is Oak Ridge a sleeping giant? Bobby Edwards is the new head coach at Oak Ridge, which opened eyes by winning the Gold Division championship at a tournament last week at the Hardwood Palace in Rocklin. Edwards starred at Del Campo and was an assistant under Steve Scott, whom he has replaced.
Other formidable area programs entered in the Summer Jam are Burbank, Colfax, Del Oro, Foothill, Granite Bay, Grant, Jesuit, Kennedy, Rocklin and Woodcreek.
They are joined by last season's NorCal and SoCal Regional playoff teams El Cerrito, Chico, Campolindo of Moraga, Palo Alto and Central of Fresno. The 20 out-of-area teams entered are the most in the tournament's history, Manfredi said.
The top-level Platinum Division championship game is Sunday at 6 p.m. at Monterey Trail Gym No. 1. Four other championship games will be held at the same time at other sites.
Tickets each day are $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and $3 for children ages 7 to 12.
For the schedule, results and updates, go to www.sheldontrail.com.
Knights earn honors Rio Linda had a strong showing at the Nevada football camp last weekend.
Running back Marcel Brown, who rushed for 1,454 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore last season, was named the camp's offensive MVP and senior defensive back Aarion McNealy the defensive MVP.
Both made the all-camp teams and were joined by teammates Matthew Morris, Seth McCoy, Danny Perez, Vaughn Hingano, Leonard Skattebo and Keenan Hunt.
The Knights finished 8-3 overall and 4-1 in the Capital Valley Conference last season.
Pioneer's Merrida honored Cal-Hi Sports selected Pioneer's Linda Merrida as its state Medium Schools Softball Coach of the Year.
Merrida, The Bee's Coach of the Year, led Pioneer to a 24-6 overall record and the Division III section championship.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.