Elk Grove's Jeff Carlson, who led the Thundering Herd to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship this season, has been named Cal-Hi Sports' State Baseball Coach of the Year.
He becomes the fifth Sacramento-area baseball coach to receive the honor - the first since Cordova's Guy Anderson in 1981 - in the award's 80 years.
"That's a pretty cool honor and certainly has to be shared with my assistants, my players and my wife - she's a big part of this award," Carlson said.
Carlson, who was selected The Bee's Coach of the Year earlier this month, has coached 13 seasons at Elk Grove and has won 312 games and five D-I section titles.
This year's team, which swept three-time defending champion St. Mary's of Stockton in a best-of-three series, finished 29-5 and ranked No. 3 in California.
In selecting Carlson, Cal-Hi editor Mark Tennis noted that although this year's team had high-profile players in Toronto Blue Jays draftee Ryan "Rowdy" Tellez and Colorado Rockies signee Dom Nunez, several talented underclass players started, including freshman first baseman Dylan Carlson, son of the coach.
Despite the Thundering Herd's success, it was still a trying season in some regards for Jeff Carlson.
His wife, Caryn, has been restricted to a wheelchair for long stretches while recovering from transverse myelitis, an inflammatory disorder that impacts the spinal cord. Yet she still attended all of Elk Grove's games.
"She inspires and amazes me," Carlson said.
Besides Carlson and Anderson, who is still at Cordova and has more than 900 wins, the other area coaches to receive the statewide honor are Dick Sperbeck of Bishop Armstrong (1962), Cliff Perry of McClatchy (1951) and Ed Combatalade of Sacramento (1935).
National team selectees - Former Sheldon standout and Cal graduate Lindsey Ziegenhirt and former Sutter High and Oregon star Jessica Moore are among 18 players named to the USA Softball Women's National Team.
Moore, a pitcher who graduated from Oregon on Sunday, was the Pacific-12 Conference Pitcher of the Year and a first-team All-American. She produced a 27-6 record and 1.71 ERA while helping the Ducks to the school's first conference championship in softball.
Ziegenhirt, a catcher, had 17 home runs and 54 RBIs for Cal this season and was a Pac-12 second-team and NFCA All-Pacific Region first-team selection. She also was the Pac-12 Softball Scholar Athlete of the Year, having maintained a 3.77 grade-point average during her Cal career.
Both will compete for the United States in the World Cup of Softball on July 11-14 in Oklahoma City; the Canadian Open July 16-22 in Surrey, British Columbia; and the International Women's World Championship/Pan American Games qualifier Aug. 5-18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
From the NFL to PCFL - Former Denver Broncos defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson has helped the Sacramento-based minor-league Delta Ducks reach Saturday's championship game of the Pacific Coast Football League at Vacaville Christian High School.
Thompson, who starred at Grant and Cal, had an interception and returned a fumble for a touchdown in the Ducks' 31-30 semifinal win over the East Bay Outlaws last Saturday at Grant.
Thompson was drafted in the seventh round by the Broncos in 2010 and played in 13 games that season. He ruptured his Achilles' tendon in the last preseason game of 2011 and was released by the Broncos before the start of the 2012 season.
Thompson is one of a handful of former Pacers on the team. Tim Lang, who quarterbacked Grant to a 14-0 season in earning Bee Player of the Year honors in 2008, is the team's top receiver.
The Ducks (11-0) play the Central Coast Barnstormers (9-2) at 6 p.m.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson at (916) 326-5506.