Mark J. Terrill / AP

Ex-A’s slugger Jose Canseco will discuss his experience using steroids.

Prep notes: Jose Canseco highlights 10th Character Combine at Folsom High

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 - 5:36 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014 - 9:37 am

Jose Canseco highlights Saturday’s 10th Character Combine at Folsom High School, where more than 800 area coaches and athletes are expected to participate in sportsmanship development sessions that include motivational speakers, seminars and award ceremonies.

The nationally renowned sports character development firm is based in Sacramento for athletes and coaches from the college level to youth sports.

Canseco, one of the great home run hitters of his generation who later admitted to steroid use, will head two sessions. In the first, the six-time All-Star and 1988 American League MVP who started his career with the A’s will discuss conditioning and training the natural way and talk about his experience using steroids. Canseco also will host a session on the art of power hitting at the school’s batting cages.

“We believe the coaches in Sacramento in all sports are some of the very best in America,” said Jason Harper, founder and executive director of Character Combine. “Most of these coaches want to coach beyond the scoreboard, to teach life lessons. But sometimes in the heat of competition, we need to give them teaching tools on sportsmanship, how to deal with stress and losses, and the best gift we can give these coaches are top-notch speakers.”

On Canseco, Harper said: “He’s a powerful voice. He speaks on anti-doping with agencies all over, and he’s testified in front of (congressional) committees on PEDs. What better voice to talk to our coaches and athletes of what not to do to your body?”

Character Combine Athletes of the Year are Sacramento High basketball standout Ayanna Edwards and Cosumnes Oaks football and basketball star Alex Van Dyke. Folsom basketball coach Mike Wall is the Coach of the Year. Earlier this week, Wall was named Cal-Hi Sports Division II State Coach of the Year.

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Martial arts medalist – George El-Chemali of Woodcreek followed a gold-medal showing in taekwondo at the Canadian Open in Montreal with a silver at the German Open in Berlin last weekend.

Oliver on board – Bee All-Metro forward Cameron Oliver of Grant signed with Oregon State on Wednesday during a campus ceremony. He averaged 21.5 points and 10 rebounds this season..

Woodcreek football signees – Woodcreek football players who signed this spring with D-III programs include Dylan Stacy (Lewis & Clark), Rob Walker (Frostburg State), Dillon Bolen (Cal Lutheran) and Michael Daw (Menlo College).

Water world – Rio Americano All-America water polo player Celeste Brown signed with Marist. Brown was a three-time All-Sac-Joaquin Section pick and participated in the USA Water Polo Olympic Developmental Program three times.

Granite Bay haul – Seven Granite Bay student-athletes signed national letters of intent Wednesday: Ryan Whelan (swimming, TCU), Kevin Wylder (swimming, UC San Diego), Lali Garza (softball, Redlands), Nick Gainer (lacrosse, Notre Dame de Namur), Zach Hall (baseball, Westmont), Nina Murphy-Cook (softball, Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and Josh Neal (football, Menlo).

New AD at CBS – Dale Milton, who has taught social studies and coached several sports at various levels since 2004 at Christian Brothers, is the school’s new athletic director. He takes over for Dan Carmazzi, who is now the Falcons’ football coach.

Baseball showcase – The sixth Albie Swingin’ For Life Baseball Showcase is Saturday at Sacramento City College and features five teams in The Bee’s Top 20. Valley Christianplays Antelope in the 10 a.m. opener. No. 7 Oak Ridge faces No. 4 Franklin at 1 p.m., top-ranked Elk Grove meets Rodriguez at 4 p.m., and No. 14 Jesuit plays No. 15 Christian Brothers at 7 p.m. Proceeds go to the Albie Carson Breast Cancer Foundation, created in memory of the 50-year Sacramento resident who worked in real estate. She died in 2002. The event has raised $47,000.

Basketball showcase – The third NorCal Spring Basketball Showcase, an NCAA-certified event that allows Division I college recruiters to attend, runs Friday through Sunday at Capital Christian, Mesa Verde and El Camino. Seventy-five high school-age players on teams from Sacramento and across the state will compete. Games begin Friday night and will be played through the day and evening during the weekend. For information, contact event coordinator Gerry Freitas at

Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.

Read more articles by Joe Davidson

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