Ethan Westbrooks spent his youth in Oakland, flourished as a football player at Franklin High School and continued to grow into his shoulder pads as a late bloomer at Sacramento City College.

Pete Saco’s voice halts as he tells the story. A defining moment of his youth and what shapes him today still tugs at his emotions.

Vince Mayle was ready to play basketball for the rest of his life. Then something happened.

Cal defensive tackle Vei Moala, formerly of Grant High School, confirmed Friday he will forgo his senior season to test the NFL draft waters.

Rudy Ortega last saw his close friend two months ago in the chill of Chicago. They caught a Bears game with two other buddies, each bundled up head to toe. They were there to laugh about old times, to be kids again. And to watch Lance Briggs, the star linebacker for the Bears and a former teammate and classmate at Elk Grove High School in the late 1990s.

Two things immediately strike you about Jalen Saunders.

From having an eye that was frozen in place to sleeping in a fetal position just to find any semblance of comfort, tears soaking his pillow, Marcus Rios doesn’t take anything for granted.

Vei Moala said he enjoys the student life, his studies, and he insists the Bears' football fortunes will improve.

The senior tight end, who says his “motor never stops,” also plays basketball and baseball.

Mike Morris spent his first day of retirement from coaching in the fast lane in search of new destinations and adventures.

Alex Campos-Chambers, who was born with a right arm that ends at the wrist, found a way because he refuses to be burdened by limits.

Bragging rights just took on a decidedly new tone in Placer County.

Ed Hall started De La Salle’s football program and once coached Folsom’s Kris Richardson.

Franchises that fans love to see achieve and foes want to see flop: Cowboys, Yankees, Lakers, Notre Dame.

Sorting through a whirlwind week and a day:

Sorting through a whirlwind week and a day:

Knights surprised to discover their new coach played at Stanford and in the NFL

Jason Elenberger has a sidearm delivery, but he has touch, and the ball gets there. He doesn’t look much like a sprinter – more gallop than smooth stride – but good luck beating him to the corner.

Twenty-five years later, and it’s still with him.

About the only thing that didn’t hurt was his head.

It won’t be cold enough for ice to form and be scraped off the rental car windows Saturday. And even if the forecast called for sideways sleet and snow from winds known to gust in the region, Larry Cunha was going to go anyway.

The appeal of high school football is the overwhelming sense of the unknown. Who knows what will happen? Teenagers working as a unit, reacting in pressure situations, succeeding or falling agonizingly short. Coaches, in effect,moving chess pieces on a field, daring the foe to counter.

Jordan Richards is a junior strong safety at Stanford who seemingly hasn't slowed down since helping Folsom win the 2010 CIF State Division II championship.

Michael Lahey's highlights don't appear on ESPN.

This is where Jamar Cain goes to lose himself in thought.

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