Months after the Elk Grove Unified School District celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009, bad news crashed the party in the form of a guillotine-size budget cut. Freshman sports were eliminated, severing athletic opportunities in what can be a critical development year.

Diondre Batson is on the fast track to his home turf. The Alabama sprinter targets the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in June at Sacramento State in his native city as a finish line of sorts, capping a stretch of performances that include some of the nation’s best times this spring.

Rob Willson doesn’t have to endure this. He could be working in his garden, working on his tan or working his way through the meat section of the grocery store before grilling and chilling. Instead, the veteran Sierra College baseball coach is back in the grind in the pressure cooker known as the Big 8 Conference.

Eric Berger was looking forward to playing with the River Cats, a chance to pitch in front of family and friends. The Bee’s 2004 Player of the Year from Woodcreek High School, Berger was released by the A’s last Thursday, the eve of the Triple-A River Cats’ homeopener at Raley Field. The 27-year-old left-hander had allowed one run and three hits in 1 1/3 innings for Sacramento.

They couldn’t find their husbands, and that realization left the ladies to look at each other, then the heavens. Then they laughed.

Though just 5-foot-7 and 156 pounds, Guy Anderson keeps growing in stature. The 81-year-old Cordova High School coach is second in California career wins, and he's become synonymous with baseball.

This is the time of year when fatigue battles desire. But desire can prevail in this race.

Stephen Vogt doesn’t want to be here, but he is. And the 29-year-old catcher will make the best of his return to the River Cats after getting squeezed out in a numbers game with the A’s because attitude and class define his character.

The root of the California state basketball championship tournament took hold with Bill Cartwright, the 7-foot teenager with a feathery shooting touch who harvested his strong work ethic on a Walnut Grove farm.

The Walls – Mike, the veteran coach, and Jared, the gritty player never afraid to sprawl on the floor – guided Folsom High School to a CIF Northern California Division II championship on Saturday.

Jordan Ford lost his cool once.

The first thing Kyle Odister did upon landing in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday afternoon on a team charter that felt more like Cloud 9, was call his uncle.

Dave Hoskins already has his new football boss a bit concerned. He vows to rummage through the storage room at Christian Brothers High School, digging beneath shoulder pads and blocking pads, to unearth coaching shorts from the 1970s. He wants a flashback look

Shaq Thompson was a running back to behold at Grant High School, the best big-back sprinter we've seen in 25 years on the local beat. Is the Shaq run attack back?

The low points of decorum and decency played out in three forms: a player, a fan and a coach.

For high school basketball players, playing at Sleep Train Arena in playoffs means emotions will go up, shooting percentages down

Brendan Lane has a 4-inch gash below his right eye, and he’s proud of it

The first thing you notice about Jake Velasco is the beard. The thick clump of curly hair makes the Cosumnes River College sophomore look more like Paul Bunyan than a smooth-shooting, 6-foot-7 forward.

The first time Eli McCullough saw Dusty Baker, he clasped his hands, looked to the heavens and offered gratitude.

When it comes to deciding who makes the high school basketball playoffs in California, emotions tend to play a significant role.

Buck Martinez was back on his old turf Friday, only he didn’t fully recognize it.

New coach is hired by the former coach, Mike Morris, to take the Knights from the playoffs to a championship

The 53-year-old football coach for now will work with doctors as he overcomes lingering effects from being struck by a wayward golf club

National signingday is the first opportunity for football players across the country to sign scholarship or financial aid letters of intent with colleges. For some, Wednesday is a day of celebration. For others, it’s a day of suspense.

Greg Thomas rubs his weary old knee and takes you back a generation for proof. Now the principal at West Campus High School, Thomas embraced his football dreams and desires growing up in the Bay Area and during his collegiate days in Stockton.

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