Around the regions in a forward lean:
▪ Tyler Waldron’s baseball journey that has led him to Triple Astarted on the Georgetown Divide in Pilot Hill. From tee-ball to high school as a big man roaming the small Golden Sierra campus in Garden Valley, Waldron has always dreamed of reaching the big leagues. The reliever for the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League now is just a call away from fulfilling that goal. Against the River Cats at Raley Field, he pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning Friday and earned the save Sunday.
Waldron was The Bee’s Player of the Year in 2007, the only time a Golden Sierra athlete has won the award. Waldron attended Pacific, then Oregon State, where his batterymate was Jesuit alum Andrew Susac, now with the Giants. Waldron was drafted in the fifth round by Pittsburgh in 2010 and has overcome shoulder troubles.
After Sunday’s game, Waldron signed autographs and chatted with family, friends and former prep coaches.
“Watching him earn the save was the highlight of my coaching career,” said Greg Thompson, Waldron’s pitching coach at Golden Sierra and now the Grizzlies’ head coach. “We are all so incredibly proud of his efforts and success. Not only is he a gifted baseball player, but he’s a considerate and caring person, a great teammate.”
▪ Emilie Blate – Emilie Johnson during her All-Metro basketball days at Del Oro – has been hired to coach the William Jessup women. Blate led Del Oro to a 97-17 record over four varsity seasons and was UC Santa Barbara’s female Athlete of the Year in 2011. She was an assistant coach on Westmont’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics championship team in 2013. After playing professionally in Poland, Blate was the director of basketball operations at Oregon State last season.
▪ Pleasant Grove graduate Ally Carda , a two-time Pacific-12 Conference softball Player of the Year for UCLA, leads the Bruins into the College World Series in Oklahoma City. The senior right-hander, an All-American last season, is 31-6 with 270 strikeouts this year. Seventh-seeded UCLA (50-10) opens against second-seeded Oregon on Thursday.
▪ Bryce Mefford capped his sophomore swimming season at Oak Ridge in style. In the first CIF State Swimming and Diving Championships in Clovis, Mefford was the region’s lone state champion, winning the 200-yard freestyle in 1 minute, 37.08 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 48.13 seconds. In the boys team standings, Oak Ridge was third with 123 points. The Granite Bay girls were fourth with 132.5.
▪ Two-time CIF state cross country champion Fiona O’Keeffe of Davis has her sights set on more titles as the track season wraps up. The junior cruised in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I finals Friday at Elk Grove, winning the 1,600 meters in a meet-record 4:45.68. About two hours later, she won the 3,200 in a record 10:16.05. Her 1,600 time Friday ranks second in the state, and her earlier 10:15.53 in the 3,200 is the state’s best. O’Keeffe may attempt the difficult double Friday in the section Masters meet at Elk Grove and the CIF state meet in Clovis June 5-6. No girl from the Sac-Joaquin Section has won the long-distance double at the state meet.
▪ Roseville High has had its share of football players who generate recruiting interest from top colleges. In 1990, it was Tedy Bruschi, who set NCAA sack records at linebacker at Arizona and won three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. More recently, it was offensive lineman Kolton Miller, now at UCLA. Now it’s Jimmy Jaggers, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior-to-be tight end/defensive end who already has offers from Oregon State, Louisville, Michigan, Northwestern, Utah, Washington and Washington State. Louisville is coached by Bobby Petrino, who coached Roseville coach Larry Cunha at tiny Carroll College in Helena, Mont.
▪ Chase Hatada, a Bee All-Metro defensive lineman from Rocklin, has verbally committed to Boise State. The senior-to-be will follow in the footsteps of Rocklin alum Chase Baker, who had a standout career at defensive tackle for Boise State before playing two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.
▪ Freshman pitcher Mitch Hart from Granite Bay helped USC earn a No. 2 seed in the Santa Barbara NCAA Regional in Lake Elsinore. Hart (7-3) is tied for the team lead in victories and leads the team in shutouts with two. The Trojans (37-19), making their first postseason appearance in 10 years, open against third-seeded Virginia on Friday.