Bragging rights just took on a decidedly new tone in Placer County.
The holidays at the Hershberger home will include championship chatter in the coming weeks, headed by Brooke and older brother Beau. Brooke, you see, has scored one for team and personal pride.
A year after Beau helped Granite Bay High School to a CIF State Division I football title-game win over nationally renowned Long Beach Poly as an all-state linebacker, Brooke helped the Grizzlies’ volleyball team win the state Division I championship last weekend as a junior front-line player.
“We’re clearly equal now,” Brooke said this week amid laughter. “Beau can’t rub it in anymore that he’s the only champion.”
Each sibling’s team achieved a regional breakthrough. Beau’s Grizzlies were the first Sac-Joaquin Section D-I program to win a state football championship (Grant won the Open in 2008 and Folsom in D-II in 2010).
To a degree, Brooke topped her brother. Her Grizzlies produced the best single-season record in state history at 45-0, regardless of division. No section team has ever gone unbeaten, nor had any won a state D-I championship.
And the grand topper: Brooke and Beau are just the second sister-brother act in state history to win state titles, according to MaxPreps, and it’s happened five other times nationally.
Though the Hershberger siblings compete (Brooke’s grade-point average of 4.1 was slightly better than Beau’s, by the way), they are close. They are the best of friends, texting and calling each other regularly. They attend each other’s sporting events when schedules allow. Beau just finished his freshman football season at Nevada, and when he could not make big matches, he would flood Brooke’s cellphone with text messages of support and admiration.
Though Beau was a redshirt this season, Brooke attended most Nevada home games.
During the summer and holidays, the siblings will stay up well into the night talking and laughing about hopes and dreams.
“Last summer, we’d get up and ride our bikes over to a track to run,” Brooke said. “We’ve always been close. I don’t know what I’d do without my brother.”
Brooke and Beau said the foundation of the family starts with Karen and Greg Hershberger, two of the most fit parents you’ll find. Greg played wide receiver at Chico State in the early 1980s. It wasn’t until Beau’s final years at Granite Bay that he could finally out-bench press his pop, a moment that had both jumping for joy.
“Our parents are the reason we’re in such good shape and good students,” Brooke said. “It starts with them.”
Around the regions• UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes of Placer High was named to the Sporting News Freshman All-America team.
• San Jose State wide receiver Tyler Winston of Antelope was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
• Freshly inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame, Tedy Bruschi of Roseville said of a college pay-for-play idea: “I think it’s ridiculous. College athletes shouldn’t get a penny.”
• Record-setting Folsom receiver Troy Knox would not be the first in his family to play in college. His great-grandfather, Deward Tornell, was an All-America lineman for San Jose State, where one of his coaches was Pop Warner, and he later played with Sammy Baugh with the Washington Redskins.
• In his introductory news conference as Washington Huskies football coach, Chris Petersen thanked his UC Davis mentors, Jim Sochor and Bob Biggs, saying they talked him into a coaching career.
• Jeremy Ross has found new life in the NFL. After getting cut by the Packers before Week 4, the Laguna Creek High graduate was signed by the Detroit Lions and returned a punt and a kickoff for scores against Philadelphia in the snow last week. Ross scored his first NFL touchdown on Thanksgiving, against Green Bay.
• John Didion, a Wood-land High lineman in the mid 1960s and an All-American at Oregon State, died from heart failure. He was 66. Didion was moved from receiver to center as a Woodland senior and earned a scholarship to OSU, where he was a member of the Beavers’ “Giant Killers” team in 1967. Didion worked for decades in law enforcement in Washington state
, where he died Monday.