March 16, 2007
Regarding Jesuit . . .

Question: First, I ask this question with no ill will, and I'm not a member of the Jesuit community. Are you anti-Jesuit? It just seems to me that you allow subtly negative sentiment to be printed about the Carmichael high school. From the article leaving your readers to infer that Jesuit was handed a victory by the incompetent refs (in their section semifinal vs. Rocklin) to a quote by Fairfield's coach that had no apparent relevance to the story, regarding private schools' "borderline arrogance." Or is this negative tone what the majority of your readers like to hear? Just an observation...

--Bret G, West Sacramento

Answer: No, I don't consider myself "anti-Jesuit" and actually we more often hear that we are "pro-Jesuit" because of the number of stories we have written about the highly successful athletic program. The fact that the officials got a key call wrong at a critical time in a very important game deserved follow-up reporting, especially since we initially quoted Jesuit coach Greg Harcos as saying that the officials got the call right. Whatever readers infer is what they infer. There is no reference to "incompetent refs" or that "Jesuit was handed a victory" in my story, as you suggest. As to the "borderline arrogance" reference, I think it is relevant because it colorfully supports the contention that these are like-minded, supremely confident teams.

--Bill Paterson

March 9, 2007
Sports and charter school status

Question: During the past few years, Sacramento High School has dropped considerably in enrollment; not long ago a D-1 school, Sac is now a D-3 basketball power with a listed enrollment of around 1250. Meanwhile, its neighboring city schools (Johnson, Kennedy and McClatchy) remain in D-1 and have enrollments that far exceed Sacramento's. Has Sac High's charter school existence given it an unfair advantage over its city neighbors, or has this significant enrollment decrease actually increased the number of quality athletes enrolled there?

-Richard Bell, Grass Valley

Answer: It may have influenced basketball but certainly not the school's other sports. As a charter school, Sac High can draw students from within the Sacramento City Unified School District and beyond. It is essence an independent school. Kids who live near the campus are assigned to other schools in the Sac Unified district, although I imagine many still attend Sac. A lawsuit by parents who opposed turning Sacramento High into a charter school resulted in a court order for the district to open a high school for the area by 2008. As for basketball, it's likely that if you are a talented kid, you might be enticed to attend Sac over the others because the Dragons have had more overall success in recent years (but only slightly on the girls side). But Sac is at best comparable to their neighboring schools in other sports, including football, so I wouldn't say they have an unfair advantage.

- Bill Paterson

March 9, 2007
Was the correct MVP chosen?

Question: Should Roseville High's Elston Turner Jr. have been the MVP for his league this year after leading in four different stat categories? He's ranked 10th in the nation among juniors, so how to you rate him as a D-1 prospect?
- Sanford Miller, Knoxville, Tenn.

Answer: While Turner is no doubt one of our area's top players, the standout junior couldn't get Roseville into the postseason. Sean Harris, a 6-foot-6-inch senior from Rocklin, was the MVP of the Sierra Foothill League, and I think most would agree the most deserving selection. Rocklin came close to upsetting Jesuit, the state's top-ranked team, in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinals after finishing second to Granite Bay in league. Elston verbally committed to Washington in October. Clearly, he can play at the next level.

- Bill Paterson

March 1, 2007
A litte National Signing Day history

Question: With Grant recently having six players sign Division I football scholarships, how does that rate with some of the other signing classes of past years?

- Bob, Sacramento

Answer: Grant had five players sign D-I letters of intent and a sixth who signed with I-AA Sac State. We don't think there has been any area school that has had five D-I signees on National Signing Day. Grant coach Mike Alberghini said that he has had a couple of classes where 10 or more players eventually went to college on scholarship to play football, but most at small colleges. Elk Grove's 1998 section championship team, led by Chicago Bears star Lance Briggs, had eight players sign, but not all at one time. Three were initial D-I signees (Briggs with Arizona, Ryan Dinwiddie with Boise State and Ric Cottengim with Oregon). Taylor Moore later signed with Boise State after completing a Mormon mission. Trent Lundin signed with I-AA Northern Arizona, but later transferred to Boise State. Al White later signed with Willamette University, an NAIA school in Oregon, while Jeremy Callaway and Russ Gardner earned scholarships with Sac State. Derek Miller also later received a scholarship with the Hornets after walking on in 1999.

- Bill Paterson

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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