May 9, 2008
Young man with a golf plan

Colfax boys golf coach John Lamb knew he had a future star when he met Colby Smith and his family at their home during Smith's freshman year.

"On the wall in his room he had a checklist of where he wanted to be at every age level as far as stroke average, records, tournaments to play in," Lamb said. "I knew we had something special."

Smith starred for the Falcons as a freshman and sophomore but was home-schooled last year so he could compete on the junior tour to enhance his scholarship chances.

That paid off when he signed a scholarship offer with UNLV last fall.

"That's the biggest scholarship that we've had," Lamb said of the golf program that he has coached for 21 seasons. "UNLV is among the top 10 to 12 programs in the country."

As an individual, Smith will try to lead Colfax to a top-three finish at Tuesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters tournament at Stevinson Ranch Golf Club, south of Modesto.

He's a candidate for medalist honors among a deep field that includes returning Masters co-champions Tyler Raber of Davis and Sam Smith of Turlock; Justin Estrada of Yuba City; Tim Honeycutt of Union Mine; and Grant and Cameron Rappleye of Christian Brothers.

"I'd like to try to win the Masters and see what we can do at NorCals," Smith said. "To make it to state would be nice."

As far as team goals, Smith agrees it will be a challenge to match last year's performance, even though the Falcons already repeated as D-IV section champions last Monday.

In addition to winning the 2007 D-IV section title, Colfax placed second at the Masters and barely missed qualifying for the state finals with its performance at NorCals.

"That will be really tough," Smith said, noting that last year's three top players all graduated. "To replace three people is really difficult. We just have to take it one step at a time."

- Bill Paterson

May 7, 2008
Budget cuts deeply at West Campus

Rob Richards, who is retiring as boys basketball coach at West Campus, may be done as athletic director as well.

Known as a tireless worker, Richards said that budget cuts within the Sacramento City Unified School District will force him to teach one additional academic class in the 2008-09 school year. That wipes out the prep period he's used to perform athletic director's duties and probably wipes out the position by default.

"I'd like to stay as athletic director," he said. "But right now there is no way I can do it the way it needs to be done. So, I'm not sure what will happen."

Richards, 38, coached boys basketball for four seasons at Johnson and seven at West Campus. He hasn't ruled out a return to coaching, but says any comeback would likely be in another district where there is more support for athletics.

Until then, don't worry about Richards getting his coaching fix.

He coaches his children's (ages 4, 6 and 10) youth baseball, basketball and soccer teams in Elk Grove.

-Bill Paterson

May 6, 2008
Pickin' and catchin'

Center High School junior Josh Guild probably will have a tough choice when it comes to college.

The standout catcher also is a budding musician.

"Last year when we played at Raley Field, Josh played the national anthem on his guitar, then went out and caught the game," Center coach Jeff Wise said.

Wise says the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder is a college baseball prospect because of his strong right arm and ability to corral errant pitches. He can swing the bat, too, and is hitting .347 with 18 RBIs for the Cougars.

Earlier this season in a doubleheader against Burbank, Guild threw out seven of eight Titans base runners. Wise said the eighth got the base only because his infielder was unable to hold onto Guild's throw.

"He's a legit 1.9 to 2.0 seconds in releasing the ball," Wise said. "That's outstanding for a high school catcher. He's a D-I prospect with that arm."

While Guild loves to catch, he also loves playing his guitar. Largely self-taught, he and his band already are developing a reputation on the area music scene.

"We play mainly rock, with some blues thrown in there," said Guild, who started playing between the eighth and ninth grades.

That's around the time he also became a full-time catcher.

"My arm was already been pretty strong," Guild said, who previously played a lot of shortstop. "But I was a raw my first few years. I've learned a lot about technique since."

He credits his father, Bob Guild, for helping him grow his love for the sport and says that Foothill assistant coach Chris Sloan has had a huge impact on his development behind the dish.

So what about the future?

"I love music, and I love baseball," said Guild, who has checked out the famed Musicians Institute in Hollywood. "If I don't get a full-ride scholarship in baseball or a pretty good offer from the pros, I might pretty much stick with the guitar."

- Bill Paterson

About the Prep blog

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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