May 30, 2009
Jesuit repeats as D-I champs; say hello to an all-time group

Jesuit High School can let the debate begin now, in earnest and with passion.

Who's the best Big Red bunch of them all?

The Marauders team of 2001 with the ultimate ace in J.P. Howell, or the current edition with a lineup of senior leaders that capped another banner season by belting St. Mary's of Stockton 10-4 in Game 2 of the Sac-Joaquin Division I championship series today at Sacramento City College, thus capping a 6-0 march through the postseason.

Coach Joe Potulny isn't sure, but he does know one thing.

What a terrific topic to debate. All told, Jesuit is 5-0 lifetime in section title rounds, lumping it right there with the Cordova teams of the 1980s - four titles - and the Elk Grove bunch of this decade (four titles and eight overall).

"I'm spoiled to be here, coaching my old school," Potulny said. "It's a privilege, and what a great group of guys."

The group includes Brock Simon, who had one terrific postseason. The Santa Clara-bound senior went 3-0 in the playoffs - a perfect game and also an eight-strikeout effort in Game 1 against St. Mary's - and he clobbered a three-run homer in Game 2 for an 8-3 lead. He had four RBI. Even the No. 9 hitter for Jesuit, another senior in Sal Pinelli, was a tough out. He had a double and a triple.

The core seniors also include winning pitcher Martin Agosta (5-1 and off to Saint Mary's), leadoff hitter Jimmy Bosco (Cal), outfielder Chris Piwinski (Yale), catcher Andrew Susac (Oregon State or the major league draft), Craig Meredith and Frank McDonald (Air Force).

Hayes had a double and two RBI for Jesuit, which finished with a 27-7 record and winners of 14 straight games. St. Mary's needed to win twice today to win its first title since 1982. Instead, Jesuit becomes just the third large school to repeat in tournament history, joining Cordova in the early '80s and Elk Grove's three-peat team earlier this decade.

On a personal note, I can't imagine any team touching Howell for much - any team, any era - but this current Jesuit bunch is so deep with good, solid pitching. And who dare steal on Susac, and good luck trying to stretch it into a double with Bosco in right field.

Potulny is a superb coach, though he'll never believe it. But you can lump him in there with Guy Anderson of Cordova and Jeff Carlson of Elk Grove, two giants in coaching in the section.

And typical Potulny, he refuses credit. Offer him a coach of the year honor and he'll decline and insist the real work is done by his assistants in George Anderson, Kelly McGee, Phil Swimley, Phil Cantelme and longtime right-hand ace Chris Fahey.

May 29, 2009
Blocker wins Jesuit's first individual sprint Masters track title tonight

Jesuit sprint coach Rod Jett knew he had someone special when Tom Blocker reported for track his sophomore season, a year after deciding baseball wasn't for him.

The first time Jett put him in a varsity race late in that season, Blocker won.

"Tom is a special talent," Jett said. "He's kind of helped set the tone for the sprint program."


Tonight at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships at Hughes Stadium, Blocker became the first Marauders runner in school history to win an individual sprint title, capturing the boys 400 meters in 48.58 seconds.

Blocker, a senior, also helped the boys 4x100 relay team to repeat as section champions, running the third leg for a Marauders team that placed first in a school-best 41.67. Juniors Dominic Ferri, R.J. Frasier and Joseph Ruffaine were the other members.

Blocker also took second in the 200 meters, running a personal best 21.44.

But Blocker is the first to say it isn't about him. Sprints are now in at the school that used to churn out nationally renowned distance runners.

"For a long time Jesuit was the distance school," Jett said. "When people ask what's our secret now, I tell them there isn't any. It's just about hard work and changing the culture."

Blocker, a standout in football who holds the school sprint records in the 100, 200 and 400, said more of the school's top athletes are starting to see track as an important activity.

While he has come to dominant the section, Blocker realizes he'll be a huge underdog at the CIF state finals in Clovis next Friday and Saturday.

"I'm really looking forward to states because anything can happen," Blocker said. "I really can't wait to see what I can do."

Here are some other highlights from tonight's Masters meet:

• Granite Bay's Katie Zingheim defeated state leader and league rival MacKenzi Landry of Del Oro in the girls pole vault with a personal best of 12-6, the fifth best mark in the state.

• Del Campo's Matt Case won the boys 1,600 (4:22.76) and boys 800 (1:54.67).

• Oak Ridge's Hayley Scott won the 1,600 girls in 5:02.77.

• Laguna Creek's DionDre Batson won the boys 100 meters in 10.70.

• Ponderosa's Samantha Diaz won the girls 800 in 2:14.50.

• Davis' Matt Peterson placed first in the boys 3,200 meters (9:17.91).'

• Laguna Creek's Batson, Marlon Roberson, Jerome Hunter and Jeff Adams won the 4x400 relay in 3:20.49.

• Pleasant Grove's Kashae Knox won the girls 200 in 24.02.

• Jesuit's Jeremy Hines won the boys shot put in 55-11.25.

May 29, 2009
Jesuit beats St. Mary's to win Game 1 of D-I title series

One win away from history.

And this: Put the dagger in.

Those are Jesuit High School's mottos, words of motivation, as the Marauders inched closer to becoming the best two-year Big Red run in program history.

Jesuit trailed by three early, then erupted for a 10-run third inning and held on for a 10-7 victory tonight at Sacramento City College in the opener of the best-of-three Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship series.

St. Mary's has to win twice Saturday at SCC - Game 2 first pitch is at noon - in order to dethrone the Marauders and to secure its first such title since beating Cordova in 1992. Should Jesuit prevail Saturday, it would move to 5-0 lifetime in D-I section title series under coach Joe Potulny, and it would become just the third team to repeat (Cordova did so in 1983 and Elk Grove three-peated earlier this decade).

Brock Simon, Craig Meredith, Frank McDonald, Sal Pinelli and Jimmy Bosco each had an RBI in the third to give Jesuit a 5-3 lead. Chris Piwinski made it 7-3 with a two-run single, setting things up for Andrew Susac, who ripped a three-run homer - his eighth of the season - to make it 10-3.

Susac could become quite wealthy as a major league draftee come next month, thanks to his terrific arm. He's one brutal out at the plate, too.

St. Mary's scored four times in the top of the seventh to make it mildly interesting before the Marauders held on, giving starter Simon an 8-1 record. He struck out eight.

"I thought Brock pitched great against a very good hitting team," Potulny said. "That's my A-game guy."

Jesuit has a lot of arms to offer Saturday as it looks to move to 3-0 against St. Mary's this season. Alex Plog is 7-1, and Martin Agosta is 4-1, including striking out 10 in a 2-1 win over the Rams of Stockton in March. And there is closer Dan Child, he of the big frame and the 90 mph heat.

But Potulny reminds his crew that nothing is certain now. This is high school baseball and nutty things happen. A year ago, Jesuit beat Buhach Colony in the opener of the title series, then lost Game 2 to make things tense, before Agosta won Game 3.

In 1994, Jesuit lost to 16-0 David Plant - not Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, mind you - in Game 1 before sweeping the next two to secure the program's first title.

"I'm not feeling comfortable at all," Potulny said. "These teams are evenly matched. I'm sure St. Mary's will come out ready to play. And so will we."

May 29, 2009
Jesuit-St. Mary's should be a classic; a closer, in-depth look

Jesuit vs. St. Mary's.

Somehow, we kind of sensed this might happen, a winner-take-all championship baseball series when both teams started to really heat up this postseason.

Beyond that, we have two private school powers steeped in athletic tradition for decades, squaring off for the first time for a Sac-Joaquin Section title tilt. And it's about time. Go ahead and bemoan the fact - some of you - that the private schools get the inside track to all the glory.

That's an argument for a different day, but these teams earned their shot here. They have been solid to superp all season.

Still, it's amazing these schools haven't met in a championship game before. Game 1 is Friday night at Sacramento City College, 7 p.m., with Game 2 on Saturday at noon and Game 3 to follow, if necessary. Jesuit, winners of 12 straight, is 25-5 and seeks to go 5-0 all-time in D-I title series. St. Mary's is 24-8, sporting its best team since 1982, and winners of 15 of 16.

When Jesuit won baseball Division I titles in 1994, '96, '01 and last season under coach Joe Potulny, it defeated Grace Davis, Beyer, Bear Creek and Buhach Colony, respectively. When St. Mary's won its only D-I title, it was against Cordova, in 1982, a major feat as the Lancers were the kings of the section in baseball in that decade, taking home five North titles and four section crowns under coach Guy Anderson.

Other sports?

Jesuit and St. Mary's have each won two large-school section titles in football, the Marauders in 1995 and 2002 under coach Dan Carmazzi, and St. Mary's in 2004 and 2008 under fellow UC Davis alum Tony Franks.

In basketball, the Rams of St. Mary's were D-I heavyweights for a stretch under famed coach Jon Gustorf, winning section titles in 1978, '79, '81, '82 and '89 with four additional runner-up finishes.

Jesuit was even better in hoops, but in a different era, winning D-I titles in 1992, '93 and '94 with some of the best teams in section history (with the '93 and '94 teams also winning NorCal titles), and winning in 2000 under the amazing Hank Meyer (whose first section title came in 1988 in D-II).

Jesuit also reached the NorCal tournament in 1996, '98, 2001 and '03 under Meyer - and then had a dominating run under coach Greg Harcos in 2006 and 2007 in D-II.

But it's baseball season now, and the Marauders seek to repeat in an effort to carve its legacy in the section record books. Jesuit defeated St. Mary's 2-1 in a nonleague game on March 19 when Martin Agosta struck out 10 in just over five innings of work (Brock Simon closed with two strikeouts). Chris Piwinski, the Yale-bound steady presence, scored a run, as did Andrew Susac.

Could Agosta start again? He is 4-1 this season. Or does Jesuit go with Simon (7-1), or Alex Plog (7-1). Either way, the Marauders have a deep starting rotation with Dan Child as a monster closer, particularly if he fires fastballs under the lights.

St. Mary's counters with John Haberman, who took the loss against Jesuit despite four strikeouts, Louie Lechich, who is 3-0 and no-hit Buhach Colony in an 11-0 five-inning rout in the playoffs. And there's Michael Hager, who is 9-1.

The Rams have arms, too. But have those arms seen bats like the Marauders?

Jimmy Bosco is the leadoff hitter - Susac says, simply, that when Bosco gets hits, the Marauders win. Bosco is batting .367 with 27 RBI, five doubles and five home runs. Susac has had a spectacular year behind the plate - absolutely the best defensive catcher I have seen in the 25 years covering high schools in this region - and he has hit .451 with 31 RBI, nine doubles and seven home runs.

And there's more.

Shortstop Danny Hayes is hitting .373 with 21 RBI, five doubles and three homers. Piwinski is hitting .330 with 23 RBI and six doubles. Frank McDonald is batting .303 with 16 RBI. Simon is hitting .340 with 15 RBI, Nikko Uber .333 with four doubles, Sal Pinelli .328 with 22 RBI and eight doubles, and right on down the line. Sense a theme?

Jesuit is batting .336 as a team with 25 home runs, 13 triples, 52 doubles and 252 runs. And to think Potulny was worried about the offense earlier this year.

Lechich, the pitcher for St. Mary's, is also a dangerous out, batting .460 with 25 RBI and eight homers. He's a left-handed junior. St. Mary's is hitting .327 as a team with 32 homers, 57 doubles and 15 triples for coach Peter Pijl.

Common opponents? Two of them. Elk Grove beat St. Mary's, and Jesuit beat Elk Grove, so don't read too much into that.

And there's De La Salle. St. Mary's beat the Spartans of Concord 3-2. De La Salle butchered Jesuit 17-3. Don't read into that too much, either. It's high school baseball, and there are up and downs, good days and bad for pitchers and offenses.

I pick Jesuit to win this series 2-1, perhaps 2-0 if, say, Simon starts and wins the opener and either Plog or Agosta are strong in Game 2 with some mighty closer work by Child - and a lot of power at the plate from Bosco, Hayes and Susac.

The time is now for the Marauders to show how great they can be. They want to be a team mentioned in the same breath as the dynamo Jesuit team of 2001 that included the ultimate ace in J.P. Howell, and it would be the first Jesuit team to repeat. The core leaders - Bosco, Susac and Hayes - have tirelessly worked for this. It's their time.

Unsung performers such as Piwinski, Plog, McDonald and others? They know. It's their time, too.

May 28, 2009
Jesuit looks impressive on opening day of Masters track meet

Jesuit had some nice performances earlier today on the first day of the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track and Field Championships at Hughes Stadium.

In addition to Andrew Titherington winning the discus with a throw of 165 feet, 2 inches to advance to next week's CIF state finals in Clovis, the Jesuit relay team of Dominic Ferri, Tom Blocker, R.J. Frasier and Joe Ruffaine turned in a best of 41.92 seconds in the boys 4x100 meter trials.

Blocker also produced the evening's top boys 400 meter trials time of 49.23 and the No. 2 boys 200 meters trial time of 21.49. Frasier brought home the night's best boys 300 hurdle preliminary time of 38.17.

Sophomore Jazmin Harper of Oakmont turned in a state top-10 time in the girls 400 meters in winning handily in 55.59 seconds. Fairfield sophomore Alexandria Whitmore ran the second best time of 57.05.

Monikkia White of Vallejo and Kashae Knox of Pleasant Grove, two of the state's faster sprinters, battled to one-two times in both the girls 100 and girls 200. White recorded an 11.78 in heat two and Knox an 11.96 in heat one of the 100. White ran a 24.31 in heat three and Knox 24.37 in heat one in the 200.

The finals will be held today, with field events starting at 3 p.m. and running events at 6. Tickets are $9 for adults and $5 for students with a student body card. SCC also will be charging a $5 parking fee.

May 27, 2009
A look at all D-I baseball champions since 1968

Before the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs were instituted in 1976, the large-school postseason was something of a City Championship. It was known as the Capital Valley Tournament of Champions, or TOC of short.

Here's a closer look at those winners:

Tournament of Champions

1968 - Johnson - Bob Forsch led the way on the field as a hitter and pitcher and coach Cliff Perry led the way after an earlier championship career at McClatchy
1969 - Grant - Star-studded team included Leon Lee, Taylor Duncan, Tony Rodriguez and Hank Garcia - still legendary prep names.
1970 - McClatchy - Coach John Patterson led a team that won 25 straight games at one point; super sophomore was SS Joel Bishop, a first-round pick in 1972.
1971 - Bella Vista - Jim Enos was the coach and Dave Revering the record-breaking postseason slugger.
1972 - Kennedy - Cordova dominated the regular season but it was the Cougars who won the TOC behind coach Don Nannini
1973 - Rio Americano - Coach Jerry Kaiser's best team, and the Raiders' best, period.
1974 - Cordova - Coach Guy Anderson nearly won it in '72 as well as the Big Red Machine rolled for two decades; Walt Hill and Jim Noonan led this team.
1975 - Kennedy - Hard to believe that city baseball collapsed when it used to be so good; Nannini's second title team.

Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champions

1976 - Stagg - Beat Cordova in finals when Lancers were loaded with All-American arm Steve Finch
1977 - Stagg - Stockton school was on top of the section sporting world, with excellent teams across the board.
1978 - Merced - Beat a Yuba City team led by Bee Player of the Year in Jim Stassi, whose sons were standouts in recent years at Yuba City.
1979 - Lincoln-Stockton - Downed a Valley team that was just two years old, making for clear early D-I dominance for the South.
1980 - Sacramento - Dragons were led by a star best known for hoops and being a mayor in Kevin Johnson.
1981 - Cordova - Chris Bosio led these Lancers along with Kevin Atwood and Mike Dolan.
1982 - St. Mary's - Rams only section title, and it came against Cordova.
1983 - Cordova - Bee Player of the Year Scott Sellner and Matt Crouch made for terrific 1-2 Lancers punch.
1984 - Cordova - In the midst of a four-peat of North titles, the Lancers prevailed again here, with Zach Crouch the star.
1985 - Del Campo - Harry Kawahata's best team was led by dominant 1-2 punch of Kurt Knudsen and Bee Player of the Year Clyde Keller.
1986 - Casa Roble - Super staff included Todd Malone for best Casa team.
1987 - Cordova - Guy Anderson's last section title team included Brett Jenkins and David Stavdohar.
1988 - Napa - Indians beat a CBS team that included standouts Andy Fox and Bo Dodson and coaching legend Ron Limeberger. The Falcons' best team ever?
1989 - Grant - Coach Mike Alberghini's best team set state record for wins with 37 and included LaRue Baber, Allen Dosty and 14-game winner Danny Chavez.
1990 - Elk Grove - Gary Dreher's best team ended the season with a 19-game winning streak and included dominant staff with Kenny Williams.
1991 - Vallejo - Apaches downed Johnson's best team since Bob Forsch of 1968.
1992 - Woodland - Coach Rob Rinaldi beat rival Elk Grove to win North title.
1993 - Casa Roble - Pitching, defense, leadership, maybe this was the Rams best team.
1994 - Jesuit - Bee Player of the Year Mike Rose led Big Red's first title.
1995 - Del Campo - Terrific team included all the ingredients and argument that this was school's best team.
1996 - Jesuit - A surprise team to some but already a strong program under coach Joe Potulny, and it toppled a terrific Oakmont twice in the North playoffs.
1997 - Elk Grove - Herd's best team included Mike Ford, Mike Tonis and Kevin Marzion (14-1) and finished ranked No. 4 in nation.
1998 - McClatchy - Coach Brian LoForte and company stunned first-round pick C.C. Sabathia and Vallejo in finals.
1999 - Fairfield - The Falcons upended Woodland's last great D-I team that included Dustin Pedroia.
2000 - Davis - Coach Dan Ariola, a Blue Devil alum, makes a Big Blue breakthrough.
2001 - Jesuit - Dominant team included steady hitter Jeff Levering and the incomparable J.P. Howell, who was kind enough to yield one earned run all season.
2002 - Merced - Bears stunned Herd team that would grow as a program from the experience.
2003 - Elk Grove - The Herd returns to the top behind coach Jeff Carlson and makes it a habit for awhile.
2004 - Davis - Ariola and the Blue Devils win again, making Davis officially a baseball power, too.
2005 - Elk Grove - Cody Allen was the star for the Herd that included superb infield of John Drake, Camryn Spears and Hunter Martinez.
2006 - Elk Grove - Eric Otterson had a no-hitter, Jamie Niley, Josh Powers, David Freitas and Nolan Cassidy also led the charge.
2007 - Elk Grove - Miguel Rubio was superb at the plate in the playoffs and staff was led by Troy Watson and David Freitas as Herd extended playoff winning streak to section record 18.
2008 - Jesuit - Marauders return with a bang with junior anchors Danny Hayes, Andrew Susac and Jimmy Bosco and Martin Agosta.

May 27, 2009
Senior plays key role in Rocklin's section title win, despite not playing

Brandon Odion got the Most Valuable Team Player award at Rocklin High School's baseball banquet earlier tonight at Sunset Whitney Country Club.

Odion, a senior outfielder, started only one game, played in eight and had just six at-bats this season.

But even though he never stepped on the field Monday night at Sacramento City College, he had a huge hand in Rocklin's 11-7 win over rival Granite Bay for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship.

Granite Bay staged a monster rally in the fifth inning after trailing 7-0. The Grizzlies appeared to close to within a run, 7-6, when Jake Marjama doubled home two runners.

But Odion noticed that the second runner had failed to to step on home plate.

Teammate Blake Fassler heard Odion and immediately walked toward Rocklin coach Roc Murray.

"He looked at me and his eyes were gigantic," Murray said. "'Coach, Brandon says their runner didn't touch the plate.' I went out to the umpire at that point."

Rocklin made the appeal, and the umpire called the Granite Bay runner out.

Instead of 7-6 with two outs and a runner on second for Granite Bay, it was three outs and the score had reverted to 7-5.

Rocklin scored four runs in the top of the sixth as the 23-8 Thunder went on to win their second D-II section baseball title in three years.

"That's the great thing about Brandon," Murray said. "Even though he knew Monday night he'd be sitting on the bench and it was his last game as a senior, he was able to help the team. That was like getting a home run to win the game."

Murray said after the game, when parents, players and fans gathered for a long session of photographs and congratulations near the mound, he announced Odion's key contribution.

"Everybody started cheering for him," Murray said.

The win was the fourth of the season for the Sierra Foothill League champions over Granite Bay.

"That's something hard to do," Murray said. "They're a great team. It's a tremendous battle every time we play them."

Sacramento State-bound senior first baseman Jason Hampton, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound specimen, provided the big hits, a three-run homer over the left-field fence in the third and a three-run base hit to right-center in the fourth but it was unimposing 5-8 junior left-hander Matt Fielding who epitomized the Thunder's resolve.

Fielding, who pitched in all five of Rocklin's playoff games, no-hit Granite Bay through the first four innings. Then after being roughed up for six hits and five runs in the fifth, he found enough in his dwindling tank to pitch a scoreless sixth before giving way to Hampton, who surrendered two runs in closing out the seventh.

"Matt was tremendous for us all year," Murray said. "We did not defend well in that (fifth) inning, but Matt is pretty unflappable. And he swung the bat well, too (a triple, double, single and two RBIs)."

Fielding went 9-3, appeared in 17 games and pitched 79 1/3 innings for the Thunder.

While Odion, Hampton and Fielding did their parts along with the other Thunder players, Deborah Murray, Roc's wife, deserves credit for helping turn Rocklin's fortunes in the playoffs.

After playing flat in beating Burbank 8-3 May 14, then losing 7-4 to Ponderosa in the first game of a best two-of-three series May 18, Deborah stayed up to midnight on May 20 to put together a video of season highlights.

The players viewed the inspiring video the next day, shortly before their game against Ponderosa.

"You looked at that video and saw a bunch of faces of determined young men," Murray said. "I didn't say much. But I noticed as I watched them watch the video those looks of determination returned. Then as they got up to walk out I heard (star outfielder) Pat Stover say, 'Let's do this.'"

Rocklin beat the Bruins twice that night, 7-3 and 8-7, to advance to the championship game.

May 27, 2009
Whirlwind football recruitment of Burbank's Mitchell ends; he's a Duck

Burbank's Terrance Mitchell, one of California's top junior class defensive back recruits, has verbally committed to the University of Oregon.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Mitchell was named defensive backs MVP at the May 17 Nike Training Camp at Stanford. high school recruiting coordinator Greg Biggins, who handles player personnel for the Nike camps, called Mitchell's performance among a stacked field "one of the best I've seen during the entire Nike Camp tour this year."

That performance heated up what already was the quickly developing recruitment of the The Bee All-Metro honorable mention selectee.

Mitchell, who had offers from Washington State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo before the camp, received an offer from Utah May 17 and then from Oregon on May 19, the school he says he has dreamed of playing for since having attended an Oregon football camp as a freshman.

May 26, 2009
Top senior players to compete in Optimist All-Star softball game

Two of the area's all-time top softball players are expected to conclude their high school careers 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Optimist All-Star Softball game at Capital Christian High School.

Pitcher Jolene Henderson and catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt, who starred for Sheldon's juggernaut program that started the season as the nation's top high school softball team, will play for the South team, which is being coached by the Huskies' Mary Jo Truesdale.

Henderson and Ziegenhirt will play in the fall at Cal.

Among the other college recruits scheduled to play for the South include Jessica Thweatt of Inderkum (UC Davis) and Alicja Wolny of Oak Ridge (Louisville) and for the North, coached by Del Campo's Sharon Props and April Steele, Alex Newman of Rio Linda (New Mexico State), Tegan Schmidt of Whitney (Stanford) and Tanya Holquin of Woodland (San Diego State).

Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for children younder than 12.

Here are the rosters (players and schools)


Kathryn Rabay and Kenzie Billings, Bear River; Melissa Bradway and Heather Jensen, Del Campo; Kelsey Mooney, Del Oro; Madison Smith, Granite Bay; Nicole Wilkerson, Lincoln; Liz Benton, Loretto; Rachel Lane and Tina Bench, Mesa Verde; Leslie Coffee and Jessica Rosnack, Oakmont; Alex Newman, Rio Linda; Katie Swenson and Summer Powell, Rocklin; Kianna Levy, Roseville; Stephanie Nippert, Courtney Galli and Tegan Schmidt, Whitney; Kelly Rose and Courtney Breault, Woodcreek; Holly Bourke, Cameron Goodwin and Tanya Holquin, Woodland.


Kari Tall Dominges, Capital Christian; Sammie Sinclair, Elk Grove; Laurel Clough and Kiersten Snyder, Folsom; Giavanna Hampton, Franklin; Molly Howard, Golden Sierra; Kayla McDonald, Kennedy; Markesha Collins, San Juan; Danai Martin, Monterey Trail; Alicja Wolhy, Melanie Lusi and Hope Kloczko, Oak Ridge; Nicole Hutchins and Sam Murray, Pleasant Grove; Alyssa Ward, Ponderosa; Lindsey Ziegenhirt and Jolene Henderson, Sheldon; Natalie Halstead, Megan Heiser and Carlie Nicodemus, St. Francis; Kiley Herrich, Colusa; Jessica Thweatt, Inderkum.

May 25, 2009
4-year trio helps lead Placer to rare section baseball championship

They were four-year players on Placer's baseball varsity.

So it was only appropriate that at a key juncture in the Hillmen's 6-1 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV win today over El Dorado at Sacramento City College, they would all be in on the action.

Pitcher Matt Ross, catcher Joel Thys and first baseman Spencer Zaputil have been playing together since Little League days in the foothills.

They are also leaders of a 12-man senior class that helped the Hillmen win the school's second section baseball title and first since 1993.

With the Hillmen leading 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth, El Dorado's first three batters reached base. Then Tyler Galpin hit a slow roller back toward Ross. He deftly scooped up the ball and tossed home to Thys, who gunned down Galpin by throwing a bullet to Zaputil at first base to complete the double play.

"We've done that play together probably a million times," Thys said.

Ross struck out the last batter to end the threat.

"That was a back breaker there," said Placer coach Larry Prewitt. "We whittled our way out of it. But that's how these kids have been all year long.... That's the temperament of these kids. They battle."

Ross pitched six strong innings of relief for junior Anthony Amara, who apparently injured his right elbow early in the second inning.

"My fastball was really working today, and Joel Thys was calling a great game back there," Ross said. "He was moving the glove in and out and calling for the off-speed pitch every so often."

Prewitt elected to go with Amara's hot hand - he's 9-1 - rather than start Ross, who didn't pitch well in a 7-3 loss to El Dorado during the regular season.

"Luckily I had Matt," Prewitt said. "Matt stepped up and threw a great ballgame. Our game plan was to have Anthony throw five strong innings then finish with Matt."

Thys, a Long Beach State scholarship recruit who hit .435 this season, played well behind the plate and made a pivotal hustle play in the first inning after striking out with two Hillmen already out.

The left-handed hitting Thys bolted to first and El Dorado catcher Bobby Frost hurried his throw, which skipped past first baseman Nick Weber. Thys, who also stole two bases and had a base hit, wound up at second and scored when Zaputil, the next batter, reached first on an infield error. Zaputil moved to second on Griffin Quick's base hit, then scored on Amara's base hit.

Placer added two more runs in the fourth on an RBI single to left by Josh Klem and an RBI ground out by No. 9 hitter Jake Lopez, then scored a single run in the fifth on another El Dorado error. They tallied their last run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Matt Ryan to score Matt Dougherty, who had led off the inning with a bloop double to left.

Placer made a marvelous postseason push after sharing a Pioneer Valley League co-championship with the Cougars.

The Hillmen beat Foothill 5-2 in the opener, then swept mighty Oakdale, the two-time defending champs, 4-2 and 4-3, before beating El Dorado.

"It feels great to end it this way," said Ross, who quarterbacked the Hillmen football team to the section finals this season. "Joel, Spencer and I have seen the ups and downs. This year we knew we had a good team, so we wanted to finish it off right. We came close in football, so we had to bring (a banner) home to Placer this year."

May 25, 2009
Rocklin beats Granite Bay for D-II baseball championship

Sacramento State recruiters no doubt are pleased they signed Rocklin's Jason Hampton to a national letter of intent.

The 6-foot-4 senior first baseman drove in six runs with a home run and a single then pitched the seventh inning to lift the Thunder past Sierra Foothill League rival Granite Bay 11-7 tonight in the Sac-Joaquin Section D-II championship game at Sacramento City College.

Rocklin starter Matt Fielding, who had a no-hitter through four innings, helped his cause with a triple, double, single and two RBI.

After falling behind 7-0, Granite Bay appeared to close to within 7-6 in the fifth when Jake Marjama doubled home Lydell Mosby and Trevor Trinidad with two outs. But after a Rocklin appeal, a Granite Bay runner was called out at home plate for the third out and the score reverted to 7-5.

For the Thunder, it was their second D-II baseball title in three years. Rocklin also beat Granite Bay in 2007.

May 25, 2009
Yuba City, Placer win baseball championships at Sac City

Michael Lowden pitched a two-hitter and Jake Stassi drove in three runs and James Haymore and Hunter Graves two apiece to lead Yuba City to an 8-0 win over Benicia in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship baseball game today at Sacramento City College.

It was the third consecutive D-III championship for the Honkers, making them the only area team other than Elk Grove in D-I to win three straight baseball titles.

Lowden struck out nine and walked one on going the distance to run his record to 11-0 and 20-0 the last two seasons.

In a game played earlier, Placer defeated Pioneer Valley League co-champion El Dorado 6-1 behind pitcher Matt Ross, who threw six innings of relief. Starter Anthony Amara was forced to leave the game in the second inning after hearing a pop in his right elbow.

It was Placer's second section baseball title and first since 1993, when the Hillmen won the D-II crown.

May 22, 2009
Jesuit beats Fairfield, seeks section D-I repeat next week

One step closer to the preseason goal.

Jesuit High School is exactly where it expected to be this baseball season, on the cusp of a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I repeat. The Marauders defeated upstart Fairfield 4-3 tonight at American River College in the North championship game.

It's the program's fifth such title since 1994, and now the Marauders seek a 5-0 career mark in title games as they prepare for South winner St. Mary's of Stockton. Game 1 of the best-of-three series is Friday at 7 p.m. at Sacramento City College.

The starting pitcher for that contest very well may be Brock Simon, the Santa Clara-bound senior who earned the win Saturday in the North opener and was the winner against Fairfield in improving to 7-1.

He struck out eight before giving way to Dan Child, who induced a grounder to sizzling shortstop hitter Brenden Farney, who had gone 3-for-3 with a triple and double (and had dropped Elk Grove to its knees with a 400-foot home run in the loser's bracket final the night before).

Jimmy Bosco led the way offensively for Jesuit as he has so often during his sparkling varsity career. The Cal-bound outfielder had two hits and a walk. Simon also contributed a two-run double for a 2-0 Jesuit lead in the first inning.

Jesuit fully expected to be here, to win this thing and to bear down on a repeat championship. The Marauders boast one of the most decorated lineup in regional history, with prospects all over the field, including Bosco (Cal), shortstop Danny Hayes (Oregon State) and Andrew Susac (Oregon State, and a possible first or second round draft pick next month).

Saturday is graduation day for a host of Jesuit seniors, then bowling night in the wee hours. And then the capper: the championship series.

May 22, 2009
Rocklin prevails over Ponderosa in a long, wild night of baseball

Rocklin and Ponderosa packed plenty of highlights into their Sac-Joaquin Section Division II semifinal baseball doubleheader Thursday night at Sacramento City College.

In two games that ate up more than six hours, Rocklin emerged the winner of the wild nightcap 8-7 after taking the first game 7-3.

The Thunder, which lost to Ponderosa 7-4 on Monday, won the best-of-three series two games to one and will play Sierra Foothill League rival Granite Bay for the D-II championship 6 p.m. Monday at SCC.

Among the highlights from the two games in front of a chilled but spirited crowd:

• Rocklin scored two runs on back-to-back errors by the Ponderosa shortstop in the bottom seventh inning for the walk-off win in the nightcap. The Thunder did it without getting a hit.

• Rocklin senior outfielder Pat Stover, blessed with major league quality talent, hit for the cycle. He had a two-run home run and single in the first game and a triple and double in the second contest. He also was walked intentionally twice in finishing with four hits in seven at-bats.

•Thunder junior pitcher Matt Fielding, who pitched 5 1/3 innings on Monday, also pitched in both games Thursday. He struck out the side looking in the seventh in relief of starter Jason Hampton in the first game and got the win in the second game in relief of starter Kyle Garvella, despite seeing the Bruins take a one-run lead, 7-6, in the top of the seventh. Ponderosa's Kevin Daniels hit a two-out, two-run bases-loaded line drive off Fielding's right leg that ricocheted past shortstop Cameron Gordon.

• Ponderosa co-coach Eric January was ejected from the second game in the sixth inning after arguing with the umpires when they changed a call. The home plate umpire had awarded No. 9 hitter Stephan Brown first base with one out and a runner on first after the ball appeared to hit him on the top of the left hand. But Rocklin coach Roc Murray argued that Brown actually made an attempted swing as he was hit by the pitch. The field umpire agreed, sending Brown back to the plate to bat. He was called out on strikes.

• In a salute to games that featured a lot of sophomores and juniors playing key roles on both teams, Ponderosa sophomore third baseman Hunter Gallant had a three-run triple in the second game and finished the two games with four hits.

• Although Rocklin was out-hit 8 to 6 in the second game, it took advantage of five Ponderosa errors, 10 walks and two hit batters.

• Two teams with pretty good defensive reputations combined to make 10 errors and nearly as many passed balls and wild pitches.

May 22, 2009
Passion, intensity mark first ever boys volleyball section championship

Tyler Salcedo celebrated a perfect set to his attacker which ended in an emphatic kill by running past his bench slapping high fives. Jack Powell countered with a spike of his own and pounded his chest while being mobbed by teammates. In both cases, the crowd went crazy.

This is boys volleyball, and it's alive and well in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Jack Powell and Granite Bay took the first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section boys volleyball championship on Thursday night in an epic comeback, erasing a two-set deficit to take the title.

The reason? Energy. And momentum.

"Energy can sway 5-10 points in either direction in volleyball," Powell said. "When we started making plays and getting rowdy, we rattled them and we were able to come back."

Energy is everything in volleyball - especially for the boys. Each point on Thursday was celebrated with intensity and passion that would make European soccer fans seem tame. And why not? When you jump three feet in the air and pound a volleyball through two sets of arms and it finds the floor, wouldn't you be juiced?

That's the kind of athleticism that was on display at Jesuit last night. According to Granite Bay coach Bruce Honberger at least four players on the floor could touch at least 11-feet-4 inches with their hands in a vertical leap.

And the excitement attached with the release of that kind of athleticism is what fans of boys volleyball hope can grow the sport from the niche level to the premier. The state CIF is holding its first boys volleyball regional championship for Southern California - the Mecca of the sport - this year and most, including Sac-Joaquin Section assistant commissioner John Williams - don't think NorCal is far behind.

According to a schedule drawn up by the CIF, the North could have a regional volleyball championship as early as 2013, despite only three of the four large sections in that area of the state holding championships. The San Francisco Section and Oakland Sections do as well, but there are only two leagues in San Francisco, and the OS is just the Oakland Athletic League.

The North Coast Section has held boys volleyball championships since 1992 and the Central Coast Section has since 1997. The Northern Section does not.

Currently 36 teams in seven leagues compete in the Sac-Joaquin Section in the sport.

"We've got our section to have a championship and now the sky is the limit," said Robert McNutt, coach at Placer and director of the Northern California Volleyball Club.

May 21, 2009
Fairfield stuns Elk Grove in D-I baseball at ARC

So much for the title showdown that the baseball community has been buzzing about all season.

There will be no Jesuit-Elk Grove title tilt. It's Fairfield's fault, and the Falcons aren't about to apologize for any of it.

The Falcons played superb defense, got enough pitching and one monstrous home run from a sophomore to stun Elk Grove 6-3 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North loser's bracket finale tonight at American River College.

Fairfield pulled one of the real stunner upsets in tournament history, toppling a Thundering Herd team that sought the program's fourth section title in seven seasons and on-going record seventh overall. Now the Falcons get another chance to pull a shocker, needing to beat defending champion Jesuit twice Friday afternoon to win their second title in 10 years.

Jesuit, state-ranked No. 1 at this point and The Bee's top-ranked team down the stretch of the season, needs only to win once Friday to claim the program's fifth section title under coach Joe Potulny.

The difference tonight was Fairfield's defense - diving catches, strong put-outs, steady pitching, and the bat of Brenden Farney. The sophomore shortstop crushed a fifth-inning three-run homer to dead center - 400 feet - for the 6-3 lead.

Elk Grove wasn't sharp, despite allowing just three hits, and coach Jeff Carlson was ejected in the fifth. It was a frustrating week for the Herd as umpires who insist they don't want to be part of the action sometimes become just that.

Will Soto of Elk Grove was ejected for "malicious contact" with the catcher on a play at the plate that cost him a chance to play Jesuit on Tuesday (per high school rules, an ejection automatically carries over the next game). That play is still being debated at ARC - was there catcher obstruction at the plate (the catcher didn't have the ball)? Was there enough room for Soto to slide? Did the umpire initially call Soto safe?

Regardless, Elk Grove is out of the tournament. Carlson heaped praise on Fairfield and his own team.

May 21, 2009
Rocklin forces third and deciding game with Ponderosa in D-II baseball

Wins don't come easy in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II baseball playoffs, which Ponderosa learned tonight at Sacramento City College.

The defending D-II champions lost 7-3 to Rocklin to force a third and deciding game in the best-of-three series.

The game is just underway, with the winner to advance to the D-II championship game against Granite Bay 6 p.m. on Monday at Sac City.

Ponderosa was an easy 7-4 winner over the Thunder on Monday, but fell behind from the beginning in Game 2, despite having Cal-bound ace Matt Evanoff on the mound.

Pat Stover staked Rocklin to a quick two-run lead in the first inning with a towering home run to left field off the Bruins' lefthander. The Thunder added a pair of runs in the fourth, but the Bruins scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to close to 4-3.

Rocklin scored three runs in the top of the seventh.

Jason Hampton, a Sacramento State scholarship recruit, earned the win in going six innings. He allowed six hits and struck out five. Matt Fielding struck out three Bruins looking in the bottom of the seventh.

As has been the case in recent D-II history, the other best-of-three series between Del. Oro and Granite Bay also went three games. Granite Bay prevailed in the third game 9-8 in eight innings on Tuesday at SCC.

May 20, 2009
Long-time baseball title game drought ends for Placer, El Dorado

For two title-starved baseball programs, Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game at Sacramento City College should be a doozy.

Pioneer Valley League co-champions Placer (19-8) and El Dorado (21-7) will meet at noon in the first of three championship games to be played on Memorial Day at Union Stadium.

While it will be nice to see some new blood in the mix, Placer coach Larry Prewitt and El Dorado coach Rusty McDonald say it validates that teams in the PVL, where both went 9-3, play the game as well as some of the area's more high-profile programs.

"We've battled each other the last two years," McDonald said. "They're a good team, and we're a good team. The best thing is that by both of us making the finals, it proves we're a good league."

El Dorado has never appeared in a section baseball championship game. Placer will be making only its second appearance, having won the D-II title in 1993.

Placer's ascension to the title game is particularly noteworthy because today they beat Oakdale and star pitcher Justin Jones 4-3 at Dan McAuliffe Memorial Park, sweeping the best of three series from the highly touted Mustangs in two games.

Oakdale (25-5) won the last two D-IV section championships, was ranked as high as No. 3 in last week's Cal-Hi Sports state D-III rankings and had a dominating player on the mound.

The left-handed Jones is a Cal scholarship recipient and potential Major League Baseball draft pick who was 23-0 over the last two years before losing today.

El Dorado, meanwhile, breezed to a 4-0 win over River City on the adjoining McAuliffe diamond behind junior Chris Rickon's three-hitter, also sweeping its best of three series in two games.

Rickon walked just one and the Cougars played flawlessly in the field, two keys to El Dorado's growing diamond success.

"When you win three playoff games and walk only one batter and make zero errors, you know your kids deserve to be here," McDonald said.

McDonald has seen huge improvement in the program, from 6-19 his first year to this season's 21-win campaign. Before the tile contractor arrived to work on his latest project, the Cougars had been baseball also-rans for years.

"The last time we made the playoffs was 19 years ago," McDonald said. "The best we can tell, it's been 28 years since they won a playoff game."

McDonald knew there was enough talent to have a respectable program. He is in his eighth year of coaching El Dorado American Legion and was an assistant at Union Mine for five seasons before taking the job at the historic Placerville school seeking an athletic revival.

"My first year, we cleaned house a little and we had four freshmen and three sophomores starting on varsity," McDonald said. "Now they're juniors and seniors. They've grown up."

Unlike El Dorado, Placer has made a number of playoff appearances. But Prewitt said someone more formidable always appeared in the way.

The last two seasons it was Oakdale, who beat the Hillmen in two games both seasons.
So with Oakdale bringing in another lineup of super stars, everyone figured it would be deja vu again.

"It's been a long time coming as far as playing for a section title," Prewitt said. "Oakdale is a great program, no doubt about it. But the kids believed in themselves and battled the whole year long."

Placer's Matt Dougherty and Matt Ross combined to scatter eight hits while senior catching standout Joel Thys had an RBI double and Ross an RBI single in a three-run third and Arndt a critical two-out single in the fifth. He wound up scoring the winning run after two wild pitches by Jones and an error by the third baseman.

In addition to three errors, the Mustangs also made a huge mental mistake for the game's last out with runners on first and third.

Craig Lefebrve, who was at first after drawing a two-out walk, dashed for second base in an attempt to distract Ross. As Ross turned toward Lefebrve, pinch-runner Brennan Williams sprinted toward the plate from third.

Oakdale coach Hondo Arpoika wanted Lefebrve to get caught in a rundown so Williams could score to tie the game. But Lefebvre never stopped as Ross threw to second baseman Matt Ryan, covering the bag.

The 5-foot-8 Ryan tagged Lefebvre as he barreled into him like a runaway freight train. Ryan held onto the ball, although it took several seconds for him to get up.

"I was shocked to see that happen," Prewitt said. "Matt was a little dazed. He really took a shot."

That was just one of several solid defensive plays for the Hillmen, who made one error.

"We played good baseball," Prewitt said. "Our pitching was good, our defense was good and our hitting was good. We did everything right."

El Dorado's win over River City was a lot less dramatic.

The Cougars scored two runs in the fourth on a Nick Weber double, a Sam Hieb single, a balk and an error. Sophomore Roger Gadow added an RBI triple and Bobby Frost an RBI single in the sixth.

Rickon, who struck out only three, let his defense take care of the rest.

May 19, 2009
Granite Bay rallies to beat Del Oro; advances to D-II title game

It looked like tonight was going to be an easy night for Del Oro against Sierra Foothill League rival Granite Bay in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II baseball playoffs at Sacramento City College.

After losing on Monday to the Grizzlies 13-2 in five innings in the first game of the best of three series, Del Oro got back on track with a 5-2 win, courtesy of star pitcher Mason Magleby.

That forced a third and deciding game for the right to advance to Monday's 6 p.m. title game at SCC.

In tonight's nightcap, Del Oro looked to be in great shape after taking an 8-0 lead after one inning.

But by the third, the Golden Eagles led 8-2, by the fourth it was 8-4 and at the end of the fifth it was 8-8, with Trevor Trinidad's two-run double the big blow for the hit-happy Grizzlies.

Granite Bay pushed one more run across the plate, in the eighth inning, to win 9-8.

The Grizzlies will play the winner of Thursday's game(s) between Rocklin and defending champion Ponderosa.

May 19, 2009
Jesuit edges Elk Grove in D-I thriller at ARC

Martin Augusta isn't quite sure what's creeping around deep within his lungs.

But it's nasty and it's no fun, a clot of mucus making things a bit gruesome for the Jesuit High School.

But funny thing about adrenalin. It kicks in at the right time.

Agosta overcame a huge hole early and then pitched like one of the top arms in the region, helping key Jesuit's 6-4 triumph over Elk Grove in the much-anticipated Sac-Joaquin Division I North semifinal game at American River College tonight.

Zach Miller ripped a two-run home run - his second blast of this tournament - for a 3-0 first-inning lead before Agosta settled into a groove and his teammates swung back. Jimmy Bosco, the leadoff hitter headed to Cal, tied it at 4-4 in the fourth inning with a single to score Frank Meredith. Jesuit took over in the fifth when Brock Simon scored Frank McDonald with a fielder's choice to make it 5-4 and Rhys Hoskins scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4 a moment later.

Jesuit now advances to the North final on Friday at ARC, where a victory ensures the program its fifth such championship since 1994. The defending champion Marauders are the only team to beat Elk Grove in the playoffs the last four seasons (Elk Grove three-peated as section champs in that run before Jesuit ended the run 6-5 in a playoff opener last year).

Agosta gave way to Brock Simon in the seventh, and Simon struck out two. Andrew Susac, the superb catcher with a professional future threw out a runner racing into third to end the game. On Monday, Susac threw out a runner, picked one off at first and tagged two out at the plate.

Agosta improved to 4-1 on the season after going unbeaten a year ago, including 1-hitting Pleasant Grove in the playoffs and earning a complete-game triumph to beat Buhach Colony in the section title clinching game.

There was an overflow crowd on hand to catch the section's elite two programs this decade. There were top recruits on the field, including Jake Rodriguez (Oregon State) and Justin Charles (Fresno State) of Elk Grove and Susac (Oregon State), Danny Hayes (Oregon State) and Bosco (Cal) of Jesuit. Herd and Marauder players were summer travel-team teammates. Coaches Jeff Carlson of Elk Grove and Joe Potulny of Jesuit are friends, two of the best in the business.

Jesuit awaits the winner of Thursday's loser's bracket finale between Elk Grove and Fairfield. Elk Grove has the experience - and now the motivation - to make a real run at it from here. A Jesuit-Elk Grove finale on Friday seems fitting, with the Herd needing two win twice to dethrone the Marauders.

May 18, 2009
Miller, Rodriguez impress in Elk Grove win over Napa

Jake Miller played angry and inspired and so did his Elk Grove High School teammates tonight at American River College.

And now what do we get?

The baseball showdown everyone has anticipated all season.

With Miller driving in five runs and Jake Rodriguez showcasing his amazing versatility as an infielder and pitcher, the Thundering Herd beat Napa 7-3 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North contest.

And with Jesuit downing Fairfield 11-4 in the earlier game today, the tilt between the area's top two teams all season - and much of the last decade and a half, really - is on.

Elk Grove and Jesuit square off Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Herd won three consecutive section titles before Jesuit halted the run with a 6-5 "Suicide Saturday" triumph to open the playoffs last season. Jesuit went on to claim the section title.

Miller had a three-run double in the third for a 3-2 lead. The anger came in the form of a slight, as Rodriguez was intentionally walked - loading the bases and daring Miller to do something about it. He did. In the fourth, Miller crushed a two-run homer for that 7-3 lead as the Herd showed tremendous grit and fortitude after an emotional second inning.

Will Soto was thrown out for crashing into Napa catcher Michael Crandell, who lost the ball and clearly seemed to be obstructing the plate. Elk Grove coach Jeff Carlson argued just that - a catcher can't block the plate without the ball. Still, by rule, Soto had to make an attempt to slide. He didn't, being competitive, and his ejection means he cannot play against Jesuit as an ejection carries a mandatory next-game ejection as well.

Plate umpire Dan Blower said later that Soto charged into Crandell with his forearms up, making it an easy call, he said.

"You don't have time to make a slide, it's a reactionary play," Carlson said of Soto. "He should have tried to slide, but he also could have broken his leg sliding into the catcher with all that gear. The catcher can't block the plate without the ball. Now it's obstruction. We'll move on. We've got a lot of guys who can step up and did tonight."

That includes Rodriguez, the superb junior who is already a prep All-American. Rodriguez started at short, then moved to third when Soto was tossed and then finished on the mound by striking out seven in three innings of work.

"Jake's versatility, can't say enough about him, or any of these guys," Carlson said.

Elk Grove will also play without first base coach Zach Leach, who was ejected for arguing another call. The affable Herd athletic director also might have spared Carlson from getting tossed Blower.

Leach admitted he deserved to be tossed.

Elk Grove will try to appeal Soto's ejection, but that could be a long shot as the game in in a mere few hours now.

May 18, 2009
Susac dazzles as Jesuit downs Fairfield in D-I baseball

Too much Andrew Susac behind the plate. Too much Dan Child the final two innings and plenty of patience at the plate was the line of the evening for Jesuit High School.

The Marauders, top-ranked by The Bee the second half of the season, routed Fairfield 11-4 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I North playoff game today at American River College.

Susac is a national recruit who has signed a letter of intent with Oregon State who also happens to be on every major league team's radar as one of the top defensive catchers in the country. He is projected to be drafted in the top two rounds. The senior threw out two runners and tagged out two more on relay throws from Jimmy Bosco and Chris Piwinski and had a three-run double and a bunt single in as complete an effort as one could imagine.

Oh, he also provided a calming presence to sophomore pitcher Dan Child, whose first warm up pitch hit the dirt well before the plate. Once he warmed up, Child was untouchable. He struck out five in his two innings of work (Alex Plog got the win).

Bosco had four walks from his leadoff spot and scored three runs as Fairfield walked 10 and struck out eight times.

Jesuit plays Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the late Monday game between Elk Grove-Napa. Fairfield takes on the loser of that game in a loser's bracket game Tuesday at 4.

Jesuit seeks a section title repeat and the program's fifth since 1994 under coach Joe Potulny.

May 17, 2009
Whitford's 50 free record highlights Marlins performances at section swim finals

Sierra Marlins head swim coach Jeff Pearson is a happy man.

Ten of his swimmers achieved All-American qualifying times at the Sac-Joaquin Section swim championships today at Tokay High School in Lodi.

Among those who did particularly well:

Bella Vista's Alexandra Whitford set a new section record of 23.24 seconds in winning the girls 50-yard free. That broke the old record of 23.29 set by Amanda Larson of Davis in 2003.

Whitford also placed first in the girls 100 free (50.64).

Granite Bay's Haley Anderson also won two events: the girls 200 free (1:47.68) and the girls 500 free (4:42.46). It marked Haley's second consecutive 500 free title and the fifth for a member of the Anderson family. Her sister Alyssa Anderson, now swimming for Arizona, won the section 500 free from 2005 to 2007.

Placer's Ryan Studebaker placed first in the boys 100 breast (56.47) and Ponderosa's Ryan Picket took second in the boys 100 back (51.26).

Granite Bay's Quincy Christian placed second in the girls 500 free (4:57.87) and third in the girls 200 IM (2:04.98) and Oak Ridge's Sara Haley placed second in the girls 100 fly (54.95) and third in the girls 200 free (1:51.16).

Vista del Lago's Dallin Johnson placed third in the boys 500 free (4:33.99) and Eagles teammate Josh Choi was third in the 100 breast (56.47).

May 17, 2009
Results: NorCal Community College Track & Field Championships

Meet was held May 1-8 at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hills


Team results: 1. American River 114.5; 2. Sacramento City 101; 3. CCSF 87; 4. Hartnell 74.5; 5. Fresno 74; 6. Butte 63; 7. Modesto 60; 8. Sequoias 48; 9. De Anza 43; 10. Merritt 29; 11 Shasta 28; 12. Diablo Valley 26; 13. San Jose 21; 14. San Mateo 13; 15. San Joaquin Delta 10; 16. Reedley 8; 16. Santa Rosa 8; 18. Chabot 3.5; 19. Siskiyous 2; 20. Yuba 0.5.

Men 100-1. Lewis, SC, 10.60; 2. Pyrtle, Me, 10.67; 3. Ray, B, 10.69; 4. Rogers, CCSF, 10.73; 5. Richardson, SJD, 10.84; 6. Carcamo, MO., 10.92; 7. Cook, F, 10.94.

Men 200 Meter Dash

(w: -0.1) 1. Lewis, SCC, 21.50; 2. Daniel, ARC, 21.66; 3. Ray, B, 21.71; 4. Taylor, CCSF, 21.83; 5. Arnold, B, 21.85; 6. Bly, SE, 22.74.

Men 400 Meter Dash

1. Blair, M, 46.78; 2. Gix, ARC, 46.88; 3. Taylor, CCSF, 47.63; 4. Arnold, B, 47.71; 5. Daniel, ARC , 48.01; 6. Lewis, FCC, 48.44; 7. Caldwell, SJ, 48.64; 8. Howard, ARC, 51.07.

Men 800 Meter Run

1. Enemark, DV, 1:54.06; 2. Opoku, FCC, 1:55.33; 3. Martin, S, 1:55.45; 4. Lackey, SH, 1:56.45; 5. Leal, H, 1:56.70; 6. Malova, SCC, 2:01.28; 7. Ochoa, SE, 2:01.57; 8. Mallory, MO, 2:08.46.

Men 1500 Meter Run

1. Enemark, DVC, 3:55.48; 2. Ochoa, SE, 3:56.08; 3. Sanchez, SE, 3:57.88; 4. Tapia, Hartnell, 3:59.39; 5. McAlpine, SE, 4:01.18; 6. Becerra, SM, 4:02.58; 7. Esparza, H, 4:02.73; 8. Milligan, ARC, 4:06.89; 9. Montoya, SM, 4:06.89.

Men 5000 Meter Run

1. Tapia, H, 15:15.64; 2. Sanchez, SE, 15:25.32; 3. Esparza, H, 15:31.02; 4. Crum, DA, 15:37.34; 5. Frazier, CCSF, 15:38.80; 6. Diaz, CCSF, 15:41.19; 7. Tovar, ARC, 15:54.17; 8. Johnstone, B, 15:54.85.

Men 110 Meter Hurdles

(w: 0.8) 1. Stewart, ME, 14.10; 2. Chen, DA, 14.89; 3. Washington, FCC, 15.26; 4. Dixon, B, 15.34; 5. Kern-Wilson, SCC, 15.44; 6. Eastman, ARC, 15.44; 7. Reyes, SCC, 15.44; 8. Block, SM, 15.45.

Men 400 Meter Hurdles

1. Gix, ARC, 52.79; 2. Broussard, SCC, 53.16; 3. Kern-Wilson, SCC, 53.96; 4. Dixon, B, 54.38; 5. Vatavuk, DA, 55.86; 6. Guzman, SE, 57.50; 7. Washington, FCC, 58.55.

Men 3000 Meter Steeplechase

1. Gerber, CCSF, 9:29.90; 2. Walden, ARC, 9:48.20; 3. Rea, MO, 9:49.10; 4. Frazier, CCSF, 9:50.50; 5. Gregory, ARC, 9:55.00; 6. Frazier, CCSF, 9:59.10; 7. Aleman, H, 10:03.30; 8. Rubio, DVC, 10:12.70.

Men 4x100 Meter Relay

1. CCSF (Rogers, FR, Whitlock, SO, Mayo, SO, Taylor, SO), 40.59.
2. Sacramento (Taylor, FR, Nunnally, SO, Broussard, FR, Womack, FR), 41.54.
3. Hartnell ( Valdez, FR, Guereque, SO, Sells, SO, Dervin, FR), 41.63.
4. Butte (Arnold, SO, Ray, FR, Dixon, FR, Oliva, FR), 41.69.
5. De Anza (Sims, FR, Hudson, SO, Agyemang, SO, Gonzales, FR), 41.70.
6. Merritt (Day, FR, Mogaddedi, FR, Stewart, FR, Pyrtle, FR), 41.85.
7. Modesto (Dixon, FR, Blair, SO, Carcamo, SO, Ramos, FR), 42.27. < /div>
8. San Joaquin Delta (Harrison, FR, Richardson, FR, White, FR, Hitchcock, FR), 42.44.

Men 4x400 Meter Relay

1. American River (Davis, FR, Daniel, SO, Bruno, FR, Gix, SO), 3:12.11.
2. Sacramento (Taylor, FR, Malova, FR, Womack, FR, Gray, SO), 3:13.99.
3. Butte (Ray, FR, Dixon, FR, Waters, FR, Arnold, SO), 3:17.73.
4. Fresno (Hattin, SO, Cook, SO, Lewis, FR, Opoku, FR), 3:17.85.
5. De Anza (Laddm, FR, Gonzalesm, FR, Agyemang, SO, Gaspar, SO), 3:19.52.
6. Shasta ( Johnston, FR, Johnston, FR, Lackey, FR, Evans, FR), 3:21.59.
7. San Joaquin Delta ( Richardson, FR, Harrison, FR, Hitchcock, FR, White, FR), 3:25.47.

Men High Jump start 1.80m

1. Carlyle, SCC, 2.20m, (7-02.50); 2. Rice, B, 2.05m, (6-08.75); 3. Souza, SCC, 2.00m, (6-06.75); 4. Brenner, FCC, J2.00m, (6-06.75); 5. Wagenknecht, SCC, 1.95m, (6-04.75); 6. Young, ARC, J1.95m, (6-04.75); 7. Toney, H, 1.85m, (6-00.75); 7. Elbashir, Chabot, 1.85m, (6-00.75).

Men Pole Vault

1. Lewis, SCC, 4.65m, (15-03); 2. Mogaddedi, ME, 4.50m, (14-09); 3. Bickley, SCC, 4.35m, (14-03.25); 4. Kimari, SR, 4.20m, (13-09.25); 5. Folsom, ARC, 4.05m, (13-03.50); 6. Barrios, DA, J4.05m,

(13-03.50); 7. Singh, C, 3.90m, (12-09.50); 8. Shepherd, ARC, 3.75m, (12-03.50); 8. Mathis, Y, 3.75m, (12-03.50).

Men Long Jump

1. Mabrey, CCSF, 6.96m, w:2.1 (22-10); 2. Anderson, FCC, 6.92m, w:+0.0 (22-08.50); 3. Roberson, SM, 6.85m, w:-1.9 (22-05.75); 4. Rogers, CCSF, 6.82m, w:0.7 (22-04.50); 5. Baker, ARC, 6.78m, w:-1.3 (22-03); 6. Cook, FCC, 6.73m, w:0.6 (22-01); 7. Carlyle, SCC, 6.66m, w:0.8 (21-10.25); 8. Hampton, ARC, 6.60m, w:-1.6 (21-08).

Men Triple Jump

1. Mabrey, CCSF, 14.78m, w:0.7 (48-06); 2. Mayo, FCC,

14.51m, w:2.7 (47-07.25); 3. Anderson, FCC, 14.46m, w:+0.0 (47-05.25); 4. Green, FCC, 14.26m, w:-0.5 (46-09.50); 5. Hampton, ARC, 14.15m, w:2.2 (46-05.25); 6. Wai Ng, DA, 14.08m, w:+0.0 (46-02.50); 7. Waters, B, 14.06m, w:0.6, (46-01.50); 8. Eastman, ARC, 13.80m, w:-0.6 (45-03.50).

Men Shot Put

1. Price, MO, 16.72m, (54-10.25); 2. Puga, H, 14.80m, (48-06.75); 3. Sannadan, SH, 14.52m, (47-07.75); 3. Pack, B, 14.48m, (47-06.25); 5. Volkman, DVC, 14.23m, (46-08.25); 6. Moses, FCC, 14.13m, (46-04.25); 7. Sanford, SI, 13.97m, (45-10); 8. Jucatan, SJD, 13.88m, (45-06.50).

Men Discus Throw

1. Puga, H, 50.23m, (164-09); 2. Price, MO, 50.19m, (164-08); 3. Moses, FCC, 49.47m, (162-04); 4. Pack, B, 47.28m, (155-01); 5. Hamilton, ARC, 46.20m, (151-07); 6. Aubrey, SM, 44.88m, (147-03); 7. Williamson, SJD, 44.48m, (145-11); 8. Volkman, DVC, 42.14m, (138-03).

Men Hammer Throw

1. Wright, SH, 50.54m, (165-10); 2. Hamilton, ARC, 49.95m, (163-10); 3. Price, MO , 49.34m, (161-10); 4. Sannadan, SH, 47.73m, (156-07); 5. Millard, FCC, 47.28m, (155-01); 6. Agosta, SR, 46.95m, (154-00); 7. Stephan, DA, 45.54m, (149-05); 8. Duenas, MO, 45.49m, (149-03).

Men Javelin Throw

1. Fulfer, ARC, 57.17m, (187-07); 2. Kelly, R, 55.06m, (180-08); 3. Ramoz, SJO, 54.67m, (179-04); 4. Jaykins, SJO, 52.64m, (172-08); 5. Carothers, SCC, 52.02m, (170-08); 6. Stephan, DA, 51.34m, (168-05); 7. Knisley, H, 49.37m, (162-00); 8. Andrews, SJD, 45.53m, (149-04).


Team results: 1. Laney 142; 2. Sacramento 95; 3. Fresno 88; 4. American River 76; 5. De Anza 73; 6. Modesto 71; 7. Butte 50; 8. Monterey Peninsula 34; 8. San Mateo 34; 10. Sequoias 32; 10. Shasta 32; 12. San Joaquin Delta 20; 13. Santa Rosa 19; 14. Hartnell 18; 15. CCSF 10; 16. Chabot 8; 17. Diablo Valley 6; 18. San Jose 2.

Women 100 Meter Dash Finals

(w: 0.1) 1. Earls, ARC, 11.85; 2. Newson, L, 11.91; 3. Padrah, L, 12.06; 4. Roach, L, 12.09; 5. Wilson, L, 12.20; 6. Collins, SCC, 12.23; 7. Adams, MON, 12.32.

Women 200 Meter Dash

(w: 0.1) 1. Newson, L, 24.26; 2. Brown, L, 24.35; 3. Earls, ARC, 24.50; 4. Roach, L, 24.59; 5. Padrah, L, 24.96; 6. Pettigrue, DA, 25.23; 7. Brown, DA, 25.82.

Women 400 Meter Dash

1. Brown, L, 54.00#; 2. Pettigrue, DA, 55.70; 3. Crosby, L, 56.49; 4. Brown, DA, 56.72; 5. Scott, ARC, 58.58; 6. Jones, L, 59.13; 7. Chambers, ARC, 59.53; 8. Winfield, H, 60.13.

Women 800 Meter Run

1. Lundgren, SR, 2:14.33; 2. Gonzales, SE, 2:16.58; 3. Gooch, FCC, 2:17.42; 4. Cox, L, 2:18.30; 5. Draper, MO, 2:21.39; 6. Stanley, B, 2:23.60; 7. Browning, MO, 2:25.68; 8. McEntire, FCC, 2:26.84.

Women 1500 Meter Run

1. Browning, MO, 4:47.01; 2. Gonzales, SE, 4:48.82; 3. McEntire, FCC, 4:49.71; 4. Paranthaman, DA, 4:59.79; 5. Whitmyre, DA, 5:00.23; 6. Lueth, SR, 5:01.08; 7. Jenkins, ARC, 5:03.07; 8. Lacebal, B, 5:05.71.

Women 100 Meter Hurdles

(w: -0.1) 1. Jackson, L, 14.57; 2. Betts, L, 14.94; 3. Frazier, ARC, 15.42; 4. Jenkins, SCC, 15.51; 5. Nichols, B, 15.78; 6. Moreno, SCC, 16.13; 7. Ratterman, CH, 16.22; 8. Lionudakis, MO, 16.64.

Women 400 Meter Hurdles

1. Adams, MON, 61.79; 2. Sanchez, MON, 63.37; 3. Frazier, ARC, 63.95; 4. Moreno, SCC, 64.23; 5. Miglin, MO, 65.91; 6. Davis, L, 66.14; 7. Knowles, L, 68.18.

Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase

1. Guevarra, CCSF, 12:11.30; 2. Kilgroe, DA, 12:19.10; 3. Santillan, SE, 12:29.90; 4. White, ARC, 12:34.30; 5. Miranda, MO, 12:35.60; 6. Julian, ARC, 13:17.10; 7. Sosa, ARC, 13:44.10; 8. Barkley, SCC, 13:54.30.

Women 5000 Meter Run

1. Gonzales, SE, 18:32.76; 2. Whitmyre, DA, 18:45.55; 3. Courtright, SJD, 19:49.93; 4. Paranthaman, DA, 19:56.89; 5. Villalobos, MO, 19:57.91; 6. Arzate, H, 19:58.53; 7. Moreno, MO, 20:20.32; 8. Chew, DA, 20:26.15.

Women 4x100 Meter Relay

1. Sacramento (Moreno, FR, Collins, SO, Tansil, FR, Jenkins, FR), 46.69.
2. American River (Chambers, FR, Earls, FR, Frazier, FR, Scott, FR), 47.24.
3. Monterey (Adams, SO, Adams, SO, Sanchez, FR, Ruvalcaba, FR), 48.60.
4. Modesto (Roberson, SO, Nelson, FR, Gulley, FR, Maxey, FR), 49.46.
5. De Anza (Sahu, SO, Pettigrue, SO, Thomas, FR, Brown FR), 49.87.
6. Hartnell (Sandoval, FR, Winfield, FR, Villagomez, FR, Pascua, FR), 50.80.

Women 4x400 Meter Relay

1. Laney ( Crosby, FR, Cox, SO, Jones, FR, Brown, SO), 3:50.19.
2. Monterey ( Sanchez, FR, F.Adams, SO, L.Adams, SO, Ruvalcaba, FR), 3:56.29.
3. American River (Wolo, FR, Chambers, FR, White, SO, Scott, FR), 3:59.76.
4. Sacramento (Moreno, FR, Jenkins, FR, Boyce, FR, Collins, SO), 4:01.41.
5. De Anza (Brown, FR, Kilgroe, FR, Paranthaman, SO, Pettigrue, SO), 4:02.06.
6. Modesto (Miglin, FR, Roberson, SO, Gulley, FR, Draper, SO), 4:02.27.
7. Butte (Brandt, FR, Nichols, FR, Lacebal, FR, Stanley, FR), 4:03.77.
8. Fresno (Butler, FR, Gooch, FR, Simons, SO, McEntire, SO), 4:13. 39.

Women High Jump

1. Jackson, SCC, 1.70m, (5-07); 2. Van Haaren, SCC, J1.70m, (5-07); 3. Newson, L, 1.60m, (5-03); 4. Burks, FCC, J1.60m, (5-03); 5. Miller, ARC, 1.55m, (5-01); 6. Jenkins, SCC, J1.55m, (5-01); 7. Jackson, L, 1.50m, (4-11); 8. Turner, MO, J1.50m, (4-11).

Women Pole Vault start 2.40m

1. Castenada, FCC, 3.15m, (10-04); 2. Okolie, FCC, 3.00m, (9-10); 3. Miller, ARC, 2.85m, (9-04.25); 4. Saunders, CH, J2.85m, (9-04.25); 5. Potts, SH, J2.85m, (9-04.25); 6. Sandoval, H, 2.40m, (7-10.50).

Women Long Jump

1. Newson, L, 6.07m, w:+0.0 (19-11); 2. Collins, SCC, 6.00m, w:0.8 (19-08.25); 3. Miller, L, 5.44m, w:1.4 (17-10.25); 4. Okolie, FCC, 5.36m, w:1.4 (17-07); 5. Johnson, SJD, 5.25m, w:+0.0 (17-02.75); 6. Jackson, SCC, 5.11m, w:1.0 (16-09.25); 7. Nichols, B, J5.11m, w:-0.5 (16-09.25); 8. Jenkins, SCC, 4.94m, w:1.1 (16-02.50).

Women Triple Jump

1. Okolie, FCC, 11.62m, w:+0.0 (38-01.50); 2. Johnson, SJD, 11.14m, w:+0.0 (36-06.75); 3. Knowles, L, 11.02m, w:0.6 (36-02); 4. Collins, SCC, 10.89m, w:0.9 (35-08.75); 5. Simons, FCC, 10.72m, w:0.6 (35-02); 6. Jackson, SCC, 10.66m, w:1.5 (34-11.75); 7. Ross, L, 10.50m, w:-0.5 (34-05.50); 8. Winfield, H, 10.38m, w:0.8 (34-00.75).

Women Shot Put

1. Pasina, B, 12.37m, (40-07); 2. Young, SM , 12.03m, (39-05.75); 3. Garrett, DA, 11.85m, (38-10.50); 4. Wilson, SCC, 11.82m, (38-09.50); 5. Webster, SH, 11.72m, (38-05.50); 6. Royall, B, 11.09m, (36-04.75); 7. Gran, SJD, 10.95m, (35-11.25); 8. Wachter, ARC, 10.93m, (35-10.50).

Women Discus Throw

1. Steward, FCC, 47.45m, (155-08); 2. Lohse, SH, 44.63m, (146-05); 3. Pasina, B, 39.12m, (128-04); 4. Young, SM, 38.90m, (127-07); 5. Gonzalez, FCC, 38.12m, (125-01); 6. Esterheld, SR, 37.46m, (122-11); 7. Fanaika, SCC, 36.97m, (121-03); 8. Wilson, SCC, 34.68m, (113-09).

Women Hammer Throw

1. Lohse, SH, 48.11m, (157-10); 2. Steward, FCC, 46.29m, (151-10); 3. Young, SM, 46.23m, (151-08); 4. Royall, B, 45.38m, (148-11); 5. Wilson, SCC, 45.16m, (148-02); 6. Esterheld, SR, 43.61m, (143-01); 7. McClure, MO, 40.82m, (133-11); 8. Merino, SJO , 39.98m, (131-02).

Women Javelin Throw

1. Young, SM, 40.56m, (133-01); 2. Becerra, FCC, 36.48m, (119-08); 3. Potts, SH, 34.04m, (111-08); 4. Taylor, ARC, 32.97m, (108-02); 5. Calderon, MO, 32.31m, (106-0 0); 6. Dixon-Buckley, L, 31.73m, (104-01); 7. Ban, FCC, 31.69m, (104-00); 8. Merino, SJO, 30.40m, (99-09).

May 17, 2009
St. Francis soccer dominance continues with yet another D-I title

Bring back Gary Summerhays!

Maybe that's what it would take to stop St. Francis' onslaught in girls soccer.

Summerhays was primarily responsible for Del Campo's run of excellence in the early days of the section girls playoffs.

The Cougars won nine section titles from 1982 to 1996, most coming under Summerhays, one of the most respected coaches in Sac-Joaquin Section history.

But girls soccer dominance has clearly shifted to St. Francis, winners of six of the last seven D-I titles and a section best 11 overall after beating St. Mary's of Stockton 3-1 in Saturday's D-I championship at Folsom High School.

This year's Troubadours dominated the D-1 playoffs, beating Davis, Elk Grove, Franklin of Elk Grove and St. Mary's by a combined 15-3 score.

St. Mary's coach Mark Kusanovich seemed at a loss for words after his team's latest loss to St. Francis.

The Troubadours have beaten the Rams four times in the last six years by a combined 18-1 score.

St. Francis coach Richard Carrigan once coached with Kusanovich at St. Mary's, but the pupil has clearly found the deeper talent pool between the elite private schools, something both readily acknowledge.

"Soccer is such a socio-economic sport," Carrigan said. "The parents who can afford to have their kids play competitive soccer also are the ones who can afford to send their kids to a (private school)."

Carrigan notes that Kusanovich is currently fighting an uphill battle at his Stockton school because of the struggling economy in San Joaquin County, which is impacting freshmen enrollment.

But the bigger issue for southern section teams may be the lack of competition during the regular season.

Carrigan said there was no better example than Whitney's 4-1 pounding of Sierra in the D-IV title game in Stockton Saturday.

Sierra was nationally ranked and 26-0-2 coming into the match. Whitney was 13-1-8, although with a 1-1 tie against St. Francis in an early-season tournament.

"Whitney's a scrappy bunch," Carrigan said. "But what that really indicates is that Sierra was overrated. What kind of schedule do they play?"

He said his preseason schedule that included Granite Bay, Beyer of Modesto, Davis and University of San Francisco prepared his team for their postseason push.

But he admits his players really thrive during the postseason.

"The kids seem to play a little better when we're in playoff mode," he said.

Carrigan had no team dominate the playoffs the way this one has since the section went to a unified format in 2002 (southern section teams used to hold their own winter championships).

"They wanted to prove they are one of the better teams to win here," Carrigan said. "They are one of the top two or three teams we've had. We'll see what happens next year when a lot of our players will be seniors."

May 16, 2009
Oak Ridge survives heat, PKs to beat Roseville for D-II girls soccer title

They were glad they won. But they were even happier that it was over.

Oak Ridge defeated Roseville 4-2 on penalty kicks in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II girls soccer championships earlier today at sizzling hot Folsom High School.

"I'm glad we pulled if off," said Oak Ridge star Rachel Mercik, a junior midfielder. "We didn't play our best game of soccer, but its a hard game to play when it's over 100 degrees."

The two teams played to a 1-1 tie through 80-plus minutes and two 10-minute overtimes on a field so hot that it melted some of the players' cleats.

The temperature reported in Folsom by the Weather Underground was 99 degrees. The synthetic turf field at Prairie City Stadium was at least five to 10 degrees hotter.

"It's so hot out here, I'm just glad it's over," said Oak Ridge senior goalie Danielle Murphy, who blocked Amanda Ellsworth's penalty kick to end the game. "I'm so tired, I'm just glad we won."

Oak Ridge (12-3-3) appeared to be on its way to its second girls section soccer title after Mercik's left-footed goal from 12 yards out 14 minutes into the second half.

The Trojans seemed in control - they had outshot the Tigers four to one - when Roseville earned a cornerkick with under four minutes to play.

Roseville's Amanda Susbilla, a player not even listed on the roster who had been called up from the JVs, sent a beautiful bending ball into the box that deflected off the head of Oak Ridge defender Sara Harris and into the net for the equalizer.

"My stomach cramped," Mercik said. "But I think it was good for us. I think we played harder than when it was 1-0. We just didn't get the goal."

Added Murphy: "We've come so far and had such a great season we figured there was no point in not winning."

Mercik, the Trojans scoring leader with 19 goals, had to sit out the first overtime. She staggered off the field in stoppage time just before the end of regulation after a last-gasp run in which she hit a shot wide right.

"I just got dizzy after I made my last run," she said.

Although Oak Ridge wound up winning in penalty kicks, Mercik, who made the Trojans' first PK attempt, said it was a horrible way to win.

"I hate them," she said of PKs. "It's like flipping a coin. It's not about skill. It's not about how well you've played. It's the only thing I don't like about this sport."

The victory continues a long run of D-II dominance by Sierra Valley Conference teams. An SVC team has won seven consecutive D-II titles, including Oak Ridge's first title in 2007.

It's something Mercik says the players in that league take pride in.

"Even if we weren't here and Ponderosa (last year's section champion and this year's SVC titlist) was, I'd be rooting for them," she said. "I think an SVC team winning is great. It gives our league a lot of prestige."

It was a tough loss for a Roseville bunch that wanted to claim the school's first girls section soccer title for coaching legend Pablo Gutierrez.

Gutierrez is in his 24th season of coaching girls soccer and has coached boys soccer 34 years at the school.

This was the Tigers' second trip to a girls section soccer final. They lost to St. Francis 2-0 on penalty kicks in 1994.

Meanwhile, Murphy and Harris, who was outstanding anchoring the Trojans' back line, are headed to South Carolina State on scholarships.

Mercik, who didn't play high school soccer her first two years but had a blast this spring, plans to play again next year.

A member of the United States Women's National Team U-20 player pool, she already has verbally committed to Cal, which is offering a full-ride scholarship.

"I'm so glad I played this year," Mercik said. "Henry Reis is a great coach. Even at the high school level I feel I've learned new things."

Like how to stay standing in the heat of the day.

May 16, 2009
Elk Grove pounds Sheldon 18-2 in D-I baseball opener. Ouch!

It was the inning of despair for Sheldon High School, and nothing more than a gleeful batting practice romp for the winners.

Elk Grove sent 18 batters to the plate in as dreadful of an inning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff field has every endured, and the Thundering Herd scored 14 runs in that second frame, en route to a 18-2 beat-down rout in a North opener at American River College.

Will Soto smacked a two-run triple in the first inning, Brooke Brooks had the only home run of the opening day of the North playoff field - a mammoth shot to right to open the second - and Jake Rodriguez has a two-run single in the same inning that lasted a brutal 90 minutes. Zach Miller earned the win for Elk Grove, moving to 5-3, in allowing no hits (Sheldon had one).

The first day of this postseason is called "Suicide Saturday", not because teams seek their own demise but because the single-elimination start is that cut throat and tense.

Before this game, Elk Grove assistant coach Zach Leach said, "we're really nervous about this one," because openers tend to make even the established programs a bit jittery. Jesuit ended Elk Grove's section record 18-game playoff winning streak a year ago that included three successive D-I banners. And the last team to beat the Mighty Marauders this season? Sheldon.

But Sheldon limped into this postseason on a skid, losing 10-0, 10-0 and 13-2 to Pleasant Grove and 19-9 to Folsom in the final week of the regular season. The Thundering Herd entered the playoffs as the top seed from the top league in the section, the Delta Valley Conference.

May 16, 2009
Burg lifts Bradshaw Christian to first girls section soccer title

Sacramento State-bound attacking midfielder Megan Burg scored two goals in a span of two minutes in the second half to lead Bradshaw Christian past Forest Lake Christian 2-1 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI girls soccer championship earlier today at Folsom High School.

The game was a rematch of last year's two teams, although Forest Lake Christian won that one on penalty kicks.

Burg, who scored 31 goals during her senior season, was a dominating force in leading the Pride (19-5-0) to their first girls section soccer title.

Lindsey Engbrecht scored for Forest Lake Christian (18-2-1).

May 16, 2009
Rio Americano rallies late to win D-III girls soccer title for their first-year coach

Rio Americano, playing with poise and determination for their first-year coach, scored two late goals to rally for a 3-2 win over Benicia in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship game earlier today at Folsom High School.

Kim Hutchings found the upper right corner of the net from 20 yards with 6:30 to play to tie the match, then Laura Nasseri scored the game-winner from eight yards with two minutes left.

Noelle Lemos, who had both Benicia (23-2-2) goals, gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with 18 minutes to play on a beautifully directed header in front of the goal off a free kick.

The senior forward, who scored 35 goals this season, had staked Benicia to an early 1-0 lead before the Raiders (14-1-2) tied it midway through the first period when Alli Kelly scored on a header off a Nasseri free kick.

The section title was Rio Americano's third and first under coach Jennifer Smiley, a former Raiders star who was an assistant to long-time Raiders coach Danny Cruz last season.

But Cruz was not rehired last summer, and Smiley replaced him.

She is a physical education teacher at Barrett Middle School but, according to her father Dan, has received a layoff notice from the cash-strapped San Juan Unified School District.

Benicia was the D-III defending champion, having beaten the Raiders 2-1 in overtime last season's section final.

May 16, 2009
Jesuit repeats as rugby national champs

Jesuit has a rich tradition in just about all things athletic.

Dan Carmazzi has presided over a football program that came of age in the 1990s. Basketball has been formidable to great since the 1960s, be it under coaches Terry Battenberg, Hank Meyer or Greg Harcos this decade. Baseball seeks its fifth Sac-Joaquin Section title under coach Joe Potulny this spring. Track and field and cross country have piled up the championships, with Walt Lange a legend in cross country. Swimming and water polo have also had success.

And rugby.

Jesuit has mastered the craft as scholars who can be skilled brawlers.

The Marauders repeated as the National Guard High School national champions today after downing rival Christian Brothers 19-0 in Pittsburgh.

Jesuit flyback Brandon Kraft was named the tournament MVP, scoring three tries and kicking for field position. He is considered just as much of an impact off the field as a leader, his coaches and teammates say.

That Jesuit and CBS met again for a championship speaks volumes for Sacramento rugby.

"Sacramento is a rugby hot bed, and the teams in the area are constantly building and improving to stay ahead of one another," Jesuit coach John Shorey told Ashley Voss of USA Rugby. "This team worked really hard, played above their rate, and they have better rugby skills than years past."

May 16, 2009
Napa eliminates red-hot Pleasant Grove in D-I baseball

Steven Nagy did a little bit of everything to get Napa High School past the hottest team in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff field.

The crafty left-hander tossed a two hitter and he scored on a base hit by Brandon Savin to put his team ahead to stay in the fifth inning that led to a 3-1 victory over Pleasant Grove of Elk Grove in an opener at American River College tonight.

Nagy tossed his eighth complete game and moved to 9-1 for an Indians team that won the Monticello Empire League but hasn't reached the section finals since winning it all in 1988. Not that this isn't a school without athletic prowess. The football team rolled to a 13-1 season to claim the D-I crown in 2007, a team that included Bee Player of the Year John Boyett, now at Oregon, and a left tackle named C.J. Blom, who legged out a triple today and will play on the offensive line at UC Davis in the fall.

Pleasant Grove had its nine-game winning streak halted. The Eagles reached the North finals last spring under coach Rob Rinaldi. Eddie Ballaron had Pleasant Grove's two hits. The Eagles were undone by five innings, three in the fateful fifth when Napa scored twice.

May 16, 2009
Fairfield beats Davis in 10 innings in D-I baseball

The Davis Blue Devils had this "Suicide Saturday" thing figured out, having won the first-round single-elimination Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff opener eight consecutive seasons.

Then today, they lost the magic touch.

In a game that included 10 errors at American River College, Fairfield prevailed 8-7 in 10 innings over a red-hot Davis bunch when Angelo Gonzalez drove in Ryan Anderson with a single in the 10th inning and Kyle Wagner struck out two in the bottom half of the inning.

Davis came in winners of 10 of its previous 11 games, using the late stretch of the Delta Valley Conference as something of a playoff primer. The Blue Devils tied Elk Grove for the conference title and expected to get a shot against defending champion Jesuit in a second round game on Monday. That shot now goes to the Falcons of the Monticello Empire League.

Brenden cq Farney came in batting .522 cq and had two RBI cq as Fairfield prevailed in a game that included 10 errors cq.

Davis was led by Mike Kado cq, Cody Keefer and Luke McDonald, who combined for five hits. Keefer, the superb centerfielder, played his final prep game. He has a scholarship offer to UCLA, though he could also be drafted in the top four rounds of the Major League Draft on June 7.

Blue Devils coach Dan Ariola raved about his team down the stretch, saying it was a "terrific" team, a close-knit bunch and as enjoyable a crew he has worked with in his 14 years coaching his alma mater. Davis has good baseball tradition, too, having won section titles in 2000 and 2004.

May 16, 2009
Jesuit rolls Wood in D-I; Simon and Ostapek toss perfect game

Brock Simon has pride but not much of an ego.

The Jesuit High School senior pitcher knew he was on the cusp of something special, a perfect game in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoff game today but he also clearly sees the big picture of things. Big picture as in more innings, more appearances and more opportunities to secure victories and inch closer to a championship repeat.

Simon and his stout Marauders friends belted Wood of Vacaville 10-0 in a mercy-shortened D-I North opener at American River College. In four full innings of work, Simon retired all 12 batters he faced, allowed only one ball out of the infield - a fly to left - and struck out three to move to 6-1 as the staff ace. In addition, Simon had a double and three runs batted in.

Stephen Ostapek retired the final three batters to give Jesuit its first playoff no-hitter, and the third perfect game for coach Joe Potulny in his stellar run with the Marauders. That run includes North - and Section - titles in 1994, '96, 2001 and last season.

"To combine for a perfect game, that is kind of interesting," Simon said, all smiles. "If we look down the road, we know we'll need a lot of (arms to repeat). All year long, we've been looking at this time of season and thinking, 'Let's do it again.'"

Simon is off to Santa Clara on scholarship next fall, where he will join Rocklin standout Pat Stover. Simon's brother, Thain, is already at Santa Clara, a sophomore pitcher this season. The younger Simon said he could have either played against his brother in college, or along side him. Simon aspires to be a lawyer some day. For now, he wants more innings.

Jimmy Bosco, the Cal-bound infielder, had two doubles and two RBI for Jesuit. Chris Piwinski and Dan Hayes each had two RBI for the Marauders, who scored six runs in the second inning.

May 15, 2009
Softball playoffs: Waltrip sisters power Casa Roble past Inderkum; McCain dazzles for Del Campo

Casa Roble exploded for five runs in the top of the eighth inning to down Inderkum 6-2 in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III first round playoff game at the Sacramento Softball Complex on Friday night.

Casa Roble catcher Shelby Waltrip provided the big blow, a base-clearing double to left-center field two batters after Michelle Fogal walked with the bases loaded to give the Rams the lead.

"I was just trying to put the ball in play," Waltrip said.

The Rams advance to play Rodriguez of Fairfield, which won its "one-and-done"game over Bella Vista 8-0 on Friday, while Inderkum's season ended. In the section playoffs, the first round is single elimination while from the second round forward it is double elimination. The Rams and Mustangs are scheduled to play at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Shelby Waltrip's twin, Whitney, pitched eight strong innings, striking out nine to get the win.

Inderkum opened the scoring in the bottom of the second on an error on a ball hit by M'leesa Mabalot that got through second base which scored Alyssa Recendez from second base. Recendez, who herself reached base on an error, was running on contact with two outs in the inning.

"Usually we can count on our defense behind Whitney," Rams coach Kristen Allen said. "I'm sure we'll have all the kinks out tomorrow."

Inderkum had two chances to score in the third inning but both times were thrown out at home. The Rams, on the other hand, were stymied after their first run only advancing a runner past second base once until the eighth inning.

"That was frustrating - not hitting," Shelby Waltrip said. "But I knew it was just a matter of time before we broke out of our shell."

Elsewhere in D-III ...

- Whitney McCain struck out the first six batters she faced en-route to a perfect game in Del Campo's 7-0 win over Vanden in a first-round contest. Melissa Bradway went 3 for 4 and scored two runs while Heather Jensen went 2 for 4 also scoring two runs.

- Benicia scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat Woodland 5-2 in a first round game. Benicia will play Del Campo at 4 p.m. Saturday in the second round at the Sacramento Softball Complex.

Division II

Oak Ridge sophomore Kasey Stanchek threw a one-hitter and Devon Briney went 1 for 2 with a walk and the game's only run in the Trojans' 1-0 victory over Rocklin in a first-round game.

"This is a good momentum-builder for us," Stancheck said.

The Trojans had a runner reach at less second base in every inning but the fifth but only managed one run due to several missed bunts and what coach Marc Bentovoja called a lack of execution.

"Our pitching masked a few inefficiencies for us today," he said. "We got a lot of pitches high in the zone and like a dumb fish, we just kept biting."

- Metropolitan Conference champion Rosemont withstood a three-run rally in the seventh inning to hold on for a 5-4 victory over Woodcreek. The Wolverines will play Oak Ridge in a second-round game on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Sacramento Softball Complex.

- Del Oro rolled Sacramento High School 15-0 while Ponderosa beat McClatchy 17-4 in first round contests. Due to the 10-run rule, both games lasted just five innings. The Golden Eagles will play the Bruins at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Sacramento Softball Complex.

May 12, 2009
Valley baseball deserves kudos for battling to the end in one-win season

Credit Valley High School baseball coach Troy Quirollo and his players for hanging in during another tough season.

Valley plays in one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's toughest leagues, the Delta Valley Conference, which includes No. 2 Elk Grove, No. 4 Davis and No. 7 Franklin.

The Vikings finished winless in league and 1-25 overall. Last year, Valley went 1-24 but snapped a 65-game losing streak.

There is hope, however.

The Vikings will be realigned to the Metro Conference in 2010-11, where several schools are battling the same issues as the Vikings.

May 11, 2009
Section sanctions River Valley, but resurrects baseball playoff hopes

River Valley, which had been initially disqualified from the baseball playoffs for using an ineligible player, was granted a reprieve today by the Sac-Joaquin Section.

The Yuba City school will play at Woodland 4 p.m. Tuesday, with the winner to advance to the Division III playoffs on Thursday at Vanden as the Tri-County Conference's No. 2 team.

The section was notified on Friday that River Valley, which finished second in the TCC, had failed to file the proper paperwork for junior outfielder Sam Tanner, a transfer from Yuba City High this past season.

Once the violation was confirmed, section commissioner Pete Saco disqualified the Falcons from the postseason. The Falcons' spot was to be filled by Woodland, which finished third in the TCC behind the Falcons and champion Yuba City.

But section rules allow the section's executive committee to consider "more nuances related to any given infraction," according to a section press release.

Although the section's executive committee decided the infraction did not warrant a "blanket disqualification," it fined the school $1,000 to offset the cost of the additional game, will require school officials to attend section eligibility workshops and has placed the school's athletic program on a one-year probation.

"After looking carefully into this matter, we felt this was the best and fairest way to balance a variety of interests and considerations," said Rick Spears, a member of the executive committee. "Our goal was to preserve the sanctity of section eligibility rules but also be flexible enough to ensure the student athletes in this situation weren't being punished for something not of their making."

But he also made it clear that River Valley "committed a serious error" by failing to mail the transfer papers to the section.

River Valley principal Larry Bonds told the Marysville Appeal-Democrat on Friday that although athletic director Thomas Zaragoza had failed to file the proper paperwork for Tanner, Bonds decided the school should appeal.

"Bottom line is our athletic director did not turn in the paperwork and he told (Tanner) he could play," Bonds said. "I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I heard of this...."
River Valley, a school that opened four years ago, is seeking its first playoff berth.
Bill Paterson

May 11, 2009
Breaking down the Div. IV, VI and VII softball playoffs

Division IV

Click to view the bracket

The Favorite: Bear River (22-4)
The Bruins are going for the elusive three-peat behind the yin and yang pitching combination of senior Kenzie Billings and freshman Erin Nichol. Billings, typically the starter, features a variety of offspeed pitches - including a devastating screwball - while Nichol brings the heat. The tandem has been effective in keeping opposing batters off balance and has a combined ERA of 0.79.

The Contenders: Rio Linda (23-3), Oakdale (20-5-1)
Rio Linda seeks its first section title in 20 years behind the all-around talent of pitcher/slugger Alex Newman, who is bound for New Mexico State on a softball scholarship. At the plate Newman has a .458 batting average, 22 RBIs and five home runs while in the circle she has a 0.50 ERA, 137 strikeouts and an opponents' batting average of .133.

Oakdale navigated through a tough Valley Oak League with an 11-3 record to take the title. The Mustangs will ride the arm of pitcher Brianna Parker, who has the Sac-Joaquin Section's fourth-best ERA at 0.29.

The Dark Horse: Lincoln (20-7)
Lincoln boasts a win over Bear River on the Bruins' home diamond in Pioneer Valley League play earlier in the season, but before getting another shot at their league rival, the Fighting Zebras will need everything in their arsenal to get past Rio Linda in the first round.

Division VI

Click to view the bracket

The Favorite: Le Grand (20-6)
The Bulldogs have championship experience and an upperclassmen-laden roster as they have won the only two D-VI championship games - both over Capital Christian.

The Contenders: Capital Christian (21-4), Waterford (14-6)
Capital Christian has shown it can play with the area's bigger schools, beating multiple D-I and D-II teams during the regular season. The Cougars feature one of the most explosive offensive players in the area in Kendall Gill, the section leader in batting average (.681) and second-leading slugger (1.208).

Waterford wrestled the Southern League title away from Le Grand, going 2-1 against the Bulldogs in league play.

The Dark Horse: Golden Sierra (17-9)
The Grizzlies have a tough opening-round game with Le Grand but if they can get past the defending champs, the road considerably less rocky to get into the title game.

Division VII

Click to view the bracket

The Favorite: Elliot Christian (15-8)
The defending D-VII champs have won section titles in four of the last five years, including a three-peat in D-V from 2004-2006. Senior slugger Jessica Fong leads the Eagles in batting average (.579), hits (33) and RBIs (23).

The Contenders: Valley Christian (6-9), Big Valley Christian (7-3-1)
Valley Christian is the only team in the D-VII field to post a win over Elliot Christian this season. Big Valley Christian would like nothing more than to avenge last season's heartbreaking 5-4 loss in the D-VII title game.

The Dark Horse: Tioga (6-9-1)
Despite playing in the three-team Mountain Valley League, the Timberwolves are battle-tested with wins this season over two playoff teams in Mountain Oaks and Stone Ridge Christian.

May 8, 2009
Seattle's Dollar hopes to cash in by signing Woodland's Eakles

With such a talented area senior class in boys basketball this past season, Woodland's Adam Eakles flew under the radar.

The Wolves were a middle-of-the-pack team in finishing 15-12 and 6-6 in the Tri-County Conference.

But Eakles, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound senior forward, can play, so it's no surprise that he has signed a letter of intent with Seattle University.

He becomes the first recruit of new coach Cameron Dollar, the former UCLA player, who was an assistant to Lorenzo Romar the past seven seasons at Washington.

"Adam has a chance to be a terrific player in our program," Dollar said in a release. "He is a forward that can play both inside the paint and outside on the perimeter. He has shown exceptional versatility throughout his career, even playing point guard for his team last year."

Eakles was a three-year all-league performer for Woodland.

He joins a program that is in the process of making the transition from Division II to Division I.

Last season under coach Joe Callero (now at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), Seattle went 21-8, including a 13-8 record against Division I schools.

Eakles becomes the eighth area boys player to receive a basketball scholarship.

May 7, 2009
Defeat to Davis costs Franklin a D-I baseball playoff berth

No. 6 Franklin is the odd team out in this season's Delta Valley Conference baseball race.

The Wildcats (19-7, 10-4) lost 9-2 to No. 4 Davis (19-7, 11-3) on Wednesday in Elk Grove and will miss the playoffs despite having one of the area's strongest teams.

Under the Sac-Joaquin Section's predetermined rotating playoff system, the DVC gets only two Division I playoff berths this year.

Franklin can't catch either Davis or No. 2 Elk Grove (19-7, 11-3) no matter what happens in today's final-round games. The Wildcats have lost both best-of-three series to the Blue Devils and Thundering Herd, the determining tiebreaker for teams that finish with the same records in the standings.

It's just another example of why the section's decision to hold revised, expanded playoffs next season makes huge sense. Completely gone will be pre-determined playoff brackets.

Under the current system in sports such as football and baseball too many deserving teams have been denied playoff spots.

May 7, 2009
Last-to-first rebound pleases Granite Bay girls soccer coach

Chris Roberts doesn't have to talk anymore about what's wrong with Granite Bay girls soccer.

The perennial Division II powers suffered through a rare off season last year, finishing at the bottom of the Sierra Foothill League at 2-8-2.

But with largely the same group of players this season, the Grizzlies (16-2) rebounded to win the SFL with a 12-0 record and rank among the favorites entering Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs.

Granite Bay, the SFL's top seed, plays host to Hiram Johnson at 3:30 p.m.

Roberts obviously is pleased with this group.

"They have worked harder this season than any other team I've coached here," he wrote in an e-mail. "They've set goals (long term and short term). They've created a bond amongst each other. They play as a team and not as individuals. They rejoice in their teammates' successes and are humble about personal accomplishments. And they represent their school as a student-athlete should, with pride."

The Grizzlies are seeking their second D-II girls section soccer championship in what is a very competitive field.

Also entered are defending D-II champion Ponderosa, the Sierra Valley Conference champions, and runner-up Rocklin, which finished third in the SFL. Those two teams play tonight in Shingle Springs.

In other D-II matches Friday, Roseville is at McClatchy (4 p.m.) and Rosemont at Oak Ridge (3:30 p.m.).

The D-II semifinals will be Wednesday 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Folsom High School, the finals 2 p.m. at Folsom on May 16.

May 6, 2009
Area boys basketball to feature elite-level junior class in 2009-10

We had one of the most talented boys basketball classes in area history this past season with the likes of Rocklin's Brendan Lane (UCLA), Sacramento's Chase Tapley (San Diego State), Folsom's Tony Johnson (Lafayette) and Pleasant Grove's Xavier Thames (Washington State).

But it may only get better.

Lee Hubbard, recruiting analyst for, lists four area players among his top five "big-time prospects" for 2011.

Sheldon's Ramon Eaton and Darius Nelson, Sacramento's Josiah Turner and Folsom's Kori Babineaux join Salesian's Jabari Brown in Hubbard's elite sophomore list.

Hubbard calls Turner the best point guard in the 2011 class; says Eaton has "a big time upside"; calls Nelson a "walking double/double" and an underrated passer; and believes Babineaux is "one of the biggest sleepers in Northern California basketball in this class."

May 5, 2009
Ponderosa baseball coach has much respect for rival Oak Ridge

Although they are baseball rivals, Ponderosa co-coach Dave White has a lot of respect for Oak Ridge and coach Todd Melton.

The two are the front-runners to represent the Sierra Valley Conference in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs starting next Wednesday at Sacramento City College.

"Todd is doing a good job with them," White said. "I don't know of too many high school programs that can throw six left-handed pitchers at you."

The Trojans' top pitchers are junior Jordan Mills (6-0, 0.99 earned-run average) and junior Kyle Porter (5-2, 2.25 ERA) while senior outfielder Jeff McKenzie and junior infielder Jake Schu are the offensive leaders.

McKenzie is batting .461 with 26 runs batted in; Schu is hitting .365 and has 10 stolen bases.

"Mills and Porter are throwing really well, McKenzie can hit it a ton and Schu is a fireplug, a little (Dustin) Pedroia," White said. "Whoever draws them in the playoffs is got to watch out."

No. 10 Ponderosa (16-8, 11-6) beat No. 12 Oak Ridge (15-9, 10-5) 3-2 in their first meeting March 30. But the Trojans won back-to-back games over Ponderosa 4-3 April 17 and 14-2 April 20.

May 1, 2009
D-II section boys golf field could be as competitive as last season

There should be some formidable high school golf on Monday at Cameron Ranch Country Club in Cameron Park.

That's where the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championships will be held.

The D-II field is always competitive. Last year, Christian Brothers won the D-II title and the Masters crown but it was another D-II school, Rocklin, that took the CIF Northern California honors.

The Thunder placed third at the section finals and third at the Masters before placing on top at the NorCals.

"It's going to be a matter of who can putt on those greens," Christian Brothers coach Kirk Purdy said of the Cameron Park course.

While the Falcons are capable of defending their title, Purdy says that Sierra Valley Conference rival Oak Ridge and Sierra Foothill League powers Granite Bay and Rocklin are also in the title hunt.

"In looking at the scores, Granite Bay has a slight edge," Purdy said. "But it's likely to come down to one or two strokes (for the title)."

The top three teams and top three individuals from Monday's meet will advance to the Masters finals May 11 at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton.

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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