Joe Davidson

Why the SFL isn't just a superior football league

The Oak Ridge High baseball team is in a tightly contested race to decide the Sierra Foothill League champion.
The Oak Ridge High baseball team is in a tightly contested race to decide the Sierra Foothill League champion. Special to The Sacramento Bee

The Sierra Foothill League draws a lot of attention in the fall.

With Folsom, Granite Bay, Oak Ridge and Del Oro all storming through the playoffs last year, including Folsom going 16-0, the SFL – often called the Superior Football League – has earned its good standing.

So check out the baseball race in the SFL, which figures to go down to Wednesday's final games and the last pitch to decide the champion.

Bee-ranked No. 6 Woodcreek, No. 7 Oak Ridge and No. 8 Del Oro entered Monday with 10-5 league records. Not far behind are No. 9 Rocklin (9-6) and No. 12 Granite Bay (8-7).

The beauty of this league includes the scheduling. Each team plays an opponent in successive days, a mini series of sorts. Del Oro plays Oak Ridge three times, Woodcreek takes on Rocklin three times and Granite Bay faces Nevada Union three times.

Del Oro started the season 2-9 before getting on a roll under first-year coach Matt French. Oak Ridge is coming off a week in which it beat Granite Bay two of three times behind Cameron Allie, who has 13 extra-base hits this season and is batting .412 with 22 RBI.

Rocklin lost two of three to Del Oro, winning 10-4 at home behind Alexander Schroeder's three RBIs. Woodcreek has been led by pitchers Ryan Harvey and Tyler Smith, who are a combined 9-1.

Zebras stripes – No. 13 Lincoln entered the week riding a 17-game winning streak and has been paced by Brennan Rozell (.443, 21 RBIs), Jacob Lemus (.246, 18 RBIs), Ty Williams (.375, 17 RBIs), Zach Eutsey (.333, 17 RBIs), Clayton Coats (.315, 16 RBIs), Dylan Rhodes (.273, 16 RBIs) and James Sweet (.393, 16 RBIs).

Eutsey is 5-1 on the mound, Jared Kelty 4-0 and Williams 3-0. The Zebras are four-time defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champions under coach Graylon Duncan.

Softball

Never mind the small-school status. Power is power, and Jordyn Hutchins of Woodland Christian has it.

The sophomore has belted a state-leading 16 home runs and is batting .820 with 45 RBIs and 50 runs scored for the 18-1 Cardinals, whose only loss was 6-3 to Bee No. 16 Sutter, which is 23-1.

Burbank is in the playoff race again, thanks in large part to senior Arishma Singh, who leads the section with 48 stolen bases. Teammate McBride Tamisha has 31 steals, and Metropolitan Conference rival Mia Santos of Kennedy also has 31.

Rio Linda ace Brianna Leavell, a junior, is 13-0 and leads the section with 270 strikeouts in 131 1/3 innings pitched and five no-hitters.

Rachel Gordon of Pioneer leads the area with a 16-1 win-loss record. Grace Owen of top-ranked Sheldon is 11-1 while facing some of the best competition in all of Northern California.

Hey Shea kid – Monday was senior day at Sheldon, and one of the program's all-time greats was, like her teammates, honored.

Shea Moreno, headed to UCLA, is a four-year starter who has played various positions. She has batted .440 for her career with 150 hits, 116 RBI and 108 runs for a team that seeks a section four-peat in Division I.

Basketball

Bee Player of the Year McKenzie Forbes of Folsom, a Cal-bound guard, was named to the Cal-Hi Sports first team Open Division/Division I All-State team, where she was joined by friends and rivals Aquira DeCosta and Ariel Johnson of St. Mary's-Stockton.

Folsom center Shayley Harris, headed to UCLA, made the third team.

On the fourth team are Davis' record-setting guard Kelsey Forrester, Oak Ridge forward Marie Olson and McClatchy guard Richelle Turney.

Two-time Bee All-Metro guard RyAnne Walters of Sacramento made the first team in Division II. The second team includes Inderkum guard Nailah Dillard, Whitney guard Jada Lewis and Del Oro forward Madison Parry.

West Campus guard Nia Johnson was named Division III Player of the Year after helping power the Warriors to a CIF State championship repeat with teammate Kiara Jefferson, who, like Johnson, earned first-team D-III honors. Johnson is headed to Cal State Bakersfield and Jefferson is off to UCLA.

UC Davis-bound scoring guard Makaila Sanders also made the D-III first-team, while Christian Brothers guard Brianna Juniel made the second team.

Bradshaw Christian guard Anaya Mejia made the Division IV first team.

NorCalPrep stars – The NorCal Preps top prospects for class of 2019 included local players at various positions: Three-star recruits Joshua Morgan of Pleasant Grove, a 6-foot-10 center, ranked 10th, 6-4 forward Steven Richardson of Grant is 12th, 6-8 center Bryce Fitzgerald of Monterey Trail is 13th, 6-1 guad Kaito Williams of Sheldon is 15th and 6-5 guard Drake Middleton of Oak Ridge is 20th.

Stars are purely speculative, based on observers who have studied a lot of AAU action, but really, who can truly judge that these two-star prospects aren't as good as three-star guys?

From NorCal Preps two-star rankings, the 24th overall prospect of the 2019 class is 6-3 Burbank guard Levelle Bailey, followed by 6-6 Grant forward David Jones (25th), 6-7 Grant forward Marvin Potts (29th) and 5-11 guard Trey Jones of Capital Christian (33rd).

Coach steps down – Cosumnes Oaks girls basketball coach Kevin Scott has stepped down after leading the Wolfpack to their greatest season. Cosumnes Oaks went 25-6 and reached the Northern California tournament, a thrill ride for the coach who enjoyed his players but not the pressure cooker imposed by some parents.

The Bee's Top 20 baseball rankings

Records entering Monday. Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Elk Grove (1) 16-5-2

2. Jesuit (3) 18-7

3. Franklin (2) 19-6

4. Davis (4) 13-11

5. Del Campo (5) 20-5-1

6. Woodcreek (6) 15-8

7. Oak Ridge (7) 14-10

8. Del Oro (-) 12-12

9. Rocklin (8) 15-8

10. Winters (10) 28-1

11. Yuba City (11) 22-5

12. Granite Bay (12) 13-11

13. Lincoln (13) 21-3

14. Capital Christian (9) 21-5

15. Woodland (14) 18-6

16. Christian Brothers (15) 19-5

17. El Dorado (16) 23-3

18. Laguna Creek (17) 18-5

19. McClatchy (18) 15-8

T-20. Pioneer (19) 16-9

T-20. Dixon (20) 17-4

Dropped out: None

The Bee's Top 20 softball rankings

Records entering Monday. Last week's ranking in parentheses.

1. Sheldon (1) 18-2

2. Elk Grove (2) 16-6-1

3. Pleasant Grove (3) 15-5

4. Granite Bay (4) 14-3

5. Casa Roble (5) 19-5

6. Del Campo (6) 17-2

7. Del Oro (7) 12-8-1

8. Pioneer (8) 16-2-1

9. Oak Ridge (9) 14-6-1

10. Lincoln (10) 15-7

11. Rocklin (11) 8-8

12. Woodcreek (12) 12-7

13. Whitney (13) 14-9-1

14. Roseville (15) 17-6-1

15. Bella Vista (16) 16-7-1

16. Sutter (17) 23-1

17. Yuba City (18) 17-7

18. McClatchy (19) 15-4

19. Christian Brothers (14) 13-7

20. Liberty Ranch (20) 19-3

Dropped out: None

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