Joe Davidson

Franklin coach Jesse Formaker takes step back to care for cancer-patient son

Head coach Jesse Formaker has taken a leave of absence from teaching government and geography courses at Franklin High School, where his wife, Susan, teaches math. He will coach the basketball team on a “hit-and-miss” basis.
Head coach Jesse Formaker has taken a leave of absence from teaching government and geography courses at Franklin High School, where his wife, Susan, teaches math. He will coach the basketball team on a “hit-and-miss” basis. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Jesse Formaker sensed something wasn’t right with his 8-year-old son, Chris, who normally zips from one end of the basketball court to the other in his youth league.

Formaker, the Franklin High School boys basketball coach, took his son to the hospital, where X-rays revealed the source of the limp: bone cancer in his left femur. Treatment starts for Chris this week in Roseville, and his parents have been inspired by his good spirit.

Formaker has taken a leave of absence from teaching government and geography courses at Franklin, where his wife, Susan, teaches math. He will coach the basketball team on a “hit-and-miss” basis.

“Chris is such a great kid, and he’s doing great,” Formaker said. “He’s tough-minded, a strong-willed individual. With our 11-year old daughter (Claire, who was listening), we explained, ‘We’re going to look inside you and see what’s going on.’ He asked, ‘Is it called biopsy?’ We’re being honest with him as much as we can. We’re very optimistic.”

Formaker said he has been moved by the outpouring of support on the Elk Grove Unified School District campus, from faculty and administration to scores of students. The players dedicated the rest of the season to Chris.

“Great kids, all of them,” Formaker said of his team, ranked No. 14 by The Bee. “We have such a fantastic team, a lot of character. I’ll be there for them as much as I can, make practices and games when I can. They understand.”

Woodcreek visit – Third-ranked Woodcreek attended Sacramento State’s thrilling 70-69 Big Sky Conference men’s victory over Montana on Saturday at the Nest.

Coach Paul Hayes said he took his team to a Hornets game last season, explaining he wants his players to see the next level.

Football expansion – The CIF’s Federated Council voted 71-64 in favor of expanding the high school football regional playoffs starting this fall from five to 13 divisions. This means every section champion in the state will advance to a Northern California or Southern California title game. Last fall, only 18 of the 51 section champions advanced through votes of the state’s 10 section offices.

The Sac-Joaquin, San Diego, Central, Northern, San Francisco and Oakland sections voted in favor of expansion while the Southern, North Coast and Central Coast voted against it, arguing concerns of safety with more teams playing an extra game. The new divisions, based on competitive equity and enrollment, will be: Open Large, 1AA, 1A, 2AA, 2A, 3AA, 3A, 4AA, 4A, 5AA, 5A, 6AA and Open Small.

Browning on Parade team – Three-time Bee Player of the Year Jake Browning of Folsom was named to the Parade All-America football team.

The quarterback, now at Washington, led the Bulldogs to a 16-0 record and a CIF State Division I championship while setting the national record for career touchdown passes (229) and tying the national mark for touchdown passes in a season (91). He was one of only three California players to make the team.

De La Salle looms – National power De La Salle will play two Placer County schools this fall. The Spartans, who finished ranked No. 1 in the country by MaxPreps in 2014, will meet Sierra Foothill League rivals Del Oro and Granite Bay at sites to be determined. The Spartans have not lost to a NorCal team since 1992 and are unbeaten all-time against the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.

THE BEE PREPS SHOW

Check out “The Bee Preps Show,” hosted by Joe Davidson of The Bee and Mike Finnerty of All-City Preps, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. on CSNCA. It will be repeated Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m. It also can be seen each Friday at sacbee.com/high-school

THE BEE’S BOYS BASKETBALL TOP 20

Records through Saturday; last week’s ranking in parentheses

1. Folsom (1) 20-3

2. Sacramento (2) 18-4

3. Woodcreek (3) 18-4

4. Pleasant Grove (4) 16-5

5. Sheldon (5) 12-5

6. Kennedy (6) 16-5

7. Capital Christian (7) 13-7

8. Cordova (8) 18-5

9. Liberty Ranch (9) 20-3

10. Cosumnes Oaks (10) 15-4

11. Antelope (11) 17-4

12. Christian Brothers (13) 16-6

13. Jesuit (14) 13-8

14. Franklin (12) 13-8

15. Oak Ridge (16) 14-8

16. Marysville (20) 21-1

17. River Valley (-) 15-8

18. River City (-) 16-7

19. Whitney (-) 13-8

20. Foothill (-) 12-9

Joe Davidson

THE BEE’S GIRLS BASKETBALL TOP 20

Records through Saturday; last week’s ranking in parentheses

1. McClatchy (1) 15-6

2. Oak Ridge (2) 19-3

3. Antelope (4) 18-1

4. Del Oro (5) 18-4

5. Sacramento (3) 13-8

6. Inderkum (6) 20-2

7. Davis (7) 17-2

8. Pleasant Grove (8) 16-5

9. Bradshaw Christian (9) 12-8

10. Rio Linda (10) 18-5

11. Folsom (11) 16-7

12. Whitney (12) 18-3

13. River City (16) 15-8

14. Elk Grove (13) 15-7

15. Florin (20) 14-7

16. St. Francis (14) 14-6

17. Bella Vista (15) 15-5

18. Sheldon (19) 11-10

19. Ponderosa (17) 14-7

20. Christian Brothers (-) 11-10

Mike Finnerty

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments