The college football national championships may have been decided, but area players are still strapping on the gear. A forward-lean look:
Andrews in Shrine Game – Oregon State guard-center Gavin Andrews from Granite Bay High School will play in the 92nd East-West Shrine Game on Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla. The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Andrews missed the 2015 season with an ankle injury and returned to earn second-team All-Pacific-12 Conference honors as the Beavers set a school record by averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
Iese in NFLPA Bowl – UCLA tight end Nate Iese from Sheldon will participate in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson. The 6-3, 245-pound Iese also played fullback and linebacker for the Bruins. He initially impressed coach Jim Mora while dunking – shirtless – at a Sheldon basketball workout in his senior year.
Vanderdoes in Senior Bowl – UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes from Placer will play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 28 in Mobile, Ala. The 6-4, 305-pound Vanderdoes is eligible to play in the showcase as a fourth-year junior. A knee injury cut his 2015 season short, though he was back in form in 2016.
Brooks-Brown in town – Running back Marcel Brooks-Brown has transferred from Utah of the Pac-12 to American River College, where he will reunite with running backs coach Mike Morris, his former coach at Rio Linda. Brooks-Brown was struck by two bullets in the torso at an off-campus party in Utah in 2015 but went to class the next morning. He was not seriously hurt.. No arrests have been made.
Cal changes – Newly hired Cal coach Justin Wilcox immediately hit the recruiting trail in the Bay Area, a rarity for fired coach Sonny Dykes. The new staff also plans to mine the Sacramento region, also largely ignored by Dykes and his staff. Cal had recruited Sacramento-area players for decades.
Timing counts – Troy Taylor left Eastern Washington as the chief play caller to become Utah’s offensive coordinator earlier this month, not expecting Dykes to get flushed at Cal. Last week, Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin took the Cal offensive coordinator post, which would have drawn Taylor’s interest. The former Folsom co-head coach set passing records at Cal in the 1980s.
Heading to Hawaii – Hawaii isn’t just recruiting Sacramento, it is landing good prospects, including verbal commitments from Bee All-Metro wide receivers Gavin Reinwald of Elk Grove and Drake Stallworth of Folsom and defensive back Damario Mclean of Elk Grove. Quarterback Cole Brownholtz (Jesuit and Sierra College) enrolled earlier this academic year.
Trayvon Henderson from Grant had a strong junior season in the secondary for the Rainbow Warriors, and wide receiver Dylan Collie from Oak Ridge also has started.
RIP D.A. – Dave Atteberry, the first three-sport star at Oak Ridge, died in Oregon this month from heart failure. He was 50. Atteberry played quarterback and guard and was a baseball standout, earning Bee All-Metro honors in 1984 when he went 10-0 on the mound and hit .456.
Del Oro moves on – Losing coach Casey Taylor to Capital Christian creates a plum on-campus job opening at Del Oro of the Placer Union High School District. The Golden Eagles are setting up a hiring panel for a position sure to draw interest from across the state if not the West Coast. Del Oro has been a regional power since the 1980s.
Taylor perspective – Taylor’s move to Capital Christian ranks among the most stunning in area football history. Some others:
▪ Max Miller leaving Rio Americano in 1981 for Cordova, considered the best prep football job in the Sac-Joaquin Section. He led the region in wins in the 1980s.
▪ Dave Hoskins leaving Valley in 1995, not coaching for a year, and joining Ed Lombardi at Elk Grove in 1997. In their first two seasons as co-head coaches, the duo went 27-1 with two Division I section championships.
▪ Chris Jones leaving Oak Ridge in 2006 to coach at newly opened Vista del Lago in 2007.
▪ Dan Carmazzi leaving Jesuit in 2012 to return to his alma mater, Christian Brothers, as an assistant athletic director. He became the Oak Park school’s head coach in 2014.