Sorting through a whirlwind week and a day:
College chaos – The domino effect of “yes” or “no” sends ripples through college football when a coach decides to stay put or bolt. Shortly after Chris Petersen of Boise State withdrew from the USC coaching sweepstakes on Monday, the Trojans hired Steve Sarkisian of Washington.
Now Petersen apparently has emerged as a top candidate for the Huskies post, and that’s nothing new. He was contacted by Stanford and UCLA in recent seasons, too. But Petersen – a former Yuba City High School, Sacramento City College and UC Davis quarterback – has made one thing abundantly clear: He appreciates the low-key lifestyle. He doesn’t chase jobs. He wants to blend in with the rest of his staff and not stand out in a big market. His family loves Idaho. Translation: The grass is bluer in Boise.
Shaq attack – Washington star linebacker Shaq Thompson (Grant) said he will remain with the Huskies in the wake of Sarkisian’s departure. That news will go a long way for Huskies teammates and recruits, similarly stunned. Several Sacramento-area players have been on the Huskies’ radar.
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Tosh, too? – And what about Tosh Lupoi? As a noted recruiter at Cal, he nearly landed five-star recruits Thompson and Arik Armstead (Pleasant Grove) in the winter of 2012. But after Lupoi abruptly left Berkeley to join Sarkisian’s staff at Washington, Thompson decommitted from Cal, and Armstead signed with Oregon as a defensive lineman. Cal is coming off a 1-11 season.
Big Eddie end zone – Defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes (Placer) signed with UCLA to stuff the run. So what does the freshman do Saturday night against USC? He plows into the end zone from a yard out for a touchdown in the Bruins’ 35-14 win, which in effect sealed the fate of USC interim coach Ed Orgeron. That domino effect ...
Marshall plan – Sacramento State unfairly receives heat for not landing more local football recruits. This we know: Hornets coach Marshall Sperbeck offers a lot of area players scholarships, but many head to Pacific-12 Conference or Mountain West Conference programs. Players like to leave the home nest. Sperbeck has two more years on his contract, plenty of time to make a program surge, or prompt a program purge.
Clark moment – Cosumnes River College named its basketball court in honor of Jim Clark, the classy coach who led the men’s basketball team to conference titles in the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s. He died of cancer 10 years ago. Clark’s daughters, Deedria Clark and Dawn Clark-Lamb, were on hand for the ceremony. They remain CRC basketball fixtures as fans and scorekeepers.
KJ view – Mayor Kevin Johnson, sporting a Sacramento High purple hat from his alma mater, soaked up the scene of the Dragons’ 48-38 playoff win over Christian Brothers on Saturday in Oak Park. When approached by scores of well-wishers, he said he was delighted for Sacramento’s football success and relieved not to be burdened by the previous instability of the Kings.
X man – San Diego State senior guard Xavier Thames (Pleasant Grove) was named the MVP of the Wooden Legacy tournament in Anaheim after averaging 22.0 points for the 5-1 Aztecs. He also was named the Mountain West Player of the Week.
Club 900 – Former Oak Ridge star Sara James started for Stanford last week when the Cardinal beat Florida Gulf Coast 83-59, giving coach Tara VanDerveer her 900th career victory. Said the humble VanDerveer, “I'm surrounded by people who make me look good.”
TA in L.A. – Former Sac State men’s basketball coach Tom Abatemarco is a first-year assistant with Loyola Marymount. Abatemarco was Jim Valvano’s top assistant during North Carolina State’s 1983 national championship season and spent recent seasons on the Colorado staff.