Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Larson To Race Sprint Cup, Nationwide AND Trucks This Weekend

compiled from stories written by Hollie Cain, NASCAR.Com

Saying he can't wait to "get mud all over my face" again Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson confirmed he will be competing in the Camping World Truck Series 1-800 CarCash Mudsummer Classic race at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway dirt track on July 23.
Larson finished runner-up to fellow 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Dillon in a dramatic last lap battle between Dillon, Larson and Sprint Cup veteran Ryan Newman in the inaugural event last year and Larson said he's already looking forward to testing his Turner Scott Motorsports truck this week.
"We're going to go test here pretty soon and get ready for that one because that's definitely a race I want to win,'' said Larson driver of the No. 42 Target Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series.
"We were close last year, so it's nice to get to go back and give it another shot."
In fact, when he was asked which NASCAR race he's most likely to win as racing schedule nears the midpoint, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver joked, "probably Eldora."
In its second year on the Truck Series schedule, the half-mile clay oval in Rossburg, Ohio has attracted some of racing's biggest names to join the truck series regulars in this points-race. Last year the legendary Ken Schrader competed in addition to Newman, who won the Brickyard 400 from the pole position at Indianapolis four days later. 
For Larson, whose background is in sprint cars, the opportunity to compete in the event looms large on his calendar.
"It was a blast last year at Eldora'' Larson said. "You know, a race that I looked forward to when it was announced last year, and then to get to race it and see how well the show was run and how great the racing was made me even more excited for this year. Getting beat last year made me really pumped up for this year's race. 
"I don't get to do a whole lot of dirt racing anymore, so to get back to kind of my roots makes it fun, too.
"I'm really looking forward to when we go test here. I think it's next week.  So it would be nice to get back in the dirt and get dirty and sweat a little bit and get mud all over my face and stuff."

This weekend Larson will be racing in both NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Indianapolis. The Sprint Cup took last weekend off, but Nationwide were in Chicago for the EnjoyIllinois 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway. 
Larson with girlfriend Katelynn Sweet

Larson finished in third place.

"I thought we had a real good car," Larson said. "I had some fun, just frustrating coming in third when I thought we had a real good chance to win."

Larson has two wins on the Nationwide circuit but is still awaiting his first win on the Sprint Cup circuit. He hopes that will end this weekend in the "Crown Royal presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard."

The race will be Sunday at 10 a.m. PT and will be televised on ESPN.

The Nationwide race, the "Lilly Diabetes 250", will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. PT, also on ESPN. 

Larson is currently 14th in the Sprint Cup points standings.

Gov Signs Bill To Limit Football Contact Practices

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation limiting full-contact football practice for California teams, it was announced Monday.
The legislation comes amid increasing concern about head injuries in football. Assembly Bill 2127, presented by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, prohibits middle school and high school football teams from holding full-contact practices during the off-season and limits them to no more than two full-contact practices per week during the preseason and regular season.
The Sacramento Bee reports today that 19 other states have banned full-contact high school football practices in the off-season. According to Will DeBoard of the Sac-Joaquin Section, the state of Texas has passed similar legislation that allows teams only 45 minutes of full contact drills a week during the season.
Locally, our almost all of the high school football teams participate in full-contact summer camps. Stripping them of this kind of workout is likely going to affect the teams, which use these camps to determine who their players are going to be and allow them to install their offensive and defensive schemes. Elk Grove head coach Chris Nixon thinks eliminating the summer contact camps will set back the younger players from developing their football skills quicker.
In talking today with not only Nixon, but Laguna Creek's head coach Dave Morton, as well, the two  practices a week rule is actually more than they currently do with their squads. Morton said once the season begins he has his players just make contact during drills but never bring down a ball carrier or receiver.

Nixon said he runs practices similarly once the season has begun. He's concerned, though, about the limitation of full contact drills during the pre-season and how that will affect the quality of play.

DeBoard admitted that this new legislation, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, needs to be more specific and that will be the job of the State CIF Board of Directors between now and then. As Nixon said, "How do you define 'full contact?' Is that actually hitting each other or does this mean a practice with everyone in full gear? That will need to be defined."

Morton quipped: "I think there's more important things for the government to do than tell me how many times my boys can hit heads every week." And, though he thinks the new law won't affect how he coaches football at Laguna Creek - he doesn't take his players to a team camp - Morton knows this is a good step in the right direction.

"It's good they are trying to bring back high school football as it should be instead of trying to make it a business," he said. 

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/07/21/6571618/jerry-brown-signs-bill-limiting.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cal Ripken 12's and 11's Prep For Regional Tournament

Two local Cal Ripken Baseball teams will spend the weekend preparing for the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournaments that start Monday.

The Laguna Youth Baseball's 12-Year-Old all-stars won their Northern California state tournament at Rau Park on July 11 with an 8-6 win in extra innings over the Woodland All-Stars. Laguna jumped out to an early three-run lead in the top of the first, but Woodland came back in the bottom half and tied it.  The game was back and forth with Woodland tying the game up in the bottom of the 5th on an error with the bases loaded.

Woodland lead off the bottom of the sixth inning with two singles. A passed ball moved the winning run to 3rd.  A strikeout and infield popup, brought the number-four hitter up with two outs.  Laguna intentionally walked him to load the bases and struck out the next batter on a 3-2 fastball inside for a called third strike.

Laguna first two batters got out quickly and the number 3 hitter doubled down the line.  The next batter up hit a 2-run homer to put Laguna up 8-6 for good.

Laguna now heads to the Pacific Southwest Regional tournament in Visalia, with their first game on Monday, 7/21, against Clovis. The winner of that tournament will advance to the Cal Ripken World Series in Aberdeen, MD.

To follow the Laguna squad live online here is the link:  https://gc.com/t/summer-2014/12-purple-5392b860f607033c39000001.

The team is coached by Michael Marchant, Lee Burton and Mike Hardey. The players are Hilario Mata - #42 Chase Davis - #8 Ishmael Burton - #27 Cameron Walty - #24 Brandon Rundgren #23
Jake Pina - #55 Jeremy Daneluk - #1 Michael Hardey - #12 Jalen Carreon - #21 Jackon Leonard - #14 David Anderson - #11 Marshall Smith - #3 and  Jack Marchant - #25

Laguna Youth's Age 12 All-Stars, NorCal State Champions
 Elk Grove Youth Baseball's Age 11 All-Stars won its NorCal State Championship two weeks ago in Oakland. They open their version of the Pacific Southwest Regional next week in Bullard.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Synergy Fitness: Helping Young Athletes Get Better

Ask just about any elite athlete from high school through college and into the pros and they’ll tell you about the importance of having a personal trainer. This person won’t help the athlete perfect a curveball nor analyze the way they throw a football nor help find a flaw in their batting. In most cases these trainers help the athlete simply get stronger, faster and more agile.

Dave Von Ruden is one such trainer. Locally, he’s been working with athletes for nine years, the last couple of those years out of his western Elk Grove location near Elk Grove Blvd. and West Taron.

“I love the one-on-one interaction and to help people gain results,” he said.

Von Ruden, through his business, Synergy Total Fitness, helps young athletes, some as little at nine-years-old, right through the professional ranks not only strengthen their “core”- the main body muscles – but, also help them from getting hurt while playing their sport.
Synergy Fitness has a unique facility in West Elk Grove for personal training.

“I want to see these young athletes get faster, strong and prevent injury, as well,“ he said. “I see too many of these young people get injured. It’s because they over use their muscles all the time.”

Von Ruden helps the athlete to work what he calls a “pre-hab” program so that the chance of injury is minimized.

“We get them to build up their over-used muscles while getting them bigger and stronger, helping them get their agility up,” he said.

Von Ruden isn’t a big fan of athletes playing their sport year-round, either.

“They don’t take breaks,” he observed of many high school and college-aged athletes. “You see the professionals now (take a break). Professional baseball players, a handful may go to the winter leagues, but for the most part those guys let their bodies heal up from a long season.”

“This is one thing I want to instill in the young athletes – you won’t leave your skill. It will always be there, but if you can get your body built up –bulletproof and injury-proof – for the upcoming season, your performance is going to be so much better,” Von Ruden added. “I see too many kids get injured and that hinders the opportunities for them in their sport.”

One reason he likes coaching athletes one-on-one and in small groups is to help them build up the entire body. That’s why he also consults each athlete on what sort of food they are eating.

Detrick Working To Be The Best In Waterskiing

Brian Detrick was only four years old and already an accomplished water skiier. He was enrolled in Kindergarten and his father Steve, an avid skiier himself, knew of some local competitions and thought Brian might be ready to enter.

“My parents made a bet with me that year that they would take me to the Regionals if I qualified,” he recalled. “Hearing the stories now they said they thought there was no way I would qualify. I ended up qualifying. I had to miss some days of Kindergarten and went to the Regionals in Washington.”

He was the youngest person ever to compete in the Western Regional Championships.

Elk Grove pro waterskiier Brian Detrick
Brian doesn’t remember how he fared in his first competition, but now more than 20 years later water skiing events has become a big part of his life.

He attended St. Mary’s College after graduating from Elk Grove High School in 2007. While he was in college, Detrick helped to form a waterskiing club. His final year at St. Mary’s he was a part of the team that represented the U.S. at the FIFU University World Water Ski Championships in Santiago, Chile.

The U.S. won a gold medal at that event.

Detrick was also named a collegiate All-American and in 2009 was honored as the National Collegiate Water Ski Association’s Male Leader of the Year.

Detrick is now skiing professionally and doing quite well. The International Wakeboard and Waterskiing Federation recently ranked him the eighth-best skier in the world.

Frequently, Detrick is entered into a pro waterskiing event somewhere around the country. Earlier this year he traveled to Australia where he competed in a pair of that country’s best events. It was his 2nd place showing in the Australian Open and the 3rd place finish in the coveted Moomba Masters that springboard him into the world rankings. That has seemed to earn him a big spotlight in professional waterskiing.

But, unlike most professional sports, waterskiing just hasn’t seen the kind of money that would provide the big paydays to allow Detrick and other pro skiiers the opportunity to spend their lives only on the water where they can hone their skills.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cal Ripken State Champs Advance To Regional Tournaments

Local youth baseball squads were crowned Cal Ripken Baseball Northern California state champions and are now preparing for the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournaments, which are one step away from the Cal Ripken World Series in August.

The Age 12-and-under State Tournament was won this past weekend by the team representing Laguna Youth Baseball. This is the same basic squad that made Age 11 Pacific Southwest Regional a year ago and took first place

They will be playing at Visalia for their regional play beginning next Monday. Here is the link to their fundraising site, http://www.gofundme.com/bi21oc, any donations would help this club in their expenses.

At Age 11, the team representing Elk Grove Youth Baseball were state champions and will play their regional tournament at Bullard, July 20 - 25. If you can help with a financial donation to offset the costs of travel please go to: http://www.gofundme.com/b03vvo.

The Ripken Baseball organization has constructed a baseball complex in Aberdeen, Md., where its World Series are held.

Watch here for more on each team in the coming days....