Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Eagle Volleyball Wins NorCal Opener

Pleasant Grove defeated Foothill High School of Pleasanton three sets to one on Tuesday to advance in the CIF Northern California Regional Volleyball Tournament. The scores were 25-22, 25-18, 20-25 and 25-22.

This means the Eagles will travel to Monte Vista High School in Danville Saturday night for round two. Monte Vista is the top-seed in Division I. The Eagles are the fifth seed.

 ** Here are the brackets for the CIF State Volleyball Championships.

In Division V, Bradshaw Christian was defeated by Notre Dame High School in Salinas, 3-0. The scores were 25-16, 25-13 and 25-9.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

PG, BCHS Lose V-ball Championship Games

Brian Contreras had a big frown on his face. He just finished talking to a teary-eyed group of young ladies, downcast after losing a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I volleyball championship for the second year in a row.

“You can’t pass, uh, you can’t do, oh, I don’t know,” he mumbled.


He then spoke louder and tried to explain his scheme planned carefully for a very talented Pitman squad that he knew, if executed correctly, would earn a Section banner for the Eagles.

“They really didn’t move that much,” Contreras tried to explain. “We knew what they were going to do. It was stuff we practiced three days for. I don’t know, we didn’t show up tonight.”

But, the scores Saturday night at Tokay High School, site of the Section volleyball championships, were really quite close. The Pride took this year’s title, 19-23, 25-21, 25-16 and 25-23.

Last year, Pitman defeated Pleasant Grove in a tight five-game match and Saturday was much the same, especially during a fourth game that for the fans was worth the price of admission. 

Contreras, though, didn’t appear impressed even though 6-5 outside hitter Alexis Light was pelting the Pitman court with slam after slam. Equally impressive was he play of St. Mary’s-bound outside hitter Sienna Young and 5-11 senior Erika Sullivan.

“We couldn’t service well,” he said. “We couldn’t get the ball to our hitters. We need to take swings on the ball.”

The Eagles took the opening set playing quite like the Delta League champions that went 32-4 this season. But, something happened to open the second set that no one could explain. The re-directs and slams just didn’t seem to drop for the Eagles.

BCS Football Honored At Championship Dinner

It’s a place where weddings and fancy banquets are served. There’s an opulent spa for folks that, well, like that kind of body treatment.

In the front of this sprawling complex is a wine tasting bar and an eloquent hotel and all this in the middle of the vineyards that surround the City of  Lodi.

But, this night Wine and Roses was the host site of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s football finalists in divisions four through seven.

The head coaches brought a school administrator and six of his players to hear congratulatory words from Section Commissioner Mike Garrison, eat a terrific barbeque chicken dinner, topped off by creamy vanilla ice cream, and then hear an encouraging, motivational speech from Sacramento State’s football coach Jody Sears.

One would think Bradshaw Christian seniors Phillip White, Kyle Wilburn, Michael Sinclair, Nik Altamura and Zack Moody along with sophomore Mateo Bromstead would be used to such fanfare because these boys are all playing for the school’s fifth Section championship over the past eight years. But, no, they are all excited and looking forward to what they hope Saturday night will be another football championship for their school.

“It would be great to go out and win a championship in our last season at Bradshaw Christian,” Wilburn, the team quarterback, said. “This is the only sport I play, so for me it would wrap everything up for me. I’d say it’s pretty important for us to win.”

“It’s what we’ve been working for all four years,” Sinclair, a safety and wide receiver, said. “It’s something to leave a legacy so the underclassmen remember you.”

“To me it’s leaving a legacy, to go out on top,” White, a big defensive end and tight end, said.

This year the opponent is Hilmar, a club that was 9-3, 4-1 and co-champions in the Trans-Valley League. Two years ago when these Bradshaw seniors were sophomores when they beat Ripon Christian, 35-28, in an exciting game played at Lodi’s Grape Bowl.

Saturday, the Pride will take on the Yellowjackets at Lincoln High School’s Spanos Stadium in Stockton. Kick off is 6:30 p.m.

“They are a big team, real fast, very disciplined and well-coached,” Sinclair said. “They are in the championship for a reason, so we’ve got to go out and play our game.”

(from left) Michael Sinclair, Mateo Bromstead, Zack Moody, Nik Altamura, Phillip White, Jr. and Kyle Wilburn

In Hilmar, the Pride will have their hands full. The Yellowjackets are the number one seed in Division VI and are on a six-game winning streak. Head coach Frank Marques expects a big send-off by their small dairy farming community Saturday afternoon when the team loads the buses and heads north to Stockton.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Follow Playoff Action HERE

Live Blog Live coverage: Second round, high school football playoffs

Bradshaw, PG Play For V-ball Championships

There are two local volleyball teams vying for Sac-Joaquin Section championships beginning tonight.

In Division V, Bradshaw is taking on Vacaville Christian tonight. I'll be texting a score as soon as I get that @EGSportsCorner.

On Saturday, it's a rematch of last year's Division I championship as Pleasant Grove will try to unseat Pitman. The first slam will be at 7:30 p.m. at Tokay High School. Last year, PG took Pitman to five games before dropping the match.

I'll be on the sidelines with tweets from Saturday's championship match.

Congrats to Elk Grove, who lost to Rocklin Tuesday in the Division II semi-finals. EG was the runner-up in the Delta League this year to the Eagles.

A Dirty Team?

Because of a personal matter I won't be covering second round football action Friday night, but football fans may want to take on the Division VI showdown between Bradshaw and Gustine at BCHS.

The reason, some Pride fans say, is that Gustine plays some of the dirtiest football in the Section. In last year's playoff opener, won by Bradshaw, 47-6, coaches were constantly complaining that Gustine players were putting elbows into Pride players, poking them in the eyes and stomping on Bradshaw's guys even well after the play was over.

To further disgust the Pride coaches, officials acted like they didn't see anything. Section officials claim they haven't had any negative report this year about Gustine's play this year.

Friday's game at Bradshaw is the semi-final round in Div. 6 and football followers in the south Section say this may be one of Gustine's best teams in many years. The winner will take on the Hilmar/Ripon Christian victor for the Section championship on 11/28. That game could be played at Elk Grove H.S.

Last week the Pride easily dispatched Amador, 49-15, to open the post-season.

The only other local playoff game in town will be Merced at Elk Grove in Division I. Franklin is on the road to face Folsom, but Mike Johnson's squad is dealing with injuries. However, this could be a great opportunity for Lamar Jackson to really show his stuff for the Wildcats.

Also in Division I, Cosumnes Oaks will be at Oak Ridge. The winner of that game will face the Elk Grove/Merced victor next Friday in the Section semi-finals.

Basketball Opens Nov. 30

We are just over a week away from the season openers in high school basketball.

The annual "Foundation" games played that night won't count in the win-loss standings, but it is a good opportunity to see area teams. The money from the gate of those games go to the A. Dale Lacky Scholarship and Women in Sports Conference.

One game to see will be Franklin at home against Burbank.  It will be the debut of new Wildcats' boys coach Ken Manfredi. The girls play at 6 p.m. and the boys at 8 p.m.

Other foundations games will be: Bradshaw Christian at McClatchy, Laguna Creek at Enochs, Elk Grove at Tokay and Sheldon at Yuba City.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Berry Out At Sheldon

Another coaching casualty of the fall season has occurred. Sheldon's Herbie Berry is out as head football coach at Sheldon.

After four seasons at the helm, the former Elk Grove and Stanford quarterback was 10-30, 2-8 this season including a 0-7 record in the Delta League.
Herbie Berry (left)

Berry, one of the real gentlemen amongst the local coaching fraternity, has been at Sheldon for almost all the school's 19 years.

He joins Valley's Dave Filan and Laguna Creek's Dave Morton on the sidelines. Filan resigned at mid-season citing family issues. Morton announced his retirement last week.

With Berry now out at Sheldon, the question is who will be in? Here are three really good suggestions:

1. Joe Cattolico

The former Pleasant Grove coach who was the head guy for the "other" football team at the stadium on the Shelton campus, could easily slide right in and feel comfortable.

His success at Pleasant Grove that includes a Sac-Joaquin Section championship and two runner-up finishes would be enough, but he's the kind of coach that would bring real stability, discipline and leadership that the athletes at Sheldon need. Plus, he's a great social science teacher.

He would make Sheldon a threat once again on the gridiron.

2. Josh Crabtree

Because of wanting to be with his ailing father four years ago, Crabtree stepped down from coaching football at Sheldon and Berry stepped in. After a year away from the sidelines, he returned to coaching and since has been an assistant on the staff at American River College.

Bringing Crabtree out of his classroom in the back pasture at Sheldon and back to leading up the football program would be a good decision. But, he may be having too much fun on the JUCO level.

3. Ryan Gomes

His energy coaching football is contagious and his hard work with athletes, as shown at both Laguna Creek where he was an assistant, and at Cosumnes Oaks as its first head coach, is evident of what he could do at Sheldon.

He, like Crabtree, has been coaching the last couple seasons at American River, but has kept his teaching job at C.O. Don't know if "Scooter" would want the Sheldon job, but he definitely has the experience and would be a great motivator.