Thursday, December 27, 2012

Galt's Vitorio The Real Deal

Galt’s Joe Vitoria probably had very little to be happy about this past football season. His team was 0-10. In fact, the Warriors had to forfeit the game with Amador because they didn’t have enough guys to play.

Opponents were constantly scoring more than 40 points each game on Galt, but Vitoria kept on trying and was definitely the diamond in the rough.

Vitoria still put together some pretty impressive numbers playing middle linebacker – eight tackles and a sack on the average each game, plus he blocked a pair of field goals, too.

Galt's Joe Vitorio (left) with All-City Football Classic director
Mike Finnerty (middle) and Dillon Smith of Bear River
(right), the North All-Stars' MVP
Last Saturday this 6-5, 253-pounder showed football fans the kind of player he actually is. During the inaugural All-City Football Classic, an all-star game for players attending Division IV, V and V schools, Vitoria was all over the field. 

He led his South All-Star squad in tackles and was named his team’s most valuable player. The South defeated the North All-Stars, 16-12, in the game played at Del Oro High School.

“It was fun,” was about all Vitorio could say afterwards with a huge grin on his face.

He earned the praise, too, from the South’s head coach, Drew Rickert of Bradshaw Christian High School.

“It was a good defensive game and (Vitorio’s) motor just never stops,” Rickert said. “He made lots of good hits tonight.”

He said the small school all-star game was a great shot in the arm for the football programs of these schools.

“It was a very great experience for all of us,” Rickert said.

Rickert will now turn his attention to baseball in a few days. His Bradshaw team was 26-6 and was the Section’s Division VI runner-up last season, losing to Mariposa County, 4-3.  The year before the Pride won the D-VI championship and in 2010, took the Division VII banner.

“We’ll be pretty good this year,” Rickert said with a smile.

He lost only three players to graduation and will have a solid team once again.

Locals Nominated For All-State Football Team

Several local high school football players have been nominated for consideration to be a part of Cal-Hi Sports’ All-State team.

Those players are Alex Van Dyke, WR, Cosumnes Oaks; Deaundre Terrell, QB/DB, Pleasant Grove; Spencer Sheff, LB, Elk Grove; Kameron Schroeder, OL, Cosumnes Oaks; Damion Sanders, WR, Franklin; Wadus Parker, RB, Elk Grove; Eteuati Levi, LB, Cosumnes Oaks; Noah Letuligasenoa, LB, Elk Grove; Trevon Lampley, WR, Franklin; Taron Johnson, DB, Sheldon; Robert Frazier, RB, Elk Grove;  Wyatt Demps, WR, Pleasant Grove; and Joey Banks, LB, Franklin.

According to Cal-Hi Sports publisher Mark Tennis, they will honor a 30-player overall all-state first team with 30 more on a second team. There will also be 30 All-State selections for the medium-sized schools (Div. III in the traditional state rankings division) and 30 for small schools (Div. IV and Div. V in the traditional state rankings divisions).

This will be Cal-Hi Sports’ 34th season for naming an all-California football squad.

Armstead Preps For Fiesta Bowl

Former Pleasant Grove defensive end Arik Armstead and his Oregon Ducks teammates are getting ready for the Jan. 4 Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State.

Armstead finished his freshman season as a starter on the defensive line and played in all 12 of Oregon’s games. He had 10 solo and 15 assisted tackles including two for  a loss.

One of his Ducks’ teammates, Terrence Mitchell, who played his high school ball at Burbank, started at cornerback in all games this season.

Ross Has Big Punt Return For Packers

Jeremy Ross has now played in four games for the Green Bay Packers since being signed earlier this month. He impressed the home crowd Sunday by returning a punt 58 yards and set up a score in the Packers’ 55-7 romp over Tennessee.

Ross, a wide receiver who played locally for Laguna Creek and collegiately for Cal, has not had a pass reception for the NFC North Division champions.

Matt Kopa, the former Elk Grove and Stanford University tackle, has yet to be on the active gameday roster since he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles the last week of November.

His former Herd teammate, Kenny Wiggins, was recently profiled along with other members of the San Francisco 49er practice squad in a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. Wiggins has been on the Niners’ practice squad all season long.

Johnson Leads UOP In Scoring

Former Franklin Wildcat Gena Johnson is leading the Pacific Tigers in scoring this year. The 5-9 junior is averaging 10.9 points a game while Pacific is off to an 8-2 start.

She’s now playing point guard for the Tigers and last season averaged 1.4 blocks a game, tops in the nation for point guards.  She was also 12th in the Big West in scoring.

Her Franklin teammate Kim Manlangit is now playing for UC-San Diego after spending the past two seasons at Delta College.

Sheldon’s Holiday Travels

The boys’ basketball team from Sheldon is piling up frequent flier miles this holiday break.

Last weekend the Huskies won two games and lost one at the Jerry Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas. This weekend they are in southern California for the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic. Then the first weekend of January, Sheldon will be in New Orleans for the All-State Sugar Bowl Classic.

The Huskies are ranked number two in the Section by Maxpreps. Pleasant Grove is currently ranked number one.

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