Long-time Elk Grove High School football coach, the late Jim Wilson, called Joe Allen the most talented freshman running back he ever coached.
Allen was a key part of the Thundering Herd varsity offense in 2004 and 2005. He may best be remembered for scoring the winning two-point conversion with no time on the clock in a 35-34 come-from-behind playoff game at Vacaville in 2004.
“It was nuts because that was my 18th birthday and I grew up in Vacaville,” Allen recalled. “The headline in newspaper the next day in Vacaville was ‘Allen’s Birthday Celebration is Vacaville’s Worse Nightmare,’”
Allen went on to briefly play at Fresno Community College, but quit football and finished his college degree at UNLV.
Now almost ten years later Allen has placed his efforts into managing bowling and golf events that raise money for at-risk children.
His organization, Strikes For Kids, partners with more than 40 professional football players with local businesses, fans, children and sports together for great causes.
“I did a fund-raising event for (Arizona Cardinal defensive end) Dante Moch last August,” he said. “It went so well, we did another one in Reno.”
His reputation from running those events then grew and the word got around the NFL.
“It took off and it’s been crazy ever since,” Allen said.
Allen has organized similar events in cities such as Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Atlanta, Cleveland and San Diego. Last weekend, he organized a Strikes for Kids event in Cupertino and San Francisco 49er Joe Staley was the celebrity host.
“There is no better feeling seeing the excitement that the children have to meet their favorite athlete while having fun with their family,” Allen said.
On Oct. 19, Strikes for Kids will hold a fund-raising event at Pins and Strikes in Elk Grove. Oakland Raiders’ wide receiver Denarius Moore will host the event that will offer free bowling to children under the age of 10.
A portion of the proceeds will be used to purchase necessary goods for these children, such as backpacks, toys, and school supplies.
“All components of our activities will be targeting such youth and providing protective factors that can limit youth exposure to risk,” Allen writes in his website. “Through involvement with our activities youth will leave with a sense of skills to take advantage of further opportunities in their communities and access to these resources.”
Any adult can also participate in the Elk Grove event. Tickets are $35 apiece or $150 for a team of five bowlers. Kids under ten bowl free. Bowlers get three games, a t-shirt, plus a photo with Moore.
To purchase the tickets, go to the Strikes For Kids website at Strikes4kids.org.
Weightlifters Win Prizes In Local Event
Athletes from around the country participated September 15 in the 2013 Progenex Caffeine & Kilos Invitational at Warriorz CrossFit in Elk Grove. The event was a weight lifting meet with the largest cash prize in U.S. history and a CrossFit competition with Rx, Scaled and Masters Divisions. There were more than 300 competitors, 12 vendors and over 1,000 people in attendance.
The weight lifting competition had 18 competitors; 8 men and 10 women.
“Many of these lifters are the best in the country,” event organizer Charlie Zamora said. “They have international competition experience and one of them; Chioma Amaechi, is going to Poland in six weeks to compete in the world championships.”
One competitior, Kevin Doherty, told Zamora it was the best meet ever in the Pacific Weight Lifting Association.
Amaechi took first place for women followed by Jenny Lam and Haillee Loller. On the men’s side, Ian Wilson set an American record with a 165-kilo snatch and he went on to take the men’s title. D’Angelo Ossario finished in second as he set a Jr. National Record with a 195-kilo (429 pounds) clean and jerk.
Rob Blackwell from California Strength finished in third. Future Energy Savers awarded these six athletes with $7,000 in prize money.
The CrossFit competition tested the athletes’ strength, conditioning and mental toughness to get through each workout. There were 70 teams competing in the three divisions.
In the Rx division, CrossFit-CSA took the title followed by Team Lifeworx and CrossFit-East Sacramento. The Scaled division podium had Lalanne Fitness on top with CrossFit-Solano in second and CrossFit-Iron Mile in third. The top three teams in the Masters Division were Team ProAnox, WarriorZ CrossFit (Elk Grove) and CrossFit Oakdale.
Frazier, Butte College Keep On Rolling
The Butte College football team, ranked No. 2 in the state in the Community College coaches' poll, overpowered rival Shasta College 65-0 on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Oroville. And, it was another big night for former Elk Grove running back Robert Frazier.
The Butte offense racked up 522 yards of total offense, including 114 yards on the ground from Frazier. They’ve scored at least 45 points a game in winning its first four games of the season.
American River College rolled to 3-0 on the season Friday night with a 55-21 win over Santa Rosa College. There’s a bunch of locally-based football players who contributed to the win.
Former Monterey Trail Mustang Drake Tofi scored the Beavers’ first touchdown of the game on a five-yard run. His former Mustang teammate, Rozelle Byrd, had an interception in the game.
Pleasant Grove’s Mark Jenkins had five carries and 29 yards along with one touchdown for ARC.
On the defensive side, former Laguna Creek Cardinal Devonte Castex had four tackles. William Vi, an ex-Franklin Wildcat, had a pair of tackles.
Former Elk Grove defensive back Deon Ransom also had two tackles. Sione Umufuke, an ex-Monterey Trail Mustang, had one tackle from his defensive line position.
In last Friday’s Citizen, we reported on the struggles former Bradshaw Christian High School pitcher Austin Ragsdale had with San Jose State University. The Spartans had signed Ragsdale to a National Letter-of-Intent but when the school informed the right hander 16 days prior to moving into his dorm in San Jose that he would not be eligible, Ragsdale asked to be released from the letter.
He finally got that release from San Jose State Sept. 20, well after the start of the academic year but placing Ragsdale in a position where he might not be able to play for any college in the spring.
The Citizen received an email from Bob Hermanson, the father of the second baseman/pitcher from Great Oak High School in Temecula, who had read the story. He said the same thing happened to his son, Andrew, by San Jose State, who also signed him to a letter-of-intent and then dropped the offer.
“When it happened, my son was devastated,” the elder Hermanson wrote. “Luckily, he was able to find a back up plan.”
He did not elaborate, but claimed Andrew was also contacted by Spartan baseball coach Dave Nakama only a couple weeks prior to moving into the dorm, just like Ragsdale.
“My son even tried looking for a (NCAA Division II school) and had a backup in line but wasn't released of his (National Letter of Intent),” Hermanson wrote.