Four area football squads (and local private school, Bradshaw Christian) qualified for the football post-season. In brackets released Saturday by Sac-Joaquin Section officials, Franklin and Pleasant Grove both were inserted in the Division I playoffs, while Elk Grove and Cosumnes Oaks qualified as Division II contenders.
Pleasant Grove (8-2, 3-2 Delta River League) ended the year with loses to Oak Ridge and Folsom but hope to keep their season alive by opening the playoffs Friday at Downey High School when they take on Modesto (7-3).
Franklin (7-3, 4-1 Delta Valley Conference) ended in a three-way tie for the conference championship with Elk Grove and Grant thanks to last Friday's win over Monterey Trail. The Wildcats will play Pitman (7-3). The game was originally scheduled for Saturday at Cosumnes Oaks H.S., but it has now been switched to Friday at 7 p.m. at Sheldon's stadium.
In Division II, Elk Grove (9-1, 4-1 DVC) earned a three-seed and will open at home against Atwater (6-4). The No. 8-seeded Wolfpack open the post-season at home Friday against Whitney, another 7-3 club.
Franklin's 35-24 win over Monterey Trail eliminated the Mustangs (5-5, 2-3 DVC) from post-season contention.
Also failing to make the post-season was Sheldon (4-6, 1-4 DRL) who ended the year with a 34-21 win over Ponderosa.
Laguna Creek (1-9) concluded its Delta Valley Conference competition last Friday by losing to Grant. Next season the Cardinals will switch to the Metro Conference and join Florin and Valley and the Sacramento City School District high schools. The Vikings with its two wins (2-8, 2-5 Metro) had its biggest success on the football field since 2006.
The Panthers (3-7, 2-5 Metro) finished a disappointing year on a high note by defeating Valley, 52-16, Friday.
Bradshaw (8-2, 6-0) won the Sierra Delta League championship and has drawn a first-round bye this weekend in the Division VI playoffs. They will face the winner of Foresthill and Brookside Christian on Nov. 22 at home.
Intriguing Second Round Games
Let's assume all our area teams win this weekend (very likely.) Who will they face in the second round?
For Franklin it is probably going to be top-seeded Folsom. However, if there's a team with the athletes to stay with the high-octane Bulldogs, it's the Wildcats. Should be a fun game for the fans, at least.
Pleasant Grove will likely take on 9-1 Stagg, the second-seed in Division I. For a school named after one of the game's innovators (Amos Alonzo Stagg), it's good to see this Stockton school have great success this season.
In Division II, Elk Grove will probably see Luther Burbank, the Metro Conference champions, who has four players committed to Division I colleges, including the top defensive tackle in the area, Ngalu Tapa, and Calvin Green, one of the fastest runners around. Both are headed to Washington State next year.
Cosumnes Oaks will likely take on Del Oro, the top seed in D-II.
Tellez Earns High Praise For First Pro Season
Former Elk Grove slugger Rowdy Tellez has already caught the attention of many people inside the game of baseball.
Baseball America, considered to be one of the most reputable and thorough baseball publications, in its Oct. 29 issue ranked Tellez as the best late-round pick in its 2013 draft report card. The 6-4, 220-pound first baseman held out for a large signing bonus but was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 30th round of the June draft.
"(Tellez) has the ability to become an above-average hitter because of his sound approach, ability to drive the ball to all fields and strong hand-eye coordination," the publication wrote in its Toronto team summary. "The left-handed-hitting Tellez could because an above average power hitter at the major league level and has unparalleled raw power in this class, especially to his pull side."
He played much of the summer following the draft with the Blue Jays' rookie league team in Dundein, Fla.
Fifteen Locals To Ink NLI Wednesday
This week marks a seven-day period in which current high school seniors in several sports can sign a National Letter-of-Intent with a college program. At least fifteen EGUSD student-athletes will be signing their letters Wednesday morning, the first day of this earning signing period, at one big ceremony at the Trigg Building beginning at 7 a.m.
Five athletes from Pleasant Grove and four from Elk Grove lead the pack of future college prospects. Two Sheldon athletes will also be signing letters as well as one each from Cosumnes Oaks, Florin, Monterey Trail and Laguna Creek.
The Pleasant Grove signees are Sarah Debnekoff (Golf - Morehead State), Martin Gonzalez (Soccer - Dominican University), Marissa Maligad (softball - Sacramento State), Vanessa Washington (softball - Delaware State University) and Aaliyah Pena (basketball - Cal/Riverside).
Representing Elk Grove are Derek Hill (baseball - Oregon), Kaitlin Pires (softball - Menlo College), Kimberly Wilburn (softball - Menlo College) and Morgan Evangelista (softball - Bowling Green University).
The pair from Sheldon are both softball players - Anessa Kaylor (San Jose State) and Zamari Hinton (Sacramento State).
Also inking a letter of intent Wednesday will be Julia Morales (softball - Oakland University) of Cosumnes Oaks, Dalayna Sampton (basketball - University of Hawaii) of Florin, Malik Pope (basketball - San Diego State) of Laguna Creek and Jasmine Redmon (basketball - University of Hawaii) of Monterey Trail.
According to the NCAA website, high school seniors may sign a National Letter-of-Intent to play football between Feb. 5 and Apr. 1, 2014. The regular signing period for basketball players will open April 16, 2014, but close May 21, 2014 for Division I schools, Aug. 1, 2014 for Division II.
The regular signing period for field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country and men's water polo is Feb. 5 through Aug. 1, 2014. For the other sports, it's Apr. 16 through Aug. 1, 2014.